The 'Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst' (Sipo-SD) in German occupied Belgium and Northern France

De 'Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst' (Sipo-SD) in Duits bezet België en Noord-Frankrijk: een analyse van de nationaal-socialistische repressie- en vervolgingspraktijk en de biografieën van haar daders
Start - End 
2015 - 2016 (ongoing)



The 'Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst' was the SS security police in charge of the persecution of the political and racial enemies of the Third Reich. From 1940 onwards it was also active in German occupied Belgium where especially the Gestapo – the quantitative most important division - became well known for its brutal fight against communism, resistance and Jewry. While in recent years international research concerning the history of national-socialism has been dominated by study of the Gestapo and other police services, their local activities and the contribution therein of ordinary men and women a monograph paying attention to these new elements still lacks in Belgian historiography. The proposed survey consists of four major parts. The analysis of the institutional evolution and internal activities of the Sipo-SD in occupied Belgium will serve as a necessary framework in the other parts of the research. In a second section I will take a closer look at the German agents, Belgian collaborators and important informants. Departing from a prosopographic substructure I will go further into several biographies of perpetrators using psychological theories. In the third part I will pay attention to the concrete repression and persecution practice. Special interest will go to the used methods, the relationship with friendly and competing German agencies and the relationship with Belgian authorities. Finally I will examine the way the action in the field was supported by information and balance the importance of active research and passive denunciations. Wartime sources and documents formed in the context of post-war legal prosecution of collaboration and war crimes (to be found in Belgian and German archives) form the empirical basis of this research. The study will not only bring forth new views about the role of the Sipo-SD in Belgium, but thanks to comparison with the situation in Nazi-Germany and other occupied territories contribute to the present debate and add to a wider understanding of totalitarian regimes.