|Preparations for encompassment into 'good citizenship': special probation service in the internment camps for political delinquents in the Netherlands and Belgium, 1945-1950|
|After the liberation of the Second World War collaborators were sent to internment camps in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In this period exclusion of collaborators was the dominant perspective, and integration seemed very distant. It has often been argued that the regimes of the various camps were severe and conditions inhumane. But nevertheless, preparations were made to achieve encompassment of former collaborators into 'good citizenship'. Both in the Netherlands and Belgium special programs were set up to achieve this goal. Special probation services attempted to re-educate and rehabilitate former collaborators by placing them in special work programs - detainees could for example work outside the camp. Education was also set up in the camps, just like different forms of recreation.
This paper will try to explore the role the special probation services played in the preparations for integrating the former collaborator and his family in society. How did the services formulated its goals and how were the programs set up? What was 'good citizenship' and how could detainees achieve this? Also, did good behavior and participation in the different programs affect the arguments for early release? Looking at the similarities and differences of the re-education and rehabilitation programs in the Netherlands and Belgium is interesting: the probation service in the Netherlands was already set up in 1945 and is considered successful. The special probation service in Belgium, which was set up in 1946, was less flourishing and considered as a failure. How can this difference be explained? And how did it influence the complex reintegration process that followed after release?