Belgian and Dutch Newsmagazines
Publications from Brave Little Belgium

French Magazines
British Magazines
German and Austrian Magazines
American, Russian and Italian Magazines
*see also Magazines of the Great War (a French site)

Belgium, being a small nation in comparison to other warring countries such as France, Great Britain and Germany, did not publish an abundance of newsmagazines. Not only was the population much smaller, but almost the entirety of the nation was occupied by German forces and hence anything that was published, be it newspapers, magazines or books had to receive approval of the occupation authorities censor. And even if life had to go on in a manner of speaking in the occupied territories, not everyone could afford to spend money on such items anyway. There were far more important things to occupy their attention during the war years.

Yet even so, in times of war people are hungry for news and a number of Belgian periodicals that had been especially created to report war news continued publication, be it under German censorship. '1914 Illustrée' (which soon became '1914-15 Illustrée' and '1914-16 Illustrée' ... etc.) was one of the more prominent as was 'l'Evenement'. But even under enemy censorship, the contents of the magazines was not unequivocally pro-German. The main content of the magazines was war-news along with other more mundane items such as travelogues and other cultural items. Many photographs were printed of Belgian troops on the Yser, all without any captions condemming their bravery or patriotism. In fact, at first glance it is difficult to realize that all of the post 1915 issues were printed during the German Occupation, the magazines being so sedate and neutral in tone.

In comparison to French, German or British magazines, their Belgian counterparts were but poor cousins, being printed very inexpensively on cheap paper. The illustrative contents was also rather bland and un-inspiring.

Belgian magazines came into their own after the Armistice. In late 1918 and in 1919 they were free from German censorship and consequently were allowed to publish material more in keeping with the spirit and aspirations of their readers. Therefore, odd as it may sound, the immediate post-war magazines contained more war news than most issues published during the war itself. This war news was of course old news but in a sense Belgian readers were at least presented with articles more in keeping with their patriotic sentiments, which it must be said were at the time riding high indeed.

In these post-war issues, much was made of the heroism of the Belgian forces and the King on the Yser and other battlefields. Again and again, articles were published showing the destruction to homes, factories and buildings caused by the invaders and articles were published concerning the many civilian deaths and executions. Much was made of the numerous parades and celebrations and commemorative meetings held for veterans, the wounded, prisoners, deportees and so on. The Allies held many victory parades both before and after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and immediately afterwards there was a plethora of national holidays to celebrate : the 4th of July, Bastille Day (July 14th) and the Belgian National Holiday on July 21th. All were occasions for parades and festivities and marching soldiers galore.

Belgian forces also took part in the occupation of German territory in the Rhineland, which many magazines presented as a matter of national pride and honor. This was hoped to be a prelude to extensive annexations not only of German but of Dutch terrrtory as well. For a time it was hoped that Brussels, in yet another manner of compensation for war time damages would be designated as the seat of the League of Nations. A whole new annex to the city was planned for international administrations and agencies, but in the end nothing came of these grand aspirations.


Included in this collection is an example of a Dutch newsmagazine called 'Panorama', one of the more important publications in the Netherlands at that time. Compared to Belgian publications, this Dutch magazine was modern in appearance and well printed with an abundance of fine photographs. 'Panorama', like most Dutch magazines, presented a strictly neutral stance apparently favoring neither side over the other, though a certain condescending sympathy for the lot of the 'poor Belgians' is apparent in articles dealing with Belgian refugees and internees. Panorama' was also printed in an international edition which was in the French language.

see also French language text: La Swanze Contre La Kultur - la Libre Belgique / La Vie à Bruxelles et la «Libre Belgique»

Click on the Images to View Large Sized Reproductions

General News Magazines


1914 Illustrée

L'Actualité Illustrée

Pourquoi Pas

Touring Club de Belgique

La Vie Universelle

Vlaams Leven

La Libre Belgique



Serial History and War Reports

La Guerre Européenne

Le Temps Présent

Revue de la Presse


La Grande Guerre



Post-War Magazines

Le Courrier de l'Armée

Notre Pays

Ons Volk Ontwaakt

La Jeunesse

l'Invalide illustrée

La Grande Guerre

La Belgique Héroique et Martyre
Collection 2

le Patriote Illustré

Carnet de la Fouragère


Dutch Magazines



Nederlandse illustratie



De Prins


de Oorlog in Belgie

Het Leven Geillustreerd


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