# On July 21st 1915, as a sign of "mourning for the national holidays", a general closing of businesses was organised in Brussels as a protest against the German occupier.

I somehow suspect that they're making fun of us!  - Private collection, Mr. Bertholot ©

I somehow suspect that they're making fun of us! - Private collection, Mr. Bertholot ©

In occupied Belgium, resistance to the Germans took many shapes.

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In particular, the civilian population took it as a duty to maintain a "patriotic distance" from the occupier in order to show respect for its historic soldiers who had gone to the front, and to express national unity against the enemy!

The men, women and children still behind the front lines, or in exile, contributed to the patriotic fervour with countless objects painted in the national colours, postcards, charms, boxes…

July 21st 1915 provided the opportunity to express a rejection of the occupier and support for the combat being waged by the soldiers, with this date being declared as a "mourning for the national holidays": stores everywhere closed their doors, while homes shuttered their windows.

 

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