About us - mission statement
The five letters C.R.I.B.A. stand for "Centre de Recherches et d'Informations sur la Bataille des Ardennes" which means "Center of Research and Information on the Battle of the Bulge".
This association, founded in March 1980, is a non-profit, a non-political and non-philosophical organization.
It seems necessary to say a few words about the origins of C.R.I.B.A.
The Commemoration of the 35 th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge brought together two men who developed a keen interest for the history of a period they had well known. They talked about the supposed attack by the German panzers of an American gasoline dump near Stavelot. This attack was put on the screen by Ken Annakin in a beautiful and very sensational film "The Battle of the Bulge" with such marvelous actors as Telly Savalas and Henri Fonda. But, eventually, the story of the gasoline dump is a mere legend.
For these two history lovers, it seemed absolutely necessary to restore the TRUTH and get rid of such misleading legends. So by common consent, they decided to organize meetings and debates for people who were interested in the history of the Battle known in the U.S.A. as the "BATTLE OF THE BULGE".
C.R.I.B.A. was about to be born with the following goals:
To get together all those who are interested by the events of the Winter 1944 - 1945 in the ARDENNES, remembering the words of a famous Spanish writer, Salvador de Madariaga: "THOSE WHO FORGET THE EVENTS OF THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO LIVE THEM AGAIN".
To collect documents, pictures, testimonies from soldiers and civilians to establish a detailed documentation on the Battle of the Bulge.
To inform our fellow-citizens and perpetuate the memory of the sacrifices of the soldiers and the civilians. Particularly young people, who didn't know the war must learn that sometimes in your life you have to take a responsibility like thousands of young Americans did because they knew that freedom is one of the most valuable thing for countries and human beings.
To help preserve historical data and sites.
Another goal is to organize contacts with War Veterans. Fully aware of the awful consequences that a succesful German counter-attack in December 1944 would have meant for us, Belgians, we are anxious to express our sympathy and gratefulness to the Allied Veterans of the Battle.
We want to attest the spirit, the unselfishness, the devotion to duty and the valor of those who lived that Battle. They were really "men". The GI's of 1944 deserve to our gratefulness.
Practically, What are we doing in C.R.I.B.A.?
We hold a monthly meeting in Liege where every member is welcome. We put together the results of our researchs and of our activities. Very often, there is a lecture or a debate on a subject of the battle and sometimes a film.
We publish a three-monthly newsletter in french. It includes articles on the battle, accounts on activities, ceremonies and meetings, interviews of soldiers and civilians and comments on books or documents.
We participate in cultural events and exhibitions on the "Battle of the Bulge". We have taken part in radio and T.V. programs on the Belgian waves. Our association has contributed to a five hour film produced by the Belgian T.V. for the 40 th Anniversary of the Battle. That film was given the Award "Antennes de Cristal" for the best Belgian documentary film of the year.
We take part in all ceremonies reminding the Ardennes Campaign but especially in the ceremonies of Memorial Day in Belgium with wreath laying at the American Military Cemeteries in La Neuville-en-Condroz and also Henri-Chapelle but also in Baugnez (Malmedy massacre). War is over, years have passed. Time restored to health souls and bodies. Houses were rebuilt. The tough Ardennes people went throught the anguishes of the fightings and horrors of the war. But we have not forgotten the price for our freedom. Thousands of little white crosses lined up in the American Military Cemeteries of La Neuville and Henri-Chapelle are testimony for history and for men of the violent fightings on the Ardennes Theater of Operation. Every year, we remember and go there to lay a wreath and pay our respects to the memory of our proud liberators.
To conclude, I want to say a few words about our members.
WHO ARE THEY?
Of course, many of us who have known the war are more interested in the story of the Battle of the Bulge than young people.
But surprisingly, many of our members are young people who were not born at the time, and they take a very important part in our activities.
Two of them are even members of our Board.
We believe and we hope that they will go on when we pass away.
Centre de Recherche et d'Information sur la Bataille des Ardennes, C.R.I.B.A. a.s.b.l.
n° entreprise : 420.810.150 - n° identification : 9141/80
rue du Village, 103, 4000 ROCOURT - LIEGE
Boardmembers and Committee
|Treasurer and Editor of the quarterly INFO-CRIBA
|Dispatcher of the publications & info-criba.be