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*American Red Cross* http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2017683171/
Original for comparison: https://i.imgur.com/CdCJ2fi.jpg
With young children hoisted on their parents’ shoulders to get a better view of the spectacle, people are happy and some of them visibly touched as the occupation finally ends. According to the description of the photo the American Red Cross delegation were the first Americans to enter the city.
Shrouded in the morning mists behind them stands [Antwerp Central Station](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antwerpen-Centraal_railway_station), here is the [view today](https://email@example.com,4.4190429,3a,75y,94.16h,101.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVsF0eOUCJtv7gjCyYZm-Hw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en), roughly from the same spot.
[Close-up of left side of crowd.](https://i.imgur.com/7EPEkca.jpg)
[Close-up of right side of crowd.](https://i.imgur.com/8ZOB2DF.jpg)
Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg in 1914 in hopes to surprise the French armies, breaking the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 calling it a “scrap of paper”.
Belgium were to suffer several atrocities during the ensuing occupation of the German army, for instance [the Wire of Death](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_of_Death) was put up and electrocuted between 2000 and 3000 people.
>“Overall, the Germans were responsible for the deaths of 23,700 Belgian civilians, (6,000 Belgians killed, 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, in prison or sentenced to death by court) and caused further non fatalities of 10,400 permanent and 22,700 temporary invalids, with 18,296 children becoming war orphans. Military losses were 26,338 killed, died from injuries or accidents, 14,029 died from disease, or went missing.”
Finally, the allied advance named [the Hundred Days Offensive](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Days_Offensive) starting 8 August 1918 would lead to the end of the war.
The front page of The New York Times on 11th of November read, [“Armistice signed, end of the war!”](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/NYTimes-Page1-11-11-1918.jpg)
The Armistice was prolonged three times before peace was finally ratified under the [Treaty of Versailles](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Versailles).
I’ll share a few more photos I found, taken by the same American delegation from the Red Cross who took this photo in Antwerp, who toured through Belgium during and after the war.
[The destruction of Leuven, the Germans bombed the city, killing 248 residents, and burned the library containing 300,000 books with gasoline, seen to the right in this photo.](https://i.imgur.com/aVwh3mw.jpg)
[Road of the Belgian Army advancing on Antwerp through the old 1914 defense lines,](http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/anrc/18100/18186v.jpg) you can see the barbed wire in the foreground.
Celebration throughout Belgium: [Typical triumphal arch erected in scores of Belgian villages to welcome the advancing Allied Armies.](http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/anrc/18100/18185v.jpg) This one is in the village of [Haasdonk](https://www.google.com/maps/place/Haasdonk,+9120+Beverenfirstname.lastname@example.org,4.2104988,10638m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47c38ca70e7a6355:0x8dbd60df5ead4736!8m2!3d51.1810333!4d4.2378789), and the trees were transplanted for the purpose. The soldiers at the left of the picture are the very head of the advancing Belgian troops.
[King Albert, Queen Elisabeth, Prince Leopold, and Princess Marie Jose](http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/anrc/18100/18165v.jpg) at the King’s review, Brussels, 22 November 1918. The streets were overflowing with people, [even the rooftops in the distance](https://i.imgur.com/l9RJbdQ.jpg), so great the joy!
[The mayor of Brussels, Adolphe Max (in feathered hat) arriving at Houses of Parliament, for the King’s review](http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/anrc/18100/18151v.jpg). Max was imprisoned by the Germans at the time of their occupation of Brussels for 4 years, until he escaped the 13th of November 1918. That means at the time of this photo he had only been a free man for 9 days. You can read more about his ordeal here: https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/max_adolphe
This was already a great shot in black and white but it is amazing in color.
The picture is made by the quality of that dudes beard in the bottom right
Is there a subreddit for colorized photos? This looks amazing.
kind of strange realising all those people are dead now. The colour makes it more real
Man, I love history. Just zooming in and looking at all the faces and wondering what kind of history each person holds and how they’re connected to WW1 makes me fall down the imagination rabbit hole.
How have I never seen this picture before, there is so much substance to it.
Little did they know is just the beginning, is all over again in 20 years…
You can find Doctor Gregory House somewhere in this photo.
Six rows back in the middle = Vape Nation
These people are happy? Seriously, about one in ten has a look that would tell me they’re celebrating.
I would feel seriously anxious in that crowd if I weren’t wearing a hat.
So people liked hats back then?
I only see two smiles in that whole crowd.
This might be my desktop if it was higher resolution.
The original file is over 74 MP.
Kind of hits me hard when I think all of these people are dead.