From reorganizations to purges. The impact of WWII on Belgian and French Gendarmeries and on Dutch Koninklijke marechaussee

Abstract : Between continuities and breakdowns, the impact of World War II on gendarmerie’s practices, organization and profile should be studied in a European comparative perspective. During the War, these national polices with a military identity are in fact placed in an unprecedented situation. Demilitarized, reformed, they are in each occupied country, in the heart of the relationship between magistrates, occupying authorities, political and administrative occupied authorities, governments in exile, collaborators and resistance. This situation obliges gendarmes to redefine their professional practices in occupied territories. The Liberations do not mean return to the pre-war normality, for gendarmeries and gendarmes. In the summer 1944, institutions are under-staffed, disorganized and under-equipped with increasing tasks. Challenged by resistance movements, they must at the same time restore their legality and their legitimacy to answer State’s need and to impose themselves like holders of legal violence. With this intention, from the end of 1944 to the end of the decade, we observe purges, (projects of) structural reforms, staff management, plan of re-equipments.
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Contributor : Jonas Campion <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 3:00:52 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 11:24:09 AM

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Jonas Campion. From reorganizations to purges. The impact of WWII on Belgian and French Gendarmeries and on Dutch Koninklijke marechaussee. Dirk Luyten, Margo De Koster, Xavier Rousseaux. Justice in Wartime and Revolutions: Europe, 1795-1950/Justice en temps de guerre et révolution: Europe, 1795-1950, AGR-PAI Just-his, 2012, Justice & Society, 978-9-0574-6551-2. ⟨hal-01836800⟩

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