1914-1918 : The occupation


Unemployed men are being registered in Brussels. The picture was taken in 1915, when the economy was standing still. Most industries closed, being seized by the occupier, or refusing to work for the enemy. For others still, the scarcity of raw material and the lack of prospects led to slow but steady decay. The population immediately felt the consequences. The number of unemployed rose dramatically, and pre-war unemployment funds were unable to cope with the situation. New structures arose to help the impoverished population.