By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship
Author: Picton, Harold W. (Harold Williams), 1867-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                          THE BETTER GERMANY
                              IN WAR TIME

                _Being some Facts towards Fellowship._

                            HAROLD PICTON.

                        MANCHESTER AND LONDON.

                                TO THE
                             IN MEMORY OF
                               MY MOTHER
                          WHO KNEW AND LOVED
                              THEM BOTH.

    “Forsooth, brothers, fellowship is heaven, and lack of
    fellowship is Hell.”—_A Dream of John Ball._

    “Either we are all citizens of the same city and war between us,
    a civil war, a monstrous iniquity to be forgotten, as soon as it
    may bring in peace; or else there is no city and no home for man
    in the universe, but only an everlasting conflict between
    creatures that have nothing in common and no place where they
    can together be at rest.”—_Times Literary Supplement_, Nov. 11,

    “He had to be extremely careful, said Lord Newton at Knutsford
    last Saturday, because if he made any statement which did not
    accuse the Germans of brutality he was denounced by many people
    as pro-German.”—_Common Sense_, April 20, 1918.

    “Des faits de ce genre méritent dêtre mis en evidence. Il
    faudrait, dans ce déchaînement d’horreurs et de haines, insister
    sur les quelques traits capables d’adoucir les âmes.”—_La
    Guerre vue d’une Ambulance_ par L’Abbé FÉLIX KLEIN.

    “Hate as a policy is either inadequate to deal with the crimes
    (real and invented) of our enemies, or, if adequate, so recoils
    on the hater that he himself becomes ruined as a moral
    agent.”—G. JARVIS SMITH, M.C. (late Chaplain at the Western
    Front). _Nation_, Nov. 2, 1918.

    “The belief at home that the individual enemy is an incurable
    barbarian is simply wrong....”—Second-Lieut. A. R. WILLIAMS,
    killed in action August, 1917.

    “I will go on fighting as long as it is necessary to get a
    decision in this war.... But I will not hate Germans to the
    order of any bloody politician; and the first thing I shall do
    after I am free will be to go to Germany and create all the ties
    I can with German life.”—J. H. KEELING (B.E.F., December,


CHAPTER.                                               PAGE.

     FOREWORD                                            xi.

  I. MILITARY PRISONERS                                    1

 II. CIVILIAN PRISONERS                                   75

III. PRISONERS IN PREVIOUS WARS                          123

 IV. REPRISALS OF GOOD                                   132

  V. WHAT THE GERMAN MAY BE                              149

     APPENDIX                                            255


One kind of German has been too often described, and not infrequently
invented. I propose here to describe the other German. At a military
hospital a lady visitor said to the wounded soldiers: “We’ve had lots of
books and tales of horror; why don’t some of you fellows prepare a book
of the good deeds of the enemy?” There was a slight pause. “Ah,” said
one of the soldiers, “that would be a golden book.” Very imperfectly,
and in spite of all the barriers raised by war passions, I have tried to
collect some of the materials already to hand for such a book.

In any quarrel it is difficult to recognise that there is good in one’s
opponent. Yet in order that any strife may be wisely settled, this
recognition is plainly necessary. Mere enmity, without recognition of
good, belongs to primitive barbarism. It was against the foolish
unpracticality of this older barbarism (not surely only against its
wickedness) that Christ protested in the words, “But I say unto you,
love your enemies.” He saw around him the folly and unenlightenment of
the perpetual feud. I have collected the testimonies that are in the
following pages because such facts seem to me to need wider
recognition, if we are ever to gain an outlook upon a fairer and a truer

If my desire for peace has anywhere shown itself unduly, or in a way
irritating to others, I ask forgiveness. Whenever peace is made, the
world will need a peace built on all the facts of human nature. I have
tried to give here some of those which war passions inevitably obscure.
That is the whole of my task.

                                              HAROLD PICTON.
  _September, 1918._


    [Footnote 1: With the exception of a few minor insertions the
    whole of this book was compiled, and the preface written, before
    Peace came. It seemed, however, that it might only be harmful if
    published then. I, therefore, kept the book back, but, as the
    wording expressed my feeling as I wrote, I have left it

                    The Better Germany in War Time


                          MILITARY PRISONERS.

The cases of bad treatment of prisoners in Germany have been made known
very widely. No one, I imagine, can wish to defend bad treatment of
prisoners anywhere (even of criminal prisoners), and such a horrible
state of things as that of Wittenberg during the typhus epidemic is a
disgrace to human nature.

But Mr. Lithgow Osborne says: “My whole impression of the camp
authorities at Wittenberg was utterly unlike that which I have received
in every other camp I have visited in Germany.” (Miscel. 16, 1916, p.
6). I propose to give some account of these other camps. I shall not
exclude adverse criticism, but as the public have heard little but such
criticism, I do not think it will be unfair to deal in these pages more
fully with the favourable reports.


The following letter from a British Officer appeared in the _Times_ of
December 30, 1914. It may well serve as an introduction and a caution:

    I do not doubt Private O’Sullivan’s wonderful experience as a
    prisoner, but his is, I am sure, only an isolated case, and not
    at all the usual treatment to which British prisoners are
    subjected. I can speak from experience, as I, too, was a
    prisoner (wounded), but afterwards released, as the building in
    which I was, along with several German wounded, was captured by
    the British. During the time I was with the Germans they treated
    me with every consideration. Food was scarce, owing to the fact
    that the roads were so well shelled by our artillery that their
    transport could not come up; but they shared their food with me.
    They also dressed my wound with the greatest care, and in every
    way made me as comfortable as possible. Being able to speak a
    little German, I talked to the other wounded, and found that
    their papers also published dreadful tales of our treatment of
    prisoners, which I am glad to say I was able to refute.

    I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
                                          A BRITISH OFFICER.
      December 27.

I would especially call the attention of fair-minded men to the last

Here is a letter written by Second-Lieut. F. Phillips Pearce (aged 18)
of the 2nd Essex Regiment, from Crefeld on October 27, and printed in
the _Times_ of November 19, 1914:

    We are treated very well indeed here. We have good beds and
    fires in the rooms, three good meals a day, and a French soldier
    for a servant, and this morning I had a splendid hot bath. We
    have roll call twice a day, at 8 a.m. and 9.45 p.m., and lights
    out at 10.45, and we have a large courtyard to walk about in. We
    have a canteen here where we can buy clothes and anything we
    want. Prison fare is very good—new rolls and coffee and fresh
    butter. Not bad! I had a very decent guard when I was coming up
    on the train; he got me food, and when one man tried to get in
    to attack me he threw him off the train. I am afraid I am out of
    the firing line until the war ends (worse luck). I am in no
    danger of being shot unless I try to bolt, which I shan’t do. I
    shot the man who was carrying their colours, and he wanted to
    have me shot, but luckily nobody seemed to agree with him. The
    next time I saw him he had been bandaged up—he was shot through
    the shoulder—and he dashed up and shook me by the hand and
    shouted, “Mein Freund, mein Freund.”

On November 25 other letters appeared in the _Times_. One was from a
cavalry subaltern in a German fortress:

    You ask about money; they provide lights and firing and all the
    men’s food. The officers get 16s. a week and buy their own.
    Quite sufficient, as it is cheap. I have learnt German fairly
    quickly and do interpreter now in the shop for the men, though,
    I am afraid, _tant mal que bien_. One of the officials here
    used to be a professor, and is very kind trying to teach us.
    Thanks for the warm underclothes, and most awfully for the
    footballs. We have quite good matches.... It is better not to
    try to send any public news of any kind from England; people
    having been stupid trying to smuggle letters in cakes and
    things, and it only makes trouble for everyone.

A Captain writes:

    For dinner at 1 p.m. we are given soup, meat and vegetables....
    Supper takes place at 7 o’clock and consists of tea, sausages or
    meat and potatoes.... We receive £5 a month as pay, of which 1s.
    6d. is deducted for food each day. We have a canteen here at
    which we can buy everything we want, ... so there is no need to
    send me anything at all, except perhaps those small 7d. editions
    of novels.

An English lady wrote early in 1915 from Munich:

    I must tell you I had permission to visit a wounded English
    officer, a cousin, and I think it would reassure many people at
    home to know how warmly he speaks of the great kindness that has
    been shown him now for five months, as well as the skill and
    attention of the doctors.—(_Times_, March 17, 1915.)

Here, too, is a letter from Lieut.-Observer J. E. P. Harvey, an officer
of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, and attached to the Royal Flying Corps:

    I met one of the pilots of the German machines that had attacked
    us. He could speak English well and we shook hands after a most
    thrilling fight. I had brought down his machine with my
    machine-gun, and he had to land quite close to where I landed.
    He had a bullet through his radiator and petrol tank, but
    neither he nor his observer was touched. I met two German
    officers that knew several people that I knew, and they were
    most awfully kind to me. They gave me a very good dinner of
    champagne and oysters, etc., and I was treated like an honoured
    guest. I then came by train the next day to Mainz, where I was
    confined in a room by myself for two days. I have now been moved
    into a general room with eight other English officers, where we
    sleep and eat. We are treated very well, and play hockey and
    tennis in the prison yard.—(_News of the World_, February 27,

Miss Colenso gives the following account, which appeared in the _Daily
News_ of June 28, 1918:

    A minister friend of mine told me the story of a young Scottish
    boy of his acquaintance, now a military prisoner in Germany—I
    forget for the moment in which camp. This boy received a letter
    from home one day telling of his mother’s serious illness and
    the doctor’s verdict that she could only live a few weeks. The
    German Commandant, finding the boy in great distress, asked him
    what was the matter, and on learning the cause of his grief,
    said: “Would you like to go home to your mother?” The boy sprang
    up, exclaiming indignantly, “How can you mock me when you know
    it is impossible?” “But you shall go, my boy,” said the
    commandant. “I will pay your return fare on condition that you
    give me your word of honour to come back here.” The boy went
    home to Scotland and remained by his mother’s side for about
    three weeks till her death, when, true to his word, he returned
    to Germany.

The writer of “Under the Clock” considers that “well-attested” stories
of this kind should be given publicity. It is even more necessary to
examine the “attestation” of the other kinds of stories, for all the
bias is against the enemy, and demand is apt to create supply.


I pass on now to a report made by a United States Official. The American
Consul writes from Leipzig under date of November 16, 1914: “On Saturday
afternoon, the 14th instant, I visited the military concentration camp
near Merseburg, where some 10,000 prisoners of war are interned. The
object of my visit was to investigate the claim of a French prisoner
that he is an American subject. The result of my observations regarding
the welfare and humane treatment of the prisoners at large was a
surprise to me.... Separated by nationality, these prisoners are housed
in wooden buildings, well built, ventilated and heated.... They sleep
upon straw mattresses in well-warmed quarters, and, as far as I could
judge, are as well or better housed than labourers upon public works in
the United States. The prisoners are fed three times a day. Breakfast
consists of coffee and bread. Dinner consists of vegetable and meat,
soup and bread, and for supper they are given bread and coffee. I was
informed that many of the prisoners have some money, and that they are
allowed to buy whatever else they may wish to eat. If I may judge from
the mounds of empty beer bottles at hand, there is evidence in support
of this statement. The prisoners appeared to be in good health and
cheerful, many of them engaging in games and other pastimes.”

The diet described must be frightfully monotonous. Feeding has
throughout been one of the German difficulties. “Germany claims to hold
433,000 prisoners of war,” wrote an anonymous American journalist
(probably in November, 1914); “the housing and feeding of so great a
number must be a tremendous strain upon resources drained by the
necessities of war.” The numbers must now exceed two million. The Press
article referred to [Misc. No. 7 (1915)] is severe on the misery of camp
life, and the verminousness of the men (they were of mixed nationality)
in the camp at Döberitz which he visited. (See, however, the further
official reports quoted below at p. 9). But the writer does not confine
his condemnation to one side. “One hears of battles in which no quarter
is granted. There are stories of one side or the other refusing an
armistice to permit the other to gather its wounded. Each side is
desperately determined to win, and neither is counting the cost. So men
must rust in prison camps until the struggle is over.” The monotony in
this case seems to have been varied by fights between the prisoners of
different nationality, each set considering that the others had not done
their part in the war. We need not be contemptuous about that. The
monotony of the prisoners’ life must tend to produce the maximum degree
of mutual friction. There is absolutely no privacy for the prisoner of
war. To be forced to remain, day and night, for months and years in
idleness, with a crowd of others, not of one’s own choice is, I believe,
one of the psychological factors which make internment (especially to
many civilians) decidedly worse than imprisonment in a criminal prison.


My next document illustrates the fact that each side makes similar
complaints about the other. Telegram received by American Embassy,
London, December 23, 1914, 22nd from Berlin Embassy:

    “Foreign Office reports receiving many complaints that money and
    packages sent German military and civilian prisoners in enemy
    countries from Germany do not reach addresses. Please secure
    information for Department to forward German Foreign Office
    whether money and other postal matter will be delivered to such
    prisoners promptly and intact.—BRYAN, Washington.”

There is no doubt that many letters and parcels have _not_ reached
German prisoners in England. Lord Robert Cecil has fully allowed this.
(_Times_ report. March 11, 1915.) In spite of this, I have no doubt that
the British authorities have done their best to expedite delivery. I
would suggest that this is probably the case on the other side, too. We
shall indeed later come upon some definite statements in support of this
view. One frequent cause of the non-arrival of parcels in Germany has
been convincingly described by Mr. Ian Malcolm, M.P. (_Daily Mail_,
November 8, 1916, and Reprint):

    I did not approach this subject quite “new to the game.” I had
    already visited general post offices in England, Switzerland and
    elsewhere, and had seen thousands, literally thousands, of food
    parcels intended for our prisoners of war in Germany falling to
    bits and incapable of being forwarded for want of skilled
    packing. The sight was enough to make angels weep. To think that
    so much self-sacrifice had been exercised in humble homes to
    save up bits of dripping, crusts of bread, broken cigarettes,
    and what not, in order that these should reach son or brother or
    sweetheart in Germany, yet packed so badly albeit by loving
    hands, that in the first rough and tumble of the post the paper
    burst, the string came undone, and the contents of a dozen
    parcels fell in an inextricable jumble upon the floor.

There will unfortunately, too, be those in every land who will take
opportunities for mean thefts. We have all had experience of that during
this war, and the following cutting from the _Daily News_ of October 5,
1915, may be given in illustration:

    In a letter of thanks to the secretary of the committee of the
    Elswick and Scotswood workmen, formed for the purpose of sending
    comforts to the troops, Sir Ian Hamilton says:

        I am extremely touched by the extraordinary generosity and
        kindness of the Elswick and Scotswood workmen. I will take
        great care to let our soldiers know to whom they are
        indebted for this most handsome contribution. Pray heaven
        the parcels will escape thieves and scoundrels who waylaid
        some of the gifts, and will arrive in good condition.

If there are, alas, not a few men who will steal from their comrades,
there are not likely to be fewer who will steal from their enemies.

Speaking generally, however, the delivery of parcels on both sides soon
became commendably regular. The care shown on the German side is warmly
praised by Captain Gilbert Nobbs, who remained quite able to appreciate
good deeds even after enduring terrible hardships and hearing worse
stories from others. The bad deeds of war, soldiers are able to judge
better than civilians. In his book “Englishman, Kamerad,” Captain Nobbs

    I was very much impressed with the fair and systematic handling
    of our parcels, letters and money; even letters and postcards
    which arrived for me after I had been sent back to England, were
    re-addressed and sent back. A remittance of five pounds which
    arrived for me after I had left was even returned to me in
    England, instead of being applied to the pressing need of the
    German War Loan.—(_Daily News_, January 25, 1918.)

An acquaintance of my own, a lecturer in a technical school, spoke to me
to the same effect. He told me, as an illustration, of a parcel sent to
him which had become quite shattered in transit (p.p. 7). The Germans
transferred the contents to a sack, and, as he said, the temptation to
pilfer the sorely-needed foodstuffs must have been great. My informant
also spoke of the very thorough inoculation against disease.


On December 31, 1914, Mr. Damm reported to Mr. Gerard on the Camp at
Altdamm near Stettin. The general arrangement, he remarks, is the same
as that of the camp at Stargard on which he had reported previously.

“It appears to me that every effort is being made to treat the prisoners
of war as humanely as possible in the two camps I visited. Dry and warm
shelter is provided, the food is simple and perhaps monotonous, but of
good material and well prepared, sanitary arrangements are good, and the
health of the men is carefully looked after.”


But the general inspection of all camps had not yet been agreed to by
the German Government, and on February 23, 1915, Sir Edward Grey wrote
to Mr. Page (the American Ambassador in London) complaining that no
definite replies to his questions were forthcoming. “His Majesty’s
Government,” he continues, “have only unofficial information and rumours
on the subject to guide them, which they trust do not accurately
represent the facts.” The “unofficial information and rumours” had,
however, attained wide publicity, and obtained still more later.

The German authorities agreed on March 17, 1915, to general inspection
of detention camps and consideration of complaints. The reports now to
be cited were made after this date. [Misc. 11 (1915)]. I propose to give
examples of almost all the earlier reports, for it was in the earlier
stages of the war that there was most difficulty everywhere in providing
accommodation for prisoners. We ought not to forget that the earliest
reports on our own camps which the British Government have published
begin with February, 1916.[2]


On March 31 Mr. Jackson reported on the camp at Döberitz, a large camp
with between three and four thousand British prisoners. “So far as I
could ascertain, British soldiers are called upon to do only their share
in fatigue work.... So far as I could ascertain, after inquiry of a
number of men, nothing was known as to the stopping of either incoming
or outgoing correspondence.... The camp at Döberitz is in a healthy
location, and the barracks are new and of a permanent character.... They
are at least as good as those used by the Germans at present in the same
neighbourhood. As was to be expected a number of men had individual
grievances, but there were no general complaints, except with regard to
the German character of the food—_and those were the exact counterparts
of complaints made to me by German prisoners in England_.” I have
italicised the last clause as it will surely, to a fair-minded man, seem
a somewhat important one.

Mr. Lithgow Osborne visited the camp at the same time. He says:

    Until two weeks ago the Russians and English were, in cases,
    housed together—a source of complaint to the latter, more
    especially on account of vermin. The races have now been
    separated. The men all stated that they had the two blankets and
    the other requisites provided in the German rules, and I heard
    but one complaint about overcrowding. Most of the English and
    French receive clothes from home. All the prisoners who do not,
    are furnished from the camp supply; the men stated that this was
    carried out according to the rules.

    No complaints whatever were made regarding the Commandant, the
    non-commissioned officers, or the general government of the
    camp. The food was the source of the few real complaints that
    could be heard, although at least half of the men spoken to
    admitted that it was quite as good as could possibly be

    The impression of the whole was excellent, and one received the
    idea that everything that could reasonably be expected was done
    for the men by the authorities in charge.


Mr. Jackson’s reports on Burg bei Magdeburg, Magdeburg and Halle a/d
Saale are the most unfavourable. They were all small officers’ camps,
Burg containing 75, Magdeburg 30, Halle 50 British officers. There were
a few orderlies at each camp.

The chief points are inadequate ventilation, inadequate service for
officers and, in the first two, the fact that living rooms were used
for all purposes, there being no special mess or recreation rooms. There
seemed, however, to be no discrimination against the British.


Mr. Page himself reports on Göttingen, where there were about 6,000
prisoners. “The Camp Commandant, Colonel Bogen, has done everything
possible to make this a model camp, and he has accomplished a great
work. The only complaint is as to the food, the quantity of which, of
course, is not under the control of the Commandant, as he is limited to
an expenditure of only 60 pfennigs (about 7d.) per day per man.

“Everything was in the most beautiful order. There was a very fine steam
laundry and drying room, bath rooms, with hot and cold showers, and the
closets, etc., are in a very good condition and scientifically built.
There is running water and electricity in the camp. A French barrister
of Arras, named Léon Paillet, who was working with the French Red Cross
and who, for some reason or other, has been made a prisoner, has done
marvellous work in organising libraries, etc.

“I am pleased to say that the professors and pastors in Göttingen have,
from the first, taken an interest in this camp, and Professor Stange has
done much in helping the lot of the prisoners. The Y.M.C.A. building,
erected through the efforts of Mr. A. C. Harte, who for a number of
years has been working with the Y.M.C.A. in India, will be a great help
to the men in the camp.

“At the opening ceremonies there were speeches by Colonel Bogen, Mr.
Harte, and Professor Stange, and then each speech was delivered in
English and French by prisoners. These were followed by short speeches
by French, English, and Belgian prisoners. Then came a concert by the
camp orchestra and the camp singing society, followed by songs and
recitations by various prisoners.”

Dr. Ohnesorg reported further on April 22. At that time there were 6,577
prisoners, of whom 1,586 were British. He warmly commends the steam
laundry, the steam disinfecting plant, and the hospital. “A spirit of
contentment pervaded the camp. The British prisoners were well clothed.
I tasted the evening meal, consisting of a vegetable soup, which was
very palatable and, I should say, nourishing.... The citizens of
Göttingen have taken a great interest in the camp, and some of them,
notably Professor Stange, of the University, have given a great deal of
their time to the welfare of prisoners and the formation of classes for
study amongst them.”


The interest taken by prominent Germans in the welfare of prisoners of
war is little recognised in this country. The Berlin Committee (of which
more will be said later) has received considerable support. At the end
of June, 1916, a meeting in support of its work was held at the house of
Prince Lichnowsky, former Ambassador in London, who returned specially
from the front to preside. The Bishop of Winchester, writing in the
_Times_, tells us that many notable men and women were present, and that
at the meeting a collection of 8,000 marks (about £400) was made.


Mr. Michelson visited in April, 1915, the three Cologne hospitals in
which wounded British prisoners are lying. He reports as follows:

    These institutions are so typical of large, modern, well ordered
    hospitals that little need be said of their employment or
    management. They are provided with all the machinery and
    paraphernalia usual to surgical work on a large scale, contain
    all standard and necessary conveniences and fittings, afford to
    patients a maximum of protection in the matter of sanitation,
    quiet and relief from preventable irritation, and are conducted
    in a thoroughly scientific, professional and humane way.

    The names of the 49 wounded British prisoners are hereunto
    annexed. I personally spoke to every one of these men, and with
    many of them I conversed privately and without being overheard.
    With but one exception no English-speaking British prisoner had
    any complaint to make, and a number of the British prisoners
    eagerly expressed to me their appreciation for the care and
    attention given them.

    The physical condition of the Indians is particularly good. Only
    21 deaths have occurred among the 1,000 wounded cared for in
    hospital No. VI. since the war began, and the death rate in the
    other two hospitals is correspondingly low. The physicians in
    charge consider the rate to be somewhat remarkable in view of
    the many grave injuries treated.

    In closing I may say that there is no discrimination or
    segregation among the patients and that certain French patients
    with whom I spoke expressed, likewise, their appreciation for
    the care and attention given them.


At Crefeld Mr. Michelson visited the camp for interned officers. Of
these interned 137 were British. The general statements of the
Commandant “were afterwards independently confirmed by the one interned
British medical officer, Captain Benjamin Johnson, who said that as a
physician he had no complaints to make or improvements to suggest. He
did, however, complain on the score of being held prisoner, but the
Commandant and the German medical officer, and I with them, feel that
the presence of a British medical officer in the barracks is desirable.

“The bath room which I saw has a floor space of about 1,500 square feet,
one-half of which, drained in the centre, lies under some 20 shower
nozzles. There are a couple of porcelain tubs in the other half, and in
the centre there is a large stove. Hot and cold water is available. The
British officers were enthusiastic in their praise of this room.

“As regards the sleeping rooms, wash rooms and latrines, and their
equipment, the general German housing regulations are being fully
complied with. I visited a great many sleeping rooms, and in none of
them did I find overcrowding, uncleanliness, insufficient light, heat,
or equipment.

“The orderlies are housed in stalls in one of the stables, and in their
regard, too, the general German housing regulations are being fully
complied with. Their quarters looked sufficiently comfortable and clean,
and two or three of the orderlies with whom I spoke said that they had
no complaints to make, and that they were happy to be interned with, and
not apart from their officers. I visited the one building fenced off
from the others—also a stable—in which German soldiers are quartered,
and I found the accommodation and equipment there to be precisely that
furnished to the orderlies. The comparison was, however, somewhat in
favour of the orderlies, for the orderlies were fewer in number and less
crowded than the soldiers. Although exercise is not compulsory, there is
ample space in the central rectangle for out-door games of all sorts and
for walking. No appropriate form of exercise, recreation, or amusement
is denied the interned, and opportunities for distraction within the
barracks lie largely in their own hands. Smoking is freely permitted,
and English, French and Russian songs are sung without interference. The
walls of one French officer’s room were covered with good-natured
caricature drawings. When I asked the Commandant if the interned might
not be permitted to go out into the country under guard, he replied that
the barracks were too near the frontier for that, and he mentioned that
one officer had already escaped and succeeded in getting over the

Food is provided to all officers at the rate of two marks daily. This
absorbs the whole of a lieutenant’s pay, and the Commandant recognised
the difficulty. But “none of the officers want the present arrangement
altered if alteration is to involve a decrease in the quality,
quantity, or variety of the food furnished. All of them agree that the
food is entirely satisfactory, under the circumstances, and that it is
fully worth two marks a day.

“The officers told me that letters and packages were delivered to them
with commendable rapidity, and that the Commandant was unfailingly
obliging when, for important reasons, any officer needed to send off
more than two letters a month.”


Dr. Ohnesorg, of the U.S. Navy, inspected Gardelegen and Salzwedel.
Owing to typhus, the former was not completely inspected. Two hundred
and twenty-eight British soldiers were interned here. Dr. Ohnesorg
remarks that the situation is open, with natural drainage. There was a
good and unstinted water supply. “I had a long talk alone with Captain
Brown. He spoke well of the camp.” “Work was being rushed on” for the
complete eradication of the clothing louse which is the carrier of the
infection. “It should be mentioned that the Russian prisoners, who are
primarily responsible for the introduction of the disease, are quartered
alone, ... but all the prisoners associate with one another in the
compound.” At Salzwedel, out of a total of 7,900 prisoners, only 49 were
British. The supply of water was unstinted. Shower baths and hot water
were available. Each man could have a bath every three days, and the
baths were being added to. In the hospital “the English doctor informed
me that the medicines and treatment accorded to the sick were good.”

“The majority of the English prisoners complained of not getting enough
food and the monotony of the diet. The black bread was another point of
protest. I myself was given a sample of the mid-day meal as it came
from the kettle. It consisted of a thick soup containing potatoes,
beans, and small portions of fish. It was palatable, and I should say
nourishing. The prisoners do not do heavy work, their work being police
duties, etc. I must add that those whom I saw were well nourished, of
good colour, and appeared to be in good physical condition. There were
only a half-dozen on the sick list, and, with one exception, they were
under treatment for wounds.”


Mr. Jackson reported on the first four of these. The Güstrow camp
(Mecklenburg) contained about 6,000 prisoners, of whom 300 were British.
It is situated in the pine woods, and consists of “solid, newly-built
wooden barracks, lighted by electricity and heated.” Washing and bathing
facilities were good and the postal department well organised. “Clothing
is furnished when required, _if asked for_.”

“There are several workrooms, and most of the men who have trades can
find something to do to occupy their time and can earn a little money.

“Most of the British soldiers spoke of harsh treatment immediately
following their capture—at the beginning of the war—and while they
were being transported to Germany, and several spoke of their having
been handled roughly while in the tents. Others said frankly that most
of those who had been treated badly since they came to the camp had done
something to deserve it. In any event all admitted that their present
treatment was good, and that there was now no discrimination against the
British. British soldiers had never been called on to do more than their
share of the dirty work about the camp. A party of Russians had always
had charge of the latrines, voluntarily, in return for some small
compensation. The spirits of the British prisoners seemed good.”

The account of Münster is almost precisely similar—“solidly-built
barracks,” “good bathing arrangements,” “well-arranged hospital.”
Suggestive of the nervous strain of internment is the following: “Here
the relations between the British and Belgians seemed cordial, and the
former participated in the recent celebration of King Albert’s birthday,
which the French declined to do.”

At Soltau there were about 30,000 prisoners, principally Belgian. Four
hundred were British. German control was largely eliminated, but the
results in this case do not seem to have been satisfactory.

“In this camp there seemed to be fewer German soldiers on duty than is
the rule elsewhere, and practically the whole of its administration is
in the hands of the Belgians, who have organised many courses of study
(under Belgian professors) and who have a Catholic Church, a theatre, an
orchestra, and a choir. The British complained that there is
discrimination against them here (apparently more by the Belgians than
by the Germans), and that they are not permitted to participate in the
administration or to be represented in the kitchen or post office.
Complaints were made about the food and the delivery of mail and
parcels, and it was said that the Belgians objected to have them join in
football games, etc. They also said that they were compelled to do much
more than their share of fatigue work in connection with the latrines.
All these complaints were brought to the attention of the officer in
charge, who promised to investigate them, as apparently but little
attention had been paid to such matters so long as there had been no
trouble in the camp.”

At Scheuen near Celle a similar difficulty existed. There were 118
British out of a total of 9,000 prisoners. “The British
non-commissioned officers muster their men and exercise some general
control over them, but the French or Belgian non-commissioned officers
are in charge of the barracks and designate the men who are to do
fatigue duty. In consequence, it is claimed, British soldiers are
detailed to such work more frequently than those of other nationalities.
On speaking of this to the Commandant, he promised at once to arrange so
that a more fair division of work should be made in the future.
Otherwise the men made no complaint with regard to any discrimination
against them.”


The reports issued in Miscellaneous, No. 14 (1915) continue the
inspections and reinspections up to the middle of May. As improvements
were continuously being made in the camps, it is scarcely necessary to
refer in detail to these further reports. There are reports on fifteen
camps for military prisoners. Two of these reports (those on the
“working camp” at Züder Zollhaus and Wahn) are unfavourable, thirteen
are favourable. At Züder Zollhaus were 2,000 prisoners, of whom 479 were
British. The camp was for prisoners who were willing to work on the
land. “I was given to understand,” writes Dr. Ohnesorg, “that this camp
would only be occupied during the summer months.” The inspector finds
the hospital accommodation in this case “very crude.” There were about
thirty cases of sickness which should certainly have been removed
elsewhere. The morning meal seems very small for the morning’s work. It
consists of either soup or coffee with 300 grammes (say 10 oz.) of
bread. Altogether it is plain that improvements here were urgently
needed. Dr. Ohnesorg, however, says: “All of them (the British
prisoners) appeared to be in good physical condition.... The work is not
hard, and they are permitted to take it leisurely.... They informed me
that their treatment was good, they were not overworked, and practically
the only complaint they had to make was that a more substantial meal to
begin the day on should be given them.” At Wahn the food was complained
of, and the most unpleasant feature is that the Commandant did not seem
on good terms with the British.


As regards the camp for officers at Blankenburg, Mr. Jackson writes:

    The house itself is as comfortable as any of the places where I
    saw interned officers in England.... It is surrounded by
    attractive, well-kept grounds, in which a tennis-court has just
    been made.... There are several modestly furnished mess and
    recreation rooms, and a terrace which is used for afternoon
    tea.... The Commandant is interested in his work, and evidently
    does all he can to make conditions agreeable.

There were 110 officers, of whom nine were British.


At Sennelager Mr. Osborne reports:

    The situation of the camp is good ... on very dry, sandy soil,
    surrounded at a few kilometres by pine forests. The buildings
    are good. Though there were the customary complaints about the
    food, more than half the men I spoke with expressed themselves
    as satisfied.... The men looked healthy, and they all stated
    that the general health of the camp was excellent.... There are
    shower baths with hot and cold water.... The men said they were
    well treated by the Commandants and the German soldiers and
    N.C.O.’s in charge of them.

The camps at Sennelager are large ones, and include more than two
thousand British prisoners. Games, concerts, and theatrical performances
help to pass the time. A play given by French prisoners was entitled:
_Avant et après la guerre._


Of the officers’ camp at Mainz, Dr. Ohnesorg reports that “The quality
and quantity of the food was good and varied.... One and all the British
officers spoke in the highest terms of their commanding officer, his
kindness and courtesy, and said that they received every privilege which
could be afforded them, considering their position.” There were about
700 officers, of whom 25 were British. “If anything,” says the American
Consul at Wiesbaden in a later report on Mainz, “I should think the
British officers would ... receive almost greater courtesy at the hands
of their keepers than those of the other nations.”


Dr. Ohnesorg appends some general remarks on the camps he visited. In
the following quotations I have omitted nothing which is in the nature
of adverse criticism:

“On the whole the treatment accorded them is good, but frequent protests
were made to me concerning the food—not so much because of its quality,
as because of the insufficient quantity and the monotony of the diet.
The prisoners, however, appeared to be in good physical condition and
well nourished. Appended are various weekly dietary slips. I had an
opportunity in various camps to sample either the mid-day or the evening
meal. I found them palatable and, I should say, nourishing. Considering
the fact that the men have practically no hard work to do, it appears to
be sufficient in quantity, each man getting a liberal allowance—probably
a litre and a half of food per meal.

“The treatment accorded the sick and wounded prisoners is excellent.
They are given every advantage of medicines and treatment, and special
food when necessary. A dietary slip of the latter is appended. The same
routine, the same food, etc., as in use in German military hospitals,
apply for these various hospitals in prison camps.

“I found no discrimination made between prisoners of various
nationalities. With the exception of Limburg, the British prisoners are
housed with the Russians, French and Belgians, and this is the cause
oft-times of complaint on the part of the English, especially if they
are under the direct supervision of a non-commissioned officer of
another nationality. Some of them stated that the work, i.e., the police
duties, etc., largely because of this are not equally and justly

“Every precaution is taken by the authorities against the spread of
disease in camp. All the prisoners are vaccinated against smallpox, and
are immunised against typhoid and cholera. Certain simple rules against
the contraction of disease are posted throughout the camps, and the men
are impressed with the importance of personal cleanliness. Baths are
obligatory, the facilities affording each man a weekly bath under the

“The water supply in the camps is good. In most of them it is connected
with the city supply, and when not, Artesian wells have been sunk on the
premises and water thus obtained. Taps are placed throughout the company
streets, and the use of water is unstinted.

“As a rule, the prisoners were found to be well clothed, although not
all in their own uniforms. Some were in French uniforms, and some in a
combination of Russian, French, and British.

“In many of these camps, prisoners are loaned out throughout the country
to work upon farms, and, in some cases, in various industries. This is
entirely voluntary on the part of the prisoner, and this service is
mostly accepted by the French. No British volunteer. These men have a
guard over them, are housed and fed by their employer and receive five
pfennigs a day in pay. It breaks the monotony of prison life, and many
more volunteer than are needed for this work.”


On April 24, 1915, the Prussian Ministry of War issued a new set of
regulations respecting the maintenance of prisoners of war. They show
great thoroughness and forethought, but I am afraid the average
Englishman would be as unready to believe that they showed genuine good
intentions, as the average German would be to believe that favourable
regulations issued by the English authorities were really _bona fide_.
Yet, as it seems to me of general interest, I will here give the second
regulation: “Self-management as regards catering has already been
ordered for military and civilian prisoners’ camps, as this system has
been proved far preferable to the employment of contractors. Nearly all
the complaints about the food come from camps where contractors are


It is impossible to do more than make very brief citations from the
remaining reports. In no case is the report otherwise than favourable,
and the food is described as good.

At Erfurt “the kitchens are clean, and the midday soup (which I tasted)
was good”. The British soldiers had no complaint against German officers
or soldiers, but “they claimed that the French or Belgian
non-commissioned officers caused them to be detailed as members of
working parties more frequently than their fellow prisoners of other
nationalities.” This reminds us that complaints arise in institutions
other than those worked by “enemies.”

At Ohrdruf “a number of men who had been treated for their wounds in
the lazaret at Weimar spoke in the highest praise of their treatment by
German doctors and nurses.... Some of the British thought (as at Erfurt)
that they were detailed to working parties (by French non-commissioned
officers) more frequently than the others, but otherwise no complaint
was made to me of any discrimination against them.” The British did not
like the soup, “but almost without exception they seemed in good
physical condition and in good spirits.”


“The food question,” writes Mr. Gerard (U.S. Ambassador at Berlin), “is
of course a difficult one in a country where the whole population is put
upon a bread ration. Most of the rumours current in England are without
foundation or very exaggerated.... No British prisoner needs clothes in
Germany ... and I have just learned that British prisoners at Zossen, to
whom we sent clothes, shoes, etc., have sold these articles to the
French prisoners and are asking for a second supply.”


Thirteen British prisoners at Hannover-Münden “said that they were not
discriminated against in any way.... All seemed in good spirits.” At
Friedberg were 13 British officers. “The commandant drew my particular
attention to the row of little gardens cared for by the interned, and is
much pleased with this feature of the place. He also told me he would
like to allow officers to have dogs, but he fears this cannot be
done.... The officers’ rooms amply exceed all requirements as to housing
and equipment.... The dining-rooms are two ... and either room would do
credit to a club or hotel of the first class.” At Torgau “the commandant
spoke of the British officers to me in very complimentary terms.” At
Merseberg “the new food regulations are in force.... No complaints were
made to me about the food, and the men appeared to be in good health.”


On May 14, 1915, Viscount (then Sir Edward) Grey, writing to Mr. Page
(U.S. Ambassador in London), mentioned that His Majesty’s Government
“have heard with pleasure that there is a distinct disposition on the
part of the German authorities to accept suggestions made for the
welfare of the prisoners of war.” These words gave hope of the
development of better feeling and of those “reprisals of good” which
many believe to be more constructive than reprisals of frightfulness.
The Penny Blue Book on the treatment of prisoners of war, issued not
long after this, was not helpful to these hopes. As regards Germany,
this publication consists almost exclusively of the “unofficial
information and rumours” which, as Sir Edward Grey stated in February,
1915, His Majesty’s Government “trusted did not accurately represent the
facts.” The result is unfortunate. The Blue Book is limited by its title
to “the first eight months of the war,” and deals almost exclusively
with charges brought before the close of 1914, when, as is well known,
there was confusion everywhere. The method of arranging the evidence is
too much that of an advocate aiming at producing the maximum effect. For
example, we read (page 6): “The United States Consul-General at Berlin
heard on October 16 that information regarding the treatment of
non-commissioned officers and men of the British Army who are prisoners
of war in other camps is anxiously awaited at Torgau. ‘Rumours of their
exposure to the elements, their starvation and their treatment, are
rampant all along the line.’” On turning to Misc. 7 (1915) we find that
_these last words were not those of the American Consul-General_, but
those of an officer interned at Torgau. The American Ambassador, Mr.
Gerard, writes: “It should also be added that, although the British
officers at Torgau state that they have heard reports of starvation and
ill-treatment of British soldiers in other prisoners’ camps, the Embassy
have no reason for believing that this is the case.” _This statement is
omitted in the Penny Blue Book._

To give the public an idea of the camp at Döberitz quotations are made
(page 33) from an article by an anonymous American journalist. An early
official report is cited which gives a very different impression, but as
it is quoted in quite a different part (page 18) of the Blue Book, the
contradiction is only seen on careful examination. On the covers of the
two copies of the Blue Book which I have are lists of Foreign Office
publications. Amongst these (see pages 9, 10) is Miscel. No. 11 (1915)
(price 3d.), which contains two official U.S. reports on Döberitz, one
by Mr. Jackson, the other by Mr. Lithgow Osborne, both of them entirely
favourable. No hint of the existence of these reports (received on April
10 and April 24 respectively) is given in the body of the Penny Blue
Book. As regards British camps, the only evidence cited is the report
made by Mr. Chandler Hale of the U.S. Embassy after the riot at Douglas
in November, 1914.

I am fully aware that the sufferings of prisoners of war, as of soldiers
in the field, cannot be adequately presented in official reports, but
the sifting of more human and biased evidence is an extremely difficult
task, and it is sufficiently plain that we should not rely on official
evidence to exculpate ourselves, while using rumours and unofficial
information to condemn the enemy.

There are very many prison camps in Germany, and their individual tone
must depend enormously upon the aims and efforts of the commandant in
charge. A mistake of appointment, almost a slip of the pen, and a man
may be in charge who will make life unendurable as only unlimited
authority can.

The words used by Lord Newton in the House of Lords on July 31, 1917,
are noteworthy in this connection. One impression he derived from his
intercourse with the German delegates at the Hague was that “in spite of
the German power of centralisation, Berlin headquarters did not know a
great deal of what was going on. As the Germans had thirty times as many
prisoners as we had, it would be surprising if they did know what went
on.” (_Daily News_, August 1, 1917.)


Here is an account of a British member of Parliament, a prisoner in

    Captain A. Stanley Wilson, M.P., who is a prisoner of war in
    Austria, has written the following letter to Colonel Duncombe,
    chairman of the Holderness Conservative Association, here:

        “I am a prisoner of war, and with only one hope—that the
        war will be over soon. I was taken off a Greek steamer by a
        submarine on December 6. After two nights and a day on board
        I was brought here. I must not give any details. Colonel
        Napier was also taken prisoner, and we are together.
        Fortunately I have in him a capital companion who can speak
        German very well.

        I am afraid it will be a very long time before I see my
        constituents. I wish them all a happy new year and hope that
        during next year I may meet them again. The outlook for me
        is not very bright, but I intend to do my best to be
        cheerful. Up to the present we have been very well treated.
        We had some most exciting experiences in the submarine. The
        officers on board treated us as though we were their guests
        and not their prisoners. We have as companions two French
        officers who were made prisoners the day before us, their
        submarine having run ashore.”—_Manchester Guardian_,

    January 10, 1916.

Captain Wilson (an able-bodied prisoner) has since been unconditionally


The report already given makes it clear that very similar complaints, or
(as Mr. Jackson puts it [page 16]) complaints that were “exact
counterparts” as to food, have often been made on both sides. It is also
plain that complaints on this score in German camps have been by no
means universal. I do not in the least suppose that the food in general
would be satisfying or other than dreadfully monotonous. (“Oft recht
eintönig,” says Professor Stange quite frankly in his interesting
pamphlet on Göttingen camp.) Loss of appetite, depression, indigestion
will then in many cases produce grave physical trouble. All this may
occur and does occur, without anything like a deliberate attempt at
starvation. British born wives of interned Germans would sometimes, even
before the reduction of rations, speak bitterly of their husbands’
needs. An anti-English journalist might have used such complaints to
charge us with starvation. But even perfectly _bona fide_ complaints
need indicate only monotony, loss of robustness, and consequent physical
(and mental) ills—and indeed the tragedy of these things may become
terribly dark. It is, however, something very different from deliberate

In any comparison between the two sides it is only fair to take into
account the special difficulties of the German case. The number of
prisoners in Germany by August, 1915, was probably over one million.
This is an enormous figure. While Great Britain and her Allies have
tried to prevent food from reaching Germany, the drain upon the German
food stock has continually grown as the number of prisoners has
increased. By the end of 1917 this famished country had to support
probably more than two million extra persons. The French Press long ago
frankly regarded this as one of the means of helping towards the
starving out of Germany, while in an American cartoon the Russian
prisoners were figured as an enormous beast with its head in a cupboard
labelled “Germany’s Food Supply.” These are considerations for the
fair-minded, and it is for them to recall that as soon as there was in
our own case a menace of food shortage, there was also what might in
official language be described as a complete revision of the prisoners’
rations. The prisoners’ own language would very likely describe it
differently. We can scarcely be surprised at sad and even very bitter
words at times from prisoners’ wives.

That prisoners themselves are, however, sometimes able to envisage the
difficulties is indicated by the following extract from a _Daily News_
interview with a corporal repatriated from Münster. He commented on the
fact that some men were the recipients of more parcels than they needed,
while others got none. The interview continues:

    You see, without regular parcels from home a man simply starves
    at a camp like Münster. If the Germans had the food I believe
    they would give it, but they haven’t: they are starving
    themselves.[3] All they allowed us was bread and water and thin
    soup. The consequence is that the men who get no parcels have to
    go round begging from the other chaps just to keep body and soul

    From what I saw of it, getting so much while others get nothing
    isn’t good for a man either. Some fellows—the stingy sort—will
    save up their parcels against a rainy day. Make a regular little
    store they will. Others—the lively sort—sell what they have
    over to the unlucky ones, and spend their time gambling with the
    few marks they make. Poor devils! You can’t blame them!

The word “starvation” has been, and is here, too freely, if very
naturally, used. The remarks of Lord Newton, speaking in the House of
Lords on May 31, 1916, are important in this connection:

    If Lord Beresford was accurate in his assumption that prisoners
    of war would literally starve to death if parcels did not
    arrive, hundreds of thousands of prisoners would be dead
    already. Russian prisoners, of whom there were over a million in
    Germany, received no parcels at all, and if it was impossible to
    exist upon the food supplied by the Germans, these men would
    literally have died like flies.... Lord Beresford and other
    noble lords had been rather prone to ignore the fact that
    Germany was a blockaded country. It was common knowledge that
    there was a general scarcity of food throughout Germany, and, if
    the prisoners did not get as much as they ought to have, in all
    probability the vast majority of the German population was in a
    state of comparative hunger.... He could not see what advantage
    there was in making out that the case of our prisoners was worse
    than it really was, and it seemed to him little short of an act
    of cruelty to the relations of these unfortunate men to lead
    them to suppose that our men were not only in a state of misery,
    but in a state of starvation.—(_Morning Post_, June 1, 1916).

There is no question either that nerve strain and monotony accentuate
the critical attitude towards food. Here is an extract from Mr.
Jackson’s report on Senne (September 11, 1915): “There were some
complaints, as usual, in regard to the food. I had arrived in the camp
just after the midday meal was served, and while some of the men said
that the meat had been bad, and they wished that I had an opportunity to
taste it, others said that the meat had been particularly good, because
the officers had heard that I was coming. None of them knew that I had
actually eaten a plate of their soup and had found it excellent, both
palatable and nutritious, and that my visit to this particular camp had
not been announced in advance. The menu for the day had been made out at
the beginning of the week, and could not have been changed after my
presence in the camp was known, and I had a bowl of the soup which was
left over after the prisoners had been served.” (Miscel. 19 [1915], page

It is sometimes forgotten that complaints as to food are frequent in all
institutions, schools, colleges, workhouses, hospitals, etc. I have
before me a recent letter from an Englishman in a consumptive sanatorium
in his own country: “I exist as best I can, and the less said about it
the better. I am no better, and only glad that I am not worse. I at
least don’t feel so ill as I did a week ago, although I have lost 3½
lbs. since then. The food is atrocious, and my appetite small. The
fellows here buy quite two-thirds of what they eat, otherwise they too
would lose in weight. No good comes of making complaints ... nothing is
ever done.” Things _may_ be so, I am not a great believer in
institutions, but certainly independent investigation is needed to
warrant any conclusion. The same I feel to be the case as to complaints
of feeding, whether in British or German camps.

Each side, too, is also unreasonably certain of its own justice and of
the injustice of the others. Thus the Social Democrat, Herr Stücklen,
speaking in the Reichstag debate of June 6, 1916, said: “I have received
a letter about the treatment of our prisoners in France which says, ‘If
pigs were so fed by us they would go on hunger strike.’ But I do not
wish our Government to exercise reprisals, which, after all, could only
hit the innocent.” [_Cambridge Magazine_, August 26, 1916, Supplement
“Prisoners.” An important supplement for those who wish to get a glimpse
(it is no more than a glimpse) of recriminations made by others as to
treatment of prisoners.] It is odd how exactly the same phrases occur on
both sides. Thus a private at Döberitz, according to the unknown
American journalist referred to on pages 5 and 25, relieved his feelings
as to the German food with the words: “I ’ad a sow. And even she
wouldn’t eat skilly.”

To suit the tastes of all the different nationalities would at any time
be difficult; under war conditions it is impossible. Professor Stange
relates how the hostess of some Russian working prisoners thought to
give them a specially good meal of meat. The result, however, was less
bulky than a soup, and the Russian comment on this occasion was, “Mother
good, eating not good.” (“Das Gefangenen-Lager in Göttingen,” page 9.)


A serious and responsible statement of experiences has been made by
Chaplain Benjamin O’Rorke, M.A., in his little book, “In the Hands of
the Enemy.” I commend the book to the notice of those who wish for a
fair statement by a patriot who has actual experience of a good many
German camps in the early days of the war. As he was taken prisoner in
August, 1914, his experiences belong to the time before the improvements
introduced in all countries had been begun. There are callous episodes,
for instance, one of revolting caddishness of an orderly standing by
without offering help when an invalid officer is struggling to tie up
his bootlace. Military bounce, popular vulgarity, hardships,
homesickness, courage—all these things one may read of, but the
incidents which some journalists revel in are to seek. It was a neutral
journalist, we should remember, who sent to a German paper a wonderful
account of the panic fears and regulations of London under the Zeppelin

Chaplain O’Rorke’s reminiscences give us a good many “facts towards
fellowship.” Let us select a few. Even the unpleasant ones may help us,
where they show that the failings of the others are the same as our own.
The prisoners were taken to Germany from Landrecies.


    At Aachen a hostile demonstration took place at our expense.
    There happened to be a German troop train in the station at the
    time. A soldier of our escort displayed a specimen of the
    British soldier’s knife, holding it up with the marline-spike
    open, and declared that this was the deadly instrument which
    British medical officers had been using to gouge out the eyes of
    the wounded Germans who had fallen into their vindictive hands!
    From the knife he pointed to the medical officers sitting
    placidly in the train, as much as to say. “And these are some of
    the culprits.” [It is not surprising that thus monstrously
    misinformed, and ready to believe all evil against the hated
    English, the soldiers] strained like bloodhounds on the leash.
    “Out with them!” said their irate colonel, pointing with his
    thumb over his shoulder to the carriages in which these
    blood-thirsty British officers sat. The colonel, however, did
    not wait to see his behest carried out, and a very gentlemanly
    German subaltern quietly urged his men to get back to their
    train and leave us alone. The only daggers that pierced us were
    the eyes of a couple of priests, a few women and boys, who
    appeared to be shocked beyond words that even a clergyman was
    amongst such wicked men.

I have quoted this passage as I have not the least wish to give a merely
_couleur de rose_ picture of the situation. Human nature is, I fear,
everywhere very much the same, and, once its passions are aroused,
extremely credulous of evil against its opponents. Only one thing in the
account a little surprises me, and that is the colonel’s order. If the
officer was a colonel, would a subaltern be able quietly to countermand
his orders? Is there not some mistake of rank here, or perhaps a
misunderstanding of an angry exclamation?


The populace at Torgau called them swine with variations—all of which,
alas, is exactly what has been done, in some cases, by the populace on
our side too. At Torgau “the Commandant was a Prussian reservist officer
with a long heavy moustache. We were told [by the other prisoners] that
he was courteous and considerate in every respect, and that, provided we
took care, to salute him whenever we passed him, we should find him
everything we could reasonably wish.” And later, “It was a subject of
universal regret when the first Commandant resigned his position.”


A great deal has been made of the use of dogs in some prison camps. The
following is the account given in Mr. O’Rorke’s book (page 41):

    As time went on our numbers increased to about 230 British
    officers, and 800 French officers joined us from Maubeuge,
    including four generals. One of the latter had been interned in
    Torgau before, in the 1870 war, and had made good his escape.
    The authorities guarded against the recurrence of such an
    eventuality on the present occasion, their most elaborate
    precaution being the enlistment of dogs to reinforce their
    sentries. Their barkings could be heard occasionally by night,
    but their presence disturbed neither our repose nor our

It is worth while to quote from a report made by Dr. Ohnesorg and Mr.
Dresel on Wittenberg in March, 1916:

    The police dogs are not now a cause of complaint on the part of
    the prisoners.—(_Miscel_. 16 [1916] p. 85).

Dr. Austin in “My Experiences as a German Prisoner” writes:

    For a long time previous to our arrival at Magdeburg we had been
    informed that large and savage dogs were to be provided to aid
    the sentries.... They were certainly savage enough, but were
    always led by a sentry, or chained in their den, and were never
    let loose on us. (p. 141).

To return to Chaplain O’Rorke’s narrative: “When we first arrived [the
barrack warder] had adopted the rôle of gaoler in his demeanour towards
us, but after a while he became civil and deferential, and—when his son
was captured in the war—actually sympathetic.” (p. 45.) At Torgau “the
meals, though far from sumptuous and not always palatable, were
sufficient for our needs.” (p. 43.)


At Burg, at the canteen, “we used to treat one another to a whole roll
or a cake and a cup of excellent coffee; and, until they were put on the
_verboten_ list, to a chop or steak. The serving was done under the
direction of a kind, motherly _Frau_ at the one canteen, and by a polite
German boy-waiter at the other.... The regular meals seemed to be
provided by the proprietor of the larger canteen under contract with the
German Government. They were served at 8 a.m., 12 noon and 6-30 p.m. In
quality they were superior to the Torgau fare, but in quantity scarcely
sufficient in the depth of winter for hungry young men. Still it must be
remembered that they cost only 1s. 6d. a day” [out of the daily pay
allowed]. Weekly baths were the regulation, but “it was often possible
for pushing natures to get an extra bath on other days,” by a method
which works all the world over. At Burg “the new Commandant was a tall,
well-made, soldierly figure. He had a strong face, curiously resembling
an owl.” An amusing little story follows as to the preciseness of the
Commandant and Mr. O’Rorke continues: “It is pleasant to add that this
new Commandant was in one respect just the man that was needed. From the
first day he began to make the place hum, the foul clean, and in time
rendered it habitable. Had there been any, he would have made the dust
fly, but there was not. Indeed the court was at first almost a bog
through which we threaded our way inch deep in mud, and hopped over the
pools. All this disappeared in a few weeks under the Commandant’s
direction; the swamp was drained and the path widened.” British
officials, too, know that the problem of mud in a confined space trodden
by thousands of feet is one needing energy for its solution.

The Commandant seems to have had a quality more valuable even than
energy—a capacity for learning from those under him. He was a judge by
profession, and was at first stern and terrible, as well as thorough. To
him the prisoners were as ordinary prisoners, “but in time he learnt to
place us in a different category. As for myself, eventually he granted
me facilities for carrying on my work outside the _Lager_, which he
might easily have refused, and when, five months later, we parted, it
was with a certain measure of mutual cordiality” (p. 74). The Adjutant
also learned more cordiality, and adjutants are sometimes prouder of
making others feel their authority than commandants are.


The Chaplain instituted a system of fines for “unparliamentary
expressions.” “Once I had to fine the German censor. He was engaged on a
hot day in examining a very large number of packages before distributing
them to their owners. He let fall in an unguarded moment the remark that
it was a nuisance to have to open so many parcels—specifying the
particular kind of nuisance he felt it to be ... but unfortunately I
overheard it and he had to pay the penalty. He did so with a good
grace.” A touch like this seems to me, personally, to tell more
eloquently than many orations how absurd it is to be regarding one
another as all monsters who ought to be put out of the world.


The hospital accommodation at the camp was very poor, and a lieutenant
was sent out to a hospital in the town to have his little finger
amputated. Mr. O’Rorke asked for permission to visit him. The Adjutant
at once agreed. “It was not long before I presented myself at the office
for my escort. I expected a couple of armed soldiers at the least,
remembering our reception at the hands of the populace. Instead, my
escort consisted of Herr Kost—the friendly censor and interpreter—and
a soldier. ‘Are you going to run away?’ asked Herr Kost. I smiled at the
futility of such an idea. ‘Then we won’t take a soldier.’ My journey of
half an hour to the hospital, my reception there, and my return to the
prison were unmarred by any unpleasant incident whatever. The hospital
was of the latest and best. Lieut. George had nothing but words of
gratitude about the doctors and nurses.”

The Chaplain was allowed to visit the “reprisal prisoners,” those put in
solitary confinement owing to the infliction of this penalty on the
officers and men of two German submarines. He found them well treated.
“The privacy of this little room,” said the Hon. Ivan Hay “is preferable
to the liberty and Babel of the Burg dormitories.” The prisoners were
specially selected from families of distinction.


The other Burg prisoners were afterwards removed to Mainz. “The German
Commandant took pity on my loneliness and offered me the privilege of
going into the town where and when I liked if I would give my word of
honour that I would make no attempt to escape. I agreed to the proposal.
We shook hands over it, put it down in writing, and he presented me with
a passport for the period of a week.” Mr. O’Rorke, dressed in khaki, was
soon the centre of a crowd of about twenty-five boys and girls. But, and
this is really worth our noting, “they behaved extraordinarily well, and
made no offensive remark.” His followers increased, and he made things
worse by giving them sweets! He called upon the German Pastor in order
to get rid of them, but even this failed. A long stop at a café did not
tire the vigilance of his escort. When he again came out, there they
were. “We exchanged smiles and off we started.” A bookseller, whose shop
Mr. O’Rorke visited, came to his rescue and dispersed most of the
little crowd, but another one gathered later, though again it showed no
impoliteness or unfriendliness.


It remains to be said that Mr. O’Rorke’s diary was confiscated on his
release, but was restored to him by post a few weeks later, marked as
having passed the German Censor!


Another useful little book of reminiscences is that of Mr. L. J. Austin,
F.R.C.S., of the British Red Cross, “My Experiences as Prisoner in
Germany.” “About ten miles from Namur we suddenly ran into the outposts
of the German Army, consisting of a picket of about twenty Uhlans, who
examined our papers, obligingly removed the tree from across the road,
and allowed us to proceed. Shortly afterwards we were again held up,
this time by an officer, who re-examined us all, and again we were
allowed to proceed.... Near midday we came to a small village called
Maffe, and here we had the misfortune to run straight into the head of
the main German Army marching upon Namur.” Detention was, under the
circumstances, practically inevitable. The party could scarcely be
allowed to motor off with valuable information as to the position of the
German Army in their possession. They were indeed suspected of being
spies. Said an interpreter: “You know you’ve been incredibly foolish to
come anywhere near our forces; you will not be able to return after
seeing our Army, but will have to be sent back into Germany. I do not
know what will become of you, but you will be treated as gentlemen.”
“During the afternoon of the first day an officer of the Motor Cycle
Corps who spoke excellent English came in and had a friendly talk with
us, and seemed to be inclined to laugh at the position he found us in.
We were struck by the familiarity between the privates and some of the
officers. For instance, in this particular case, some of the soldiers
had practice rides on their officers’ motor-bicycles.” There followed a
long interview with Prince Heinrich, the 33rd of Reuss. He was very
suspicious, but polite. “Finally His Royal Highness shook hands with us
and said: ‘I do not know what will become of you gentlemen, but probably
you’ll be sent back to Germany to assist in looking after wounded
soldiers of France and Belgium, and possibly English if they are foolish
enough to cross the Channel.’” The prolonged detention of Mr. Austin is
inexcusable, but there seem to be somewhat inexplicable detentions on
both sides. A document handed to the prisoners on their release was to
this effect: “The German Government advises the English Government that
unless all Red Cross units at present in England are immediately
returned, no further exchange of British medical officers can be
contemplated.” [Cf. too Miscel. 30 (1916) pp. 2, 36; also International
Red Cross Reports, First Series, pp. 18, 19.]


The general experiences of Mr. Austin are very similar to those of Mr.
O’Rorke. At Bouvigny “a somewhat offensive non-commissioned officer ...
removed all knives that we had and was greatly excited at the presence
of the large jack-knife which had been issued to us before we left.
These knives carried a long spike, for punching leather and opening
tins, and the story has been circulated in Germany that these knives
were issued to the troops for the express purpose of gouging out the
eyes of the German wounded.” There is something pathetically hopeless
about these aspects of human credulity in war-time. When we see the
extraordinary nonsense that each side readily believes of the other, we
must accept it as something to the credit of human nature that any
reasonable treatment of prisoners occurs at all.


“Our other personal effects,” the narrative goes on, “including our
money, were returned to us.” The doctor’s papers had not been returned
by the German officers who originally examined him, and this fact caused
many delays and annoyances, but one does not read of any actual
ill-treatment. The use of dogs is referred to (see p. 33). The last
incident on German territory is thus recorded: “When the Holland train
drew in the officer had not returned, but one of our party who spoke
German well informed the sergeant that the officers had told us we were
to go by this train, and he very obligingly placed us in it after we had
taken tickets to the nearest Dutch station, Ozendaal.”


To me it seems that the Swiss have made some of the finest efforts of
the spirit during this war. It is no mean achievement. Some are bound by
many ties of friendship to the German people, some to the French. There
has, of course, been occasional failure and sheer partisanship, but an
utterance such as that of Carl Spitteler is marvellous in its
determination to do justice, and in its reverence for the suffering of
all the nations. The International Committee of the Red Cross at Geneva
has been a centre of kindliness in the midst of carnage. In France and
in Germany a committee was, by mutual agreement, established consisting
of representatives of the national Red Cross, of the American and
Spanish Embassies, and one delegate of the International Committee.
These committees arranged that delegates of the International Committee
should visit prisoners’ camps in both countries. No such committee
existed in Great Britain, but with the consent of the British
authorities some camps in this country were visited in January, 1915.
(See footnote, page 9.)


In January, 1915, National Councillor A. Eugster was deputed to visit
French prisoners in Germany. In general, the Swiss reports[4] give an
almost exactly similar impression to those made by the United States. As
regards the food, M. Eugster remarks that the sum of 60 pf. (just over
7d.) is allowed daily for the German private, and exactly the same sum
for the prisoners. In his second report, made in March, he points out
that the food question has become more serious and (as far as his
experience goes) complaints are more numerous. He summarises very
reasonably the difficulties of the case, especially as regards the bread
problem. Prisoners were originally allowed 500 grammes daily, but when
the bread rations of the German civilians were reduced from 250 to 200
grammes, some reduction in the prisoners’ allowance was only to be
expected, and their ration was fixed at 300 grammes. They would
otherwise have been allowed two and a half times as much as the Germans
themselves. Potato meal was allowed to make up the quantity, but the
result was not good. Writing in March, M. Eugster says: “There are
to-day from 750 to 800,000 prisoners in Germany. Allowing 300 grammes
per man, this makes a daily consumption of 240,000 kilos. of bread
(about 235 tons). This is not a bagatelle at a moment when the
importation of cereals is impossible.”[5] By Art. 7 of the Hague rules
an arrangement between belligerents as to prisoners should be possible,
and Eugster suggests that meal might be sent under neutral care to the
camps, and bread baked there under neutral surveillance.


M. Eugster’s reports on the individual camps convey almost exactly the
same impression as the American reports. At Sennelager the English
doctor spoke highly of the treatment of the wounded, and the French
doctors readily acknowledges that German wounded and French wounded were
treated alike. At Zossen a sculptor was at work in his studio, a painter
painted landscapes, a gardener ornamented the grounds, and a musician
had his compositions rendered by a choir of 150 to 200 practised
singers. It is the best educated prisoners, remarks the deputy, who are
the most content. Summarising the impressions of his first tour, Herr
Eugster says: “I am glad ... to be able to assert that the French
prisoners are humanely treated. In such distracted times errors and
mistakes can easily occur, but on the whole one can say that Germany
does her duty by her French prisoners.”

It is not surprising to learn that M. Eugster received anonymous letters
reviling him for not producing evidence to support the prejudices of the
writers. Some readers of this account may indeed be made suspicious by
his German name. M. Eugster was fully alive to these suspicions, and he
suggested that a German and French Swiss might with advantage visit
camps jointly. The suggestion was carried out, and in the third series
of visits Dr. de Marval accompanied him. The general evidence is as


The Swiss reports are in some respects more outspoken than the American
ones. The heading “vermin” occurs in almost all. It requires a special
campaign to deal with the lice, but the campaign seems to be carried on
with vigour.


There is another point. “We must not forget,” writes Eugster, “that to
be a prisoner is in itself a very trying fate.” It needs a little
contact with prisoners to realise _how_ hard their fate is, and how
easily the wrong way with them may produce soured and embittered men.
Writing of Halle in May, Eugster and de Marval remark: “The relationship
between the Commandant and the prisoners is correct, but without
cordiality; the subordinates were often wanting in tact.” I confess it
is simple words like these that depress me more than rumours of
starvation or bad housing. Anyone knows that authority does not readily
become the friend of the fallen. The military manner, even when acquired
by Englishmen, is not always pleasant, and the sergeant who bullies his
own men is not likely to be more considerate to prisoners. Let us face
plain facts in these matters, and remember that all imprisonment is
rather terrible, and that all absolute authority (especially among
underlings) is apt to become tyrannous. In the prison camps of every
nation it is examples of a foolish military officialdom that make for
embitterment and degradation; and in these camps, too, it is the tact
which comes of true insight, that is doing much for that brotherhood of
hearts which is the only way to peace. “These people,” says Eugster in
another place, “ought to be treated with tact. They should not be
treated as enemy prisoners, but as men and chivalrous adversaries. A
little consideration, not costing much, will make a good impression. A
friendly word, as from man to man, breaks the ice of discontent, and the
chivalrous spirit of the superior is recognised with gratitude.”

To reach this standard we must try to think the best of our
adversaries. Charity is something less meagre than justice, and it holds
the future of the world in its grasp. In the past we denounced French,
Russians, Irish and Boers in turn. It was not denunciation that did much
for the future, but the larger-hearted charity which took its place.


M. de Marval reports well of the feeding of prisoners in France. There
is the usual difficulty about vermin. The officer prisoners seem, in
many ways, to have the worst time. “Their lodging is in general too
crowded, badly ventilated, and badly lighted ... and lacking in
elementary comforts. They can ... buy ... chairs, tables, blankets,
etc.”[6] There was in France, as elsewhere, considerable complaint in
the earlier days as to the delivery of parcels. The parcels arrived
broken and partly or wholly emptied of their contents. So it was, we may
remember, with parcels intended for English prisoners in Germany. The
probability is that in both cases imperfect packing was responsible for
the damage. (Cf. pp. 6, 8.) In the report just cited, De Marval states
that, in general, there has been great improvement in the lodging of the
prisoners, and that some bad camps (Vitré, Lorient, Belle-Ile) have been
broken up (January, 1915). Here again the reports coincide with those
made upon German camps. In all countries the prisoners of war presented
at first a problem not readily solved, and great hardships resulted.
“Some of the hospitals,” writes M. de Marval, “lack comforts, are not
sufficiently roomy, or do not possess the necessary medicaments.” He
goes on: “I shall not delay over the retrospective complaints often
formulated by prisoners.... Officers who had been injured by the
populace or bound during transport and soldiers who had told me of bad
treatment were alike pleased to declare that all such things were
past.” Here again the report is exactly paralleled by the American
report on the German Camps. (Cf. p. 16). “Religious services are in
general arranged for the Catholics; it is very difficult to secure
ministrations for the Protestants.” “If the officers are often meanly
lodged, the same is true of the soldiers. The bedding sometimes leaves
much to be desired, the straw in many of the camps is scanty, damp, and
pretty often full of lice. The litter is actually being replaced
everywhere by straw palliasses. As a support for these an open wooden
framework is placed on the beaten ground which is often wet. Those who
sleep under tents are subject to bronchitis and rheumatism, those who
are in forts or old convents sometimes lack the proper allowance of
air.... Though the quality of the water leaves something to be desired,
it is supplied filtered and boiled, and in amount generally
sufficient.... In some camps there is not enough water for washing
either the person or clothing.... In general each man has a blanket, but
it is very small and often much worn; some are still needed in some of
the camps.... If I have not referred to certain regrettable incidents of
which I have been told, it is because they appear isolated, and one must
guard against generalising from them. Besides, these incidents are
bygones and few in number.” At Fougères (Brittany) “the beds are
touching each other.” Cassabianda was a bad camp. So much has been made
of earlier defects in German camps that it is well to remember (as
indeed the above report shows) that defects may easily occur in other
countries besides Germany. Of Cassabianda (February 12)[7] we read:
“Huts extremely dilapidated. Sanitary accommodation worse than scanty.
(_Les W.—C. sont plus que sommaires_). Nourishment scarcely sufficient
for those who are working.... The cooking arrangements are worse than
scanty.... Sleeping accommodation extraordinary: beds made from boughs
by prisoners and superposed in two or three tiers. The ceilings and
windows are falling in ruins.... Wishes of the prisoners—to have more
to eat.... A very poor camp (_dépôt très médiocre_), but well governed
by a good and conscientious commandant who is badly seconded by his
officers. It is a difficult task to render habitable premises that are
falling into ruins.” I am quite sure that none of us would impute ill
intent to the French authorities. We should say simply that the prisoner
problem was at first beyond their power, that in exceptional cases there
were bad officers and in others lack of organisation. If we are capable
of fair play, we shall, in many cases, say exactly the same thing about
the German authorities. In Germany the one outstanding question is food,
otherwise, as M.M. de Marval and Eugster state in a joint report issued
in May: “We fully recognise the excellent arrangement and perfect
organisation, thought out to the smallest detail, and the admirable
administration of the Camps.”


It is allowed by all investigators that camps almost everywhere have
been improved as the war went on. Mr. Gerard himself writes, under date
June 10, 1915: “It is generally admitted that conditions in the camps
are constantly improving, and no good can be attained by the
investigations of complaints based upon reports of conditions as they
are supposed to have been several months ago.” In citing the _earlier_
U.S. and Swiss reports I have therefore by no means exaggerated the
facts favourable to German treatment. There have been many later
reports, but it will be impossible and unnecessary to give more than a
few references:

The reports in Miscel. No. 15 (1915) give a quite favourable account of
the German efforts on behalf of the prisoners. Canadian officers at
Bischofswerda, however, complained of their treatment on the way from
the front. They said that “they were at first compelled to share their
compartments with French Algerian (black) soldiers, but that other
arrangements were made by a German officer in the course of their
journey.” Some may consider this an interesting comment on the
employment of Algerian and other native troops.


The Canadian officers also said “that while on the road they had
received but little food, their treatment not differing, however, from
that of other prisoners.” On reading this I could not help recalling a
_Daily News_ interview headed “The Blue Ladies: Good work at the Free
Buffet at Euston.” (June 24, 1916.) “We have just had the escort of some
German prisoners in,” said one of the ladies. “We do not give anything
to the prisoners. We have enough to do to look after our own men.” I
recalled, too, the British nurse who said in my presence, with a snap of
her fingers, “We have not _that_ much sympathy with the German wounded.”
I want to believe that in the great majority of cases the attitude on
both sides is very different; but what a sundering influence war-like
patriotism is! We must surely reach brotherhood by some other way.


Mr. Michelson reports highly of the camp at Friedrichsfeld. All kinds of
work was going on. “No German foreman were to be seen, and only on
looking for them did I notice that there were, here and there, guards
watching the prisoners. In two instances I saw unguarded prisoners at
work.” Some wounded at Magdeburg “all, without exception, said they had
been treated with great consideration while being transported from the
front.” (June 3, 1915). The hospital treatment is spoken well of both
here and at the base hospital at Isighem, W. Flanders, visited by Dr.


I pass on to Miscel. No. 19 (1915). Writing in June, Mr. Gerard gives an
interesting account of the courses of instruction and lectures arranged
for German N.C.O.’s and men in order to increase their efficiency in
managing the camp kitchens. There is a characteristic touch of German
thoroughness in the scheme. Mr. Gerard concludes: “I should be glad to
have you bring the foregoing to the attention of the British Government.
The German military authorities have now satisfied themselves that
German prisoners in England are being treated as well as the conditions
admit (except with regard to the confinement on board ships, which is
still a sore point), and they are showing every disposition to treat
British prisoners (both officers and men) in the most favourable manner
possible, and to pay attention to their wishes in so far as can be done
consistently with the principle that all the prisoners (of whom there
are considerably more than one million) must be treated in practically
the same manner.”


Writing from Hamburg, the American Consul-General, Mr. Morgan, says: “It
is not necessary for me to enter into the details of the different
lazarets which I visited, beyond stating that they are all in the most
up-to-date condition, and everything is being done for the wounded that
could be done anywhere.” At the Paderborn lazarets, “Some of the men
said to me that it would be necessary to drive them away (that they
would make no attempt to escape) because they were so well cared for and
so comfortable.” (p. 40, l.c.) At the Wesel lazarets, “Many of (the
British) were very uncomfortable from their wounds, but all replied that
their present treatment, as well as that which they had received at the
front, and on the way from the front, was, and had been, entirely
satisfactory.... All those consulted in regard to the matter said that
they had come from the front in a German lazaret train, together with
German wounded, and that, as nearly as they could tell, they had
received exactly similar treatment and care as accorded to the German
wounded. Their only request was for books and tobacco.” (October 26,


At Neubrandenburg, “until a few days ago the officers were permitted to
use a tennis court outside the enclosure, to swim in the lake, and to
walk in the neighbouring woods. As four officers (one Englishman) made
an attempt to escape (from the bath house) these privileges were
temporarily suspended, but I was told by the Commandant, whose relations
with the prisoners are of the best, that they would be restored at an
early date.”

The excellence of the bathing facilities at the officers’ camp,
Friedberg, is commented on, as it frequently is in other cases. At
Giessen, Dr. Ohnesorg spoke with many prisoners who had had experience
of working camps. “They said (the work) was not hard, and before being
allotted to these various working camps, they underwent a thorough
medical examination, and those who were found in an unfit physical
condition were not detailed for this work. They are fed and housed by
their employer, and in one instance I met a complaint of insufficient


At Bad Blenhorst a number of prisoner officers are taking the “cure”
under a German military surgeon. At Clausthal “the situation of the
camp is ideal, being placed in the midst of the Hartz mountains, with a
wide expanse of view, and my visit gave me a very favourable impression
in general.” At Cüstrin “The German officers treat the prisoners like
unfortunate comrades.” At Bischofswerda the complaints were that
“shorts” were forbidden for football, and that baths were not allowed
more than once daily. The Commandant promised to remedy both grievances.
The report on Halle is unfavourable. There was overcrowding, and “the
enclosure for exercise leaves much to be desired.” The food was not
complained of, except as regards monotony.[8]


Königsbrück, a camp for 15,000 prisoners (but with only three British),
“is complete in all respects, and adheres to a high standard in regard
to the kitchens, theatre, washing-places, canteens, supply-room for
clothing, etc.” Zwickau (with two British) “is excellent ... outside
each barrack is a specially built stand where the mattresses are aired
every day ... and within the confines of the camp are several acres of
vegetable gardens ... in which the French take particular interest.” The
arrangements at Görlitz (with thirteen British) “in all details struck
me as being exceedingly good.” In general hospital treatment at the
camps is entirely satisfactory.


In Miscel. No. 16 (1916) we may note the following: At the officers’
camp, Schloss Celle, “the Commandant in civil life is a judge, and
seemed on excellent terms with the prisoners.” Mr. Gerard reports on a
visit of his own to Wittenberg on November 8, 1915. The soup for the
mid-day meal appeared to him “to be very good,” and the testimony of the
men was to the effect “that the food had improved considerably during
the last two months.” About 300 out of the 4,000 prisoners in this camp
were British.[9] At Stendal Mr. Osborne found the thick soup
“exceedingly palatable, though thoroughly un-English.” The British
prisoners “admitted that they could live on the camp rations, if
necessary, and still retain good health, as is the case with the
Russians, and that their objection to the food was on account of its
sameness, and because it was not cooked in an English way.” In March,
1916, Mr. Osborne reports that a large swimming pool is in process of
completion at one end of the camp.


At Fort Friedrichshafen, Ingolstadt, “those who had no overcoats said
that they could get them from the German authorities if necessary, but
that they preferred to wait for the present to see if they could not be
sent from home. All would like new boots, as they are not pleased with
the wooden-soled boots provided locally.” Sir Edward Grey, writing just
before the receipt of this report, referred to information “that the few
British prisoners of war at this camp are very badly fed, and that
parcels arrive with great irregularity, their contents being frequently
abstracted.” In a reply dated a week later, Mr. Gerard (U.S. Ambassador
at Berlin) writes that “in reply to a direct inquiry, which was made out
of the hearing of any German officer or man,” the British prisoners at
Ingolstadt “stated that there was nothing to which they would care to
have special attention paid. The men were in good spirits, and there was
no evidence to show that any of them were badly fed. All were in touch
with their friends at home, and no complaint was made with regard to
irregularity in the receipt of parcels.”


Of the officers’ camp at Blankenberg i/Mark, Messrs. Jackson and Russell
report, “The atmosphere of the camp is excellent.” There is a touch of
humour in the report on Merseburg (l.c. p. 29). “One man complained to
me that he had been punished for ‘having a hole in his trousers’ (as he
said), but on investigation I found that he had cut a new pair of
trousers, which had been given him by the German authorities, in order
to make a pair of boxing shorts. One man had a black eye, another a
sprained thumb, and a third a broken nose, as the result of boxing
matches.”[10] The four English prisoners at Königsmoor said “that there
was no discrimination against them of any kind, and their relations with
the German guard were evidently pleasant. They all said that they had
plenty of warm clothing, including overcoats, and one even had an
overcoat which had been given him by the German authorities in addition
to one which he had received from home. They said the food was ‘not
bad’ ...” At the working camp at Hakenmoor, “the midday ‘soup’ was
excellent.... All looked in good health and seemed to be contented, and
their relations with the German guards appeared to be friendly....
Several complained that the clothing furnished soon became too tight for
comfort, and nearly every man in the camp had put on from ten to thirty
(even more) pounds of flesh. None spoke of any bad treatment ...
although one Englishman said that there were occasional differences with
the (Belgian) barrack captains. The Commandant is interested in his
work; he knows most of the men by name, and seems to try to do all in
his power to add to their comfort.”


In these reports the food is almost invariably referred to as good, and
to save further quotations we may cite the evidence at Güstrow
i/Mecklenburg as giving a fair general view of the case (January, 1916):
“The men told me that while they depend on their home parcels for
variety, a man who received nothing (as is the case with the Russian
prisoners) could live on the food supplied, although in that case he
would always be glad when meal time came.”


At Dyrötz, “the general atmosphere of the camp certainly seemed
excellent, both on the part of the men and on the part of the
authorities.” (January, 1916.) At Blankenburg “the Commandant has now
adopted the practice of taking different officer prisoners of war with
him for occasional walks in the neighbouring country.” “In a lazaret at
Spandau,” writes Mr. Jackson, “I sat alone with Captain Coulston in the
good-sized, comfortably furnished room which he occupies by himself....
Recently he had had a conversation with Her Royal Highness the Princess
Friedrich Leopold of Prussia, who visited the lazaret, but ordinarily he
had little opportunity to talk, as he speaks only a few words of German,
French, or Russian. On my speaking of this, I was told that an effort
would be made to have English-speaking German officers call on him from
time to time.”


Attention is again drawn to the excellent work of Prof. Stange at
Göttingen. “He has an office in the camp at which he is present for two
hours every day, during which time he can be consulted by any prisoner,
and has formed classes of study, which are well attended.” At Giessen,
too, “Prof. Gmelin of the local university has taken a great interest in
the prisoners and visits them regularly with a view to providing for
their instruction.”


The following is important and I quote it in full. _Mr. Osborne to Mr.
Gerard._ (_February 23, 1916_) (l.c. p. 62.):

    In accordance with your instructions and with reference to the
    article in the London _Times_ of February 7, stating the report
    of an exchanged British prisoner of war that two British
    prisoners at the detention camp at Güstrow, in Mecklenburg, had
    been bayonetted for smoking in a forbidden vicinity, and that
    one had died and the other was still in hospital, I have the
    honour to inform you that I visited the camp at Güstrow on
    February 12, 1916. I did not notify the camp authorities of my
    arrival. I was shown every courtesy and received every facility
    for speaking to the British prisoners out of earshot of the
    Germans. I talked with a large number of British
    non-commissioned officers and with some of the men, and all were
    unanimous on two points; first, that if such an occurrence as
    the one mentioned had taken place, they would certainly have
    heard of it; and, second, that they had heard of no such
    occurrence. I visited the lazaret, through which I was taken by
    a British N.C.O., who is an assistant in caring for the sick,
    and spoke to every British patient under treatment there, not
    one of whom could possibly have been suffering from a bayonet
    wound. It seems to me quite out of the question that the
    occurrence mentioned in the English newspaper accounts could
    have actually taken place at Güstrow.

    In point of fact, instead of complaints at Güstrow, I heard
    rather praise of the camp from the British interned there, and
    praise of the British prisoners from the camp authorities. The
    men were all well fitted out with clothes of all sorts, and
    seemed particularly cheerful. The authorities stated that it
    had never been necessary, in recent times at least, to place a
    British prisoner under arrest. On the whole, the camp struck me
    as being as nearly ideal as it is possible for a place of
    detention of this kind to be.

The discrepancy between the last sentence in Mr. Osborne’s report and
the _Times_ article is a striking one. It should give one pause in
placing too much reliance upon untested accusations, or upon newspaper
articles based upon them. We forget sometimes that all the bias is
_against_ an enemy, and the only stories likely to be free from
exaggeration are those told in his favour.


In the military prison at Cologne (Miscel. 16 [1916] p. 67), “the
prisoners receive the same food and the same general treatment as the
German military prisoners, with whom they are permitted to talk.... The
prisoners are not permitted to receive food from outside sources....
Generally speaking the conditions do not differ materially from those in
an ordinary working camp.... Corporal B. was found guilty of lack of
respect to his British superior, Corporal J. was punished for striking
the French non-commissioned officer in charge of his barrack, and
Corporals O. and S. had trouble with the German Landsturmmann in charge
of a cooking party....” Most of the sentences were for striking work at
various work centres, the men sentenced stating that the conditions were
bad. There was a special complaint against the railway work at
Langen-Halbach b/Haiger, but not all the British joined in the strike.
“I saw the men’s midday meal, consisting of a thick porridge which
appeared to be nutritious. One man claimed that it was thicker to-day
than usual, but several of his comrades contradicted this flatly. No
complaints were made to me of any rough treatment in the Gefängnis


The Venerable Archdeacon Wm. E. Nies, who had been given permission to
visit British prisoners of war in Bavaria, writes: “I think it is only
fair to comment favourably upon the friendly way in which my mission to
the men is received and furthered by the commanders without exception
thus far.”


Of Germersheim hospitals we read: “The food served in these hospitals is
exceptionally satisfactory. Dr. Algeron, the chief surgeon in charge, a
broad-minded man and indefatigable worker, attends personally to the
catering.... Under this regime there have been some noteworthy increases
in weight....”

At Bayreuth a private of the Black Watch had been “removed—for the
purpose of electrical treatment of his arm by which it is hoped to avoid
an operation—to the military lazaret in the city, which is an admirably
equipped modern hospital.”


We pass now to reports in Miscel. No. 26 (1916). Indian prisoners of war
at Wünsdorf (Zossen) find their treatment “very good.” At Crefeld
officers’ camp, “the walks on parole ... have been entirely
successful.... The only complaint as to these was that the German
accompanying the party was a non-commissioned instead of a regular
officer. This will, however, be rectified at once.... There is no
trouble of any kind with the inhabitants on these.... The relations with
the camp authorities are excellent.” As regards the behaviour of the
inhabitants, I would refer also to Chaplain O’Rorke’s statement (see p.
36), though, as one would expect, the inhabitants have in some other
cases behaved badly (_e.g._, p. 32).


At Münster II, “The Commandment, General von Ey-Steinecke, as well as
the other officers, and the general treatment, are well spoken of by the
men.” Some improvements suggested on March 16 were already started on
the 18th. At Münster III. the benches in the English Chapel “were
provided at the expense of the camp, although the British prisoners
offered to pay for them.... The camp authorities have endeavoured to
arrange courses of instruction with some success, and several British
are taking lessons in French.... Sergeant Middleditch, the ranking
non-commissioned officer, who has taken an active part in the work of
improvement, stated that the relations with the camp authorities were
excellent, and that the officers showed much consideration in acceding
to reasonable requests. The commandant, General Raitz von Frentz, is
well spoken of by all, and shows a liberal and progressive spirit in
dealing with such difficulties as arise.”


From Miscel. No. 7 (1917) a few extracts may be made. Of Parchim Dr.
A. E. Taylor and Mr. J. P. Webster write: “We believe that special
commendation should be given to the Commandant, Oberst Kothe, for the
spirit in which he governs the camp, and for the way in which he does
everything in his power for the welfare of the prisoners, and for the
promotion of a cordial relationship between the men and those in
charge.” Of Brandenburg, Mr. Jackson writes candidly: “The part of the
building occupied by the British prisoners was not so clean as the
remainder, but for this the men themselves are responsible.” It is
obvious that the spirit as to this and other matters will vary in every
country among different sets of men (c.f., _e.g._, below the very
different Güstrow report).


Men in hospital at Cottbus “said that the food was good and their
treatment excellent.” Men in the main camp complained that bread sent to
them from Switzerland and England arrived in a mouldy condition, but “as
the mouldiness seemed to start in the middle of the loaf, they thought
this was due to the quality of the bread itself or the manner in which
it was packed.”


At Celle, where “inactive officers” and some others are detained, Mr.
Jackson found one British subject absent on leave, while “several others
have been permitted to make visits to their families in Germany. A
request from another, who had obtained no benefit from his stay at Bad
Blenhorst, for permission to go somewhere for a ‘cure’ is under


At the working camp at Limbau (occupied Russian territory) “the men
described the commandant as a ‘gentleman,’ and said they had no
difficulty in communicating with him in regard to their wishes. None had
any complaint to make of their treatment, and only a very few spoke of
the work as hard.” The camp contained 500 British prisoners.

At Güstrow, “the treatment of the men and the conditions found in their
camp appeared to be very favourable. The commandant stated that the
British were the most satisfactory prisoners under his care....” Two
million, five hundred thousand letters passed through the camp post
office in the previous year, and about sixty thousand packages were


Hospital treatment is again and again described favourably in the
individual reports (_e.g._, pp. 4, 6, 14, 22, 50, 57), but the opinion
may here be cited of a Swiss doctor who has been occupied in German
hospitals during most of the war:

    The writer of these lines never saw anything anywhere that could
    be considered as intentional change for the worse in the lot of
    prisoners and sick; on the contrary, he was able to ascertain
    that the prisoners and the sick are treated in a manner that
    could not be more humane. If later on the food was insufficient,
    the English must be aware of the reasons which brought about
    far-reaching starvation among great circles of the population of
    Germany.... From deepest conviction the writer of these lines
    affirms that the German people and the German doctors are
    [generally] without guilt in the face of the accusations made
    against them. Individual exceptions, if proved, could not alter
    this judgment.


There are bad stories of men arriving half-starving at the British and
French lines at the time of the general repatriations. It would require
care and impartiality to sift these. The more experience one gains, the
less one trusts the average newspaper report in war-time. It seems very
probable that, as Erzberger contended, many prisoners made off of their
own accord after the German Revolution, and the straits to which these
men were reduced could scarcely be ascribed to the German authorities.
That there were brutal cases of men being _driven_ away is also quite
probable. As regards the general question of prisoners, Erzberger said:
“If England can now actually prove that English prisoners of war have
been illegally treated, I give my word no guilty person shall go
unpunished. But allow me the counter question, Is it known in enemy
countries how _German_ prisoners of war were frequently treated? I do
not believe that is sufficiently well known. Only listen to our soldiers
who come from France....” (Berlin, Nov., 24, 1918, _Wolff_.) It should
be obvious that both sides must be heard before justice can decide, but
the obvious is the unrecognised in war time. And probably even by the
best and most impartial judgment only very rough generalisations can be
arrived at. One need seems to me paramount, that each side shall become
once more aware of the _good_ in the other. Here, then, are one or two
favourable facts from repatriated men: “We understand that the Germans
could not let us march to the frontier, as we were prepared to do, lest
we should start to plunder the inhabitants. For the same reason we were
accompanied on the train by a German N.C.O. with a rifle. At night we
slept in school buildings at Zevenaar (?) where we were given food and
coal, and were well treated. We gave some of our food there to Sisters
for the poor.... We had not to pay any fare at Wesel. The Germans on the
train wished to be very friendly. We understand that the German
authorities helped to make the arrangements about our taking the train
at Wesel. No special compartments were put on for us. We travelled with
the ordinary passengers.” (_Daily News_, November 25, 1918.)


    The first contingent of British prisoners from Germany to arrive
    in London under the terms of the armistice reached Cannon Street
    Station from Dover yesterday. The party, numbering nearly 300,
    were provided with hot refreshments on arrival. The men looked
    remarkably fit, and one of the party explained that they had
    mostly been working on the railways behind the lines, and their
    treatment had been fairly good.

    Another contingent of returned prisoners, numbering about 800,
    arrived at Dover yesterday afternoon.

                              (_Daily News_, Nov. 21, 1918.)

The _Daily News_ has honourably distinguished itself by publishing
favourable articles by repatriated prisoners. An officer writes:

    Three days ago I arrived in England after having spent eight
    months in a German prison camp. We were among the first
    repatriated prisoners of war to come through Switzerland, and
    were secretly amused at the attitude of friends and relatives on
    our arrival home. They seemed to be quite surprised because most
    of us were looking healthy and fit, and were not walking
    skeletons or physical wrecks.

    But after reading the home newspapers, we understood their point
    of view. I do not for one moment suggest that these tales of
    inhuman treatment are untrue or exaggerated, because I know many
    cases which confirm them;[11] but I do say that this horrible
    treatment has not been general, nor does it apply to all
    prisoners of war. For this reason I am writing of what I know of
    the prisoners in Baden, in Southern Germany, and I hope that
    this article may allay the anxiety of those who are daily
    expecting some dear one home, and who fear that he will be
    terribly changed through suffering.

Men behind the lines had suffered far more, this officer considered.
This is somewhat at variance with the extract last cited. The writer

    But the lot of the prisoners in the permanent camps in Baden was
    much brighter. My authority for saying so is an old Roman
    Catholic priest, Father Nugent, a native of Lancashire, I
    believe, who was in Southern Germany when the war broke out. He
    had free access to all prison camps and hospitals in Baden, and
    had no stories of harsh and brutal treatment to tell. Two
    American doctors were allowed to visit the hospitals in Rastatt,
    Lazaret 4, and the Russenlager Hospital. They said that the
    patients were comfortable and well looked after, in spite of the
    great shortage of medical supplies in Germany.

    Some of the soldiers had a good time working on the Baden farms.
    One orderly at our camp, who was away for a fortnight in the
    fruit season, picking plums, told me that he had met one of his
    old regiment working on a farm. This man had just driven in to
    the railway station for the Red Cross parcels, and told him that
    they were working with an old German and his wife. They shared
    rations with each other, and once a week the whole household
    visited the cinema.

Delay in repatriation occurred owing to disorganisation.

    But there is no ill feeling towards the prisoners in Baden.
    After the armistice we wandered at will round Freiburg and in
    the Black Forest; and everyone was treated with civility. There
    were no cases of open hostility at all.

                              (_Daily News_, Dec. 18, 1918.)

Mr. G. G. Desmond volunteered at the age of 46. He was taken prisoner
and gave (_Daily News_, Dec. 10, 1918) some account of his general
outlook after his imprisonment. Unlike some of the stay-at-homes he can
still believe in the German people, as the following concluding
paragraphs of his article show:

    The soldiers and the country people round Dülmen, and afterwards
    everybody we met in those parts, expressed no sense of rancour
    at their defeat, and simply leapt over it all to the prime,
    joyful fact that the _Krieg_ was _fertig_. Everybody greeted you
    with that, and covered his face with smiles thereby. Some said
    that the terms were very hard, but agreed with me when I told
    them that they were made hard in order to defeat thoroughly the
    old gang and ensure a lasting peace. I wish I felt as certain
    now as then that the Allies had that clean intention. One farmer
    chuckled when he told me that Germany must give up a hundred and
    fifty U-boats, because, he said, she had no such number.

    One of the political parties, I am afraid I cannot remember
    which, published a manifesto stating that Germany had been
    deceived and betrayed by the military party, whereby among other
    things she inflicted great wrongs on Belgium and the Allies, and
    that she must pay in full for those wrongs. I do not doubt that
    is a widespread feeling in Germany. If, however, the terms of
    peace are to be vindictive, we shall in turn be in the wrong,
    and the new Germany may have better cause than the old to hate

    When we were fighting the Kaiser, we took pains to tell the
    German people that we were fighting their battle against their
    enemies. We were, in fact, liberating the traditional distressed
    damsel from the clutches of the ogre. It was a pity that so many
    of our blows fell upon the damsel and not on the ogre. It would
    be not only a pity but a crime and a grievous blunder if, now
    that the damsel is free, we proceeded to thrash her for the
    faults of the ogre.

    The Germans, apart from their late Government, are not
    Orientals intent upon deceiving us at every turn. They say they
    have turned over a new leaf, and I am thoroughly persuaded that
    they speak the truth. In business of all kinds, under
    circumstances that made it very easy for them to have cheated
    me, I found them, during my stay at Dülmen, the straightest
    people I ever had anything to do with. They think the same of
    us. Feldwebels and others who have had to do with us both
    assured me that they much preferred the British to any other
    class of prisoner, because we are blunt and true, say what we
    mean, and stick to what we say. Certainly the Germans are the
    most English of the great peoples on the Continent.


Our survey of the reliable evidence at present available seems to me to
prove that there has usually been a serious effort in Germany to treat
military prisoners well. This does not imply that their lot is otherwise
than hard, and the prolongation of the imprisonment adds terribly to the
hardship. It is impossible to banish from one’s mind such horrors as
those of Wittenberg, but it is quite plain that these were very far from
typical. When militarism goes wrong, it goes very wrong. If we consider
the special German difficulties with regard to prisoners, and the
special dangers of the militarist state, we may, I think, conclude a
very fair standard of humanity amongst the German people from the fact
that in so large a proportion of cases treatment has been reasonable and
in many even excellent.

I have no wish to arouse any resentment, and in case this conclusion
should do so, I quote here a further neutral opinion, that of a
well-known Norwegian, M. T. E. Steen, who had been allowed to visit
prisoners’ camps in Britain, France, and Germany. M. Steen gave a
lecture at the Queen’s (Small) Hall on July 15, 1915, under the auspices
of the British Red Cross Society. Sir Louis Mallet presided. According
to the _Daily Telegraph_ report, “M. Steen spoke favourably to the
conditions prevailing at the various internment camps he visited in
Germany, and expressed the hope that his remarks would remove misgivings
and allay anxiety. The general impression which the camps made on him,
he said, was ‘very satisfactory.’”

We must remember, too, that in Germany also all kinds of rumours and
statements have circulated with regard to the treatment of prisoners and
wounded by us and our Allies (cf. pp. 2, 32, 38, and 80). Such rumours
and exaggerations are apparently a part of war. On the other side they
have not made for a benevolent attitude, and the really large amount of
interest openly shown in prisoners of war by such men as Prince
Lichnowsky, Prof. Stange, Prof. Gmelin, the Göttingen Pastors, and
others, is a remarkable fact. We realise this the more, when we consider
that it is not easy on this side for men in prominent positions openly
to show interest in German prisoners of war.


It would be interesting to compare the U.S. reports on British camps
with their reports on German ones. Unfortunately any useful comparison
is impossible. A collection of reports on “various internment camps in
the United Kingdom” is published in White Paper No. 30 (1916), but the
earliest inspection here recorded took place on February 21, 1916. As
the chief difficulties everywhere occurred earlier, the earlier reports
are plainly necessary for a fair comparison. “Are we as compassionate to
our prisoners as our ancestors were to theirs?” wrote the _Daily
Chronicle_ on October 29, 1914, and added “From accounts that have
reached us of the conditions that prevail at some of our concentration
camps, we fear not.” Moreover, in these later reports it is difficult to
know the exact meaning of such remarks as the following, unless we have
the earlier reports: “They seemed much happier and more contented than
at the time of my former visit....” (Officers’ Camp, Holyport). “There
has been no change in the sleeping accommodations since the last report,
but as the number of the prisoners is much less than it was at that
time, there is much more room....” (Dorchester.)

“The general tone of the hospital seemed to be much happier than at the
time of my last visit.” (Dartford, Lower Southern Hospital for wounded
prisoners of war.)

“There has been no change in the sleeping accommodation since the last
visit, except that, owing to the smaller number of men, there is now
more room than before.... The men seemed much happier and more contented
than at the time of our last visit.” (Officers’ camp, Donington Hall.)

The last quotation recalls the once famous charges as to the excessive
luxury of Donington Hall. In every country the same kind of protest
arises as to the luxurious treatment of prisoners, and this is declared
a scandal in view of the inhuman policy of the enemy. In every country
is to be found the type of patriot who feels that all is lost if it can
be proved that he has treated an enemy too well. The hubbub about
Donington Hall led to the appointment of a Commons delegation to visit
various camps, and to a report in the _Times_ (April 26, 1915). In this
report the Hall is described as “a large, bare house situated in a
hollow.... The style of furnishing was that of a sergeant’s mess.” There
was one piano, provided at the prisoners’ expense. The billiard tables
and other accessories imagined by perfervid patriots vanish into thin

Dyffryn Aled Officers’ camp in North Wales is described in the same
account as “an inaccessible, gloomy, mildewed-looking house, with all
the windows on the front side covered with iron bars. It was previously
used as a private lunatic asylum. The kitchen seemed about the best room
in the house.... There are no fixed baths, but the officers’ valets
carry hot water from the kitchen for hip baths.” As regards the site of
Dyffryn Aled it is only fair to quote the U.S. report: “The situation of
the house, in a romantic valley among the Welsh mountains, is fine and
healthy.” But even in April, 1916, the bathing arrangements remained
primitive: “Each officer has his tin tub.” One would certainly not wish
to make any hardship of this, yet it is perhaps as well to recall the
U.S. reports on Friedberg and Crefeld in May and April, 1915,
respectively. “The room containing the shower-nozzles would ... do
credit to a club or hotel of the first class.” (See p. 23.) At Crefeld:
“The bathroom which I saw has a floor space of about 1,500 square feet,
one-half of which, drained in the centre, lies under some 20 shower
nozzles. There are a couple of porcelain tubs in the other half, and in
the centre there is a large stove. Hot and cold water is available. The
British officers were enthusiastic in their praise of this room.” (P.


The “Stobsiad,” the magazine of the prisoners’ camp at Stobs, Scotland,
contains in its seventeenth number (Jan., 1918) a friendly thought for
the interned “enemy” in Germany. The Y.M.C.A. and the Friends tell them
of the ever-increasing need of the interned Englishmen for English
books. “Would it not be possible,” the paragraph proceeds, “for our
German readers to place English books that they could part with at the
disposal of the English prisoners of war, just as here German books have
been placed at our disposal. Dr. Elisabeth Rotten’s Committee (Berlin,
No. 24, Monbijou-Platz 3) will gladly give further information. It would
give us pleasure if many of our readers would fulfil this wish.”


“There has been some trouble with correspondence,” we read (_Times_,
l.c.). The Commandant of one camp, while censoring a prisoner’s
correspondence, came across a statement that “he slept on a plank bed
with a verminous mattress ... the prisoner admitted that he had written
a false statement in order to induce his friends to send him more
luxuries.” I am reminded of a report from Zossen mentioned by the Swiss
Red Cross delegate. I quote from the abstract in the _Basler
Nachrichten_: “It appears that there is much correspondence with
sympathetic ink at Zossen. A great deal of iodine, starch and condensed
milk are sent to the prisoners by their friends. These materials serve
for the preparation of such inks.” We have heard of the use of
sympathetic ink in this country. Experience suggests that complaints
made by these methods are not to be relied on. The man who likes to tell
a tall story is not very infrequent, either amongst civilians or
soldiers, and if he can gain notoriety or advantage thereby, the
temptation is considerable. Let these be obtained at the expense of the
enemy, and the temptation is greater still. Some German girls were being
taken back to Germany. An officer asked a girl what kind of a time she
had in England. “Oh, dreadful,” she replied at first. It was the way to
gain kudos. But generosity came to her rescue, she repented and
corrected herself: “No, perfectly lovely,” she said, “everyone was good
to us.”[12] There are many on both sides who would not repent, but would
make capital out of their interlocutor’s ignorance.


Rumours, of course, still continue. They will continue as long as
passions run high. There was a rumour of smallpox at Ruhleben. The
English Captain of the Camp wrote to say: “There have been no cases of
smallpox since the camp was started here.” There were repeated rumours
that parcels were not delivered. An appeal was made to the Director of
the Press Bureau by C.Q.M.S. J. R. Wheeler of the 2nd Wilts. Regt.,
prisoner at Göttingen. He pointed out that these rumours (apparently
confirmed by postal officials) were totally unfounded. “Parcels arrive
safely, and are issued to men often within a couple of hours of being
received from the Post Office.” The same matter is dealt with by U.S.
representatives, but, as the Swiss delegate, Arthur Eugster, remarks,
even neutral reports are in these days distrusted. In fact, often it is
only what seems to confirm the worst suspicions that is believed. Mr.
Wheeler points out that “the packing of parcels leaves much to be
desired; in many cases a cake is put in a cardboard box and lightly
wrapped up in brown paper,” a statement that is important in view of the
common opinion that British parcels were specially maltreated. The idea
of differential treatment had indeed become an obsession. An example of
the extraordinary nonsense that is believed is the story that “on the
hospital ship, Oxfordshire, on March 19, sixty wounded British soldiers,
the majority of them from the Black Watch and 6th Gordon regiments, were
taken out of their cots to make room for sixty Germans ... and that, in
addition, the Germans were supplied with fresh eggs and bread, while the
British wounded soldiers had only biscuits.” All this was the subject of
a grave question in Parliament. The story was, of course, without
foundation, but, according to Mr. Tennant himself, “it had obtained
widespread credence.” Marvellous indeed is the credulity of war-time.


How far hatred is due to want of knowledge the record of prisoner farm
workers on this side proves:

    As to the German prisoners, it took both the farmers and the
    townspeople in the places where they are quartered, and from
    which they are often motored to the farms, some little time to
    overcome the widespread prejudice against their employment. But,
    after a little acquaintance with them, this prejudice appears to
    be dying down.

    “They are one of our mainstays on the farms in West Sussex,” Mr.
    Herbert Padwick, chairman of the West Sussex War Agricultural
    Committee, and vice-president of the Farmers’ Union, told me.
    “Some of them,” he said, “are themselves farmers, and the sons
    of farmers. Their work looks slow, but in the end, as a rule, we
    find it very thorough. They used to say, perhaps chaffingly,
    they wanted to produce the best crop we have ever had in
    England, because they were sure the Germans would take it. No
    doubt they really thought it at one time, but they are not, I
    think, under this illusion any longer.”

                                _Daily News_, Aug. 20, 1918.

Most of us have heard favourable comments from farmers and others as to
the work of their German helpers. “I think they’ve done jolly well, and
they deserve some encouragement,” said one man to me. The idea that all
Germans are “Huns” vanishes on personal acquaintance. On the other side
prejudices similarly vanish, and I remember seeing an account of how a
German farmer took his prisoner helpers for a picnic. Evidently he was
allowed considerable freedom with them. There were German Press protests
against the picnic.

From the _Daily News_ of September 28, 1918, I take the following:

    Here is a “gleaning” worth setting beside those which “Kuklos”
    gave us yesterday. A West-country farmer of my acquaintance has
    a brother who is a prisoner in the hands of the Germans at a
    place not far from Stettin. Recently a number of German
    prisoners were sent to work on his farm, and among them was a
    German farmer from that very place. The German told him that he
    had English prisoners on his own fields in the Fatherland, so
    that quite possibly this curious exchange may be complete.

    It may be mentioned, incidentally, that the English prisoner
    speaks well of his treatment in Germany. The German, for his
    part, assured my friend that while his prisoner-hands were not
    receiving excellent cider, like that which he himself was now
    allowed, they had plenty of good beer during the harvest.

I have often thought that a widespread distribution of prisoner workers
throughout each belligerent country might do more than anything else to
allay mutual misunderstanding. In all wars the tendency is to regard the
enemies as terrible beings, scarcely even of human shape. To a
considerable extent this is due to the fact that all the horror of war
is attributed by civilians to the enemy. The soldiers of course know
better. But when the civilian finds enemy prisoners good fellows to work
with, he cannot often resist the proof of our common humanity. A village
girl was telling me lately how the feelings of many had altered since
German prisoners had been in the neighbourhood, and especially marked
had been the effect upon those who had actually worked with them. “So
you’ve changed your mind about them,” she said to a friend who worked
with prisoners, and the friend had the courage to answer quite simply:
“Yes, I have.” If we all have the courage to change our minds, the peace
that comes will be real.


There is often so much similarity in the complaints made on both sides
that the sufferings would seem to be very similar. I happened once, in a
private hotel, to get into conversation with some German women who had
been taken prisoner in East Africa. They were scarcely “military
prisoners,” but they were taken prisoner in the ordinary operations of
war. With the women were three children. A young baby was wizened and
pitiable, a little boy of between three and four had evidently had his
whole body covered with boils or abscesses, a little girl of perhaps
five would have been a charming little creature, but for a large abscess
on her forehead and big swellings under the eyes. I asked how it was the
children were in this condition. The Belgians, by whom these women were
originally taken prisoner, would not, I was told, supply any milk for
the children. It may be said that the Belgian officials should be
consulted on this point, and I am well aware that prisoners’ statements
need corroboration. Do we, however, apply this rule in other cases? Are
we careful to investigate newspaper reports of the statements of
prisoners who have been in German hands, and should we suggest that the
evidence of German officials should also be taken? The women struck me
as singularly quiet, and unhysterical, and I must add, fair-minded.
There were officials at times, they said, who were more humane, and
provided milk on the quiet. Did they make any protests, I asked. “At
first we did,” they answered, “but we were always told ‘You are
prisoners, and have nothing to say.’” The condition of the children
certainly suggested that they had suffered severely from malnutrition.
This may indeed have been unavoidable, and not the fault of any one. I
had a little further chat with one of the group, a very quiet woman,
whose rather drawn, set face showed that she had passed through hard
times. It was a little pathetic to me to note how sincerely she was
convinced of the superior virtues of her side. “In the earlier days of
the war when we had English prisoners,” she said, “they were always well
fed, even though we went short. Our Commandant always made a point of
seeing that they were well provided for.” There was in the quiet, rather
weary voice just a gentle shade of reproach, and that was all. I have
not the slightest doubt that the woman was perfectly sincere. I made
only the very obvious remark that it seemed to me there were good and
bad on both sides, and that some officials behaved well, and some not
well. It was a mistake to generalise and think all was ill on the other
side and all was well on one’s own. She saw fairness in this view, I
think. There was a mutual approach, and a growing kindliness. I felt
then, and feel more strongly now, that kindness cannot grow out of
merely aggressive patriotism.


It seems plain that in France, Germany and Great Britain there has been
an honest, if not always a very sympathetic attempt to treat prisoners
decently. But we hear little about the condition of prisoners elsewhere.
It is curious to note how, in spite of all the horror perpetrated
repeatedly by Turkish authorities in times, not of war, but of peace,
British feeling is never very indignant against the Turk; and how
prisoners of war are faring in Turkey we scarcely know. Not till July,
1917, does there seem to have been any definite application for the
inspection of Turkish internment camps. On July 18, 1917, an
announcement appeared in the Press to the effect that, in response to a
request from the British Government, the International Committee of the
Red Cross at Geneva had applied to the Turkish Government for the
necessary permission.

Yet here, as in all war matters, we come upon “reprisals.” The following
is a cutting from the _Daily News_ of July 20, 1917:

    Mr. James Hope, for the Foreign Office, stated in the Commons
    yesterday that five British officers had been for over three
    months imprisoned in Constantinople as a reprisal for the
    alleged imprisonment of Turkish officers in Egypt. The United
    States Ambassador was requested on April 25 to explain to the
    Porte by telegram that only one of the five Turkish officers in
    Egypt had been under arrest, and that for attempted escape. He
    regretted to say that one of the five British officers had died.
    They had just received a message from the Danish Minister at
    Constantinople stating that the four surviving officers returned
    to camp on July 4.

Statements about _enemy_ reprisals are usually less frank than this. The
neutral observer has usually to watch each side describing its most
drastic actions as reprisals upon the other for similar deeds.


The condition of Austrian and German prisoners in Serbia has been
touched upon by Dr. F. M. Dickinson Berry, Physician to the
Anglo-Serbian Hospital Unit. I give the following quotations from an
article by Dr. Berry in the _Nation_ of August 21, 1915.

“There is no doubt that the prisoners suffered badly during the
winter.... Typhus decimated them earlier and more universally, probably
owing to the way in which they were crowded together. Outside the town
our prisoner pointed out a cottage adjacent to a brick-kiln, where he,
with 250 men, had stayed some months without beds, blankets, or even
straw to sleep on, and with the scantiest of food.” But the villagers
showed kindness, said the prisoner, and bestowed on them the food placed
by Serbian custom on the graves of the dead. “Many of the prisoners fell
sick and were taken off to the hospital. Here, too, they lay on the
floor with nothing to cover them but a great-coat, if the fortunate
possessors of such. Few who entered the hospital ever came back; if not
ill with typhus when they came in, they were pretty safe to get it
there, and they passed on to the cemetery beyond the town, where, as in
so many Serbian cemeteries, however remotely situated, there is a
portion covered thickly with plain wooden crosses, marking the graves of
Austrian prisoners. Our informant told us that of those with him 50 per
cent. had died; of eleven Italians whom he had under his charge one only
survived. Asked whether they had any guards, he said no; each sergeant
(he himself was one) was put in charge of fifty men, and was answerable
with his life in case any should escape.” There were, however, some
compensations for the primitive barbarity of these arrangements. The
Serbian people did not attack their prisoners, they fed them. They might
have learned a less human attitude under more civilised conditions. “As
we motored through the town we were amused at the number of greetings
our prisoner received; he was evidently a well known and popular person.
As we passed he pointed out the houses of acquaintances and other
objects of interest. On one side lived a municipal official, who,
finding that he held the same sort of post in Bohemia, greeted him as a
colleague and used to ask him to his house. Further on was the fountain
where he had come to wash his clothes in the bitter winter weather, and
close by the house of the kind but match-making old lady who washed his
clothes for him, and having a daughter’s hand to dispose of, wished to
keep him as a son-in-law.”


Of what happened in Russian prison camps we have only rumours, and the
usual individual statements. The old Russian régime was scarcely likely
to be very efficient or very humane in its treatment of prisoners, but
any one who has examined war stories will be very cautious of believing
all that is told. What the “unofficial information and rumours” were may
be sufficiently gathered by referring to the _Cambridge Magazine_ of
August 26, 1916, Supplement “Prisoners.” It may be well to add this: in
November, 1918, Erzberger, interviewed by Dr. Stollberg, of the
_Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_, asserted that out of 250 thousand
prisoners in Russia only 100 thousand remained alive.


It will help to clarify our ideas of charges of ill-treatment to remind
ourselves of the following. A British officer, Lieut. Gilliland, was put
in charge of the British prisoners of war captured by the Bulgarians.
Mr. MacVeagh brought forward in the House of Commons various charges
made against this officer by repatriated prisoners. It was said that he
distributed unfairly food and clothing consigned to Irish prisoners,
and that he ordered the flogging of British prisoners by their Bulgarian
captors for the most trivial breaches of discipline. Mr. Macpherson, for
the War Office, said prisoners repatriated from Bulgaria had made
allegations against Lieut. Gilliland which were entirely opposed to
information received from independent sources, especially from the U.S.
Legation in Sofia, who stated that the officer had done everything
possible for our men. Further inquiry was promised (_Manchester
Guardian_, November 8, 1917). The charges of the prisoners are in this
case not considered as necessarily true or unbiased. Ought not similar
caution to be observed against whomsoever the charges may be made?


    [Footnote 2: It is fair to add that the International Red Cross
    in January, 1915, visited camps at Holyport, Dyffry, Dorchester,
    Southend, Portsmouth, and Queensferry. They did not visit the
    Isle of Man, where even then about 4,600 civilians were
    interned, and they were evidently, if somewhat innocently,
    hoping for the release of civilians (First Series, p. 25). The
    reports are quite satisfactory as far as they go, and the
    delegates considered that the prisoners, and especially the
    military prisoners (_surtout les militaires_), were treated
    well. The feeding is, however, criticised rather adversely in
    the case of Portsmouth (both military and civilian) and at
    Queensferry (civilian). (_La nourriture est elle bien ce qu’elle
    doit être_?) Removal from boats at Southend to _terra firma_ is
    recommended. The eternal soup, which seems to have been the lot
    of prisoners in all countries, must become fearfully wearisome.
    The preserved fish, etc., of later days may become even more

    [Footnote 3: Bishop Bury (_My Visit to Ruhleben_) writes: “Again
    I was conscious of just the same spirit of
    privation—extraordinarily pathetic it was—about people and
    places....” (p. 79) It is to be feared that some who “profess
    and call themselves Christians” can see nothing pathetic in the
    sufferings of an enemy people.]

    [Footnote 4: _Comité International de la Croix Rouge, Première

    [Footnote 5: The number of prisoners now (October, 1917) in
    Germany is probably nearly three times as great.]

    [Footnote 6: _Comité International Rapports_ (Première Série, p.

    [Footnote 7: l.c., p. 60.]

    [Footnote 8: Reporting on March 9, 1916, Mr. Jackson wrote that,
    though, “owing to its situation and character,” it could never
    be made “an entirely satisfactory camp,” yet “there had been a
    marked improvement in its general ‘atmosphere.’” (Misc. 16

    [Footnote 9: Dr. Ella Scarlett-Synge (M.D., D.P.H.) visited this
    camp on December 17, 1915. She reports: “The prisoners of war
    are housed in well-built, well-drained barracks having excellent
    ventilation. Each man has an iron bedstead with two blankets (or
    a thick quilt), a straw mattress, good pillow and sheet....”]

    [Footnote 10: These indulgences can also be paralleled on this
    side. A writer from a British internment camp says, during “a
    great sports week”: “There are already a lot in hospital with
    broken legs and arms.”]

    [Footnote 11: It is astounding how extremely rare are
    responsible accounts of the worser ill-deeds by those who have
    actually suffered them. These stories have almost always been
    heard from someone else. (Cf. pp. 156, 157.)]

    [Footnote 12: “The Common Cause.” October 16, 1914.]




A few extracts from Dr. J. M. Spaight’s important work, “War Rights on
Land,” will be useful as an introduction to this section. “Resident
enemy nationals,” runs Dr. Spaight’s marginal summary, “are not
interfered with” (l.c., p. 28). The text proceeds: “The treatment of
resident enemy nationals has undergone a great change for the better in
modern times. Ancient theory and practice regarded them as enemies,
individually, and admitted the right to arrest and imprison them. The
last instance of this rigorous rule being put in force is Napoleon’s
detention of British subjects who happened to be in France when war
broke out in 1803. Present usage allows enemy nationals to depart
freely, even when they belong to the armed forces of the other
belligerent.” The State has the right to detain such subjects, but usage
is against it. Again, “‘Present usage,’ says Professor LeFur, ‘does not
admit of the expulsion _en masse_ of enemy subjects resident in a
belligerent’s territory, save when the needs of defence demand such
expulsion....’ The bad precedent set by the Confederate Government in
1861, when it ordered the banishment of all alien enemies, has not been
followed in subsequent wars. France and Germany allowed enemy subjects
to continue to reside in their respective territories during the war of
1870-1, but the former country was led by military exigencies to rescind
the general privilege so far as Paris and the Department of the Seine
were concerned, at the end of August, 1870. A Proclamation was then
issued by General Trochu which enjoined ‘every person not a naturalised
Frenchman and belonging to one of the countries at war with France’ to
depart within three days, under penalty of arrest and trial in the event
of disobedience. The incident is instructive as showing usage [viz.,
non-interference with resident enemy nationals] in the making; for
though there were 35,000 in Paris alone, and their expulsion was clearly
justifiable as a measure of defence, the general opinion in Europe was
that they were harshly treated, and a sum of 100 million francs was
claimed, as part of the war indemnity, in respect of the losses they
sustained in being driven out. It shows, as Hall observed, that public
opinion ‘was already ripe for the establishment of a distinct rule
allowing such persons to remain during good behaviour’ (_Hall,
International Law_, p. 392). The usage has been strengthened by the
precedents set in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877-8, the Chino-Japanese
War of 1894, and the Russo-Japanese War, in all of which enemy residents
were suffered to remain.”


How did it come about that this more humane usage was in the present war
departed from? The average Englishman, I fear, assumes that all the
blame is in this case due to the enemy. The following correspondence
should make the matter clearer. [See Miscel. Nos. 7, 8 (1915).]

    _Memorandum communicated by American Embassy,_

    October 17, 1914.

    The American Embassy has the honour to submit the following copy
    of a telegram which has just been received from the Secretary of
    State at Washington relating to civilian prisoners in the United
    Kingdom and Germany:

    There are a very few English civilians in Germany who have been
    placed in prison or in prison camps—about 300. The German
    Government is informed that a great number of German civilian
    prisoners—over 6,000—are in prison camps in England.
    Department is requested by Ambassador, Berlin, to suggest that
    liberty, so far as possible, be allowed alien enemies detained
    by war.

        _Mr. Page, United States Ambassador in London, to
            Sir Edward Grey._ (Received Oct. 31.)
                American Embassy, London,
                                October 30, 1914.

    Sir,—I have the honour to transmit herewith enclosed the
    attached copy of an open telegram I have received from the
    Minister at Copenhagen relating to reports on the imprisonment
    of German subjects in England.

    Inasmuch as the Minister at Copenhagen has dispatched this to
    the Secretary of State at Washington, it seems probable that I
    shall receive definite instructions from him to transmit it to
    you, but in view of the desirability of an early consideration
    of the matter I now venture to submit this copy of the telegram
    for your information.

                                      I have, etc.,
                                          WALTER HINES PAGE.

    Copy of Telegram received October 29, 1914.

    Following telegram sent to Department to-day (by the Ambassador
    at Berlin):

    The Foreign Office requests this Embassy to find out through the
    American Embassy in London whether the reports concerning the
    imprisonment of German subjects in England are well founded.
    Unless a reply is received from the British Government before
    November 5 that all Germans who have not rendered themselves
    especially suspicious have been released, the German Government
    will be obliged to take retaliatory measures, and accordingly
    arrest all male British subjects in Germany between 17 and 55
    years. American Minister, Copenhagen.

    Copy of Telegram received from Berlin by the American Embassy,
    November 3, 1914.

    Are Germans over 45 being arrested wholesale in England? If
    arrests are only of those under 45, I may be able to keep
    English over that age out of jail. Will not British Government
    allow all over 45 to leave? That is the legal military age here,
    and no one over that age can be compelled to serve.

    _Sir Edward Grey to Mr. Page, United States Ambassador in

                                                   Foreign Office,
                                                     November 9, 1914.

    Your Excellency,

    I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your
    Excellency’s note of the 30th ult., and of subsequent notes
    informing me of the attitude likely to be adopted by the German
    Government with regard to the measures that have been taken in
    this country for the detention of German subjects of military

    The decision of His Majesty’s Government in this respect being
    clearly irrevocable, the communications which you were good
    enough to transmit did not appear to call for an immediate
    reply, although, as your Excellency is aware, the German
    Government threatened, and have since carried out, reprisals
    against British subjects in Germany.

    At the same time, I hope in due course, when the measures taken
    here have assumed a definite form, proper consideration having
    been given to reasonable claims for exemption as regards
    particular categories of persons, to address your Excellency
    further on the subject, with a view of obtaining the release at
    least of British subjects in Germany who correspond to those

    I may state at once that no Germans over the age of 45 are being

    I should, however, be glad if your Excellency would endeavour to
    bring home to the German Government that His Majesty’s
    Government are faced with a problem which does not apply to the
    same extent in Germany.

    There are, roughly, 50,000 Germans resident in this country, and
    the presence of such large numbers of the subjects of a country
    with whom Great Britain is at war must necessarily be a cause of
    anxiety to the military authorities who are concerned with
    taking adequate measures for the defence of the realm.[14]

    In detaining persons who might, in certain eventualities, become
    a source of danger to the State, His Majesty’s Government are
    only acting in accordance with the dictates of a legitimate and
    reasonable policy, and they would be clearly lacking in their
    duty to the country if they neglected to safeguard its interests
    by allowing the continuance of possible risks to the public

    In proceeding as they have done they have only had this one
    consideration before them, and it has never once been their
    intention to indulge in a domestic act of hostility towards
    German subjects as such, or in any way to inflict hardship for
    hardship’s sake on innocent civilians.

    Every endeavour is being made, as Your Excellency is aware from
    Mr. Chandler Anderson’s report on the concentration camps, to
    mitigate the inconvenience to the persons detained, and to
    provide the best possible treatment for them under the

    As time goes on it is hoped that it will be possible to improve
    further the necessarily austere conditions of the military
    discipline to which the prisoners are bound to be subjected, and
    every endeavour is being made already to rectify any mistakes
    that may have occurred, both in the arrest of persons who should
    properly be exempt, and in the régime, which, through its
    hurried organisation, could not fail to contain a certain number
    of defects at the outset....

Into the case for and against general internment I do not propose to
enter; it has nothing to do with the main purpose of this book. It does,
however, concern that purpose to point out first that the general
internment of resident enemy nationals (whatever its justification in
any particular case) is contrary to modern usage, and second that the
order for general internment was given first not in Germany, but in
Britain. The popular view on this subject is erroneous. The German order
was issued as a “reprisal,”[15] but, once issued, it was carried out
with dispatch, a dispatch which was, of course, easier because of the
comparatively small number of British subjects in Germany.

It will, I think, be useful to quote some further letters. The first
document is an extract from a telegram received, _via_ Copenhagen, by
the U.S. Embassy in London on November 7, 1914. The telegram is from the
Ambassador (Mr. Gerard) at Berlin, and conveys the representations of
Mr. Chandler Anderson, of the American Embassy in London, who was at
the moment in Berlin. Anderson says:

    Tell Foreign Office that there is no compulsory military service
    required by German law for men over 45, and any men over that
    age serving in the army are volunteers. Agreement to release all
    men over 45 would produce better understanding, refusal is
    regarded as questioning truth of their assurances, which were
    endorsed by our Ambassador. Would like to settle these matters
    while here, and want to leave on Tuesday or Wednesday. Am
    arranging to have someone from this Embassy return with me to
    report, for information of Foreign Office here, about
    concentration camp and reasons for internment of civilians, in
    order to establish common basis for their treatment and
    provisions and clothing furnished and pay of officers, on the
    understanding that accounts will be balanced at close of war or
    at stated intervals.—GERARD, Berlin.

                              American Minister, Copenhagen.

The following documents deserve careful consideration:

    _Memorandum communicated by American Embassy._

    November 9, 1914.

    The American Embassy has the honour to submit the following copy
    of a telegram which the Ambassador at Berlin has sent to the
    Department of State at Washington:

    “Order for internment British between 17 and 55 has gone into
    effect. This does not apply to clericals, doctors, or women, or
    to British subjects from colonies or protectorates where Germans
    are not interned. German Government wishes to receive official
    information regarding such colonies, as it understands Germans
    are interned in South Africa. Germany is willing to release men
    over 45 if England will do so. Germans over 45, except officers,
    have no compulsory military obligations.”

    American Embassy, London, Nov. 9, 1914.

    _Memorandum by Sir Edward Grey._

    The American Ambassador asked me to-day whether the American
    Embassy would be allowed, as reports were being made in Germany
    about the treatment of German civilians in England, to send
    someone to visit the Germans interned in Newbury and Newcastle.

    The Ambassador also said that he had received specific
    complaints from Germans interned in Queensferry.

    He has given me the following copy of a letter from the American
    Ambassador in Berlin.

    The object of the Ambassador’s enquiry is simply, by bringing
    out the facts, to prevent false statements from doing harm in
    Germany, and at the same time, I assume, to contribute to the
    remedying of any grievances that may exist.

    The American Ambassador in Berlin is, I know, doing all in his
    power to secure good treatment for British subjects in Germany,
    and I think that it would be desirable to let the American
    Embassy here have full information as to our treatment of

                                            I have, etc.,
                                                    E. GREY.
    Foreign Office, November 13, 1914.

    _Mr. Gerard to Mr. Page._
                                          American Embassy, Berlin.
                                                     November 8, 1914.

    Sir,—Although it may already be too late to be of much
    practical effect, I feel it my duty, in the interest of
    humanity, to urge upon you to obtain some formal declaration on
    the part of the British Government, as to its purpose in
    ordering the wholesale concentration of Germans in Great Britain
    and Ireland, as is understood here to be the case. It is known
    here that many of the Germans interned belong to the labouring
    classes, and that their position is actually improved by their
    internment, and it is recognised that the British Government has
    the right to arrest persons when any well-founded ground for
    suspecting them to be spies exists. Great popular resentment has
    been created by the reports of the arrests of other Germans,
    however, and the German authorities cannot explain or understand
    why German travellers who have been taken from ocean steamers
    should not be permitted to remain at liberty, of course under
    police control, even if they are compelled to stay in England.
    The order for the general concentration of British males between
    the ages of 17 and 55, which went into effect on the 6th inst.,
    was occasioned by the pressure of public opinion, which has been
    still further excited by the newspaper reports of a considerable
    number of deaths in concentration camps. Up to the 6th
    considerable liberty of movement has been allowed to British
    subjects in Germany,[16] and, as you were informed in my
    telegram of the 5th, many petitions were received from them
    setting forth the favourable conditions under which they were
    permitted to live and to carry on their business, and urging the
    similar treatment of German subjects in England. I cannot but
    feel that to a great extent the English action and the German
    retaliation has been caused by a misunderstanding which we
    should do our best to remove. It seems to me that we should do
    all in our power to prevent an increase of the bitterness which
    seems to have arisen between the German and English peoples, and
    to make it possible for the two countries to become friends on
    the close of the war.

                                          I have, etc.,
                                            JAMES W. GERARD.

    _Mr. Harris to Mr. Gerard_.

                                                     November 9, 1914.

    Sir,—In a letter of the same date as this I have referred to
    the return from Giessen of four officers sent to Giessen, and
    returned again to Frankfort and to Nauheim, from which they
    came. I referred in this letter to the commander of the XVIIIth.
    Army Corps here. The commando is in charge of Excellenz de
    Graaf, who has, as he tells me, an American wife, and who
    through the past few months has shown this consulate all
    possible consideration, as it seems to Mr. Ives and myself.
    Twice during the great press of the first few weeks of the war,
    he came to the office in person and made known his desire to
    assist us in any way possible. Both Mr. Ives and myself have had
    occasion to go to the commando many times on various errands,
    and in nearly every case we have been granted the things we
    desired. It would be difficult to find a man at home or abroad
    with a more pleasant manner than de Graaf’s, or who shows less
    of the harsh or severe. Many of the English have gone to him,
    and they in all cases, so far as I have heard, speak in highest
    terms as to the way he has received them, and as to the entire
    freedom given them in this city until the order of last Friday.

    I have gone into the matter just a little because of a vicious
    and, I think, wholly unwarranted attack in the papers, in which
    Mr. George Edwardes, of London, is made to say quite improbable
    things as coming from de Graaf, and perhaps made our work just a
    little more difficult. Whether this be the case or not, I am
    sure you will be glad to know that the commander here has given
    ample evidence of desire to meet Mr. Ives and myself in every
    request we have had to make of him.

                        I have, etc.,
                      H. W. HARRIS, American Consul-General.

The “entire freedom” allowed to English in Frankfort until the reprisal
order was made out is a fact that should be emphasised. It bears out the
idea that it was British action which brought about the general
internment order in Germany. Moreover, the reports as to ill-treatment
and deaths produced the same kind of effect on the other side as they
did on this. Of course, there were grave hardships on both sides, and,
indeed, Sir Edward Grey allowed (vide p. 79) that “the régime ...
through its hurried organisation, could not fail to contain a certain
number of defects at the outset.”

The régime, like some other steps taken in this war, was too hurriedly
arranged in response to newspaper agitation. The _Cologne Gazette_,
complaining that Germans are treated like pariahs in England, asks if
Englishmen in Germany are “to enjoy for ever a life of gods unmolested.”
(_Daily Chronicle_, October 29, 1914.) The old demand for “reprisals,”
leading to counter-reprisals and a crescendo of cruelty.

In Austria no general internment order was made. The _Daily Chronicle_
correspondent, writing in January, 1915, from Vienna, spoke of the
freedom of all foreigners there, even when the subjects of enemy
Governments. All such subjects, his host reminded him, “enjoy full, or
nearly full liberty, whereas in Great Britain and France Austro-German
subjects have either been clapped into prison, or at any rate confined
in a camp or barracks.”


“Confinement in a camp or barracks” sounds a small thing. It is really,
wherever it occurs, a rather terrible thing. The universal experience is
that civilians suffer under this restraint more than soldiers, and
consequently are more “difficult” to deal with.[17] There are, I think,
various fairly obvious reasons for this difference. To the soldier the
prison camp is an escape from worse horrors, the soldier is inured to a
large measure of monotony, he is also inured to military control and
certain peculiarities of the military manner. To the civilian the prison
camp is a change from freedom to confinement, from comfort to hardship,
often from prosperity to ruin. The civilian’s life has been one of
varied activities, and becomes one of almost unrelieved monotony. He is
in most cases quite unused to military control, and feels himself
degraded to a kind of servitude. Used to a separate and individual life,
he is forced into contact, day and night, with others not of his own
choice, and often antipathetic to him. He finds himself deprived of
every vestige of privacy, and his thoughts revolve often round chances
gone, work lost, hopes vanished, a wife living in penury, and a future
altogether dark. If anyone will try to picture such a life continued not
for weeks or months only, but for _years_, he will, I think, feel that
hysteria, loss of mental balance and actual insanity are consequences
that are only too likely to follow.

Civilian control for civilian prisoners seems in general to be
desirable. Military control was practically withdrawn from Ruhleben in
the autumn of 1915. At a few camps here, such as the one at Cornwallis
Road, it is practically absent, and I feel this is one reason why,
writing in March, 1916, the U.S. Attaché was able to report that there
had at this camp been no attempts at escape.

There was much that was harsh and bad in the earlier days of internment
in Germany, but the official U.S. reports certainly make us aware of
cordial German co-operation in improving matters. The unofficial
account, moreover, of Dr. Cimino (“Behind the Prison Bars in Germany”)
astonishes me chiefly by the amount of politeness which it reveals in
the German official.

There will always be stupid officials, and complete military authority
is a very dangerous thing. This obvious conclusion should be recognised
as applying (to some extent at least) to both sides. It is a rather
dreadful thing to be under more or less hostile restraint, whether one
be German or British. “Even if ideal conditions prevailed, one could not
remove the unavoidable feeling of restraint and the sorrow of separation
of men from their wives and families. There is in all the camps a
feeling of gloom which one visitor said ‘haunted him for days.’ It is
scarcely surprising that feelings of resentment should arise. Many of
the men have lived in this country for twenty or thirty years; some have
come over here as young children, some are even unable to speak German;
very many have married British wives and have come to regard themselves
as citizens of this country. The visit of someone who is not in
authority over them, but who will listen to their troubles and give them
a kind word of encouragement, has done very much to lighten the
bitterness of confinement.” So write the Emergency Committee in their
second report on their work for the assistance of Germans, Austrians and
Hungarians in distress. Dr. Siegmund Schulze, who has worked for a
similar organisation in Berlin, writes: “It appears that those who have
recently expressed their opinion in the British Parliament have taken
the complaints of a few dissatisfied prisoners as a basis for their
general opinion. We can quite understand these complaints, because we
notice among all prisoners that the longer the imprisonment lasts, the
greater is the feeling of dissatisfaction.... It is noteworthy that in
the English utterance even the trustworthiness of neutral reports is
doubted; for example, the statements of the American Ambassador are
regarded as pro-German, therefore distorted. Frl. Dr. Rotten and I have
heard a great number of neutral opinions on the prisoners camps; I have
myself discussed the conditions of the detention camp with neutrals who
have visited them, and ascertained the truth as to their reports. Our
verdict can only be that there is absolutely no question of any
conditions which would constitute an infringement of international law,
or which could imperil the health of the soldiers.... Moreover, I have
in Ruhleben formed my own opinion as to the condition of the prisoners.
I acknowledge that the depressed state of mind in which the prisoners
must naturally be after more than six months’ imprisonment has an effect
upon their reports, and that many prisoners are in a state of suppressed
rage. On the other hand I cannot but say that after the removal of
certain insanitary conditions there have been absolutely no substantial
complaints made by the prisoners. Much as I regret the position of the
prisoners, among whom I have many personal acquaintances, I must, on the
other hand, say that the accommodation and also the behaviour of the
officers is, on the whole, as humane as possible under the difficult
conditions. The American Attaché, Mr. Jackson, who formerly visited the
detention camps in England, and has now again visited the German
detention camps, has confirmed to me the assertion which he made to the
Commandant of the Ruhleben Camp, viz., that if he were obliged to choose
where, among the countries now at war, he would be interned, he would
certainly choose Ruhleben.... Without doubt, as is now apparent
everywhere, an imprisonment extending over a long period, say, for
instance, a year, means far more for men of the present generation than
one could have thought. I consider it possible that many prisoners who
are detained for such a long time will return to their homes with an
essential deterioration of their mental condition.” These last are very
grave, and indeed terrible words, words that I fear only too accurately
represent the facts, but yet, as Dr. Schulze continues, “We ought not to
conclude from this that we are justified in making reproaches against
the other country in respect of the treatment of prisoners, but rather
conclude that we should work energetically towards the termination of
the war.”

The mental suffering (_stagnant_ suffering) caused to civilian prisoners
(in Britain, as elsewhere) is, I fear, very far from being understood.
The following few sentences may give some glimpses—I was going to say
“enlightening glimpses,” but, alas, they are only glimpses into the
darkness: “Our visitors in talking to the men in the camps receive from
them many kinds of requests; of these by far the most frequent and
urgent is that their wives and families may be visited. For one reason
or another, letters from home very frequently do not reach the
prisoners, and often for weeks or months together they receive no word
of their families.” The report goes on: “One man’s wife was at the point
of death when he left her and her young children; another’s wife with
several children was addicted to drink, and was only kept from it by her
husband’s influence; in other cases children were left behind with no
mother to care for them.” (The quotations are from the second report of
the Friends’ Emergency Committee, January, 1915.) To imagine the anguish
of these cases, whether in Germany or in Britain, is to shrink as from a
blow. Many will feel that the policy of general internment was
unavoidable. But we may surely show generous sympathy where an
unavoidable policy has brought great misery upon thousands who were
innocent. Such sympathy, as we shall see later, always assists
reciprocal sympathy on the other side.


I will now turn to the consideration of reports on individual camps for
civilians. The most important German civilian camp, of course, for us,
is that of Ruhleben. If I cite a Report on the Meeting of the Camp
Committee held there on February 4, 1915, a good deal as to the general
management of the camp will become plain. [Miscel. No. 7 (1915) p. 67.]

    The following minutes of a meeting of the select committee of
    the camp committee and of the overseers,[18] which was called by
    Baron von Taube on February 2, were read by the Secretary:

    At 6-30 p.m., Baron von Taube received a select committee of the
    camp committee in the presence of the assembled overseers of the
    latter. Messrs. Powell, Fischer, Jones, Blakely, Cocker,
    Overweg, Asher, Hallam, Russel, Aman, and Jones were present;
    also[19] Messrs. Delmer, Butcher, Stern, Scholl, Mackenzie,
    Horn, Klingender, Butterworth, and Hatfield.

    Having greeted the assembled members, the Baron proceeded to say
    that he thought it would be best if only three or four delegates
    from the camp committee were to discuss matters directly with
    the overseers. He expressed his views and compared the
    management of the camp with the administration of a town of
    10,000 inhabitants. Too many participants might only render the
    work of the overseers more arduous. He therefore suggested that
    at the meetings of the overseers, the select committee of the
    camp committee should consist of from three to four gentlemen
    with deciding votes. The suggestion was accepted. Thereupon the
    Baron informed the meeting that Messrs. Butcher, Klingender, and
    Stern had been proposed. In reply to this, Mr. Delmer, chairman
    of the camp committee, said that from among the eight men whose
    names had been submitted, three or four should from time to time
    be chosen as delegates according to their special knowledge and
    the business to be transacted. After a short discussion it was
    agreed, upon the proposal of Mr. Powell, that three or four
    gentlemen should, as delegates from the camp committee, take
    part in a general meeting of overseers to be held once a
    fortnight. At these meetings a strict account of the work of the
    overseers during the interval should be rendered. On the
    proposal of the chairman, Mr. Delmer, it was further agreed that
    delegates of the camp committee should have the right at all
    times to require the overseers to furnish explanations of any
    incidents affecting the interests of the camp. A motion of the
    chairman, which was also approved by the Baron, was to the
    effect that, in order to spare the overseers’ committee time and
    trouble, any incidents occurring in the camp should be
    thoroughly sifted and investigated by the camp committee, and
    then reported to the administration as soon as possible by a
    single competent deputy through the overseers.

    The presiding overseer welcomed a further motion by the
    chairman, Mr. Delmer, which was as follows: In the interests of
    the necessary reciprocity, a delegate of the overseers should
    attend the meetings of the camp committee.

    Mr. Klingender drew attention to the two points contained in the
    camp committee’s letter to Baron von Taube. The Baron said he
    agreed with the contents of the letter.

    At the conclusion the chairman (Mr. Delmer) remarked that the
    camp committee had been formed with a view to beneficial
    co-operation with the overseers, and for the advancement of the
    existing organisation, and that it intended loyally to carry out
    this principle, of which words the Baron graciously took note.
    The chairman (Mr. Delmer) then expressed his hearty thanks in
    the name of the assembled members of the camp committee to the
    Baron for his presence and for the consideration he had kindly
    given to the arrangement, whereupon the Baron said that he would
    be very pleased personally from time to time to take part in the
    meetings of the camp committee.

    Baron von Taube then closed the meeting.

    The secretary announced that he had laid a copy of the minutes
    before the Baron, who had kindly accepted and signed it, and
    had, with his own hand, written on it the words, “Have taken
    note of the minutes and agree on all points.”

    The chairman greeted Mr. Fischer, overseer of hut 3, who was
    present as delegate of the overseers. The meeting proceeded to
    discuss the following matters:

    LATRINES FOR INVALIDS.—At the last meeting the camp committee
    had requested a member to procure information on this matter.
    Mr. Fischer reported that the small latrine between huts 3 and 4
    (which was formerly intended for women) should be used for this
    purpose. A door with a lock would be put in. Permits would
    probably be issued by the doctor or his representative. The
    overseers had for a long time striven to obtain permission for
    the sick to use the water closets, but these for the most part
    were not in the premises which were at the disposal of the
    military authorities, and therefore could not, even on payment,
    be opened. He would again inquire if it were not possible to
    obtain a closed water closet for the sick.

    POSTAL MATTERS.—Questions concerning the postal regulations
    and the censoring of letters were brought up. A member expressed
    his intention of obtaining precise information and of reporting

    OUTBREAK OF DIARRHŒA.—It was announced that 78 cases had
    occurred at hut 1.[20] Mr. Fischer was asked whether the number
    of cases in each hut was known to the overseers. He replied that
    they had furnished a report on the previous day. It was
    suggested that in such a case the overseers might with advantage
    seek the assistance of the delegates of the camp committee, and
    especially in the present case, as the overseers were much
    occupied with other work, and could not collect complete

    BREAD.—The question of the quality of the bread was raised; it
    was alleged that bread insufficiently baked and bread which
    consisted of remains insufficiently ground together was
    sometimes distributed. As 2,000 of the prisoners were penniless,
    the question was one of great importance. Mr. Fischer said that
    bread of inferior quality, if returned immediately, would be

    YOUTHS UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE.—It was alleged that not all the
    prisoners under 17 years of age had yet taken the necessary
    steps to obtain their release. The meeting, however, thought
    that it was the presence of young sailors, for whose release
    repeated application had been made, that had produced this
    impression. These sailors, however, were in quite a different
    position from the civilian prisoners. Civilian prisoners under
    17 were released. The overseers had the matter under

    WASHING.—Mr. Whitwell had taken cast-off clothing from the
    rubbish-box. He had had them washed, and found that they were
    still serviceable. In his opinion, the whole of the camp washing
    could be done by two machines costing about 60M. each. Mr.
    Fischer observed that the overseers had given this matter their
    attention, but that great difficulties would arise if any
    proposals adverse to the concessions granted by the military
    authority to private concerns were to be made.

    The meeting was then adjourned.

We may next cite an unofficial statement:


    Mr. John P. Bradshaw, of Ballymoney, co. Antrim, and Mr. William
    David Coyne, of Ballyhaunis, co. Mayo, both British subjects,
    arrived in England on the March 15, having just been released
    from detention at Ruhleben on account of their unfitness for
    military service.

    The following statement has been made by them to the Home

    They were examined by the Camp Doctor, and released as unfit for
    military service.

    A fortnight ago all who considered themselves unfit were invited
    to send their names in with a statement of the grounds of

    A week later all were asked to state where they would go if
    released from Ruhleben, but few of the real British subjects
    were anxious to be released now unless they can leave Germany
    because of the bitterness against England.[21]

    Since March 7 a very important change has taken place in the
    food supply to the prisoners; thanks to investigations by
    Rittmeister von Müller, the caterer has been dispensed with. It
    is believed in the camp that the United States authorities
    prompted these investigations.

    The German authorities provide bread which is of better quality
    than formerly. The allowance is over half a pound per man per
    day, i.e., more than the civilian population is allowed, but it
    is believed that a regulation has been made, though not yet
    brought into force, to reduce the bread allowance to correspond
    with that allowed to persons outside the camp. Bread is no
    longer purchaseable at the canteen.

    The Government allows 60 pfennige (just over 7d.) per head for
    the rest of the food. The canteen committee buys 100 grammes of
    meat (gristle, bone, etc., included) per man per day. Pork is
    much used, then comes mutton, and, more rarely, beef.

    The meat is cooked in the soup and each man is given a piece
    about the size of a cutlet with his soup at midday. The spare
    pieces are divided amongst the men from the last barracks to be
    served; the barracks take it in turn to be last.

    On one day a week dinner consists of a piece of sausage and rice
    and prunes.

    A piece of sausage is now served with the evening tea or coffee.
    This sausage is bought out of the savings under the new system.

    The rest of the savings on the catering and the profit on the
    sales at the canteen go towards providing clothes, etc., for the
    poorest men in the camp.

    The meat is inspected by two of the prisoners, one a veterinary
    surgeon and the other a butcher; it is cooked by ships’ cooks
    who are interned, and served by men chosen from among the
    prisoners. The food is said to be well cooked and the meals
    quite appetising, at any rate when compared with the previous

    The two men named above received all parcels sent to them.
    Formerly parcels took about four weeks to reach the camp from
    England, but now they arrive in ten to twelve days.

    The officials are scrupulously honest as regards money owned by
    or sent to the prisoners, except that they pay out in paper or
    silver, whereas they took in gold. Money is paid out to those
    prisoners who have an account at the rate of 20M. per fortnight,
    but an extra 20M. can be obtained for the purchase of boots,
    clothes, etc., if shown to be necessary.

    The correspondence regulations are now that one postcard with
    nine lines of writing may be sent each week, and two letters,
    each of four pages of notepaper may be sent per month. In
    addition, business letters may be sent to any reasonable extent.

    A dramatic society has been started and recently gave its first
    performance, Shaw’s “Androcles and the Lion.” Admission was
    free, but seats cost from 20 to 40 pfennigs, not according to
    the position of the seat, but according to the means of the

    Baron von Taube and Graf von Schwerin make a point of being
    present at all entertainments organised by the prisoners, and
    make a short speech of thanks at the end. Since the trouble over
    the food has been settled the relations between the officials
    and the prisoners have greatly improved.

    A month ago all British colonial subjects were re-arrested and
    interned. [Miscel. No. 7. (1915). P. 81.]

We now come to the official U.S. report of June 8, 1915, with
accompanying letters. [Miscel. No. 13 (1915)]

    _Mr. Page, United States Ambassador at London, to Sir Edward
    Grey._ (Received June 15.)

    The American Ambassador presents his compliments to His
    Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and has the
    honour to transmit, herewith enclosed, a copy of a letter he has
    received from the Embassy at Berlin, dated the 8th inst.,
    enclosing a report made by Mr. G. W. Minot upon the conditions
    at present existing in the British civil internment camp at

    Mr. Gerard has added a postscript expressing the hope that this
    report may be published together with his covering letter.

      American Embassy, London,
        June 14, 1915.

The need for publication was obvious in view of the character of the
rumours circulated in this country, but, unfortunately, when published
as a Government White Paper, such a report falls into but few hands,
while newspaper extracts from the White Papers can, in general, scarcely
be described as selected without bias.


    _Mr. Gerard to Mr. Page._

                                             American Embassy,
                                                 Berlin, June 8, 1915.

    Sir,—I have the honour to transmit to you herewith a triplicate
    copy of a report made by Mr. G. W. Minot upon conditions at
    present existing in the British civil internment camp at
    Ruhleben, Spandau. In connection with this I beg to say that the
    devotion to duty and uniform kindness of all the camp
    authorities has been wonderful and the relations of our Embassy
    with them always most agreeable. It is impossible to conceive of
    better camp commanders than Graf Schwerin and Baron Taube.—I
    have, etc.,

                                            JAMES W. GERARD.

The last sentence is noteworthy. Commendation of the Camp Commanders
could not be more emphatic.


    _Mr. Minot to Mr. Gerard._

                                                         June 3, 1915.

    Sir,—I have the honour to submit to you the following report
    upon various improvements which have taken place in the civil
    internment camp for British prisoners at Ruhleben-bei-Spandau
    since the month of November, 1914:

    Of the 4,500 British civil prisoners interned in Germany,
    approximately 4,000 are at this date held at Ruhleben, the
    remaining 500 being scattered in small detachments in various
    other internment camps. The German Government have arranged
    that these detachments shall be absorbed by Ruhleben, so that
    within a few months all the British civil prisoners interned in
    Germany will be in Ruhleben. The difficulty of enlarging the
    facilities of Ruhleben and the necessary precautionary measures
    of quarantining have made the process of combination a long one,
    but there is every reason to believe that it will soon be

    The increase in the number of prisoners at Ruhleben has
    necessitated substantial additions to the barracks, most of
    which were overcrowded at the beginning of the war. Eight new
    barracks of one storey have been erected (four being already
    occupied), affording accommodation for 120 men each. These
    barracks are substantially built of wood, with well-set floors
    and large windows. The roofs have been waterproofed with tarred
    paper, and the walls stained to resist the rain.[22] In the four
    new barracks which are now occupied a small room for the guard
    has been added, but in the new barracks this has been considered
    unnecessary, as it is hoped that the guards in the barracks at
    night may shortly be dispensed with. The last new barracks has
    been built with a special view towards housing convalescent or
    delicate persons. Partitions have been erected so as to cut up
    the barrack into small divisions, and two water-closets have
    been installed. A new washhouse for these barracks has been
    erected, with shower baths and washing troughs.

    The construction of the new barracks, the transfer of some
    hundred persons to Dr. Weiler’s sanatorium, and the release of
    about a hundred persons have made it possible largely to reduce
    the crowded conditions of the “obens,” or lofts, of the old
    barracks. Twenty per cent. of the occupants of these “obens”
    have been removed, and it is estimated that when the new
    barracks are fully occupied another 55 per cent. will be removed
    from the obens, so that only a quarter of the original occupants
    will be left there.

    The most signal improvement which has been effected in the last
    two months has been the permission afforded the prisoners to use
    the ground encircled by the race-track for the hours from 8 a.m.
    to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The space thus gained is
    approximately 200 yards by 150 yards, and affords a splendid
    field for all kinds of games. Materials for the various sports
    have been provided by the camp, including the laying out of a
    football field and a small golf course. This ground has provided
    a chance for every interned prisoner to take part in some form
    of good out-of-door exercise or for those who so desire to move
    out their chairs to the field to watch the games. Permission to
    use the grandstands from 8 a.m. to 8-30 p.m. has further been
    obtained. As the stands are of modern brick and cement
    construction, a large enclosed hall is formed underneath the
    tiers of seats. In this hall a stage has been erected and a
    complete theatre installed with scenery, dressing-rooms,
    orchestra, etc. Performances, varying from Shakespeare to
    musical shows, are given practically every night. The betting
    boxes have been boarded up to afford small rooms for study,
    musical practice, etc. In other parts of this building space has
    been allotted for a carpenter’s shop, a tailor’s shop, barber
    and cobbler’s shop. The grandstand tiers have been turned over
    to the educational department for schools and lectures, which
    are systematically conducted. Black-boards and other materials
    have been provided for the department.

A favourable account of Dr. Weiler’s sanatorium follows. About this
sanatorium individual expressions of opinion have varied.

Mr. Minot’s report next gives a list of improvements effected at
Ruhleben, under such headings as _Laundry_, _Whitewashing_, _Beds_,
_Dentist_, _Business Post_, etc. The report then proceeds:

    It can be seen from the above that very considerable
    improvements have been effected at Ruhleben. Graf Schwerin,
    Baron Taube, and the other camp authorities have done everything
    in their power to bring about these improvements, and have been
    materially helped throughout by the camp captains.

    The effect produced has been a general improvement in the
    physical and moral condition of the camp. In general the health
    of the prisoners can be said to be excellent, practically no
    cases of contagious or infectious diseases, barring a mild
    epidemic of German measles, having occurred. The improvement in
    the food and the increased possibilities of the purchase of
    additional nourishment from the outside, have nearly silenced
    all complaints.

    The work is still constantly progressing, and it is fair to
    state that the conditions are steadily, if slowly, improving.

    I am submitting to you, herewith, a plan of Ruhleben, upon which
    are marked the various buildings and locations mentioned in this
    report. I have further included a selection of programmes of the
    various entertainments, sports, etc., which have taken place in
    the camp.—I have, etc.,

                                                G. W. MINOT.

The following two extracts are also of some significance. The first is
from the _Times_, the second is from the _Daily Telegraph_ of June 18,
1915. The suspension of correspondence was due to some demonstration on
the part of the prisoners.

    Sir,—It may perhaps interest some of those who are feeling
    anxious about the treatment of their relatives at Ruhleben to
    hear that we have direct evidence of kindly action and
    consideration for the prisoners on the part of the German
    authorities at a date later than that at which the regular
    postal communication was suspended.—I am faithfully yours,

                                     A PARENT OF A PRISONER.

    February 17.

    We received the following from the Press Bureau last night:

    “A statement recently appeared in a letter to an organ of the
    Press to the effect that it was inadvisable to send parcels to
    civilian prisoners interned at Ruhleben in view of the heavy
    charges made on delivery.

    “Information has now been received from the United States
    Ambassador at Berlin that no such charges have been made for the
    delivery of parcels at Ruhleben, but for a short time certain
    prisoners who had been temporarily released and sent to a
    sanatorium were charged duty on parcels sent to them there. This
    matter was, however, satisfactorily adjusted in a very short
    time, and duty is no longer charged on parcels to such

In the early autumn of 1915 civilian self-government was fully
established at Ruhleben. Writing on October 16, Mr. Page remarks: “The
administration of the camp to-day is entirely in the hands of the
prisoners themselves. There are no guards in the barracks, and all
internal arrangements, including discipline, are in the hands of the
camp and barrack captains.” [Miscel. No. 3 (1916), p. 4.]


White Paper Miscel. No. 3 (1916) is in many ways rather important to the
student of internment. It affords some evidence of the kind of mental
friction developing in all internment camps, and it makes clear that
prisoners’ statements often need to be subjected to impartial outside
investigation. There is not space, however, to enter fully into details
here. The paper opens with a report on Ruhleben camp “compiled by a
British subject recently released,” and forwarded by Sir Edward Grey to
Mr. Gerard through Mr. Page. It is complained that the distance from the
new barracks to the wash-houses is “in some cases over 200 yards.” Mr.
Page points out by reference to a scale map that “in every case the
wash-houses are nearer than 60 yards from the barracks, and not at a
distance of 200 yards, as stated. The barracks which are not diagrammed
on this map have their own washing appliances.” Mr. Page writes further:
“The open space beneath the central tribune has not been, as stated in
the report transmitted by the British Foreign Office, used for every
conceivable purpose, but has been enclosed entirely for recreation
purposes, religious services, lectures, debates, etc.... I cannot see
how the introduction of [the] cinema show has in the least affected the
comfort of the hall.” “With regard to whitewashing, this was done in all
of the barracks at the expense of the camp fund, and not, as stated, at
the cost of those interned at the barracks. Extra whitewashing, borders,
etc., were naturally paid for at the private expense. No measures were
taken for exterminating mosquitoes for the reason that it has been found
impossible to procure petroleum in Germany for the purpose.” Three
internees who tried to escape were in consequence imprisoned, and are
stated in the report transmitted by the British Foreign Office to be
starving. Mr. Gerard writes: “I visited Messrs. Ettlinger, Ellison and
Kirkpatrick at the Stadtvogtei-Gefängnis about three weeks ago, and
heard from them that they had no complaint to make about the food. They
are now allowed to receive parcels and money from the outside, and are
no longer in solitary confinement. The limitation of exercise to half
an hour seems regrettable, but owing to their attempt to escape, I fear
that it will be impossible to obtain a change until their sentence

The report forwarded to Mr. Gerard says:

    It would be of material benefit to the interned if a
    representative of the United States Embassy could call at the
    Camp fortnightly, and receive complaints direct from prisoners,
    without the inevitable presence of the captains [i.e., the
    internees’ own captains] in the room.

Mr. Gerard replies:

    A representative of this Embassy has visited the camp at
    Ruhleben (with the exception of the time when the camp was first
    formed) certainly on an average of more than once a fortnight,
    and it has been possible for any prisoners to speak to him
    without the presence of the captains. For the past few months
    the camp has been visited once a week if not more often. In
    addition to this Mr. Powell, sometimes accompanied by other
    captains of the camp, has visited this Embassy regularly once a
    week for consultation with me.

“I wish again to reiterate,” says Mr. Page, “that Count Schwerin, Baron
Taube and the other officers in charge of the camp, are all kindly and
considerate gentlemen, who do everything within their power to help the

But the real quarrel was not with Count Schwerin or Baron Taube (of whom
all seem to speak well), but with the English captains and their
management. The financial statements and the distributions effected by
the captains are adversely criticised by the released British subject.
He adds, somewhat acidly:

    It would be a kindness to the captains and to the camp if the
    Government could convey to them a message informing them that
    they are public men holding important and responsible positions,
    and that public men must allow criticism and seek to profit by

Here we get to the root of the matter. The original “Camp Committee”
was (to quote Mr. Gerard’s words) “disbanded by the order of the
military authorities in February last (1915), because of its refusal to
co-operate with the captains and its insistence upon publishing notices
and minutes of its meetings after it had been forbidden to do so.”[23]
This “Camp Committee” continued to object to the financial arrangement
and the general administration of Mr. Powell and the other captains, and
pressed their objections upon the Ambassador on August 23, 1915. “I
thereupon suggested that perhaps the best way would be to refer the
matter to a general election. To this the ‘Camp Committee’ demurred, and
upon my asking what suggestion they had to proffer appeared to consider
that they, a self-constituted body, should be given charge of the camp
by me. This proposition I naturally rejected, especially as the members
of this self-appointed committee were, although very estimable
gentlemen, _personæ non gratæ_ both to the majority of the prisoners and
to the military authorities.... A final decision of the question as to
whether the present government of Ruhleben is representative or not is
to be found in the election of September 15, 1915, when every one of the
captains at that time in authority was re-elected. The occasion was
caused by the decision of the military authorities to withdraw the
soldiers from the camp, and the captains therefore considered it
desirable that they should appeal to the camp for decision as to whether
it was wished that they should continue the government or not. I cannot
see that any further proof is required as to whether the captains
represent the feelings of the majority of the camp.”

One cannot help asking oneself, was the critic a member of the
disbanded “Camp Committee”? The United States Ambassador on more than
one occasion proved himself capable of speaking very decidedly to the
German authorities of things he disapproved of. In this case, too, he
speaks (though not to the German authorities) with some decision:

    A properly heated and lighted recreation and assembling room is
    certainly extremely desirable for the damp and cold winter time.
    A new barrack has been sanctioned by the military authorities
    for the purpose, and I will do my best to press the work. I
    might venture to suggest that if so many private individuals had
    not occupied necessary space by election of private clubs the
    military authorities would be more willing to grant permission
    for the erection of further buildings intended for public good.
    Further, if the very men, such as the “camp committee” (who are
    all members of the “summer house” club), had devoted some of the
    energies which they expended upon the erection of the club for
    their own private use to the construction of a public
    sitting-room, the building might already be in use.

    The British tax-payer is paying a large sum in wages because the
    Ruhleben prisoners are unwilling to do the fatigue work of the
    camp. The captured British soldiers who have been fighting in
    the trenches are compelled to do work in work camps, are often
    not properly clothed, do not receive an allowance from the
    British tax-payer of 5M. a week, cannot buy food at less than
    cost price, nor go to a sanatorium (at the expense of the
    British tax-payer) when sick; have not the benefit of expert
    dental and optical treatment, have no public libraries,
    lectures, schools, debates, or camp newspapers, have not seven
    tennis courts, three football fields, athletic games, cricket,
    golf and hockey, are not amused by dramas, comic operas and
    cinema shows, and above all are not paid extra wages for doing
    their own work to make themselves comfortable. All of these
    advantages and more which the Ruhleben prisoners enjoy have been
    largely the result of the effort of the camp administration
    which this commentator criticises.

These rather strong words of Mr. Gerard’s display a not unnatural
irritation against a critic whose facts prove unreliable and whose
mental attitude suggests a somewhat querulous bias, but it is only fair
to remind ourselves that after long internment all suffer from nerve
strain and many suffer very severely. Under these circumstances complete
reasonableness is probably more than any of us would be capable of.


At Ruhleben there are (with the exception of some negroes) English only.
The English receive many packages. The German authorities have been
tempted to rely on those packages increasingly. That is the state of
things revealed in Dr. A. E. Taylor’s report of June 14, 1916. [Miscel.
No. 21 (1916).]

    A review of the present ration of the prisoners of war indicates
    that it is the aim of the ‘Kriegsernährungsamt’ to supply a
    ration which shall be physiologically adequate, though
    professedly containing little more than enough to cover minimal
    requirements; and it is believed that the official prisoners’
    ration contains as much as the daily food of many millions of
    German subjects. There is no question that the official prison
    ration is an adequate ration from the standpoint of animal
    nutrition. In addition to this allotted camp ration the
    prisoners possess the food sent in from abroad as addenda.

    In the case of the Russian prisoners, these extra food stuffs
    sent in from abroad are small in amount; in the case of the
    French, moderate; in the case of the English, large. In all the
    prison camps that I have visited it is the practice to prepare
    food for the number of men in the camp, irrespective of
    nationality, in accordance with the menu of Professor Backhaus.
    As a rule, the British prisoners take little or none of the
    food, and their share is eaten by prisoners of other
    nationalities. In Ruhleben the state of affairs at present
    existing has convinced the interned civilians that the situation
    is, so to speak, reversed: that the German authorities seem to
    regard the foodstuffs sent in from abroad as the regular diet of
    the interned men, and the camp allotments as the addenda.

It is not surprising that “the interned men are deeply dissatisfied with
the present state of affairs.” The German authorities, finding that at
least half the total number of the interned at Ruhleben subsist largely
upon private packages, have made a “sharp reduction in the amount of
foodstuff allotted to the camp.” I have no wish to defend this
proceeding, but it must be allowed that to the Government of a blockaded
country there is a great temptation to cut down supplies when this will
not be a danger to the prisoners themselves.

Both reports of Dr. Taylor [Miscel. No. 18 (1916) and Miscel. No. 21
(1916)] are important studies of the question of nutrition, and his
short discussion (No. 18, p. 4) of the psychological aspects of
monotonous diet and the nutritional effects of internment is worth
careful attention. “A diet that would be tolerated if the subject were
at liberty may become intolerable under conditions of imprisonment.
There is a large personal equation operative in this direction. The
soldier imbued with a high sense of his value to his country and of the
justice of his cause will endure a monotonous diet that would not be
endurable in the prisoner overwhelmed with disappointment and crushed
with sorrow.” These considerations are obviously of general application.


Mr. Gerard, in a note of June 28, 1916 [Miscel. No. 25 (1916)],
animadverts strongly on the bad accommodation still provided at
Ruhleben. The letter is rather strikingly different in tone from his
other reports on Ruhleben.

    It is intolerable that people of education should be herded six
    together in a horse’s stall, and in some of the lofts the bunks
    touch one another. The light for reading is bad, and reading is
    a necessity if these poor prisoners are to be detained during
    another winter. In the haylofts above the stables the conditions
    are even worse.[24]

Bishop Bury’s account (“My Visit to Ruhleben,” p. 30) reads:

    I don’t know whether it was our internment at Newbury,[25] the
    race-course for Reading, or our using race-courses, such as
    Kempton Park, for the training of our own men, which caused
    Ruhleben to be chosen in November, 1914, as a suitable place for
    civilians’ internment.... Without any description of mine it may
    be easily understood what they had to suffer until proper
    arrangements were made.... The loose boxes are now properly
    fitted with bunks, some being larger than others. The large
    corridor, with its stone floor, gives air and space, the lofts
    particularly being extremely well adapted now for their present
    purpose. I prefer the lofts to the boxes, because they have
    corridors out of which one can look, whereas the windows in the
    boxes are usually far above the ground. I went to tea more
    frequently in the boxes, and on one occasion we sat down sixteen
    in number—rather a crowd—but we were quite comfortable.

Bishop Bury has seen something on both sides, and his impressions are
for that reason all the more important. We must not forget, too, that he
lived a week with the prisoners at Ruhleben. It is also only fair to
remember that no one has been invited to spend a week in any camp on
this side. Bishop Bury also tells us “that when, a little time ago, the
authorities proposed to relieve the overcrowding and construct another
camp at Havilburg which could accommodate 600 men, the men at once
petitioned that this idea might not be carried out, as they preferred,
after this length of time to stay where they are.” (l.c., p. 40.)

One caution must, however, be given to the readers of Bishop Bury’s
book. The conditions of the camp during the excitement and interest of
his visit could not be the normal conditions. The frightful monotony of
the long confinement does not obtrude itself in his book. Yet there is
no doubt, I fear, that internment everywhere (at Ruhleben, as elsewhere)
is becoming “intolerable.” To live, as at Alexandra Palace, day and
night, for _years_ in a great hall with more than a thousand others must
become almost destructive to any sensitive nature. But (to quote Dr.
Siegmund Schulze once more) “We ought not to conclude from this that we
are justified in making reproaches.... in respect of the treatment of
prisoners, but rather conclude that we should work energetically towards
the termination of the war.”

Dr. Cimino, very, and very naturally, anti-German as he is, writes:

    The only real suffering we experienced at Ruhleben was from the
    cold.... The fact is that he (Count Schwerin) was as
    kind-hearted an old soldier as ever fondled an English wife, and
    loved his English prisoners.... He used to take part in our
    daily life as much as possible.... As to the concerts, he was
    always present, _et pour cause_; he was passionately fond of
    music.... at the end of the concert he would make his little
    speech, and we filed out. But one night we gave him a rousing
    cheer, and the whole crowd struck up, “For he’s a jolly good
    fellow.” (“Behind the Prison Bars in Germany,” p. 95).[26]

As to the food question, we must not forget that the blockade against
Germany and the pressure upon neutrals have been continually increased
in stringency. Up to October, 1915, Mr. Gerard could write as follows of

    The food material is excellent and the cooking, as I have
    stated, is attended to by the prisoners themselves, those doing
    the cooking receiving payment from the British fund, with the
    exception of 150M. weekly allowed for cooks’ wages by the German
    authorities. The prisoners are given, if they choose, a
    bread-card, and are allowed to purchase extra bread—the
    Kriegsbrod, which we all use in Germany and which is quite
    palatable—at the price of 55 pfennige a loaf. Food also, as I
    have stated, can be purchased in the canteen at prices very much
    less than food can be purchased in Berlin, and at very much less
    than cost.—[Miscel, No. 3 (1916)].

The low price at the canteen, was, however, I take it, owing to the
existence of the camp fund contributed to by the British Government.

Lord Newton spoke in the House of Lords on February 22, 1917, on the
question of prisoners of war. The following extract is from the _Daily
Telegraph_ report:

    There was nothing to be gained by exaggerating the conditions of
    prisoners in Germany or elsewhere. There was neither sense nor
    truth in representing, as was constantly done, that Ruhleben was
    a sort of unspeakable hell upon earth, and that a British
    internment camp was a kind of paradise compared with it. He
    deplored the hardship that these men underwent, but it was a
    great mistake to suppose that these civilians at Ruhleben were
    undergoing greater hardships than those being endured by our
    military prisoners. Like anyone who ventured to state the facts,
    he would no doubt be accused of being a pro-German, but
    certainly the conditions at Ruhleben had greatly improved
    recently. These conditions had improved, not on account of any
    action on the part of the German Government, but rather on
    account of their inaction. They had permitted the British there
    to organise on their own lines and make the conditions
    tolerable. Anyone could satisfy himself as to the conditions,
    because there were men who had arrived here recently who could
    give the fullest information. In addition, they were able to
    form their own opinions to a certain extent from independent
    testimony, for example, the visit of Bishop Bury. He could not
    understand why this prelate had been subjected to so much attack
    on the part of certain persons in this country. He went to
    Germany by permission of the German Government. He went to
    Ruhleben, lived in the camp, and was able to see what the
    conditions were. He reported exactly what he saw, and was
    thereupon denounced as not only being an inaccurate person but
    obviously pro-German.


The following private testimony is also of interest: “A nephew of mine
who is interned at Ruhleben has been let out for a fortnight’s visit to
some people whose son is interned in England, and who has been
befriended here. My nephew met with the most overwhelming kindness, and
his letters are most interesting and touching.” The “reprisals of good,”
which we shall consider more fully presently, are, after all, the most
practical measures in the world. There have been several other absences
on leave, and a good many men have been released permanently. Moreover,
at Christmas, 1916, most of the British officials in the camp were given
three days leave in Berlin.


We may well be proud of the organising capacity of the British prisoners
at Ruhleben and of the resolute determination of so many to make the
very most of every slender opportunity, and to turn difficulties into a
stimulus for ingenuity. The following is from the _Manchester Guardian_,
February 23, 1916:

    A letter from Mr. Walter Butterworth, dated January 22, and
    written from his internment quarters at Ruhleben, Germany, has
    been received by the Chairman of the Manchester Art Gallery, Mr.
    F. Todd. After a reference to newly added pictures in the
    Manchester Gallery and to the death of his friend, Mr. Roger
    Oldham, Mr. Butterworth continues: “You will perhaps like to
    hear a little about art matters in Ruhleben. We really have some
    activity in arts and crafts. A great crowd of musicians are
    here, including some composers and many excellently equipped
    executants. We have actors in plenty, not without a sprinkling
    of professionals. Professors, journalists, and lecturers are our
    nearest approximation to workers in the literary field. There is
    no stint of craftsmen, who produce very clever work in wood,
    metals, etc. With provision tins they make the most astonishing
    things, including tackle for our physics and chemical
    departments, for weighing, testing, measuring, etc. With only
    tins and wire a man made an amazing electrical clock, which has
    kept faultless time for over a year. Other men made a handloom
    for demonstration purposes, which wove cloth before our eyes at
    a meeting of Yorkshiremen, at which I presided.

    Turning to the fine arts of painting and sculpture, I did not
    know we had any sculptors until this month, except one clever
    young artist who models heads in clay. But this month we have
    had a great deal of snow, and two men who have hitherto been
    resting came forward, and, like Michael Angelo on a famous
    occasion began to model in snow. But our designers and painters
    are the most numerous and active (after the musicians). They
    have a shed, in which art exhibitions are held periodically.
    Many portraits are drawn and a few painted. One artist is just
    completing a portrait of me in pastels. There is an endless
    outpouring of theatre posters, caricatures, humorous drawings,
    skits on the camp, etc.”

Six students at Ruhleben passed the London University Matriculation
examination in December, 1916. One of them took the Edinburgh papers as
well later on. (_Observer_, August 26, 1917.) These are remarkable
cases, for the strain of prolonged internment seems most of all to
affect the power of concentrated attention.

The case of another successful student is recorded in the _Daily News_
of June 2, 1918:

    The distinction—probably unique—of graduating for the degree
    of Doctor of Music of Oxford University while a prisoner in
    enemy hands has been achieved by Mr. Ernest Macmillan, a young
    man with Edinburgh connections. Mr. Macmillan, who is the son of
    a clergyman in Toronto, was studying music in Germany when the
    war broke out, and since then he has been interned as a civil
    prisoner at Ruhleben. His answer to examination papers and his
    “exercise” (or composition) were sent from Ruhleben to Oxford.

That such things are possible at Ruhleben is a great tribute to English
spirit and endurance. We must also not forget that they would clearly be
wholly impossible if the Germans were actually barbarians.


When Bishop Bury during his visit in November, 1915, asked what he might
be allowed to say at Ruhleben, General Friedrich replied: “Please do all
you can to hearten and cheer up your fellow countrymen. Appeal to their
patriotism, speak to their manhood. You and they will have no one
between you. There will be no official of the camp; no one to listen to
you, no one to come between yourself and them. We trust you entirely
with them, and you will understand, I am sure, that we do not wish to
diminish anyone’s sense of nationality who is imprisoned or interned in
Germany.” (“My Visit to Ruhleben,” p. 21.) The words, says Bishop Bury,
“seemed to come straight from the heart of the speaker.” Some readers
will be sceptical; but at least _the words were acted on_. The Bishop
spoke about the armies and the war to the men, and told them of his own
experiences in the war area, “just as I should have told them to my own
countrymen in this country.” At his last address the British flag was
run in on a cord and “God Save the King” was sung. The Bishop had no
time to propose the omission of the second verse, but one is proud to
know that those Englishmen, even amidst their excitement, spontaneously
omitted it. The whole scene revealed what was finest on both sides.
Bishop Bury told the German Staff that at the meeting “we all sang ‘Send
him victorious.’ They smiled indulgently.”


A good many more things of a favourable character could be said.
Unfortunately men who speak well of their German captors are accused of
pro-Germanism, and they dare not speak. This is a rather terrible fact,
but it is a fact. As one man said to me: “I have my living to get, and
if my identity could be traced through any account I gave I should be
ruined. My work has already been very materially affected, but in
private conversation I shall continue to speak the truth, come what
may.” War prejudice indeed desires one kind of story only, and
victimises those who give it what it does not want. And so all along the
line suppression begets suppression of the truths most needed to heal
our ills. A woman teacher writes to me: “I think I have a fairly open
mind myself to recognise good deeds of the enemy; but to tell such to my
pupils is another matter, and I fear would be very impolitic seeing that
I depend on my school for my daily bread.” And again the Editor of a
provincial paper writes: “... but when one has to rely on the public
for one’s living one has to think twice before expressing one’s views.”


Mr. Desmond wrote of the coming of the Revolution at Dülmen (vide p.
61), Mr. Sylvester Leon has told us something of the last days at
Ruhleben (_Herald_, January 4, 1919). “The soldiers are with you,” said
Mr. Powell to the interned men. “For with the triumph of the Revolution,
that friendliness which had existed in the days of the old régime
between the interned and many an individual German soldier now became
general among the military of Ruhleben; the officers had flitted, or had
capitulated to the new order of things with more or less grace; Councils
of soldiers and workmen ruled in the towns of the Fatherland; the era of
Social Democracy was dawning upon Central Europe.... It is but fair to
admit that the Ruhleben Guard acted very loyally in the performance of
their duty. For when they were given the option of returning to their
homes they did not avail themselves of that opportunity, but volunteered
to remain at their posts until the disbandment of the camp. It is of
historic interest to note that the red flag—the symbol of the triumph
of the Revolution—which flew from the flag-pole in the camp, had
formerly done service in the cubicle of one of the interned. It was dyed
red by another of the interned, a doctor of science and a member of our
little camp school, and then given to the soldiers.... The first
impression gained on a visit outside the camp was the terrible
seriousness of the food question. No one who has once seen can ever
forget the sight of the crowds of hungry women and school children
standing outside the gates of Ruhleben, literally besieging the interned
as they passed out.” For it was only the interned who had food to spare.
The Ruhlebenites gave, they had the facts before them. And “the people
of Spandau turned out in force to wish us ‘Godspeed’ on our departure
for home; and the send-off they gave us was astonishing in its
enthusiasm, arresting in its spontaneity, and touching in its obvious


At Havelberg the camp for civilians had a population of 4,500. Of these
only 372 were British subjects, being men from British India. Mr. Dresel
writes on September 17, 1916: “This camp produces an excellent
impression, the arrangements being unusually hygienic and modern.”
[Miscel. No. 7 (1917), p. 6.]


Yet, however excellent the impression may be, an internment camp is a
miserable place.[27] It is, of course, especially miserable for those
whose nature is at all sensitive, and it is surely such men whom we
shall need everywhere if we are to make a less brutal world. Man after
man has gone into internment seeking to employ himself and to make the
best of it. For months, for a year, less often for nearly two years he
has succeeded. But slowly success has dwindled and turned into failure.
The monotony, the sense of oppression, the physical and mental
discomfort, the deadly uselessness of the life—even where to these
things is not added concern for those outside—have made him incapable
of fixed attention, incapable of effort, incapable of rest, alternately
nervous and torpid, fearful, despairing. The “barbed wire disease” has
him in its grip at last. “Another winter interned here,” wrote such a
one, “and I shall need a padded cell.” He had a fine nature and had
struggled hard. But “the people outside do not understand.” Certainly,
there are those who can hold out to the end. I admire and envy them. I
do not think any of us could predict with certainty that we should not
give way.

There is only one remedy short of stopping the war, and that is the
release of all civilians. Those who wish to remain, either in Germany or
here, should certainly be allowed to do so, and if the police have no
case against them, and if they can support themselves, they should be
set free. Others should be repatriated or sent to neutral countries. The
imprisonment of civilians is against the usage of war, and it is this
fact which gave force to the claim of the German Government that there
should be complete release on both sides.

I append extracts from a Swiss appeal to the belligerents on behalf of
the civilian prisoners. It was issued in August, 1917, and has already
appeared in _Common Sense_.

    A civilian is not a prisoner of war.

    We gladly acknowledge that the belligerent powers have
    effectively lessened the sufferings of the prisoners of war with
    an intelligent understanding of their duty; the military
    authorities have listened favourably to the proposals of the Red
    Cross, and already the soldiers have been spared many
    unnecessary sufferings. Humane measures have softened the
    captivity of military prisoners.

    In the name of Justice we now address this urgent appeal to the
    authorities in the belligerent countries to adopt the same
    attitude towards civilian prisoners.

    We have in mind all civil prisoners, for these, almost without
    exception, are innocent victims of the war; both those who since
    the beginning of the war have been interned, and those others in
    the occupied territories who have been isolated, oppressed or
    imprisoned, many of them in poor health, women, children, old
    men, who are not allowed to join their families in a neutral
    land. Our deep compassion and brotherly sympathy are especially
    moved on behalf of non-combatants who have been carried away
    like herds.

    We pray all belligerents without distinction to hearken to our
    appeal; with dread we watch the approach of another war-winter,
    bearing, as it must, a fresh succession of distresses,
    deprivations and reprisals. Therefore we cannot keep silence....
    Numbers of civilian prisoners have been suffering since the
    beginning of the war from the depressing conditions of the
    concentration camps.... The civilian took no part in the war,
    and in most cases did not even desire it. He should not
    therefore be treated as a prisoner of war.

    Belligerent States! We call upon you to exchange all your
    civilians now interned.... This exchange must naturally be
    effected under certain conditions to be established. Each State
    must bind itself not to employ the liberated civilians for
    war-work; just as was arranged in the case of military prisoners
    who have been repatriated or sent to neutral countries. With
    these conditions, no belligerent should refuse to liberate the
    civilians so unjustly imprisoned.

    Honour will be theirs who act upon this appeal....

The signatories to this appeal are G. Wagnière (Editor of the _Journal
de Genève_), Dr. A. Forel (Professor at Zurich University), Ed. Secrétan
(National Councillor), Benjamin Vallotton, Charles Baudouin (Professor
at the Institut J. J. Rousseau), Ch. Bernard, P. Seidel (Professor at
the Cantonal Technical College, Zürich), A. de Morsier, Ph. Dunant
(Lawyer of Geneva), Paul Moriand (Professor of Medicine at Geneva), and
MM. Blonde and Arcos.

The Swiss Red Cross has also appealed for the release of all interned

From this side the following private appeal on behalf of all prisoners
has been addressed to the Red Cross at Cologne:

    I feel it incumbent upon me ... to draw your attention to the
    acute disappointment that is being caused among the prisoners in
    all the camps, and almost equally among their friends outside,
    by the delay in repatriation. Every phase in the long series of
    public discussions and official negotiations, every hitch, and
    every hesitation, has been followed with painful anxiety by
    those of us who know what it means for all these thousands of
    victims languishing in confinement, and you may be sure, with
    much more intensely painful anxiety by the victims themselves,
    whose ears are pathetically strained to catch the feeblest echo
    of any rumour from the outside world that brings them the
    slightest hint of release. For months these poor fellows had
    been continually alternating between hope and despair, when the
    news of the Hague meeting seemed for large numbers to bring them
    definitely, at long last, within measurable distance of the
    reality. Knowing therefore as you do, equally well with us, the
    mental condition of these men, and the terribly demoralising
    effect of long internment, even under the best conditions, you
    will realise the deep depression into which they are now being
    plunged by all the inexplicable delays in carrying out the terms
    of the convention. From every one who comes in contact with them
    I gather the same impression, that unless the Gordian knot is
    cut and a way is quickly found out of the present impasse, the
    most serious results are to be apprehended, as numbers of
    prisoners here—and the case can be no better in other
    countries—are on the verge of insanity....[28]

    I would put it therefore to you in all earnestness that it is
    your duty, as representing humanity, to bring without delay all
    the pressure and all the influence you possess to bear upon the
    authorities to consider the sufferings of the prisoners and
    induce them, if possible, even at the cost of some concessions,
    to facilitate from their side the carrying through of this
    scheme, in which I can assure you not merely the happiness but
    even the life of many men is involved.

    I speak, of course, quite unofficially, and with no other motive
    than pure philanthropy, but I may venture to hope that my
    representations, though only those of a private individual, will
    carry more than ordinary weight, inasmuch as there is perhaps
    nobody whose information and experience in these matters are
    more real and vital, or entitle him to speak with more

    Nor do I stand alone, for there are many others with whom I have
    worked from the beginning in the same field. All these associate
    themselves with me in this appeal, and, like myself, with no
    other motive than that of simple humanity. If the time, the
    energy, and the money we have all spent so unstintingly to
    improve the prisoners’ lot give us any title to be heard, we all
    implore you, not only for the sake of the prisoners themselves,
    but in the eternal interests of humanity and justice, to do, and
    to do quickly whatever you can in furtherance of this object. We
    quite understand, of course, that military interests must be
    considered, but it is not always possible for those in high
    places, with whom such decisions rest, to realise as vividly as
    we do all that is at stake in a question of this sort, and that
    is why we feel entitled to assume that your advice would not be
    without effect, and that being the case, we submit it becomes
    your solemn duty to tender it.

The sufferings of this war are indeed vast beyond all comprehension. Is
not there danger that this very fact may lead us to add to that
suffering without need?


In a pathetic appeal to be given work the men at one internment camp
here said, “We are simply rotting away.” And others say, “The people
outside do not understand.” Loss, heartache, privation, stagnation,
friction, stupid and malicious gossip, mental and moral
deterioration—“rotting away.” This disintegration of personality, the
gradual rotting of the man’s selfhood, is perhaps, clearly envisaged, as
great a horror as war can bring. It is not the result of deliberate
cruelty, but simply of conditions most of which are inevitable if there
is to be internment at all.


The reports available on our own internment camps do not go back beyond
March, 1916.[29] It is perhaps well to remind ourselves that even by
May, 1916, there were still defects. Thus in the American Report of May
18, 1916, on Knockaloe, we read: “The huts are being put in good
weather-proof condition, and are being protected against the wind and
rain by felt and tarred paper.”[30] As to sanitation, “There have been
improvements in the sanitary arrangements since our last visit.” “In the
hospital in Camp IV. there is now being built a recreation room, where
convalescents may sit, which will give more room for the patients; also
a special sink has been provided for washing the hospital utensils, and
new latrines have been installed. They seem to be at work at this
hospital to improve its condition. As Camp IV. has the largest number of
older men interned, this hospital has more patients than others, and
seemed rather crowded at the time of our visit.” “In the isolation
hospital we found only one bath and one tap for all the patients who are
suffering from various sorts of contagious diseases. We took this matter
up with the proper authorities, who assured us that it should have their
attention. The sanitary arrangements in all the hospitals might be
improved, except possibly in Camp I.” “There were complaints about the
hospital treatment, particularly of the care of the eyes, ears and
teeth, for which the interned men claimed that there was not sufficient
opportunity for special treatment.”

These last complaints are curiously parallel to some made at Ruhleben.
[See Miscel. No. 3 (1916) pp. 3, 15, 16.]

“There was complaint that there were no shelters for the men while
waiting to receive parcels, nor for outside patients visiting the
doctor. This matter was taken up.”

“In Camp III. a complaint was made about the difficulty of personal
intercourse between the representatives of the camp and the Commandant.
This had caused dissatisfaction. The men seemed to have confidence in
the new Commandant, but they told us that they had difficulty in
approaching him. We took this matter up with the proper authorities, and
were informed that they would in future have more opportunity for
personal intercourse.”

The huts for sleeping accommodation “are sectional, being of the regular
War Office pattern, 30 feet by 15 feet, each section holding thirty
men.” This gives us a floor space of 450 square feet for each thirty
men. In that portion of the Ruhleben loft most adversely criticised by
Mr. Gerard the roof slopes from 10 feet at the ridge to a height of
4½ feet only at the sides. The floor space allowed, however, is 10.2
metres by 12.8 metres, giving us about 1,390 square feet for 64 men, or
651 square feet for thirty men. When all allowance is made for the
lowness of the sides in the rather wide loft (it seems to be more than
30 feet wide), this worst accommodation at Ruhleben seems, as regards
space available, not inferior to that at Knockaloe. Further details
would be needed for a complete comparison.

The report on Knockaloe is not enthusiastic, but evidently there had
been many improvements, and still more was hoped for from the new
Commandant. “The new Commandant, who has only been there some ten weeks,
seems to have gained the confidence and respect of the interned men. He
seems to be doing all in his power to better the conditions of the camp.
He finds difficulty in getting material, such as tarred paper or felt,
etc., for use on the huts. He told us that he had the matter in hand,
and was giving betterment of the conditions at the camp every
attention.... The whole tone of the camp is much better than it was at
the time of the last visit. (See report of January 8, 1916.) There were
fewer complaints, and the prisoners seemed much more contented.”


It is unfortunate that we cannot “see” the earlier report to which we
are directed. But it is good to know that the new Commandant, Col. F. N.
Panzera, proved to be a Christian gentleman with real sympathy for the
unfortunate men under his charge. Like many other commandants, both here
and in Germany, he did, amidst the various difficulties, what he could.
As he is, alas, now dead, we may perhaps quote the words he addressed to
the men in his care at the Christmas of 1916. It is a strange reflection
that it might have injured his position to quote this fine and simple
message during his life-time. Colonel Panzera wrote:

    I am sorry that the size of the camp prevents my seeing you all,
    which I should do if it were smaller and thus possible. It would
    be a mockery to wish you a “Happy Christmas,” I am afraid, but I
    wish you as happy a one as is possible under the circumstances.
    I most earnestly wish you a happier New Year. May the New Year
    bring Peace and restore you to all dear to you. I hope that
    prosperity and happiness may come to you in the future, and may
    in time obliterate the memory of the present period of sadness.

    I should like to take the opportunity of saying how much I
    appreciate the general good behaviour of the camps during the
    past year. There have been little lapses, as there must always
    be in a mixed community of 25,000 people, but on the whole the
    conduct has been extremely good, which has been a great help to
    those placed over you. Once more I wish you as good a Christmas
    as possible and a better New Year.


The food question also becomes increasingly serious in the camps, as it
does in prisons. I confess I feel we ought to ration ourselves very
strictly before we cut down the supplies of our prisoners, criminal or
otherwise. “The reduced diet,” wrote Fenner Brockway of his prison
experiences, “is one of semi-starvation, and every prisoner is becoming
thin and physically weak.” (_Labour Leader_, September 6. 1917.) Those
who care to inquire of the wives of interned men will learn their side
of the case as regards the effect of changed conditions in the camps.
The sad feature is that the increasing rigour comes upon men already
weakened, both physically and mentally, by long confinement. The
original published statement of Sir Edward (now Viscount) Grey [Misc. 7
(1915), p. 23] no longer obtains. The food is, of course, very
different, and may not be supplemented.


I have not cared to quote adverse “unofficial information and rumours,”
either as regards our own or other detention camps. What some adverse
critics say about our own may be read in the _Woman’s Dreadnought_, Vol
III., p. 551. The rather terrible appeal of the Captains at Knockaloe is
also printed on p. 561. It is a letter which is unwise and hysterical. I
do not wonder at its hysteria, and I confess that some things in the
letter hit me rather hard. But, alas, the desperation of the interned
men on either side does not help towards wise judgment, and for that
desperation we are all, in every country, in some measure responsible.
It is best to remember instead the real sympathy that those actually in
touch with prisoners do often feel. Colonel Panzera’s message is clear
evidence of this, and from a private letter I take the following:

    The attitude of prejudice or even hatred towards enemies,
    whether prisoners or not, often disappears when men are brought
    face to face in the work of an internment camp, for example, and
    find that they are very much like each other. An officer of a
    certain camp here was taken prisoner and interned for six months
    in Germany before he escaped. He says that two or three times
    the officers of the camp were changed, and in each case began
    with harsh treatment, either the result of official suggestion
    or of the general feeling. In each case, after the lapse of a
    short time, close acquaintance modified this attitude, and
    finally kindly relations and treatment resulted. In the same way
    the nurses in a certain hospital here refused to receive or
    treat German prisoners until a company of the wounded men
    arrived, when the feeling of natural humanity proved too strong,
    and they were quite eager to attend to them. At the internment
    camps in this country the officers generally speak of the men
    under their charge with humanity and respect.

The following is significant. “In the town near a certain internment
camp of ours much indignation was roused by the story that some of the
interned aliens had set in motion some railway trucks on a sloping
siding, with the intention of allowing them to crash into an arriving
passenger train at the bottom. An English friend of mine happened to
observe the real origin of the story. The trucks _began to move in an
accidental way, and two or three of the aliens nearly lost their own
lives, certainly risked serious accident, in endeavouring to stop the
trucks when they were already moving_.”

Thus in the quiet neighbourhood of an internment camp a brave deed
becomes by popular passion transformed into something monstrous. What
would this popular imagination do in an invaded district? Its vagaries
must be experienced and studied by any investigator of the atrocities of

Another example of heroism amongst German prisoners I take from the
_Daily News_ of April 30, 1918. A small boat in which two men were
sailing capsized about 200 yards out from the Leasowe Embankment,
Cheshire. The men, clinging to the bottom of the boat, were being driven
out by the tide when two members of an escort of German prisoners,
Sergeant Phillips and Private Matthews, jumped into the water and with
difficulty brought one man back. One of the German prisoners, named
Bunte, volunteered to go to the rescue of the other man, who was by then
in great danger. The German swam out strongly and brought the man back.


I fear that on both sides it is embittered men who will be released from
the civilian internment camps. People do not realise how financial ruin,
harassment, illness and death (to which the harassment may have
contributed) follow in the track of internment. A man is interned, his
wife and family are reduced to a mere pittance, the woman is, it may be,
delicate. She falls ill and dies.[31] And amid such incidents and the
mental strain of the confinement a brooding hatred gradually settles
down upon the souls of these sufferers. Personally, I do not feel one
can expect much favourable memory of the authorities on either side.
Certainly every one who has worked for prisoners is touched by their
gratitude, but the iron has entered into their souls for all that. And
perhaps it is well to remind ourselves that a far larger number of
civilians have been suffering in the internment camps on this side. Let
us not add to their bitterness by unworthy abuse or credulous malice.
Men who, after long confinement for no offence of their own, have tried
to save enemy lives, and find their efforts described as an attempt at
murder, must begin to feel hopeless of justice. Excess of generosity
would be far wiser. The world wants no more missioners of hate. Let us
try to avoiding creating such.

In our own internment camps there was often, even early in the war, an
atmosphere of depression which one worker said “haunted him for days.”
The following extract is from the letter of an interned man who showed
quite remarkable courage and fought with considerable success against
depression till the end of 1917. “I refuse to give way to depression,”
he wrote. But in 1918 the strain of useless monotony had become too
great, he became physically ill, and how low hope had fallen the letter
itself shows: “You can’t think how good it is to hear you speak with so
much sympathy. I feel sure you understand the dreariness of this life,
the long and fruitless waiting, the nights of anguish—and all the
misery of it, the terrible discontent and the passionate heart
longings.... You don’t know how sore it is sometimes about my heart....”

Methods that seem to many of us avoidable contribute also to increase
ill-feeling. I take the following from the _Daily News_ of September,
27, 1918:

    Among others, I had my Christmas dinner last year with a German.
    At least, his name is German and he was born in Germany. He is
    less interested, personally, in those facts than in these, viz.,
    that he is an international Socialist and a first class
    electrical engineer. For four years he has done extremely
    responsible work for a large engineering firm with important
    contracts from the M. of M. For four years he has had his
    liberty within the usual five-mile radius; for four years the
    local police have not found the least fault with him.

    Now, thanks to the Northcliffe Intern-them-all-Stunt, he is shut
    up in the Isle of Man, and the country has lost the services of
    a man who was worth more to us than many Northcliffes.

    From a letter which he wrote recently to an English friend I
    have copied the following:

        As a result of the fact that no German paper is permitted
        here in the camp, not even those advocating understanding
        nor those critical of the German Government, and practically
        no English paper hitherto except those abounding in
        Hun-talk, there is still a general feeling here towards
        “England” exactly the opposite of what these restrictions
        are intended to create—a bitterness and a contempt which
        exist side by side with the most violent criticism of the
        governing clique of Germany, and with anti-capitalistic,
        revolutionary sentiment! So I am exerting myself to make
        people realise that, however influential, the Northcliffe
        and Allied Press is not “England,” and that the best German
        papers constantly work for the abatement of hatred and for
        genuine reconciliation and co-operation in a League of

I am sorry to say that I fear acts of kindness and fairness will be
largely forgotten by the majority of prisoners on both sides. An
Englishman writes to me of his treatment in Germany: “Consideration was
extended in even greater measure to others, yet not one has opened his
mouth to record it. It makes one loathe one’s fellow-men.” I quote this
because I am sure that neither side must expect fairness of statement
from men so long exposed to so depressing and often petty a constraint.
After all, when we see the war bias of the man who has not suffered at
all, a calm regard for both sides of the case can scarcely be expected
from those who for wasted years have been too often exposed to hardship,
petty tyranny and a kind of barbed annoyance.


Even in neutral internment camps, though there the initial hostility is
absent, misery and bitterness may become very great. The following
cable from Rotterdam appeared in the _Daily Telegraph_ of June 13, 1918:

    Interned Britishers here are intensely interested in the
    British-German Conference at the Hague, in the hope that it may
    result in their repatriation. This is especially the case at
    Groningen, where the men of the Royal Naval Division, who have
    been interned since October, 1914, are getting desperate. The
    June number of the camp magazine had two blank pages, which the
    editor explains have been censored out because they contained an
    account of the recent “hunger demonstration” and “a moderate
    record of the general feeling of the camp.”

It is in the internment camps everywhere, rather than in the fighting
line, that bitterness sinks into the soul. It will not be remedied by
more bitterness. But if the suffering of these men’s stagnant years
helps to strengthen a universal resolve for peace it will not have been
a useless suffering. And peace means understanding by each of the good
in the other.


    [Footnote 13: Many older men (even those over seventy) were
    subsequently interned.]

    [Footnote 14: There were 35,000 Germans in Paris alone in 1870,
    but though expelled from the Department of the Seine, they were
    not interned.]

    [Footnote 15: This was emphasised by the German authorities.
    See, for instance, Israel Cohen, “The Ruhleben Prison Camp,” pp.

    [Footnote 16: Cf. pp. 216, 218, etc.]

    [Footnote 17: “In this camp, as is usual where civilians are
    detained, the atmosphere is one of depression.”—Mr. Jackson on
    a civilian camp at Senne, Sept. 11, 1915.]

    [Footnote 18: “Overseer” seems to be a translation of the German
    “Obermann,” and represents, I think, the captain of a barrack.]

    [Footnote 19: The second list represents members of the Camp
    Committee (see further p. 99).]

    [Footnote 20: “Barrack” is no doubt meant.]

    [Footnote 21: There are a large number of men interned at
    Ruhleben who are technically British subjects by reason of their
    having been born in British territory of naturalised British
    subjects, but who have spent practically all their lives in

    [Footnote 22: Cf. the report on Knockaloe (May, 1916) on p.

    [Footnote 23: The original barrack captains were chosen, as an
    informant of mine writes, “in a hurry, when things were
    chaotic.” Dissatisfaction was felt with their action, or
    inaction, and a “Camp Committee” was formed of newly elected
    representatives of the different barracks, which was, as it
    were, to supervise the captains (overseers). The arrangement was
    scarcely likely to work, and did not. The election, moreover,
    seems to have been but partial.]

    [Footnote 24: Cf. p. 115.]

    [Footnote 25: One of the difficulties at Newbury was the absence
    of light.]

    [Footnote 26: A very useful account of Ruhleben is given by
    Israel Cohen in “The Ruhleben Prison Camp.” In reading such
    accounts one must always, however, remember that to complete the
    picture we ought to be able to read accounts written by interned
    German civilians of their experiences on this side. Such a
    consideration should be obvious, but in war the obvious and
    reasonable are too often vehemently rejected as “unpatriotic”!]

    [Footnote 27: For the mental difference between the civilian and
    the military prisoner see page 84.]

    [Footnote 28: Compare the letter written by Oscar Levy, M.D.,
    from Mürren, Switzerland, which appeared in the _Manchester
    Guardian_ of Sept. 4, 1916: “That such grave cases exist the
    letters I have been receiving from both sides prove without
    doubt.” That was _two years ago_.]

    [Footnote 29: The earlier reports of the International Red Cross
    covered very little of this ground. (See footnote, p. 9.)]

    [Footnote 30: Compare Report on Ruhleben, June 3, 1915 (p. 94).]

    [Footnote 31: A case is in my mind where a man lost wife and two
    children thus. I shall never forget my task of trying to allay
    his misery and his bitterness.]




The suffering of prisoners has been great enough, God knows, yet if we
are to help the future we must try to see even this, amongst the other
terrible facts, in its proper perspective. The imprisonment of resident
enemy nationals has certainly been a most unfortunate step
backwards—unfortunate even if we regard it as inevitable.[32] Yet we
must recognise that far more solicitude has been shown as to prisoners
than was the case in most earlier wars, and this though prisoners have
never been taken on so large a scale, and though there has probably
never been greater embitterment. It will be useful to cite a few
previous records.


I quote once more from Dr. Spaight’s work, where much information may be
found in a condensed form. “A hundred years ago, England, while she
prayed in her national liturgy for all prisoners and captives, had no
compunction about confining the French prisoners of war in noisome hulks
and feeding them on weevily biscuits, salt junk and jury rum, which
sowed the seed for a plentiful harvest of scurvy, dysentery and typhus.”
(“War Rights on Land,” p. 265.)


Here is a description of the state of things in the Confederate
internment camp at Andersonville during the American Civil War, which,
after all, did not happen so very long ago. “Over 30,000 prisoners were
cooped up in a narrow space; there was no shelter from the sun or cold
but what the men could improvise for themselves; every possible disease
was rampant; the prisoners were largely naked; the dead were pitched
into a ditch and covered with quicklime; the smell of the dreadful
stockade extended for two miles.... The state of affairs was known, or
might have been known, at Richmond, for Colonel Chandler,
inspector-general of the Confederate army, inspected the camp, and
reported upon its administration in no halting terms. ‘It is a place,’
he said, ‘the horrors of which it is difficult to describe—it is a
disgrace to civilisation.’”

Of the prisoners returning from the South, Whitman writes: “The sight is
worse than any sight of battlefield or any collection of wounded, even
the bloodiest. There was (as a sample) one large boat load of several
hundreds—and out of the whole number only three individuals were able
to walk from the boat. Can those be _men_—those little, livid, brown,
ash-streaked, monkey-looking dwarfs?” (_Cambridge Magazine_, August 26,
1916, Supplement “Prisoners,” p. iv.) In spite of such appalling horrors
(worse than the atrocities of rage and fear and drink) the North and
South became reconciled, and with the passing of war bitterness passed
too. The South was hard pressed, supplies often ran out, and there was
indifference at Richmond. And so the military bullies often got the
upper hand, and their appetite for bullying grew with what it fed on.
The North refused all exchanges. “The prisoners at Richmond, Belle-Isle,
and Andersonville were the pawns in a great match, and had to be
sacrificed to the rigour of the game.” (Spaight, _l.c._, p. 270.)


In the Franco-German War of 1870 terrible hardships were endured by
prisoners on both sides. The winter transport to Germany in open trucks
led to scenes of indescribable misery for the French prisoners, who
arrived sometimes “frozen to the boards in their own filth.” German
prisoners at Pau had for six days only bread and water till English and
German ladies took pity on them. Faidherbe’s prisoners had no fire, no
blankets and insufficient food in a cold of sixteen degrees. Things now
are at least better than that.


The Japanese seem to have behaved remarkably well to their Russian
prisoners in the Russo-Japanese War. But even here there was a food
problem. The Japanese food did not suit the Russian soldier, and Sir Ian
Hamilton was told by Russian prisoners going South that they felt hungry
again half an hour after eating their ration of rice. The Japanese have
usually been held up as models for their treatment of prisoners, yet,
for all that, Professor Ariga admits that in Manchuria the prisoners
were _in many cases badly fed, badly housed and insufficiently clothed_.
We know that this involves great misery, suffering and mortality, yet we
are, quite rightly, very far from considering the Japanese as
barbarians. We are ready to consider their difficulties. Were we,
however, fighting Japan, we should not be so ready.


There is plenty of evidence of good treatment of prisoners on both sides
during the Boer War. It is in these days strange to find the German
General Staff historian quoted in defence of the British treatment of
prisoners. They behaved, he wrote, “as perfect gentlemen towards the
prisoners.” “The testimony of a responsible writer of this kind,” says
Dr. Spaight, “is more valuable than the catch-penny stories of British
inhumanity which flooded the Press of Europe at the time of the war.”
“One is surprised to find such a writer as M. Arthur Desjardins lending
his authority to back the uninformed newspaper abuse, and ascribing the
brutality of the British Army (which he presumes) to the fact that ‘a
certain number of its soldiers, accustomed to fighting away from Europe,
have not the least notion of the laws and customs of war obtaining among
civilised nations’.” (Spaight, _l.c._, p. 275.) Dr. Spaight’s comments
on such outbursts is: “There was a popular demand [in Europe] at the
time for denunciation of England, the hotter the better, and the writers
were too good journalists not to suit their output to the popular
taste.” I will not spoil the rather rich humour of these extracts by any
remarks of my own.

Undoubtedly the Boers usually behaved well. Undoubtedly, too, there were
some bad lapses. A Free State commandant was, for instance, convicted of
putting prisoners in the firing line and driving starving prisoners on
foot with a mounted commando. Such things, however, were very far from
being the rule. During the guerilla warfare treatment depended entirely
on the local commandants. The stripping of prisoners before they were
turned adrift was often carried out, “and there is some force in De
Wet’s contention that the seizure was justified by the British practice
of removing or burning all the clothes left in the farms and even taking
the hides out of the tanning tubs and cutting them in pieces.” In some
cases starving, unarmed and practically naked men were abandoned far
from any white settlement. What is and what is not allowable in war
seems so largely a matter of “military necessity” that the layman is
reluctant to comment, for, in the last resort, it is only the
_needlessly_ barbarous that is condemned in war.


On our side, we cannot, I think, contemplate the history of the
concentration camps with equanimity. Let us recall a few of the facts.
The following are amongst the death rates recorded in July, 1901:
Norval’s Pont, 218.4 (per thousand per annum); Bloemfontein, 242.4;
Springfontein, 462.0; Kronstad, 459.6. In June the _average_ death rate
was practically 200 (199.3). In the year ending February, 1902, the
official returns (which are incomplete) show more than 20,000 deaths in
camps with an average total population of about 100,000.[33] Our
accusers said the camps were instituted for the purpose of killing off
the Boer population. The truth is, the feeling against Britain, even
amongst the onlookers, was extremely bitter, and great bitterness does
not make for sane judgment. What is certain is that the camps
illustrated some of the callousness and carelessness which war always
produces. “The sites chosen for the camps were mostly chosen on purely
military grounds, and were often unsuitable; the medical and sanitary
staff was at first insufficient,” writes Dr. Spaight. But, “unsuitable
sites, and insufficient” sanitation may produce terrible results, where
human lives are concerned, and one would not convert an adverse critic
by simply quoting the “_Times_ History” to the effect that “the Boers
themselves proved to be helpless, utterly averse to cleanliness, and
ignorant of the simplest principles of health and sanitation.” The
attempt to shift the chief burden of responsibility on to the prisoners
is surely scarcely chivalrous. Carelessness and ignorance amongst the
prisoners are certain in all such cases to be contributory causes, they
are amongst the difficulties to be combatted, but to suggest that they
should have been permitted to produce such appalling results is to court
derision. Moreover, the chief authority on the subject, Lieut.-Col.
S. J. Thomson, C.I.E., I.M.S., who became Director of Burgher Camps in
February, 1902, by no means supports these charges. “Much has been
said,” he writes, “about the want of personal cleanliness among the
Boers, but it must be remembered that ablutions are apt to be less
frequent and popular when water has to be laboriously brought from
considerable distances, as is often the case with farms on the veldt.
When bathrooms were provided in the camps, they were very freely and
regularly used. Nevertheless it is a fact that the Boer’s notion of
sanitation as understood by Englishmen is very vague, and all classes
resort for purposes of nature to the open country. This custom, probably
innocuous enough under the conditions of existence on an isolated
homestead, made it extremely difficult to maintain the cleanliness of a
camp site, and it was very long before the people could be brought to
see that foul matters and dirty water could not be most satisfactorily
disposed of by the simple process of flinging them out of the tent. It
was found indeed that such proceedings had hopelessly fouled certain
camps, and the removal of the people to a fresh site was followed by the
best results. In a later chapter, the procedure which was found most
successful is described in detail.”[34] In July, 1902, the average death
rate for the Burgher Camps had sunk to 23.0, and it fell afterwards even

Tents were, in general, the only housing allowed, and this, though “the
cold in the ‘upper veldt’ country in winter was intense.” (Thomson.)
What were known as _bona fide_ refugees were allowed meat, but those who
had their man on commando were, at first, allowed none. This was
altered, however, in March, 1901. As to the families of this class,
Major Goodwin reported in this month: “I would, therefore, beg
respectfully to here place on record my opinion that had we compelled
class 3 to decide between unprotected starvation on their farms, and at
their homes, or taking up their quarters in or behind the enemy’s lines,
we should have facilitated the work of proselytism.” Thus readily, we
observe, may the starvation of women and children be advocated by an
English Major as an aid to “proselytism.” There were other ways in which
“military necessity” showed itself. A Board of three reported on the
site of Merebank Camp in December, 1901. The President was Surgeon-Gen.
Clery, C.B., and the two members, Col. McCormack, R.A.M.C., and Mr.
Ernest Hill, Health Officer of Natal. “The Board is of opinion that the
site is by no means an ideal site, and has imperfection as regards
elevation, drainage, etc., but do not recommend that the camp should be
removed ... for the following reasons: (1) It is necessary that any camp
should be on a railway line. (2) Purely sanitary arrangements as to site
have to be held subservient to military exigencies. The latter do not
permit the camps being located in the uplands, as military and civil
traffic arrangements make it essential that the main line should not be
further congested,” ... and so on. The Camp had been condemned by the
Ladies’ Commission.[35]

The view I have given is the view admitted gradually and reluctantly by
officials themselves. Miss Hobhouse gives a rather different account of
things. In the earlier days of the camps, she tells me, the condition of
things might be summarised thus: “Overcrowding (up to sixteen in a
bell-tent)—no water supply—no soap—no beds or bedding—no fuel
supplied—no utensils—barest rations—sanitary staff inefficient or
non-existent.” In “The Brunt of the War” Miss Hobhouse writes on page
118 of Bloemfontein Camp: “My request for soap was met with the reply,
‘Soap is a luxury.’ ... Finally it was requisitioned for, also
forage[36]—more tents—boilers to boil the drinking water—water to be
laid on from the town—and a matron for the camp. Candles, matches, and
such like I did not aspire to. It was about three weeks before the
answer to the requisition came, and in the interim I gave away soap.
Then we advanced a step. Soap was to be given, though so sparingly as to
be almost useless—forage was too precious—brick boilers might be
built—but to lay on a supply of water was negatived, as ‘the price was
prohibitive.’ Later on, after I had visited other camps, and came back
to find people being brought in by the hundred and the population
rapidly doubling, I called repeated attention to the insufficient
sanitary accommodation, and still more to the negligence of the camp
authorities in attending to the latrines. I had seen in other camps that
under proper administrative organisation all could be kept sweet and
clean. But week after week went by, and daily unemptied pails stood till
a late hour in the boiling sun, and the tent homes of the near section
of the camp were rendered unbearable by the resulting effluvia.”

A sentence at page 120 has a bearing upon other wars and other helpers
of distressed “enemies”:—“It became clear to my astonished mind that
both the censorship and system of espionage were not merely military in
character, but political and almost personal, so that even to feel, much
more to show, sympathy to the people was to render yourself suspect....
Everyone knows what class of men accept the work which means spying upon
neighbours, and can draw their own conclusions as to the value of such

As regards the food ration it has been seriously contended by others
besides Miss Hobhouse (_e.g._, T. S. Haldane, M.D., F.R.S.), that it was
totally inadequate. Dr. Haldane considered that “nothing but seething
discontent” and “an enormous death-rate” could be expected from the
dietary allowed. (_l.c._ p. 159.) But those who wish to learn more about
this and many other matters should consult Miss Hobhouse’s remarkable

The truth is, the prisoner’s lot is always hard, and all nations have at
times made it a terrible one. It is only the recognition of brotherhood
that can alter this, and the recognition of brotherhood would end war.


    [Footnote 32: See the full statement, pp. 75 ff.]

    [Footnote 33: See the summary of the official returns given by
    Miss Emily Hobhouse on p. 328 of “The Brunt of the War.” The
    careful Boer compilation made after the war records the death of
    26,370 women and children—more than four times the mortality
    among the Boer combatants. The full details are recorded in the
    archives at Pretoria, and it is to these that Miss Hobhouse
    refers in the pamphlet containing her speech at the unveiling of
    the National Monument at Bloemfontein on “Vrouwen-Dag,” 1913.]

    [Footnote 34: “The Transvaal Burgher Camps,” by Lieut.-Col.
    S. J. Thomson.]

    [Footnote 35: The marshy site of Merebank is compared by Miss
    Emily Hobhouse to that of the German camp at Wittenberg.]

    [Footnote 36: “‘Forage’ needs explanation,” writes Miss
    Hobhouse. “We requisitioned for forage, because, as there was no
    milk for the children, we were planning to buy some cows, _if_
    we could secure forage. However, we failed.”]



For the information contained in this chapter I am greatly indebted to
the Friends’ Emergency Committee. Most of it has already appeared in
their leaflets and reports, and in articles in _The Friend_. The
following is a reprint of a letter sent by the Bishop of Winchester to
the _Times_. It appeared in the issue of September 29, 1916:


    Sir,—The following facts, if you can find space for them, will,
    I think, be of interest and encouragement amidst all the sorrow
    and misery of war.

    The word “reprisals” is often heard in diplomacy and in war;
    reprisals are attempted or suggested; or reprisals of cruelty
    are condemned, we rejoice to know, by the instinct and
    conscience of the nation. These are all reprisals of what is
    bad. Rarer, at least on the surface, are reprisals of good. But
    here is such a case.

    At the outbreak of the war members of the Society of Friends and
    others came together for the purpose of bringing help to those
    men and women of enemy nationality in this country upon whom the
    war had brought suffering. Their lot was often a pitiable one.
    The pull of contrary affections, the unkindness of former
    friends, the sudden loss of means of livelihood, the internment
    of the men, with its enforced idleness, were some of the
    troubles which would have produced despair in many cases had not
    the members of this “Emergency Committee” (169, St. Stephen’s
    House, Westminster)[37] come to the rescue. They have given
    material help to thousands of families, and, above all, brought
    the healing touch of human sympathy to the men in the camps and
    their wives and children (mostly British-born) left to struggle
    on alone outside.

    It was early in the war also that a group of Germans came
    together in Berlin and determined to start a similar work. The
    news of what was being done by the British Committee soon
    reached them and made them increase their efforts. Since then
    the two bodies have been in close communication, and each has
    endeavoured to see that what is done for “alien enemies” in one
    country is promptly repeated in the other.

    Among the recent activities of the Berlin Committee has been the
    organising of travelling facilities and hospitality for wives
    from other parts of Germany, who are now allowed to visit their
    husbands at Ruhleben Camp; and it is now making vigorous efforts
    to co-ordinate and increase the work of the various agencies in
    Germany that are trying to lighten the lot of the military and
    civilian prisoners of war in their camps. At the end of June, I
    learn, a meeting in support of this work was held at the house
    of Prince Lichnowsky, former Ambassador in London, who returned
    specially from the front to preside. Many notable men and women
    were present, and a collection of 8,000 marks was made.

    My reasons for writing to you with this information are two. In
    the first place, because these Berlin workers are incessantly
    spreading, through the German Press and otherwise, news of the
    doings of the British Committee, and even in this matter there
    should be reprisals. And, secondly, one cannot be too thankful
    to be able to put on record instances of that common humanity
    which we knew must exist in some quarters even among our
    enemies, overleaping national hates and prejudices, and which in
    this great work of Dr. Siegmund Schultze and his colleagues is
    so active and persistent. The names of several who are diligent
    in the work in Germany are those of men personally known to me
    in respect and affection; and (whatever their views of war and
    of Britain may be—which I do not know) I can feel as sure of
    their simple sincerity and good purpose as if they were my own
    countrymen. This may be, perhaps, an added excuse for troubling
    you.—Yours faithfully,

                                                EDW. WINTON.
      Farnham Castle. Surrey,
          September 27.

The German work is an offshoot of the general work undertaken by the
Enquiry and Assistance Agency for Germans abroad and foreigners in
Germany (_Auskunfts-und Hilfsstelle für Deutsche im Ausland und
Ausländer in Deutschland_). The following is a translation of the appeal
issued by the parent society:

    The war has caused great distress amongst countless Germans in
    foreign countries. In helping our countrymen we have to rely
    almost exclusively on the benevolence of the societies which
    have been for years in co-operation with us in those countries,
    especially upon our English and American co-workers in the
    religious societies for international friendship. In England,
    where great difficulties for German subjects might have been
    expected from the exceptional conditions prevailing, a Committee
    was formed directly the war broke out, whose object was to
    provide support for distressed Germans and Austrians in England;
    and already many Germans have told us verbally and in writing of
    the valuable help given to them by this Committee.

    In consequence of many requests and complaints we have felt that
    it was our duty to interest ourselves in those foreigners who
    were in difficulties in Germany. At a time when the German
    people, from the highest to the lowest, have joined together in
    the consciousness of a stern defence against their enemies, and
    are fighting out the great struggle for existence and freedom,
    it may well appear to many that it is superfluous to render to
    the alien enemies amongst us any more than the most necessary
    services. But we have not only to think of those Germans who are
    now abroad, not only to remember that those foreigners who are
    in need in Germany are for the most part Germany’s best friends
    and are bound to us by a thousand ties; besides all this the
    task is laid upon us by our own desire to render friendly
    service in these times of hatred to those who now find it so
    difficult to obtain help. Even in war time, whoever needs our
    help is our neighbour, and love of their enemies remains the
    distinguishing mark of those who are loyal to our Lord.

    We have accordingly decided to establish a Berlin Enquiry and
    Assistance Office to work with the corresponding offices at home
    and abroad, especially with the above-mentioned Emergency
    Committee in London, the Berne and Stuttgart Peace Bureaux, etc.
    We beg for help and gifts, which may be sent to the following
    address: Berliner Auskunfts- und Hilfsstelle für Deutsche im
    Ausland und Ausländer in Deutschland; communications to be
    addressed to Fräulein Dr. Elisabeth Rotten, Berlin No. 18,
    Friedenstrasse 60.

    The signatories to this appeal were: Prof. W. Foerster, Ehrich
    Gramm (Banker), Dr. Kleineidam (Provost), Eduard de Neufville,
    Prof. Rade, Julius Rohrbach (Pastor), Dr. Elisabeth Rotten, Dr.
    Alice Solomon, F. Siegmund-Schultze (Pastor), Dr. Spiecker,
    Pastor Umfried.

It is important to note that of the families and others helped by the
Committee, the largest percentage (49) were English. Russians made up
24 per cent, and French 9 per cent. (Dr. Elisabeth Rotten’s circular of
April, 1916.)

The following documents explain themselves:—Extract from a letter of
Dr. Elisabeth Rotten, dated January 6, 1916.

    In spite of the fact that the numbers of permanent workers in
    the office and out of it increase all the time, we have work
    here from morning to night, often including holidays. But we do
    it gladly, for it is a labour of love. At present our chief work
    lies in taking home French children from the occupied territory
    of France. In Belgium this work is now nearly discharged, and a
    lady has only to go there once more, this month, to fetch the
    last batch of children. The French children are not fetched by
    our delegates; they travel in the larger trains for civilians,
    who are brought from the occupied territory of France, through
    Switzerland, back into the unoccupied[38] parts. What we now
    have to do is to see that the children who had been left behind,
    separated from their parents, are reunited with them as quickly
    as possible. The children themselves seldom know where their
    parents are, but we have the addresses through working in
    conjunction with the International “Feminist” Bureau at
    Lausanne. This creates a great deal of correspondence with the
    respective authorities. I am glad to be able to add that the
    [German] War Office has come forward with sympathy to help us in
    this work.

    We have sent large consignments of warm clothing and
    food—including honeycake—to the civilian prisoners’ camps at
    Ruhleben and Holzminden, to be distributed among those that
    received nothing from other sources. French and Russian
    civilians are interned at Holzminden.

    German women workers in connection with our Committee in other
    parts have also sent Christmas gifts to the camps nearest them.
    I enclose extracts from letters from Fräulein Jens, of Hamburg,
    and Frau Kirchhoff, of Bremen, which I put at your disposal. The
    Berlin Committee of the Women’s Suffrage Union has done the same
    for Döberitz, and other Committees in South and West Germany
    have also carried out similar work. It is of particular interest
    to note that the request that German women might remember the
    prisoners of war in such a way came from a German soldier at the
    front. The ladies were already planning something of the sort,
    and would certainly have done it; but still, such a request, so
    heartily and earnestly expressed, is remarkable.

From Frau Senator Kirchhoff, December 28, 1915:

    The camp at Achim, near Bremen, in the province of Hanover, is
    called Etelsen Moor. Frau Schmitt and I finished off everything
    in one day, and early on the 23rd we drove out with two large
    trunks and three cardboard boxes. Altogether we had collected
    536 marks; 190 went to Frau Feist, 100 marks cash went to the
    camp at Etelsen. Our trunks contained 40 flannel shirts and 40
    pairs of pants, 40 pairs of slippers, 32 pairs of socks,
    mittens, helmets, scarves, 1,000 cigars, 100 cakes of chocolate,
    25 note-books, 50 pencils, 50 blotters, drawing paper, india
    rubber, calendars, etc. Three prisoners—two Belgian and one
    Frenchman—came with two wheelbarrows; they were accompanied by
    two German non-commissioned officers. The men were exceedingly
    pleased: the German soldier said they had long been wishing to
    give the men presents and were happy that we had made it
    possible for them to do so. Afterwards I received two charming
    letters; one from the Commandant, who thanked me very heartily.
    They had been able to give every prisoner—chiefly Belgians and
    French, but also Russians and one Englishman—a present. He
    enclosed a touching, grateful letter from a Belgian prisoner, an
    adjutant, and a programme of their Christmas theatricals. I have
    seldom been so glad about anything as I am that this has been a

From Fräulein Jens, December 30, 1915. Work at Hamburg.

    We had altogether about 400 marks, and out of this fund 100
    parcels containing each about 3 marks worth of goods were
    purchased and handed over with 100 marks in money—for sick and
    needy prisoners—into the care of the camp chaplain. He took the
    opportunity of explaining in our presence to three of the camp
    “Captains,” an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian, the object
    of the gift. They were greatly touched and most grateful. The
    Englishman thanked us in the name of his country. We were only
    sorry that we could not do far, far more, but if even this
    little is a seed of corn which may in the future bring forth
    thoughts of reconciliation between the nations we shall be
    happy. Our presents were given for the New Year, as it is the
    custom for English and French to make presents then....


The following is from the Prisoners’ Aid Society of the German civilians
interned in Camp III., Knockaloe, Isle of Man. If the English shows
signs of effort, it is an effort of sincerity:—

    To the Emergency Committee for the Assistance of Germans,
    Austrians and Hungarians in Distress.

    Dear Madam,—We do not wish to fail to remember at the beginning
    of the New Year with gratitude those who, during the past
    difficult year, have made it their task to alleviate, wherever
    possible, the misery and the most pressing sorrows of such
    families who, by their internment as prisoners of war, were
    deprived of their bread-winners. When assembled in silent prayer
    during the last festive season—the season of Peace and Goodwill
    to all mankind—our hearts felt the particular necessity of
    expressing our innermost thanks to your Committee for all the
    magnanimous acts of brotherly love and relief shown and granted
    to the dependents of the interned.

    Whilst we venture to ask you to see in these few lines the
    unanimous vote of thanks of all the prisoners of war at
    Knockaloe Camp III., and kindly bring it to the notice of those
    who in a self-sacrificing manner generously assisted your work
    of love, we, the undersigned, respectfully offer our heartfelt
    wishes for the New Year.

    P. H. Bernhard, Chairman; Carl Glock, Deputy Chairman; C. P.
    Toellner, Treasurer; B. Pflug, Hospital.

And here we have an extract from a letter of gratitude from some Serbian
prisoners to one of the German Committees. It was despatched by the
Serbian Aid Committee at the camp Frankfurt-am-Oder, on February 22,
1917. “The hundred or so parcels for Serbian Prisoners of War mentioned
in your kind letter of December 20, 1916, came to hand in good time and
in good condition from Switzerland, and were distributed to those who
were in the weakest condition, and those who were most needy. In all
there were 94 parcels, and you have the blessing of 94 human beings,
ill, weak, and altogether deserted by the world. As our former camp
(Halbe b. Berlin) was broken up just at that time and distributed
amongst four other camps, we have only just learned who it was who had
given us such kindly and noble thoughts. We thank you therefore once
more with our whole heart for your great goodness and charity—God will
repay it to you.

“The gifts (the many good and beautiful things) reached us here in good
time, and were divided amongst Serbians who [were in various camps] and
the remainder we distributed here on Christmas Eve in the camp. You
should have seen the joy of these poor men!... May God only grant a
speedy peace!... While thanking you heartily once again, we beg you to
think of us in the future also.... P.S.—In all the camps belonging to
our group we have a total of 30-40 sick men.”


The spirit produced by reprisals of good is well shown in the following
extracts from an article in _The Friend_. (April 20, 1917):—

    There have been fresh evidences lately of the response from
    Germany to our efforts here, and of the likeness between our
    work and that of the Berlin Committee. The animating spirit is
    evidently so much the same that a wife left behind in England
    wrote to her repatriated husband in Germany, “Just write your
    letter and send it to _St. Stephen’s House_ at Berlin, and
    they’ll send it for you.” The italics are ours.

    Dr. Rotten wrote March 8:

    “Just a few lines to tell you that a second parcel from Berne
    arrived to-day, containing the remainder of the reports about
    your work, namely, 25 copies of your Fourth Report and 100
    copies of “A Day at St. Stephen’s House.” We are much pleased to
    make these vivid descriptions of your assistance to the Germans
    in England accessible to so many, as our experience has taught
    us that direct information has a much greater effect than our
    own full or abbreviated translations. But we try again and again
    with the latter, and at the present moment two different
    sketches of our endeavours in England and Germany for mutual
    help have been accepted by various papers, so we may hope to be
    able to send you a copy before long. Grateful as ever, with
    kindest greetings in the name of all.”

    The same idea is carried further in a letter received by one of
    our helpers from a personal friend in Germany:

    “Your printed report which came into my hands a few days ago
    has made me very happy. I was not surprised, but it only
    strengthened my belief in you and in the good of humanity. What
    you have done and are still doing brings nearer the goal that
    now seems so far off—everlasting peace grounded in respect and
    mutual understanding.”

From Dr. Rotten:


    When in April of last year, after repeated applications by us,
    regular visits by the wives and children were at last permitted,
    the regulations were at first rather strict. The separation of
    husband and wife by a table was felt to be a special
    hardship.[39] The visits taking a satisfactory course, however,
    this was altered in a few weeks, and since then visitors have
    been allowed in the camp itself and may walk around and converse
    freely with their relatives. Permission was, indeed, soon
    extended to mothers and sisters, and also fiancées of those
    interned, provided the engagement had taken place before
    internment. At the present time wives living in and around
    Berlin are allowed to visit once a month, the time permitted
    being nominally one hour, but this is fortunately not
    interpreted very strictly, so that in actual practice two hours
    are often allowed. Wives coming from a distance receive
    permission every three months; and it was for a long time a
    concern of these women and of their husbands—a concern shared
    by us—that these visits had to be made in a single period of
    two hours. Over and over again one found that the joy of reunion
    after so long a separation was so unnerving that they could
    scarcely unburden themselves on a single occasion of all the
    important matters reserved for discussion, and that only
    afterwards did they remember all that they had intended to say.
    We repeatedly made representations on this score in the proper
    quarter, appealing for a change in the regulation, and in
    December last we had the joy of obtaining permission for the
    wives from outside to stay in Berlin for a week and to make two
    visits of two hours during this period. In special cases a third
    visit might be allowed. All wives coming from a distance, at the
    same time as they receive the permit, are instructed by the
    Commandant to apply to us in the event of their needing any
    advice in respect of accommodation in Berlin. And so we are
    visited by many, whose reception in Berlin we either arrange for
    at their request in advance, or who, though acquainted with
    Berlin, yet come for information. They are so well satisfied
    with the conditions of their visits that at the present time
    there is no occasion to ask for further concessions.


    Apart from our interest in the repatriation of the “over
    forty-fivers,” our principal concern for Ruhleben consists for
    the present in finding work outside the camp for the younger
    prisoners, for, thanks to the recent decision of the Commandant,
    resulting from our repeated applications, such prisoners may
    obtain leave of absence provided they find situations. It is, of
    course, very difficult for those in the camp to seek situations,
    and we are therefore making special efforts to find
    opportunities for work, induce employers to engage an alien, and
    then conduct negotiations. There are among those desiring to
    exchange their forced idleness at Ruhleben for productive work
    many who are concerned to remain loyal British subjects.

The following quotation from Dr. Rotten refers to a specially
interesting intercommunication:

    We are delighted and thankful to see from your letter of January
    31 that an unnamed gentleman in America has sent you the sum of
    £400 with instructions to assign half of it to our work for
    foreigners in Germany, and saying that the British Government at
    once gave their consent to the payment of the amount to us. It
    will be a great help to our work and will be conscientiously
    used for British subjects and for the subjects of nations allied
    with England. For a considerable time our work has been such
    that we can take advantage of the relief agencies of other
    countries for the assistance of Germans abroad, and for that
    reason can apply the means placed at our disposal for the
    support of foreigners in Germany only. So our help is now
    practically confined to “alien enemies,” because the subjects of
    neutral States, should they be in need, can obtain other
    assistance, and it is our uppermost wish to relieve those who,
    but for us, would perhaps be utterly friendless. It is,
    moreover, a great satisfaction and encouragement to us that
    outside your and our spheres the community of our work is so
    strongly felt that people desire to further the efforts of the
    two societies simultaneously. The confidence so kindly felt in
    our efforts even abroad incites us to an ever increasing
    devotion to our work, to the undertaking of new tasks, and to
    the fulfilling of the old ones with more and more care in every


The spectroscope story is a particularly good example of the way
reprisals of good work out. I take the following account from a leaflet
signed W.R.H., and already known to many workers in the cause of

    A spectroscope, I believe, is an instrument which takes a ray of
    light and proceeds to spread it abroad. At all events, the
    description seems to suit in this case.

    The spectroscope game was started by Bishop Bury. After his
    return from his visit to Ruhleben Camp he mentioned in a lecture
    that some of the science students interned there were very
    anxious to obtain the use of a spectroscope. The report of this
    lecture was read by one of the camp visitors of the Friends’
    Emergency Committee, who was a schoolmaster and a scientist.
    Moreover, he possessed a spectroscope. So he joined in the game
    and played his piece. But instead of trying to send the
    instrument to Germany, he wrote to St. Stephen’s House and
    suggested that inquiries should be made as to whether any of the
    schools in the internment camps in England were in need of such
    an apparatus. If so, he would lend his, and ask our friends of
    the Berlin Committee for assisting alien enemies to try to do
    the same for Ruhleben. It was soon discovered that a group of
    men in Douglas Camp would welcome the spectroscope, which was at
    once sent them, and the corresponding message written to Berlin.
    It was not long before a reply was received telling us, as we
    expected, that every effort would be made, as usual, to carry
    out such a proposal for reciprocal service to prisoners.

    A little later another player came into the game in the shape of
    the German War Office. (There seems to be a War Office player in
    every game that takes place in these days.) The German War
    Office was reluctant to permit valuable lenses to enter the
    internment camp without being quite sure first of all that the
    corresponding privilege had been allowed in England. Would we,
    therefore, obtain and forward a written certificate from the
    Commandant of the camp to say that the instrument had been
    allowed. This was soon done, and we next hear that the Berlin
    Committee, being unable to find a spectroscope themselves, had
    collected the sum of 900 marks for the purchase of one, and has
    asked permission for two of the leaders of the “University” of
    Ruhleben to be allowed out of camp to inspect instruments before
    purchase. This permission seems to have been readily granted,
    and Dr. Higgins and Mr. Chadwick met Dr. Rotten, the secretary
    of the Berlin Committee, in order to choose the most suitable
    apparatus. They finally decided upon one offered by Herr H., the
    head of an optical instrument firm.

    At this point the game became specially interesting. Dr. Rotten
    was aware that Herr H.’s brother and his family had been closely
    in touch with the Emergency Committee, and had received
    considerable help in difficult and distressing circumstances. In
    recognition of the assistance given to his brother, he at once
    offered to lend to the camp, for the period of the war, a
    spectrometer and prisms valued together at 1,650 marks. The 900
    marks collected were thus released to be used for other
    enterprises. Herr H. also sent a warm message offering to
    receive his brother’s children, who had lost their mother during
    the war, and to welcome his brother as soon as he was free to
    cross to Germany. He also offered to provide him with anything
    he might desire to help him pass away the weary hours in camp.
    We learnt that the brother had been studying French, and now
    wish to take up Spanish, and he has therefore chosen a set of
    Spanish instruction books as what he would like best.

    The game still continues. Other well-known scientific firms in
    Berlin have been approached and interested in an effort to
    provide material for scientific work in Ruhleben, and we have
    received a request from Dr. Higgins to follow up an effort he is
    making to provide similar assistance for some men at Knockaloe,
    about whom he has written to various University professors and
    business friends in England. Herr H. has also sent us a list of
    nine firms whose principals he is acquainted with, to see if
    they also will help in like manner.

    A spectroscope I believe, is an instrument which takes a ray of
    light and proceeds to spread it abroad. A fine instrument!


The ray of light is spread by reprisals of good. When the nephew of a
friend of mine was let out from Ruhleben on a fortnight’s leave, and
received “overwhelming kindness” from his German hosts, what was it that
so specially drew out their kindness? The fact that their own son,
interned in this country, has been befriended here. (P. 105.)


Yet, in spite of all the efforts of sympathy, suffering, in camp and
out, grows ever greater as the war continues. Here are two short stories
of February, 1915, as reported to the Committee on this side. If, for a
moment we can forget our passions, the sufferings of these, our
fellows, must touch our hearts. Nearly four more years have passed and
we know that greater loneliness and sorrow must have come to these
hearts, as to so many more.

    Our first call is in a horrid little street off Tottenham Court
    Road. Four knocks on a very shaky door brings Bertha, the wife
    of a German, a ships’ cook, who has never been long enough on
    shore to become a naturalised Englishman. Bertha was a servant
    for many years before she married, and had collected many
    precious possessions, and she and Friedrich had a comfortable
    home with plenty of furniture and full of all the useless and
    hideous knicknack which apparently make so many people happy.
    Only a few remain, for nearly all have “had to go”—the term we
    know so well to mean that they are now in pawn, and that it will
    probably never be possible to redeem them. When first we visited
    them they were living in a basement room where rats made it
    difficult for them to sleep, and where, on the many unexpected
    calls I paid, I never once found a fire.

    “We are not people wot feel the cold like some, Miss,” they told
    me; “and the room’s so small it likely wouldn’t be ’ealthy to
    have a fire all day” so the “bit of washing” used to hang on a
    string for days and days before it dried, and they did their
    “bit of cooking” on a small gas ring. One day I called and found
    Friedrich still in bed; he was quite well, he said, “but we take
    turns to stay in bed, Miss, for it’s warmer there and you don’t
    seem to feel so hungry in bed as when you’re up.”

    They were trying to save something out of a weekly 12s. 6d.,
    after 6s. had been paid for rent, for the time when Bertha would
    have to go into hospital, and to buy some clothes that her
    little babe would need. Then _you sent me_, and let me tell her
    you would remember her when that time came, and you sent her
    flannel and wool to make the little clothes: after that a
    shilling a week could be spent on coals, and each time I went
    they sent you thanks and blessed you for your love.

    We say good-bye here and go north to Camden Town where we call
    on Ludwig and Marie and their five children, the eldest of whom
    is six. He is Austrian and she is Irish, and they live in two
    rooms for which they pay 8s. 6d. a week. He was a waiter for
    thirteen years in a well known London restaurant, and his master
    has told him many times he would take him back if only the
    public or the newspapers would let him. But _they won’t_. So
    Ludwig had nothing to do, and tells me he thinks he shall go
    out of his mind sitting in idleness in his miserable
    surroundings. Marie has been in hospital, too, and then Ludwig
    _had_ plenty to do looking after his four little children alone
    for two weeks, and says it was the hardest work he ever had to
    do, and is glad his lot in life is not to be a woman!

    The doctor in the hospital told Marie she must have plenty of
    milk every day, and we smiled together, for we knew their weekly
    income left no margin for milk for her—the children must be fed
    first. So _you_ are helping, and Marie has her milk each day,
    and she and her babe are growing strong and well again.

The work done by the Friends’ Emergency Committee, Dr. K. E. Markel and
others on this side, and by Dr. Rotten, Siegmund Schulze, Prof. Stange
and their fellows on the other, is indeed as “a clear flame of truth in
a dark and haunted night.”


To the great work of Prof. Stange, of Göttingen, I have once or twice
alluded. He directs all the instruction given in the Göttingen camp,
attends daily, gives lectures and superintends the library. He
experienced the usual difficulties of any civilian who tries to practice
Christianity in war-time. “One great German newspaper wrote with
indignation that the prisoners in the Göttingen Camp had as good a time
as if they were at a health resort.” Doubtless this paper, like some
others, contrasted the (rumoured) abominable treatment of German
prisoners by their enemies with the too great indulgence shown to
prisoners in Germany. But Prof. Stange is not abashed. “No internment
camp,” he writes, “can be compared with a ‘holiday resort.’ In spite of
everything that may be done for the prisoners, internment is and remains
always a very hard lot. In the Göttingen camp, too, many a prisoner
needs not only the exertion of his whole strength, but help as well to
make the endurance of his lot physically and spiritually possible.”
Stange is one of those who have learned to envisage the anxieties, the
loneliness, the uncertainty, the ennui of the prisoner, and the terrible
enervation of long months, and, alas, years of confinement. In this, as
in so many circumstances of the war, it is the more sensitive and
developed minds that suffer most, and are most easily destroyed, those
minds that are indispensable in the building of any worthy future.

Prof. Stange quite frankly acknowledges to a war prejudice against the
English. But when he found their great need of help, his prejudices
melted away, and he soon engaged in helping them too with books classes,
and other means of activity.

Prof. Stange recognises that such work for enemy prisoners helps towards
better treatment of their own prisoners abroad, but, he adds, “It must
certainly be emphatically stated that we in Göttingen never took up our
work for the prisoners with this object. What compelled us to work was
simply and entirely the great distress and need of the prisoners
themselves.” (P. 36. The extracts are from Prof. Stange’s pamphlet on
Göttingen Camp.)


At last, rest. To many weary hearts it must have become a pitiful
consolation that this at least is sure. “After life’s fitful fever he
sleeps well.” And in that sleep no fevered passion can even “ruffle one
corner of the folded shroud.” At last, rest; where the enmities and the
ambitions are forgotten. In the presence of this stillness of death,
even to the living their disputes seem small. If the mood could endure,
death might not be needed to bring peace.


“In a corner of the bonny little churchyard of Frongoch, adjoining the
extended camp, there are two solitary graves. Here, in a strange land,
the land of their captivity, two German prisoner soldiers lie at rest,
as in many a plot of ground in France and Flanders, German and British
lie together, strife hushed in the last sleep. Here there are no grim
sounds and sights of battle, but instead there is all the peace and
beauty of a lovely spring. Immediately beyond the graves a wooded bank
descends to the stream, and over and through the fresh green foliage,
amidst which the birds are happily melodious this bright April morning,
and all around can be seen the mountains of Wales, the ‘land of
freedom.’ Over the grave of one of these liberated captives is a
tombstone erected at the expense of, and engraved by, his fellow
prisoners. It marks the place where Hugo Schröter, Under-Officer of one
of the Crown Prince’s Infantry Regiments, who died on April 9, 1915, as
the result of wounds received in the cause of his country, was laid to
rest by his grateful comrades.

“The other grave has no stone as yet, but one is being prepared. It is
that of a prisoner who died of consumption, after many months of
lingering suffering in the hospital, where every care was bestowed upon
him. It was in reference to this man that the Chief Officer wrote me:
‘To our regret died last Thursday the patient in the isolation hospital.
If only he could have seen the two beautiful bunches of violets you
sent! The funeral took place yesterday at 10-30. It was an impressive
sight but a very sad one, too.’

“My daughter laid a little offering of white flowers on the grave, and
then I photographed them in order to send copies to the families of the
poor men, which I hope may prove little winged messengers of sympathy
and goodwill.”

                                                 W. WHITING.


“A British officer, of whom one can truly say that he had not been
afraid to speak the truth about his treatment in Germany, and in the
Cologne hospital, was carried to his last resting-place yesterday.

“It was Captain Wilfred Beckett Birt, of the East Surrey Regiment No.
31, who, on the occasion of the attack in September, 1915, had his thigh
shattered and was taken prisoner. Since January, 1916, he had been
nursed in the fortress hospital, No. 6, situated in the Empress Augusta
School. His chivalrous character and his conscientious impartiality made
him respected and popular with his French and English fellow sufferers
and the German Hospital Staff. Gratefully he acknowledged what the
surgical art of assistant-surgeon Dr. Meyer had done to lessen his
sufferings, and the loving care the German nurses, male and female, had
bestowed on him and his comrades.

“The great affection in which he was held by friend and foe alike showed
itself in the mourning over his death, which took place a few days ago.
His wound, a short time before, had shown improvement, but the heart was
no longer equal to the terrible strain. Those of his comrades who were
not confined to bed rallied round his coffin yesterday, which had been
put upon a bier in the hospital garden surrounded by flowers and palms.

“The principal mourners were his countrymen, who were seated on benches
at the foot of the coffin; around it were the French and Belgians, the
German doctors and hospital staff. Large lighted candles stood at the
head of the coffin, which was covered with wreaths decorated with the
English, French, Belgian, and German colours.

“Garrison Pastor Hartmann, in a moving speech, which went straight to
the heart of the hearers, spoke about the deceased as a chivalrous
fighter for his native land, as a good Christian and a truly noble
character. It was touching to hear the parting hymn sung by the sonorous
voices of the British wounded, accompanied solemnly on the harmonium by
a British performer. All escorted the coffin to the gates. Once outside,
it was reverently lifted on to the funeral car, which German gunners
escorted to the cemetery. Four British and one French officer, as well
as the German doctors who could be spared, followed in motor cars.

“At the gates of the cemetery, Lieutenant-General Schach, Colonel
Lindemann, as representative of the Governor of the fortress, Major
Esser, Dr. Lamberts, the chief medical officer of the garrison,
deputations of the Officers’ and Medical Corps, the Band of the Reserve
Battalion Pioneer Regiment No. 25, awaited the cortège.

“Pastor Hartmann spoke again, and, in words which made a deep impression
on all, closed with prayer and benediction. Dr. Rademacher, the Catholic
priest of the garrison, then made a funeral oration in English,
affecting all who heard it.

“In the name of the hospital staff, Dr. Meyer expressed his heartfelt
sorrow to the British officers present, the band played the hymn, ‘How
gently they rest, those who are with the Lord,’ and, profoundly touched,
Englishmen and Frenchmen shook hands with the clergy and the German

“Three handfuls of earth on to the coffin of one who had found eternal
rest, and the mourners dispersed.” _Kölnische Zeitung._


    [Footnote 37: Now at 27, Chancery Lane, W.C.2.]

    [Footnote 38: Unoccupied, that is, by the Germans.]

    [Footnote 39: Such a regulation is a hardship. It may, however,
    prove unavoidable, as in some camps here. Friends of prisoners
    are not always wise.]




The following letter may not inappropriately open this section. Dr. Ella
Scarlett-Synge is the daughter of the third Baron Abinger. She has a
long medical experience, and served by Government appointment with Mrs.
Fawcett on the Concentration Camps Commission in the Boer War. Dr.
Scarlett-Synge was present in Serbia during the Austro-German invasion,
she was in Germany afterwards and visited various prisoners’ camps. On
her return she wrote the brief letter which follows. Of her _bona fides_
there was no doubt, and she had introductions to various editors. Yet
only one daily paper (_The Manchester Guardian_) would publish her
letter. This is a small illustration of the methods of war-time.
Belligerent nations manage to convince themselves that by suppression of
disconcerting evidence one arrives at truth. It is easy to understand,
for all of us who are frank with ourselves know the difficulty of
complete fairness even in ordinary controversy. But the consequences of
arguing for mere victory are in war sometimes as grave and sad as the
consequences of fighting for mere victory. Dr. Synge tells us simply
what she saw:

    Having just returned from Serbia, via Berlin, I have one great
    wish, the desire to bring home to my own country the things that
    I have seen with my own eyes, and the truths that I have
    personally realised.

    After the South African War, I was a doctor in Canada for ten
    years and when, during the second year of this war, the call
    came from Serbia for doctors, I was one of those responding,
    and was stationed by the Serbian Government as Medical Officer
    of Health for Batochina and district, where I was in residence
    at the time of the German invasion in October, and was with my
    wounded men when the German army entered northern Serbia, and
    saw the whole campaign.

    Contrary to all my expectations, the conduct of the German army
    was excellent in every respect. The men entered no occupied
    house without the permission of the owner, they took nothing
    without payment or a requisition paper. Never did I ask a German
    soldier in vain for half of his bread for a wounded Serbian
    soldier. Generally it was all given to me and I cut the portion
    and returned half.

    After I had been for some weeks with the German Red Cross
    doctors and began to realise how wrong an impression all in
    England had concerning our enemies, I decided to ask permission
    to go to Germany and see for myself whether equally wrong ideas
    existed concerning the treatment of British prisoners in the
    detention camps. This permission was accorded me, and I went to
    Berlin where I waited a fortnight while the War Office decided
    upon the matter. I was then given a long list of camps to choose
    from and permitted to go with an officer to inspect and report
    upon the same.

    In this short letter I can only say that I was justified in my
    belief that all was well with our men, and, as a fine Canadian
    sergeant at Giessen said to me (whose regiment I had seen march
    out of Vancouver a year ago), “If a man behaves himself, he will
    have nothing to complain of.”

    Now, to my sorrow, I am forced to confess that the nations do
    not yet incline towards peace, and to my regret I have to state
    that Germany’s resources at the present drain will last another
    four or five years. Also there is no lack of food, and one may
    also say of luxuries in the land. The people are united to fight
    as long as England wishes to continue in the useless struggle in
    which neither can win, for while we hold the sea, they are
    equally powerful on land. I can see that this is going to be a
    drawn war, but neither nation has yet had enough.

    The object of this letter is not to encourage a premature peace
    which would be ultimately worse than war, but to plead for a
    fairer treatment for our foe. Let the truth, and the truth only,
    be known. “Let us fight if we must fight—but not with lies.”

    No one, in time of peace, respects the British Press more than I
    do. It is the greatest power in the land. And, let me to-day
    appeal to that mighty influence for weal or for woe, according
    to whether it decides wisely or not, to play the game fairly and
    let the same spirit prevail that we have in our great public
    schools: “win if you can—but only by fair play.”—I beg to
    remain, Yours faithfully, ELLA SCARLETT-SYNGE, M.D., D.P.H.

      Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge.

Dr. Scarlett-Synge was, at the outset, intensely anti-German. Her
personal experience of Germans (both military and civilian) in war-time
has profoundly modified her views. Dr. Scarlett-Synge went out from
Canada to take over a position as Medical Officer of Health in the north
of Serbia. She had twelve villages under her care, and found the
absolute lack of sanitation or sanitary knowledge in that country very
trying. At the time of the invasion, Dr. Synge was strongly urged to
leave, but decided to stop with her wounded men. Strangely enough the
only soldiers from whom she had to flee were the Serbians. The Serbian
Army in its retreat through Batochina was absolutely drunk, officers as
well as men, and while the soldiers were forcing the doors of the
priest’s house, where Dr. Synge resided, she fled with the priest’s wife
(at the latter’s terror-struck entreaty) through a back window. The
house was rifled by the soldiers, and next day the German patrol
arrived. Dr. Synge was asked by the sergeant to assure the people of
Batochina that if there was no shooting, they would be perfectly safe.
She was urged to collect any firearms, and the patrol then withdrew. The
doctor, with the help of the people, collected 17 rifles. There was,
however, one obstinate Serbian soldier who had apparently not been able
to keep up with the retreat, who threatened to retain his rifle, and
seemed quite capable of endangering the whole population. “Your thumb
needs attention, does it not?” asked the doctor. “Just let me look at
it?” The man opened his hand and she snatched his rifle away. A joyful
crowd accompanied her with the rifle to the dispensary, where it was
locked up.

Had there been firing by the populace, there would undoubtedly have been
reprisals. Our own action in the Boer War, and the action of the
military in _every_ invasion, illustrates this fundamental rule. As it
was, there was absolutely no destruction and the soldiers were
scrupulously honest. When the owners had fled, their houses and their
cattle were certainly made use of, but whenever the owner was present
the soldiers “were not allowed to touch a single thing.” The exception
proves the rule; Dr. Scarlett-Synge’s hostess had her pig stolen, but a
German soldier caught her an unowned pig of larger size. She was very
pleased with the exchange!

“May we use your schoolhouse for our wounded?” said the German doctors,
“it seems the best place.” Dr. Scarlett-Synge was amazed. She had
expected anything but this kind of politeness. Only _once_ in her three
months’ experience of the Germans was she treated rudely, and that was
by an extremely anti-English doctor of the Deutsche Kriegshospital No.
58, Belgrade. This particular man corresponded to a certain type of
anti-German here, and a private soldier present afterwards apologised
for his rudeness.

The Serbians shelled Batochina, and so killed some of their own people.
While the doctor was passing through the streets, some German soldiers
beckoned her to take shelter in a café where they were. This she
ultimately did. “I could not have had more consideration shown me,” she
averred. One little incident is singularly expressive. One of the
Germans had bought a glass of brandy. Dr. Scarlett-Synge, with the
picture of drunken soldiery very vivid in her remembrance, ventured to
remonstrate. She pointed out to the man what the Serbians had become
under the influence of drink. He said nothing, but presently he got up
and threw the brandy out of the door. “There’s not much good in that
stuff, anyway,” he said. It is not surprising that after such
experiences the doctor was puzzled at the ordinary British view of the
German army. “How do you account for these lies?” she asked a Bavarian
soldier. “Ah, without lies there would be no war,” he said.

In her travels in Germany Dr. Scarlett-Synge experienced uniform
kindness, and brought away with her a deep conviction of the
self-sacrificing patriotism of the German people. “Moreover,” she said,
“I was able to express my views to them, and they were always listened
to with tolerance and courtesy.”

I give Dr. Scarlett-Synge’s experiences as she describes them. Of her
own honesty and accuracy there can be no question. It may be said, with
reason, that there is another side. Dr. Scarlett-Synge came across the
better German and the better Germany. The important fact is that the
better Germany exists, and that those who have been in Germany since the
war began have found that better element conspicuous. This is much to
say for a country at war.

In case Dr. Ella Scarlett-Synge’s testimony is thought to need
confirmation, I may add the following from a private letter:—“Dr. A.P.
was interned in Serbia for some months with about thirty other doctors
and nurses. She sent to me over twelve months since saying she would
like to be of some use to German prisoners in this country, as a slight
return for the consideration and kindness shown by Germans and Austrians
whom she had to do with while in Serbia.”


Madame F. L. Cyon was at Lille when it was taken by the Germans, and
spent some time there nursing during the German occupation. Madame
Cyon’s general experiences are printed in an appendix at the end of this
volume, but she has given me some further details which are worth
recording. I think they will serve to bring out the universal facts of
human nature. From her mother, Madame D—— she heard the particulars of
her father’s arrest. One of the officers who arrested M. D—— was
ungentlemanly and rough, the others were polite. The house was searched.
Later a second military search was made, the officers on that occasion
being most polite, and apologising for the trouble they caused. As he
was leaving, the chief officer said to Mme. D——, “We shall carry away
with us the memory of your house as a house of peace and quietness, and
of you as a very brave woman.” After her husband’s arrest, Madame D——
asked for permission to take meals to him, and this was accorded without
any demur. One day later the officer just mentioned crossed the street
to speak to her. “I want to bring you some good news,” he said, “the
release of your husband is only a matter of time.”

M. D—— was at Maubeuge at the time of his arrest. When he and others
were brought back to Maubeuge for trial they got drenched with rain on
the way, and were put for that night in the old prison, which was
dilapidated and without fire. M. D—— complained next day. The officer
to whom he complained apologised and said their imprisonment under these
conditions was entirely a mistake. During most of his imprisonment M.
D—— lived on the food provided, which he described as good, but not
plentiful. Two fellow prisoners complained, and were allowed to get food
from outside. As narrated in the appendix, M. D—— was released when it
was found that there was nothing against him. He had indeed been
indiscreet in order to meet the wishes of another, but that was all.
After his release he was engaged professionally in forwarding the
repairs at Maubeuge, and was repeatedly in touch with the German
authorities, with whom he found it quite possible to work.

For some time Madame D——’s house had guards posted outside. There was
on one occasion an unpleasant incident with a drunken soldier who came
and demanded wine. A sergeant who came along, however, promptly collared
the man and turned him out.

It is fair to add that the long German occupation, with its many
requisitions and high-handed interference, has embittered M. D. His
wife, however, remains quite unembittered. In spite of all the demands,
“She seemed to think that, apart from one or two exceptions, the Germans
in occupation behaved very much as any army in such circumstances would
have done. Indeed, she added that when the English arrived, some of them
were so impertinent ... that people thought that they used to get on
better with the Germans.” I have quoted part of the last clause, as it
seems fair to do so. For me it illustrates the general experience that
the _present_ discomfort tends by its vividness to seem greater than
past discomforts which were really equally great.

One other remark of Mme. D. should be quoted: “I have seen many of the
Germans, their doctors for instance, look after the poor and the sick
with utter devotion.” I have, by request, omitted personal names, except
that of Madame Cyon herself.

At the occupation of Lille the Germans at once set about extinguishing
fires that had broken out. In order to prevent these spreading, it was
necessary to blow up some houses, and the Germans posted bills telling
the people not to be alarmed at the explosions. When Madame Cyon
returned to England a newspaper-reporter interviewed her. She stipulated
that she must see the manuscript before the interview was published, and
as she found the tone of the manuscript was not hers, she refused to let
it be printed. A later interview with someone else was published in the
same newspaper, in which it was made to appear that the Germans had
deliberately set fire to the town. This Madame Cyon asserts is directly
contrary to the facts. A similar case of exaggeration Madame Cyon
noticed while in the occupied districts. There were all kinds of
dreadful stories as to what went on about the country, and she was told
it would never do to leave Lille. When she did leave, and made her way
to Holland, she found no confirmation of these stories. Travelling was
uncomfortable and tedious, but there was no peril of any kind.

In the early days of the war there were Belgian refugees at Alexandra
Palace. M. Cyon was a journalist, and took his notebook with him to put
down interesting facts. He wished to confine himself to facts, however,
which not all journalists do. He found the women full of stories about
atrocities, but they were always terrible things that had happened to
_someone else_. The student of war atrocities indeed finds this to be a
very general feature of the stories told. It by no means follows that
atrocities do not occur. Certainly they do, but the number undergoes
extraordinary exaggeration in the excited minds of the people. M. Cyon,
therefore, as a serious observer, asked for one person who could speak
at first hand. One of the refugees, he was told, was a woman whose
little boy had been branded on both cheeks by the Germans. He was
directed to this woman. He asked for her experiences, but she had
nothing startling to tell. “But,” he asked, “was not your little boy
very badly treated by the Germans?” “Little boy!” she exclaimed, in
astonishment, “I have no little boy, I have no son at all.”

Madame Cyon had various patients at Lille. Her 24 Germans, she told me,
gave her no more trouble than any ordinary patients. She had, however,
four French Moroccan soldiers to nurse, and she describes them as
extremely savage. She was sometimes afraid of them, and of one

Madame Cyon was often overworked, and patients are not always
reasonable. One evening she brought her German patients some mutton
stew, and one of the wounded men made a dissatisfied remark about it.
Madame Cyon was feeling very tired and the remark hurt her. She remained
outside in the corridor instead of coming to the men as usual during
their meal. Presently one man who had acted as interpreter came out.
“Madame, you are cross.” “Yes, I am.” “Why are you cross?” “The men have
been well treated, I have done all I could, and now they grumble about
nothing.” The man was very sorry, he went back, and presently all who
could walk came out and apologised. How strangely alike, after all, we
human beings are! But our rulers could never lead us out in armies to
kill each other unless they persuaded us somehow that we only were
wonderfully fine chaps, and the others were brutes. Yet the appeal of
kindness and devotion tells everywhere. So when the German science
student, Albin Claus, mentioned in Madame Cyon’s account (p. 262), found
her much overworked, he said, “You go to sleep, and I will keep watch,”
and he helped in all ways to keep things right.

“I have since written to the same science student,” writes Madame Cyon;
“before leaving the hospital he asked my address and I his. He told me
he would always be glad to help me in any way, as he knew that I had
five brothers in the French army. At the time one of my brothers was
missing. I wrote to this man, then promoted a Lieutenant, and I had two
letters from him via Switzerland. The correspondence was concerning my
brother, and Lieutenant V. R. Albin Claus did his best to help me, and
spoke in his letters of his stay in hospital 105, thanking me for my


The soldier on both sides has been told all sorts of horrors about the
enemy. Hatred is recognised as a great weapon of destruction. The
contrast between what the soldier has seen and what he has heard is well
illustrated by a story told by Mr. John Buchan in one of his lectures. A
wounded Scot had said to him, of the Germans, “They’re a bad, black lot,
_but no the men opposite us_. They were a very respectable lot, and
grand fechters.”—_Times_, April 27, 1915.


Under the heading “War Zone Children,” the following paragraph appeared
in the _Westminster Gazette_ of the 30th November, 1915:

The Society of Friends’ Emergency Committee for Aliens has just received
the following letter from Dr. Elisabeth Rotten, of Berlin (before the
war lecturer at Newnham College, Cambridge), showing that the German
committee for helping alien enemies in distress is not behind similar
committees in this country in looking after the little ones belonging to
enemy countries:


    Before I leave Switzerland, after a short visit, I should like
    to write you a few lines.

    I have been ten days in Belgium in order to get permission to
    take Belgian and French children home to their parents, who had
    left them in the occupied country before the outbreak of war and
    were now living in France or in other foreign parts.

    I was also to bring the first little group with me myself.
    Others will be fetched during the next weeks by other ladies of
    our committee. We spent the night in Frankfurt in the houses of
    German ladies, who are already looking forward to their future
    little guests. The whole expedition will belong to one of the
    pleasantest peace remembrances of the war, and it was a
    particular pleasure and benefit to me to see and to experience
    personally in the work of my mission, in how many directions and
    with what sincerely good and noble intentions the Governor
    General endeavours to mitigate personal suffering, and
    particularly how he cares for the children who are separated
    from their parents.

    I hope soon to write more. The children will now be taken to
    their parents by Swiss ladies, and I am on the point of starting
    for Frankfurt, where there are many important points to discuss
    with the Committee for Advice and Aid in connection with our
    common work.

The last-named committee is a local Frankfort Emergency Committee for


Here is a German N.C.O. writing in _Vorwärts_ of some experiences in the
Russian occupied territory:

He describes the poverty of the people, the lack of even such
necessaries of life as salt, boots, etc.; how little children are
running about in the snow with bare feet, and often with no other
garment on them than a shirt. He adds:

    On the whole, however, the children give me great joy, though
    also not a little annoyance owing to their importunity.
    Fortunately, during my activity in connection with the school
    children’s gymnastic society at —— I have gained so much
    patience that I never permit myself to lose my temper. While I
    am writing this already ten or twelve children have invaded my
    room asking for bread. Everyone of them got something. I am now
    almost reduced to beggary myself, and whatever I can get hold of
    is given to the children, so that they may enjoy themselves. I
    got from a friend a few packets of ginger cakes. I gave them all
    away, and I do not even know how they tasted.

    And when I show them photographs of my children’s gymnastic
    society there is almost a riot. How I wish I could understand
    them better! A little girl of 13, who always reminds me of my
    own second daughter, has won my heart completely. Every day she
    says to me a couple of German words which she has picked up
    somewhere: “I don’t know,” “Potatoes without salt are no good,”
    “Benzine is dangerous,” and phrases like that. I cannot realise
    that these children belong to an enemy nation. I should have
    dearly loved to roam about with them through forest and field,
    as I used to in Berlin.—(Quoted in the _Daily News_, December
    20, 1915.)[40]


The story of the child adopted by the Bedfordshires will be remembered
by many. She was found in a ditch by the men on their way to the
trenches, and was perforce for some time with them there.

    The German trenches were about 150 yards off, and the level,
    open space between the two lines wasn’t healthy. No man who
    valued his life would go there unnecessarily, or recklessly put
    his head above the parapet. One morning, to their horror the
    men, through the periscope, saw the child standing above the
    trench on the German side. Cries came from the enemy, but they
    were not hostile. The sight of the girl, little more than an
    infant, has touched their sentimental side, and she had offers
    of chocolate and invitations to go and see them.

    After that the girl went over the parapet quite often. She was
    as safe in that danger zone as if she had been behind the lines.
    No German would harm her, and once she went close up to their
    first-line trench.—(_Daily News_, February 17, 1916).


When the Austro-Hungarian troops entered Cetinje there was already
serious famine:

    The children in the streets were begging bread from the passing
    soldiers, who shared their tiny brown loaves with the hungry
    little children, and the military authorities at the barracks
    were besieged from the morning till late in the evening by the
    starving population.

    There were some fifty or sixty well-to-do better class families,
    who had been in Government positions before, or prominent
    business people, who suffered as terribly as their poorer
    brethren. Among those who went begging for bread to headquarters
    were wives of ex-Ministers and women who were ladies-in-waiting
    at the Royal Court only a few weeks previously. For their
    children’s sake they were all ready to beg for something to eat.

    It must be admitted that the military authorities put the
    soldiers on quarter rations and distributed all the available
    food among the suffering population. The bad condition of the
    roads and the consequent lack of supplies in the army itself
    made it impossible for them to do more.—(_Daily News_, February
    21, 1916.)

    _On quarter rations_—that is worth remembering.


We have all of us heard many stories from our soldier friends. Many
statements and opinions we cannot in these days publish, but some are
allowable. Such as the following: “Some of our men were hung up on the
German barbed wire. We could do nothing to get at them. We saw the
Germans trying to make signs from their trenches and we couldn’t at
first make out what they meant, but presently some of them ventured out
and took in our wounded. I turned to my mate and said, ‘They tell us all
the Germans are barbarians, but that doesn’t look much like it.’ It was
difficult to keep some of our men from firing on the Germans even then.”
The last statement will surprise only those who have not been told the
truth about war. Passion gets the upper hand of humanity, and indeed
reason may support passion, for is not destruction of the enemy one of
the chief aims of war? Shall we spare the enemy when rescuing their
_own_ wounded? By war logic that would be inconceivably foolish. Hence
such incidents as the following: A lieutenant of Hussars wrote on
October 22, 1914, of his work in a loft which he had previously
loopholed. The letter is both frank and generous, and as usual with
soldiers’ letters, without any of the malicious sanctity which so besets
the civilian. The letter was published in the _Times_, November 26,
1914. “When I got up I could see crowds of Germans advancing. I think
they have learnt a lesson from us, for they didn’t advance in masses,
but in extended order like we do. They were jolly good, too.... One
fellow was jolly brave. I saw him carrying back a wounded man on his
back, and it made a very good target. Though we didn’t succeed in
hitting him, he had to drop his man.... We were having jolly good fun.”
One sentence shows how far removed are the ethics of war from the ethics
of peace: “I saw him carrying back a wounded man on his back, _and it
made a very good target_.”

And here is a case where chivalry was remembered and forgotten. The
extract is from the _Daily News_, May 17, 1916. Most of us may get
similar information privately, but it is wisest to confine oneself to
what has already been published:

    A sergeant on active service writes in the course of a letter on
    his experiences: “I got stuck in a trench up to my waist in mud,
    and who do you think pulled me out?—only a German about 6ft.
    4in. One of my boys wanted to bayonet him.[41] I said: ‘Drop
    that or I shoot you.’ The German said: ‘Sergeant, it is not my
    fault—I am only fighting for my country as you are fighting for


From the _Daily News_, February 17, 1916, I take the following story of
a German priest:

    Then the word came that we were to go for the enemy’s first
    line, and we did. Our artillery started the music, and we made
    our effort.

    Our lads almost lost their reason for the time being, and
    heedless of shells and bullets, mounted the first German
    parapet. We killed many of them, but it is fair to say they
    didn’t give in. They quickly had reinforcements, and we were
    compelled against heavy odds to yield the trench to the enemy.
    Angry fighting continued, and our game now was to lure as many
    of the Germans towards our lines as possible so that we could
    mow them down with our guns. On they came, many hundreds of
    them, and as quickly they fell.

    Our fellows got it too, and one little party was absolutely at
    the mercy of the enemy. Two of our young officers and five men
    were severely wounded and their position was helpless, for it
    was impossible to rescue them. Despite our tremendous fire the
    Germans, with fixed bayonets, tried to reach the party and their
    intention was obvious. They got within a few yards of the
    wounded when one of their number sprang in front of them and
    flashed a crucifix. “Stop,” he shouted, and then he knelt down
    by the side of our men and blessed them. The other Germans
    immediately withdrew.

    Then we managed to reach the wounded and our officer thanked the
    priest for the brave way in which he had behaved in the face of
    his own men. “Take me,” said the priest. “I am your prisoner.”
    The officer said he would not do that, but he would see that he
    returned to the German lines unharmed. The promise was kept, and
    before they parted the priest, falling on his knees, thanked our
    officer warmly, adding: “God bless you and good luck!”


Each side fears the barbarity of the other. “Would it be good military
policy,” asked a military official, “to encourage any other idea?” “‘My
comrades were afraid,’ said this German sergeant. ‘They cried out to me
that the Indians would kill their prisoners, and that we should die if
we surrendered. But I said, ‘That is not true, comrades, and is only a
tale. Let us go forward with our hands up.’ So in that way we went, and
the Indian horsemen closed about us, and I spoke to one of them, asking
for mercy for our men, and he was very kind and a gentleman, and we
surrendered to him safely.’ He was glad to be alive, this man from
Wiesbaden. He showed me the portrait of his wife and boy, and cried a
little, saying that the German people did not make the war, but had to
fight for their country when told to fight, like other men.... He waved
his hand back to the woodlands, and remembered the terror of the place
from which he had just come. ‘Over there it was worse than death.’” Yes,
and “If any man were to draw the picture of those things or to tell them
more nakedly than I have told them, because now is not the time, nor
this the place, no man or woman would dare to speak again of war’s
‘glory,’ or of ‘the splendour of war,’ or any of those old lying phrases
which hide the dreadful truth.” (Philip Gibbs in the _Daily Chronicle_,
July 18, 1916.)


Yet, appalling as modern war is, there are things which some soldiers
find worse. When I spoke to an old friend of mine about a popular print
that disseminates hatred he said, “Whenever I see that paper it makes my
blood run cold.” Yet in one of the charges which that man had faced only
about a quarter of his company came back. That charge was to him less
hideous than some newspaper malice—a malice which is so often a matter
of business. Since then my friend has given his life, and has left in
one heart a desolation that is worse than death. But in that heart there
is no hate, only sympathy for all the sorrow, both on this side and the

Mr. Frederick Niven tells us the impressions of a wounded soldier who
saw the Zeppelin burned at Cuffley. “What stuck in his mind was the
roars that occurred when the airship took fire and began to come sagging
and flaming down. ‘It reminded me of what I have read of “Thumbs down”
in the arenas of ancient Rome. It was the most terrible thing I have
heard in my life. I’ve heard some cheering at the front, but this was
different. Nothing out there had quite the same horrible sound.’” The
difference can be explained. “These men,” says Mr. Niven, “have seen the
procession of the maimed, grey propping khaki, khaki propping grey, all
trooping down to the dressing station.” (_Daily News_, October 9, 1916.)

And here is a letter from a brave young officer, since killed. “I
drifted into the —— Parish Church last evening to hear the organ and
the singing. I was pushed into a pew up in the front, and so could not
escape until the end of the service. I could have wept when I heard the
sermon; it was a dreadful medieval picture of Heaven and Hell, and a
dreadful curse on all the German people as being ready for ‘Hell.’ ...
The whole service was as artificial as one could imagine—so heartless
and so soulless. It made me feel so very sad that, as I said before, I
could have wept openly. Do you think that the congregation, a large one,
would take in and believe all that they heard from the pulpit? It seems
too dreadful!”


Yet even civilians, even German civilians, do not always hate.

There is a better Germany, but it is only occasionally that we are
allowed glimpses of it now, and we must go usually among unknown people,
and read unpopular or comparatively obscure publications if we seek a
wider range of vision. In December, 1914, Mrs. Jackson, wife of a golf
professional, returned from Germany to Clacton-on-Sea. Her husband had
been in the employ of the Cologne Golf Club. “Do you think,” she was
asked, “the German hatred of England is general?” “No,” replied Mrs.
Jackson. “Of course, the Germans hate England fiercely as a nation, but
I do not think they do as individuals. Everyone treated us extremely
well, although they knew our nationality, and my husband’s employers are
anxious for him to go back again to them when the war is finished.”
“Does Germany know the truth?” “I do not think so. We could not get any
British newspapers, and only heard the German side of the question. I
was quite thunderstruck when I heard England had joined in, and I am
sure the German people were, too. The Germans are confident of victory,
and so much is this so that some of my friends did not want me to go
back, saying that I should be much safer where I was.” I take this
report from the _Clacton Graphic_ of February 20, 1915.

Of course, there has been much kindness on this side, and much gratitude
for it in Germany, but I confess that some things I have heard from the
other side have given me twinges of patriotic jealousy. I should like to
feel that my country is always first in generosity. When Chaplain
O’Rorke walked unattended and in khaki through the streets of Burg,
there was no offensive remark.[42] Three English ladies travelling in
Germany in war-time tell me that they never suffered from one unpleasant
word. Miss Littlefair tells of some anti-English demonstrations, but of
far more kindness, and when her unpopular nationality became known in a
railway carriage, there was no change in the friendliness of its
occupants.[43] Again, a Canadian Chaplain has been allowed to travel
free, and in his uniform, and to visit his men in different camps. He
seems to have had no difficulty with the populace. As regards walks on
parole, we hear from Crefeld, “There has been no trouble of any kind
with the inhabitants.”[44]


The _Frankfurter Zeitung_ is one of those German newspapers which has
often at least worked for sanity in the national attitude. We may differ
from some of its conclusions, but we must admire its stand against the
flood of foolish, indiscriminate hate. On February 27, 1915, it asked:
“What sense is there in German professors declaring that they will no
longer collaborate with this or that scientific institution in
England?... Salutations such as the celebrated ‘God punish England’ are
not only fundamentally tasteless and theatrical, but are quite
ridiculous.... We are deep in war, and we have to collect all our
strength to beat our enemies, and especially to subdue our most
dangerous enemy, England; but after the war must follow a peace which
shall render possible calm and assured work. This work must be performed
in conjunction with other peoples which we cannot exterminate.” ...
(Quoted in the _Times_, March 2, 1915.) On April 11, 1915, there
appeared another telling little article, “English and German, according
to Professor Sombart.” The article is quietly ironical over Professor
Sombart, who brings us before the court on the old charge, that we are a
nation of shopkeepers. “The traders’ spirit, that is Englishdom.” I
confess that as an Englishman I have always felt there was an
uncomfortable amount of truth in this sneer. We are surely a somewhat
stodgy, money-making people with far too little receptivity for new
ideas. “I have long thought and preached,” wrote Lord Haldane in the
_Nation_ of August 7, 1915, “that the real problem in this country is
the development of thought and ideas.” Dr. Drill does not in his review
concern himself with this charge. He remarks in passing that it is quite
possible for a tradesman to be a hero and for a minister of war to be a
tradesman, and then goes on to point out the futile absurdity of all
such general charges. He cites an amusing attack on German culture by a
lecturer at Bedford College. “We smile over his attack,” says Dr. Drill.
“May we not be afraid that educated Englishmen do the same about
Professor Sombart?” The review tears the book to tatters, and the
reviewer sums up the opinion of the thoughtful by declaring that the
publication of such a piece of writing at this time of crisis is
altogether scandalous. The course of journalists during this war has so
often been down steep places that we are refreshed whenever we come,
either in England or in Germany, upon so brave a stand for a sane view
of the enemy. Karl Bleibtreu (as quoted in the _Daily News_, July 8,
1915) writes in the _Kölnische Zeitung_, “Such foolish effusions as that
of Professor Sombart’s ‘Traders and Heroes,’ revealing no conception of
the more profound movements of the soul, must be regarded as an error.
The true perception is here blurred by a confusion of the British
private character, which is worthy in every way of the highest respect,
with the State policy which is dominated by a national megalomania.” We
are told that Bleibtreu abuses France. Well, we have known rather
distinguished Englishmen abuse France, too. The _Frankfurter Zeitung_
has spoken of “the really heroic bravery” of the Black Watch. The
_Kölnische Zeitung_ reproduced a spirited article from the Austrian
_Danzers Armee Zeitung_ in which that paper said the generous thing
about Serbian, Belgian and Russian armies alike. This article also was a
protest against the lower tone which has prevailed by no means only
amongst the newspapers printed in German. The Serbians are spoken of as
“an enemy who can hardly be surpassed in keenness and untiring energy.”
No one has any right, the article says, to abuse the Belgians who had a
right to fight and who fought very well, notwithstanding the notoriously
unmilitary character of their country. Of the Russians we are told, “We
must admit that these armies are well led, excellently equipped, and
splendidly armed.... There have been individual cases of disregard of
the Red Cross, and one hears of occasional plunderings, but, as regards
the majority, it is an honourable and chivalrous enemy that is facing
us.” The love of fair play is after all not confined to Englishmen, or
to the opponents of Germany.

The _Daily News_ of March 26, 1918, quotes from the _Kölnische Zeitung_,
which writes of the British enemy as “defending himself with
extraordinary determination and bravery.... Our men speak in terms of
the highest praise of the attitude of the enemy. The Englishman is an
extremely brave soldier.” I confess I should be glad to read tributes of
like generosity in certain popular newspapers on this side. The
_Deutsche Tageszeitung_ is also quoted as saying that the British
defended every one of their points of support determinedly and bravely,
giving way only step by step. Again, von Ludendorff (March 27) is quoted
as saying: “The English use and distribute their machine guns very
cleverly,” and there is something out of keeping with the attributed
Ludendorff character in the remark: “The district over which the
offensive has passed is pitiable.”

On April 4, 1918, the _Daily News_ contained the following under the
heading, “A Respectful Greeting sent per balloon by the Germans”:

    In a dispatch from the front Reuter’s special correspondent says
    there is a certain sporting element in the German army, and
    relates the following incident:

    During the thick of the first clash a small balloon came
    floating down to where our men were making a splendid
    resistance. On being captured it was found to be carrying the
    following message: “Good old 51st! Sticking it still! Good

    The 51st, which is one of the three first divisions to be named
    in official communiqués for magnificently opposing the enemy
    hordes, is known to be regarded by the Germans as one of our
    most formidable corps.

On April 15 we read of Armentières: “A Berlin semi-official statement
says that despite the ever-increasing pressure of the enveloping troops
the town held out extraordinarily bravely. Only when, by a flank
onslaught of the German troops, envelopment to the west of the town was
almost completed, did the remnant of the brave garrison surrender.”

And here is a letter from an Englishwoman in Germany (_Nation_, May 15,
1915): “‘Gott strafe England’ is a ‘Spruch’ in great use here, and is to
be had on rubber stamps.... School children are taught it.... This is a
fact, but all the better-thinking people deplore it, and I wonder
whether, if it is ever recorded in history, it will also be recorded
that the Kaiser has now strictly forbidden it. It will die, but
gradually. It is the idea of some silly loud-mouthed ass, and the
people, like sheep, followed it.” Professor Wrangel, a German authority
on pedagogy, urges the avoidance of instilling hatred into the young,
and he tells us that the Bavarian Government has instructed its teachers
to avoid in their lessons all language insulting to the enemy. (_Daily
Chronicle_, June 19, 1915.) In July, 1915, the _Frankfurter Zeitung_
published a long article on the situation in England, written by a
neutral observer. The London _Daily News_ describes it as giving “on the
whole a fair and conscientious presentation of facts.” The article
points out that the average Englishman regards the war as a war of
defence (just as the average German does). The article warmly praises
England for the way in which it won the loyalty of the Boer Republics.

In the _Montag_ (the Monday edition of the Berlin _Lokalanzeiger_) Herr
E. Zimmermann stoutly defended actions of both neutrals and enemies that
the more biased in Germany had condemned. “Reproach levelled against
America for supplying war material to our enemies is unjust. Germany
herself, at the Hague Conference, caused the rejection of the proposal
to prohibit the supply of war material to belligerents by neutral
countries. Only the prohibition of supply of war material by the
Governments of neutral States exists, while private industry is free to
act as it likes. So far America, as a State, has supplied no war
material.” In his attitude towards America, says Herr Zimmermann, the
Imperial Chancellor “need take no notice of those ferocious heroes who
take care to keep themselves at a distance from the hail of bullets in
safe retreat....” We know something of those ferocious heroes on this
side too.

Again, “I cannot share in the political sentimentality which represents
England’s attempt to starve us into submission as an exceedingly mean
thing. I cannot share in it because it would have been a pleasure to me
if I could apply with success the same war tactics to England. We must
not forget that it is not really a question of actually starving to
death tens of millions of men and women, but only of constraining them
to lay down their arms.”

Sir Edwin Pears writes in the _Sunday Times_ of October 10, 1915:

    The _Frankfurter Zeitung_ has been allowed to publish a
    statement which not unfairly represents the situation. It says
    that the Greek crisis raises the question: “Who is the stronger?
    The King with the General Staff and the great part of the Army,
    or Venizelos and the Cabinet who embody the will of the country
    as represented in the Chamber?”

This is a singularly fair and frank statement of the facts of the
crisis, as they at first presented themselves. The _Frankfurter Zeitung_
is no doubt distinguished for the reasonableness of its outlook, but I
think that anyone reading the better German newspapers must (in the days
when they were available) have felt a little prick of wounded pride when
he compared them with our own. The _Kölnische Zeitung_ is, for instance,
like all belligerent newspapers, ridiculously biased; but in the earlier
days, when I was able to see it, I did not find gross misrepresentation
or absurd hate. The “not very tasteful ‘Gott strafe England’” has given
the English a new word, one writer remarks (Sept. 21, 1915). Naturally,
American testimony favourable to Germany is exclusively quoted, just as
in this country we quoted exclusively that favourable to the Entente.
And some space was given to the utterances of such men as Sven Hedin and
Björn Björnson, who, as neutral observers, had formed a high opinion of
the way that German character was meeting the crisis. There was not,
however, so much of the curious sanctimonious malice which has
disfigured some of the well-known English papers.[45]


If children are to be told of the war at all, the central duty of any
teacher should surely be to avoid stimulating those feelings of hatred
which might obscure the chances of future peace. On the whole, the
German school-books I have before me seem to fulfil this duty, or at
least to aim at fulfilling it.[46] There are, of course, many stories of
the achievements and the courage of the German soldiers. All peoples
have dwelt on physical courage in too primitive a way. But these books
scarcely encourage hate. A letter from France tells how German soldiers
tried to help the starving people. The writer is very obviously sincere.
“In one village near our fortifications the people were crying with
hunger. It was woeful. I gave them all the bread I had. The children
were always asking for more, and kissed our hands. That moved us all
greatly. Naturally we told the Commandant.” As a result, twelve women
were allowed to pass through the lines blindfolded to fetch food from
——. This story is not one to encourage hate, and again and again there
are stories of German sympathy with the enemy.

A sad account of incidents of the Russian invasion begins: “Of course,
not all Russians are barbarians, most of the misdeeds are due to the
Cossacks.” (I could not help on reading this calling to mind some of the
wilder anti-German outbursts. An official in a rather responsible
position said to me that he could not see “a single redeeming feature in
any one of them.” It was a childish outburst, but childishness in a
position of authority becomes cruelty.) A story one German school-book
tells of a wounded Belgian sounds only the note of pity, and there is a
wonderful little picture of a wounded German’s suspicion of a wounded
Russian. The story is finely told, but I cannot reproduce it all here.
The Russian is in pain and thirst, the wounded German hesitates between
suspicion and pity, but pity gets the upper hand, and he crawls with his
water bottle to the Russian. Later, as he lies helpless, his fears are
aroused by seeing the Russian fumble with something in his breast. Is it
a revolver? The wounded German, overstrained with suffering, waits in
terror, but the Russian dies before his hand can bring out what it
sought. When the stretcher bearers come the German asks the leader to
look for the revolver which he feared the Russian was trying to get out.
The leader goes to look. He brings back what the Russian’s dying hand
was seeking. No revolver, but the portrait of his mother. This rebuke of
hatred and suspicion would live in a child’s mind for long.

The effects of the anti-German outbursts can be traced even in these
books. When an officer finds the Sisters of a nunnery in want, his ready
help is accompanied by the words: “This little kindness is the act of
German barbarians, who refuse all thanks. As long as we are here, each
barbarian soldier will give up a little, so that you may have their
savings every three days, and then you will have plenty.... Enjoy it,
and be as happy as you can.”


Professor Martin-Rade of Marburg University is a Protestant Liberal
Theologian and a man well known in his own country on account of his
literary and political activities. He writes as follows in the
_Christliche Welt_, a widely-circulated magazine of which he is the
editor: “I can only deplore the manner in which the Chancellor in his
speech ... has treated the question of neutral countries, for there was
no need for him to have recourse to the proverb, ‘Necessity knows no
law.’ With that proverb I cannot convince these who behold in the
existence of neutral States a triumph of the rights of man. That is why
it is a pity—for which it is hard indeed to make reparation—that the
German Empire should not have abstained altogether, at the very outset,
from the sin ... which it has committed against Belgium. Whoever accuses
my view of being unpatriotic I challenge, by whatever test he likes, to
show that he loves his Fatherland better than I do.” (From a letter in
the _Nation_, November 28, 1914.)

Again, as early as December, 1914, at a meeting of the Socialist Party
in the Reichstag a resolution was proposed in favour of (_a_) the
evacuation of Belgium, and (_b_) the setting up of plebiscites in
Schleswig and Alsace-Lorraine to determine the future government of
those districts. It was defeated, but twenty four members voted for it.
(_Nation_, January 23, 1915.) To estimate the full value of this we
must try to envisage the state of mind of a nation at war. This is
notoriously difficult. We cannot picture our _own_ state of mind,
because it is obviously impossible at one and the same time to be
intensely moved and to picture this emotion without emotional bias. And
our bias renders us perhaps equally incapable of envisaging the mind of
the enemy. It will be necessary therefore somewhat wilfully to
exaggerate an analogy in order to see how Germans may feel. Let us
conceive, then, twenty-four members of the House of Commons proposing
(in the midst of the war) (_a_) the raising of all blockade restrictions
against neutrals, the evacuation of all neutral territories (whether
Grecian or Persian), and (_b_) the setting up of plebiscites in Ireland,
India and Egypt, to determine the future governments of those districts.
I can imagine somewhat heated or contemptuous treatment of this
comparison. Just so: the Germans are heated too, and they no longer see
clearly. And we must never forget that they have had long training in
obedience to government. There are not wanting English politicians who
would like to see similar training introduced here. It leads however to
the hypnotic response of which Colonel Maude has written interestingly
in his “War and the World’s Life.” The Government in Germany called for
the defence of the Fatherland, the Government declared the invasion of
Belgium as unavoidable. The hypnotic response followed, but at least
twenty-four members of the national legislature woke from the trance and
_thought_. I have attempted in my comparison only to suggest how much
independence, how much cutting of bonds and attachments that thought
required. I press the analogy no further. What is noticeable is that
this thought, voiced so early and unmistakably, has been gaining wider
and wider utterance. It appears that in December, 1914, Herr Haase,
speaking in the Reichstag for the Social Democrats, declared that the
party were unanimously of opinion that the facts which had come to
light since the beginning of the war were not sufficient evidence for
them to adopt the Imperial Chancellor’s view that the violation of the
neutrality of Luxemburg and Belgium was justified by military reasons.
The party had come to the conclusion and had agreed that the violation
of Luxemburg and Belgium must be regarded as a violation of justice. The
above declaration seems to have been suppressed in the German papers. It
reached the _Labour Leader_ from Holland.


We have all of us read the celebrated manifesto issued by the National
Executive of the German Social Democratic Party which the _Vorwärts_ was
suppressed for publishing. Let us remind ourselves of a few passages in
that document. It was issued in June, 1915. “When in recent years the
threatening clouds of war gathered on the political horizon, the German
Socialists stood with all their strength up to the last hour, for the
preservation of peace. To the misfortune of the peoples, the Socialists
in all countries were not yet strong enough to hold back the terrible
fate which has come upon Europe. The torch of war flared up sharply and
set the whole world on fire.

“When the Cossacks of the Tsar passed over the frontiers, plundering and
burning, the German Socialists proved true to the word which their
leaders had given to the German people. They put themselves at the
service of their country and voted the means for its defence....

“The Parliamentary Party and the Party Executive have always unanimously
opposed the policy of conquests and of annexations. We raise once more
the sharpest protests against all attempts to secure the annexation of
foreign territories and the violation of the rights of other peoples,
particularly as they have been expressed in the demands of great
Capitalist Federations and in the speeches of leading capitalist
politicians. To make such attempts delays more than ever the peace which
is strongly desired by the whole people. _The people do not want any
annexations. The people want peace._—THE EXECUTIVE OF THE SOCIAL
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF GERMANY. June 23, 1915, Berlin.”

When we remember that the Social Democrats of Germany number about four
millions,[47] the importance of this manifesto becomes clearer. It is a
tremendous fact. The loud-voiced threats of crushing, boycott, etc., by
influential sections on this side have been one of the greatest
hindrances to the Social Democrats, and one of the greatest aids to
German militarists.

We heard much in 1915 of the “annexation split” in Germany. The
Delbrück-Dernburg-Wolff Memorial represented, to my thinking, nothing
strange, or new, or abnormal, but rather the voice of natural and normal
Germany making itself heard again amidst the clamour of foolish hatred
and silly bombast in which present-day crises seem always to involve the
contending nations. “Germany did not enter the war with the idea of
annexation”—thus the Memorial opens. It is easy to scoff at this
statement, because it is always easier in a crisis to be swayed entirely
by bias. Frankly, as regards _Germany_, that is (if this word is to have
any meaning), as regards the mass of the German people, I believe this
statement to be true. Whatever the militarist and commercial schemers
may have contrived, Germany as a whole did not enter the war with the
idea of annexation, but, as the Memorial goes on, “in order to preserve
its existence, threatened by the enemy coalition against its national
unity and its progressive development. In concluding peace, Germany
cannot pursue anything that does not serve these objects.” Who were the
signatories to this Memorial? Amongst the 82 names are those of
Professor Hans Delbrück, Dr. Dernburg (the ex-Minister), Professor
Adolf von Harnack (the theologian and General Director of the Royal
Library at Berlin), Theodore Wolff (Editor of the _Berliner Tageblatt_),
Dr. Oppenheim (who holds an important position in the dye industries),
Carl Permet (Judge of the Berlin Commercial Courts), Prince von
Hatzfeld, Franz von Mendelsohn (President of the Berlin Chamber of
Commerce), Prince Donnersmarck, Count von Leyden (ex-ambassador), Dr.
August Stein (Editor of the _Frankfurter Zeitung_), Major von Parseval
(the designer of the famous airship). These are representative names.
They stand, I think, with the Social Democrats for the real Germany.

The _Berliner Tageblatt_ has returned again and again to the charge.
Here, for instance, is an extract from an article by Herr Theodore Wolff
as given in the _Daily News_ of February 4, 1916:

    Since August 4, 1914, the Belgian question has been withdrawn
    from public discussion, and only the advocates of a boundless
    policy of grab are now and again impelled by their temperament
    to throw off all restraint. Because these voices are alone
    audible, the Paris papers and those Belgian papers which are
    published in London are able constantly to din into the ears of
    the war-weary Belgians and the world at large that Belgium has
    only the choice between the continuation of the war and complete
    destruction. In this way, by asserting that in Germany at most
    only a few Socialists and pacifists without influence are
    opposed to the policy of annexation, they succeed in stifling
    again and again any aspiration towards peace. It is therefore
    necessary and useful at least to proclaim from time to time that
    this assertion, as will be demonstrated on the very first day
    when free discussion is allowed, is absolutely incorrect.[48]


The real German is not simply a brute, though the brute lies perdu in
every civilised man. Mr. Herbert Hoover, formerly Chairman of the
Commission of Relief in Belgium, said, “The German authorities place no
obstruction in the way of relief, and, as far as can be ascertained, not
one loaf of bread or one spoonful of salt supplied by the Relief
Commission has been taken by the Germans.” (_Times_, c. December 6,

It has often been said in this country that according to German rules
contracts with enemy subjects are cancelled by the mere fact of war. The
_Kölnische Zeitung_ published a legal opinion disposing of this
statement. No law to this effect exists, and none has been enacted.
“Only the right of enemies to secure enforcement of contracts by means
of legal process has been curtailed. Moreover, the making of payments to
England, France or Russia has been prohibited. But these last-named
prohibitions presuppose the legal validity of the contracts themselves,
since they declare the payments due under them to be merely postponed.”
(_Daily News_, August 20, 1915.)

An old friend of mine was in process of negotiating patent rights in
Germany for an invention of his at the time that war broke out. He was
allowed to complete the claim to the patent, and it was granted him
after Germany and Britain were at war.


Not every one in Germany is obsessed with a conviction of the efficacy
of “frightfulness.” This is plain from the fact that the _Frankfurter
Zeitung_ published articles from its neutral correspondent in England
which point out that each phase of frightfulness had precisely the
opposite effect of that which was intended. The bombardments of coast
towns, the use of asphyxiating gases, the sinking of the Lusitania all
led, he remarks, to increased recruiting and intensified war feeling.
Each act of frightfulness has of course been represented to the German
public in a very different light from that in which it has been
presented to us,[49] and it is therefore the more striking that so
influential a newspaper should publish such an opinion. When the
Lusitania was sunk, both the _Berliner Tageblatt_ and the _Vorwärts_
maintained an absolute silence, and these are the two most influential
organs in Berlin.


The soldier’s attitude is often that of Captain Ball, the boy who did
such wonders in the air fight:—

    I attacked two Albatross scouts and crashed them, killing the
    pilots. In the end I was brought down, but am quite O.K. Oh, it
    was a good fight, and the Huns were fine sports. One tried to
    ram me after he was hit, and only missed by inches. Am indeed
    looked after by God, but oh! I do get tired of always living to
    kill and am really beginning to feel like a murderer. Shall be
    so pleased when I have finished.

Quoted in the _Daily News_, May 7, 1918. Captain Ball has finished the
killing in the only way boys can finish the killing now, for he is dead.
The last words, _Requiescat in pace_, have a new poignancy in days when
children are growing up who have never known peace.

Yet underneath all the wild recriminations prompted by fear and hate,
there is brotherhood. For at the worst what do all these charges mean?
That a few foolish men without vision have slipped into power and direct
the great beast-machine that kills. That Frankenstein is apt at all
times to wild, primitive cruelty. What may it be when foolish, hard
theorists are its masters? Yet, for all that, the people out of whom
Frankensteins are made are of one flesh, are all brothers, all parts of
the great Life which some call God. Now and then, amidst their fiercest
fighting, this becomes plain. It sometimes seems as if the main concern
of rulers were to prevent any permanent realisation of this truth; for
if the peoples should realise their oneness, war would cease, and there
is nothing that stops awkward questions as war does. Yet some day these
awkward questions will be asked again, I hope, and Hans and Jack and
François and Ivan may come to realise their brotherhood. Let us remind
ourselves how now and then they can realise this even in war. “Who will
not recall in this connection,” writes Prince Eugéne Troubetzky in the
_Hibbert_ (July, 1915), “the touching description of the Christmas
festival in the trenches, when the Germans, hearing the English singing
their hymns, went out to meet them and heartily shook their enemies by
the hand? Similar scenes have occurred more than once between the
Russians and the Germans. At the present moment there lies before me the
letter of a Russian soldier which refers to them: ‘What I am going to
tell you,’ he says, ‘is a true miracle.’ The ‘miracle’ which had so
appealed to his imagination was that, during an armistice, there were
‘handshakes and hearty acclamations on both sides, to which no
description could do justice.’ ... From the very heart of war there
issues this mighty protest of life against the destructive force of
death. But whenever life asserts itself, its object is always to
re-establish a living unity. The more violently unity is threatened by
war, or by the mutual hate which would tear it asunder, the more
powerful becomes the answer of this spiritual force in its effort to
re-establish the integrity of mankind. In this we have the explanation
of a fact, which at first sight seems incredible, that in time of war
the perception of the universal solidarity of mankind reaches a degree
of elevation which would hardly be possible in time of peace.”

“On Christmas Eve,” writes a member of the London Rifle Brigade, “the
Germans burned coloured lights and candles along the top of their
trenches, and on Christmas Day a football match was played between them
and us in front of the trench. They even allowed us to bury all our dead
lying in front, and some of them, with hats in hand, brought in some of
our dead officers from behind their trench, so that we could bury them
decently. They were really magnificent in the whole thing, and jolly
good sorts. I have now a very different opinion of the German. Both
sides have started the firing, and are already enemies again. Strange it
all seems, doesn’t it?” (_Nation_, January 2, 1915.)

“These Germans were enduring the same hardships, and the same squalor.
There was only pity for them and a sense of comradeship, as of men
forced by the cruel gods to be tortured by fate. This sense of
comradeship reached strange lengths at Christmas, and on other days.
Truces were established and men who had been engaged in trying to kill
each other came out of opposite trenches and fraternised. They took
photographs of mixed groups of Germans and English, arm-in-arm. They
exchanged cigarettes, and patted each other on the shoulder, and cursed
the war.... The war had become the most tragic farce in the world. The
frightful senselessness of it was apparent when the enemies of two
nations fighting to the death stood in the grey mist together and liked
each other. They did not want to kill each other, these Saxons of the
same race and blood, so like each other in physical appearance, and with
the same human qualities.... The monstrous absurdity of war, this
devil’s jest, stood revealed nakedly by those little groups of men
standing together in the mists of Flanders.... It became so apparent
that army orders had to be issued stopping such truces.”

It is only by artificial stimulus, by artificially made ignorance, that
war can be kept going in these days. By which I do not mean to imply
that commanders and leaders are wilfully cruel men; but the leaders on
each side are afraid lest _their_ men should give up fighting first. To
be the first to acknowledge brotherhood seems like being the first to
give in, and actually does foreshadow serious dangers. And yet the time
will come when we shall have to face danger for the sake of brotherhood,
as we do now for the sake of self-assertion. The orders to avoid
friendship with the enemy were, even in these circumstances, not always
obeyed. “For months after German and British soldiers in neighbouring
trenches fixed up secret treaties by which they fired at fixed targets
at stated periods to keep up appearances and then strolled about in
safety, sure of each other’s loyalty.” (Gibbs, “The Soul of the War,” p.
351.) Prisoners were sent back to their own trenches, and sometimes went
with great reluctance.


“He told me how on the night he had his own wound French and German
soldiers talked together by light of the moon, which shed its pale light
upon all those prostrate men, making their faces look very white. He
heard the murmurs of their voices about him, and the groans of the
dying, rising to hideous anguish as men were tortured by ghastly wounds
and broken limbs. In that night enmity was forgotten by those who had
fought like beasts and now lay together. A French soldier gave his
water-bottle to a German officer who was crying out with thirst. The
German sipped a little and then kissed the hand of the man who had been
his enemy. ‘There will be no war on the other side,’ he said. Another
Frenchman—who came from Montmartre—found lying within a yard of him a
Luxembourgeois whom he had known as his _chasseur_ in a big hotel in
Paris. The young German wept to see his old acquaintance. ‘It is
stupid,’ he said, ‘this war. You and I were happy when we were good
friends in Paris. Why should we have been made to fight with each
other?’ He died with his arms round the neck of the soldier, who told
me the story unashamed of his own tears.” (Gibbs, l.c. p. 282) “At one
spot where there had been a fierce hand-to-hand fight, there were
indications that the combatants when wounded had shared their water
bottles.” (_Sheffield Telegraph_, November 14, 1914.)

The following letter must not be forgotten. It was found at the side of
a dead French cavalry officer: “There are two other men lying near me,
and I do not think there is much hope for them either. One is an officer
of a Scottish regiment, and the other is a private in the Uhlans. They
were struck down after me, and when I came to myself, I found them
bending over me, rendering first aid. The Britisher was pouring water
down my throat from his flask, while the German was endeavouring to
staunch my wound with an anti-septic preparation served out to them by
their medical corps. The Highlander had one of his legs shattered, and
the German had several pieces of shrapnel buried in his side. In spite
of their own suffering they were trying to help me, and when I was fully
conscious again, the German gave us a morphia injection and took one
himself. His medical corps had also provided him with the injection and
the needle, together with printed instructions for its use. After the
injection, feeling wonderfully at ease, we spoke of the lives we had
lived before the war. We all spoke English, and we talked of the women
we had left at home. Both the German and the Britisher had only been
married a year. I wondered, and I suppose the others did, why we had
fought each other at all....” (_Daily Citizen_, December 21, 1914.
Quoted in Edward Carpenter’s “The Healing of Nations,” p. 261.)


Let us take one or two more of the Christmas experiences as quoted by
Mr. Edward Carpenter, in his book, “The Healing of Nations”: “Last night
(Christmas Eve) was the weirdest stunt I have ever seen. All day the
Germans had been sniping industriously, with some success, but after
sunset they started singing, and we replied with carols. Then they
shouted, ‘Happy Christmas!’ to us, and some of us replied in German. It
was a topping moonlight night, and we carried on long conversations, and
kept singing to each other and cheering. Later they asked us to send one
man out to the middle, between the trenches, with a cake, and they would
give us a bottle of wine. Hunt went out, and five of them came out and
gave him the wine, cigarettes and cigars. After that you could hear them
for a long time calling from half-way, ‘Englishman, kom hier.’ So one or
two more of our chaps went out and exchanged cigarettes, etc., and they
all seemed decent fellows.”

Again. “We had quite a sing-song last night (Christmas Eve). The Germans
gave a song, and then our chaps gave them one in return. A German that
could speak English, and some others, came right up to our trenches, and
we gave them cigarettes and papers to read, as they never get any news,
and then we let them walk back to their own trenches. Then our chaps
went over to their trenches, and they let them come back all right.
About five o’clock on Christmas Eve one of them shouted across and told
us that if we did not fire on them they would not open fire on us, and
so the officers agreed. About twenty of them came up all at once and
started chatting away to our chaps like old chums, and neither side
attempted to shoot.” Another soldier relates how his comrades and the
Saxons opposed to them sang and shouted to each other through the night.
He goes on, “When daylight came, two of our fellows, at the invitation
of the enemy, left the trenches, met half-way and drank together. That
completed it. They said they would not fire, if we did not; so after
that we strolled about talking to each other.”

On Christmas morning, elsewhere. “We mixed together, played
mouth-organs and took part in dances. My word! The Germans can’t half
sing part songs! We exchanged addresses and souvenirs, and when the time
came we shook hands and saluted each other, returning to our trenches. I
went up into the trenches on Christmas night. One wouldn’t have thought
there was a war going on. All day our soldiers and the Germans were
talking and singing half-way between the opposing trenches. The space
was filled with English and Germans handing one another cigars. At night
we sang carols.” Another records how souvenirs and food were exchanged,
and how jollification and football were indulged in with the Germans.
But “next day we got an order that all communication and friendly
intercourse must cease.” The Germans had said frankly they were tired of
the war, the English soldiers wished to be their friends, but far away
were a few elderly men who wanted the fighting to go on.

Into what depths the need of exacerbating hate may lead one is shown by
the following extract from a telegram headed, “British Headquarters,
France,” which I take from the _Daily News_ of December 23, 1915:

    No doubt the Bosches will have plenty of Christmas trees, as
    they did last year, but, without attaching too much credence to
    the reports of an increasing difficulty in maintaining their
    rations. I think it is quite safe to say that they will fare
    very much more frugally than our own men. But may not their own
    consciousness of the fact result in an outburst of “strafing?”
    The principle that the next best thing to not getting well
    served yourself is to spoil the other fellow’s enjoyment is a
    good sound Hunnish axiom. There will certainly be no amenities
    nor anything in the nature of a truce so far as the British are
    concerned. All ranks are bidden to remember that war is war and
    that the Germans invariably have some sinister motive in all
    they do, especially under the guise of a gush of friendly

The last sentences must surely, in any generous heart (if the moral
destruction of war has left us such), produce a feeling of acute shame.
In all the multitude of truces that occurred at Christmas, 1914, I have
not seen a single case of German treachery reported. What is it that is
feared in the truce? “In some places,” said a German officer, “we have
had to change our men several times. They get too damn friendly.”[50]
“If we don’t take care,” said an English officer that Christmas, “there
will be a permanent peace without generals or c.o.’s having a say in the
matter.” Is that thought really more terrible than the thought of
unnumbered shattered bodies and hopeless hearts?

How ineffectual so far are all European attempts at democracy! Carlyle’s
satire about the thirty men of Dumdrudge called out, they know not why,
to kill thirty men from a Dumdrudge elsewhere is not referred to in
these days; but it still expresses the essential absurdity of wars.

Here is an extract from the _Labour Leader_ of August 19, 1915:

    My friend must not be identified. But here is an incident he
    told me I can safely relate. During the unauthorised Christmas
    truce of eight months ago so chummy did a British officer and a
    Saxon officer become that the Saxon officer gave his enemy “an
    invitation to visit him in Germany at the end of the war,” and
    “stay as long as you like,” he added. The British officer is
    still carrying the address in his pocket in the hope that one
    day he may be able to accept the invitation.

The _Labour Leader_ is much disliked by the orthodox of England, as is
the _Vorwärts_ by the orthodox of Germany. It seems to me that both may
be rendering a fine service to the cause of humanity, and one may surely
say this without implying complete agreement with the opinions or the
policy of either.


Writing home to his mother in Somerset, a member of the R.A.M.C. says:
“You will find inside a German button for a souvenir. It was given me
by a wounded German prisoner. After he had had his wound dressed, he
pointed to his buttons and made signs for me to cut one off. He hardly
knew how to thank us after he had finished his tea, and his eyes gleamed
with gratitude as he looked around at us.” (_Daily News_, August 26,

From a private letter: “The following is first hand, and of interest.
Dr. S. lectures on first aid to C.’s squad. During the course of a
lecture on the heart he referred to a visit paid to the local hospital.
In the hospital was a man who had been a prisoner in Germany. Dr. S.
asked the man about his treatment. In the course of the talk the man
said that if he had his choice he would prefer to be in a German
hospital! Dr. S. smiled when he related this. ‘This is not the kind of
statement,’ he said, ‘that is published in the newspapers!’”

There comes into my mind the photograph of a British prisoner in a
German camp. The boy’s mother was delighted to see him looking so well.
The photograph was the more striking as the lad was wounded in the
stomach at the time he was taken prisoner.

From a private letter: “My nephew was in the Canadians and was wounded
in the spine in a recent advance.... He was brought back to London,
where I saw him, and he died in hospital shortly after. He told me
himself all about it. He lay for several hours after being wounded,
unable of course to move. When the ambulance came up, the stretcher
bearers were Germans—prisoners of war. They saw he was cold and took
off their own coats and wrapped him up. All the while they were under
fire from the British guns.[51] One of them was wounded in the arm by
shrapnel as they were carrying him, but he kept his hold. He called to
his mate to let down the stretcher, but till it was on the ground, he
never flinched. My nephew knew what this meant, and as he thought of
what had been done for him by an ‘enemy’ his face lighted up, as he
said, ‘That man is a hero!’ And he added, ‘We don’t feel hard towards
them at the front.’”

Again, a wounded soldier who had been prisoner in Germany says: “I could
not have been better treated, and I know ninety companions who say the
same. But this is not the sort of story the newspapers want.” People
very generally do not like to hear good of an enemy. In war-time this
very human objection may become an important cause of continued strife.
(cf., p. 108.)

In the following, Philip Gibbs tells of a German doctor who tended
friend and foe alike. “A number of Germans ... —about 250 of
them—stayed in the dug-outs, without food and water, while our shells
made a fury above them and smashed up the ground. They had a German
doctor there, a giant of a man with a great heart, who had put his
first-aid dressing station in the second line trench, and attended to
the wounds of the men until our bombardment intensified so that no man
could live there.

“He took the wounded down to a dug-out—those who had not been carried
back—and stayed there expecting death. But then, as he told me to-day,
at about eleven o’clock this morning the shells ceased to scream and
roar above-ground, and after a sudden silence he heard the noise of
British troops. He went up to the entrance of his dug-out and said to
some English soldiers who came up with fixed bayonets, ‘My friends, I
surrender.’ Afterwards he helped to tend our own wounded, and did very
good work for us under the fire of his own guns, which had now turned
upon this position.” (_Daily Chronicle_, July 5, 1916.)

It must be easy to tell bad stories of every furious fight, but the
right spirit is surely that shown by Mr. Gibbs in another despatch
(_Daily Chronicle_, July 7, 1916): “The enemy behaved well, I am told,
to our wounded men at some parts of the line, and helped them over the
parapets. This makes us loth to tell other stories not so good.”

Again, on July 21, 1916: “It was the turn of the stretcher-bearers, and
they worked with great courage. And here one must pay a tribute to the
enemy. ‘We had white men against us,’ said one of the officers, ‘and
they let us get in our wounded without hindrance as soon as the fight
was over.’”

“‘This war!’ said a German doctor, ‘We go on killing each other to no
purpose.’” (_Daily Chronicle_, July 5, 1916.)

And on this side:

    The wife of a petty officer described to me the arrival of the
    first batch of wounded. It happened that these were chiefly
    Germans. “I thought I wouldn’t care so long as I didn’t see our
    poor boys carried up,” she said, “but when I saw them, Germans
    or not, I couldn’t help crying.” I gathered that the sight of
    the sufferers swept away every feeling but sympathy amongst the
    onlookers. She told me of the funerals to the little churchyard
    outside the barracks, and of the “loneliness” of the dead
    Germans. She had wept by those nameless graves, thinking of
    those that belonged to these strangers.—Louie Bennett in the
    _Labour Leader_.

I remember a Cockney boy of fifteen telling me how at Southend he had
gone for fun to see wounded Germans brought ashore. But the fun died out
in his heart at the reality, and he ran away.

The little incident I will next mention has special charm because of the
beautiful spirit shown by every one concerned. A wounded German, Albert
Dill, lay in hospital here. He was asked by a visitor if there was
anything that he specially wished for. He answered. “Flowers for the
dear English nurse, more than anything else.” The flowers were sent and
his letter of gratitude is touching. There were far more than he
expected, he said, and his joy was the greater. “The pleasure of the
nurses and the doctors too was great when they saw this rich gift of
flowers (diese reiche Blumenspende).... This day will often remind me of
the good and self-sacrificing nursing that I have had here in this
hospital.” And the “dear English nurse” writes: “The flowers you sent at
the request of Albert Dill were indeed most beautiful.... I have been
nursing the German patients for a considerable time, and their gratitude
has always been most marked. We sincerely hope that while carrying out
our duties we have been able to relieve their sufferings, and have
perhaps helped them to bear the misfortunes of war a little more
patiently.” This little incident is surely the greatest of victories,
for it is a victory of the spirit.

Nurse Kathleen Cambridge, who was near Mons at the time of the British
retreat, spoke as follows of some of her experiences (_Daily News_,
January 8, 1916):

    After the battle I was very pleased to be of assistance to the
    wounded, for whom my mother and I had arranged an ambulance. It
    was at four o’clock that I saw the first party of British
    prisoners being marched through from Mons to Brussels. A halt
    was called just outside the Chateau. The Germans were very kind
    at that time and offered their prisoners cigarettes and gave
    them water from their bottles.

    Two men, exhausted by terrible wounds, dropped into the ditch.
    The baron went off to ask if we could be of assistance, and the
    German doctor told him that he would be grateful for any help,
    as he had to get on to Brussels and could not wait. The two men
    were brought into the chateau. We did all we could for them, and
    gradually, after some weeks, they recovered.

Neglect and honourable conduct are both recorded in the next cutting
from the _Manchester Guardian_ (September 17, 1917).

    A Scotsman wounded at La Bassée had lain for eight days in a
    German dug-out which our troops had captured and from which they
    had been driven. One party of Germans peering into the darkness
    had bombed him, and added one or two slight wounds to the
    twenty-two he already possessed. He managed to signal to the
    second bombing party some days later, and was carried away to
    the field hospital, where hundreds of wounded Germans were
    lying. Here he was found by a young German engineer who had
    spent years in Glasgow and Liverpool. “Hullo, Jock,” the man
    said kindly, “pretty bad, aren’t you? I’ll fetch a doctor for

    He did so, and the wounds were roughly dressed. Nothing more was
    done for eight days, when the Scot managed to attract the
    attention of some visiting officer to the fact that his wounds
    were in a dreadful condition, septic and suppurating.

    “He was furious,” said the Scot: “made no end of a row about it,
    and I was attended to at once. I have nothing to complain of
    about my treatment when in hospital in Germany.”

From the _Daily News_, April 16, 1918:

    Here is a story vouched for by a young soldier now in hospital
    in the North of England:—“I was shot in both legs during the
    recent fighting. As I lay, helpless and almost hopeless, for our
    lads had been pressed back, a German officer, also wounded,
    crawled up to me. He spoke English fluently, and it turned out
    that he had once worked in the town from which I come. When I
    told him I was the last of the family left to my widowed mother,
    and that I feared it would settle her when she heard I had gone
    too, he said: ‘All right, old chap; we’ll see what can be done.’
    As soon as it was quite dark he got me to pull myself on to his
    back. In this way he crawled to within earshot of our outposts,
    and only left me and dragged himself in the direction of his own
    lines when he knew my cry had been heard.”

From the same paper of April 11, 1918, I take the story told by a naval
prisoner exchanged through Switzerland:

    The sailor had one eye blown out and the other temporarily
    damaged by a shell in a concentrated fire which sank his
    destroyer in the battle of Jutland. He was picked up by an
    already overcrowded British boat after swimming about for an
    hour almost blind. Then a German destroyer ran alongside and
    took aboard the whole boatload.

    The voice of an officer hailed from the deck: “Don’t forget the
    British way, lads, wounded first.” “He spoke such good English
    that I took him for a Scottie,” said my informant, “and I
    thought it was a British destroyer that had picked us up. I was
    hauled aboard, and I saw him look at my face and turn away.
    ‘What’s the matter, Jock?’ I said. ‘I’m not a Jock,’ says he,
    ‘I’m one of the Huns.’ ‘What, ain’t this a British ship?’ says
    I. ‘Throw me back into the sea, and let me take the chance of
    being picked up by one of ours.’ ‘It can’t be done, sonny,’ he
    says. ‘You’ve got to go to Germany. But you’ll be exchanged all
    right. You’re disabled.’ It seems he had a relative in London,
    and knew England well. All the time British ships were chasing
    us and shelling us; and he hung a lifebelt near me, and said:
    ‘If the British Fleet sink us that will give you a bit of a
    chance yet.’”

The following is from _Lloyd’s News_, May 12, 1918, under the heading of
“Back from the dead”:

    Three years ago a Twickenham resident, Mrs. Maunders, received
    official news from the War Office that her husband, one of “The
    Old Contemptibles,” had been killed in action.

    Thrown on her own resources, and having a small family to keep,
    she struggled on, and a very good offer of marriage came along
    and was accepted. A few days before the wedding a letter came
    from the supposed dead husband, stating that he was badly
    wounded and left for dead on the battlefield, but was found by
    the enemy and nursed back to health.

The following is from a private letter: “I am happy to be able to tell
you that through the German Flying Corps dropping a message, we heard of
[my son’s] safety early in July. He writes to us and appears to be well
and comfortable.... He was shot through the neck. He has happily quite
recovered after being about four weeks in hospital. He has spoken only
of kindness and attention from doctors and nurses.”

Again: “As you have probably heard by now, I am a wounded prisoner of
war.... I myself got my shoulder rather badly smashed up by a machine
gun which knocked me out, and I lay in a shell hole for about ten hours
while our guns strafed like hell and I expected every moment to be blown
to bits. However, I at last managed to crawl up and stagger along, and
as I was in German lines, ran into a lot of Germans. They were awfully
kind to me, gave me food and drink and bound up my wound, and then sent
me along to the dressing station. I am at present in hospital in
Belgium and expect to go to Germany almost directly. My address at the
back will find me.” What follows from the same correspondent has some
bearing on the feeding in hospitals. “You mentioned in your last letter
whether you could send me anything. Well, dear old chap, if you are
feeling an angel, plenty of good plain chocolate and other delicacies
would be awfully welcome, also some Gold Flake cigarettes.” It was only
“delicacies,” it will be observed, that were asked for. This was in the
middle of 1917.

The next extract is from _Common Sense_, July 13, 1918:

“The following experience of an Ullet Road boy, Private Arthur Bibby
(6th S.W.B.), who is now recovering from a severe wound, is recorded in
the Ullet Road Church _Calendar_ for July:

    The part of the line in which Private Bibby was placed was
    subjected to a heavy bombardment, after which the enemy
    delivered an attack. The order to retire was given “and our
    section made for a road which led into a village, but about a
    hundred yards up the road I received a bullet wound which passed
    under the shoulder-blade and pierced a portion of the lung.”

“Private Bibby was forced to lie down by the side of the road, and
shortly afterwards an advance party of the Germans came along delivering
their attack. The first wave swept past, but of those who followed one
stopped to give Private Bibby a cigarette, another took off his wounded
foe’s equipment and made it into a pillow for his head, and put his
water-bottle within reach, while a third made a pad out of his field
dressing with which he staunched the wound. As he turned and followed
his comrades, he assured his patient that the Red Cross would come soon.

“A German Red Cross orderly came up shortly afterwards, and was engaged
in dressing the wound when the order came for the Germans to retire
before a British counter-attack. ‘About ten minutes after the last had
passed down the road our lads, counter-attacking, were creeping up the
road, and it was not long before the R.A.M.C. lifted me on a stretcher
and took me to the advanced dressing station.’

“We congratulate Private Bibby on the recovery he is making from a
severe wound, and are glad that he is able to bear this testimony of
gratitude to a company of unknown but chivalrous foes.

“It is, of course, well known that the Northcliffe Press refuses to
print experiences of this kind.”

“Many of our wounded have passed through the same conditions of
captivity and deliverance. They bear witness to the honourable conduct
of the German Army doctors (majors). Here, for example, is one of the
stories that I have heard: ‘I found myself in a ditch after the battle,
unable to move. A German doctor came by; he gave me bread and coffee and
promised to come back in the evening if he could, or next day. That
night and the following day passed without my seeing any one; the time
seemed long. In the evening he came: ‘I had not forgotten you,’ he said,
‘but I have had no time.’ He had me carried away and gave me careful
attention.’” (_La Guerre vue d’une Ambulance_, par L’Abbé Félix Klein,
Aumonier de l’Ambulance américaine, p. 80.)

The writer continues: “Facts of this nature deserve to be recorded.
Amidst this setting loose of horrors and hates it would be well to lay
stress on some of those deeds which are able to soften the soul. This
morning I see that an article has been passed in one of the most widely
read French journals recommending that no prisoners should be made in
forthcoming battles, but that our enemies should be ‘struck down like
wild beasts,’ ‘butchered like swine’! Nothing, not even the sack of
Senlis, nothing justifies such outbursts of fury.” The French soldiers,
M. L’Abbé indicates, confine their denunciations to the Prussian
regulars and speak well of the reserves. “They are men like us, married
men, fathers of families, fair-minded.” But for the doctors there is
often a good word: “Le major allemand est venu, nous a soignés, nous a
donné du café, du pain.” “Le major nous a soignés et donné de la soupe.”
There was however, much plundering. The armies which do not plunder are
indeed _raræ aves_. “The animosity of the English against the enemy,”
says the Abbé, “is greater even than ours.” “In the evening,” runs one
narrative, “the soldiers of the 101st put me in the wood where were many
wounded Frenchmen and a German captain, wounded the day before. He
suffered, he too, poor man (le pauvre malheureux).” When the Germans
came, “some looked askance,” but the captain said the Frenchmen had been
kind, and when the Germans had taken him they came back and attended to
the French. It was a bad time in the retreat, but French and German
wounded shared the same fate. (l.c., p. 98.)


The poor soldiers, obliged to obey orders under penalty of death,
defending (as they believe) their homes from wanton attack, are surely,
in the mass, but little to blame. The blame rests elsewhere. A body of
Russian prisoners was brought into a village in East Prussia. The
sufferings of the inhabitants during the invasion had made them bitter,
and from the crowd of onlookers there was a scornful outcry. “At that
one of the prisoners bent forward, shook his head and said slowly, with
great, sad eyes, ‘It is not your fault, and it is not mine.’” (Dr.
Elisabeth Rotten in _Die Staatsbürgerin_.) Looking at it all with fresh
knowledge, after more than three years of war, I feel that this Russian
spoke for all the peoples, “It is not your fault, and it is not mine.”
Meanwhile there still goes on what my wounded friend, writing from Rouen
described as “this orgy of slaughter, this incredible and criminal


A girl who, with others, was attending to the enemy wounded, writes:
“Doubtless we should have more consolation among our little soldiers,
since here _we are forbidden to give little kindnesses and attention;_
but I believe that before the end we shall disobey the order, because we
put our hearts into our devotion and our pity.” (_La Guerre vue d’une
Ambulance_, p. 116.) It is a little startling to learn of orders against
kindness to enemy wounded. In a country one of whose chief newspapers
advocated slaughter of the enemy like swine, such orders seem unwise.
They can surely scarcely be made except when we wilfully blind ourselves
and imagine that our enemies do not share our humanity.


Here is a letter found on one of the German dead, a man with “a good
face, strong and kindly,” so wrote the _Daily Mail_ correspondent. “My
dearest Heart,” runs the letter, “when the little ones have said their
prayers and prayed for their dear father, and have gone to bed, I sit
and think of thee, my love. I think of all the old days when we were
betrothed, and I think of all our happy married life. Oh! Ludwig,
beloved of my soul, why should people fight each other? I cannot think
that God would wish it....”

    Here in this leafy place
    Quiet he lies;
    Cold, with his sightless face
    Turned to the skies;
    ’Tis but another dead:
    All you can say is said.

    Carry the body hence;
    Kings must have slaves;
    Kings rise to eminence
    Over men’s graves;
    So this man’s eyes are dim.
    Cast the earth over him.

    What was that white you touched,
    There by his side?
    Paper his hand had clutched
    Tight ere he died?
    Message or wish, maybe?
    Smooth out its folds and see.

       *       *       *

    Ah! That beside the dead
    Slumbered the pain!
    Ah! That the hearts that bled
    Slept with the slain!
    That the grief died. But no!
    Death will not have it so.

These words of Austin Dobson were written of a French sergeant in an
earlier war, yet they serve equally well for the German soldier in this.
Strange that we leave it to the dead to prove their brotherhood and

Philip Gibbs tells us how in a German dug-out he picked up some letters.
“They were all written to ‘dear brother Wilhelm,’ from sisters and
brothers, sending him their loving greetings, praying that his health
might be good, promising to send him gifts of food and yearning for his
home-coming.” They were anxious, for here had been no news for some
time. “Every time the postman comes we hope for a little note from you.”
Can any generous heart think of that anxious waiting unmoved? Shall we
children of one Life wait till we have wholly darkened each other’s
homes, and then call our handiwork peace?

But by that time, by the judgment of God, our eyes will be opened.

    We who are bound by the same grief for ever,
    When all our sons are dead may talk together,
    Each asking pardon of the other one,
        For her dead son.[52]

It is we at home who seem to yield only to this dread proof. With the
fighters it is often different, as we have seen, and though the stories
savour of repetition, the repetition is surely worth while. I have aimed
here at no literary production, but simply at a collection of facts that
may reach the heart. “We sing,” said a soldier from Baden, “to the
accompaniment of the piano—especially during the interval for dinner.
We have indeed entered into a tacit agreement with the French to stop
all fire between 12 and 1 o’clock, so that they and we might not be
disturbed when we feed.” (_Zeitung am Mittag_, as quoted in the _Daily
Chronicle_, November 10, 1914.) “One of our teachers, a lieutenant in
the R.F.A., who has been out most of the time, had a few days’ leave
some weeks ago. He said to the school, assembled to do him honour,
‘Boys, do not believe the stories you read about the Germans in the
newspapers. Whatever they may have done at the beginning of the war, the
German is a brave and noble soldier, and after the war we must be
friends.’” (From a private letter.) A soldier writes that a diary he
kept was blown to bits by a shell. He gave what remained of it to a
wounded German who pleaded for it. He had met many German Socialists in
the fighting. “It is a blessing to meet such men and amid all the
slaughter brought about by our present system, it seems heaven upon
earth.” (_Labour Leader_, June 24, 1915.)


It will only be making the _amende honorable_ if we do our best now to
spread reports of good deeds of the enemy, for in the early stages of
the war we deliberately deleted them from messages, and we have
certainly done a great deal to conceal them ever since. Writing to the
_Times_ in October, 1914, Mr. Herbert Corey, the American correspondent,
said: “The _Times_ leader quotes the _Post_ as charging that I ‘flatly
made the charge that dispatches had been altered for the purpose of
hiding the truth and blackening the German character.’ I do not
recollect this phrase. I did charge that dispatches of German
atrocities were permitted to go through unaltered, and that sentences in
other dispatches in which credit was given the Germans for courtesy and
kindness were deleted. I abide by that statement.”

There have been many angry references to unfair German attempts to
influence neutral opinion. A letter such as Mr. Corey’s makes me able to
understand why some neutrals have accused England of the very same
unfairness. There is other testimony to the same effect. Mr. Edward
Price Bell, London Correspondent of the _Chicago Daily News_, has, in a
pamphlet published by Fisher Unwin, indicted the British censorship in
the following terms:

    I call the censorship chaotic because of the chaos in its
    administration. I call it political because it has changed or
    suppressed political cables. I call it discriminatory because
    there are flagrant instances of its not holding the scales
    evenly between correspondents and newspapers. I call it
    unchivalrous because it has been known to elide eulogies of
    enemy decency and enemy valour. I call it destructive because
    its function is to destroy; it has no constructive function
    whatever. I call it in effect anti-British and pro-German
    because its tendency—one means, of course, its unconscious
    tendency—often is to elevate the German name for veracity and
    for courage above the British. I call it ludicrous, because it
    has censored such matter as Kipling’s “Recessional” and
    Browning’s poetry. I call it incompetent because one can
    perceive no sort of collective efficiency in its work. And
    because of the sum of these things I give it the final
    descriptive—“incredible.”—_Daily News_, January 7, 1916.

There is no doubt that people often _fear_ to tell of German good deeds.
An acquaintance of mine told me that his boy got decorated for bringing
in a badly wounded comrade from near the German trenches. A little
shamefacedly my informant went on: “I don’t mind telling _you_, but I
_shouldn’t like it to be known generally here_, that I know the Germans
act well sometimes. My boy wrote he would have had no chance, but he
heard the Germans give the order to cease fire.” My informant evidently
feared the neighbours would call him pro-German if he told this to them,
but he thought he might venture to tell a pacifist.[53]

One notices this fear sometimes in rather amusing ways. In a railway
compartment with me were a loud-mouthed patriotic woman “war-worker” and
a mere soldier back from the front. I’m afraid I got a little at
loggerheads with the war-worker, who adopted in argument a kind of
furious grin which revealed a formidable row of teeth that in my
mind-picture of her have become symbolically almost gigantic. I turned
for relief to the mere soldier, and while the train was moving we had a
pleasant dip into soldier philosophy. “I’ve come to the conclusion that
there’s good and bad everywhere,” he said. “I’ve known bad Germans, and
I’ve known Germans to look after our wounded as well as a British Tommy
could look after his chum.” There was more to this effect, but whenever
the train stopped and our voices became audible to others, we were
silent. The fear of that row of teeth was, I think in both our hearts,
and I could see the mere soldier looking timid before them.

Fair play to the enemy’s character is a concession not quite so easy to
the average Englishman as he supposes. “The Anglo-Saxon race has never
been remarkable for magnanimity towards a fallen foe.” Just now, when we
are inclined to be almost afraid of the excess of chivalry which
possesses us, there may be useful corrective in these words of
Lieutenant-General Sir William Butler, K.C.B. There has been much
searching of old history books of late to find out what was said in the
days of Tacitus against the Germans.[54] (What Tacitus said in their
favour is not considered.) Perhaps on the other side there are
investigators searching their history books for ancient opinions of the
English. “Strike well these English,” said Duke William to his Normans,
“show no weakness towards these English, for they will have no pity for
you. Neither the coward for running well, nor the bold man for fighting
well will be better liked by the English, nor will any be more spared on
either account.” Butler approved this verdict. We shall not readily
agree with him. Yet he did not speak without cause: he had known an
English general kick the dead body of an African King, who “was a
soldier every inch of him,” and he had known the colonists spit upon an
African chief brought bound and helpless through Natal. (“Far Out,” p.
131.) I believe myself there is a great and ready generosity in the
hearts of the English people, but he must surely be a man invariably on
the “correct” side who has not more than once come across the official
Englishman who could be a bully to those in his power.


“I am disgusted by the accounts I see in the papers of the inferiority
of Germans as soldiers. Don’t believe one word of it. They are quite
splendid in every way. Their courage, efficiency, organisation,
equipment and leading are all of the very best, and never surpassed by
any troops ever raised. They come on in masses against our trenches and
machine guns, and come time after time, and they are never quiescent,
but always on the offensive. I am full of admiration for them, and so
are all who know anything about them. It is a pity that such fine
soldiers should have behaved so badly in Belgium and here; they have
behaved badly, there is no doubt about it, but nothing like what is said
of them—any way in parts I have been through.” These words from a
General Officer commanding a brigade occur in a letter published in the
_Times_ of November 19, 1914. Yet these “quite splendid” fighters are
the men of whom a learned professor appointed by the Government has
written that they are “rotten to the core.” There is some discrepancy
here. “They are great workers, these Germans,” wrote Philip Gibbs
(_Daily Chronicle_, July 5, 1916), “and wonderful soldiers.”

“An officer of the _Sydney_ gave a quite enthusiastic account of the
officers of the _Emden_. ‘Vitthoef, the torpedo lieutenant, was a
thoroughly nice fellow. Lieutenant Schal was also a good fellow and half
English. It quite shook them when they found that the captain had asked
that there be no cheering on entering Colombo, but we certainly did not
want cheering with rows of badly wounded men (almost all German) laid
out in cots on the quarter deck. Captain von Müller is a very fine
fellow.... The day he was leaving the ship at Colombo, he came up to me
on the quarter-deck and thanked me in connection with the rescue of the
wounded, shook hands and saluted, which was very nice and polite of
him.... Prince Hohenzollern was a decent enough fellow. In fact, we
seemed to agree that it was our job to knock one another out, but there
was no malice in it.’ This is the ideal fighting, ‘with no malice in
it.’ It has been achieved by many English and Germans, and that gives
hope for the future. Let us make the most, not the least, of what points
towards a better understanding.... At the beginning of November
‘Eye-Witness’ records how English prisoners had been sheltered by the
Germans in cellars to protect them from the bombardment of their own
side. An Anglo-Indian tells of a wounded havildar who was noticed by a
German officer. ‘The German officer spoke to him in Hindustani, asking
him the number of his regiment, and where he came from. He bound up his
wounds, gave him a drink, and brought him a bundle of straw to support
his head. This will be remembered to the credit side of our German

“A wounded officer addressed some students at one of our universities.
He protested humorously that he was not a ‘pro-German,’ and then spoke
up for a fair view of the enemy. When he was being carried into
hospital, he noticed an anti-aircraft gun just outside the hospital.
This struck him as, to say the least, unwise. He expected the hospital
to be shelled, and this occurred. He did not blame the Germans. On
another occasion a farm near the firing line was used for first aid. It
was not obviously a hospital and was fired on. The Commanding Officer
sent a note to Von Kluck to explain matters, and the farm was never
after exposed to fire.[55] He had seen a church damaged by German shell
fire, but this was one which he had himself seen used by the French for
observation purposes.[56] The same officer uttered a warning against
believing all that was in the ‘Tommies’ letters. At one time when he was
censoring letters, one passed through his hands from a Tommy only just
arrived in France, and never in the firing line. He described an immense
battle in which the English did wonders and he himself had marvellous
duties to perform. As far as the military situation was concerned the
letter was quite harmless, so it was allowed to go through. It was
something like the intelligence to the publication of which the Press
Bureau ‘does not object.’”[57][58]

In her book, “My War Experiences on Two Continents,” Miss Macnaughten
writes of the Germans: “Individually, I always like them, and it is
useless to say I don’t. They are all polite and grateful, and I thought
to-day, when the prisoners were surrounded by a gaping crowd, that they
bore themselves very well.” (p. 127). Again, “I found one young German
with both hands smashed. He was not ill enough to have a bed, of course,
but sat with his head fallen forward trying to sleep on a chair. I fed
him with porridge and milk out of a little bowl, and when he had
finished half of it he said, ‘I won’t have any more. I am afraid there
will be none for the others.’” (p. 37.) Unfortunately, Miss Macnaughten
too readily accepted war stories. She writes of “country houses” where
he heard German prisoners here lived in luxury, “and they say girls are
allowed to come and play lawn tennis with them.” The humour of this will
be apparent to any who have visited internment camps. Lawn tennis was,
however, possible at some camps, both here and in Germany—there were
seven courts at Ruhleben. Some of the atrocity stories many of us will
recognise as not so reliable as Miss Macnaughten supposed. It is her
personal experiences which are important, and, like the Scotchman[59]
(whom she quotes) she has, not hatred, but respect, for the Germans whom
she herself meets.


Again and again, everywhere, we find readiness to accept stories against
the enemy on very slender evidence. At the time of the loss of our three
cruisers I saw in one of the better newspapers a large heading, “German
Treachery. Fighting under the Dutch Flag.” I looked down the columns for
evidence. No mention of such a circumstance in the official report, none
in the letter from the chief correspondent; but at last I found that
some one at Harwich had “heard of” such an incident. We must remember
that only cool and clear intellects are likely at such a time to give
an accurate account of facts. Between others mutual recrimination may
readily arise. An officer on H.M.A.S. _Sydney_ wrote after the attack on
the _Emden_: “It was very interesting talking to some of the German
officers afterwards. On the first day they were on board one said to me,
‘You fire on the white flag.’ I at once took the matter up, and the
torpedo-lieutenant and an engineer (of the _Emden_) both said
emphatically, ‘No, that is not so; you did not fire on the white flag.’
But we did not leave it at that. One of us went to the captain, and he
got from Captain von Müller an assurance that we had done nothing of the
kind, and that he intended to assemble his officers and tell them so.”
Note how readily on the other side, amongst those less responsible or
less cool-headed, a tale may grow up against _us_. Let us observe in
considering tales against them the same caution that we should wish them
to exercise in considering tales against us.[60]


Witnesses from Brussels and from Ghent have spoken well of the personal
behaviour of both soldiers and officers. A neutral correspondent writes
in the _Times_ of January 28, 1915:

    “On the whole it cannot be said that the behaviour of the German
    officers and soldiers towards the population of Ghent is bad.
    When the German troops entered the city, strict injunctions were
    given them to refrain from pillaging, and to pay for everything
    they bought in the shops, very much to the disgust of many....”

Mr. Gabriel Mourey has written an account of his custody of the Palais
de Compiègne during the invasion. The _Times_ review of this book is so
interesting that I propose to give some extracts from it:

    First the palace served as the general headquarters of the
    British Army during the last stage of the strategic retreat to
    the Marne; and in the closing days of August, M. Mourey looked
    out of his window to see Generals French and Joffre walking up
    and down the terrace in consultation, while in the park English
    soldiers were shaving themselves calmly before little pieces of
    broken mirror. In a night they had left Compiègne, blowing up
    the Louis XV. bridge (“utterly improved,” and therefore no great
    loss). On the next day came the Uhlans, by no means so terrible
    as they had been painted.... Von Kluck was to make his
    headquarters there for a day, and the first announcement of the
    doubtful honour was brought by an engineer lieutenant, who came
    to make a wireless installation on the palace roof. He was very
    quick, but he found time to inform the conservator that his name
    was Maurin, that it was a French name. He repeated it many
    times, “C’est un nom français,” and he was plainly proud of it.
    Then came Von Kluck himself, asking in polite and excellent
    French that he might be shown over the palace. Of him M. Mourey
    draws a by no means unattractive picture, urbane yet reserved,
    with real admiration for the treasures of the Palace, discreetly
    murmuring “Je sais” at the close of every explanation, not
    offensively, but as though some long forgotten memory had
    returned to him, making his frequent “Kolossal” sound in his
    conductor’s ears as gently as the continual “Very nice” of the
    British Officer, and, his visit over, promising that respect
    should be paid to the monument of Imperial France.

    But Von Kluck could not stay. He was followed by Von Marwitz, no
    less polite, no less sympathetic to M. Mourey’s natural fears,
    and generous enough to write and sign a proclamation forbidding
    his troops to lay their hand upon the palace. He, too, went his
    way. Von Kluck’s Quartermaster-General seized the opportunity of
    making a private levy of 5,000f. upon the town before he sped
    like Gehazi after his master’s chariot. Then ensued the brief
    reign of lesser men, stupid, brutal, blustering, bullying,
    insulting, because they feared a civilisation which they could
    not understand.

I think we know such men, and many privates know such men, elsewhere
than in the German army. Germany may have cultivated them in greater
numbers—that is highly probable—but they are rife everywhere, and
under favourable circumstances they thrive exceedingly.

    Their insolent arrogance culminated in a certain aide-de-camp,
    who arrived post-haste to say that the Palace must be instantly
    made ready to receive an Excellence _par excellence_. A man of
    imagination this aide-de-camp, for when at his command M. Mourey
    showed him over the palace and pointed out the gaps in the
    collections made by the soldiers’ pilfery, he said with an
    all-explanatory air, “But why didn’t you get souvenirs ready for
    the officers?” The Excellence whom this right Brandenburger
    heralded was no less than the Kaiser himself, and M. Mourey is
    convinced that it is to the Imperial intention that the safety
    of Compiègne is owing. It may be: but we prefer to think that
    honourable foes such as Von Kluck and Von Marwitz had their
    share in the unusual consummation.[61]

“The Irish Nuns at Ypres” gives an account of their experiences by a
member of the Community. In a review (May 27, 1915), the _Times_
Literary Supplement says:

    For us in England it is hard to realise the feeling of sickening
    anxiety with which, on October 7, these defenceless ladies
    witnessed the arrival in Ypres of the devastators of Belgium. On
    this occasion, apart from a certain amount of looting, the
    Germans behaved “pretty civilly,” and the Abbey had nothing to
    complain of but want of bread.

Another French account of the invaders in Northern France is given by
Gabriele and Margerita Yerta, “Six Women and the Invasion.” Their
experiences were variable. “It is clear,” writes a reviewer in the
_Nation_, “that Herr Major, and ‘Barlu,’ and ‘Crafleux’ and the two
‘model Prussians,’ who replenished the house with coal and provisions,
and offered the ladies game they had shot, only sinned by their
over-gallantry. But things changed for the worse with the coming of a
hundred Death’s Head Hussars and Lieutenant von Bernhausen.... Nothing
very outrageous is recorded, but there was dragooning, inquisition,
drunkenness. Bernhausen’s reign lasted two months.” As to outrages on
women, Madame Yerta writes: “To be sure there were rapes, but, thanks be
to God, these were few, and they took place at the beginning of the
invasion.... I must confess that many a woman was the victim of her own
imprudence.” The book is, naturally, fiercely anti-German, its facts
are, however, those of any war story.

Again, “On the whole the Germans behaved well at St. Quentin. Their rule
was stern but just, and although the civil population had been put on
rations of black bread, they got enough, and it was not, after all, so
bad.” This testimony is the more noteworthy because, “as one of the most
important bases of the German Army in France the town was continually
filled with troops of every regiment, who stayed a little while and then
passed on.” (Philip Gibbs, “The Soul of the War,” p. 152.) It is a
little startling to read some more that Mr. Gibbs has to say.
French-women were ready to sell themselves to German soldiers, and “such
outrageous scenes took place that the German order to close some of the
cafés was hailed as a boon by the decent citizens, who saw the women
expelled by order of the German commandant with enormous thankfulness.”
I am not so surprised at this now as when I first read it. An English
soldier has since told me that the “silliness” (as he called it) of
women for soldiers leads them, in more cases than he could have
imagined, to bestow themselves on either friend or enemy. Women with
child had said to him quite proudly that it was by a German soldier!

From a private letter: “One of the party is a French officer who tells
the tale. After the Marne retreat he was crossing over the territory
evacuated by the Germans, and made inquiry of the villagers who had
housed the enemy, how they had been treated, what barbarities had been
committed, and so forth. The villagers were surprised. The Germans had
behaved like gentlemen, had paid for what they used, and had treated
them with perfect courtesy. What, no looting? On the contrary, the
German officer had a soldier shot for a very small act of pillage....
‘We’re soldiers, not robbers,’ he said.” I cannot vouch for this story,
but it gives just the same impression as the account given by Dr.
Scarlett-Synge (see pp. 149ff). It is also remarkably similar to
experiences recounted by C. A. Winn (Baron Headley) who was with the
Prussians in 1870. (“What I saw of the War,” p. 44.) When he himself had
taken some vegetables from a garden, he was told by his officer friends
that any sort of pillage was the “greatest offence a friend of the
Prussians could be guilty of.” And Mr. Winn speaks of “the many
instances of the remarkable efforts of the authorities of the Prussian
army to prevent plunders by their soldiers.” It must be remembered that
deliberate destruction for military reasons, or as punishment (carried
out by all armies) is very different from theft. I do not for a moment
suppose that this standard is always reached by the German armies. That
it has often been aimed at is something to remember.

I may add here a rather interesting quotation from Colonel F. N. Maude’s
book, “War and the World’s Life.” On page 11 he writes: “I do not
suggest that life in the Prussian army has at any time been ideal, but I
do assert, from personal knowledge, that relatively to their respective
stages of civilisation the treatment of the Prussian soldier, since
1815, has at all times been fairer and more humane than in any other
army. The fact is proved by the very high standard of discipline
maintained, together with the extraordinary absence of military crime
which has so long distinguished it.”

I am reminded, too, of one of the first experiences of a friend of mine
in France. He reached a village through which the Uhlans had passed. Had
the inhabitants any complaints of their behaviour? None whatever.[62]
Their only indignation was directed against some English soldiers who
(if their story be correct) had behaved abominably. It was a curious
shock of reality for my friend. He realised that sometimes the enemy
might behave well, and sometimes bad stories of English soldiers might
be circulated (even amongst Allies). I am quite sure that no soldiers in
the world would, in general, have more natural humanity than the
British, and perhaps none would have as much. I contend only against the
belief that one side is impeccable, and the other hopelessly barbarian.


Here are a few extracts from the _International Review_, a periodical
published at Zürich, and with co-operators in Russia, Denmark, Germany,
Austria, Italy, America, Great Britain. “The yearning of human beings
towards mutual understanding needs to-day a new organ for its
expression.” Hence this review—a review naturally pronounced pro-German
by our Junker Press, since it presents, amongst other things, moderate
statements of the German standpoint. The only internationalism which
this Press can recognise is one that is exclusively English. So exactly,
_mutatis mutandis_, do German and English chauvinism coincide. The
extracts which follow are taken from the first number of the review.
“Under the title, ‘German-French Chivalry,’ the _Volksstimme_, of
Frankfurt a.M. (June 19, 1915), describes the dedication of a memorial
to three thousand dead at Sedan on June 12. The leaders of the German
army were present, and the French authorities officially shared in the
proceedings. The short inscriptions on the simple monuments are in both
French and German. They refer alike to the seventeen hundred French and
the thirteen hundred Germans who fell on August 27 during the battle on
the heights of Noyers.”


From _L’Action Française_, Paris (June 12, 1915), is cited a description
of the poignancy of war, of which the following is a translation:

    There had been a fierce fight in front of a fortress. Many dead
    lay on the ground, and a few wounded who were dying. In the
    night we heard weak cries, ‘Kamerad, Kamerad!’ We answered,
    thinking it was a German who wished to give himself up. The
    cries were repeated. We thought of treachery, and each took his
    stand in readiness. Suddenly, there came in pure French:
    ‘Camerades Français!’ ‘What is it?’ ‘A wounded man lies near
    you.’ ‘No.’ ‘Yes, in front of the trench.’ ‘We have just made a
    round, and found only dead.’ ‘Yes, but there _is_ a wounded man
    there who is calling. Can you not look for him?’ ‘No.’ And then
    in the silence we hear again, ‘Kamerad, Kamerad!’ The German
    officer speaks again, very politely: ‘French comrades, may we go
    to look for the wounded man?’ An inflexible ‘No’ is the answer.
    Is not some trick concealed under his apparent humanity and his
    persistence? ‘Well, then,’ calls the German again, ‘go yourself
    and look; we shall not shoot.’ Can we trust a German’s word,
    after all that they have done? But there is no long delay. A man
    from Lille springs forward: ‘All right, I will go to fetch him,’
    he says. ‘I will go with him,’ I say to the Lieutenant. The
    leader of my squadron brings some others. The wounded man calls:
    ‘Kamerad! Do not kill me!’ We reassure him as to our intentions,
    and as he has a shattered hip we carry him to our lines, and on
    the way in spite of his suffering, he keeps on repeating with
    every kind of modulation, ‘Good comrade.’ He was a young man,
    scarcely eighteen years old, of the 205th Infantry.

    I call to the enemy trenches: ‘We have brought in one wounded
    man, are there any others there?’ ‘Yes. 20 metres further to the
    right.’ We look round. ‘There are none there, only dead.’ ‘Wait,
    we will give you some light.’ A few words in German which we
    cannot understand. Will they simply shoot us down? Suddenly two
    splendid rockets go up: we can see as if it were midday. We are
    half a dozen marines and are standing twenty metres from the
    German trenches. On the other side of the wire entanglements an
    officer and men, behind the breastwork pointed helmets and caps.
    All remains quiet. We look round carefully. ‘Nothing. There are
    only corpses here. We are going back, you go back, too.’ ‘Merci,
    camerades français!’ calls the officer, and his men repeat the
    greeting of their superior. As soon as we are behind our
    breastwork our Lieutenant gives a command loud enough to be
    heard at sixty metres. ‘In the air—Fire!’ From over there once
    more, ‘Thank you, comrades,’ as answer to our salvo, and all
    falls back once more into the silence of the night; the work of
    death can go on again. But for this one night not a shot was
    heard around us.

How much sanity is there in a world that sets such men to kill each
other, and eggs them on to hate?


In Germany (as already mentioned in Chap. IV.) is a ‘Committee for
advice and help to natives and foreigners in State and international
affairs.’ It deals with those of all nationalities, and one branch of it
corresponds in many ways to the similar Emergency Committee in England
for assistance of Germans, Austrians and Hungarians in distress.

What, however, is most striking is the number of cases of individual
kindness shown by Germans to “alien enemies.” The minds of many might be
cleared on this subject if they would read a charming and unpretentious
little book, “An English Girl’s Adventures in Hostile Germany,” by Mary
Littlefair, published by John Long, Ltd. The authoress saw and heard
absurd Press charges on the other side, and something, too, of the
irrational hatred of war-time, but the little book is a record of almost
nothing but kindness, and gives fresh hope to those who had begun to
despair of human nature.[63] Here are two cases of singular beauty from
Nauheim. A postman “happened to know of a poor English lady whose funds
had come to an end, and who had in consequence offered to wash up the
crockery at her pension in return for her board and lodging, and he told
her one morning that he had forty pounds saved up which she should have,
and welcome, if she was in need.” The case of the bath-chair woman was
not less touching and generous, for she and her husband, a
crossing-sweeper, also put their savings at the disposal of an invalid
lady his wife used to wheel out every day, telling her that, though
their cottage was only small, they did possess a tiny spare room, and
they would be so glad if she would come to them as their honoured guest,
supposing—as at present seemed likely—the English would have to spend
the winter in Nauheim; they would indeed do their best to make her happy
and comfortable.[64]

On more than one occasion in the railway trains the “enemy” character of
Miss Littlefair and those who were with her was revealed, but no
unkindness was shown. The last occasion was in October, 1914. “‘Shall
you have to travel farther, or does your journey end in Munich,’ ‘No,’ I
said, ‘we hope to go on to Switzerland to-morrow.’ ‘O, how delightful!
You are lucky. It is such a beautiful country. Tell me, are you
foreigners by any chance—American, or perhaps English?’ she queried.
‘English,’ I replied. The truth was out, and I looked to see a change of
feeling reflected in her pleasant, winsome face; but her expression
remained as kind and as interested as before, and her manner as cordial,
so I told her more about ourselves, as there was no longer any need of
reserve, and she had told me so much of their affairs.” There was, of
course, the usual patriotic bias, but it was expressed with real good
feeling. “‘Of course, we don’t hold the English people personally
responsible for the war,’ she said, ‘but we think that England[65] has
behaved very shabbily. It is very grieving, though, that the two
countries should be at war.’ She had two or three English friends, and
told me about them till our arrival in Munich, where our confidences
were necessarily cut short, and we took an affectionate leave of one
another.” (p. 123.)

The following incident also shows simple folk made clear-sighted by
kindness of heart: “On another occasion Christine and one of the ladies
in our hotel went into a shop to buy some beautiful lace which was being
sold at half-price. ‘We have to sell it cheaply because of the war,’
explained the assistant: ‘ach! it is terrible! We never wanted this war,
and I am sure you did not either. You and I are not enemies, it is
ridiculous. Let us shake hands to show we are friends. Yes!’ And they
did.”[66] Good! That handshake, let us hope, will outweigh many a
hysterical outburst on both sides.

An English schoolmaster was, with his wife and family, in Germany at the
outbreak of war. He testifies to the quite wonderful kindness he
received. Almost daily he was taken by his hosts to other houses, and at
the _Kaffeeklatsch_ which ensued there was never anything but a finely
chivalrous courtesy. So grateful did the schoolmaster feel that (just as
with Germans befriended here) he felt he must make some sort of return
to the “enemy.” He explained the situation, and obtained permission to
take two interned enemy nationals into his house. They in their turn
felt that movement of gratitude which the preachers of hate refuse to
believe in. They wanted to make some return to the schoolmaster, for
schoolmasters are usually poor men. “If you do that,” he said, “I shall
feel I am doing nothing.” There was a dispute of kindness, and in the
end a _modus vivendi_ of gratitude was arrived at. How strange the
methods of force seem by comparison. The two men are now interned once
more—surely a sorry end to a story of such fine humanity.

From Mrs. K. Warmington: “There are two little instances that stand out
in my mind very clearly, and I think speak for themselves. The first
relates to an English lady, her husband, and her son, with whom I made
acquaintance at the English Consul’s office. Later on I met the same
lady at the American Consul’s office; she was in deep distress, as her
husband and son had been arrested and put into prison. Through the
influence of an American that we met at an hotel, we got a permit to go
and see a military commandant at the barracks to see if anything could
be done for them. When we arrived, he treated us most courteously, and
listened patiently to what we had to say. He rang a doctor up on the
telephone, and, as far as we could make out, told the doctor to examine
these men, and to pronounce them ill. He then turned to us, and told us
to return in the afternoon, when he would fetch them in his own
motor-car, which he did. He also gave us a paper asking the civil
authorities to do all they could to aid us to get away, shook hands, and
wished us a safe journey.

“The other instance relates more to myself. We were at Nüremberg,
Bavaria. We had permission to leave for Lindau, on the borders of Lake
Constance, on our way to Romanshorn in Switzerland. The journey was a
rather expensive one for me, as I had very little money, little more
indeed than a cheque, which was valueless. A young German, who was
shortly going into the Navy, whom I had known only about a month,
hearing of my case came to me, and gave me £9 in English gold to enable
me to travel more comfortably.

“My father was German, my mother English, and my husband English. I was
in Germany in 1914 from July 26 to August 26. As my son was of military
age, and I did not want him interned, I got what influence I could to
get him away. He was finally released at the end of August, and we were
allowed to go on to Switzerland.”

In the course of 1915 an English born woman returned to her husband in
Munich. Her sister wrote to me of the extreme kindness with which this
lady was received by her German friends. Many English wives of interned
men have gone to Germany to their husband’s families, and one hears the
same account of extreme kindness. In Offenbach alone there are twenty
English wives with forty English born children. _Special classes have
been opened for them._ After all, there are some German methods which
are worthy of imitation. There seems at times a danger of our imitating
what is _worst_ in our enemies, partly as a result of a desire to ignore
what is better.

The letter which follows appeared in the _Times_ of September 2, 1914:

    Sir,—Various rumours are finding their way into the German
    papers respecting the harsh treatment which certain Germans are
    said to have received in England. We British subjects who are
    being kindly and hospitably treated by Germans earnestly hope
    that these reports are, at any rate, much exaggerated.

    It is well that the British public should understand the
    position of their fellow countrymen here. At the outbreak of the
    war British subjects in out-of-the-way places were given safe
    conducts to suitable centres, such as Baden-Baden, and there
    allowed to choose places of abode according to their tastes and
    means. Such restrictions as are put upon their movements are in
    their own interests. The authorities have exhorted the
    inhabitants publicly as well as by house to house visitations to
    treat foreigners with respect and courtesy, taking pride in thus
    proving their claim to a truly high standard of civilisation,
    and the people have responded nobly to this appeal. Not only
    have hotel and pension-keepers done everything in their power to
    accommodate their visitors, at the most reduced prices, giving
    credit in many instances, but several cases have come to our
    notice in which Germans have housed and fed English women and
    children, who were perfect strangers to them, out of pure
    humanity and good feeling.

    You, sir, can imagine how galling it must be to these people
    when they read in their papers of the very different treatment
    alleged to have been shown to Germans in England, and how
    painful and humiliating a position is thereby created for us
    here. England has hitherto enjoyed such a high reputation for
    chivalry and hospitality that tales to the contrary cause
    Germans a half incredulous shock. It it not too late for
    England to prove that she is living up to her old standard and
    that she refuses to be outdone in magnanimity towards the
    stranger within her gates....

    (A paragraph follows as to the means by which money can be sent
    to Britons _via_ neutral countries.)

        (Signed) DOROTHY ACTON (Lady).
                F. BULLOCK-WEBSTER, M.A., Oxon, Resident Chaplain of
                WM. MACINTOSH, Dr. Ph., Resident English Chaplain,
                  Freiburg, i.B.

        August 20, 1914.

Some account may be given of a party of 190 Englishwomen and 14 children
who landed at Queenborough on September 22, 1914. (_Times_, September
23, 1914.) “... With one accord they spoke in terms of praise, both of
their treatment in Germany and of the kindness shown to them on the
journey.... ‘We have received kindness everywhere,’ said one of a party
from Dantzig. ‘The Germans have been absolutely stunning to us.... I
have not heard of one English person being molested anywhere in
Germany.’” The Englishwomen did noble work on their part, especially for
the fugitives from East Prussia. “One Sunday we fed and clothed 290 who
had come in without a rag to their backs.”

“I was arrested in Berlin as a Russian spy, because a bomb had been
found in the house next to mine, and because a woman in the street said
that she had seen me putting bombs in my hat-box, and that she had seen
me with a Russian. I did, as a matter of fact, know a Russian student,
but he was not the man she meant. I was taken to the police station and
searched twice in the same day. They kept me in prison for two days and
nights, giving me very bad food, and then they released me because they
had no real evidence against me. When I came out, strangely enough it
was German people who gave me hospitality until I was able to leave

Again, “The German women are crazy over our Scottish troops and their
kilts. Some of them used to go out and give the prisoners cigarettes,
chocolates and flowers, but that has been forbidden now.”

A party of 178 who landed at Folkestone had varying stories to tell.
“Nothing could possibly be better than the treatment we have received,”
said one, “everybody—official, police and public—treated us with the
greatest kindness and the utmost courtesy.” “The Germans are brutes,
absolute brutes,” said another. Probably a third, who described both
statements as exaggerations, came nearer the average truth. One of this
same party described the kilts referred to above as causing matronly
indignation in Berlin.[67]

In the _Times_ of September 24, 1914, appeared a letter on the subject
of English exiles in Berlin:

    I have read with interest and approval the statements of
    Englishwomen who have returned from Germany, as reported in the
    _Times_ to-day, with regard to the conduct of the German people.
    As one of the party which arrived at Queensborough by the
    special boat, I wish publicly to express my warm appreciation
    not only of the considerate treatment which the people of Berlin
    showed towards English people there, but particularly to the
    splendid services rendered to us by the American Embassy, which
    made all the arrangements for our return, and by the Consular
    and municipal authorities in Holland, who supplied us with food
    during our journey through that country.

    May I add that I went about in Berlin as freely as I can now in
    London, and that at no time since the outbreak of the war have I
    seen a single British subject molested.

                                 (Signed) L. TYRWHITT DRAKE.

    Ladies’ Imperial Club,
        September 23.

Here also is a fact that should give us pause. In a prisoner camp at
Frankfurt a-Oder is a large building erected as a place of entertainment
and general meeting hall. It is used by Russian prisoners, and _a
considerable contribution towards its erection was collected by
house-to-house visitation in Frankfurt._ To appreciate this fact at its
true significance we must remember that Germany suffered from direct
invasion by Russia immediately on the outbreak of the war, and that all
the stories of atrocities and devastation that we heard of Belgium were
also told of East Prussia.

“An old friend of our family,” a correspondent writes, “has been
residing in Bavaria over forty years. He is an artist, and married a
Bavarian lady. His eldest son is a doctor in London, and two of his
daughters are married in London, but the father has no difficulty in
getting permits to paint in the Austrian and German mountains, and still
finds a sale for his pictures in Germany.”

Forty years is, I know, a long time, but not by any means always
sufficient to prevent persecution in the present war. On my writing
table is a little ivory elephant. It was carved by a German who had been
forty years in the service of one British firm. He was dismissed (a man
over seventy) because of the war. This is not a unique case. “N.S.,
clock-maker, who had been here thirty-nine years, and P.W., baker, fifty
years. (He had two sons at the front, and ‘the longer he thought the
more the number of his English grandchildren grew.’)” (See the Third
Report of the Emergency Committee for these and other cases).

I do not in the least wish to suggest that there has been little
kindness on this side and much on the other. I am simply trying to
restore the balance. So far (as is usual in war-time) the game of hatred
has been played with loaded dice. Let us welcome kindness everywhere.
Here, then, is a different kind of story from one of the Friends’

    A young man, smart and erect three months ago when he was in
    employment, intelligent, speaks and writes four languages, with
    excellent references, now but a sad wreck, wants to go to South
    Africa, where he has friends, but, alas! the permit is
    refused—has written abroad to his father, who is in a good
    position, for money, but it takes so long to get a reply. His
    English landlady, though poor, “has been so kind,” he had his
    last dinner three days ago from her. We give temporary help, but
    if this money does not come before January 1 he will have to go
    into camp. Quite willing to do so, “but can we not give his poor
    landlady something?”

The kind landladies and other kind hearts exist, thank God, on both
sides.[68] To enquire on which side there are most would (even if we
could do so without bias) probably be profitless. The important point is
that the kind hearts on the other side are there, and that a brotherhood
of blessing will help the world more than a brotherhood of revenge—if,
indeed, this last could be any brotherhood at all.

Miss G. H. writes: “I am particularly anxious to do something for
interned Germans. For four months of the war I was in Germany with my
mother, sister, nephew and niece, and we were all most kindly treated
and helped in every possible way both by friends, by my lawyer, my
banker and the neighbouring peasants. Also by all the guards and waiters
along our journey on November 21. Friends, peasants, and my lawyer are
still looking after my property in Germany, and I have left everything
in the hands of a neighbouring peasant, who sends me accounts of it. I
would like to be able to do some kind acts here in return, and for the
furtherance of better relationships later on.” Yet it can never be
pleasant to be in an “enemy” country. Miss H. writes further: “In spite
of having such unspeakable sympathy, really understanding sympathy,
shown me by not only friends, but the common people—though I hardly
like using this term, as no one with so much fellow feeling could really
be termed common—in spite of this kindness, I know so well how one can
suffer. Over there _we_ are looked upon in the same way that Germans are
looked upon here, as quite outside the pale of common morality. Fully
realising what this must mean for me, these kindly Germans would go off
into a day dream of wonderment as to how _they_ might feel in a similar
plight, and one ended up with the reflection, ‘Ja, es ist halt jetzt die
Zeit der Märtyrer’ (it is indeed the time of the martyrs once more).”
Surely there is something strangely poignant about the convinced and
steadfast martyrdom and self-sacrifice of both sides. Surely the peoples
who can thus offer themselves in destroying each other must both have
noble gifts to give together one day in a nobler cause.

The following is from the _Nation_ (Jan. 19, 1918):

    A clergyman sends me the following. I think it best to publish
    the story as it stands:—

    “Some years before the outbreak of war there lived in a certain
    German town, now frequently raided by air squadrons, an old
    Englishwoman. She was a semi-invalid; difficult and
    cantankerous. Subject to illusions, she imagined that the good
    nuns, who received her as an unremunerative paying guest, were
    in league against her mangy, but beloved dog. Yet both she and
    her dog continued to receive the half-humorous tolerance of
    their benefactors.

    “Then came the 4th of August, 1914, and Miss X. passed into the
    mists of war.

    “A year later she emerged from the mists.

    “A letter came, forwarded through a neutral in Switzerland; but
    the letter was not from the pen of Miss X. It had been dictated.
    Briefly, it said: ‘I am bed-ridden and almost blind. I have
    hardly anything to live upon; and the Germans will not let me

    “Certain details were added which clearly established identity
    to the recipient of the letter. There followed, on the same
    sheet of paper, and in the same handwriting, a postscript: ‘Sir,
    I have taken this poor Englishwoman into my house. How can she
    live on 10 marks a month?

                                        Yours, Fräulein ...’

    “Intervened the British Foreign Office and the American
    Embassy. Then came another letter: ‘Sir, your efforts have not
    been in vain....

                                               Fräulein ...’

    “But that is not the end of this incident of war. ‘Hate.’ had
    still its ‘uses.’

    “‘Sir. I thank you for your good letter and your very kind
    question. All is paid, hospital and funeral. There were 30 marks
    left to have the grave a little arranged.

                                              Fräulein ...’”

    My correspondent adds the following comment: “I was an enemy,
    and ye took me in.”

In Vienna newspapers there were in 1915 many advertisements in which
French, English, and Russian natives offer their services as teachers,

    London Lady (Diploma) gives lessons.—L. Balman, VI Bez.
    Gumpendorferstrasse 5, Th. 14.

    Frenchman and Frenchwoman give instruction in French.—VIII,
    Lerchengasse 10.

    An Irishwoman, brought up in England, gives lessons.—Letters to
    Miss Morris.

Such advertisements, we learn from the _International Review_ of July,
1915, appear daily in Vienna.

From _Die Hilfe_, June 22, 1915: “in a weekly concert in Noyon the
collaborators were Prof. Rivière, Sergeant Bonhoff, and Director Günzel.
The performance of the Frenchman from an organ composition of his own
was most effective.” There are, of course, also exhibitions of
narrow-mindedness. In Halle the police forbade a performance because one
of those who took part was an “enemy alien.” (_Vorwärts_, June 1, 1915.)
On the other hand, when some Italian musicians complained of unjust
dismissal, the court awarded them damages of 700 marks. The
_Volksstimme_, of Frankfurt a.M., June 8, 1915, writing of Italy,
deprecates any hatred of Italians. As soon as the responsible
authorities had decided on war, obedience was the duty of each Italian
citizen, just as of each German.[69] This outspoken deference to
“responsible authority” is characteristically German, but the doctrine
is here applied with great fairness. Some of our militarists apply it
less fairly. And, alas, when the Italian _Avanti_ published an article
“Against the Blunders of International Hate,” the wisdom of the Censor
caused it to be largely blanked out. The Censors seem to have strict
orders to keep us hating each other.[70]


And yet—“We picked up scrappily the hint, however, that ‘some of the
Germans were all right.’” This from an article in the _Times_ on a
homecomer from the front. With unconscious self-revelation the writer
adds: “That somehow sounds depressing. One has heard the opposite.” Just
so, it is disconcerting and depressing to have it suggested that the
enemy is a man very much like ourselves; it injures our feeling of
superiority. We “confess” any favourable impression of him as if it were
a fault of our own. A correspondent of the _Petit Parisien_ tells of the
capture of a German officer of Hussars, near Arras. “I confess,” he
says, “that the impression he produced was rather favourable than
otherwise.” (_Daily Telegraph_, June 11, 1915.)

With others the confession is less reluctant.

    There’s one spot in Ploegsteert Wood that German shells ought
    never to reach. It’s a grave with a carefully made wooden cross
    on it, and the lettering says:

    “Here lie two gallant German officers.”

    “That’s rather unexpected,” said a civilian who was with us.

    “But they were brave,” said the major. “The Germans aren’t
    always so bad. Five officers from my regiment were missing one
    time, and we never even expected to find their bodies. But when
    we drove the Germans back we found a grave on which was marked:
    ‘Here lie five brave English officers.’ We identified them all,
    and their bodies were taken back to England.”

    We followed another sidewalk and came to a huge mound covered
    with yellow flowers, which had been planted by the English
    soldiers. On a neatly made cross at the head of the mound an
    English soldier had patiently printed the words: “Here lie
    seventeen German soldiers.”

    There wasn’t an English grave in Ploegsteert Wood that was
    better tended or more heavily beflowered than these mounds of
    fallen Germans.—Mr. W. G. SHEPHERD, Special Correspondent of
    the United Press.

    _Daily News_, June 1, 1915.

    If all the episodes of this action were recorded they would make
    a long as well as a grim narrative revealing the ghastliness,
    the wild passion, the self-sacrifice, and the cool cunning of
    such an hour or two of modern war.

    Some of the tales of the men would have been incredible except
    that I heard them from soldiers who told the truth that lives on
    the lips of men who have seen very close into the face of death.

    It is, for instance, difficult to believe—yet true—that amidst
    all this tumult and terror of noise one German prisoner was
    taken as he sat very calmly in his dug-out reading a book of
    religious meditations through gold-rimmed spectacles. Perhaps it
    was the man—I only guess—in whose pocket-book was found a
    letter to his wife saying, “The position here is hellish, and
    death is certain. I only pray that it may come soon.”

    _Daily Telegraph_, August 16, 1915.

From Belfort in September came the report: “A German aviator this
morning flew over Belfort, dropping a wreath on the spot where Pégoud
was killed. The following inscription was placed on the wreath: ‘To
Pégoud, who dies a hero. (Signed) His Adversary.’”

The following is from the _Daily News_ of October 9, 1915:

    The parents of a Lance-Corporal in a Highland regiment who was
    killed in the recent fighting have received particulars about
    their son’s death from a German lady in Frankfurt-on-Main.

    The lady’s eldest brother was killed last year near Ypres and
    she knows, she says, how glad they were to receive any details
    of his death. Another brother, who is an officer in the German
    army, had written from the front, begging her to inform the dead
    soldier’s relatives of his fate.

    In her letter the lady says: “Although we are enemies, pain and
    mourning unite us. So thought my brother, too, for he wrote
    everything about your son he could find out. I am sure my
    brother and his comrades did all honour to their enemies.”

The next extract is from the _Nation_ of November 13. 1915:

    Soldiers are not reluctant to speak well of their foes. The
    officer son of a friend of mine relates that beyond his line of
    trenches is a German commemoration of a British advance in the
    shape of a carefully wrought cross, bearing the inscription:
    “Sacred to the memory of Lieutenants A—— and B—— of the
    Staffordshire Regiment, who died like heroes.”

From a private letter: “What impresses one most are the graveyards. All
these are beautifully kept, all the graves have been cared for, and no
distinction has been drawn between German, English, and French, who lie
side by side. ‘Hier ruht ein tapferer Engländer, gefallen im Luftkampf’
(Here lies a brave Englishman, fallen in the air fight), etc., etc.”

The _Daily News_ of March 10, 1919, has the following:

    From a staff sergeant in Germany: “Here, in Germany, an English
    officer with the ’flu was nursed by his landlady, who, when her
    patient was better, succumbed to its ravages. Her daughter
    caught it from the mother, and is now lying at death’s door. But
    merely ‘Huns,’ I suppose.”

The roll of honour in the chapel at New College, Oxford, includes the
names of three Germans, and the words of charity: _Pro patria—Memento
fratres in Christo_.


In reprisals of good we may learn something from the new Russia. When
the German prisoners were set to work Kerensky said, “Prisoners or not,
they shall be paid at the same rate as other men,” and they were. What
was the result? Again the movement of gratitude, which is so potent a
force, if only we would believe it. _The German prisoners presented half
their wages to the Russian Red Cross._ I have to rely on private
information for this.


The thoughts of the others are much like our own—that is the difficult
truth we have to learn. It is a truth that is absolutely essential to
any peace that is to be more than an armistice of fools.

    The war has produced in the public opinion of the nations a
    state of mind which formerly would not have been regarded as
    possible in our age of internationalism and intellectuality.
    National egotism and the effort to assert one’s own national
    interests by all and every means are dominating so exclusively
    each belligerent group that it forms for itself a closed circle
    of ideas, and under its influence conclusions are drawn which
    are so contradictory that one is almost inclined to think that
    logic and common sense have been entirely eliminated from the
    thinking capacity of the warring nations....

    We Germans, among the others, are subject to this
    war-suggestion. We do not wish to say, after the manner of the
    Pharisees, beating their breasts: “We thank Thee, Lord, that we
    are not like these publicans.” We know that we, too, are
    prisoners of our circle of ideas, and must remain so, for we,
    too, are ruled by our national egotism and by our desire to win
    the war.—_Kölnische Zeitung_, as quoted by the _Daily News_,
    September 3, 1915.

Ideas imprisoned, narrowed (beschränkt, as the Germans say), become
putrescent through lack of free air. It is in this putrescence that the
gospel of hate is bred. Here is a German officer’s protest against the
infamy of this gospel. It is quoted from the _Kölnische Zeitung_ by Mr.
A. G. Gardiner in his book, “The War Lords”:

    Perhaps you will be so good as to assist, by the publication of
    these lines, in freeing our troops from an evil which they feel
    very strongly. I have on many occasions, when distributing among
    the men the postal packets, observed among them postcards on
    which the defeated French, English and Russians were derided in
    a tasteless fashion. The impression made by these postcards on
    our men is highly noteworthy. Scarcely anybody is pleased with
    these postcards; on the contrary, every one expresses his

    This is quite natural when one considers the position. We know
    how victories are won. We also know by what tremendous
    sacrifices they are obtained. We see with our own eyes the
    unspeakable misery of the battlefield. We rejoice over our
    victories, but our joy is damped by the recollection of the sad
    pictures which we observe almost daily.

    And our enemies have, in an overwhelming majority of cases,
    truly not deserved to be derided in such a way. Had they not
    fought bravely we should not have had to register such losses.

    Insipid, therefore, as these postcards are in themselves, their
    effect here on the battlefields, in face of our dead and
    wounded, is only calculated to cause disgust. Such postcards are
    as much out of place on the battlefield as a clown is at a
    funeral. Perhaps these lines may prove instrumental in
    decreasing the number of such postcards sent to our troops.

Personally, I believe this to express the soul of the real Germany and
the soul of the real England. The soul of any people is the _best_ that
is in it.

The following is from a lecture delivered by Prof. H. Gomperz in Vienna,
early in 1915:

    “Ladies and gentlemen, in our day all sorts of speakers and
    writers feel called upon to preach to us the doctrine of hate,
    in prose and even in verse, more especially against one of the
    countries opposing us. I do them the honour of assuming that
    even they do not mean that we are to translate this feeling into
    action; rather, even they do not dream of doing the slightest
    harm to any individual Englishman in so far as it is not
    necessary or inevitable for the purposes of victory. What then
    does this preaching of hatred mean, if indeed it means anything
    at all, and is not the mere empty clamour of some people anxious
    to attract attention without rendering useful service? Do they
    mean us to nurse and cherish the feeling of hate? Truly a
    strange demand after nearly two thousand years of training in
    the teaching of the gospel! And besides, whom are we to hate?
    The individual doing his duty in the service of his country,
    just as we are? Or the responsible governors of the destinies of
    that country, and the irresponsible leaders of its public
    opinion?” Hatred of the individual serving his country and
    governed by others Prof. Gomperz does not stop to discuss. It
    can obviously be the product only of what with etymological
    correctness we may term _insanity_. The governors and leaders
    imagined an irreconcilable antagonism. If they were right their
    case is justified; if they are wrong we must no more hate them
    than we should hate a patient suffering temporarily from
    delusion.—_International Review_, August, 1915.

Magnus Schwantje spoke very plainly at a meeting of the Schopenhauer
Society at Düsseldorf in June, 1915. He allows that the state has a
right to wage a war of defence, but _not to force anyone to serve in the
army_. Schopenhauer, he tells us, “esteems sympathy with all that lives
and suffers more highly than love for the Fatherland.... During a war a
noble man desires such an issue as may be most beneficial to the whole
world.... With all our readiness to recognise the merit of patriotic
self-denial, we, the admirers of Schopenhauer, have to warn our
compatriots, especially during a war, of the danger of patriotism
degenerating into injustice, or even hatred and malicious joy at the
misfortune of other nations.... Not one of the European peoples can be
suppressed without heavy loss to the whole world, and not one has the
right to force its special character on the others.” (_International
Review_, September, 1915.)


It is the elderly gentlemen on both sides who exude vitriol. It is a
pity that they are so much in evidence. But even some of them retain
their sanity. The following is from the _Cambridge Magazine_ of May 15,

    Those who, at the beginning of the war, were induced by the
    Press to wonder whether any elderly German professor had
    retained his mental equilibrium will now be disposed to wonder
    whether the proportion of serious cases is after all larger
    there than here. At any rate the Schopenhauer Society is a very
    important learned body, and Prof. Deussen, of Kiel, is one of
    the most distinguished of German scholars. And this is how he
    writes in the fourth year book of the Schopenhauer
    Society—apparently in terms of contempt for a loquacious
    minority (the translation is taken from the April number of the
    _Open Court_, and the italics are ours, especially the
    concluding shot at the Lady Patriot):

    “‘Not to my contemporaries,’ says Schopenhauer, ‘not to my
    countrymen, but to humanity do I commit my work which is now
    completed, in the confidence that it will not be without value
    to the race. Science, and more than every other science,
    philosophy is international.’ ... Foolish, very foolish,
    therefore is the conduct of _certain German professors_ who have
    renounced their foreign honours and titles. And what shall we
    say of a member of our society who demanded that citizens of
    those states which are at war with us should be excluded from
    the Schopenhauer Society, and who, when it was pointed out that
    our foreign members certainly condemned this infamous war as
    much as we Germans, protested that she could not belong to an
    association in which Frenchmen, Englishmen and Russians took
    part, and announced her withdrawal from our society, indeed,
    even published her brave resolution in the columns of a local
    paper in her provincial town. _We shall not shed any tears_ for
    her having gone.”[71]

Romain Rolland bears out the idea that “in all countries the extremest
views have been expressed by writers already past middle age.” So it is
in Germany, Rolland tells us. Dehmel, the enemy of war, has enlisted at
51; Gerhart Hauptmann, “the poet of brotherly love,” cries out for
slaughter. But Fritz von Unruh has, from the battlefield, written “Das
Lamm”: “Lamb of God, I have seen Thy look of suffering; lead us back to
the heaven of love.” Rudolf Leonhard, who was caught up in the storm,
wrote afterwards on the front page of his poems: “These were written
during the madness of the first weeks. That madness has spent itself,
and only our strength is left. We shall again win control over ourselves
and love one another.”

    “Menschen in Not ...
    Brüder dir tot ...
    Krieg ist im Land ...”

No “glory” of war is in these simple, poignant words of Ludwig
Marck—simply a dire evil that we have not the sanity to avoid. “Whether
you gaze trembling into the eyes of the beloved, or mark down your enemy
with pitiless glance, think of the eye that will grow dim, of the
failing breath, the parched lips and clenched hands, the final solitude,
and the brow that grows moist in the last pangs.... Be kind....
Tenderness is wisdom. Kindness is reason.... We are strangers all upon
this earth, and die but to be reunited.” Thus Franz Werfel. Since these
words cannot be called barbaric, they will perhaps be called
sentimental. It is true that to those of us who have loved our comrades,
of whatever nation, the sentiment of brotherhood does just now make a
somewhat tragic appeal. If that appeal, in these days of decimated
ideals, be at times strained and feverish, it scarcely lies in the
mouths of the apostles of hate to deride us. The sentimentality of
hatred is uglier and more fatuous than the sentimentality of

Hermann Hesse is living at Berne. He has implored the writers of all
nations not to join with their pens in destroying the future of Europe.
From a poem of later date come these words: “All possessed it, but no
one prized it. Like a cool spring it has refreshed us all. What a sound
the word peace has for us now. Distant it sounds, and fearful, and heavy
with tears. No one knows or can name the day for which all sigh with
such longing.”

Do not let us forget that almost everything that is most militarist is
_old_. It is only the old who affect still to glory in war—the old
newspapers, the old reviews, the old statesmen, and some, perhaps, of
the old soldiers—it is to what is newest, youngest, most creative, most
living that we look not in vain for an unshaken belief in brotherhood,
for a clear acknowledgment that any other belief would throw us back
into the ape and tiger struggle of world beginnings, but with the ape
ten thousand times more cunning and the tiger ten thousand times more
cruel. To some German publications the war is a stupid eruption of
barbarism into a workshop where work was being done. _Die Aktion_ scoffs
mercilessly at the Chauvinists and at Lissauer with his Hymn of
Hate.[72] Even Lissauer, be it remarked, has published his repentance,
and, personally, I respect him for it. The man who can say that he spoke
too strongly is always worth knowing. The man who insists elaborately on
his consistency (as the politicians do) is usually singularly devoid of
any appreciation of truth. _Die Aktion_ (1915) goes on steadily with its
appreciation of French artists, as if no war were in progress. There may
be some affectation in this attitude, but it is to be preferred, I
think, to the complete ostracism of work of the enemy called for by a
noisy but, I believe, small section on this side. _Die Weissen Blätter_
appeared in January, 1915, with the following announcement:

    It seems good to us to begin the work of reconstruction in the
    midst of the war. The community of Europe is at present
    apparently destroyed. Is it not the duty of all of us who are
    not bearing arms to live from to-day onwards according to the
    dictates of our conscience, as it will be the duty of every
    German when once the war is over?

Evidently the editor has in his mind a contrast between the dictates of
conscience and the dictates of officialism. He was born in Alsace, so he
may well know this contrast. We are learning it here. In the February
number the _Krieg mit dem Maul_ (war with the mouth) was most vigorously

    If journalists hope to inspire courage by insulting the enemy,
    they are mistaken—we refuse such stimulants. We dare to
    maintain our opinion that the humblest volunteer of the enemy,
    who, from an unreasoned but exalted sentiment of patriotism,
    fires upon us from an ambush, knowing well what he risks, is
    much superior to those journalists who profit by the public
    feeling of the day, and under cover of high-sounding words of
    patriotism do not fight the enemy, but spit on him.

I am reminded of words used by one of my Swiss friends: “As soon as
soldiers must get their fighting force from suggestions of puerile
besmirching of the enemy, then war indeed becomes intolerably base.”

Annette Kolb, daughter of a German father and a French mother, had the
courage to proclaim openly in a public lecture at Dresden that _she was
faithful to both sides_, and to express her regret that Germany should
fail to understand France. After all, German intolerance must have its
limits for such a bold speech to be possible.

Wilhelm Herzog in the Munich _Forum_ has attacked the intellectual
fire-eaters, the patriots who insult other peoples and the Chauvinists
generally. He defends France, the French army and French civilisation,
against the brilliant novelist, Thomas Mann. Above all does he condemn
the intellectual babble: “The wrong that these privy councillors and
professors have done us with their ‘Aufklärungsarbeit’ can hardly be
measured. They have isolated themselves from humanity by their inability
to realise the feelings of others.”

Mr. Lowes Dickinson has called attention in the _Hibbert_ of October,
1915, to a pamphlet by Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Förster, entitled
“Deutschlands Jugend und der Weltkrieg.” The same pamphlet is quoted in
_The Ethical Movement_ of the same date. Here are some extracts:

    “Hate disorganises, love disciplines. Fill yourselves with
    deepest sympathy for all who suffer in war, whose hearts are
    crushed, whose bodies are broken, whose homes are burned ...
    and win a peace which shall make the recurrence of such things
    for ever impossible. Such a purification from the passion of
    hate is often easier on the field than at home. Those who remain
    behind have an abstract enemy in view. The soldier sees living
    men who suffer and die like himself.” It will startle the
    English reader to find Dr. Förster pleading earnestly that the
    English soldier is not responsible for the ways of his
    government or of his leaders. The Germans are to remain true to
    themselves whatever the others may do. Each side, observe,
    accuses the other of barbarous methods, and impartiality is
    impossible. The most that one can expect of the ardent partisan
    is perhaps that he should, like Dr. Förster, urge those on his
    side to remain true to their ideals, whatever the enemy may do.
    “England has given us also the Salvation Army, and invaluable
    higher points of view for the treatment of Labour questions and
    social work. She has taught our revolutionary spirits and
    moderated our party passions. Let us always remember this, and
    in that remembrance grasp again in the future the proffered
    hand.” For Dr. Förster it is for this better England that
    Germany now fights, just as for many an Englishman it is for the
    better Germany that England is fighting. “And it is better for
    us to fight for that better England than to rage and spit upon
    ... Grey and his followers. In sleepless nights kindle the
    eternal light of Christ in your souls and try to love your
    enemies. Think of that great William Booth and of all the
    English greatness and goodness embodied in him; of Florence
    Nightingale, the heroine and saint, whose pioneer work is still
    binding up to-day unnumbered wounds; and think of Carlyle,
    Ruskin, and Toynbee and of those mighty forces of conscience
    which spoke in their words and gave to us Germans, and will give
    us yet, so much that is great.”


    “Christ stands against war and above war. He who loses sight of
    this truth slays that deep conscience of civilisation which is
    meant to goad us unceasingly on to allay this fury of war. We
    know well that if we were Christians there would be no war.”
    Förster denounces the bawling haters “who must open their mouths
    42 centimetres wide,” and think that he who does not do it is no

    “To conquer and silence them must be your first task, young men
    of the new Germany; you who have been purified by sacrifice and
    suffering. For what would it profit our people if it gained the
    whole world and lost its own soul?” May we not, _mutatis
    mutandis_, take this appeal to heart ourselves?


    “The essence and foundation of the State is precisely the
    opposite of power, viz., law, treaty, fellowship between opposed
    interests, and the whole outer strength of a State rests upon
    the depth and firmness of these, its inner conditions and links.
    Therefore the first commandment of life for the State is not to
    create for itself might but to care for the ethical unity of its
    members, for the supremacy of the conscience and the sense of
    law above rude self-interest.”—(Quoted in the _Ethical
    Movement_, October, 1915.)

Granted that voices such as those of Herzog, Förster, Schücking,
Schwantje are a minority, it is yet plain that they represent more than
themselves. The existence of such reviews and utterances implies the
existence of at least many thousands who have not been deluded by their
governors. Of those who have been deluded into enmity, but who have
never dreamed of world dominance, there are, I am convinced, many
millions. Bernhardi was introduced to Germany by England. There were
four million Social Democrats. They have defended their country, but
they have never dreamed of aggression. The time will come to claim the
help of these men and the many others of the wiser Germany. That wiser
Germany will yet live to be, not an army of destruction, but an army of

Henrietta Thomas, of Baltimore, Maryland, went early in 1915 with a
message of fellowship from English people to German people. There was
some surprise, some tendency to view the message as Utopian, but always
a cordial acknowledgment and a real goodwill. Dr. Siegmund Schulze was
most heartily in sympathy. “He feels that the ultimate hope of peace
lies in the increasing use of arbitration.” “One very sweet-spirited
elderly gentleman in Berlin said that when he prayed things looked
different—he seemed to see things through God’s eyes—but as a man he
had to fight.” “At Stuttgart and Frankfurt I found the peace people more
thoroughgoing in their sentiments.” The secretary of the Stuttgart
Peace Society said: “The armed peace of Europe is an exploded idea. As
long as we have armies we shall use them. We must educate the people to
realise this, and to work for disarmament.”

_Lichtstrahlen_ was originally founded as an independent monthly
periodical by a Socialist, Julian Borchardt. The periodical was
unofficial and had a difficult struggle for existence. This was before
the war. When the war broke out the editor took as strong a line against
it as the censor allowed. The circulation rose so much that Borchardt
was able to convert the monthly into a weekly. Rosa Luxembourg and Frank
Mehring, greatly daring, started the _Internationale_ with the object of
rebuilding the International Labour and Socialist movement during the
war. The review was instantly suppressed, but was reprinted afterwards
at Berne. Among the contributors is the well-known Clara Zetkin. She
refers enthusiastically to the Christmas message sent by British women
to the women of Germany and other belligerent countries. (_Labour
Leader_, June 17, 1915.) Marie Engelmann, of Dresden, has protested with
equal strength.


The following is an extract from a valuable letter by Madeline G. Doty,
an American, which appeared in the _Nation_ of June 12, 1915:

    My most revolutionary talk was with a gray-haired mother of
    grown children, in a secluded corner of a quiet restaurant. A
    burning flame this woman. Her face stamped with world suffering,
    her eyes the tragic eyes of a Jane Addams. In a whisper she
    uttered the great heresy: ‘German salvation lies in Germany’s
    defeat. If Germany wins when so many of her progressive young
    men have been slain, the people will be utterly crushed in the
    grip of the mailed fist.’

    With this companion I discussed the collapse of the Social
    Democrats in the hour of crisis, the triumph of nationalism
    over internationalism. She attributes it to military training.
    During the period of service a man becomes a thing.
    Automatically, he acquires habits of obedience, is reduced to an
    unquestioning machine. Mechanically, when the call came, the
    Social Democrats, with the others, fell into line. But with time
    has come thought. Also knowledge—knowledge that, in the first
    instance, Germany’s war was not one of self-defence. But it is
    too late to rebel. Most of the Social Democrats are at the
    front. From month to month they have put off protest as unwise.
    Only Liebknecht has made himself heard. Now he has been caught
    up in the iron hand, and sent to battle. But women are not bound
    by the spell of militarism. While the Government rejoiced at the
    submission of its Socialist men, the women grew active.
    Organising a party of their own, they fought bravely. Last fall
    Rosa Luxembourg dashed into the street and addressed a regiment
    of soldiers. ‘Don’t go to war, don’t shoot your brothers,’ she
    cried. For this offence she was sent to prison for a year.
    To-day she lies in solitary confinement. But her suffering only
    inspires the others. In March 750 women walked to the Reichstag.
    At the entrance they halted. As the members entered they
    shouted, ‘We will have no more war; we will have peace.’ Quickly
    the police dispersed them, and the order went forth that no
    newspaper should print one word of the protest. Still the women
    work on. On April 8, an International Socialist Woman’s Congress
    was held at Berne, Switzerland. Ten nations were represented,
    including all the belligerents.

    The task of peace propaganda in Germany is gigantic. Neither by
    letter nor by Press can news be spread. Both are censored. The
    work must be carried on by spoken word passed from mouth to
    mouth. The courage of the little band of women I had met was
    stupendous. Through them I learned to love Germany. So my life
    in Berlin became a double one. I ate and slept, and was
    unregenerate in one part of the town, and only really lived when
    I escaped from respectability and, strange contradiction of
    terms, became a criminal fighting for peace.

    But wherever I was, one fact grew omnipresent. Germany was
    magnificently organised. Here lay the country’s power and her
    weakness. Her power because it made Germany a unit. There were
    no weak links in the chain. Her weakness, because it robbed her
    people of individuality, made them cogs in a machine.

“Germany no longer cares whom she hurts,” runs another passage in this
letter; “like an unloved child at bay she means, to smash and kill. The
pity of it! Never was there a more generous, soft-hearted, kindly
people. Germany, the land of the Christmas tree and folk songs, and
hearthsides and gay childish laughter, turned into a relentless fighting
machine! But each individual is a cog firmly fixed in the machine, which
will go ever on as long as the ruling power turns the crank.”[73]


“If I were not firmly convinced that even this war will help to
establish the Kingdom of God I could hardly endure it. But I believe
that after passing through this hell humanity will come to itself and
learn to believe in the reign of human brotherhood.... I cannot tell you
the moral suffering I go through. These butcheries are utter madness. I
cannot forget for a moment that our enemies are men, and consequently
our brothers.” So wrote a young German soldier student quoted by Mr.
Jerome K. Jerome.

The following letter is from the _Vossische Zeitung_. A soldier’s young
sister had written asking him to “kill a lot of Russians” and “to gain a
new victory in order to cheer us up.” “‘Kill a lot of Russians.’ You
have not seen them lying about—those poor dead, with their singularly
solemn faces.... You have not seen the battle which preceded, and the
bad wounds which so many of my friends got in trying to kill a lot of
them. You do not think of the fact that those dead men had parents,
brothers, and sisters whom they loved. And you have not seen the
harrowing destruction of the villages and towns—how the poor,
hunted-down population is running away, leaving everything they had
behind them to be consumed by the flames.... And then, remember, we are
not fighting in order to cheer you up—we are not lying about in the
open-air day and night, starved and suffering from wounds and
homesickness, in order that you at home may be cheerful at the tea or
beer table. We are fighting and bearing this terrible wretchedness in
order that you may he spared the horrors of war, and that Germany’s
future may be bright.” That is, I believe, what the enormous majority of
Germany’s soldiers are fighting for. Soldiers on both sides have similar
and quite reconcilable aims; but government is too complex to express
the simple will of the people. In every country, it seems to me,
anti-militarist opinion only needs its chance. I was struck by the
frequency with which such an opinion cropped up when I was travelling a
few weeks in Germany not long before the war. On the top of the Belchen
I encountered it in talking to a native of Würtemberg. Again in a walk
with a young German to the Feldberg; again in a book-shop at Freiburg;
again in chance railway talk with a very well-educated German on my way
to Berlin. In Berlin itself a giant Westphalian accosted me, as he
wanted to make the acquaintance of “one of these terrible fellows who
mean to smash up Germany.” His political ideal consisted in the belief
that England and Germany, understanding each other, could keep the peace
of the world.


Dr. Albert Klein, of Giessen, who was killed in the Champagne in
February, felt compelled to side with his Government, as so many do in
times of crisis. To that extent his was a biased judgment. It is a bias
that one has seen possessing almost everywhere the noblest souls. But
Klein could write thus:

    When I read all this inflated stuff in the papers—written by
    men guiltily conscious of being very safe in their offices at
    home—to the effect that every soldier is a hero, I feel
    positively disgusted. Heroism is far too rare to form a basis
    for a national army. What is needed to make and keep that a
    coherent whole is that men must respect their leaders and fear
    them more than the enemy, and that leaders must be
    conscientious, true to their duty, well informed, resourceful
    and self-controlled. Thank God, there is plenty of the good old
    discipline yet. But these fine fellows come along, concoct a
    mess of New Year reflections and Centenary speeches and boldly
    declaim about the German spirit that is to heal mankind. They
    pick up all the filth of the foreign Press and fling it back
    with threefold interest. It is just because I am so passionately
    devoted to all that the noblest Germans have done for the
    civilisation of the world that I do not desire to see us
    burdened with a task we cannot accomplish.

    If Germany’s contribution to the world’s civilisation is the
    highest we can strive for, we must seek afresh to live in peace
    and concord with the other nations. Then we shall cease calling
    every Englishman a hypocrite and every Frenchman empty-headed,
    quite apart from the daily proofs we get of their military
    ability. Oh, my dear friends, believe me, the man on the spot
    who sees and experiences all this, does not talk so complacently
    of death and sacrifice and victory, as those who, far from the
    front, ring the bells, make fine speeches and write the papers.
    He resigns himself to the bitter necessity of suffering and
    death when the hour comes, and he knows and sees how many, too
    many sacrifices have already been made, knows it is time, high
    time that all this devastation ceased, not only on our side, but
    on the other side, too.

    It is just in seeing all this suffering that we feel a new bond
    of sympathy (and you, my dear ones, would feel just the same,
    yes, I know, you feel it already) uniting us with the enemy.

    If, as I hardly dare to hope, I return from this murderous war,
    it will be one of my most welcome duties to steep my mind in the
    culture of those that now oppose us. I mean to build up on a
    broader basis the aim and purpose of my life, namely, historical
    and philosophical meditation on culture in its highest form.

    Last night I was strangely moved, having an opportunity of
    seeing a convoy of prisoners and speaking to one of them, a
    colleague, a classical philologist from Vigeac. Such a frank,
    intelligent man, with an excellent military training, as indeed
    were all the company with him! He told me how terrible it had
    been to endure the firing of our machine-guns (démoralisant, he
    called it)—and showed me clearly the utter senselessness of
    war. How we should like to be friends with people so like us in
    education, habits of life, thought and interest.

    We soon got into conversation about a book on Rousseau and
    began a regular argument, like two old philologists. He saw the
    ribbon in my button-hole and when he heard it was the Iron Cross
    he said: “Félicitations!” His sparkling interest in the striped
    ribbon seemed to me so characteristic of a Southern Frenchman
    and very touching.

    How alike we are in worth and merit! How untrue all these tales
    told by our papers of the French being broken and spent! Just as
    untrue as all that the _Temps_ writes about us. And all he said,
    this French colleague of mine, betrayed so much independent
    thought and respect for German mind and character. Why should
    we, fated to be friends, always be divided? I was deeply
    troubled, and sat there for a long time lost in thought, but all
    my brooding brought me no solution.

    And the end not in sight yet, the end of this war, that for six
    months has been gorging itself with human life and prosperity
    and happiness! The same feeling amongst us and amongst them!
    Always the same picture! We are so much alike, we achieve the
    same, we suffer the same, just because we happen to be such
    bitter enemies.—(From the _International Review_.)

The following is another extract given by M. Romain Rolland. It is taken
from the letter of a German soldier to a Swiss professor:

    The longing for peace is intense with us. At least with all
    those who are at the front, forced to kill and to be killed. The
    newspapers say that it is not possible to stem the war-like
    passion of the soldiers. They lie, knowingly or unknowingly. Our
    pastors deny that this passion is abating. You cannot think how
    indignant we are at such nonsense. Let them hold their tongues
    and not speak of things they do not understand. Or, rather, let
    them come here, not as chaplains in the rear, but in the line of
    fire, with arms in their hands. Perhaps then they will perceive
    the inner change which is going on in thousands of us. In the
    eyes of these parsons a man who has no passion for war is
    unworthy of his age. But it seems to me that we who are
    faithfully doing our duty without enthusiasm for the war, and
    hating it from the bottom of our souls, are finer heroes than
    the others. They speak of a Holy War. I know of no Holy War. I
    only know one war, and that is the sum of everything that is
    inhuman, impious, and beastly in man, a visitation of God and a
    call to repentance to the people who rushed into it, or allowed
    themselves to be drawn into it. God has plunged men into this
    Hell in order to teach them to love Heaven. As for the German
    people, the war seems to be a chastisement and a call to
    contrition—addressed first of all to our German Church.


Enough has been cited to give a glimpse of the better Germany in the
time of this war. Let us remember, too, what she has been in peace.
“After all, in our saner moments we all of us know that the Germans are
a great people, with a great part in the world to play. Their boasts
about their ‘culture’ are not idle boasts, and, when one comes to think
of it, it is rather important to have in our midst a people that _cares_
to boast about its culture. The Englishman is more given to complaining
than boasting, and when he does boast it is certainly not about culture.
As it seems to me, the Germans excel in two things—simple tenderness of
sentiment and the work of patient observation. I am aware that it has
for a considerable time been the mode in England to slight German
literature. Personally, I consider this one of those temporary poses to
which superior persons are liable. Leave out all the great names if you
will—Goethe, Schiller, Heine, and the rest—and we still have the
folk-songs. A nation that can produce those folk-songs has got unusual
gifts for the world. And, of course, we envy the Germans their music. Of
all the contemptible utterances that this war has produced (and it has
produced a good many) none has been worse than the silly blathering
against German music just because it is German. What have Beethoven,
Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner got to do with the politics of the
present war? Leaving the arts aside, it is quite certain that in any
region where careful observation and painstaking thought are required,
no one can afford to neglect Germany. Recently I was looking through
May’s ‘Guide to the Roman Pottery in the York Museum.’ Among the names
of those dealing with the subject of Roman pottery I suppose the best
known are those of Déchelette and Dragendorff—the one French, the other
German. Among the other references I found fourteen to German
publications and four to English, one of the latter being merely a
museum catalogue. No one can study philosophy without continual
reference to German thought. Even in a subject so English as the study
of Shakespeare the work of Gervinus is fundamental, and from the time of
Lessing to that of Ten Brink there has been a succession of German
commentators. Those of us who have worked at all at science know only
too well what we owe to Germany there. It has, indeed, been at times
painful to compare the mass of the German output with the comparatively
thin stream of English work. Of course, there has been splendid English
research, but as a people we are not lovers of knowledge, and we are
specially loath to apply it. Again and again our scientific papers have
been filled with diatribes against our English neglect of science, and
the diatribes were needed. I remember asking a British firm of repute to
construct for me a resistance ‘bridge’ of a simple kind. I explained the
whole purpose of the apparatus, but when it came back to me the
resistance wire was soldered down in two places to broad bands of brass.
This, of course, altered the resistance and rendered the apparatus
useless. A rudimentary knowledge of electricity would have made such a
mistake impossible. Contrast this with the following: When I was a
student a lecturer wished to prepare a rather rare compound for some
work of his. We both tried for long to prepare a specimen, but failed,
probably because the temperature of our furnace was not high enough. We
then sent to a German firm of manufacturing chemists, and they prepared
it for us at once. I remarked recently to an English scientific chemist,
‘No English firm would have done that.’ ‘Well, if you had pressed them,’
he replied, ‘they would have sent over to —— (a German firm) and then
put their own label on the bottle.’ A ‘chemist’ in too many of our works
has too often been a lad who has picked up some routine knowledge, but
who has no more scientific equipment than a farm labourer. Contrast this
with the state of things at the _Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik_, where
as many as _sixty_ trained chemists are employed.

“I have often thought of these things when I have heard manufacturers
bewailing German competition. The war has produced many strange
intellectual somersaults, and it is curious to notice how many Free
Traders are now eager for the destruction, not temporarily, but
permanently, of German trade. A few months ago they would have preached
in season and out on the advantage to England of receiving cheap goods,
they would have extolled German scientific methods, and they would (with
every right) have pointed out that a customer who buys forty million
pounds’ worth of our goods is scarcely one whom we should wish to
destroy. All these facts remain absolutely unaltered by the war. All
that has happened is that a half-ashamed jealousy is no longer ashamed,
and is masquerading as patriotism so successful as to have misled the
majority of our countrymen—for a time. The day of reckoning will come,
and we shall not then find it any better than previously to buy dear
goods to please the manufacturers. Moreover, our men of business will
not have learned scientific methods by the end of the war. A publisher’s
circular that I recently received appealed, on patriotic grounds, for
the purchase of a book on applied science. I am not very cynical, but I
confess that I distrust these trade appeals to patriotism. The true
patriot does not advertise his patriotism in order to make money. In
this case the work was well known and important, but it was interesting
to observe that almost every one of the contributors was German, and
that the rest were German-Swiss. Surely, in spite of its horror, there
are many things in this contest to make the gods laugh.”[74]


It is pleasant to find recognition of Germany’s commercial deserts among
British commercial men. The annual conference of the United Kingdom
Commercial Travellers’ Association was opened at the Town Hall,
Manchester, on May 24, 1915. Sir William Mather, who was unanimously
elected president, referred to Germany as follows:

    The position of Germany in the world of commerce had been
    attained as the result of years of patient and persistent
    organisation, of close application to business, of exhaustive
    and careful research work, and full appreciation of the
    requirements and necessities of the markets for which she was
    catering, and a determination to meet those requirements in
    strict accordance with the wishes and needs of her potential
    customers. Behind all the efforts had been lavish financial
    support by the German Government, and the pledging of national
    credit for individual and private enterprise.

    The position secured by Germany as a result of her persistent
    application of these methods was not to be seriously challenged,
    nor would she be deprived of her hold upon it by anything other
    than the use by Englishmen of the same skill, the same
    elasticity, the same persistence, and the same efficiency in
    every branch of commerce.

    Commercial travellers, as one of the most important parts of the
    mechanism, must, if the desired result be obtained, make
    themselves fully efficient for their part in the work. They had
    been perhaps, as vocal as any section of the community as to the
    necessity and possibility of extending English trade, but it was
    much to be regretted that when opportunities were given and
    facilities provided, more particularly for the younger men to
    equip themselves for the work which had to be done in extending
    British commerce abroad, the response was extremely
    inadequate.—(_Daily Telegraph_, May 25, 1915.)

As regards chemical research there also fortunately remain those who
still ungrudgingly admit our enormous indebtedness to Germany. In March,
1915, Professor Percy Frankland, F.R.S., addressed the Birmingham
Section of the Society of Chemical Industry on “The Chemical Industries
of Germany.” With true and chivalrous courtesy, Professor Frankland, in
a footnote to his printed address, writes: “The author has much pleasure
in acknowledging the assistance he has received from the valuable
compilation by Professor Lepsius of Berlin, ‘Deutschlands Chem.
Industrie, 1888-1913,’ and from that by Dr. Duisberg, of Elberfeld,
‘Wissenschaft und Technik,’ 1911.” I believe such courtesy is more
characteristically British than the lack of it sometimes shown by
others. The following quotations from Professor Frankland’s address are
of interest:


    ... During the major part of the [past] 60 years the great bulk
    of the discoveries in this domain have been made in Germany.
    Organic chemistry is, perhaps, the branch of science which more
    perfectly suits the German mind and temperament. It involves the
    possession of those qualities in which Germans are so
    pre-eminent—the capacity for taking an infinitude of pains, the
    capacity to anticipate difficulties and organise means to
    circumvent them.... It is in the possession of such schools of
    research, both in the universities and in the chemical
    factories, that Germany has by two generations the lead of all
    other countries in the world.... The chemical manufacturers in
    this country have, with some notable exceptions, failed to
    establish anything worthy of the name of research laboratories
    in connection with their works.... Whereas the artificial colour
    industry started in England, that of artificial drugs is
    entirely of German origin, and may be said to begin with the
    discovery by Liebig of chloroform in 1831, and of chloral
    hydrate in 1832.... The composition of the personnel who carry
    on these German colour works is at the bottom of their success.
    Take the works of Messrs. Meister, Lucius, und Brüning as an
    example. In 1913, the composition was as follows: Workmen,
    7,680; managers, 374; expert chemists, 307; technologists, 74;
    commercial staff, 611. Contrast with the above the fact that the
    six English factories now producing dyestuffs employ altogether
    only 35 chemists, whilst evidence of their relative activities
    is again furnished by the circumstance that between 1886 and
    1900 the English firms took out only 86 patents, whereas the six
    principal German firms were responsible for 948 during the same
    period. Having shown that these German coal-tar colour
    manufacturers are without rivals from the commercial point of
    view, I feel it to be my duty to point out also that their
    industry is carried on under conditions of labour which are
    highly creditable to the management.

Professor Frankland goes on to urge that we should at least pay heed to
“the warnings repeated _ad nauseam_ by the chemical profession during a
whole generation.” Those warnings told us of the stupidity and peril of
neglecting science. It is not mere commercialism but science that is
needed. The help of science, it may be added, will never be gained
unless devotion is paid to it for its own sake, and not simply as a
means to money. That reward is too far off for mere commercialism. Adolf
Baeyer synthesised indigo in 1880, but it cost 17 years of laborious
investigation and the investment of nearly £1,000,000 of capital before
that synthesis could be made a commercial success. So long a chase is
not carried out by those who are thinking only of the prize. The hunt
itself must interest them. That, I personally fear, is where we in
Britain (and especially in England) are somewhat lacking.

Two other points in Professor Frankland’s address I would draw attention
to. In emphasising the need of scientific men on the directorates he
asks: “What does not the firm of Messrs. Brunner, Mond and Co., for
example, owe to the late Dr. Ludwig Mond, F.R.S.?” Just so. Dr. Ludwig
Mond was a German. He came to this country and brought with him his
energy, enterprise, and his very exceptional scientific endowments. With
Mr. J. J. Brunner he was thus able to found what became the largest
alkali works in the kingdom, and undoubtedly one of the most scientific
and enterprising works we have. Incidentally it is worth mentioning that
the firm of Brunner, Mond and Co. was one of the first to introduce the
eight hours day. There are people about (a few of whom ought to know
better) asking for the exclusion of the German in the future. I would
venture to suggest that we might well exchange very many English people
of such limited brain capacity for one Ludwig Mond. To shut the door to
men is to shut the doors to talent, and talent produces its best by

I may at this point insert an illustration communicated to me privately.
My informant said: “When I was a very young man I determined to try to
save a business which was falling in ruin. My project was strongly
opposed by my friends, but I determined to carry it out. The works which
I took over were then employing 150 men. There was a great lack of
scientific training, and _this_ I saw was the chief cause of disaster.
So I began sending my men to Germany to be trained. The Germans have
always, at their State-supported universities, welcomed the foreigner
and given him their best knowledge. My men brought that knowledge back
to England. The result was that by the time I withdrew from active work
we were employing about three thousand men. The Germans had thus given
work to nearly three thousand Englishmen. People should remember facts
of this kind when they talk of Germans coming here and ‘taking the bread
out of our mouths.’”

The wife of an interned man struggled to keep his business. She was,
however, ruined. “Serve you right,” she was told, “coming here and
taking the bread out of our people’s mouths.” What a strange idea of
humanity! What are “our people”? If a Scotsman settles in London is he
“taking the bread out of our people’s mouths’”? We forget that the
foreigner is very often an enormous accession to a State. The Norman
conquerors who organised us, the Flemings who improved our weaving, the
Huguenots who gave new ideas to our commerce, the Germans who brought
us scientific method have all been amongst the makers of England.
Exclusiveness is a constricting cord that strangles progress. Exchange
of commodities is, we know, the life of trade, and exchange of men and
ideas is the life of more than trade.

The last quotation I shall make from Professor Frankland’s address has,
I venture to think, very considerable bearing on the possibilities of
future friendship:

    Notwithstanding the absence of material inducements, I venture
    to say without fear of contradiction that there is more original
    investigation being prosecuted in this country by chemists than
    by any other body of British men of science, and this I
    attribute to the fact that such a large proportion of our number
    have either been at German universities or are the pupils of
    those who have been at these centres of research. Nor are any of
    us, I am sure, even during this unfortunate crisis, unmindful of
    the hospitality and inspiration which we have received in the
    schools of the enemy.

One has met with so much pettiness and folly masquerading as patriotism
that it is delightful to welcome such a truly noble utterance.

The allusion to the conditions of labour in Professor Frankland’s
address is also important. Most of us regard the German labourer as far
too controlled and regulated, but everyone knows that Germany was to the
fore in care for the health and well-being of the workman: “As to the
factory legislation in general, not only do they afford to children and
juveniles a greater measure of protection in regard to hours and other
conditions of work than is enforced by the English Factory Acts, but
many of their provisions for ensuring the health, comfort, and safety of
all workers go beyond the limits which are thought sufficient in this
country.” (W. H. Dawson, “The Evolution of Modern Germany,” p. 332.)

Insurance against sickness and old age were measures that we learned
from Germany. They were intended to increase British efficiency and
well-being, and our statesmen received every courtesy and help in
studying German methods. It will be said by many that we shall not study
those methods again. Perhaps not. They may prefer an English method as
propounded by Lord Headley when speaking at a luncheon in connection
with the Bakery and Confectionery Trades Exhibition held at Islington.
The report is from the _Glasgow Herald_ as reproduced in the _Labour
Leader_ (October 21, 1915):

    In regard to many industries, the plain fact was that the
    foreigner lived much more cheaply than the British workman and
    charged far less for his labour. Where labour, and not
    machinery, formed a small part of the cost of production we
    should be able to compete with the foreigner, and that should be
    the case in high class confectionery more than in anything else.
    If we were to defeat the foreigner in other industries after the
    war, it seemed to him that the British workman would have to
    consent to work for lower wages than hitherto. At any rate, he
    hoped so, in order that the country might supply itself with
    necessities without having to go abroad for them.

It seems to me that in this way we should “defeat” not only the
foreigner, but the Englishman as well—except the privileged few who
could get workmen at low wages without lowering their profits. I
remember saying to a Colonial lady that we had gained much from the
science of German settlers in this country. “Damn German science,” was
her reply. A certain type of employer desires two protections—protection
against the knowledge of the foreigner, and protection against the
aspirations of the worker. Both the knowledge and the aspirations of
others are a disturbance of repose.

At a Nottingham meeting of the Society of Chemical Industry the
unscientific character of British methods was again emphasised. So, too,
at the Edinburgh meeting in December, 1914.

Principal A. P. Laurie, speaking of paints and colours, said: “There
were very few cases among those he had inquired into of a chemical, a
colour product, or a pigment which was being made both in Germany and in
England in which the German product was not better than that made in
this country.... Again, it was admitted that German barytes was better
ground than English. Yet an extensive literature on barytes and barytes
mining had been published by the Germans, showing exactly how German
barytes was ground. They had not found a barytes miner in England who
owned a microscope.... The English manufacturer did not believe in or
use the man of science.

“Mr. Tatlock, speaking from the laboratory glass apparatus makers’ point
of view, said that British manufacturers were finding it exceedingly
difficult to replace German and Austrian products.... Professor
Henderson had referred to the possibility of people buying more readily
goods of British manufacture. They did not find that to be the case. The
goods had to be cheaper or better; they would certainly never be bought
purely because they were British, and he did not altogether think that
they should be bought for that reason.”

It is surely clear that the only wise world policy is one in which each
nation brings its own particular contribution to the common stock and in
no way tries to shut others out.


We find it impossible to shut out German music. “Germany, it must be
said to its credit,” I read in the daily Press, “is not boycotting
foreign art.” In the autumn of 1915 the Royal Theatres of Berlin
announced Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” and “Antony and Cleopatra,” and
Scribe’s “Glass of Water.” “Shakespeare, one hears,” writes a reviewer
in the _Daily News_, of December 4, 1915, “is still being played in the
German theatres. If you go to a theatre in London you are more likely to
see a performance with a title like ‘I _don’t_ Think!’ or ‘Pass the
Mustard, Please!’ Shakespeare, to tell the truth, is in England left
largely to professors and schoolboys.”

A silly crusade was started in this country against German thought in
general, a crusade so petty that it made some of us wince for shame. The
upholders of creeds joined in hastily, for German investigators had
given our beliefs many uncomfortable shocks. We remember how it came
about that the President of the Training College in Mark Rutherford’s
Autobiography could with such satisfaction to himself destroy the
“infidel.” “The President’s task was all the easier because he knew
nothing of German literature; and, indeed, the word ‘German’ was a term
of reproach signifying something very awful, although nobody knew
exactly what it was.” The obscurantist and opponent of free thought has
shown signs of hope that the German’s reputation for awfulness may turn
us from his evil companionship into the restful paths of British piety.
The Englishman (especially, I believe, the Saxon element) has too often
been prone to make a stronghold of ignorance. This stronghold has
certainly in industry proved to be a house of cards, and I think it has
proved to be equally a house of cards in religion. It would, indeed, be
a disastrous outcome of the war if it led us still more to emphasise our
insularity. Unless we are readier after the war to learn from everyone,
we shall, as a nation, be mentally moribund. It matters not in the least
whether the thought be German, French, Austrian, Swiss, Russian, or any
other. Miss Petre, in her “Reflections of a Non-Combatant,” has finely
stated the wider view:

    Thought and learning, art and music, may bear certain
    characteristics of the country in which they are begotten; but
    they are also the products of humanity itself, or they would
    make no appeal to the world at large. The monuments of the
    German mind are no more robbed of their intellectual value by
    the national crime of this war than German mountains are robbed
    of their natural grandeur, German forests of their solemnity, or
    German rivers of their width and volume.

Any other attitude is extremely likely to degenerate into a petty
jealousy that is bred of fear. This is how Mr. H. G. Wells wrote of our
attitude towards Germany years ago:

    We in Great Britain are now intensely jealous of Germany. We are
    intensely jealous of Germany, not only because the Germans
    outnumber us, and have a much larger and more diversified
    country than ours, and lie in the very heart and body of Europe,
    but because in the last hundred years, while we have fed on
    platitudes and vanity, they have had the energy and humility to
    develop a splendid system of national education, to toil at
    science and art and literature, to develop social organisation,
    to master and better our methods of business and industry, and
    to clamber above us in the scale of civilisation. This has
    humiliated and irritated rather than chastened us.

Such jealousy is a strangely short-sighted mistake. No valuable or
lasting peace will come till jealousy is exorcised. There are ominous
signs of the possible triumph of a deadly Saxon insularity, but there
are other signs that give us hope. When so ardent a combatant as Mr.
Lloyd George can speak well of the services of Germany to the world, all
is not lost. It is pleasant to be able to quote these passages from an
interview reported in the _Daily News_ of January 25, 1916:

“Mr. Lloyd George is not among those who imagine they are doing their
country a service by decrying everything German. ‘I think,’ he said,
‘that America and all of us should realise that there were two Germanies
before the war. On the one hand, there was the industrial, the
commercial, and the intellectual Germany, and in a most remarkable way
she had blended the three elements. That Germany was rendering a great
service to civilisation. It was conquering the world by the success of
its methods and of its example, and that conquest would have proved a
very genuine blessing. It would have been the means of saving some of
the terrible waste from which most of the social evils of humanity
spring. As an ardent social reformer, I freely confess that I myself was
learning a good deal from that side of Germany, particularly in the
direction of municipal and national organisation.’” Mr. Lloyd George
goes on to say that the other Germany, the military Germany, had
overthrown the Germany from which he had drawn inspiration. Our task
then surely is to help to reduce military dominance everywhere and to
help to set free that Germany whose peaceful conquest of the world
“would have proved a very genuine blessing.”

That Germany was, and still is, a Germany of simple hearts, of men and
women who can love well. I have talked to many British-born wives of
interned men. Over and over again I have heard the same story. “I could
not have had a better husband, and the children could not have had a
better father.” That is why many English wives have already gone to
Germany to their husband’s families.

It is time we got rid of grotesque caricatures of the German people.
Such caricatures always represent the outlook of war-time, but they do
not make for a lasting peace. There is a great German people, and that
people and ours should find each other’s hearts. I am not so much
concerned as to the Germany of brilliant science and industrious
commerce. That is good, but there is something better: It is the Germany
of loving husbands and true comrades, of true wives and devoted mothers.
It is the heart that rules the world, and we need the true hearts in
Germany, England, France, and over all the world to recognise each
other. The one prayer for us all in every land in these days surely is,
“Lord, that our eyes may be opened!” When we can pray that prayer, we
shall begin to see the war to a peace of the heart—the only peace that
will not be a “patched-up peace.”


    [Footnote 40: Lieut. Dr. Kutscher writes with obvious pleasure
    of the _grande loterie de Noël_ shared out by the officers to
    the children of C. in France. The children’s parties went on,
    too, in the New Year. (_Int. Review_, 10th Aug., 1915).]

    [Footnote 41: Cf. p. 161. These are simply examples of the wild
    passions war engenders, and there is not always the sergeant at
    hand who says “Drop that or I shoot you.” One side may be
    decidedly worse than the other (as seems, _e.g._, to have been
    the case in the American Civil War), but this does not alter the
    character of what war does for human nature.]

    [Footnote 42: See p. 36.]

    [Footnote 43: “An English Girl’s Adventures in Hostile Germany,”
    pp. 58 and 124. For other incidents see p. 212.]

    [Footnote 44: See above, p. 55. For further examples of civilian
    kindness see pp. 212 ff.]

    [Footnote 45: It is disconcerting to one’s pride to learn that
    while the sale of German newspapers in England was entirely
    “verboten” in 1916, English newspapers may still be readily
    obtained in Germany in the autumn of 1918. Why are we so afraid
    of the other side being known?]

    [Footnote 46: Cf. p. 169.]

    [Footnote 47: The war has greatly increased that number.]

    [Footnote 48: My aim is not political, and I do not, therefore,
    touch upon the many later utterances. The protests, for example,
    against the unfairness of the Brest-Litovsk Peace have in
    Reichstag and Press been numerous and emphatic. For such facts
    the reader should consult the “Cambridge Magazine.”]

    [Footnote 49: We were allowed to suppose that the Lusitania
    carried no munitions, the Germans were encouraged to believe
    that she carried mounted guns. Both views were incorrect. The
    _New York Evening Post_ (quoted by the _Labour Leader_)
    published the “manifest” of the number of cases of ammunition

    [Footnote 50: Ernest Poole in “Cassell’s Magazine,” No. 42.]

    [Footnote 51: This seems unavoidable. “At last things quieted
    down a bit, but many wounded had to be brought in between the
    firing lines—dangerous work, as both sides are liable to fire
    if they are seen.”—An R.A.M.C. Officer in the _Times_.]

    [Footnote 52: From “The Pageant of War,” by Lady Margaret

    [Footnote 53: Cf. too p. 108.]

    [Footnote 54: “There is no reason to suppose that he had seen
    Germany.” wrote Mr. George Long in Sir William Smith’s
    “Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology.”]

    [Footnote 55: Further, we must remember that “The Red Cross on a
    white field is not a magic mantle that can ward off shells fired
    by an artillerist at a target which he cannot see, nor against
    flyers dropping bombs from thousands of feet in the air.
    ‘Bomb-dropping flyers are the terror of the doctors and wounded
    behind the lines,’ remarked a doctor to me.”—Karl von Wiegand,
    in the _New York World_, August 17, 1916. (“Cambridge Magazine,”
    _Oct_. 7, 1916.)]

    [Footnote 56: “Church towers in a flat country are the only
    observation points, and so they are used, and so they are
    shelled.”—Ernest Poole, in “Cassell’s Magazine,” No. 42, p.

    [Footnote 57: From “Is It To Be Hate?” (Allen and Unwin), a
    pamphlet which I wrote in 1915. On many points there dealt with
    my second thoughts are different, as are those of many others.
    We have learned much since then.]

    [Footnote 58: The public is extraordinarily innocent as regards
    this kind of information. It would form an interesting subject
    for post-war analysis.]

    [Footnote 59: Cf. p. 157.]

    [Footnote 60: From “Is It To Be Hate?” by the Author.]

    [Footnote 61: _La guerre devant Le Palais._ Par Gabriel Mourey.
    Paris. Ollendorff 2f.—_Times_ Literary Supplement, Aug. 19,

    [Footnote 62: Cf. M. Mourey on the Uhlans at Compiègne, p. 206.]

    [Footnote 63: See also p. 104.]

    [Footnote 64: p. 90.]

    [Footnote 65: “England,” “Germany,” “France,” etc., in these
    connections actually stand for a very small group of diplomats
    controlling foreign policy. The association of the names
    unfortunately makes us think of the countries as a whole, a word
    fallacy that leads to illimitable disaster.]

    [Footnote 66: p. 91.]

    [Footnote 67: The variability of war stories may be observed
    also in the columns of the _Times_ during the Crimean War. The
    truth is, no doubt, that great local differences of treatment
    occur, and that stories to the discredit of an enemy are more
    welcomed than stories in his favour.]

    [Footnote 68: In the _International Review_ of August 10, 1915,
    an Austrian lady, Charlotte Frankl, gives an account of the
    warm-hearted help she received in France, and the even greater
    kindness she and others received in England: “Not one of us had
    had unhappy experiences in England.”]

    [Footnote 69: War was declared upon Austria May 23, 1915, and
    though formal declaration of war against Germany was delayed for
    more than a year, the obvious fact was that Italy had taken
    sides with the enemy.]

    [Footnote 70: Cf. p. 199.]

    [Footnote 71: The British Chemical Society expelled its honorary
    German and Austrian Fellows, men who had worked for the whole of
    humanity. The German Chemical Society was asked by some of its
    members to expel an English Honorary Fellow who had attacked
    German men of science with exceptional virulence. The Society
    adopted the dignified course of taking no action amidst the
    passions of war.]

    [Footnote 72: “Whatever Mr. Ernest Lissauer and his fellows may
    have set before themselves in their Tyrtæan poems of hate, in
    any case it can be said of them that they knew not what they
    did.... They did not know, though they should have known ...
    that the solidarity of the nations ... has to-day already become
    such that no great nation can aim at the very conditions of
    existence of another without damaging itself at the same
    time.”—Ed. Bernstein in _Das Forum_ Jan., 1915.]

    [Footnote 73: This is one view. Others who have seen German life
    during the war report a real solidarity of the people, a
    solidarity which later developments and revelations of Entente
    proposals has certainly not diminished.]

    [Footnote 74: From “Is It To Be Hate?” by Harold Picton (Allen
    and Unwin). See footnote p. 203.]


Mme. F. L. Cyon had some rather important experiences at Lille at the
time of the German attack and during the German occupation. She is a
woman of singularly cool mentality, and her evidence may be compared
with that of Dr. Ella Scarlett-Synge in a widely distant war area.

Mme. Cyon has very kindly placed her notes of her experiences at my
disposal. As the notes record also a point of view as to war in general,
it has seemed more fitting to print them as an appendix. No statement of
this kind is unbiased, for the pacifist has his own bias. Yet I am quite
certain that everything set down by Mme. Cyon has been set down in
complete sincerity and with unusual absence of mental distortion. The
record is that made by a quiet worker amidst circumstances where few
people remained sane.



During the months of September, October, November, and December, 1914, I
undertook a journey in Northern France; going first to Lille, thence to
Maubeuge, and returning to England via Brussels, Malines, Antwerp, and

I was at Lille on October 13, 1914, when the Germans took the town.
During the first three months of my stay in France I was engaged in
nursing work at the military hospital 105 at Lille. In the early part of
December I travelled as well as I could, sometimes tramping and
sometimes making use of peasants’ carts and local tramways, until I
eventually reached Holland.

It is not, however, my intention to speak much of my adventures or of
the war itself, but rather to depict, to the best of my ability, the
effect which the dreadful events of our doings have had on the minds of
the men and women I have met with over there; be they French, Belgian,
or German. This article will be an attempt to give a series of short
studies in psychology, rather than a dramatic account of a perilous

I wish my readers to bear in mind at the outset that after October 13 I
was in German territory, where, from that date onwards, I met with two
kinds of people. On the one hand, the oppressors or Germans; on the
other hand, the oppressed, namely, the French, Belgian, and a few

For a psychological study to be of value, such a distinction is useful
to begin with, for one seldom finds the same frame of mind in the victor
and the vanquished, in the oppressor and the oppressed.

Whilst endeavouring to give facts, I must distinguish between three
types of people whom I met during my journey. First, civilians, French
and Belgian; secondly, the hospital staff, doctors and nurses, mostly
French, with the exception of two German doctors; thirdly, the military,
officers and men, French and German, with a few British. I am obliged to
make this division in order to make myself clear, as the events of the
war do not seem to affect the people of these three divisions in the
same way.

In what follows I shall for the most part depict types.

I met first with the civilian population. When I reached Lille, I found
life there much as usual, excepting that all appeared very quiet. But a
few days after my arrival Lille began to show an extraordinary and sad
animation. The town, which had already given shelter to many refugees
from Valenciennes and villages thereabouts, was suddenly crowded by the
exodus of the inhabitants of Orchies; the latter town, it was reported,
had been completely burnt to the ground by the Germans, only thirty
houses having been left standing.

Life in Lille became horrible. In the streets one met long processions
of miserable creatures, looking haggard and exhausted. Here was a woman
with three tiny children, two of them in a dilapidated perambulator, the
other she carried in her arms. She looked grey with the dust of the
road: I followed her. She was going to the office of some local paper,
whence these poor refugees were directed where to go to find food and
shelter. Waiting at the door of the office were such numbers of these
worn-out human beings that many of them, too tired to stand any longer,
were sitting on the pavement whilst the children were eating pieces of

One morning I followed the crowd going to get bread at the town hall. I
saw a little boy of four standing at his mother’s side while she talked
with another woman. The mother’s basket had been put down on the
pavement and a round loaf of bread was partly coming out of it. The
little mite kneeled down on the ground and, going at it with all his
might, he began to eat off the loaf in a way which told a long, sad

But what one met with amongst one’s friends was often more horrible than
the sights in the streets. The tale of the destruction of Orchies had
been believed almost everywhere before any explanation had been
forthcoming, and in these days hatred began to rear its head when people
talked of the Germans.

“If they had burned Orchies,” said one of my acquaintances, “it is
because we are too tolerant with them. To brutes we must speak only the
language of brutes. We treat their prisoners like guests; let us put
them all against the wall and shoot them and their wounded, too.”

When I replied that we should have little right to complain of German
atrocities if we did what they are reported to do, I was looked at as
too soft and as if I were a woman without patriotic feeling. My friend
told me this as politely as his temper allowed.

I left him and went into the street to try to find some distraction from
his hatred. I chanced to meet a woman of Orchies and inquired what had
happened there. I give her tale as told to me, though I have not been
able to verify it.

“The Germans,” said she, “behaved quite well the first time they came
into our town. They were kind to the children and even gave them sweets
and toys, but on their second visit they found that some of their
wounded had had their ears cut off and they ordered that Orchies should
be set on fire.”

“It was monstrous,” she added, “but I know that an African soldier was
found with a necklace of sixty ears, which he had certainly taken
somewhere. This, too, was monstrous. I do not excuse the Germans for
their crime—I have lost everything myself—but if we allow their
wounded to be mutilated at such times, what can we expect? Who can say
which side is the more barbarous? I must tell you that the officer
ordered to set fire to Orchies was also told to arrest the mayor and
some other men and to have them shot. However, he gave them timely
warning to evacuate Orchies and to make good their escape, so no one was

How far this story was true I never knew, but the effect of it on my
fellow creatures I had seen too well, and I went away bearing on my
heart the words of the woman of Orchies: “Who can say which side is the
more barbarous?”

On October 7 we heard that the Germans were outside the city and in many
quarters fear was added to the anguish already overburdening the hearts
of so many. Yet one woman, hearing the Germans were near, exclaimed,
“Say what you like, these men are just like our French men. War is war;
you cannot expect it to be anything but cruel and barbarous. The Germans
are no enemies of mine.”

Her words made a bad impression on the listeners, and it was well that
the kind-hearted soul had three brothers in the French Army or she would
have been regarded with much suspicion.

An old lady of my acquaintance almost lost her head with fright. “How
dare they,” she said, speaking of the French, “let the Germans take

“What then,” said I, “of Rheims?”

“Yes, Rheims, I know it was horrible! But Lille, the most beautiful town
of the North, it is a crime to make it suffer.”

Whilst discussing with me the doings of the French Army the old lady had
often argued that Rheims and Arras had had to suffer because this was
necessary to the success of the French operations. Recalling her own
words, I asked: “But what could you say if for the good of the common
cause Lille must suffer as did Rheims and Arras?”

But in her terror, forgetful of what she had said previously, she only
exclaimed: “Lille! It is a crime. What shall we do? How shall we live?”

And I could see fear in her eyes, fear for her belongings as well as for
her life, fear which made her forget for a moment the “good cause of
this war” as she had often put it to me, fear which made her heart give
out a note of real selfishness.

So far as I can remember it was on October 8 that all the gates of the
city were closed, and that there was fighting on the Grand Boulevard,
the great wide thoroughfare which connects Lille with its sister-cities
of Roubaix and Tourcoing. There was also fighting near one of the gates.

On the following day, on returning from my work in Hospital 105, the
people with whom I was living told me of the terrible spectacle they had
witnessed when they had gone to get news of some relations living near
the gate where the fight had taken place. One woman said:

“The fight was on the bridge, which was covered in the evening with the
dead bodies of Germans, amongst them two wounded men whom the Germans
had left behind. By the bridge there is an inn, and we have been told
that five men, civilians, who were there, killed the two ‘Boches’ by
strangling them. This makes two less of them!”

I looked at her in horror, thinking that fright had turned her brain. I
could find no words to reply. I turned to go to my own room, when she

“In any case, the ‘Boches’ won’t know of it for the bodies are buried
under a heap of stones.”

I left her with the words of the woman of Orchies echoing through my
brain: “Who can tell which side is the more barbarous?”

Some of these people I had known before the war to be peaceful, quiet
citizens; they now appeared to me to have suddenly turned into devils.
Fear and danger had made them crazy with hatred. Everywhere one went it
was the same. If I tried to escape it, and took refuge in the street, I
seemed to feel hatred rising from the very ground.

Amongst the fugitives one saw, many had run away before even seeing a
German helmet, but all were full of atrocious tales, all were mad with
hatred and revenge.

Not until the actual shelling of the town began did I fully realise the
havoc that fear and hatred can work! To feel helpless while shells go
whirling over one’s head at the rate of sixty a minute, while houses are
burning on either side of one, is a horrible experience. To have to bear
all these horrors without being able to put a stop to them, is
maddening. At such moments one feels like a mouse caught in a trap. One
would have to be more than human not to feel terror.

We all felt this at Lille, the great majority were so panic-stricken
that they made for the gates, quite oblivious of the fact that the gates
were closed and that fighting was going on there.

It is usually in these moments of supreme fear that the lurking hatred
in the soul takes full possession of it, distorting the imagination,
bringing back the most atavistic moral ideas, giving birth to falsehoods
of every description, and widening the gulf of misunderstanding which
seems to part the nations.

I have always known that hatred is the offspring of war. I am well aware
that ever since the beginning of the present crisis the newspapers and
the warmongers have been daily adding fuel to the fire of hatred for
fear that if the fire died out the war would do the same. But over
there, at Lille, I felt that hatred had fallen on the hearts of many
people like a fatal malediction with which they are to be cursed all
their life long and which they will transmit to their descendants.

These people whom fear has driven, like cattle, from their burning
houses, who have suddenly been left without a roof over their heads or
food to eat, are not likely easily to give up their hatred when this
passion of war is a thing of the past. Deep in their hearts will be
written the word “revenge” even though France does not lose a second

This same overpowering feeling of hatred I found amongst most of the
staff of the hospital where I was working, and I was able to note at
first hand the effect it had in the dealings of the nursing staff with
the German wounded.

After October 13, 1914, the Germans took control of all the hospitals at
Lille, and soon they were crowded with German wounded, while, little by
little, as soon as they were able to travel, the French and British were
evacuated and taken to Germany as prisoners of war.

At Hospital 105 the French staff were asked if they would agree to
remain under the German authorities, and most of the doctors and nurses
elected to remain at their post. The hospital was controlled by the
“Société des femmes de France,” who financed it and managed the entire
establishment. Many of these women were society ladies and, with the
exception of two or three, most incompetent. Before the German
occupation their activities had mostly been of a showy character. They
were all dainty, smart, and useless, and so they remained under German
rule—those, at least, who did not run away. They avoided nursing
Germans with great skill, and overcrowded the French and English wards.
They were very diplomatic in their dealings with the enemy, as silly and
pitiful in their hatred of the German and their cautious dealings with
him as they were in their other activities. Their hatred was of the
emptyheaded kind, but all the more dangerous for being based on
frivolity of heart and crass ignorance.

Side by side with them were a few intellectual women, professors and
teachers. Most of them followed in the wake of their sisters and behaved
in a similar manner. One of them, a woman I had known before, had spent
many years of her life in Germany and had taught the German language for
nearly twenty years. Before the war she had often told me how lovable
she had found the German people, what good friends she had in Germany
and how she always enjoyed a holiday there, so that when some of my
German patients asked me for books, I thought she would be the very
person to whom to apply for some.

To my astonishment she flew into a passion when she heard my request.

“Want books, do they? They will soon ask for chickens and lobsters.”

Walking into my ward, she exclaimed haughtily: “So you are asking for
books! As you set fire to everything, there are no books left for you!”

Very little of the nursing was done by these women, however, who,
instead of being a real help for the most part, put spokes in the wheels
of the more useful helpers. The hardships of overwork, of long hours, of
day and night duties in succession, fell all the more heavily on the
shoulders of a few willing women, the other part of the female element
proving so unreliable.

These women, whose devotion never flagged, comprised three trained
nurses and nine or ten women clerks or teachers, of quite another type
to those mentioned above. It is true they were not all free from hatred,
but, if I may so express it, theirs was almost a hopeful hatred compared
with the blind stupidity of those others.

Amongst the three professional nurses I remember a tall, handsome girl
of 22 or thereabouts. Hers was an ardent soul, one of those souls which
keep young in spite of advancing years. Whatever task this girl sets
herself to do she will carry it through with skill and earnestness.
Whichever cause she champions she will do so in no light spirit, and it
was thus that she hated the Germans with the strongest hatred and yet
nursed them with utter devotion, for she was as earnest a nurse as she
was keen a patriot. There was almost a kind of healthiness about her
hatred, based as it was on deep-rooted feelings, knowing no caution and
no fear. One might hope more for her who, fearless of consequences,
could wave the French flag and shout “Vive la France” when French
prisoners were led away, than for all the fine ladies whose little souls
were filled with great fear and ignorant hatred.

I remember also a small, fair nurse, silent for the most part, but up at
all times of the night as well as working hard all day. She sometimes
opened her heart to me and I found there, as deep-rooted as her
colleague’s hatred, a great and sincere love for all men and women, an
unflinching hope that in the long run “brotherhood” will be the
watchword of all humanity.

Amongst these hard-working women many were of this silent type, going
about with sealed lips, but with treasures of unconscious kindliness and
love hidden in their hearts, known only to God.

My daily intercourse with the men on our hospital staff was on the whole
never sufficiently intimate to allow me to speak here of their mental
attitude towards “the enemy.” The French doctors I never saw except when
I was on duty, and I had little or no opportunity of speaking with them,
being only an assistant nurse, but I recollect one little incident
connected with Professor L——, a man of acknowledged skill in France.
At the time of which I speak, I had been transferred to a German ward,
and one day, finding myself short of boiled water for the men to drink,
I went to the chemist to ask for some. There I met Professor L——, who

“So you want boiled water for your friends the Germans? What would you
say if I were to put in it a few microbes of cholera morbus?”

“I would hardly believe it of you!”

“Of course, you would not, for I am told that you are surprisingly good
to these Germans. But believe me, if it were not for the fear of
spreading the disease far and wide, this would be the best thing to do.”

I have, however, no means of ascertaining that this incident is typical
of the attitude of the average Frenchman on the male staff towards the
Germans. As a matter of fact, they had very little to do with the German
wounded, as these were left entirely in the hands of the German doctors,
aided by the French nurses.

After my transfer to the German wards, where we were very short of
nurses, I soon found myself in sole charge of from 16 to 26 wounded, a
burden which I felt rather too heavy for me, as I had had but little
experience in nursing previous to the war. But it was during this time,
when my duties involved greater responsibility, that I came into closer
contact with doctors, but they were German doctors, of course.

I remember one of them, a small man, somewhat round, whom we had
nicknamed “pupuce” (little flea). Pupuce always appeared to me to be
kindness itself: intent on his work, good to his men and fair to his
helpers. His position as head of a hospital where most of the men were
French, was not an easy one. He was disliked by the majority of the
nurses, mostly those who had not been willing to work under him; yet I
never saw him manifest anything but the greatest tolerance and courtesy
towards all.

But where one felt the smallest amount of hatred existing on either side
was amongst the men who had fought and been wounded.

Being left so much alone with my German patients I got to know them
well. I never had to complain of my “Boches.” They were so much like our
own men; yes, so much like them! They were grateful for what was done
for them just in the same way. They showed me photographs of their dear
ones and told me stories of them which made my heart beat ever so

But some of them were very funny. They ate, ate, so that one marvelled.
They showed me plainly that I was to heap potatoes and other food on
their plates. It was never too thick or too much for them. These men
were of the peasant type, heavy in features and in general appearance. I
found but few like them amongst our French men. They seemed to feel
kindly towards me. Some of them used to pat me on the back heavily and
call me: “Goode Petite Madam.” But their kindness was cow-like, so to
speak, and reminded me of the animals when they have been well fed.

But, of course, all were not like that. I remember many handsome and
intelligent faces of men who seemed to have been born for better things
than butchery. Here was a young man, a student of science, as gentle as
a woman. He seemed to be the soul of all his comrades, so great was his
influence for good over them. Day and night he was ready to help and to
go to the assistance of his fellows, so far as his own wounds would
allow him to do so.

There were many of this type, and many others who seemed like children,
and who could hardly be expected to realise how they got into such a
scrape. One, a young mechanic, a lad with a bright rosy face, discovered
that I was a Socialist, and, with finger on lip, he told me that he also
was one. He whispered the great names of Jaurés, Keir Hardie, and
Liebknecht; I could read in his eyes the hope these names roused in him,
but I could also see that he was scarcely old enough to know his own
mind, and that he might be brutally killed ere he had lived long enough
to strengthen his hopes and to see his goal clearly through the maze of
his youthful dreams.

There were types on the French side corresponding more or less closely
to these.

It is true that the French peasant drinks wine in the place of beer,
eats less than the German, is lighter in build and in wits, but apart
from these superficial differences there is much similarity. Under an
outside show of brains, both are often of dull and shallow intelligence.
The German cracks heavy jokes and the French cynical ones: it is
difficult to choose between them as both show little culture and an
inherent commonplaceness of mind.

Men of greater sensibility, of refined culture, I have found on either
side, and be they French or German, I have nearly always found their
behaviour correspond to that which I have here tried to delineate.

Most of these men had seen many ghastly things, the horrors of which
often remained impressed in their eyes for days and days after their
arrival in hospital. It is often said that the trade of war, the heavy
slaughter in which they have participated, is bound to brutalise them. I
readily believe this to be so in the case of the most vulgar types on
either side, though, even on these, the brutalising and demoralising
effect of the war seems less to be feared than amongst their
corresponding types among the civilians.

It is amongst the soldiers and officers of the fighting ranks that I
have found the greater readiness to fraternise with the enemy, to
acknowledge the good points of the other side.

The men in my ward one day having sent coffee to their French comrades,
the latter replied by sending cigarettes, and soon both sides were
conversing together. The men who have stood face to face in the fight,
who have seen their enemies falling as bravely as they themselves have
done, have little hatred left in their hearts; but those who have
suffered all the horrors of war and who have not found either in work,
or even in participation in the war itself, a means to cool their
overheated feelings, are those who constitute the real danger for the
future work of the pacifists, as, after all, the brutalising effect of
war is not due so much to the use of physical force as to the hatred
which such physical force, bent on destruction, brings in its wake.

What I say here of the men does not, however, apply to the professional
officers. Amongst the Germans these are mostly of the aristocracy. Their
haughty, scarred faces were always repellent to me. Luckily I was not
told off to nurse them. They had a special room of their own.

Once only, at lunch time, when their usual nurse was away at her lunch,
one of them beckoned to me as I was passing their door. Thinking that he
wanted something, I went up to him, but he received me by putting out
his tongue and taking a “sight” at me, to the amusement of all his
friends. This young scamp was no other than Lieutenant von W——, the
son of General von W——. We all knew that he was a cad and Pupuce
himself seemed to find him rather a handful.

I met very few French officers during my stay at Lille, but my knowledge
of the professional military man in time of peace, leads me to believe
that the type I have described, is far from uncommon in France. He is
the embodiment of militarism anywhere, and neither in Germany nor
elsewhere will these men’s brutal instincts be checked through war, or
even through defeat.

After leaving Lille, and during my subsequent journey through Northern
France and Belgium, I had the opportunity to note the dealings of the
Germans with the population of these invaded lands.

After the numerous accounts of monstrous atrocities which were
perpetrated over there, I hardly dare to mention here that personally I
did not meet with any of these. I do not mean to imply by this that
atrocities have not happened, but simply that it has been my good
fortune not to come across any.

At Lille itself, the Germans behaved decently when once in occupation.
Posters were put on the walls of the town inviting the population to
keep quiet. It is true that a few days later fresh bills appeared,
worded in very peremptory fashion, warning the inhabitants to keep away
from the bridges, railways, and so forth, under penalty of death for
disobedience. However, to my knowledge, no disturbances occurred. There,
as elsewhere, the Germans tried to reorganise ordinary life as quickly
as possible; they helped to put out fires and to restore quiet and order
amongst the civilians.

At Maubeuge I met with a similar state of affairs, though I came to this
town to find that my father, one of the citizens, had only the day
before come out of prison, where the Germans had kept him for 28 days;
on a false charge of trying to incite the inhabitants of Maubeuge
against the Germans, he and two other men had been arrested. According
to their own account the three of them were given a very fair trial and
were acquitted. My father did not in any way complain of the treatment
he had met with.

I must admit, however, that the three prisoners did not all speak of
their adventure in the same spirit. My father, always quiet and
cool-headed by nature, resolved to make the best of a bad job, and
having obtained paper and ink, wrote about half of a book whilst in
prison. He found the food wholesome, though not always plentiful, and
asked my mother after his release, to make him a pea soup like that he
had had in his cell. The other two, however, one a mere lad, the other
an old-maidish man of 50, complained bitterly of the food and other
things. While narrating his part of the story the middle-aged man turned
to me exclaiming: “Why, your father, no one would believe that he is a
good bit over 60. He took it all so quietly, just as if he were still a
young man!”

I could not but infer from this that in times of such great crisis and
passion a man over there in the invaded parts is often treated by “the
enemy” according to the way in which he himself behaves towards the
so-called “enemy.” Coolness of head and courtesy on the one side more
often than not met with the same qualities on the other side.

I suspect it was this, that, after the trial of the three, caused the
President of the Court to apologise to my father, who had proved himself
a man, but not to think of doing so to the two other prisoners, who had
been more sheepish than human.

On the average, the relations between the Germans and the inhabitants,
from stories I have heard and facts I have witnessed, might roughly be
summed up in the following statement:

Arrogance, temper, haughtiness on the one side, provoke arrogance,
temper and haughtiness on the other; while quietness and coolness of one
party inspire the other with the same quietness and moderation. Provided
we bear in mind that it takes less to provoke the victor than to provoke
the vanquished, that it is more easy for the former to indulge in his
temper without fear of consequences. I do not think that the atrocities
perpetrated by the Germans in Belgium, the true ones as they came to my
knowledge, and not the false ones which have been spread by the Press,
have proved in any way that the Germans have passed the bounds of all
that has been known in previous wars, and have deserved to be banned and
thrust outside the pale of humanity.

In this article I have endeavoured to give a fair account of my journey
and to relate facts I have witnessed as they have impressed themselves
upon my mind. I have done so not to pass judgment upon some of my
fellow-creatures at such times of overheated passions, but merely in
order to present to Socialists and Pacifists the enormity of their task
after the war, such as I have felt it over there.

It is in the hearts of the people that we shall have to work, to bring
to them seeds of love and fraternal goodwill in the place of the weeds
of hatred and ignorance which years of war and horrors will have left in
the souls of many. Everywhere, but mostly in the countries which have
been devastated by the war, be it in France, Belgium, Serbia, Poland or
East Prussia and Galicia, it is in the hearts of the majority of the
civilian population that we shall meet with the hardest task, but we
must work so that our faith be so great as really to move mountains.


_Where there are several references and one is of chief importance, that
one is printed in heavy figures._


Accusation, Ease of, 204-5

Achim, 136

_Aktion, Die_, 231

Alexandra Palace, Internment at, 103

Altdamm, 8

American Civil War, Prisoners in, 123-4

Anderson, Chandler, 79

  —Delbrück-Dernburg-Wolff Memorial Against, 176
  —German Socialist Party Manifesto Against, 175

Assistance Agency, German, for Prisoners, 12, =133-142=

Assistance to British Subjects in Germany, 212-21

  —and Credulity, 31, 38
  —German, 264, 265
  —Unfounded Story of, 156

_Auskunfts- und Hilfsstelle für Deutsche im Ausland und Ausländer in
    Deutschland_, 133-4

Austin, L. J., 33, =37=

Austria, a Prisoner in, 26

_Avanti_, 223

Bad Blenhorst, 48, 57

Baden, Prisoners in, 60, 61

_Basler Nachrichten_, 66

Bathing Facilities
  —in British Camps, 65
  —in German Camps, 11, 13, 15, 48, 50

Bath-Chair Woman and English Lady, 213

Batochina, 150-2

Bayreuth, 55

Belgian Relief Commission, Germany’s Attitude to, 177-8

Belgium, German Protests Against Annexation of, 173-177

Bell, Mr. E. P., on the Censorship, 199

Belle-Ile, 43

Beresford, Lord, 29

_Berliner Tageblatt_, 177, 179

Bernhardi, 234

Bernstein, Ed., 231

Berry, Dr. F. M. Dickinson, 72

Bibby, Private A., 193

Birt, Capt. W. B., 146

Bischofswerda, 45-6, 49

Bishop of Winchester, 12, =132-3=

Björnson, Björn, 171

Blankenberg-i-Mark, 51

Blankenburg, =19=, 52

Blue Book on Prisoners in Germany, 24

Boer War
  —Concentration Camps, 126-31
  —Prisoners in, 125

Bogen, Col., 11

Borchardt, Julian, 235

Bouvigny, 38

Boxing in Prison Camps, 51

Brandenburg, 56

British Subjects in Germany, Kindness to, 212-21

Brunner, Mond & Co., 246

Bryan, Mr., 6

Buchan, John, 157

Bulgaria, British Prisoners in, 73

Burg, 34-37

Burg-bei-Magdeburg, 10

Bury, Bishop, 28, =102-3=, 107-8

Butler, Lt.-Gen. Sir W., quoted, 200, 201

_Cambridge Magazine_, 30, 73, 124, 228

Carpenter, Edward, 183

Cassabianda, 44

Catering, Self-management in, 22

Celle, 57

Censor Fined by Prisoner, 35

Censorship, E. P. Bell on the, 199

Cetinje, Starvation in, 160

Chemical Society,
  —British, 229
  —German, 229

Chemistry, Germany and, 245_ff_

Child in No-Man’s-Land, 159

Children in Russia, 159

Children Taken Home from Occupied Territory, 135, 158

_Christliche Welt_, 173

Christmas Truces, 180-2, 183-6

Cimino, Dr., 84, =104=

Civilian Hate, 163-4

Civilians, Resident Enemy, Treatment of, 75

_Clacton Graphic_, 165

Clausthal, 49

Clothes, British Prisoners and, 23

Cohen, Israel, 79, =104=

Colenso, Miss, 4

  —Hospitals at, 12
  —Military Prison at, 54

Commandants, Good German, 56

_Common Cause_, 66

_Common Sense_, 111, 193

Compiègne, Palais de, 205-7

Complaints by Prisoners, 73

Concentration Camps, Boer War, 126-31

Contracts, Germany and, 177-8

Corey, Mr. Herbert, and the _Times_, 198

Correspondence, Complaints about, 6-8

Cottbus, 57

Coulston, Capt., 52

Credulity and Atrocities, 31, 38

Crefeld, 2, =13=, 55, 65

Cüstrin, 49

Cyon, Madame F. L., 153-7, 255_ff_

_Daily Chronicle_, 83, 163, 168, 188, 189, 198, 202

_Daily Citizen_, 183

_Daily Mail_, 6, 196

_Daily News_, 4, 7, 26, 28, 45, 59, 60, 61, 68, 71, 107, 119, 120, 159,
    160, 161, 162, 164, 168, 169, 177, 178, 179, 185, 187, 190, 191, 199,
    224, 225, 226, 251, 252

_Daily Telegraph_, 96, 105, 122, 223, 224, 244

Damm, Mr., 8

Dartford Prisoners of War Hospital, 64

Dawson, W. H., 248

Dehmel, 229

Delbrück-Dernburg-Wolff Memorial, 176

Dernburg, Dr., 176-7

Desmond, G. G., =61=

Deussen, Prof., Against Hate, 228-9

_Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_, 73

_Deutsche Tageszeitung_, 168

Dickinson, Lowes, 232

Döberitz, 5, =9=, 25, 30, 135

Dobson, Austin, quoted, 196-7

Dogs in German Prison Camps, =33=, 39

Donington Hall and Luxury, 64

Dorchester Camp, 9, =64=

Doty, Madeline, 235

Douglas, 25

Dresel, Mr., 33, 110

Drill, Dr., 167

Dülmen, 61, 62

Dyffry Camp, 9

Dyffryn Aled Camp, 64

Dyrötz, 52

East Africa, German Women Prisoners from, 69

Elswick, 7

_Emden_, 202, 205

England, Military Prisoners in, 63_ff_

_English Girl’s Adventures in Hostile Germany_, 212-14

_Englishman, Kamerad_, 8

Erfurt, 22

Erzberger, 73

Escape, Attempts to, 48

_Ethical Movement_, 232, 234

Ethics of War, 161-2

Eugster, Nat. Councillor A., =40-2=, 45, 67

_Evolution of Modern Germany_, 248

Ey-Steinecke, Gen. von, 56

Families of Germans in England, 143-4

_Far Out_, 201

Farm Work
  —Prisoners in Germany and, 21
  —German Prisoners and, 68, 69

  —at Ruhleben, 90, 91, 101-2, 104
  —During Transport of Prisoners, 46
  —German Prisoners and, 30, 69-70
  —In Boer War Concentration Camps, 131
  —In English Camps, 9, 27, 117
  —In French Camps, 43, 44
  —In German Camps, 3, 5, 10, 14, 15, 18, 20, 23, =27-31=, 34, 40,
    50, 51
  —Problem in Germany, 99

Fougères, 44

Foerster, Prof. W., 134

Förster, Dr. F. W., 232

Fort Friedrichshafen, 50

_Forum, Das_, 231, 232

Franco-German War, Prisoners in, 124

Frankfort, Freedom of English in, 83

Frankfurt-am-Oder, 137, 218

_Frankfurter Zeitung_, 166, 169, 170, 177, 178

Frankland, Prof., 245

Frentz, Gen. Raitz von, 56

Friedberg, 23, 48, 65

Friedrichsfeld, 46

_Friend, The_, 132, 138

Friends’ Emergency Committee, 87, 132, =137-144=, 158

“Frightfulness” Condemned by German Newspapers, 178

Frongoch, 145

Funeral of an English Officer in Germany, 146-8

Gardelegen, 15

Gardens, Prisoners’, 23, 49

Gardiner, A. G., 226

Gerard, Mr., 23, 25, 45, 47, 50, 53, 81, 82, 93, 97-8, 100, 102, 104

  —Feeling Towards England, 165
  —Heroism at the Front, 161-2
  —Newspaper Comments, 166_ff_
  —Officers, Professional, 263-4
  —Officers and Privates, Familiarity Between, 38
  —Soldier, British Opinions of the, 201-3
  —Soldiers, French Women and, 208
  —School-books and the War, 171-3
  —Tribute to Pégoud, 224
  —Troops in Occupation, 205_ff_

  —and Commerce, 244
  —Conditions of Labour in, 248
  —In Peace Time, 241_ff_

Germersheim Hospitals, 55

George, Lieut., =36=

Gibbs, Philip, 163, 182, 183, 188, 189, 197, 202, 208

Giessen, 48, 53, 150

Gilliland, Lieut., 73

_Glasgow Herald_, 249

Glass Apparatus, Germany and, 250

Gmelin, Prof., 53

“God Punish England,” 166, 169, 171

Gomperz, Prof. H., 227

Görlitz, 49

“Gott Strafe England,” 166, 169, 171

Göttingen, =11=, 27, 53, 67, 144

Graaf, Excellenz de, and English Civilians, 82

Grey, Sir Edward, 8, 24, 50, 77, 78, 80, 92, 97

Güstrow i/Mecklenburg, =16=, 52, 53, 57

Haase, Herr, on Belgian Neutrality, 174

Hakenmoor, 51

Hale, Chandler, 25

Hall: _International Law_, 76

Halle a/d Saale, 10

Halle, 49

Hamilton, Sir Ian, 7

Harnack, Prof., 177

Harris, H. W., 82

Harte, A. C., 11

Harvey, Lieut.-Observer J. E. P., 3

  —Civilian, 163-4
  —Hymn of, 231
  —Prof. Deussen Condemns, 228
  —Prof. Gomperz Condemns, 227

Hauptmann, Gerhart, 229

Havelberg, 110

Hay, the Hon. Ivan, 36

Headley, Lord, 249

_Healing of Nations_, 183

Hedin, Sven, 171

_Herald_, 109

Heroism of German Prisoners, 119

Herzog, Wilhelm, 232

Hesse, Hermann, 230

_Hibbert Journal_, 180, 232

_Hilfe, Die_, 222

Hobhouse, Miss Emily, 127-31

Holderness, 26

Holyport Camp, 9, 64

Holzminden, 135

Hoover, Herbert, 177

Hope, James, 71

Horrors of War, 163

Hospital at Lille, 156-7, 258_ff_

Hospital Treatment, Prisoners in Germany, 12, 18, 20, 21, 23, 47, 48,
    55, =57-8=

“Hymn of Hate,” 231

_In the Hands of the Enemy_, 31

Indian Prisoners at Wünsdorf, 55

Indian Prisoners, Wounded, 13

International Red Cross—see under Red Cross

_International Review_, 210, 220, 222, 228, 240

Internment Camps, Neutral, 121

  —Effects of, 6, =83-7=, 110, 114, 120
  —Origin of, 76_ff_

_Is it to be Hate?_ 203, 205, 244

Isighem, 47

Isle of Man, 9

Jackson, Mr., 9, 10, 16, 19, 25, 27, 29, 49, 51, 52, 56, 57

Jealousy, English, of Germany, 252

Jens, Fräulein, 136

Johnson, Capt. Benjamin, 13

Journalists Condemned, 232, 238

Kaiser, 207

Kerensky, 225

Kindness, Order Against, 196

Kirchhoff, Frau, 136

Klein, Albert, 238

Klein, L’Abbé Félix, 194

Kluck, General von, 203, =206-7=

Knockaloe Camp, 114-17
  —Accommodation at, Compared with Ruhleben, 115-16;
  —Prisoners’ Aid Society, 136-7

Kolb, Annette, 232

_Kölnische Zeitung_, 148, 167, 168, 171, 178, 226

Königsbrück, 49

Kothe, Oberst, 56

_La Guerre vue d’une Ambulance_, 194, 196

_Labour Leader_, 117, 175, 186, 189, 198, 235, 249

_L’Action Française_, 211

Landrecies, 31

Langen Halbach b/Haiger, 54

Laurie, Principal, 250

Leonhard, Rudolf, 229

Letters, German Soldiers’, 237_ff_

Lichnowsky, Prince, 12, 133

_Lichtstrahlen_, 235

Liebknecht, 236

Lille, 153-7, 255_ff_
  —Hospital at, 156-7, 258_ff_

Limbau, 57

Limburg, 21

Lissauer, 231

Literature, German War, 228-34

Littlefair, Mary, 165, =212-14=

Lloyd George, Mr., on the Two Germanies, 252

_Lloyd’s News_, 192

_Lokalanzeiger_, 170

Lorient, 43

Ludendorff, 168

_Lusitania_, Sinking of, 178-9

Luxembourg, Rosa, 235, 236

Macnaughten, Miss, 203-4

Maffe, 37

Magdeburg, =10=, 33, 46

Mainz, =20=, 36

Malcolm, Ian, 6

_Manchester Guardian_, 26, 74, 106, 149, 190

Mann, Thomas, 232

Marck, Ludwig, 230

Markel, Dr. K. E., 144

Martin-Rade, Prof., 173

Marval, Dr. de, 41, 45

Marwitz, von, 206-7

Mather, Sir William, 244

Maubeuge, =154=, 255, =264=

Maude, Col. F. N., on the Prussian Army, 209

Mehring, Frank, 235

Merseberg, 23

Merseburg, =4=, 51

Michelson, Mr., 12, 46

Minot, Mr., 93-5

Mond, Ludwig, 246

Monotony of Camp Life, 6—See also under Internment, Effects of

Morgan, Mr., American Consul at Hamburg, 47

_Morning Post_, 29

Mourey, Gabriel, 205-7

MS. Returned, 37

Müller, Capt. von, 202, 205

Münden, 23

Munich, 3

Münster, =17=, 28, =56=

_My Experiences as Prisoner in Germany_, 33, =37=

Motor-cycles, German Privates Ride Officers’, 38

Namur, 37

Napier, Col., 26

Napoleonic Wars, Prisoners in, 123

_Nation_, 72, 167, 169, 173, 207, 221, 225, 235

Neubrandenburg, 48

New College, Oxford, 225

_News of the World_, 4

  —Advertisements in Vienna, 222
  —Comments, German, 166_ff_
  —Reports, Inaccurate, 53-4, 82

Newton, Lord, on Prisoners in Germany, 26, 28, 105

Nies, Archdeacon W. E., 55

Nobbs, Capt. Gilbert, 7, 8

Nurses, French, 260-1

_Observer_, 107

Occupation, German Troops in, 205_ff_

  —German, and Privates, Familiarity Between, 38
  —German, at Lille Hospital, 263-4

Ohnesorg, Dr., 12, 15, 18, 20, 33, 47, 48

Ohrdruf, 22

O’Rorke, Chaplain Benjamin, 31-37, 165

Orchies, Burning of, 257

Osborne, Lithgow, 1, 10, 19, 25, 50, 53

O’Sullivan, Private, 1

Ozendaal, 39

Packages, Complaints About, =6-8=, 43, 50, 67, 96

Paderborn, Lazarets, 47

Padwick, Mr. H., 68

Page, Mr., 9, 11, 24, 77, 78, 81, 92, 97

Paillet, Léon, 11

Panzera, Col. F. N., 116

Parchim, 56

Paris, Enemy Nationals in, in 1870, 76-7

Pearce, Second-Lieut. F. Phillips, 2

Pégoud, German Tribute to, 224

Petre, Miss, 251

Portsmouth Camp, 9

Postman’s Help to English Lady, 212

Prince Heinrich of Reuss, 38

Princess Friedrich Leopold of Prussia, 52

Prison, Military, at Cologne, 54

Prisoner in Austria, A, 26

Prisoner’s Life, Monotony of the, 6
  (See also under Internment, Effects of)

  —British, Alleged Bad Treatment of, 16, 24, 53, 60
  —British, and Clothes, 23
  —Civilian and Military, Compared, 83-7
  —False Statements by, 66
  —Food During Transport of, 46
  —Friction Between, 5-6, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 52
  —German Army and, 190
  —German, Heroism of, 118-19
  —German Populace and, 32, 36
  —Harsh Treatment of, During Transport, in France, 43
  —Harsh Treatment of, During Transport, in Germany, 16, 45-6
  —in American Civil War, 123-4
  —in Boer War, 125
  —in France, 43-5
  —in Franco-German War, 124
  —in Germany, Lord Newton on, 26, 28, 105
  —in Germany, Officers’ Rooms, 23
  —in Hospital, Germany, 12, 18, 20, 21, 23, 47, 48, 55, =57-8=
  —in Napoleonic Wars, 123
  —in Russo-Japanese War, 125
  —in Russia, 125
  —Indian, at Wünsdorf, 53
  —Indian, Wounded, 13
  —Military, in Germany: General Conclusions, 62
  —on Farm Work, 21, 68, 69
  —“Reprisal,” 36, 71
  —Tact in Treatment of, 42

Queensferry Camp, 9

Railway Trucks and Interned Prisoners, 118

Rastatt, 60

Reciprocity in Good Treatment, 47

Red Cross, International
  —and English Prison Camps, 9
  —Committee of the, 71
  —Reports of the, 39-45

Release of Civilian Prisoners, Appeals for, 111_ff_

  —of Civilian Prisoners, 109
  —of Prisoners of War, =58=_ff_

“Reprisal Prisoners,” 36, 71

“Reprisals of Good,” 24, 105, =132=_ff_

Reuss, Prince Heinrich of, 38

Rolland, Romain, 229, 240

Rotten, Dr. Elizabeth, 65, 85, 134, =138-40=, 144, 158, 195

Roubaix, 258

Ruhleben, 84, 133, 135
  —Reports on, =87=_ff_

  —Accommodation at, 102
  —Accommodation at, Compared with Knockaloe, 115-16
  —Camp Committee, 99-100
  —Leave of Absence from, 140
  —Mr. Jackson on, 86
  —Overcrowding at, 102-3
  —Prisoners’ Activities at, 106-7
  —Relatives’ Visits to Men at, 139

_Ruhleben, My Visit to_, 102, 107-8

_Ruhleben Prison Camp, The_, 79, =104=

Rumours, 66, 156, 157
  —Sir E. Grey on, 9, 24

Russell, Mr., 51

Russia, Prisoners in, 73

Russo-Japanese War, Prisoners in, 125

Sackville, Lady Margaret, quoted, 197

Salzwedel, 15

Scarlett-Synge, Dr. Ella, 50, =149-153=, 209

Scheuen, near Celle, 17

Schloss Celle, 49

School-books, German, and the War, 171-3

Schopenhauer Society, 228-9

Schulze, Dr. Siegmund, =85-7=, 103, 133, 144, 234

Schwantje, Magnus, 228

Schwerin, Graf, 95, 98, 104

Scotswood, 7

Senne, =19=, =29=, 41

  —Austro-German Conduct in, 150-3
  —Austro-German Prisoners in, 72

Serbian Prisoners and German Assistance Agency, 137

Shakespeare, Germany and, 242, 250

_Sheffield Telegraph_, 183

Soltau, 17

Sombart, Prof., 166-7

_Soul of the War_, 182, 208

Southend Camp, 9

Spaight, Dr. J. M., =75-6=, 123, 125-6

Spandau, 52

Spectroscope Story, 140-2

St. Quentin, Germans at, 208

_Staatsbürgerin_, 195

Stange, Prof., 11, 12, 27, 30, 53, =144=

Stargard, 8

Steen, M. T. E., on German Prison Camps, 62

Stendal, 50

Stettin, 68

Stobs Camp, 65

_Stobsiad_, 65

Stücklen, Herr, 30

_Sunday Times_, 170

Swiss and Red Cross, 39

_Sydney_, 202, 205

Sympathetic Ink, 66

Taylor, Dr. A. E., 56, 101-2

Taube, Baron von, 88_ff_, 98

Tennant, Mr., 67

Tennis-court, Officer Prisoners’, 48

_Times_, 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 53, 64, 96, 132, 158, 161, 166, 178, 198, 201,
    205, 216, 217, 218

_Times Literary Supplement_, 207

Torgau, 23, 24, 32, 33

Treatment of Prisoners—See under Prisoners.

Tourcoing, 258

Turkey, Prisoners in, 71

Uhlans, 37, 206, 209

Unruh, Fritz von, 229

Vermin in Camps, =41=, 43

Vienna Newspapers, Advertisements in, 222

Visits Outside Camp, 35, =52=, 55, 57, 105, 142

Vitré, 43

_Volksstimme_, 210, 222

_Vorwärts_, 159, 175, 179, 186, 222

_Vossische Zeitung_, 237

Wahn, 18

_War and the World’s Life_, 209

Warmington, Mrs. K., 214

Webster, J. P., 56

_Weissen Blätter_, 231

Wells, H. G., 252

Werfel, Franz, 230

Wesel, Lazarets, 48

_Westminster Gazette_, 158

Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley, 26

Winchester, Bishop of, 12, =132-3=

Wittenberg, 1, 50, 62, 129

Wolff, Theodore, 176-7

_Woman’s Dreadnought_, 117

Women, French, and German Soldiers, 208

Working Camps, 48, 51

  —Brotherhood Among, 182-3;
  —German, at Orchies, 257;
  —German, at Lille Hospital, 262-3;
  —German, Killed, 258;
  —Treatment of, by Germans, =187-195=, 211

Wünsdorf, 55

Y.M.C.A. at Göttingen Camp, 11

_Ypres, The Irish Nuns at_, 207

Zetkin, Clara, 235

Zimmermann, Herr E., 170

Zossen, 23, 41, 66

Züder Zollhaus, 18

Zwickau, 49

                   The National Labour Press, Ltd.,
                        Manchester and London.

[Transriber’s Note: The table below lists all corrections applied to the
original text.

p. vii: par L’Abbé Felix Klein -> Félix
p. 002: lights out at 10-45 -> 10.45
p. 009: [normalized] visited camps at Hollyport -> Holyport
p. 014: [removed extra comma] insufficient, light -> insufficient light
p. 016: [added opening quotes] “Clothing is furnished when required
p. 026: his intercourse wth the German delegates -> with
p. 040: [added closing quotes] cereals is impossible.”
p. 044: [normalized] Of Casabianda -> Cassabianda
p. 053: the occurence mentioned -> occurrence
p. 058: it seems very probable that -> It
p. 074: most trivial beaches of discipline -> breaches
p. 095: contsantly progressing -> constantly
p. 100: recreation and asembling room -> assembling
p. 107: [added closing quotes] skits on the camp, etc.”
p. 112: [added closing brace] (Editor of the Journal de Genève)
p. 112: official negotiaions -> negotiations
p. 121: Even in neutral interment camps -> internment
p. 128: [added period] by no means supports these charges.
p. 139: so well satified -> satisfied
p. 144: No interment camp -> internment
p. 154: delapidated and without fire -> dilapidated
p. 155: sme of them were so impertinent -> some
p. 157: [added closing quotes] thanking me for my care.”
p. 159: grande loterie de Noel -> Noël
p. 160: troops entered Centinje -> Cetinje
p. 163: [added closing quote] go forward with our hands up.’
p. 161: [added comma] from the Daily News, May 17
p. 167: herioc bravery-> heroic
p. 170: bullets in safe reatreat -> retreat
p. 170: This is a singuarly fair -> singularly
p. 194: par L’Abée Félix Klein -> L’Abbé
p. 198: [added period] to conceal them ever since.
p. 205: [added opening quotes] “On the whole it cannot be said
p. 207: imagination this aid-de-camp -> aide-de-camp
p. 207: [added opening quotes] reviewer in the Nation, “that Herr Major
p. 232: Deutschlands Jugend und der Weltkreig -> Weltkrieg
p. 255: Francoise Lafitte Cyon -> Françoise
p. 269: Güstrow î-Mecklenburg -> Güstrow i/Mecklenburg
p. 269: Klein, L’Abée Félix -> L’Abbé
p. 271: Turcoing, 258 -> Tourcoing ]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.