Remembering wartime schooling ... : catholic education, teacher memory and World War II in Belgium
Faculty of Arts. History
Paedagogica historica: internationaal tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van de pedagogiek. - Gent
, p. 149-159
University of Antwerp
Power over education and the upcoming generations has always been an important instrument in shaping religious and secular values. As a consequence, control over schools, pupils and teachers was, particularly in periods of war, an important means for bringing about acceptance of the new regime. The aim of this paper is to discuss priest-teachers' wartime memories of German interference in Belgian education during Second World War, on the basis of a survey conducted in the 1970s. By looking at teachers' memories, this paper contributes to a neglected field of study in the history of education and the historiography of Second World War. The analysis of the questionnaires illuminate how certain aspects of German educational policy were remembered by teachers and how they positioned themselves in the landscape of Second World War memory. As a result, this paper demonstrates that the survey not only offers an interesting source for investigating the war itself, but also sheds light on the changing postwar relationship between education, society and the state.