Staging History: Archives, Objects and Architecture


International Workshop
in Wolfenbüttel
16-17 May 2019

The trial before the Belgian military tribunal in 1950

On 17 April 1950, the trial of six guards of the Wolfenbüttel prison began before the military tribunal of Brussels. The six codefendants were, to varying degrees, accused of murder on 40 Belgian, French, Dutch and Polish detainees. Additionally, they were charged with deprivation of food or care on seven mentally or physically weak inmates. Finally, 29 counts of assault and battery on Belgian nationals were also to be judged. Of the 17.000 prisoners (not including those sentenced to death) detained at the prison between 1942 and 1945, 377 died. In the end, one defendant was acquitted in the first instance, two others by the appeals court.

Connecting Documentary Collections

The little-known Wolfenbüttel trial held in Brussels in 1950 produced an exceptional set of documents and witness accounts. It is a rather extraordinary coincidence that the Wolfenbüttel prison has also been a latecomer on the scene of memorials and museums on former sites of Nazi crimes in the Federal Republic of Germany. In April 2018, the Memorial contacted the JUSINBELLGIUM team. Consequently, the Wolfenbüttel trial records were digitised as a priority by the State Archives of Belgium. The digital documents shared with the Memorial will be part of the new exhibition.

Staging History, Handling Mass Documentation

In November 2019, the new Gedenkstätte in der JVA Wolfenbüttel, adjacent to the Wolfenbüttel prison, still in use today, will be inaugurated.

To discuss how archives can be used as exhibits in museums and to reflect on connecting archives and making them accessible, the Jusinbellgium team and the Wolfenbüttel memorial team will hold an international workshop on 16 and 17 May 2019 in Wolfenbüttel.

For more information on the trial, do not hesitate to browse through the online archives: https://www.legal-tools.org/en/browse/ltfolder/0_38528/#results


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