CORDIS - EU research results

The foreign soldier’s transnational experience in the Nazi military (sphere) – A biographical study of conscripts and volunteers from BeNeLux and their military and individual experience in WWII

Project description

Another look at the European WWII experience

Why did non-German soldiers fight alongside the Germans – in German uniform – during the Second World War? What do we know about their entanglement in the war? What is known is that over 2 million foreigners from different occupied territories and war zones, as well as neutral countries, served in the ranks of the German Nazi armed forces, or Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-SS, the Nazi Party’s Schutzstaffel, or SS, organisation. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the TransWarSoldierWWII project will focus on soldiers who originated from the Benelux to study the European war experience from a new angle.


Over two million foreigners served in the ranks of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. They came from different occupied territories and war zones, or even from uninvolved and neutral countries. These men had a significant impact on the war itself and how it was experienced and conducted. How these men from more than 40 countries experienced the war in German uniform as transnational soldiers remains a black box. TransWarSoldierWWII will trace the experiences of these soldiers by focusing on those who originated from the Benelux to determine the framework of the European war experience from a new angle. This research will deepen understandings of individual biographies of foreign soldiers in WWII from a transnational perspective. This new angle will open up the academic and public discussion on the involvement of non-German soldiers and their entanglement in the war and aims at a profound and critical analysis beyond nation-state narratives. I will be hosted at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) in Amsterdam, where Professor Ismee Tames will supervise and mentor me. The research is premised on Responsible Research and Innovation. It will result in a symposium on transnational war experiences, two scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and dissemination activities in public lectures and a podcast. The project's overall aim is to strengthen my research capacity and skills to assist in securing a leading research position that will enable me to contribute my knowledge and make a crucial impact on this field in military and social history.


Net EU contribution
€ 187 624,32

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data