An exhibition showing the lives of every day Belgians under the German occupation during WW1 has opened in Brussels. It marks the centenary of the great war.
Based on the rich collections from the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, this exhibition allows the public to learn more about the different aspects of conflict.
Through authentic objects, testimonies, films and immersive spaces visitors will learn how this conflict profoundly influenced the history of the 20th century.
Manuel Duran, the WWI advisor at the Royal Museum of Army and Military History explains:
“These are two documents that really illustrate the face before the war, at the outbreak of the war, and the continuation of the war. It is all in these two documents where the German Emperor very arrogantly demands, in German by the way, to the Belgian King and the Belgian Parliament ‘I have to be able to pass through your country with my troops. If not the consequences will be dire’.”
Trenches are recreated with multi-sensory technology. Visitors will be able to smell the cloth from the sandbags, hear the sound of a man coughing and somewhere in the distance a dog barking and the constant boom of artillery.
While technological advances soared during the war years, with the advances of planes, tanks and artillery, this exhibition goes into the detail of the daily task of fighting and defending.
Manuel Duran adds:
“War comes to a stalemate, it stands still, in the far western part of Belgium and then we have the tranches, where the visitors can enter the trench and via the trench he enters the part that really deals with the military history, with all these aspects of the military history.”
The exhibition at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History runs until the 26th March 2015.