At the Frontline
October 1914, children playing war. Stretchers stand beside tricolored flags, Red-Cross signs mix with side-caps: the conflict has entered popular imagination. After August 1914, the front became but a distant reality for Brussels. Yet, as we see in this picture, in occupied territories young and old mobilized themselves.
During German occupation, daily confrontation with the enemy created a new front. Like the military front, this civil front had its commitments, its flaws and its routines. German occupation was not passively assumed: it gave birth to patriotic resistance, but also to collaboration with the enemy. The Brussels population also invested other apparently more trivial aspects of social life, like philanthropy and leisure. The 14-18 conflict was not only a matter of soldiers, civilians were also at the front line.