At the Alhambra
November 1917: a handcart announces an event at the Alhambra. This venue had long since stopped being a theatre, harbouring political events instead. The Alhambra became a general quarter for activism, the name given to the most radical fringe of the Flemish movement, which by then openly supported the German occupier. More than thousand people gathered on 11 November to claim the independence of Flanders. Counter-demonstrators, also of Flemish origin, repeatedly interrupted the meeting. After the gathering, several incidents took place in the city. Throughout the war, Belgian patriots and Flemish activists contended for the streets of the capital.
Activists supported the Flamenpolitik introduced by German authorities because they were convinced that their pre-war demands would finally be heard with the occupying power. They saw Brussels as a Flemish city to be reclaimed after its loss in the 19th century. When the Germans resolved the administrative separation of the country in 1917, Brussels was declared capital of Flanders. But in this city even more than in others, activism failed to become a real mass movement.