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Chapter Summary

Belgium is divided between the Dutch-speaking Flemish in the north and the French-speaking Walloons in the south, although since World War I there is also an important German minority in the east. This division played a role in the formation of interwar Belgian defense policy. The three major works on Belgium during World War I focus on the German atrocities, their historiography and denial, and their foreshadowing of World War II war crimes rather than on Belgian policy. The book views the three levels of "the crisis of the viability of the Belgian nation-state as developed over the second half of the twentieth century" and dates its onset to the interwar period. The study of interwar Belgian defense policy presents a vital lens for viewing the current problems in Belgium, which could end with the formation of states for the Flemings and Walloons and the end of Belgium.

Keywords: Belgian defense policy; Dutch-speaking Flemish; French-speaking Walloons; World War I



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