Tir National- 1910s Antique Photograph- Shooting Range- WWI Prisoner Execution- Death Sentence- Real Photo Postcard- RPPC- Eyewitness History


(5 1/2 x 3 1/2 In) This is an original antique F. Mat real photo postcard from the 1910s. It shows Director M. Colinet of the Tir National shooting range in Brussels, Belgium, posing in the place where condemned prisoners and civilians were put to death. Those sentenced to death were placed on the stool seen in the foreground and shot to death by a firing squad. A grim reminder and morbid souvenir of the history of the Tir National in WWI.

The National shooting range (French: Tir national, Dutch: Nationale Schietbaan) was a firing range and military training complex of 49 acres, situated in the municipality of Schaerbeek in Brussels. During World Wars I and II the site was used for the executions of civilians, prisoners and captured members of the resistance. Those sentenced to death were placed on the stool seen in the foreground and shot to death by a firing squad.

The center was a focus of Belgian patriotism during both world wars. It had been under the control of the occupying German forces and was used for executions. Amongst those executed at the site were the English nurse Edith Cavell (on 12 October 1915) and Gabrielle Petit (on 1 April 1916).

A description is printed on the back in French, Dutch and English. "Place where the condemned to death where shot. The group of executioners were placed where we see M. Colinet, actual director of Tir National. The condemned was placed on the chair we see in the foreground.", reads the English description.

The photo is in EXCELLENT condition, light wear at the edges, small crease at bottom right corner.

***Item will be packaged with care in an acid free sleeve, placed between two pieces of cardboard and shipped in a Bubble mailer.***

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