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The Oberfeldkommandantur under fire

There was little fighting involved in the liberation of Brussels. However, here and there, a handful of clashes resulted in casualties or the arrest of German soldiers. The headquarters of the Oberfeldkommandantur at the place du Trône is one of the places where these battles were concentrated.

The Oberfeldkommandantur had been established in Electrabel’s headquarters. A stone’s throw from the Royal Palace and Parliament, this site was symbolic for the occupier as well as the resistance fighters who wanted to take it back at all costs. Violent clashes took place there during the night of 3/4 September. At about 10:30 p.m., a group of resistance fighters stormed the building where approximately 100 Germans had taken refuge. At first, the resistance fighters were alone, but they soon received assistance from allied tanks and other resistance groups. At the place du Trône, the Germans were forced to retreat and a number took refuge in the Brussels Park.

The building was heavily damaged: the facade riddled with bullet holes and the interior was devastated. As a result of the fighting, 27 Germans were taken prisoner. On the Belgian side, there was one death – a policeman – and several injuries were reported.

The intensity of the assault on the Oberfeldkommandantur was rather exceptional as, on the whole, the fighting within the city was relatively limited. Resistance fighters easily captured the premises of the Soldatenheim on the boulevard Botanique. The extent of the destruction on Rue de la Loi was catastrophic. The Germans set fire to the Windsor Hotel, SNCB (Belgian Rail) buildings and those of the insurance company L’Union. Five members of the Royalist National Movement were killed on Rue de la Régence. In total, there were approximately fifteen victims among the ranks of the resistance. In the Parc du Cinquantenaire, some twenty German soldiers lost their lives. Nearly 700 of them were interned at the Royal Military Academy.

With the help of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and in partnership with CEGE-SOMA.

The Oberfeldkommandantur under fire