chapter  2
13 Pages

Archivists Killed for Political Reasons

ByAntoon De Baets

I call “history producers” all those involved, professionally or otherwise, in the collection, creation, or transmission of history, including archivists. Writing history becomes fatal when rulers or others who fear unwelcome representations of the past decide to kill the authors as the quickest way to silence their words. Keeping records is part of the activity of writing history in the broad sense. Archivists engaged in collecting, preserving, and making accessible historical data provide the raw material for these unwelcome representations of the past and, in so doing, sometimes run serious risks. Although many archivists have been persecuted in world history, 1 few have been so to their deaths. The present chapter is about this exceptional group.