Flemish Nationalism and the Great War: The Politics of by Karen D. Shelby (auth.)

By Karen D. Shelby (auth.)

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Traditionally a monument has been defined by its seeming permanence as expressed through its physicality and by the particular memory ascribed to it. : Collaboration and the IJzertoren,” documents the rise of the right-wing factions of the Flemish Movement, and the role the 22 Flemish Nationalism and the Great War IJzertoren played during these years. After its dedication in 1930, the symbolism of the IJzertoren was contested between those who had aligned themselves with a Passivist or Activist rhetoric during the war.

But as the program unfolds, the commemoration of deaths in subsequent wars and the call to the end of war echoes the newly tailored remit of the Museum aan de IJzer. Hoping to distance the memorial from its fascist history, the members of the IJzer Pilgrimage Committee (who are responsible for the museum exhibition) have spent the last few years re-organizing the content of the museum in order to return to what they believe to be the most important tenet of the Front Movement: No More War. In the 85th year of the IJzer Pilgrimage, it is apparent that the meaning of the IJzertoren continues to be contested in Flanders.

The last song that The Last Summer Pilgrimage to the IJzer 41 is performed on stage Mijn Vlaanderen heb ik hartelijk lief (My Flanders for My Life) by Koen Crucke. A video of the Flemish Parliament is projected. 16 This last gesture returns the global concept of peace and tolerance to that of the local and the pilgrimage closes with a tribute to the dead men, many of whose family members attend the pilgrimage each year, and a rousing rendition of the national song of Flanders, De Vlaamse Leeuw (The Flemish Lion).

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