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Liberators: The Allies and Belgian Society, 1944-1945
     

Liberators: The Allies and Belgian Society, 1944-1945

by Peter Schrijvers
 

ISBN-10: 0521514827

ISBN-13: 9780521514828

Pub. Date: 08/31/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

In the autumn of 1944, Belgium was liberated at lightning speed. Yet Allied troops continued to dominate much of Belgian society until late 1945. Peter Schrijvers' revisionist account reveals that, during that time, strong currents of discontent began to build beneath the waves of gratitude and admiration. Chronic shortages of food and coal, rampant venereal

Overview

In the autumn of 1944, Belgium was liberated at lightning speed. Yet Allied troops continued to dominate much of Belgian society until late 1945. Peter Schrijvers' revisionist account reveals that, during that time, strong currents of discontent began to build beneath the waves of gratitude and admiration. Chronic shortages of food and coal, rampant venereal disease, and deteriorating discipline led the Belgian population to lament "from the liberators, oh Lord, liberate us." Despite all this, however, the countries and cultures that the Anglo-American troops represented still exerted substantial attraction and influence, causing them to have a lingering impact on Belgian society in ways that would set the tone for the remainder of the turbulent twentieth century. Using newly discovered material from the Belgian state security archives as well as testimonies of the liberated, this book vividly reconstructs the largely unknown history of Belgium's liberation era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521514828
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/31/2009
Series:
Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare Series , #31
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

List of Plates vii

List of maps x

Acknowledgments xi

Note on Belgian place names xiii

List of abbreviations xiv

Introduction 1

Part I The big void 7

1 The sun sets 9

2 Shadow fighters 26

Part III Liberators 39

3 Embracing the new 42

4 Exorcizing the old 69

Part III Liberators 83

5 Waves of admiration 85

6 Currents of discontent 144

Epilogue: A tide of change 249

Bibliography 319

Index 335

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