Thousands of Belgian soldiers were taken prisoner and sent to German camps, from where they would not return until after November 1918. Thanks to the Hague Convention of 1907 setting out a number of rules in the event of war, prisoners were able to remain in contact with their families and fellow countrymen.
Via charities such as La Caissette du Soldat, the people of Brussels set about generously supporting the prisoners of war. Collections were organised to send them parcels of bread, gingerbread, stock cubes, chocolate and tobacco.
These same charities also took care of civilian prisoners who had been interned in Germany, mainly on the grounds of political opposition. Among these was the famous Burgomaster of Brussels, Adolphe Max, taken prisoner by the Germans for insubordination, and who had become a real icon of the Resistance.