International Journal of Environmental Studies | 2019

Professor Roger H. Charlier (1921-2018)



Roger Henri Louise Lievin Constance Charlier was born in Antwerp, Belgium on 10 November 1921 and died on 16 September 2018 in Etterbeek, Belgium: full of years and full of wisdom. Lieven is a Flemish name from his mother’s father. His name Roger was chosen by his parents, but the other forenames are from his grandparents – paternal Walloon and maternal Flemish. Charlier was a true Belgian synthesis. He was also a man with an international outlook, sensitive to the human impact on natural resources and their impact on man.He was interested in many different things; e.g., land reclamation, coastal erosion, offshore power generation, algal blooms of Brittany, ancient tide mills, spas, and the life cycle of ports, especially Antwerp. His (unpublished) ‘The Nuremberg Trials: a personal view of the environmental factors’ was a reflective assessment in 2010. As he says there, ‘The Nuremberg Trials remain very contentious. As a participant, representing Belgium and Luxembourg in the prosecution team, I experienced a good deal of the ambiguity of these events. But such ambiguity was inherent in the war ... . What impresses one is the impact on the environment – socioeconomic, military or any other – of values or idées fixes – and equally the impact on them of the environment.’ This elementary point escapes most of the world’s decision-makers, which is why a long memory of events in an individual or the conservation of memory and its application by the academic community is vital. Charlier had that historical foundation. ‘It was I, when he and I were sharing a patients’ room at the 116th US Army General Hospital (later known as the 385th Evacuation Hospital) who at the request of Polish-Jewish jurist Raphaël Lemkin (1901–1959) –who claimed paternity of the word and concept –made, in 1946, the French translation of his text. The tribunals were thus created after the crimes.’ Charlier honourably retained memory of the evil, as well as the ambiguity entailed in the prosecutions and the failure to apply the idea of genocide to other such events. His academic achievements include: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy, Magna cum laude, Friederich-Alexander Universität Erlangen), LitD (Doctor of Letters & Human Sciences, Magna cum laude, Université de Paris, Sc.D. (Doctor of Sciences/Doctorat INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES 2019, VOL. 76, NO. 4, 537–540

Volume 76
Pages 537 - 540
DOI 10.1080/00207233.2019.1624118
Language English
Journal International Journal of Environmental Studies

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