The List of Names: Fallen Far From the Fatherland
Russian Victims of World war I in Belgium
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During the First World War the Germans were deploying thousands of Russian POWs in occupied Belgium. Their presence was part of the German policy to use cheap labour forces behind their lines. Very occasionally these Russians pop up in literature about the First World War. On Belgian cemeteries one can find a few hundred of their graves. In addition, numerous victims - especially in the Allied Armies- appear to have a Russian connection. In general, however, little is known about this page of Belgian-Russian history. Who were these people? Where did they come from? How and where exactly were they deployed in Belgium? How were they treated? In what circumstances did they die? Where were they buried, and how have these victims been commemorated since the end of the war?
Departing from a thorough identification of the Russian victims within the framework of the List of Names, Wim Coudenys and Patrick Rapoye have addressed these questions. They have collected their insights in this new volume in the List of Names essay series.
Number of pages132