The conceptions of Belgium that lie behind the demands of German-speaking Belgians for the expansion of their autonomy have not yet come into the focus of historical and political science research. What future do they associate with the Belgian state when they claim a community-region or a ‘Belgium of four’? This article attempts to approach this question by analysing four regimes of fear that determine East Belgian discourses: Fear of the past, fear of minorities, fear of being overwhelmed and fear of disintegration. The focus is on four snapshots that concern the media level of this question and allow for a perspective of the long term. At the end, the article asks to what extent the debate about the Day of the German-speaking Community stands paradigmatically for these developments.