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Medical examination of young Luxembourgers for military service, possibly Esch, date unknown" (ANLux, Collection de photographies en relation avec la Seconde Guerre mondiale)

The foreign soldier’s transnational experience in the Nazi military (sphere)

A biographical study of conscripts and volunteers from BeNeLux and their military and individual experience in WWII (TransWarSoldierWWII).
Under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, funded by the European Commission, this research aims to uncover the reasons why non-German soldiers fought alongside the Germans, donning their uniforms, during the Second World War. The goal is to understand their involvement in the war and the complexities surrounding it. Historical records indicate that over 2 million individuals from various occupied territories, war zones, and even neutral countries served in the German Nazi armed forces - Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-SS, or SS.

The TransWarSoldierWWII project will focus on soldiers originating from the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) to explore the European wartime experience from a fresh perspective. This study seeks to uncover the unique experiences of soldiers from this region, shedding light on the European wartime narrative from an unconventional angle. The research aims to deepen our understanding of the personal biographies of foreign soldiers during WWII, examining their stories from a transnational viewpoint. This approach is intended to stimulate academic and public discourse about the involvement of non-German soldiers in the war, fostering a comprehensive and critical analysis that transcends nation-state narratives.

Leveraging personal documents, the project adopts a transnational approach to delve into the military experiences of Europeans across borders. 

The project will run until August 2025.

Team composition

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