a Belgian Magazine under German Censorship


This news magazine was published under German censorship and much like '1914 Illustré' it featured both war-related and general interest articles. At first glance it is not always obvious that the magazine was printed under German censorship. Many photos of Allied and Belgian soldiers especially were published in the magazine and by using suitable and carefully edited non-specific captions the Belgian editors were apparently able to print material that would otherwise have been frowned upon by the German occupation authories.

In any case the issues were generally quite bland and unexciting in regards to battles and warfare but at times quite informative as to life behind the front lines and in the occupied territories.

Publication ceased in March 1918 but was resumed under independant Belgian management free from censorship after the Armistice in November 1918. It was then that 'l'Evenement' seemed to come to life showing a journalistic vigor that was equal to that of any French or British magazine. Belgian feats of arms were reported upon, somewhat late it must be said, but apparently to the satisfaction of the magazine's readers. Much was made of the Peace talks and the Treaty of Versailles along with the many parades and celebrations accompanying the signing of the treaties. 1919 was a year replete with memorial and commemorative services galore throughout the country for Belgian war victims, veterans, the wounded, deported political prisoners and so on.

From August of 1919 onwards the magazine published special commemorative articles on the great events of the first year of the war : the Sieges of Liege and Antwerp, the battle of Haelen, the many atrocities, the retreat to the Yser and others. Previously unpublished photos of these events were used which made for an interesting view on these events. Articles were also published on war crime trials such as that of August Borms, a Flemish-Belgian charged with political collaboration. There were also stories on Nurse Edith Cavell and Gabrielle Petit, both women having been executed during the war.

After the first anniversary of the Armistice in November 1919, interest in war-related subjects seemed to wane.

See also a series of drawings of Everday Life in the Trenches from 'l'Evenement'
See a collection of photos on the Belgian Armored Car Brigade in Russia from 'l'Evenement'

left : King Albert returns to Brussels after the armistice in 1918
right : Gabrielle Petit, a Belgian female spy executed by the Germans



Back to Introduction