The National Shooting Range was located in the municipality of Schaerbeek. During both wars, patriots were executed there. It had therefore become a major site of memory in the capital. As soon as the occupation ended, both in November 1918 and September 1944, many commemorations were organised at the range.
Between 1914 and 1918, 35 patriots were executed by the German occupier. During the inter-war period, the site hosted numerous commemorative ceremonies. During the second occupation, the premises were once again occupied, and it served both as a place of execution and burial. A total of 365 resistance fighters were buried there. Later, most of the victims were transferred to communal cemeteries. But at the time of the Liberation, all the graves were still there and a number of ceremonies were organised in honour of those who lay buried at the site. On 8 October 1944, Queen Elizabeth and the Prince Regent took part in an event to pay homage to the patriots executed in the two world wars. The tribute began with a religious ceremony in the presence of a large crowd. For over four years it had not been possible to hold such ceremonies and the monument erected at the site in April 1919 had been destroyed by the occupier.
On 29 October 1944, a tribute to Jewish heroes was held there. This ceremony was organised by the Jewish Defence Committee, a resistance organisation that was part of the Independent Front. The committee had been formed in September 1942, at the time of the major roundups targeting the Jewish population. It specialised in child rescue. At the time of the ceremony, there was no news of the Jews that had been deported from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz.
Today, only the Enclos des fusillés (Enclosure of the Executed) and 365 crosses and stars of David remain on site.
With the help of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and in partnership with CEGE-SOMA.