On November 10, following the restoration of the flag of “De Opgeischten Bond van Oultre”, historian Georges Vande Winkel will give a text and explanation about the claimants and the flags of their unions.
Many Ninovieters know the deportees from the street of the same name, but do not know what tragedy lies behind that name. These are forced labourers, the so-called “requisitioned”, who were sent to work camps by the German occupier in the course of the First World War. The Dender region was particularly hard hit by these deportations; for the canton of Ninove, there were 1,289 men, 68 of whom did not survive the hard work and hardship. After 1918, claimants’ unions were set up in many Belgian cities and municipalities to defend the interests of the former claimants and to demand compensation.
‘The Claimants of 1916’ remained underexposed in the history books for a long time. The horrors of the Second World War – barely a generation later – have erased the war crimes of October 1916 from the collective memory. Bart Merckaert and Georges Vande Winkel changed that a few years ago. They conducted a thorough investigation into ‘the claimed 1916’ in the former canton of Ninove. Thanks to their publication in the magazine Het Land van Aalst, the two authors gave these war victims the attention they deserve.
Flag of the League of Claims of Oultre
In the aftermath of their investigation and the commemorations associated with it, the flag of the League of Claimed of Oultre (Outer) appeared in the Ninove city archives. This flag had been tucked away in a cardboard box for years and was in a deplorable condition. The much-needed restoration of the flag has now been completed and this remarkable piece of heritage has once again been given a place in the archive. Reason enough for the archive of Ninove and the Historical Society ‘Het Land van Aalst’ to dedicate an evening together to the flag of “De Opgeeischten Bond van Oultre”. City archivist Sofie Neuckermans will explain the restoration process. Historian Georges Vande Winkel will, after a short sketch of ‘the claimed flags of 1916’, discuss the phenomenon of the claimed flags and conclude with a text and explanation of the Outer flag.
1. Lecture on November 10 at 8 p.m. (doors: from 7:30 p.m.)
2. Liberal Circle, Dreefstraat 16, Ninove
3. Registration is free but mandatory via the archive (054 50 51 10 – [email protected]) or via Ticketgang