Universita degli Studi di Macerata, Edizioni Universita di Macerata (EUM)
History of Education & Children's Literature vol:2 pages:229-246
Power over education and the upcoming generations has always been an important instrument in shaping religious and secular values and a vehicle for social mobility. As a consequence, dominance over schooling was – particularly in periods of foreign occupation – an important means for bringing about acceptance of the new regime. In this paper we discuss some implications of the second World War for Belgian secondary schooling and bear on the ways in which Catholic principals and pupils responded to the German strategies of control.
Within the institutional context of the installation of a new regime, the challenges pupils faced during the occupation are discussed. Not surprisingly, these were directly linked to the measures taken by the occupier. Apart from this, pupils also dealt with problems caused by the specific war conditions, such as malnutrition or bombardments. Since the occupation cannot be considered as a social, economic and political vacuum, it remains important to investigate whether pre-war confessional norms were equally accepted and what role the war played in this process. By doing so, we hope to illustrate the interrelations between pupils, the Church and the state and elucidate the role of pupils as «active makers of history».