The research for this book has been possible through the exceptional generosity of the Belgian state over six long years. I am indebted to the Nationaal Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek and the University of Leuven for their support in obtaining this funding. Research abroad was sponsored by the Belgian—American Educational Foundation, the European University Institute in Florence, the Vlaamse Leergangen Foundation and the Biermans—Lapôtre Foundation.
Monographs are monologues, but this book was born out of the continuing dialogue I have had with teachers and colleagues. I am indebted to Manu Gerard, Richard Griffiths, Gerhard Haupt, Louis Vos and Stuart Woolf at the European University Institute in Florence and the University of Leuven. My work has benefited from the critical response received during seminars and conferences or on partial publication of my results. I am particularly grateful for the stimulating exchanges in Halle—Wittenberg in October 1993; in Geneva in February 1992 and May 1993; and in Arezzo in June 1994. Jean-Michel Chaumont, Elaine Chalus, Harry Lubasz, Gie Van den Berghe and Chris Wickham have, at various stages, read and commented on my work on Nazi persecution; Bruno De Wever, Kris Hoflack and Luc Huyse have done the same on Belgian post-war politics.
The CEGES/SOMA in Brussels can rightly consider this book as partly a product of its activities. José Gotovitch and Rudi Van Doorslaer accompanied me on my first and later ventures in post-war history with enthusiasm, erudition and friendship. In Amsterdam, the RIOD has facilitated by all possible means the discovery of the history, the historiography and the archives of the Netherlands. I am indebted to Dick Van Galen Last and to Peter Romijn, who has been my mentor for the Dutch part of this project. During my research in Paris, the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Présent has been a stimulating host, thanks to its seminars and library collection. Henry Rousso has guided me in the formulation of my project. Robert Frank has kindly provided me with the necessary entries into libraries and archives. Serge Barcellini and