Heavy baggage in hand, families try to clear a path across Place Rogier. In the background, people observe these newly arrived refugees coming from Gare du Nord nearby. Fleeing the German attacks, the people from Liège began to arrive in Brussels as early as 7 August. A movement of solidarity was quickly organized. Some were hosted by civilians, while others were accommodated in the Chapelle des Minimes, which had been converted into a place of refuge. The municipal authorities participated too, and from 7 to 20 August, nearly 4,000 Liegeois refugees were assisted by the City of Brussels.
If the firepower of the German army forced the people of Liège to flee, in other areas people took to the road to escape the violence which struck the civil populations. Spurred by fear, thousands of families hastily abandoned houses and belongings. In this population movement, typical of crisis, Brussels became a transit-city, and would remain so during the whole conflict.