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Cancelled: Congres ‘Trains & tracks’


If you have ever visited our museum, you will certainly remember the railway carriage standing next to the museum. This commemorates the various convoys that left here during the Second World War. 25,490 Jews and 353 Roma were transported, mainly to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

What was once a symbol of modernity became a key factor in the genocide during the Second World War. We will zoom in on the role and image of these trains on this symbolic spot on 27 January.


9h00: Registration

9h15: Welcome and introduction by Annelies Beck
Flemish journalist and writer

Session 1: Departure

9h30 – 09h50: Deportation from the Dossin barracks by Laurence Schram
Senior Researcher at Kazerne Dossin

09h00 – 10h10: ‘A lesser – or a greater evil?’ by Nico Wouters
The National Railway Company of Belgium and the deportations during WWII
Head of CegeSoma – State Archives in Belgium

10h10 – 10h30: Q&A moderated by Annelies Beck

10h30 – 10h50: coffee break

10h50 – 11h30: 4 moments in the deportation history of Belgium and Northern France

  • Left Behind: the deportation rate of obligatory slave labourers and their families – Veerle Vanden Daelen (Deputy General Director and Director of collections & research at Kazerne Dossin)
  • Save the children (September 11, 1942) – Grégory Célerse (Historian and Researcher for the Resistance Museum (Bondues, France) and Rails et histoire (Paris, France))
  • The attack on the XXth convoy – Koen Aerts (Professor and Researcher UGent and CegeSoma)
  • The Ghost train of 1944 – Jean Cardoen (Historian and Director of the 3rd department (Museum mediation) of the War Heritage Institute)

11h30 – 12h00: Q&A moderated by Annelies Beck

12h00 – 13h00: Lunch break

Session 2: Changing images on trains

13h10 – 13h30: From “passenger car” to “wagon”: the misleading deception of deportation by Johan Puttemans
Pedagogical Coordinator at the Auschwitz Foundation

13h30 – 13h50: The point of arrival: the Judenrampe
An interview with Hans Citroen (Visual Artist and Writer)

13h50 – 14h20: Q&A moderated by Annelies Beck

14h20 – 15h00: New commissioned text by Alicja Gescinska
Author and Philosopher

Session 3

15h10 – 16h10: Roundtable on the representation of trains and stations in Holocaust memory
Frédéric Crahay (Director Auschwitz Foundation)
Veerle Vanden Daelen (Deputy General Director and Director collections & research Kazerne Dossin)
Hannes Vanwymelbeke (Head of the Memory Service of the War Heritage Institute)
Alicja Gescinska (Author and Philosopher)

16h10 – 17h10: ‘Déportés de Malines à Auschwitz’ by Frédéric Crahay
The importance of witnesses and the screening of the documentary of the Auschwitz Foundation
Director Auschwitz Foundation

17h10 – 17h15: Closing remarks

To end the day in an appropriate way, we recommend going to DE SINGEL in Antwerp. There, Steve Reich, who himself once escaped from a convoy, presents “Different trains“: testimonials of Holocaust survivors recorded on tape and accompanied by live string instruments.

  • Thursday 27.01.2022, 09:00
  • English
  • Kazerne Dossin
  • 8u
  • € 12
  • Lunch is included.
    In cooperation with Europalia.