New leadership for CegeSoma
Rudi Van Doorslaer has left the institution on 31 August 2016 to enjoy his well-earned retirement. During the appointment procedure for a new director, management of CegeSoma, now Operational Directorate 4 of the State Archives, has been entrusted to our colleague Dirk Martin. Spotlight on two individual careers.
Rudi Van Doorslaer ((right) in conversation with the Director General of the State Archives, Karel Velle, at the reception organised in his honour a couple of days before his retirement. (Photo CegeSoma)
After a first appointment at the Centre as scientific collaborator from 1977 to 1980, Rudi Van Doorslaer was recruited in a permanent position in 1985. His thesis De KPB en het Sovjet-Duits niet-aanvalspact, 1939-1941
, published in 1975 received much attention. His doctoral thesis entitled Kinderen van het getto. Joodse revolutionairen in België, 1925-1940
and presented in 1990 made him known as one of the specialists of Belgian 20th century history. This thesis reflects his increasing interest in the social and cultural history of radicalism in the 1920s-1950s.
The researcher from Ghent then delved into the involvement of the Left in the Second Spanish Republic, but also and more specifically into the history of the Jews, actors and/or victims of the terrible events of the end of the second half of the 20th century. He was in charge of several collective research projects about this subject and is the architect of the sensational La Belgique docile
(2007) concerning the responsibility of the Belgian government in the Jewish tragedy.
On 1 September 2005, Rudi Van Doorslaer became the third director of CegeSoma. During the eleven years he spent leading the institution, he continuously developed initiatives with regard to academic activities, access to documentation through digital means and, since 2011, public history. The last years of his appointment were marked by his concerns for the sustainability of the institution that suffered from budget cuts and an insecure status.
The bio-bibliographical note and the speech (French) given in his honour on 25 August 2016 rounds off the portrait of Rudi Van Doorslaer.
After a four-year appointment as aspirant for the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), Dirk Martin joins CegeSoma in 1979. His research leads to the presentation of his doctoral thesis in 1990 about local politicians in Antwerp and Ghent during the interwar period. He also publishes a number of studies about Ghent and Antwerp during the dark years, about the foreign policy of Belgium and about the German cultural and university policy in the same period. He would soon be charged with the management of the archives of the institution and contribute to several publications about the archival sources on the Second World War in Belgium. Having been head of the archives of CegeSoma for many years now, he has developed unmatched expert knowledge in this field. After having been in half-time employment since 2011, he accepted to work fulltime again as from September 2016 in order to take on the delicate mission to lead CegeSoma until the official appointment of a new director in 2017, at which time he will retire. Moreover, he already was in charge of the institution during the 'interregnum' between José Gotovitch and Rudi Van Doorslaer in 2005.
The bio-bibliographical note rounds of the presentation of Dirk Martin.
21 / 9 / 2016