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Incarceration and Regime Change: European Prisons during and after the Second World War

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Incarceration and Regime Change

European Prisons during and after the Second World War

Edited by Christian G. De Vito, Ralf Futselaar, and Helen Grevers

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184 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-265-4 25% OFF! $150.00/£107.00 $112.50/£80.25 Hb Published (October 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-266-1 eBook

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“This is an interesting and thought-provoking edited volume that adds greatly to our understanding of  incarceration practices during wars and regime changes and would be recommended reading  for anyone wishing to pursue the topic.” • European History Quarterly

“This volume brings together pioneering work that provides a welcome perspective not only on the treatment of prisoners, but also on how they were understood during the Second World War—a crucial issue in light of the fact that these were people interned not so much for what they did, but who they were.” • Raffael Scheck, Colby College


Political instability is nearly always accompanied by fuller prisons, and this was particularly true during the “long” Second World War, when military mobilization, social disorder, wrenching political changes, and shifting national boundaries swelled the ranks of the imprisoned and broadened the carceral reach of the state. This volume brings together theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich studies of key transitional moments that transformed the scope and nature of European prisons during and after the war. It depicts the complex interactions of both penal and administrative institutions with the men and women who experienced internment, imprisonment, and detention at a time when these categories were in perpetual flux.

Christian G. De Vito is Research Associate at the University of Leicester. He has published extensively on the social history of prisons, convict labour, and prisoners’ movements.

Ralf Futselaar is a social historian of violence. He has published on the history of malnutrition, war-related mortality, war traumas, black markets, colonial soldiers, violent women, forced labor and imprisonment. He is currently a researcher at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and a lecturer at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Helen Grevers is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of History at Ghent University. She has published on collaborators in the Netherlands and Belgium and now works on the research project “Collaborators, Justice and Society: A Social History of the Punishment of Collaboration in Belgium after WWII.”

Subject: WWII History Postwar History
Area: Europe



Christian G. De Vito, Ralf Futselaar, Helen Grevers

Chapter 1. “Gloomy Dungeons”: Provisional prisons in Madrid in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War (1939–1945)
Alicia Quintero Maqua

Chapter 2. Paradoxical outcomes?: Incarceration, war and regime changes in Italy, 1943–1954
Christian G. De Vito

Chapter 3. Life in the Frontstalags: Colonial Prisoners of War in Occupied France, 1940-1942
Sarah Frank

Chapter 4. Containing “potentially subversive” subjects: The internment of members of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands Indies, 1940–1946
Esther Zwinkels

Chapter 5. The detention of social outsiders between social reform, annihilation and custody: The municipal workhouse and prison of Berlin-Rummelsburg from Weimar Republic to GDR
Thomas Irmer

Chapter 6. A triumph for the protectional model? How Belgian institutions for delinquent children dealt with young collaborators (1944–1950)
Aurore François

Chapter 7. The ambiguities of Gendarmeries’ relationship to internment around World War II (Belgium, France, The Netherlands)
Jonas Campion

Afterword: An essay on space and time
Jane Caplan


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