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The Defence military cemeteries are characterized by their uniformity. However, Joseph Naus’ tombstone in the Belgian military cemetery of Steenkerke is an exception to that rule. A German bullet ended the life of 19-year old Private Naus in the trenches at Pervijze. He is one of the few to be buried under a tombstone largely different from the well-known Belgian model.

We thank Jean-Luc Baerckmans for this information!

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Human Rights Day is celebrated each year on the 10 December, because on that day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This text sets out basic or fundamental rights, and, to this day, has huge significance as a general, moral and legal standard, and is frequently used as a source text for new international conventions or amendments of the constitution. Human rights activists and organisations use it as a point of reference for their operations.

Each year, all of the member nations of the UN are invited to celebrate this event. Each year the WHI site the...

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Dear visitors,

The War Heritage Institute sites are once again open to the public and adapt their timetables during the end-of-year period.


Reservation is mandatory, either by email or by phone (during opening hours):

Royal Military Museum (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
National Memorial of Fort Breendonk (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
Trench of death (Dixmude) (open from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.):
  • Opening d...

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Two War Heritage Institute sites will once again be accessible to the public as of Tuesday 1 December 2020: the Royal Military Museum (Brussels) and the National Memorial of Fort Breendonk (Willebroek).

Reservation is mandatory, either by email or by phone (during opening hours):


Following measures will however h...

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“CS, Mil, TAG, Bon, Gn.,…”: For those unfamiliar with military slang these letters merely are a few incomprehensible abbreviations. The Belgian War Dead Register helps you out with an explanatory list.

A short version is featured here: www.wardeadregister.be/en/military-abbreviations

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In the night of November 17 to 18 Ilse Bogaerts (curator of the uniforms and iconographic collections), Hannes Vanwymelbeke and Elle Jacobs (Remembrance Service) participated in an international on line conference entitled “Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War: Roles and Challenges of War Museums and Memorials”.

The War Memorial of Korea, who organized the conference, gave the floor to various museums, who each in turn presented the lessons learnt and the experiences gained while studying various conflicts. The accent was put on which story to tell and how to pass this story on to future...

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He chose to go by the name of FALO: Fernand Allard l’Olivier was one of the official Belgian army painters in the early 20th century. The Military Museum was to set up a temporary presentation of his work, but COVID decided otherwise. The Museum staff was nevertheless happy to rediscover his paintings in a new book dedicated to him.

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Paul Sobol, one of the last Auschwitz witnesses, passed away yesterday, aged 93.

Paul Sobol was one of the very last Belgian witnesses of the Auschwitz horrors. He was born in 1926, of Jewish descent, was arrested in Brussels with his entire family on 13 June 1944 and deported with the XXVIth convoy from Mechelen to Auschwitz on 31 July 1944.

On the scene he narrowly escaped immediate extermination in the gas chambers. He was selected for labour and experienced the terrible ordeal of life in the concentration camps. He was liberated by the Russian troops in January 1945: he had survived his deportation.

As...

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The WHI continues working, even in times of corona virus. Our collegue Wannes Devos indeed gave an on line conference for VUB History master students. His lecture broached the subject of the presentation of the Second World War (1944-2019) at the Royal Military Museum.

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In these corona virus times it is best to stay home as much as possible. However, an open-air visit to a local cemetery is possible, especially when observing the security measures. Numerous graves are marked by a commemorative Pro Patria plaque.

The First World War ended on November 11, 1918. November 11 is the designated day on which we remember all Belgian soldiers fallen in combat during the First and Second World Wars, as we also remember Our Forgotten Heroes. Following the end of hostilities in 1918 and 1945, many of the Belgian soldiers fallen in combat were buried in a military cemetery or a military p...

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