Tracing the history of international law back to the First World War, the author examines the evolution of decisions taken in the field of repression of war crimes, first by the Allies, then by the Belgian government and parliament after the Second World War.
The post-war Belgian trials of German war criminals were seen as a failure. The outcome of these trials did not meet the ambitions announced as early as 1942 by the government in exile in London. The widely held view is that the justice system did not do its job properly and that the judges were indifferent or even insensitive to the fate inflicted on the Jews of Belgium by the German occupiers.
The discovery of judicial archives and the meticulous analysis of the trial of Otto Siegburg give a different image of Belgian justice. This Jew-hunter, who acted with unprecedented brutality and relentlessness, was condemned for crimes against humanity by the Brussels War Council in a trial with many twists and turns, but which did not set a precedent. Through her analysis, Marie-Anne Weisers shows that there was, on the contrary, a real desire to punish the perpetrators of crimes committed against the Jews.
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14 OCTOBER 2021 AT 20:00