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Title: Our Part in the Great War
Author: Gleason, Arthur
Language: English
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                       OUR PART IN THE GREAT WAR

[Illustration: Leon Mirman, the Governor of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and the
refugees for whom he cares.]

                              OUR PART IN
                             THE GREAT WAR

                            ARTHUR GLEASON




                               NEW YORK
                      FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

                         _Copyright, 1917, by_
                      FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

         _All rights reserved, including that of translation_
                       _into foreign languages_


_Three years of world war draw to a close, as France prepares to
celebrate the birthday of her liberty. Never in the thousand years
of her tumultuous history has she been so calm, so sure of the path
she treads, red with the blood of her young men. She has never drunk
any cup of joy so deeply as this cup of her agony. In the early
months of the war, there were doubts and dismays, and the cheap talk
of compromise. There were black days and black moods, and a swaying
indecision. But under the immense pressure of crisis, France has lifted
to a clear determination. This war will be fought to a finish. No
feeble dreams of peace, entertained by loose thinkers and fluent phrase
makers, no easy conciliations, will be tolerated. France has made her
sacrifice. It remains now that it shall avail. She will fulfill her
destiny. Time has ceased to matter, Death is only an incident in the
ongoing of the nation. No tortures by mutilation, no horrors of shell
fire, no massing of machine guns, can swerve the united will. The
"Sacred Union" of Socialist and royalist, peasant and politician, is
firm to endure. The egoisms and bickerings of easy untested years have
been drowned in a tide that sets towards the Rhine. The premier race
of the world goes forth to war. That war is only in its beginning. The
toll of the dead and the wounded may be doubled before the gray lines
are broken. But they will be broken. A menace is to be removed for
all time. The German Empire is not to rule in Paris. Atrocities are
not to be justified by success. Spying will be no longer the basis of
international relationship. France faces in one direction. She waits
in arms at Revigny and along the water courses of the North for the
machine to crack. That consummation of the long watch may be nearer
than we guess. It may be many months removed. It does not matter.
France waits in unshattered line, reserve on reserve, ready to the

_Only once or twice in history has the world witnessed such a spectacle
of greatness at tension. It is not that factories are busy on shells.
It is that everything spiritual in a race touched with genius has been
mobilized. Fineness of feeling, the graces of the intellect, clarity of
thought, all the playful tender elements of worthy living are burning
with a steady light._


The author was enabled to visit Verdun and the peasant district, and to
obtain access to the German diaries through J. J. Jusserand, Ambassador
of France; Frank H. Simonds, editor of the New York _Tribune_, and
Theodore Roosevelt, by whose courtesy the success of the three months'
visit was assured. On arrival in France the courtesy was continued by
Emile Hovelaque, Madame Saint-René Taillandier, Judge Walter Berry,
Mrs. Charles Prince, Leon Mirman, Prefet de Meurthe-et-Moselle, the
Foreign Office and the Ministry of War.



  TO FRANCE ON JULY 14TH                                      v



    I. THE TWO AMERICAS                                       3

   II. THE AMERICAN AMBULANCE HOSPITAL                       14

  III. THE FORD CAR AND ITS DRIVERS                          34

   IV. THE AMERICANS AT VERDUN                               55

    V. "FRIENDS OF FRANCE"                                   72

   VI. THE SAVING REMNANT                                    83




   II. SOCIAL WORKERS AND THE WAR                           105


   IV. COSMOPOLITANISM                                      129

    V. THE HYPHENATES                                       142

   VI. THE REMEDY                                           151



    I. LORD BRYCE ON GERMAN METHODS                         159

   II. SOME GERMAN WAR DIARIES                              170

  III. MORE DIARIES                                         186

   IV. THE BOOMERANG                                        196



  I. THE LOST VILLAGES                                      211

  II. THE HOMELESS                                          221

  III. "MON GAMIN"                                          226

  IV. THE MAYOR ON THE HILLTOP                              228

  V. THE LITTLE CORPORAL                                    240

  VI. THE GOOD CURÉ                                         244

  VII. THE THREE-YEAR-OLD WITNESS                           257

  VIII. MIRMAN AND "MES ENFANTS"                            261


  X. THE EVIDENCE                                           289

  XI. SISTER JULIE                                          294

  XII. SISTER JULIE--Continued                              312

  ADDENDUM                                                  321


  I. TO THE READER                                          329

  II. TO NEUTRAL CRITICS                                    333





There are two Americas to-day: the historic America, which still lives
in many thousands of persons, and the new various America, which has
not completely found itself: a people of mixed blood, divergent ideals,
intent on the work at hand, furious in its pleasures, with the vitality
of a new race in it, sprinting at top speed in a direction it does not
yet know, to a goal it cannot see. It is in the sweep of an immense
experiment, accepting all races, centering on no single strain.

This new joy-riding generation has struck out a fresh philosophy of
life, which holds that many of the old responsibilities can be passed
by, that the great divide has been crossed, on the hither side of
which lay poverty, war, sin, pain, fear: the ancient enemies of the
race. On the further side, which it is believed has at last been
reached, lie, warm in the sun, prosperity and peace, a righteousness of
well-being. It is a philosophy that fits snugly into a new country of
tonic climate and economic opportunity, distant by three thousand miles
from historic quarrels and the pressure of crowded neighborhood. We
believe that, by coming on the scene with a lot of vitality and good
cheer, we can clean up the old bothersome problems and make a fresh
start in the sunshine. Christian Science in a mild genial form is the
national religion of America. We believe that maladies and failures can
be willed out of existence. As for "the fatalities of history," "an
endless war between two mutually exclusive ideals," we classify that
way of thinking with the surplus luggage of autocracies.

Now, there is a wide area in life where this breezy burst of power and
good-will operates effectively. It is salutary for stale vendettas,
racial prejudices, diseases of the nerves, egoistic melancholias. But
there are certain structural disturbances at which it takes a look and
crosses to the other side, preferring to maintain its tip-top spirits
and its complacency. It does not cure a broken arm, and it leaves
Belgium to be hacked through. The New America trusts its melting-pot
automatically to remake mixed breeds over night into citizens of the
Republic. It believes that Ellis Island and the naturalization offices
somehow do something with a laying on of hands which results in a
nation. Meantime, we go on blindly and busily with our markets and
base-ball and million-dollar films.

Troubling this enormous optimism of ours came suddenly the greatest
war of the ages. We were puzzled by it for a little, and then took up
again our work and pleasures, deciding that with the causes and objects
of this war we were not concerned. That was the clear decision of the
new America of many races, many minds. The gifted, graceful voice
of our President spoke for us what already we had determined in the

But there are those of us that were not satisfied with the answer we
made. The fluent now-famous phrases did not content us. It is for this
remnant in our population that this book is written. From this remnant,
many, numbering thousands, put by their work and pleasures, and came
across the sea, some to nurse, and some to carry swift relief over
dangerous roads; still others to fight behind trenches and over the
earth, no few of them to die. Nearly forty thousand men have enlisted.
Many hundred young college boys are driving Red Cross cars at the
front. There is an American Flying Squadron. Many hundreds of American
men and women are serving in hospitals. Many thousands of hard-working,
simple Americans at home are devoting their spare time and their spare
money to relief.

I give a few illustrations of the American effort. I have not tried to
show the extent of it. I trust some day the work will be catalogued
and the full account published, as belonging to history. For we have
not wholly failed the Allies. I have merely sought in this book to
cheer myself, and, I trust, some friends of "the good old cause, the
great idea, the progress and freedom of the race." I believe that the
historic America has spoken and has acted in this war. In a time when
our country, perplexed by its own problems of mixed blood and warring
ideas, bewildered by its great possessions, busy with its own vast
work of shaking down a continent, has made a great refusal, it is good
to have the spectacle of some thousands of young Americans, embracing
poverty, taking dangers and even death gladly. There is something of
the ancient crusade still stirring in these bones. The race of Wendell
Phillips and Whittier has representatives above ground. There was an
America once that would not have stood by when its old-time companion
in freedom was tasting the bayonet and the flame. Some of that America
has come down to Chapman and Neville Hall, to Seeger, Chapin, Prince,

Nothing said here is meant to imply that the sum of all American
efforts is comparable to the gift which the men of France and Belgium
and England have made us. I am only saying that a minority in our
population has seen that the Allies are fighting to preserve spiritual
values which made our own past great, and which alone can make our
future worthy.

That minority, inheriting the traditions of our race, bearing old names
that have fought for liberty in other days, has clearly recognized that
no such torture has come in recent centuries as German hands dealt out
in obedience to German orders. In the section on French peasants, I
have told of that suffering.

In another section, I am speaking to the Americans who remain
indifferent to the acts of Germany. They are not convinced by the
records of eye-witnesses. The wreck of Belgium is not sufficient. Will
they, I wonder, be moved, if one rises from the dead. We shall see, for
in this book I give the words of those who have, as it were, risen from
the dead to speak to them. I give the penciled records of dead Germans,
who left little black books to tell these things they did in Flanders
and the pleasant land of France.

There are many persons who are more sincerely worried lest an
injustice of overstatement should be done to Germany than they are
that Germany has committed injustice on Belgium and Northern France.
The burned houses and murdered peasants do not touch them, but any
tinge of resentment, any sign of anger, in criticizing those acts,
moves them to protest. Frankly, we of the historic tradition are
disturbed when we see a wave of excitement pass over the country at
the arrival of a German submarine--dinners of honor, interviews
with the "Viking"-Captain--and, in the same month, a perfect calm of
indifference greeting the report of the French girls of Lille sent away
and of families broken up and scattered. We that are shocked by the
cold system of the German conquerors, and publish the facts of their
methodical cruelty, are rebuked by American editors and social workers
as exercising our heart emotionally at the expense of our head. But
that hysteria which greets a German officer, indirectly helping in the
job of perpetuating the official German system of murder and arson,
is accepted as American vivacity, a sort of base-ball enthusiasm, and
pleasant revelation of sporting spirit.

We believe we are not un-American, in being Pro-Ally. We believe we
are holding true to the ideas which created our country--ideas brought
across from the best of England, and freshened from the soul of France.
We believe that Benjamin Franklin was an American and a statesman when
he wrote:--

"What would you think of a proposition, if I should make it, of a
family compact between England, France and America? America would be
as happy as the Sabine girls if she could be the means of uniting in
perpetual peace her father and her husband."

Cheer the _Deutschland_ in, and U-53,[1] but permit us to go aside
a little way and mourn the dead of the _Lusitania_. All we ask, we
that are held by some of the old loyalties, is that we be not counted
un-American. We ask you to throw our beliefs, too, into the vast new
seething mass. Let us contribute to the great experiment a little of
the old collective experience. Because the marching feet of France
strike a great music in our heart, do not hold us alien. We are only
remembering what Washington knew. He was glad of the feet of those
young men as they came tramping south to Yorktown.

In the immense labors of the naturalization factory, do not pause to
excommunicate us, who find an ancient, unfaded freedom in England.
We are moved as Lincoln was moved when he wrote to the operatives of
Lancashire--Englishmen starving because of our blockade, starving but
not protesting. Lincoln wrote:--

 To the Workingmen of Manchester: I have the honor to acknowledge the
 receipt of the address and resolutions which you sent me on the eve
 of the new year. When I came, on the fourth of March, 1861, through
 a free and constitutional election to preside in the Government of
 the United States, the country was found at the verge of civil war.
 Whatever might have been the cause, or whosesoever the fault, one
 duty, paramount to all others, was before me, namely, to maintain and
 preserve at once the Constitution and the integrity of the Federal
 Republic. A conscientious purpose to perform this duty is the key to
 all the measures of administration which have been and to all which
 will hereafter be pursued. Under our frame of government and my
 official oath, I could not depart from this purpose if I would. It
 is not always in the power of governments to enlarge or restrict the
 scope of moral results which follow the policies that they may deem it
 necessary for the public safety from time to time to adopt.

 I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation rests solely
 with the American people; but I have at the same time been aware that
 favor or disfavor of foreign nations might have a material influence
 in enlarging or prolonging the struggle with disloyal men in which
 the country is engaged. A fair examination of history has served
 to authorize a belief that the past actions and influences of the
 United States were generally regarded as having been beneficial toward
 mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon the forbearance of nations.
 Circumstances to some of which you kindly allude induce me expecially
 to expect that if justice and good faith should be practiced by the
 United States, they would encounter no hostile influence on the
 part of Great Britain. It is now a pleasant duty to acknowledge the
 demonstration you have given of your desire that a spirit of amity and
 peace toward this country may prevail in the councils of your Queen,
 who is respected and esteemed in your own country only more than
 she is by the kindred nation which has its home on this side of the

 I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working-men at
 Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis.
 It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to
 overthrow this government, which was built upon the foundations
 of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest
 exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain the
 favor of Europe. Through the action of our disloyal citizens, the
 working-men of Europe have been subjected to severe trials, for
 the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under the
 circumstances, I cannot but regard your decisive utterances upon the
 question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not
 been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an energetic
 and reinspiring assurance of the inherent power of truth, and of the
 ultimate and universal triumph of justice, humanity, and freedom. I
 do not doubt that the sentiments you have expressed will be sustained
 by your great nation; and, on the other hand, I have no hesitation in
 assuring you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and the most
 reciprocal feelings of friendship among the American people. I hail
 this interchange of sentiment, therefore, as an augury that whatever
 else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country or my
 own, the peace and friendship which now exist between the two nations
 will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.

We believe that Lincoln would have wished his people to show a like
partizanship to-day in the cause of right. Before we all steer quite
out of the tested channel, let us at least remind you that those
captains knew the course. It is idle to talk of a return to the past.
The statesmanship of Franklin is not the statesmanship of to-day. What
Lincoln felt is out of tune with the new America. We must go on with
the vast new turmoils, the strange unguessed tendencies. We must find a
fresh hope in the altered world. Meanwhile, be neutral, but do not bid
us be neutral. You cannot silence us. We mean that our ideas shall live
and fight and finally prevail.

In one section of this book I deal with what the war is teaching us.
The peoples of Europe are reasserting the rights of nationality. We
must understand this. We need a wholesome sense of our own national
being in the America of to-day. Nationality is the one great idea in
the modern world, the one allegiance left us. It has absorbed the
loyalties and fervor that used to be poured out upon art and religion.
Groups of persons find emotional release in the Woman's Movement, in
Trades Unions, in Socialism. But the one universal expression for the
entire community is in nationalism, the assertion of selfhood as a
people. Religious revivals no longer draw the mind of the mass people.
But the idea of nationality sweeps them. It gives them the sense of
kinship, it answers the desire for something to which to tie. It is
easily possible that this idea will fade as the God of the Churches and
the creative love of beauty faded. The Mazzini and Lincoln type of man
may pass as the poet and the saint, Knights and Samurai, passed. But
not in our time, not in a few hundred years to come. Nationalism may be
only one more of the necessary "useful lies," one more illusion of the
human race. But it will serve out our days. The mistake is in thinking
that the heart of the common people will ever be satisfied with a bare
mechanic civilization. Men are unwilling to live unless they have
something to die for. We have filled the foreground in recent years
with new automatic machines, new subdivisions of repetitive process. We
tried to empty the huge modern world of its old values. Then the people
came and smashed the structure, and found a vast emotional release in
the war. The hope of a sane future is not in suppressing that dynamic
of nationality. We must direct it.



The recital of the young college boy crowding his ambulance between
singing shells and bringing in his wounded down death's alley is
familiar and stirring. And this, for most of us, has been the entire
story. But that is only the first chapter. It is of no value to bring
in a wounded man, unless there is a field hospital to give him swift
and wise treatment, unless there is a well-equipped hospital-train to
run him gently down to Paris, unless there are efficient stretcher
bearers at the railroad station to unload him, and ambulances to
transport him to new quarters. And finally, most important of all,
the base hospital that at last receives him must be furnished with
skilled doctors, surgeons, nurses and orderlies, or all the haste of
transportation has gone for nothing. For it is in the base hospital
that the final and greatest work with the wounded man is wrought out,
which will let him go forth a whole man, with limbs his own and a
face unmarred, or will discharge him a wrecked creature, crippled,
monstrous, because of bungled treatment. It is a chain with no weak
link that must be forged from the hour of the wounding at Verdun to
the day of hospital discharge at Neuilly. And that final success of
the restored soldier is built upon the loyalty of hundreds of obscure
helpers, far back of the lines of glory. That which is fine about it
is the very absence of the large scale romantic. It is humble service
humbly given, with no war-medals in sight, no mention in official
dispatches--only a steady fatiguing drive against bugs and dirt and
germs and red tape.

So I begin my story with the work of the Scotch-American at the
entrance of the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine. He is
the man that gives every entering wounded soldier a bath, and he does
it thoroughly in four and a half minutes. He can bathe twelve inside
the hour. He has perfected devices, so that a fractured leg won't be
hurt while the man is being scrubbed. He has worked out foot-rests,
and body-rests and neck-rests in the tub. This man has taken his lowly
job and made it into one of the important departments of the hospital.
And with him begins, too, the long tale of inventive appliances which
are lessening suffering. The hospital is full of them in each branch
of the service. Everywhere you go in relief work of this war, you see
devices--little things that relieve pain, and save time and speed up
recovery. That is one of the things differentiating this war from the
old-time slaughters, where most of the seriously wounded died: the
omnipresence of mechanical, electrical, devices. Inventive skill has
wreaked itself on the sudden awful human need. The hideously clever
bombs, and big guns, all the ingenious instruments of torture, will
shoot themselves away and pass. But the innumerable appliances of
restoration, the machinery of welfare, suddenly called into being out
of the mechanic brain of our time, under pressure of the agonizing
need, will go on with their ministry when Lorraine is again green.

The Ambulance is the cheeriest, the cleanest, the most efficient
place which I have visited since the beginning of the war. There is
no hospital odor anywhere. Fresh air and sunshine are in the wards.
A vagrant from Mars or the moon, who wanted an answer to some of his
questions about the lay-out of things, would find his quest shortened
by spending an afternoon at the American Ambulance.

What does America mean? What is it trying to do? How does it differ
from other sections of the map?

The swift emergency handling of each situation has been American in
its executive efficiency. Things have been done in a hurry, and done
well. In eighteen days this building was taken over from a partially
completed school, with the refuse of construction work heaped high,
and made into an actively-running hospital ready for 175 patients.
That, too, in those early days of war, when workmen had been called to
the colors, when money was unobtainable, transportation tied up, and
Germany pounding down on Paris.

The skillful surgical work, some of it pioneering in fields untouched
by former experience, has been a demonstration of the best American

The extraordinarily varied types of persons at work under one roof in
a democracy of service presents just the aspect of our community which
is most representative. Millionaires and an impersonator, Harvard,
Dartmouth, Tech, Columbia, Fordham, Michigan, Princeton, Cornell and
Yale men, ranchers, lawyers, and newspaper men--all are hard at work
on terms of exact equality. A colored man came in one day. He said he
wanted to help with the wounded. He was tried out, and proved himself
one of the best helpers in the organization. He received the same
treatment as all other helpers, eating with them, liked by them. Some
weeks later, one of our wealthy "high-life" young Americans volunteered
his services. After the first meal he came wrathfully to the surgeon.

"I've had to eat at the same table with a negro. That must be changed.
What will you do about it?"

"Do about it," answered the surgeon. "You will do one of two things--go
and apologize to a better man than you are, or walk out of this

Recently this black helper came to the director in distress of mind.

"Have to leave you," he said. He held out a letter from the motor car
firm, near Paris, where he he had worked before the war. It was a
request for him to return at once. If he did not obey now in this time
of need, it meant there would never be any position for him after the
war as long as he lived.

A day or two later he came again.

"My old woman and I have been talking it over," he said, "and I just
can't leave this work for the wounded. We'll get along some way."

A little more time passed, and then, one day, he stepped up to the
director and said:

"I want you to meet my boss."

The superintendent of the motor car factory had come. He said to the

"I have received the most touching letter from this darkey, saying he
couldn't come back to us because he must help here. Now I want to tell
you that his position is open to him any time that he wants it, during
the war, or after it."

Visitors, after walking through the wards, smelling no odors, hearing
no groans, seeing the faces of the men smiling back at them, are
constantly saying to the director:

"Ah, I see you have no really serious cases here."

It is the only kind of case sent to Neuilly--the gravely wounded man,
the "_grands blessés_," requiring infinite skill to save the limb and
life. So sweet and hopeful is the "feel" of the place that not even
575 beds of men in extremity can poison that atmosphere of successful
practice. Alice's Queen had a certain casual promptness in saying, "Off
with his head," whenever she sighted a subject. And there was some of
the same spirit in the old-time war-surgeon when he was confronted
with a case of multiple fracture. "Amputate. Off with his leg. Off
with his arm." And that, in the majority of cases, was the same as
guillotining the patient, for the man later died from infection. There
was a surgical ward in one of the 1870 Paris hospitals with an unbroken
record of death for every major operation. At the American Ambulance,
out of the first 3,100 operations, there were 81 amputations. The death
rate for the first year was 4.46 per cent.

These gunshot injuries, involving compound and multiple fractures,
are treated by incision, and drainage of the infected wounds and the
removal of foreign bodies. A large element in the success has been
the ingenuity of the staff in creating appliances that give efficient
drainage to the wound and comfort to the patient. The same inventive
skill is at work in the wards that we saw on entering the hospital in
the bathroom of the Scotch-American. These devices, swinging from a
height over the bed, are slats of wood to which are jointed the splints
for holding the leg or arm in a position where the wound will drain
without causing pain to the recumbent man. The appearance of a ward
full of these swinging appliances is a little like that of a gymnasium.
Half the wounded men riding into Paris ask to be taken to the American
Hospital. They know the high chance of recovery they will have there
and the personal consideration they will receive. The Major-General
enjoys the best which the Hospital can offer. So does the sailor boy
from the Fusiliers Marins.

We had spent about an hour in the wards. We had seen the flying man
who had been shot to pieces in the air, but had sailed back to his
own lines, made his report and collapsed. We had talked with the man
whose face had been obliterated, and who was now as he had once been,
except for a little ridge of flesh on his lower left cheek. I had
seen a hundred men brighten as the surgeon "jollied" them. The cases
were beginning to merge for me into one general picture of a patient,
contented peasant in a clean bed with a friend chatting with him, and
the gift of fruit or a bottle of champagne on the little table by his
head. I was beginning to lose the sense of the personal in the immense,
well-conducted institution, with its routine and system. After all,
these men represented the necessary wastage of war, and here was a
business organization to deal with these by-products. I was forgetting
that it was somebody's husband in front of me, and only thinking that
he was a lucky fellow to be in such a well-ordered place.

Then the whole sharp individualizing work of the war came back in a
stab, for we had reached the bed of the American boy who had fought
with the Foreign Legion since September, 1914.

"Your name is Bonnell?" I asked.


"Do you spell it B-o-n-n-e double l?"


"By any chance, do you know a friend of mine, Charles Bonnell?"

"He's my uncle."

And right there in the presence of the boy in blue-striped pajamas, my
mind went back over the years. Twenty-seven years ago, I had come to
New York, and grown to know the tall, quiet man, six feet two he was,
and kind to small boys. He was head of a book-store then and now. For
these twenty-seven years I have known him, one of my best friends, and
here was his nephew.

"Do you think I'm taller than my uncle?" the boy asked, standing up.
He stood erect: you would never have known there was any trouble down
below. But as my eye went up and down the fine slim figure, I saw that
his right leg was off at the knee.

"I can't play base-ball any more," he said.

"No, but you can go to the games," said the director; "that's all the
most of us do.

"I wish I had come here sooner," he went on as he sat back on the bed:
standing was a strain. He meant he might have saved his leg.

We came away.

"Now he wants to go into the flying corps," said the surgeon.

He still had his two arms, and the loss of a leg didn't so much matter
when you fly instead of march.

"Flying is the only old-fashioned thing left," remarked the boy, in
a later talk. "You might as well work in a factory as fight in a
trench--only there's no whistle for time off."

I have almost omitted the nurses from this chapter, because we have
grown so used to loyalty and devotion in women that these qualities
in them do not constitute news. The trained nurses of the Ambulance
Hospital, with half a dozen exceptions, are Americans, with a long
hospital experience at home. During the early months they served with
no remuneration. An allowance of 100 francs a month has now been
established. They reluctantly accepted this, as each was anxious to
continue on the purely voluntary basis. There are also volunteer
auxiliary nurses, who serve as assistants to the trained women. The
entire nursing staff has been efficient and self-sacrificing.

We entered the department where some of the most brilliant surgical
work of the war has been done. It is devoted to those cases where the
face has been damaged. The cabinet is filled with photographs, the wall
is lined with masks, revealing the injury when the wounded man entered,
and then the steps in the restoration of the face to its original
structure and look. There in front of me were the reproductions of
the injury: the chin shot away, the cheeks in shreds, the mouth a
yawning aperture, holes where once was a nose--all the ghastly pranks
of shell-fire tearing away the structure, wiping out the human look.
Masks were there on the wall of man after man who would have gone back
into life a monster, a thing for children to run from, but brought back
inside the human race, restored to the semblance of peasant father,
the face again the recorder of kindly expression. The surgeon and
the dental expert work together on these cases. The success belongs
equally to each of the two men. Between them they make a restoration of
function and of appearance.

In peace days, a city hospital would have only three or four fractures
of the jaw in a year, and they were single fractures. There are
no accidents in ordinary life to produce the hideous results of
shell-fire. So there was no experience to go on. There were no
reference books recording the treatment of wounds to the face caused
by the projectiles of modern warfare. Hideous and unprecedented were
the cases dumped by the hundreds into the American Ambulance. Because
of the pioneer success of this hospital, the number of these cases
has steadily increased. They are classified as "gunshot wounds of the
face, involving the maxillæ, and requiring the intervention of dental
surgery." These are compound fractures of the jaw, nearly always
accompanied by loss of the soft parts of the mouth and chin, sometimes
by the almost complete loss of the face.

I have seen this war at its worst. I have seen the largest hospital
in France filled with the grievously-wounded. I have seen the wounded
out in the fields of Ypres, waiting to be carried in. I have seen the
Maison Blanche thronged with the Army of the Mutilated. I have carried
out the dead from hospital and ambulance, and I have watched them
lie in strange ways where the great shell had struck. But death is a
pleasant gift, and the loss of a limb is light. For death leaves a rich
memory. And a crippled soldier is dearer than he ever was to the little
group that knows him. But to be made into that which is terrifying to
the children that were once glad of him, to bring shrinking to the
woman that loved him--that is the foulest thing done by war to the
soldier. So it was the most gallant of all relief work that I have
seen--this restoration of disfigured soldiers to their own proper

And the work of these hundreds of Americans at Neuilly was summed
for me in the person of one dental surgeon, who sat a few feet from
those forty masks and those six hundred photographs, working at a
plaster-cast of a shattered jaw. He was very much American--rangy and
loose-jointed, with a twang and a drawl, wondering why the blazes a
writing person was bothering a man at work. It was his time off, after
six days of patient fitting of part to part, and that for a year. So he
was taking his day off to transform one more soldier from a raw pulp to
a human being. There were no motor car dashes, and no military medals,
for him. Only hard work on suffering men. There he sat at his pioneer
work in a realm unplumbed by the mind of man. It called on deeper
centers of adventure than any jungle-exploration or battle-exploit. It
was science at its proper business of salvation. Those Krupp howitzers
were not to have their own way, after all. Here he was, wiping out
all the foul indignities which German scientists had schemed in their

Two days later, I saw the boys of the American Ambulance unload the
wounded of Verdun from the famous American train. The announcement of
the train's approach was simple enough--these words scribbled in pencil
by the French authorities:

"_12 Musulman_

"_241 Blessés_

"_8 Officiers_

"_1 Malade_

"_Train Américain de Revigny._"

Those twelve "Musulman" are worth pausing with for a moment. They are
Mohammedans of the French colonies, who must be specially fed because
their religion does not permit them to eat of the unholy food of
unbelievers. So a hospital provides a proper menu for them.

Add the figures, and you have 262 soldiers on stretchers to be handled
by the squad of 38 men from the American Ambulance. They marched up
the platform in excellent military formation. The train rolled in,
and they jumped aboard, four to each of the eight large cars, holding
36 men each. In twenty-seven minutes they had cleared the train, and
deposited the stretchers on the platforms. There the wounded pass into
the hands of French orderlies, who carry them to the French doctors
in waiting in the station. As quickly the doctor passed the wounded,
the boys took hold again and loaded the ambulances en route to Paris
hospitals. It was all breathless, perspiring work, but without a slip.
There is never a slip, and that is why they are doing this work. The
American Ambulance has the job of unloading three-fourths of all the
wounded that come into Paris. The boys are strong and sure-handed, and
the War Ministry rests easy in letting them deal with this delicate,
important work. They feel pride in a prompt clean-cut job. But, more
than that, they have a deep inarticulate desire to make things easier
for a man in pain. I saw the boys pick up stretcher after stretcher as
it lay on the platform and hurry it to the doctor. That wasn't their
job at all. Their job was only to unload the train, but they could not
let a wounded man lie waiting for red tape. I watched one long-legged
chap who ran from the job he had just completed to each new place of
need, doing three times as much work as even his strenuous duty called

"Look here," I said to Budd, the young Texan, who is Lieutenant of the
Station squad. I pointed to a man on a stretcher. My eye had only shown
me that the sight was strange and pathetic. But his quicker eye caught
that the man needed help. He ran over to him and struck a match as he
went. The soldier had his face swathed in bandages. Arms and hands
were thick with bandages, so that every gesture he made was bungling.
He had a cigarette in his mouth, just clear of the white linen. But he
couldn't bring a match and the box together in his muffled hands so as
to get a light. He was making queer, unavailing motions, like a baby's.
In another second he was contentedly smoking and telling his story.
A hand grenade which he was throwing had exploded prematurely in his
hands and face.

Work at the front is pretty good fun. There is a lot of camaraderie
with the fighting men: the exchange of a smoke and a talk, and the
sense of being at the center of things. The war zone, whatever its
faults, is the focal point of interest for all the world. It is
something to be in the storm center of history. But this gruelling
unromantic work back in Paris is lacking in all those elements. No one
claps you on the back, and says:

"Big work, old top. We've been reading about you. Glad you got your
medal. It must be hell under fire. But we always knew you had it in
you. Come around to the Alumni Association banquet and give us a talk.
Prexy will be there, and we'll put you down for the other speech of the

What the people say is this:

"Ah, back in Paris, were you? Not much to do there, I guess. Must have
been slow. Couldn't work it to get the front? Well, we can't all be
heroes. Have you met Dick? He was at Verdun, you know. Big time. Had a
splinter go through his hood. Better come round to our annual feed, and
hear him tell about it. So long. See you again."

But the boys themselves know, and the hurt soldiers know, and the War
Minister of France knows. These very much unadvertised young Americans,
your sons and brothers, reader, often sit up all night waiting for a
delayed train.

These boys of ours, shifting stretchers, wheeling legless men to a
place in the sun, driving ambulances, are the most fortunate youth
in fifty years. They are being infected by a finer air than any that
has blown through our consciousness since John Brown's time. And the
older Americans over here have that Civil War tradition in their blood.
They are gray-haired and some of them white-haired. For, all over our
country, individual Americans are breaking from the tame herd and
taking the old trail, again, the trail of hardships and sacrifice. They
have found something wrong with America, and want to make it right. I
saw it in the man from Philadelphia, a well-to-do lawyer who crossed in
the boat with me. He was gray-haired, the father of three children,
one a boy of twenty-one. He was taking his first real vacation after a
lifetime of concentrated successful work. I saw him lifting stretchers
out of the Verdun train.

Boys and old men with an equal faith. The generation that isn't much
represented over here is that of the in-betweeners, men between
thirty-five and fifty years of age. They grew up in a time when
our national patriotism was sagging, when security and fat profits
looked more inviting than sacrifice for the common good. Our country
will not soon be so low again as in the period that bred these total
abstainers from the public welfare. The men and boys who have worked
here are going to return to our community--several hundred have already
returned--with a profound dissatisfaction with our national life as it
has been conducted in recent years.

I have left the American train standing at the platform all this
time, but it rests there till the afternoon, for it takes three hours
to clean it for its trip back to the front. Only three hours--one
more swift job by our contingent. It is the best ambulance train in
France. The huge luggage vans of the trans-continental expresses were
requisitioned. Two American surgeons and one French Medecin Chef travel
with the wounded men. It carries 240 stretchers and 24 sitting cases
in its eight cars for "_Les blessés_." The five other cars are devoted
to an operating room, a kitchen for bouillon, a dining car, a sleeping
car for the surgeons, and the other details of administration. Safety,
speed and comfort are its slogan. The stretchers rest on firm wooden
supports riding on an iron spring. The entire train is clean, sweet
smelling, and travels easily. J. E. Rochfort, who has charge of it,
went around to the men on stretchers as they lay on the platform.

"You rode easily?" he asked.

"_Très bien: très confortable._"

If an emergency case develops during the long ride, the train stops
while the operation is performed. It is also held up at times by the
necessities of war. For the wounded must be side-tracked for more
important items of military demand--shells, food, fresh troops.

Village and town along its route turn out and throng the station
to see the "_Train Americain_." The exterior of the cars carries a
French flag at one end, and, at the other, the American flag. I like
to think of our flag, painted on the brown panel of every car of the
great train, and brightly scoured each day, riding through France from
Verdun to Paris, from Biarritz to Revigny, and the thousands of simple
people watching its progress, knowing its precious freight of wounded,
saying, "_Le train Americain_," as they sight the painted emblem. It is
where it belongs--side by side with the Tricolor. There isn't a great
question loose on the planet to-day, where the best of us isn't in
accord with the best of France.

That is the biggest thing we are doing over there, carrying a message
of good-will from the Yser to Belfort, up and down and clear across
France, and "every town and every hamlet has heard" not our "trumpet
blast," but the whirr of our rescue motors and the sweetly running
wheels of our express. It is one with the work of the Ambulance
Hospital, where, after the bitter weeks of healing, the young soldier
of France receives his discharge from hospital. Looking on the
photograph and plaster cast of what shell-fire had made of him, and
seeing himself restored to the old manner of man, he has a feeling of
friendliness for the Americans who saved him from the horror that might
have been. The man whose bed lay next walks out on his own two legs
instead of hobbling crippled for the rest of his life, and he remembers
those curious devices of swinging splints, which eased the pain and
saved the leg. He, too, holds a kindly feeling for the nation that has
made him not only a well man, but a whole man. And America has two more
friends in France, in some little village of the province.

This work of the hospital, the train, the motor ambulance, is doing
away with the shock and hurt of our aloofness. These young Americans,
stretcher-bearers and orderlies, surgeons and nurses, drivers and
doctors, are unconscious statesmen. They are building for us a better
foreign policy. It is a long distance for friendly voices of America to
carry across the Atlantic. But these helpers are on the spot, moving
among the common people and creating an international relationship
which not even the severe strain of a dreary aloofness can undo. Our
true foreign policy is being worked out at Neuilly and through the
war-cursed villages. This is our answer to indifference: the gliding
of the immense train through France, carrying men in agony to a sure
relief; the swift, tender handling of those wounded in their progress
from the trench to the ward; the making over of these shattered
soldiers into efficient citizens.

The quarrel none of ours?

The suffering is very much ours.

Too proud to fight?

Not too proud to carry bed-pans and wash mud-caked, blood-marked men.
Not too proud to be shot at in going where they lie.

Neutrality of word and thought?

We are the friends of these champions of all the values we hold dear.

War profits out of their blood?

Many hundreds have given up their life-work, their career, their homes,
to work in lowly ways, with no penny of profit, no hope of glory, "just
because she's France."



This is the story of the American Ambulance Field Service in the words
of the boys themselves who drove the cars. Fresh to their experience,
they jotted down the things that happened to them in this strange new
life of war. These notes, sometimes in pencil, sometimes written with
the pocket fountain pen, they sent to their chief, Piatt Andrew, and
he has placed these unpublished day-by-day records of two hundred men
at my disposal. Anybody would be stupid who tried to rewrite their
reports. I am simply passing along what they say.

One section of the Field Service with twenty cars was thrown out into
Alsace for the campaign on the crest of Hartmannsweilerkopf. Here is
some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Hartmannsweilerkopf is the
last mountain before the Plain of the Rhine, and commands that valley.
The hill crest was taken and retaken. Here, too, is the one sector
of the Western Front where the French are fighting in the enemy's
country. Alsace has been German territory for forty-three years.
The district known as Haute Alsace is a range of mountains, running
roughly north and south; to the east lies German Alsace, to the west
the level country of French Alsace. On the crest of the mountains the
armies of France and Germany have faced each other. The business of the
ambulances has been to bring wounded from those heights to the railway
stations in the plain.

John Melcher, Jr., says of this work:

"The mountain service consists in climbing to the top of a mountain,
some 4,000 feet high, where the wounded are brought to us. Two cars are
always kept in a little village down the mountain on the other side.
This little village is a few kilometers behind the trenches, and is
sometimes bombarded by the Germans. The roads up the mountain are very
steep, particularly on the Alsatian side. They are rough and so narrow
that in places vehicles cannot pass. These roads are full of ruts, and
at some points are corduroy, the wood practically forming steps. On one
side there is always a sheer precipice."

"If you go off the road," writes one of our young drivers, "it is
probably to stay, and all the while a grade that in some parts has to
be rushed in low speed to be surmounted. Add to this the fact that
in the rainy (or usual) weather of the Vosges, the upper half is
in the clouds, and seeing becomes nearly impossible, especially at
night. Before our advent the wounded were transported in wagons or on
mule-backs, two stretchers, one on each side of the mule. Two of us
tried this method of travel and were nearly sick in a few minutes.
Imagine the wounded--five hours for the trip! That so many survived
speaks well for the hardihood of the "Blue Devils." Now with our cars
the trip takes 1-1/2 or 2 hours. We get as close to the trenches as any
cars go. Our wounded are brought to us on trucks like wheelbarrows, or,
at night, on mules, about one-half hour after the wound is received.
This is hard service for both cars and drivers, and it is done in turn
for five days at a time; then we return to St. Maurice to care for the
cars and rest; the ordinary valley service is regarded by us as rest
after the spell on the hills.

"Car 170 (the E. J. de Coppet Car) has been doing well on this
strenuous work. The two back fenders have been removed, one by a rock
in passing an ammunition wagon, and the other by one of the famous
"75's" going down the hill.

"The men appreciate it. Often, back in France, we are trailed as the
'voitures' they have seen at Mittlach, or as the car which brought a
comrade back. They express curiosity as to our exact military status.
The usual thing when we explain that we are volunteers is for them
to say "chic." When they learn that the cars are given by men in the
United States whose sympathy is with them, they nod approval."

Another man writes of the condition of the service:

"At Cheniménil, the headquarters of the automobile service for this
section, we reported to Captain Arboux, and were informed by him of
the terms on which he had decided to accept our services. We were to
draw our food, wine, tobacco, automobile supplies, such as tires, oil,
gasoline, from the Seventh Army, as well as our lodging, and one sou
a day as pay. In short, we were to be treated exactly as the French
Ambulance sections, and to be subject to the same discipline."

Rations consist of a portion of meat, hard bread--baked some weeks
previously--rice, beans, macaroni or potatoes, a lump of grease for
cooking, coffee, sugar and a little wine. For soldiers on duty there
are field kitchens, fire and boilers running on wheels. But billeted
men have their food cooked by some village woman, or a group build wood
fires against a wall. Our men made arrangements to mess at a restaurant.

The work was so continuous that some of the men drove for as long
as fifty hours without sleep, and no one had time for more than an
occasional nap of an hour and a half.

After the battle of Hartmannsweilerkopf the section was decorated as
a whole, and twelve men individually were decorated. Lovering Hill
of Harvard has been in charge of this section. He has received two
citations, two Croix de Guerre, which he doesn't wear, because he knows
that the Western Front is full of good men who have not been decorated.
The boys formed "The Harvard Club of Alsace Reconquise," and had
Harvard Alumni Dinners when the fighting eased up.

"I think that we have saved the wounded many hours of suffering,"
writes Henry M. Suckley of Harvard, 1910. In that quiet statement lies
the spirit of the work done by the American Field Service.

From the head of the Valley of the Fecht, over 10 miles of mountain, 5
up and 5 down, to Krut on the other side--that has been the run.

W. K. H. Emerson, Jr., says:

"Once I went over a bank in an attempt to pass a convoy wagon at
night without a headlight, such light being forbidden over part of
the Mitlach road. I was lucky enough to lean up against a tree before
slipping very far over the bank, and within ten minutes ten soldiers
had lifted the machine, and put it back on the road, ready to start.
Nothing was wrong but the loss of one sidelight, and the car went
better than before. There was great merriment among the men who helped
to put it on the road."

After four months the section had its barracks, at the 4,000-foot
level, blown down by a gale. So they used a new road. Suckley writes of
finding two huge trees across the path.

"I had three wounded men in the car, whom I was hurrying to the
hospital. I walked down two miles to get some men at a camp of
engineers, the road being too narrow to permit turning. There is a new
service to the famous Hartmannsweilerkopf, or, rather, within half a
mile of this most southerly mount contested by the Germans. For three
miles it is cut out of the solid rock, just wide enough for one of our
cars to pass. You can imagine the joys of this drive on a dark night
when you have to extinguish all lights, and when the speed of the car
cannot be reduced for fear of not making the grades. The first aid
post, called Silberloch, is but 200 or 300 yards from the famous crest
which has been the scene of many fierce combats. The bursting of shells
has taken every bit of foliage from the wooded crest, carried pines
to the ground, so that only a few splintered stumps stick up here and
there. At the post no one dares show himself in the open. All life is
subterranean in bomb-proofs covered by five feet of timber. The road is
concealed everywhere by screens, and the sound of a motor may bring a
hail of shells down on your head. The stretcher bearers are so used to
meeting death in its worst forms--by burning oil, by shell fragments,
by suffocating shells--that they have grown to look at it smilingly."

It is a St. Paul's School car that operates there.

"Another time the run was up to an artillery post in the mountains.
The road was extremely steep near the top, and covered with gravel.
It was only by hard effort that a dozen men could push the car up. We
ran to the communicating trench, where they had the man waiting. He
was wounded in the abdomen, and in great pain. We started down over
the terrible road; at every pebble he would groan. When we reached
the worst place of all, where the road had recently been mended with
unbroken stones, his groans began to grow fainter. They ceased, and,
stopping, we found that he was dead. But there had been a chance of
saving his life. A larger car could not have gone up. A wagon or a mule
would have caused his death almost immediately.

"On one of our hills in winter a team of six Red Cross men was kept
on duty waiting for our ambulance to come along. The cars would
go as far as possible up the incline, and before they lost speed
would be practically carried to the crest on the shoulders of the
pushers--mules, with their drivers hanging on the beasts' tails to
make the ascent easier. Strapped on these animals are barbed wire and
hand-grenades, red wine and sections of the army portable houses."

Such is winter in Alsace.

"Luke Doyle had driven his car to the entrance of the Hartmanns
trenches and our last post, when a heavy bombardment forced every one
to make for the bomb-proof. Several men were wounded and he came out to
crank his car and carry them off when he was ordered back to safety. A
few moments later a shell landed close to the 'abri.' It struck a man
and killed him. A flying piece reached Doyle and entered his elbow.
Another of our section, Douglas, arrived, and was knocked flat by a
bursting shell. He rose, put Doyle in his car and drove him up the road
to safety."

Another time, Jack Clark writes:

"Car 161 still lives up to her reputation. Yesterday, in a blizzard,
she was blown off the road between two trees, over three piles of rock,
through a fence and into a ditch. Three men and a horse removed her
from the pasture, and she went on as ever."

Car 163 had 13 cases of tire trouble in two weeks. The whole success
of the adventure depends on the condition of the cars. So through all
the narrative of shell-fire and suffering men recurs the theme of
roads and tires, axle-trouble and hill-grades. The adventure of the car
itself is as real as that of the man. The car becomes a personality to
the man at the wheel, just as the locomotive is to the engineer. It
isn't any old car. It is the little Ford, Number 121, given by Mrs.
Richard Trowbridge of Roxbury, Mass. In that particular car you have
carried 500 wounded men, you have gone into the ditch, stuck in the
mud, and scurried under shell-fire, shrapnel has torn the cover, and
there is the mark of a rifle-bullet on the wheel-spoke. You have slept
at the wheel and in the chassis, after hours of work. You have eaten
luncheons for two months on the front seat. The reader must not get
very far away from the ambulance-car in making his mental picture of
the experience of the boys in North France, and he must not object if
all through this chapter he gets the smell of grease and petrol, and if
the explosions are tires as often as shells. Because that is the way it
is at the front. These boys never take their eyes from the road and the
car. So why should we who read of them?

There is a certain Detroit manufacturer who has a large and legitimate
advertisement coming to him. If he will collect the hundred fervid and
humorous comments written into the records of the field service he will
have a publicity pamphlet which will outlive "A Message to Garcia." For
this job of the jitneys is more than carrying orders; it is bringing
wounded men over impossible routes, where four wheels and a motor were
never supposed to go. Mr. Ford with his ship accomplished nothing, but
Mr. Ford with his cars has done much in getting the boys out of the
trenches. They would have lain there wounded for an hour, two hours, in
the Alsace district for twelve hours longer, if his nimble jitneys had
not chugged up to the boyau and dressing station.

"We expected to be kept rolling all night." To "keep rolling" is their
phrase for driving the car.

"The next sixty hours were not divided into days for us. We ran
steadily, not stopping for meals or sleep except during the brief
pauses in the stream of wounded. Except for one memorable and enormous
breakfast at the end of the first 24 hours, I ate while driving,
steering with one hand, holding bread and cheese in the other. The
first lull I slept an hour and a half, the second night there was no
lull and I drove until I went to sleep several times at the wheel. Then
I took three hours' rest and went on. Gasoline, oil and carbide ran
low; we used all our spare tires. One of our men ran into a ditch with
three seriously wounded soldiers, and upset. Another man broke his rear
axle. During the two and one-half days of the attack, over 250 wounded
were moved by our 15 cars a distance of 40 kilometers."

Ambulance work depends on the supply of gasoline, oil, carbide and
spare parts, solid rations and sleep. Success rests in patching tires,
scraping carbon and changing springs. Any idea of ambulance work is off
the mark that thinks it a succession of San Juan charges. It is hard,
unpicturesque work, with an occasional fifteen minutes of tension.

"A stretcher makes a serviceable bed, and, warmly wrapped in blankets,
one can sleep very comfortably in an ambulance."

"A climb of 800 meters in less than 10 kilometers involves mechanical

"The unique spring suspension and light body construction make our cars
the most comfortable for the wounded of all the types in service."

A mechanical detail--but it is in these bits of ingenious mechanical
adaptation to human needs that the American contribution has been
made. It isn't half enough in a machine-made war to be dashing and
picturesque. You must fight destructive machinery with still cleverer
engines of relief. The inventive brain must operate as well as the
kind heart and the spirit of fearlessness. It is in the combination
of courage and mechanical versatility that the best of the American
quality has been revealed.

Flashes of the soldier life are given by the boys. Canned beef is
called by the poilu "singe," or monkey meat.

"All that is impossible is explained by a simple 'c'est la guerre.' Why
else blindly scrape one's way past a creaking truck of shells, testing
20 horses, two abreast, steaming in their own cloud of sweaty vapor?
Why else descend slopes with every brake afire, with three human bodies
as cargo, where a broken drive shaft leaves but one instantaneous twist
of the wheel for salvation, a thrust straight into the bank, smashing
the car but saving its load? 'C'est la guerre.'"

"'Chasseurs Alpines': a short, dark-blue jacket, gray trousers, spiral
puttees, and the jaunty soft hat 'bérets.' These are the famous 'blue

"I, who came for four months and have been working eight, can assure
any one who is considering joining the American Ambulance that he will
go home with a feeling of great satisfaction at having been able to
help out a little a nation that appreciates it, and that is bearing the
brunt of the fighting on the Western Front."

"Among the wounded that our cars carried, was the General of the
Division--General Serret"--brought down from the height he had held to
be amputated and to die.

Another section of twenty-four cars started in at Esternay at the time
of the spring freshets, when life was chilly and wet. Eleven received
individually the Croix de Guerre. This section served two divisions
of the second French Army and had a battle front of from seven to ten
miles--the St. Mihiel sector, a region subject to artillery fire. It
has been commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry, a descendant of Commodore

They had 1,800 wounded a week, and a mileage of 5,000 kilometers.

"Sudbury broke his arm cranking, this morning."

The service was brisk. Shroder with two wounded was rounding a corner
when a shell hit so close as to jump his car up. One car came in from
service in July with 23 shrapnel holes. On July 8, within 24 hours, the
boys of this section carried 997 wounded.

"During the bombardment the trenches were so smashed by continuous
fire as to cease to be trenches: the men lay in holes in the ground.
They would come down when relieved, dazed and sometimes weeping, yet
they held their ground." Long waits and frantic activity: dullness and
horror alternating. Nine members of the ambulances were in the house
against which a shell exploded. A soldier was killed and one mortally
wounded. The Americans were thrown in a heap on the floor. "Now, the
section occupies a large house just outside the town. There is a large
hole in the garden where a shell alighted soon after this became our
new quarters; but the good fortune of the Ambulance is with it still."

"To Clos Bois. Sharp shrapnel fire. Small branches and leaves showered
down in the wood. It was necessary for two of our men, whose ambulances
stood in the open to expose themselves in putting stretchers in the
cars. Great courage was displayed by McConnell, who was active in this
work even when not required to be so, and who was hit in the back by a
fragment of shell, sustaining, however, no further injury than a bad
bruise. Mention should be made of Martin, who drove away with his car
full of wounded while the firing was still going on, a bullet mark in
his steering-gear, and a spare tire on the roof punctured."

The order of the day, July 22, cited the American section, "Composed of
volunteers, friends of our country."

Here are a half dozen impressions that come to the men in the course of
their work.

"I counted one evening fifteen balls, within a space of a dozen yards
of the doorway where I was sheltering."

"The dark houses, deserted streets, the dim shape of a sentry, the
night scents of the fields"--these are what the evening run reveals.

"On the one hand are the trenches where men live in conditions which
must resemble those of the cave men: dug into the earth, and with
danger of death as a daily habit; on the other, within half an hour's
walk, most of the comforts of civilization. We come down from the work
of carrying hundreds of mangled men, and in the evening sit eating
strawberries and cake in a pretty drawing-room."

"The wounded had a curiously unconcerned appearance, as though having
been hit already they are immune."

"Our young heroes----" Yes, they are all of that, fearless, and swift
to act. But they are practical heroes--good mechanicians, ready to lend
a hand on any lowly job of washing a stretcher or shifting furniture.
I like the rough-neck way of the American Ambulance. There has been a
snobbish attempt made to describe these young workers as belonging to
our "best families," representing the "elite" of America. That is to
miss the point of the work. It is democratic service. Work hard and you
are a popular member of the community. This Lorraine section went to
Verdun, and Robert Toms of Marion, Iowa, wrote me:

"Everybody has the right spirit, and we are all working together. We
are living the real army life--sleeping out of doors and eating in a

One of the Verdun sections was sent to Bar-le-Duc recently where a
bombardment by fourteen German aeroplanes was under way. Forty persons
were killed and 160 injured. The boys cruised around the streets
during the overhead shelling of forty-five minutes, picking up the
dead and wounded. Almost all the cars were hit by fragments of shell.
This prompt aid under fire endeared the American Ambulance to the
inhabitants of that town. Next day one of the drivers took his coat to
a tailor for repair. The man refused to accept any pay from one who had
helped his city.

A few of us were sitting around quietly one day when a French
sous-officer entered, in a condition of what seems to our inarticulate
Northern stolidity as excitement, but what in reality is merely clear
expression of warm emotion. He said:

"The people of Bar-le-Duc are grateful for what the Americans have
done. Your work was excellent, wonderful. We will not forget it."

This work of the American Ambulance Field Service is the most
brilliant, the most widely known of any we are doing in France. As we
motored through Lorraine, Major Humbert, brother of the Commanding
General of the Third Division, stopped three of us, Americans, and said
he wished to tell us, as spokesman to our country, that the American
Ambulance Service gave great satisfaction to the French Army. "It is
courageous and useful. We thank you."

A Flanders section was sent out, ten cars at first. They served at the
Second Battle of the Yser, when gas was used for the first time by the
enemy. It is a flat country and they ran close to the battle-front.
They were billeted at Elverdinghe till the village crumbled under shell

The work was in part "cleaning plugs and cylinders, tightening nuts and
bolts, oiling and greasing, washing our little cars just as though they
were a lot of dirty kiddies." The cars receive pet names of Susan, and
Beatrice, and The Contagious Bus. The Contagious Bus, Car 82, driven by
Hayden, carried 187 contagious cases between March 29 and May 12, and
a total of 980 men, covering 2,084 kilometers. In one day 95 men were
transported to the hospitals in that one car.

"At 2.30 in the afternoon a call came from the 'Trois Chemins' poste,
and in answering it Day and Brown had a close call. While on the road
to the poste, at one place in view of the German trenches, they were
caught in a bombardment, seven shells striking within 100 yards of
the machine. Two or three days later, Latimer halted his machine at
the end of the road, and walked down to the poste with the 'Medecin
Auxiliare.' Shrapnel began to break near them and they were forced to
put in the next few minutes in a ditch. They were forced to lie down
five times that morning in this ditch, half full of mud and water. The
red-headed girls still continue to keep open their little store right
near the church on the main street. Downs spent the night on the road
where he had dropped out with a broken transmission. A fire caused by
the heating apparatus broke out in Ned Townsend's car. It flamed out
suddenly, and it was too late to save even his personal belongings."

There are all kinds of interludes in the work. Here is a Christmas
note, "Dec. 25. The section had its Christmas dinner at 5 o'clock.
Kenyon plays the violin very well, and Day and Downs are at home with
the piano. Toasts were drunk all the way from Theodore Roosevelt to
'The Folks at Home.' After dinner impromptu theatricals, Franklin and
White's dance taking the cake."

"Car wanted for Poste de Secours No. 1, 200 yards from trenches, eight
kilometers from our post. The car rocks from shell holes. Watch for the
round black spots."

General Putz, commanding the Détachement d'Armée de Belgique, states:
"In spite of the bombardment of Elverdinghe, of the roads leading to
this village, and of the Ambulance itself, this evacuation has been
effected night and day without interruption. I cannot too highly praise
the courage and devotion shown by the personnel of the section."

One of the men writes: "From 3 a.m. April 22 until 7.30 p.m. April 26,
five cars on duty. In those four days each man got seven hours' sleep,
sitting at the wheel, or an hour on a hospital bed."

Of one sudden shell-flurry: "We stayed still for fifteen minutes, I
smoking furiously, and the English nurse singing. Little 'Khaki,' the
squad's pet dog, lay shaking."

Five days of continuous heavy work exhausted them, and half of the
corps was sent to Dunkirk "en repos." On the day of their arrival
shells came in from a distance of twenty-one miles, twenty shells at
intervals of half an hour. They took a minute and a half to arrive. The
French outposts at the German lines telephoned that one was on its way,
and the sirens of Dunkirk, twenty-one miles away, blew a warning. This
gave the inhabitants a minute in which to dive into their cellars. The
American Ambulances were the only cars left in the town. On the sound
of the siren the boys headed for the Grand Place, and, as soon as they
saw the cloud of dust, they drove into it.

As one of them describes it:

"We spent the next two hours cruising slowly about the streets, waiting
for the next shells to come, and then going to see if any one had
been hit. I had three dead men and ten terribly wounded--soldiers,
civilians, women. The next day I was glad to be off for the quiet
front where things happen in the open, and women and children are not

"Seven shells fell within a radius of 200 yards of the cars, with
pieces of brick and hot splinters."

A French official said of the Dunkirk bombardment:

"I was at most of the scenes, but always found one of your ambulances
before me."

A Moroccan lay grievously wounded in a Dunkirk hospital. One of our
boys sat down beside the cot.

"Touchez le main," said the wounded man, feebly. He was lonely.

The boys stayed with him for a time. The man was too far spent to talk,
but every little while he said:

"Touchez le main."

Through the darkness of his pain, he knew that he had a companion
there. The young foreigner at his side was a friend, and cared that he
suffered. It is difficult to put in public print what one comes to know
about these young men of ours, for they are giving something besides
efficient driving. I have seen men like Bob Toms at work, and I know
that every jolt of the road hurts them because it hurts their wounded

A young millionaire who has been driving up in the Alsace district,
remarked the other day:

"I never used to do anything, but I won't be able to live like that
after the war. The pleasantest thing that is going to happen to me
when this thing is over will be to go to the telephone in New York and
call up François.

"'That you, François? Come and let's have dinner together and talk over
the big fight.'

"François is a Chasseur Alpin. I've been seeing him up on the mountain.
François is the second cook at the Knickerbocker Hotel, and the finest
gentleman I ever knew."

[Illustration: The section that was "shot up" at Verdun--American
Ambulance Field Service, Section Three. Ralph Blumenthal, the Princeton
All-America football centre, standing at the right. Next him, Waldo
Pierce, the artist.]

[Illustration: Philibert, Eighth Duke of Clermont-Tonnerre, Fifth
Prince of the name, Forty-fifth Count of the name, stooping at the left
to repair a bad tire. He was chauffeur of the car that carried us to



The French have been massed at Verdun in the decisive battle of the
war. So were the Americans. Our little group of ambulance drivers were
called from the other points of the 350-mile line, and five sections
of the American Ambulance Field Service and the Harjes and the Norton
Corps work from ten up to twenty hours of the day bringing in their
comrades, the French wounded. One hundred and twenty of our cars and
120 of our boys in the field service were in the sector, under constant
shell-fire. Several were grievously wounded. Others were touched. A
dozen of the cars were shot up with shrapnel and slivers of explosive

Will Irwin and I went up with Piatt Andrew, head of the field service,
to see the young Americans at work. We left Paris on July 1 in a motor
car. Our chauffeur was Philibert, Eighth Duke of Clermont-Tonnerre,
Fifth Prince of the name, Tenth Marquess of Cruzy and Vauvillars,
Forty-fifth Count of the name, Sixteenth Viscount of Tallart,
Twenty-first Baron of Clermont en Viennois, Ancien Pair de France,
descendant of the Seigneur of Saint Geoire. For nine centuries his
family has been famous. The Duke is a kindly, middle-aged aristocrat,
who is very helpful to the American Field Service. He takes the
boys on visits to some one of his collection of châteaus. He drives
Piatt Andrew on his tours of inspection. He is a gifted and furious
driver, and on our dash from Paris to Verdun he burned up a couple
of tires. It was a genial thing to see him, caked with dust on face
and clothing, tinkering the wheel. To be served by one of the oldest
families in Europe was a novel experience for Irwin and me, though
actually what the Duke was doing in his democratic way is being done
almost universally by the "high-born" of France. Up through thousands
of transports, thousands of horses and tens of thousands of men, we
steered our course to Lovering Hill's section of the American Field

There on the hillside, to the west of Verdun, were the boys and their
cars. It was daytime, so they were resting. All work is night work.
They were muddy, unshaved, weary. A couple of base-ball gloves were
lying around. One of the boys was repairing a car that had collided
with a tree. There was mud on all the cars, and blood on the inner
side of one car. For ten nights they have been making one of the
hottest ambulance runs of the war.

It was on that run that William Notley Barber, of Toledo, Ohio, was
shot through the back. The shell fragment tore a long, jagged rent in
his khaki army coat, with a circle of blood around the rip, entered the
back and lay against the lung and stomach. The car was shattered. The
next man found him. The wrecked car still stood on the road with a dead
man in it, the wounded soldier whom he was bringing back. We saw Barber
at the field hospital. He had been operated on for the second time. He
showed us the quarter inch of metal which the surgeon had just taken
out, the second piece to be removed. He has won the Medaille Militaire.

This section needed no initiation. They had long served at
Hartmannsweilerkopf in the Alsace fighting, and of their number
Hall was killed. This experience at Verdun is a continuation of the
dangerous, brilliant work they have carried on for sixteen months.
These men are veterans in service, though youngsters in years. By their
shredded cars and the blood they have spilled they have earned the
right to be ranked next to soldiers of the line.

They gave me the impression of having been through one of the great
experiences of life. There was a tired but victorious sense they
carried, of men that had done honest service.

As we sat on the grass and looked out on a sky full of observation
balloons and aeroplanes, a very good-looking young man walked up. Only
one thing about his make-up was marred, and that was his nose--a streak
of red ran across the bridge.

"Shrapnel," he said, as he saw me looking. "And it seems a pity, too. I
spent $600 on that nose, just before I came over here. They burned it,
cauterized it, wired it, knifed it, and pronounced it a thorough job.
And as soon as it was cleaned up, it came over here into powder and
dust and got messed up by shrapnel. Now the big $600 job will have to
be done over again."

This young man is Waldo Pierce, the artist. It was he who once started
on a trip to Europe with a friend, but didn't like the first meal, so
jumped overboard and swam back. He sailed by the next boat, and arrived
on the other side to find his friend in trouble for his disappearance.

Through the side of Pierce's coat, just at the pocket, and just over
the heart, I saw a bullet hole.

"Pretty stagey, isn't it?" he explained. "If it had been a ragged,
irregular hole, somewhere else, say at the elbow, it would have
been all right. But this neat little hole just at the vital spot is
conventional stuff. It looks like the barn door, and five yards away.

"And this is worse yet," he added, as he took out from the inner
breast pocket a brown leather wallet. Through one flap the same
shrapnel bullet had penetrated. Together, coat and wallet had saved
this young man's life.

"That's the sort of thing that wouldn't go anywhere," Pierce went on.
He is a Maine man, and has a pleasant drawl.

Wheeler's car was shot through, the slatting ripped at the driver's
place, the sides a mess. A man on his right and a man at his left were
killed. The stuff passed over his head as he knelt before a tire. The
boys have been playing in luck. A dozen fatalities were due them in
the June drive at Verdun. This was the fiercest offensive of the four
months, and they stood up to it.

We were looking west, and as we looked an aeroplane burst into flames.
As it fell, it left a trail of black smoke, funnel shaped, and always
at the point of that funnel the bright spark, and at the heart of that
spark a man burning to death. The spark descended rather slowly, with
a spiraling movement, and trailing the heavy smoke. It burned brightly
all the way to the horizon line, where it seemed to continue for a
moment, like a setting sun on the earth's rim. Then it puffed out, and
only the smoke in the sky was left. In another moment the light wind
had shredded the smoke away.

It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and we had been coming from Paris
at full tilt to get to the Etat Major and report ourselves. So, after
watering the car and shaking hands all around, we started off, and
straightway the rear left tire went flat, and its successor went flat,
and for the third time it went flat. So we crawled to a village at
midnight, and laid by for repairs.

At 3 a.m. we rose. There was no dressing to be done, as we had rested
in our clothes. We ran out past the city of Verdun on the road going
east to Fort de Tavannes. Wheat was ripening to the full crop in a
hundred fields about us. All the birds were singing. The pleasant stir
and fullness of summer were coming down the air.

Then on a sudden the famous Tier de Barrage broke out--the deadly
barrier of fire that crumbles a line of trenches as a child pokes in an
ant hill: the fire that covers an advance and withers an enemy attack.
Here was what I had been waiting for through twenty-one months of war.
I had caught snatches of it at a dozen points along the line. I had
eaten luncheon by a battery near Dixmude, but they were lazy, throwing
a shell or two only for each course. But here, just before the sun
came up, 200 feet from us, a battery of twelve 75s fired continuously
for twenty minutes. Just over the hill another battery cleared its
throat and spoke. In the fields beyond us other batteries played
continuously. Some of the men put cotton in their ears.

We ran through a devastated wood. The green forest has been raked
by high explosive into dead stumps, and looks like a New Hampshire
hillside when the match trust has finished with it. The road is a thing
of mounds and pits, blown up and dug out by a four months' rain of
heavy shells. The little American cars are like rabbits. They dip into
an obus hole, bounce up again and spin on. They turn round on their own
tails. They push their pert little noses up a hill, where the road is
lined with famous heavy makes, stalled and wrecked. They refuse to stay
out of service.

We rode back through the partially destroyed city of Verdun, lying
trapped and helpless in its hollow of hills. We drove through its
streets, some of them a pile of stones and plaster, others almost
untouched, with charming bits of water view and green lawns and
immaculate white fronts. The city reminded me of the victim whom a
professional hypnotist displays in a shop window, where he leaves him
lying motionless in the trance for exhibition purposes.

Verdun lay seemingly dead inside the range of German fire. But once the
guns are forced back the city will spring into life.

Then we returned to the ambulance headquarters and in an open tent
shared the excellent rations which the field service provides for its
workers. We were sitting with the French lieutenant and discussing
the values of rhythm in prose when the boys shouted to us from the
next field. An aeroplane was dipping over an anchored sausage-shaped
observation balloon. The aeroplane had marked its victim, which could
not escape, as a bird darts for a worm. The balloon opened up into
flame and fell through thirty seconds, burning with a dull red.

The hours we had just spent of work and excitement seemed to me fairly
crowded, but they were mild in the life of the field service. They
pound away overtime and take ugly hazards and preserve a boy's humor.
More young men of the same stuff are needed at once for this American
Ambulance Field Service. The country is full of newly made college
graduates, wondering what they can make of their lives. Here is the
choicest service in fifty years offered to them.

Even a jitney wears out. Bump it in the carburetor enough times, rake
it with shrapnel, and it begins to lose its first freshness. More
full sections of cars should be given. The work is in charge of Piatt
Andrew, who used to teach political economy in Harvard, was later
Director of the Mint, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and secretary
of Senator Aldrich's Monetary Commission.

[Illustration: A. Piatt Andrew, who, as Director, has raised the
American Ambulance Field Service from a small beginning to a powerful
factor in rescue work.]

As soon as twilight fell we started on the nightly round. Here was
Section 4 of the American Ambulance doing hot service for Hill 304
and Dead Man's Hill. It was on this ride that I saw the real Verdun,
the center of the deadliest action since men learned how to kill. The
real Verdun is the focused strength of all France, flowing up the main
roads, trickling down the side roads and overflowing upon the fields.
The real Verdun is fed and armed by the thousands of motor cars that
bray their way from forty miles distant, by the network of tiny narrow
gauge railways, and by the horses that fill the meadows and forests.

Tiny trucks and trains are stretched through all the sector. They look
like a child's railroad, the locomotive not more than four feet high.
They brush along by the road, and wander through fields and get lost in
woods. The story goes in the field service that one of these wee trains
runs along on a hillside, and just back of it is a battery of 220's
which shoot straight across the tracks at a height of three feet. The
little train comes chugging along full of ammunition. The artillery men
yell "Attention," and begin firing all together. The train waits till
there seems to be a lull, and goes by under the muzzles.

We were still far enough from the front to see this enginery of war
as a spectacle. The flashing cars and bright winged aeroplanes,
the immense concourse of horses, the vast orderly tumult, thousands
of mixed items, separate things and men, all shaped by one will to
a common purpose, all of it clothed in wonder, full of speed and
color--this prodigious spectacle brought to me with irresistible appeal
a memory of childhood.

"What does it remind me of?" I kept saying to myself. Now I had it:

When I was a very little boy I used to get up early on two mornings
of the year: one was the Fourth of July and the other was the day the
circus came to town. The circus came while it was yet dark in the
summer morning, unloaded the animals, unpacked the snakes and freaks,
and built its house from the ground up. Very swiftly the great tents
were slung, and deftly the swinging trapezes were dropped. Ropes
uncoiled into patterns. The three rings came full circle. Seats rose
tier on tier. Then the same invisible will created a mile long parade
down Main Street, gave two performances of two hours each, and packed
up the circus, which disappeared down the road before the Presbyterian
church bell rang midnight.

A man once said to me of a world famous general: "He is a great
executive. He could run a circus on moving day." It was the perfect
tribute. So I can give no clearer picture of what Pétain and his five
fingers--the generals of his staff--are accomplishing than to say they
are running one thousand circuses, and every day is moving day.

Our little car was like a carriage dog in the skill with which it kept
out of the way of traffic while traveling in the center of the road.
Three-ton trucks pounded down upon it and the small cuss breezed round
and came out the other side. The boys told me that one of our jitneys
once pushed a huge camion down over a ravine, and went on innocent and
unconcerned, and never discovered its work as a wrecker till next day.

But soon we passed out of the zone of transports and into the
shell-sprinkled area. We went through a deserted village that is
shelled once or twice a day. There is nothing so dead as a place,
lately inhabited, where killing goes on. There is the smell of tumbled
masonry and moldering flesh, the stillness that waits for fresh horror.
Just as we left the village, the road narrowed down like the neck of
a bottle. It is so narrow that only one stream of traffic can flow
through. By the boys of the field service this peculiarly dangerous
village of Bethlainville is known as "Bethlehem"--Bethlehem, because no
wise men pass that way.

The young man with me had been bending over his steering gear, a few
days before, when a shrapnel ball cut through the seat at just the
level of his head. If he had been sitting upright the bullet would
have killed him. And another bullet went past the face of the boy with
him. The American Field Service has had nothing but luck.

"But don't publish my name," said my friend. "It might worry the folk
at home."

We rode on till we had gone eighteen miles.

"Here is our station."

I didn't know we were there. Our Poste de Secours was simply one more
hole in the ground, an open mouth into an invisible interior--one more
mole hole in honeycombed ground.

We entered the cave, and something hit my face. It was the flap of
sacking which hung there to prevent any light being seen. We walked a
few steps, hand extended, till it felt the second flap. We stepped into
a little round room, like the dome of an astronomical observatory. It
was lit by lantern. Three stretcher bearers were sitting there, and two
chaplains, one Protestant, one Roman Catholic. The Protestant was a
short, energetic man in the early forties, with stubby black beard and
excellent flow of English. The Roman Catholic, Cleret de Langavant, was
white-haired, with a long white beard, a quite splendid old fellow with
his courtesy and native dignity. These two men, the best of friends,
live up there in the shelled district, where they can minister to the
wounded as fast as they come in from the trenches. Of one group of
thirty French stretcher bearers who have been bringing wounded from
Dead Man's Hill to this tunnel, where the Americans pick them up, ten
have been killed.

We went out from the stuffy, overcrowded shelter and stood in the
little communicating trench that led from the Red Cross room to the
road. We were looking out on 500,000 men at war--not a man of them
visible, but their machinery filling the air with color and sound. We
were not allowed to smoke, for a flicker of light could draw fire.

We were standing on the crest of a famous hill. We saw, close by, Hill
340 and Dead Man's Hill, two points of the fiercest of the Verdun
fighting. It was the wounded from Dead Man's Hill for whom we waited.
Night by night the Americans wait there within easy shell range.
Sometimes the place is shelled vigorously. Other nights attention is
switched to other points.

"I shouldn't stand outside," suggested one of the stretcher bearers.
"The other evening one of our men had his arm blown off while he was
sitting at the mouth of the tunnel. He thought it was going to be a
quiet evening."

But the young American doctor liked fresh air.

It was a wonderful night of stars, with a bell-like clarity to the
mild air and little breeze stirring. A perfect night for flying. We
heard the whirr of the passing wings--the scouts of the sky were out.
Searchlights began to play. I counted eight at once, and more than
twenty between the hills. Sometimes they ran up in parallel columns,
banding the western heaven. Sometimes they located the knight errant
and played their streams on him at the one intersecting point. Again
the lights would each of them go off on a separate search, flicking
up and down the dome of the sky and rippling over banks of thin white

Star lights rose by rockets and hung suspended, gathering intensity
of light till it seemed as if it hit my face, then slowly fell. The
German starlights were swift and brilliant; the French steady and long

"No good, the Boches' lights," said a voice out of the tunnel. A French
stretcher bearer had just joined us.

Other rockets discharged a dozen balls at once, sometimes red,
sometimes green. Then the pattern lights began to play--the lights
which signal directions for artillery fire. They zigzagged like a
snake and again made geometrical figures. Some of the fifty guns,
nested behind us, fired rapidly for five minutes and then knocked
off for a smoke. From the direction of Hill 304 heavy guns, perhaps
220's, thundered briefly. We could hear the drop of large shells in
the distance. The Germans threw a few shells in the direction of the
village through which we had driven, a few toward the battery back
of us. We could hear the whistle of our shells traveling west and of
their shells coming east. To stand midway between fires is to be in a
safe and yet stimulating situation. From the gently sloping, innocent
hillocks all about us tons of metal passed high over our heads into the
lines. If only one shell in every fifty found its man, as the gossip of
the front has it, the slaughter was thorough.

"It is a quiet evening," said my friend.

It was as if we were in the center of a vast cavity; there were no
buildings, no trees, nothing but distance, and the distance filled
with fireworks. I once saw Brooklyn Bridge garlanded with fireworks.
It seemed to me a great affair. We spoke of it for days afterward. But
here in front of us were twenty miles of exploding lights, a continuous
performance for four months. With our heads thrust over the tunnel
edge, we stood there for four hours. The night, the play of lights, the
naked hill top, left us with a sense of something vast and lonely.

The Protestant clergyman came and said: "Let us go across the road to
my abri."

He stumbled down two steps cut in clay and bent over to enter the earth
cave. "I will lead you," he said, taking me by the arm.

"Wait while I close the door," he said; "we must not show any light."

When the cave was securely closed in he flashed a pocket electric. We
were in a room scooped out of the earth. The roof was so low that my
casque struck it. A cot filled a third of the space. The available
standing room was three feet by six feet.

"You will forgive me for asking it," he went on, "but please use your
pocket lamp; mine is getting low and I am far away from supplies. We
can get nothing up here."

My friend handed over his lamp. The clergyman flashed it on a
photograph pinned against a plank of wood.

"My wife," he said; "she is an American girl from Bensonhurst, Long
Island. And that is my child."

He turned the light around the room. There were pages of pictures from
the _London Daily Mail_ and the _New York Tribune_. One was a picture
of German soldiers in a church, drinking by the altar.

"I call this my New York corner," he explained, "and this is my
visiting card." From a pile he lifted a one-page printed notice, which

"Declaration Religeuse.

"I, the undersigned, belong to the Protestant religion. In consequence
and conforming to the law of 1905, this is my formal wish: In case of
sickness or accident, I wish the visit of a Protestant pastor and the
succor of his ministry whether I am undergoing treatment at a hospital
or elsewhere; in case of death I wish to be buried with the assistance
of a Protestant pastor and the rites of that Church."

Space is left for the soldier to sign his name. The little circular is
devised by this chaplain, Pastor----, chaplain of the----Division.

At 2 o'clock in the morning we were ordered to load our car with the
wounded, one "lying case," three "sitting cases." We discharged them at
the hospital, and tumbled into the tent at Ippecourt at 4 o'clock.



American relief work in France has many agencies and activities. I have
given illustrations of it, but these are only admirable bits among
a host of equals. I have told of the American Field Service. Other
sections of young Americans have been at work in the hottest corners of
the battle front. The Harjes Formation and the American Volunteer Motor
Ambulance Corps, known as the Norton Corps, have made a name for daring
and useful work with their one hundred cars on the firing line. What
the Field Service has done, they too have done and suffered. It was
with a glow of pride that I read the name of my Yale classmate, W. P.
Clyde, junior, of the Norton Ambulance, cited in an order of the day,
and made the recipient of the French War Cross. The commanding general
wrote of him:

"Volunteer for a perilous mission, he acquitted himself with a cool
courage under a heavy and continuous fire. He has given, in the course
of the campaign, numerous proofs of his indifference to danger and his
spirit of self-sacrifice."

I have shown the contribution of scientific skill and mechanical
ingenuity which Americans have made in hospital and ambulance work.
There remains a work in which our other American characteristic of
executive ability is shown. Organization is the merit of the American
Relief Clearing House. When the war broke out, American gifts tumbled
into Paris, addressed and unaddressed. There was a tangle and muddle
of generosity. The American Relief Clearing House was formed to meet
this need. It centralizes and controls the receipt of relief from
America intended for France and her Allies. It collects fresh accurate
information on ravaged districts and suffering people. It prevents
waste and overlapping and duplication. It obtains free transportation
across the ocean for all gifts, free entry through the French customs,
and free transportation on all the French railways. It forwards the
gifts to the particular point, when it is specified. It distributes
unmarked supplies to places of need. It receives money and purchases
supplies. It has 114 persons giving all their time to its work. It has
issued 45,000 personally signed letters telling of the work. It employs
ten auto trucks in handling goods. It has concentrated time, effort
and gifts. It has obtained and spread information of the needs of the
Allies. It has been efficient in creating relationship between the
donor in America and the recipient in France, and in increasing good
will between the nations. I do not write of the Clearing House from the
outside, but from a long experience. For many months my wife has given
all her time to making known the work of Miss Fyfe who manages the work
of relief for civilians, their transportation, and conducts a refugee
house, and a Maternity Hospital in the little strip of Belgium which
is still unenslaved. Little local committees, such as Miss Rider's in
Norwalk, in Cedar Rapids, in Montclair, and in Douglaston, L. I., have
been formed, and 36 boxes of material, and over $1,500 in money, have
been given. Those supplies the Clearing House has brought from New York
to La Panne, Belgium, free of charge, promptly, with no damage and no
losses. What the Clearing House has done for this humble effort, it
has done for 60,000 other consignments, and for more than a million
dollars of money. It has distributed supplies to 2,500 hospitals and
200 relief organizations in France. It has sent goods to Belgium,
Salonica, to the sick French prisoners in Switzerland. It dispatched
the ship _Menhir_ for the relief of Serbian refugees. It has installed
a complete hospital, with 200 beds and a radiograph outfit. The cases
which it transports contain gauze, cotton, bandages, hospital clothing,
surgical instruments, garments, underwear, boots, socks. The names of
the men who have administered this excellent organization in Paris are
H. O. Beatty, Charles R. Scott, Randolph Mordecai, James R. Barbour,
and Walter Abbott.

After the claims of immediate dramatic suffering, comes the great mute
community of the French people, whose life and work have been blighted.
And for one section of that community the Association of "_Les Amis
des Artistes_" has been formed. "To preserve French art from the
deadly effects of the war, which creates conditions so unfavorable to
the production of masterpieces of painting, sculpture, architecture,
decorative arts, engraving," is the object of this society. The members
see that other forms of activity will swiftly revive after the war.
"The invaded districts will be rebuilt, business will flourish. But
art will have a hard and prolonged struggle." The society purchases
from its funds the works of men of talent whom the war has robbed of
means of support. These paintings, statuary, engravings, so acquired,
are annually divided among the members. The purchase is made by a
committee composed of distinguished artists, critics and connoisseurs,
representing the three great French salons and the various art
tendencies of the modern movement. The Honorary Committee includes
Bakst, Hanotaux, Maeterlinck, Rodin and Raemaekers. Americans who are
aiding are Mrs. Mark Baldwin, Mrs. Paul Gans, Walter Gay, Laurence V.
Benét, and Percy Peixotto.

The new American fund of the "Guthrie Committee" for the relief of the
orphans of war has been recently announced. It is planned to raise many
millions of dollars for this object.

Children, artists, invalid soldiers, refugees--there is a various and
immense suffering in France at this moment, and no American can afford
to be neutral in the presence of that need. The sense of the sharp
individual disturbance and of the mass of misery came to me one day
when I visited the Maison Blanche. We entered the open air corridor,
where a group of thirty men rose to salute our party. My eye picked up
a young man, whose face carried an expression of gentleness.

"Go and bring the War Minister your work," said the Major who was
conducting us.

A little chattering sound came from the lips of the boy. It sounded
like the note of a bird, a faint twittering, making the sound of
"Wheet-Wheet"--twice repeated each half minute. Then began the
strangest walk I have ever seen. His legs thrust out in unexpected
directions, his arms bobbed, his whole body trembled. Sometimes he sank
partly to the ground. His progress was slow, because he was spilling
his vitality in these motions. And all the time, the low chirrup came
from his lips. More laborious and cruel than the price paid by the
victims of vice was this walk of one who had served his country.

And yet nothing in the indignity that had been done to his body could
rob him of that sweetness of expression.

"A shell exploded directly in front of him," explained the doctor, "the
sudden shock broke his nervous system, and gave him what is practically
a case of locomotor ataxia. He trembles continuously in every part.
It forces out the little cry. The effect of that shock is distributed
through his entire body. That is what gives hope for his recovery. If
the thing had centered in any one function, he would be a hopeless
case. But it is all diffused. When the war ends many of these men who
are nerve-shattered, will recover, we believe. As long as the war
lasts, they live it, they carry a sense of responsibility, with the
horror that goes with it. But when they know the shelling is over for
ever they will grow better."

In a few minutes the young soldier returned carrying two baskets.
The one thing that is saving that man from going crazy is his basket
making. Very patiently and skillfully his shaking hands weave
close-knit little baskets. Some of them were open trays for household
knick-knacks. Others were worked out into true art shapes of vase. I
shan't forget him as he stood there trembling, the little reed baskets
rocking in his hands, but those baskets themselves revealing not a
trace of his infirmity. Only his nervous system was broken. But his
will to work, his sweet enduring spirit, were the will and the heart of

The War Minister, in whose hands rests the health of four million
soldiers, is as painstaking, as tender as a nurse. Fifteen minutes he
gave that man--fifteen minutes of encouragement. The rest of France
waited, while this one little twitching representative of his race
received what was due from the head of the nation to the humblest
sufferer. Do I need to say that the soldier was bought out? Professor
Mark Baldwin and Bernard Shoninger held an extempore auction against
each other. But one basket they could not buy and that was the tray the
man had woven for his wife. He was proud to show it, but money could
not get it. And he was a thrifty man at that. For, as soon as he had
received his handful of five-franc notes, he went to his room, where he
sleeps alone so that his twittering will not disturb the other men, and
hid the money in his kit. Something more for his wife to go with the

Clearing house of the suffering of France, the Maison Blanche is the
place where the mutilated of the Grand Army come. As quickly as they
are discharged from hospital, they are sent to this Maison Blanche,
while completing their convalescence, before they return to their
homes. It is here that arms, legs, stumps, hands and the apparatus
that operates these members, are fitted to them. They try out the new
device. It is to them like a foot asleep to a whole man; a something
numb and strange out beyond the responses of the nervous system.
It behaves queerly. It requires much testing to make it articulate

Through the recreation hall, where plays and motion pictures have made
gay evenings in time past before the war, file the slow streams of
the crippled, backwash of the slaughter to the North. To the soldiers
it is a matter of routine, one more item in the long sacrifice.
They fit on the member and test it in a businesslike way, with no
sentimentalizing. Too many are there in the room, and other hundreds
on the pleasant sunny lawns, in like case, for the individual to feel
himself the lonely victim. There are no jests--the war has gone too far
for superficial gayety--and there is no hint of despair, for France is
being saved. The crippled man is sober and long-enduring.

There in that room I saw the war as I have not seen it in five months
of active service at the front. For yonder on the Yser we had the
dramatic reliefs of sudden bombardment, and flashing aeroplanes. But
here were only broken men. There were no whole men at all in the long
Salle. The spirit of the men was all that it ever was. But the body
could no longer respond. They stood in long line, stripped to the waist
or with leg bare waiting their turn with the doctor and the apparatus
expert. There is the look of an automaton to an artificial limb, as
if the men in their troubled motions were marionettes. And then the
imagination, abnormally stimulated by so much suffering, plays other
tricks. And it seemed to me as if one were looking in at the window
of one of those shameful "Halls of Anatomy" in a city slum, where
life-size figures lie exposed with grotesque wounds on the wax flesh.
But here was the crackle of the leather straps, and the snapping of
the spring at the knee and elbow-joint of the mechanism, and the slow
moving up and filing past of the line, as man after man was tested for
flexibility. Here is the army of France--here is the whole vast problem
flowing through one door and gathered in one room.

American money is helping to reëducate these broken men, teaching
them trades. There at the Maison Blanche, our fellow-countrymen have
already trained 563 men, and at the Grand Palais 257. As I write this,
701 maimed men are still in course of being trained, and the number
in the agricultural school has grown to 90. Altogether 2,000 maimed
soldiers have been trained through American help. Most of the money for
this work has been raised by the "American Committee for Training in
Suitable Trades the Maimed Soldiers of France," of which Mrs. Edmund
Lincoln Baylies is Chairman. The president of the society in France in
control of this work is B. J. Shoninger, the former president of the
American Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

Like England in the battle line, we are only at the beginning of our
effort. In spots and patches we have responded well. Many are giving
all they can. The thirty-five million dollars in money which we have
collected for all causes is excellent. (Though England has given more
than that to Belgium alone, in addition to financing the war and caring
for her own multitude of sufferers.) America has made gifts in goods to
the amount of sixty million dollars. Of local relief committees working
for France we have over two thousand. There are about forty-five
thousand Americans devoting their full time to the service of France as
soldiers, drivers, fliers, doctors, nurses, orderlies, and executive
officers. There are many thousands in the United States who are using a
portion of their strength and leisure to raise money and supplies. As
Sydney Brooks said to me:

"Those Americans who believe in our cause are more Pro-Ally than the

A group of Americans among our millions are aware that Washington wrote:

"All citizens of the United States should be inspired with unchangeable
gratitude to France."

 NOTE: For an account of the work of Mrs. Wharton see page 321.



I wish to show in this book three expressions of nationality. I seek
to show the fire and vigor of German nationality, and how that force
has been misdirected by the handful of imperialistic militarists in
control. There has been no instance of a noble force so diverted
since the days of the Inquisition, when the vast instinctive power
of religion was used by a clever organization to torture and kill.
Every instinctive element in our being is at times turned awry.
Nationalism suffers just as sex love suffers from the perversions of
evil institutions. But the abuse of instinct is no argument for cutting
loose from that vital source and seeking to live by intellectual
theories, emptied of warm emotional impulse. The remedy is in applying
the intellect as a guide and corrective, not in treating instinct as an
enemy. The nationalism of the German people will yet vindicate itself
and swing true to freedom and justice.

I try to reveal the nationality of France, in the love of the peasant
for the soil of his Patrie, for the house where he was born, and for
the sunlight and the equality of his beautiful country. I have shown
that there can be no peace as long as other men with other customs
invade that soil, burn those homes, and impose their alien ideas.

I have told of what the American tradition of nationality has driven
our men and women and our boys to do in France. They see the fight of
France as our fight, just as France saw the American Revolution as her
struggle. None of this work was done in vague humanitarianism. These
men and women and boys are giving of their best for a definite aim.
They are giving it to the American cause in France. France is defending
the things that used to be dear to us, and our fellow-countrymen who
are of the historic American tradition are standing at her side.

In recent years, our editors and politicians have been busy in
destroying our historic tradition and creating a new tradition, by
means of which we are to obtain results without paying the price.
Neutrality is the method, and peace and prosperity are the rewards. I
have collected many expressions of this new conception of Americanism.
One will suffice.

Martin H. Glynn, temporary chairman of the National Democratic
Convention, in renominating Woodrow Wilson for president, said:

"Neutrality is America's contribution to the laws of the world.... The
policy of neutrality is as truly American as the American flag.... The
genius of this country is for peace. Compared with the blood-smeared
pages of Europe, our records are almost immaculate. To-day prosperity
shines from blazing furnaces and glowing forges. Never was there as
much money in our vaults as to-day.... When the history of these days
comes to be written, one name will shine in golden splendor upon the
page that is blackened with the tale of Europe's war, one name will
represent the triumph of American principles over the hosts of darkness
and of death. It will be the name of the patriot who has implanted his
country's flag on the highest peak to which humanity has yet aspired:
the name of Woodrow Wilson."

It was in protest against this neutrality, this reveling in fat money
vaults, this assumption that prosperity is greater than sacrifice, that
these young men of whom I have told have gone out to be wounded and to
die. This mockery of the "blackened page" and "blood-smeared pages" of
Europe has stung many thousands of Americans into action. The record of
their service is a protest against such gloating. These fighters and
rescuers and workers would not have served Germany with an equal zest.
Neutrality between France and Germany is impossible to them. Those who
fail to see the difference between France and Germany in this war are
not of our historic American tradition.

Meanwhile our friends at home, very sincere and gifted men, but
mistaken, I believe, in their attitude toward nationality, are
summoning America to an artistic rebirth, so that "the new forces
in our arts may advance." They write: "The soldier falls under the
compulsion of the herd-instinct and is devoted by his passion to a
vision out of which destruction and death are wrought." To one who has
heard the guns of Verdun, this piping is somewhat scrannel. Art is not
something that exists in a vacuum beyond space and time, and good and
evil. Art is the expression of a belief in life, and that belief takes
varying forms, according to the place and age in which it falls. It may
be the expression of a surge of national feeling, as in Russian music.
It may be the response to a rediscovery of ancient beauty, as in the
Renaissance. It may be the quickening received from fresh discoveries
of territory and strange horizons, such as touched the Elizabethans. In
America we have long tried by artificial stimulants to revive art. We
have omitted the one sure way, which is a deep nationality, achieved by
sacrifice, a reassertion of national idealism. Out of that soil will
spring worthy growths, which the thin surface of modern fashionable
cosmopolitanism can never nourish. The sense of the true America has
laid hold of these young men of ours in France. By living well they
create the conditions of art. The things they do underlie all great
expression. Already they are writing with a tone and accent which have
long gone unheard in our America.

My lot has cast me with young men at their heroic moment. For the first
months of the war it was with Belgian boys, later with French sailors,
finally with these young Americans. They have made me impatient of our
modern cosmopolitan American who, in the words of Dostoievski, "Can be
carried off his feet, positively carried off his feet, by noble ideals,
but only if they come of themselves, if they fall from heaven for him,
if they need not be paid for."

The reason why pacifism is ineffectual is because it is an intellectual
theory, which does not build on instinct. A man's love of his home
and his nation is an instinctive thing, full of rich emotional values
and moving with the vital current of life itself. Our pacifists would
clear their thinking if they came under shell-fire. All that is sound
in modern radical thought has been strengthened by this war. The
democratic movement in England has become an overwhelming force. But
the unsound elements in radical thought, those elements introduced
by intellectual theorists who scheme a world distasteful to average
human nature, have been burned away in the fire. One of those unsound
elements was the theory of pacifism and cosmopolitanism. Many Americans
have no belief in the idea of our country. They are busy with the
mechanics of life. Any person who is not "getting results" is felt by
them to be ineffectual. In that absorption in material gain, they have
laid hold of a doctrine which would justify them in their indifference
to profounder values. It is so that we have weakened our sense of

The nation is a natural "biological group," whose members have an
"instinctive liking" for each other and "act with a common purpose."
The instinctive liking is created by common customs and a shared
experience. This experience, expressed in song and legislative
enactment and legend, becomes known as the national tradition, and
is passed on from generation to generation in household heroes, such
as Lincoln, and famous phrases such as "Government of the people."
That instinctive liking, created by the contacts of a common purpose
and rooted in a loved tradition, is gradually being weakened in our
people by importations of aliens, who have not shared in a common
experience, and have not inherited our tradition. It is not possible
to blend diverse races into a nation, when members of one race plot
against our institutions in the interests of a European State, and
members of another race extract wealth from our industry and carry
it home to their own people. Instinctive liking is not so nourished.
A common purpose is not manifested in that way. We have not touched
the imagination of these newcomers. It requires something more than
"big chances" to lay hold of the instinctive life of peasants. Our lax
nationalism never reaches the hidden elements of their emotion to make
them one in the deeper life of the State. Skyscrapers and hustling and
easy money are excellent things, but not enough to call out loyalty and

These changing conditions of our growth have blotted out from memory
the old historic experience and substituted a fresher, more recent,
experience. Forty years of peace and commercial prosperity have created
a new American tradition, breeding its own catch words and philosophy.
The change has come so quietly, and yet so completely, that Americans
to-day are largely unaware that they are speaking and acting from
different motives, impulses and desires than those of the men who
created and established the nation. The types of our national heroes
have changed. We have substituted captains of industry for pioneers,
and smart men for creative men. Our popular phrases express the new
current of ideas. "Making good," "neutrality," "punch," "peace and
prosperity": these stir our emotional centers. We used to be shaken
and moved when the spirit of a Kossuth or Garibaldi spoke to us. But
to-day we receive the appeal of Cardinal Mercier, and are unmoved. We
no longer know the great accent when we hear it.

So we must look to the young to save us. Henry Farnsworth was a Boston
man, twenty-five years old. He died near Givenchy, fighting for France.

"I want to fight for France," he had said, "as the French once fought
for us."

Our American workers are aiding France because she defends our
tradition, which is also hers, a tradition of freedom and justice,
practiced in equality. In her version of it, there are elements of
intellectual grace, a charm, a profundity of feeling expressed with
a light touch, bits of "glory," clothed in flowing purple, which are
peculiar to the Latin temperament. But the ground plan is the same. Our
doctors and nurses of the American Hospital, our workers in the hostels
and the Clearing House, our boys in the American Field Service, are not
alone saving the lives of broken men of a friendly people. They are
restoring American nationality.





 "The great interior region bounded east by the Alleghanies, north by
 the British Dominions, west by the Rocky Mountains, and south by the
 line along which the culture of corn and cotton meets ... will have
 fifty millions of people within fifty years, if not prevented by any
 political folly or mistake. It contains more than one-third of the
 country owned by the United States--certainly more than one million of
 square miles. A glance at the map shows that, territorially speaking,
 it is the great body of the republic. The other parts are but marginal
 borders to it."

  (_Lincoln's Message to Congress_, Dec. 1, 1862.)

The war and the election together have revealed a growing separation
between the ideas of the East and those of the West. This separation
is largely the fault of the East, which prefers to do its thinking
in terms of its own industrial welfare. The life of the West is
a healthier life. There is better balance between industry and
agriculture, more recognition of the value of social equality, more
open-mindedness to new ideas, greater readiness to put them into
practice. The East has been slow to recognize this moral leadership
of the newer country. It has greeted the men and their ideas with
caustic humor and sometimes with an almost malignant bitterness. This
has not weakened the men nor crushed their ideas, but it has lessened
good will. It has led the West to distrust a policy which has the
endorsement of the East.

The German Kaiser said to a distinguished Frenchman whom I know:

"America once divided between North and South. It would not be
impossible now to separate America, the East from the West."

It is time for the East to waken itself from its selfish sleep, and
bend its mind to an understanding of the American community. In the
matter of foreign policy, it is wiser than the Middle West, but in
order to make its ideas prevail it will have to work by sympathetic
coöperation. It will have to prove that its notion of foreign policy
is not based on self-interest, but is a wise program for the American

I have shown that a section of America of the Civil War traditions
is intensely Pro-Ally, and has proved it in speech and action. The
new America, spreading out over the immense areas of the Middle West,
is neutral. It is neutral because it does not know the facts. I am
sometimes told in Europe that it is the chink of our money that has
made my country deaf. But our neutral people are our earnest Middle
Westerners, hard-working and humanitarian. The Middle West has not
given money, and it is warm-hearted. It has not taken sides, and
it is honest. This neutrality is in part the result of the Allied
methods of conducting the war. In England and France, there has been
an unconscious disregard of neutral opinion, an indifference in the
treatment of its representatives, an unwillingness to use the methods
of a democracy in appealing to a democracy. A Government report, issued
by a belligerent power, has little effect on a community three thousand
miles away. But the first-hand accounts, sent by its own writers,
who are known to be accurate and impartial, have wide effect. It is
unfortunate that through the first two years of the war, more news was
given to American journalists by Germany than by England and France.

There is need that some one should speak the truth about the foreign
policy of the Allies. For that foreign policy has been a failure in its
effect on neutrals. The successful prosecution of a war involves three

(1) The enemy.

(2) The Allies.

(3) The Neutrals.

The first two relationships have long been realized. The third--that
of relationship toward neutrals--has never been realized. It is not
fully realized to-day. The failure to realize it led America and
England into the fight of 1812. It led to the Mason and Slidell case
between England and America in the Civil War. The importance of winning
neutral good will and public opinion is not, even to-day, included in
the forefront of the national effort. It is still spoken of as a minor
matter of giving "penny-a-liner" journalists "interviews." England
has steered her way through diplomatic difficulties with neutral
governments. But that is only one-half the actual problem of a foreign
policy. The other half is to win the public opinion of the neutral
people, because there is no such thing finally as neutrality.[2] Public
opinion turns either Pro or Anti, in the end. At present about thirty
per cent of American public opinion is Pro-Ally. Ten per cent is
anti-British, ten per cent anti-Russian, ten per cent Pro-German, and
forty per cent neutral. The final weight will rest in whichever cause
wins the forty per cent neutral element. That element is contained
in the Middle West. The failure in dealing with America has been the
failure to see that we needed facts, if we were to come to a decision.
Our only way of getting facts is through the representatives whom we
send over.

A clear proof that the cause of the Allies has not touched America
except on the Atlantic Seaboard lies in the exact number of men
from the Eastern Universities who have come across to help France,
as compared with the number from the Middle Western institutions of
learning. For instance, in the American Field Ambulance Service Harvard
has 98 men, Princeton, 28, Yale 27, Columbia 9, Dartmouth 8. These are
Eastern institutions. From the Middle West, with the exception of the
University of Michigan, which has sent several, there is occasionally
one man from a college. The official report up to the beginning of
1916 shows not a man from what many consider the leading University of
America, the State University of Wisconsin, and less than six from the
entire Middle West. There is no need of elaborating the point. The
Middle West has not been allowed to know the facts.

Because my wife told her friends in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the facts of
the war, three men have come four thousand miles to help France. One
is Robert Toms, General Manager of the Marion Water Works, one is Dr.
Cogswell, a successful physician, one is Verne Marshall, Editor of the
_Cedar Rapids Gazette_. Each man of the three is a successful worker,
and gave up his job. These three men are as significant as the 98
college boys from Harvard.

What took place in that little Iowa group will take place throughout
the whole vast Middle Western territory, when the Allies are willing
to use the only methods that avail in a modern democracy--namely, the
use of public opinion, publicity, and the periodicals,--by granting
facilities for information to the representatives of a democracy
when they come desiring to know the truth. Constantly, one is met in
London and Paris when seeking information on German atrocities, German
frightfulness, German methods:

"But surely your people know all that."

How can they know it? Our newspaper men have rarely been permitted
access to the facts by the Allies. But to every phase of the war
they have been personally conducted by the German General Staff. It
has been as much as our liberty was worth, and once or twice almost
as much as our life was worth, to endeavor to build up the Pro-Ally
case, so constant have been the obstacles placed in our way. Much
of the interesting war news, most of the arresting interviews, have
come from the German side. The German General Staff has shown an
understanding of American psychology, a flexibility in handling public
opinion. The best "stories" have often come out of Germany, given to
American correspondents. Their public men and their officers, including
Generals, have unbent, and stated their case. An American writer, going
to Germany, has received every aid in gathering his material. A writer,
with the Allies, is constantly harassed. This is a novel experience to
any American journalist whose status at home is equal to that of the
public and professional men, whose work he makes known and aids. My own
belief for the first twenty-two months of work in obtaining information
and passing it on to my countrymen was that such effort in their
behalf was not desired by France and England, that their officials and
public men would be better pleased if we ceased to annoy them. I was
thoroughly discouraged by the experience, so slight was the official
interest over here in having America know the truth.

This foreign policy, which dickers with the State Department, but
neglects the people, is a survival of the Tory tradition. One of the
ablest interpreters of that tradition calls such a foreign policy--"the
preference for negotiating with governments rather than with peoples."
But the foreign policy of the United States is created by public
opinion. Negotiation with the State Department leaves the people, who
are the creators of policy, cold and neutral, or heated and hostile,
because uninformed. If the Allied Governments had released facts to the
representatives of American public opinion, our foreign policy of the
last two years might have been more firm and enlightened, instead of
hesitant and cloudy. As a people we have made no moral contribution to
the present struggle, because in part we did not have the fact-basis
and the intellectual material on which to work.

If a democracy, like England, is too proud to present its case to a
sister democracy, then at that point it is not a democracy. If it
gives as excuse (and this is the excuse which officials give) that
the military will not tolerate propaganda, then the Allies are more
dominated by their military than Germany. Of course the real reason
is neither of these. The real reason is that England and France are
unaware of the situation in our Middle West.

The Middle West is a hard-working, idealistic, "uncommercialized" body
of citizens, who create our national policy. It has some of the best
universities in America--places of democratic education, reaching
every group of citizen in the State, and profoundly influential on
State policy. Such Universities as the State Universities of Wisconsin
and Michigan are closely related to the life of their community,
whereas Yale University could not carry a local election in New Haven.
What the late Professor Sumner (of Yale) thought, was of little weight
at the Capitol House at Hartford, Conn. What John R. Commons (Professor
at the State University of Wisconsin) thinks, has become State law.
The Middle West has put into execution commission government in over
200 of its cities, the first great move in the overthrow of municipal
graft. It practices city-planning. Many of its towns are models. Our
sane radical movements in the direction of equality are Middle-Western
movements. To curse this section as money-grubbing, uninspired, and to
praise the Harvard-Boston Brahmins, the Princeton-Philadelphia Tories,
and the Yale-New York financial barons, as the hope of our country,
is to twist values. Both elements are excellent and necessary. Out of
their chemical compounding will come the America of the future. The
leaders of the Middle West are Brand Whitlock, Bryan, La Follette,
Herbert Quick, Henry Ford, Booth Tarkington, Edward Ross, John R.
Commons, William Allen White, The Mayos, Orville Wright. Not all
of them are of first-rate mentality. But they are honest, and their
mistakes are the mistakes of an idealism unrelated to life as it is.
The best of them have a vision for our country that is not faintly
perceived by the East. Their political ideal is Abraham Lincoln. Walt
Whitman expressed what they are trying to make of our people. The
stories of O. Henry describe this type of new American.

A clear analysis of our Middle West is contained in the second of
Monsieur Emile Hovelaque's articles in recent issues of the Revue de
Paris. In that he shows how distance and isolation have operated to
give our country, particularly the land-bound heart of it, a feeling of
security, a sense of being unrelated to human events elsewhere on the
planet. He shows how the break of the immigrant with his Old World has
left his inner life emptied of the old retrospects, cut off from the
ancestral roots. That vacancy the new man in the new world filled with
formula, with vague pieces of idealism about brotherhood. He believed
his experiment had cleared human nature of its hates. He believed that
ideals no longer had to be fought for. Phrases became a substitute
for the ancient warfare against the enemies of the race. And all the
time he was busy with his new continent. Results, action, machinery,
became his entire outer life. The Puritan strain in him, a religion of
dealing very directly with life immediately at hand, drove him yet the
harder to tackle his own patch of soil, and then on to a fresh field in
another town in another State: work, but work unrelated to a national
life--least of all was it related to an international ideal.

And he let Europe go its own gait, till finally it has become a dim
dream, and just now a very evil dream. But of concern in its bickerings
he feels none. So to-day he refuses to see a right and a wrong in the
European War. He confuses the criminal and the victim. He regards the
Uhlan and the Gerbéviller peasant as brothers. Why don't they cease
their quarrel, and live as we live?

That, in brief, is a digest of Hovelaque's searching analysis of our
national soul at this crisis. We have not understood the war. We are
not going to see it unless we are aided. If we do not see it, the
future of the democratic experiment on this earth is imperiled. The
friends of France and England lie out yonder on the prairies. The
Allies have much to teach them, and much to learn from them. But to
effect the exchange, England and France must be willing to speak to
them through the voices they know--not alone through "Voix Americaines"
of James Beck, and Elihu Root and Whitney Warren and President Lowell
and Mr. Choate. England must speak to them through _Collier's Weekly_
and the _Saturday Evening Post_ and the newspaper syndicates. There
is only one way of reaching American public opinion--the newspapers
and periodicals. No other agency avails. England must recognize the
function of the correspondent in the modern democracy. Through him come
the facts and impressions on which the people make up its mind. He
supplies public opinion with the material out of which to build policy.
For our failure to understand the war, France and England must share
the blame with America. We should have been ready enough to alter our
indifference and ignorance into understanding, if only our writers had
been aided to gain information.

But the Western Allies have little knowledge of American public
opinion, and small desire to win it. They have sent some of our
best men over in disgust to the enemy lines. Any one, coming on
such a quest as I have been on, that of proving German methods from
first-hand witness, is regarded by the Allies as partly a nuisance
and partly misguided. If any public criticism is ever made of my
country's attitude by the French or English, we, that have sought
to serve the Allies, will be obliged to come forward and tell our
experience:--namely, that it has been most difficult to obtain facts
for America, as the Allies have seen fit to disregard her public
opinion, and scorn the methods and channels of reaching that public



I found in Belgium the evidences of a German spy system, carried out
systematically through a period of years. I saw widespread atrocities
committed on peasant non-combatants by order of German officers. I
saw German troops burn peasants' houses. I saw dying men, women and a
child, who had been bayonetted by German soldiers as they were being
used as a screen for advancing troops. What I had seen was reported to
Lord Bryce by the young man with me, and the testimony appears in the
Bryce report. I saw a ravaged city, 1,100 houses burned house by house,
and sprinkled among the gutted houses a hundred houses undamaged, with
German script on their door, saying, "Nicht verbrennen. Gute leute
wohnen hier."

With witnesses and with photographs I had reinforced my observation,
so that I should not overstate or alter in making my report at home.
Opposed to this machine of treachery and cruelty, I had seen an
uprising of the people of three nations, men hating war and therefore
enlisted in this righteous war to preserve values more precious than
the individual life. With a bitter and a costly experience, I had won
my conviction that there were two wars on the western front.

When I returned from a year in the war zone, five months of which
was spent at the front, I looked forward to finding a constructive
program, hammered out by the social work group, which would interpret
the struggle and give our nation a call to action. I looked to
social workers because I have long believed and continue to believe
that social workers are the finest group of persons in our American
community. They seem to me in our vanguard because of a sane
intelligence, touched with ethical purpose.

It was a disappointment to find them scattered and negative, many of
them anti-war, some of them members of the Woman's Peace Party, some
even opposing the sending of ammunition to the Allies.

Few elements in the war were more perplexing than the failure of our
idealists to make their thinking worthy of the sudden and immense
crisis which challenged them. Absence of moral leadership in America
was as conspicuous as the presence of inexhaustible stores of moral
heroism in Europe.

The very experts who have prepared accurate reports on social
conditions are failing to inform themselves of the facts of this war.
I have found social workers who have not studied the Bryce report, and
who are unaware of the German diaries and German letters, specifying
atrocities, citing "military necessity," and revealing a mental
condition that makes "continuous mediation" as grim a piece of futility
as it would be if applied to a maniac in the nursery about to brain a

I heard the head of a famous institution, a member of the Woman's Peace
Party, tell what promise of the future it gave when a German woman
crossed the platform at The Hague and shook hands with a Belgian woman.
There is something unworthy in citing that incident as answering the
situation in Belgium, where at this hour that German woman's countrymen
are holding the little nation in subjection, and impoverishing it by
severe taxation, after betraying it for many years, and then burning
its homes and killing its peasants. An active unrepentant murderer is
not the same as a naughty child, whom you cajole into a conference of
good-will. A pleasant passage of social amenity does not obliterate the
destruction of a nation. Such haphazard treatment of a vast tragedy
reveals that our people are not living at the same deep level as
the young men I have known in Flanders, who are dying to defend the
helpless and to preserve justice.

I was asked by a secretary of the Woman's Peace Party to speak at
Carnegie Hall to a mass meeting of pacifists. When I told her I should
speak of the wrong done to Belgium which I had witnessed, and should
state that the war must go on to a righteous finish, she withdrew
her invitation, saying she was sorry the women couldn't listen to my
stories. She said that her experience as a lawyer had shown her that
punishment never accomplished anything, and the driving out of the
Germans by military measures was punishment.

I have known social workers to aid girl strikers in making their
demands effective. Have the social workers as a unit denounced the
continuing injustice to Belgium? Protests, made by the Belgian
government to Washington, of cruelties, of undue taxation, of
systematic steam-roller crushing, were allowed to be filed in silence,
so that these protests that cover more than twelve months of outrage
are to-day unknown to the general public, and have not availed to
mitigate one item of the evil. One was astonished by the sudden hush
that had fallen on the altruistic group, so sensitive to corporate
wrong-doing, so alert in defense of exploited children and women. Why
the overnight change from sharp intolerance of successful injustice?

I find that our philanthropists are held by a theory. The theory is
in two parts. One is that war is the worst of all evils. The other is
that war can be willed out of existence. They believe that another
way out can be found, by some sort of mutual understanding, continuous
mediation, and overlooking of definite and hideous wrongs committed
by a combatant, wrongs that date back many years, so that out of
long-continued treachery the atrocity sprang, like flame out of dung.

They refuse to see a right and a wrong in this war. It is not to
them as other struggles in life, as the struggle between the forces
of decency and the vice trust with its army of owners, pimps, cadets
and disorderly hotel keepers. They have let their minds slip into a
confusion between right and wrong, a blurring of distinctions as sharp
and fundamental as the distinction between chastity and licentiousness,
between military necessity and human rights, between a living wage
and sweatshop labor. In their socialized pity, they have lost the
consciousness of sin.

I found a ready answer to the charges of hideous practice by the army
of invasion--the answer, that war is always like that. But it is too
easy to dismiss all these outrages as "war." That is akin to the easy
generalizations of prohibition fanatics, of pseudo-Marxian Socialists,
of Anarchists, of vegetarians, of Christian Scientists, and of many
other sincere persons who overstate, who like to focus what is complex
into a one-word statement. "Do away with drink at one stroke, and
you have abolished unhappy marriages." "All modern business is bad."
"Government is the worst of all evils." "Meat-eating leads to murder."

Just as men-of-the-world theories on the inevitability of prostitution,
with its "lost" girls, had to give way to the presence of facts on the
commercialized traffic, so the pacifist position on the present war is
untenable when confronted with the honeycombing of Belgium with spies
through long years and with the state of mind and the resultant acts
of infamy recorded by Germans in their letters and diaries. There is
an incurable romanticism in the literature of the pacifists that is
offensive to men in a tragic struggle. Let me quote two sentences from
a peace pamphlet issued by friends of mine who are among the best-known
social workers in the United States:

"It (war) has found a world of friends and neighbors, and substituted a
world of outlanders and aliens and enemies."

This is a quaint picture of the ante-bellum situation in Belgium,
when the country was undermined with German clerks, superintendents,
commercial travelers, summer residents, who were extracting information
and forwarding it to Berlin, buying up peasants for spies and
building villas with concrete foundations for big guns. "Friends and
neighbors" is a rhetorical flourish that hurts when applied to German
officers riding into towns as conquerors where for years they had been
entertained as social guests.

"In rape and cruelty and rage, ancient brutishness trails at the heels
of all armies."

That description is just when applied to the German army of invasion
which practiced widespread murder on non-combatants. It is inaccurate,
and therefore unjust, when applied to the Belgian, French and British
armies. I have lived and worked as a member of the allied army for five
months. It does not trail brutishness. It is fighting from high motive
with honorable methods. It is unfortunate to overlay the profound
reality of the war with a mental concept.

To summarize:

1. The social workers have failed to apply their high moral earnestness
to this war. They have not accepted the war as a revelation of the
human spirit in one of its supreme struggles between right and wrong.
As the result their words have offended, as light words will always
hurt men who are sacrificing property and ease and life itself for the
sake of an ideal.

2. They have neglected to inform themselves of the facts of the war.
As the result, they have made no positive program and taken no
constructive action.

Let them deal with such facts as the German villa in the Belgian town
where we lived--a villa that was a fortification with a deep concrete
foundation for a heavy gun. I want them to face, as I had to face, the
eighty-year-old peasant woman with a bayonet thrust through her thigh,
and the twelve-year-old girl with her back cut open to the backbone
by bayonets. Is it too much to ask that our social workers shall hold
their peace in the presence of universal suffering and not mock noble
sacrifice with tales of drugged soldiers? It was not the vinegar on
hyssop that explains the deed on the cross. Is it too much to ask them
to abstain from their peace parties and their anti-munitions campaigns?

We should listen to these leaders more readily if we had seen them
risking their lives like the boys of the American Ambulance. To weigh
sacrifice in detached phrases calls for an equal measure of service and
a shared peril. If a few of our social workers had been wounded under
fire, we should feel that their companions in the hazard were speaking
from some such depth of experience as the peasants of Lorraine. But our
idealists have not spoken from this initiation. Miss Addams is still
puzzled and grieved by the response her words about drugged soldiers
called out. Mr. Wilson is annoyed that his phrase of "too proud to
fight" gave little pleasure to the mothers of dead boys.

With fuller knowledge our leaders will turn to and build us a program
we can follow, a program of action that preserves the immutable
distinction between right and wrong, that lends strength to those
dying for the right. With such frank taking of sides, let me give two
instances where definite results could be achieved. They are both
highly supposititious cases. But they will serve.

Let us suppose, that at this moment the Russian government, under cover
of the war, is harrying and suppressing the Russian revolutionary
centers in Paris and London--the French and British governments
remaining complacent to the act because of the present war alliance.
If we had a staunch public opinion, resulting in a strong government
policy at Washington which had decided there was a right and a wrong on
the western front, and which had thrown the immense weight of its moral
support to the defenders of Belgium, such a government would be in a
position to make a friendly suggestion to France and England that "live
and let live" for Russian liberalism would be appreciated.

Let us take another imaginative case. Suppose that, under cover of the
war, Japan was tightening her hold on China, and gradually turning
China into a subject state. If our government were on relations of
powerful friendship with the Allies, it would be conceivable that
England could be asked to hint gently that unseemly pressure from Tokyo
was undesirable. The English fleet is a fact in the world of reality.

What is needed precisely is a foreign policy that will strengthen the
tendencies toward world peace, based on justice. By our indecision and
failure to take a stand, we have lessened our moral value to the world.
It is weak thinking that advocates a policy and is too timid to use
the instruments that will shape it. Because we want a restored Belgium
and France and a world peace, we need statesmen who are effective in
attaining these things. We need men who can suggest a diplomatic gain
in the cause of justice that the nations will agree on, because of a
government at Washington that carries weight with the diplomats who
will bring it to pass. We want to see the friendship of France and
England and Canada regained. We are letting all these things slip.
There will come a day when it is too late to do anything except develop
regrets. Why should not social workers declare themselves in time?

At a season of national gravity, when the future for fifty years may
be determined inside of four years, we want those men for our leaders
who can work results in the world of time and space, instead of dream
liberations in the untroubled realms of moral consciousness.

Before we have an all-embracing internationalism, we must have a series
of informal alliances, where the forces of modern democracy tend to
range on one side, and the autocratic nations tend to range on the
other side. There will be strange mixtures, of course, on both sides,
even as there are in the present war. But the grand total will lean
ever more and more to righteousness. Righteousness will prevail in
spite of us, but how much fairer our lot if we are ranged with the
"great allies--exultations, agonies, and love," and man's unconquerable
will to freedom.



The _Chicago Evening American_ places on its editorial page on August
10, 1916, a letter to which it gives editorial approval. The letter
says: "There are thousands of German-born citizens, in fact the
writer knows of no others, whose very German origin has made them
immune against such influences as ancestry, literature, sentiment
and language, which count for so much in their effect upon a great
percentage of our population. These very men continue to be loyal
Americans. If we are disloyal, what then do you call the Choates, the
Roosevelts, the Eliots, and the foreign-born Haven Putnams?"

The letter is signed M. Kirchberger. Mr. Hearst finds this statement of
sufficient importance to spread out before five or six million readers
of his newspapers. It is of importance, because it voices the belief of
an ever-increasing element in our population. Our ancestry, literature,
sentiment and language do produce such men as Joseph Choate, Theodore
Roosevelt, Charles William Eliot and George Haven Putnam. Those names
do go straight back in our national history to the original stock,
which shaped our national policy and ideals. It was their ancestry,
English and American literature, their racial sentiment, and the
English language, which made the historic America. Mr. Kirchberger
believes them to be disloyal to the New America. I trust he and his
numerous clan will define what sort of country he wants to make of
us, what ancestry he wishes to have prevail, what literature he will
introduce into our schools, what sentiment and what language. I hope
his group will come out into the open with their program of action. For
they have one. He sees clearly that the civilization of a nation is the
resultant of its racial inheritance, its literature, its language and
its ideas about life. He means that our civilization shall go his way,
not the way of the Choates and Eliots. He has no quarrel whatever with
the vague internationalism of many of our social workers because under
that fog he and his kind can operate unobserved. I do not underestimate
the influence of such thought as his. It is growing stronger every day.
It is sharply defined, forceful, and it will prevail unless we fight it.

When one comes among us, sharing the privileges of citizenship, to
tell us that he is "immune" from the claims of our great ancestry, and
the noble sentiment of our past, he is striking at the heart of our
nationality. He is vastly more significant than his own alien voice.
For his claims are being advocated by editors and politicians. His
ideas are sweeping our communities. Our nation does not live because
it is a geographical unit, nor because it accepts all the races of
Europe. It lives because it fought at Yorktown side by side with
Rochambeau and his Frenchmen. It lives in the songs of Whittier and in
the heart of Lincoln. By its past of struggle for ideas it has given us
a heritage. But we have substituted pacifism and commercialism for the
old struggle, and we have substituted phrases for the old ideas which
cost sacrifice to maintain. If enough citizens become "immune" from the
influences that have shaped us, we shall lose our historic continuity,
and become the sort of nation which these enemies would have us be. But
these considerations do not bring alarm to our leaders. Our leaders
supply the very intellectual defense for this treason. They supply it
in the doctrine of so-called internationalism.

Let us without delay select our position and hold it. Let us stand
firmly on our traditions and history. We have no wish to be "immune"
from our language and literature, our sentiment and ancestry. We need a
fresh inoculation of those "influences." Let us reinforce the policy of
Franklin which recognized the desirability of friendship with France
and England. Let us restate the policy of Lincoln, who paused in the
stress of a great war to strike hands with the workers of England,
because they and he were at one in the love of liberty.

No single factor of race and climate, language and culture is
determinative on that central power of cohesion which gathers a
multitude of persons--"infinitely repellent particles"--into an
organism which lives its life in unity, and forms its tradition from a
collective experience. But it does not follow that some one of these
factors cannot be so strengthened as to disturb the balance. If the
geographical territory is carved up the nation is destroyed. Successive
waves of immigration can drown out the sharply defined character of a
people. This is now taking place in the United States. The proof is
our reaction to the war. It is not that we revealed differences of
"opinion." It is that we were untrue to our tradition.

It is easy to throw the discussion into nonsense by asking: Is there
any such thing as a pure race? Are not the greatest nations of mixed
blood? Do you think race and nation are the same thing? It is true
that no one thing is determinative in the making of a nation. Race and
language, culture and government, border line and climate, religion and
economic system, are each an influence, and, together, they shape the
people in face and habit till they walk the earth with a new stride
and look out on the world with different eyes from those of any people
elsewhere. But the supreme thing about a nation is that it happened. A
certain group of people developed affinities and aspirations, cohered
and became an organism, fought its way to independence, and remembered
the blood it had spilled. That tradition of common experience and
sacrifice in victory and defeat is the cord that binds the generations.
It is a spiritual ancestry that colors every thought and governs every
action. An English historian, Professor Ramsay Muir, has stated this
aptly. He writes:

"The most potent of all nation-molding factors, the one indispensable
factor which must be present whatever else be lacking, is the
possession of a common tradition, a memory of sufferings endured and
victories won in common, expressed in song and legend, in the dear
names of great personalities that seem to embody in themselves the
character and ideals of the nation, in the names also of sacred places
wherein the national memory is enshrined."

Gilbert K. Chesterton said to me:

"Certain people like the arrangements under which they live. They
prefer to die rather than to let other people come in and change
things. Even if their nation decides on a policy that is suicidal,
they would rather die with her than live without her. That is
nationality. When the call came, the citizens of the nations answered
with what was deep in their subconsciousness. All resolutions to act as
'workers,' as members of an 'International,' fell away. If pacifists
of the ruling class, like Miss Hobhouse and Bertrand Russell, would
analyze what is really in their mind, they would find that what they
dislike is the spectacle of democracy enthusiastically and unanimously
agreeing to do something. They distrust democracy on the march. It is
their artistocratic sense that disapproves. Just now, it is the Kaiser
whom the democracies are marching out to find, and the people are not
behaving as the pacifists would like to have them."

This idea of nationalism, instead of being an early and now obsolete
idea, is a recent and a noble idea. What the common life of the home is
to the father and mother and children, through poverty and childbirth
and fame, that is the life of a nation to its citizens. In the blood
of sacrifice it is welded together. Mixed races cannot dilute it, a
doctored border cannot suppress it, a stern climate cannot quench it,
an oppressive government cannot enslave it. Only one thing can destroy
it and that is when it annuls its past and weakens at the heart. When
it ceases to respond to the great ideas that once aroused it, then
it is time for those who love it to look to the influences at work
that have made it forgetful. The denial of that common experience, the
refusal to inherit the great tradition, the unwillingness to continue
the noble and costly policy--these mark the decline of a nation. These
are the signs of peril we see in the unwieldy life of our immense
democracy to-day. The call that came to us from France was the same
voice that we once knew as the voice of our most precious friend. By
our failure to respond we show that we have allowed something alien
to enter our inmost life. In our equal failure to safeguard our own
helpless non-combatants, we reveal that the old compulsions no longer
move us. By the cry that went up from half our nation--not of outrage
at stricken France, not of anger for slaughtered children of our own
race--but that strange mystical cry, "He kept us out of war," we betray
that we have lost our hardihood. We have been overwhelmed by numbers.
We have suffered such a heaping up of new elements that we have no time
to teach our tradition, no will to continue our race experience.

I was talking of this recently with a profound student of race
psychology, Havelock Ellis. He said that the determining factor is the
strength of the civilization receiving the fresh contributions. Is that
civilization potent enough to shape the new contributions? The French
have always had their boundaries beaten in upon by other races, but
so distinctive, so salient, is their civilization that it absorbs the
invasion. He said that the question to decide is whether the cells are
sufficiently organized and determinate to receive alien matter.

Surely no student of our social conditions can say that our tendencies
are clear, our collective will formed, our national mind unified. We
keep adding chemical elements without coming to a solution. England
accepted a few invasions and conquests and then had to stiffen up
and work the material into a mold. France was overrun every half
century, but finally she drew the sacred circle around her borders, and
proceeded to the work of coalescing her parts. Our present stream of
tendency, and our present grip on our own historic tradition, are not
strong enough to admit of immense new European contributions. We are
losing the sense of what we mean as a people.

In dealing with any pet assumption of modern thought, one must guard
against misunderstanding. The opponent calls one reactionary and
then one's day in court is over. Or the opponent pushes a plain
statement over into an academic discussion, and the whole matter at
issue is befogged. I am not attacking the desirability of a true
internationalism. I am saying that our conception of it is all
wrong, and that our method of attaining it is futile. The greater
day of peace between nations will not come by weakening the ties
of nationality. It will come through a deepening of the sense of
citizenship in each nation. But much of our recent thinking has tended
to weaken the claims of nationality. It is against this that we must
set ourselves. We want internationalism, but the internationalism we
mean is an understanding and a good will between distinct nations,
not an internationalism which is the loss of a rich variety, and
the blurring of distinctions. Nations will not disappear. They will
heighten their individuality under the process of time. The hope of
peace lies in the appreciation of those differences. We are not to
reach internationalism by ceasing to become nations, as our present-day
theorists advocate. There lies the service of the war. It has taught
us that the Frenchman and the German will refuse to merge their ideas
about life and duty in a denationalized world league. Each wants his
plot of ground, his own patch of sky, his own kind of a world, with
those men for neighbors who think as he thinks. The Frenchman does
not wish to be speeded up by universal vocational training, and a
governmental régime where efficiency and organization are the aims
of the corporate life. The German does not wish his world to contain
waste and laziness and dilettantism. A hundred years ago the world put
up a sign in front of encroaching France: "No trespassing on these
premises." To-day the grass of France is red where the marauder crossed
the line. I have seen the soul of France at tension for two years, and
I know that her agony has deepened her sense of nationality.

It is easy to retort that it is the nationalism of Germany that has
spread fire and blood across Europe. But it is easier yet to give
the final answer. There are diseases of individuality--the "artistic
temperament," egoism, freakishness, criminality--which require
chastening. But because certain individuals have to be restrained, we
do not crush individual liberty, self-expression and the free play of
development. There are diseases of nationalism--the lust for power
and territory, the desire to impose the will, the language and the
customs, on smaller units. When a nation hands over its foreign policy
and its personal morality to the state, which is only the machinery
of a nation, and when the machine, operated by a little group of
imperialists instead of by the collective will of the nation, turns to
organized aggression, there is catastrophe. Prussian history from the
vivisection of Poland, through the rape of Schleswig and the crushing
of Paris, to the assassination of Belgium, offers us no guarantees
of a common aim for human welfare. But it is because nationality has
been betrayed, not because it has been expressed. The Uhlan officer,
murdering women, is no reason for abolishing Habeas Corpus. The
misbehavior of Germany is no excuse for rebuking the liberty of France.

At the touch of the bayonet, on the first shock of reality,
internationalism crumbles--the internationalism, I mean, that
disbelieves in national quality, and disregards essential differences.
Groups of "workers," the "universal" church of co-religionists,
dissolve. The nation emerges. Wars have been the terrible method
by which nations have created themselves, and by which they have
defended their being. Pacifism is not a disease, it is the symptom
of the disease of a false internationalism. Pacifism springs from
the belief that nations do not matter, that "humanity is the great
idea." "Why should nations go to war, since the principle of
nationality is not vital?" But, actually, this principle is vital.
"An effective internationalism can only be rendered possible by a
triumphant nationalism." The present war is a fight by the little
nations of Belgium and Serbia, and by the great nation, France, for
the preservation of their nationality. We have failed to understand
"the causes and objects" of this war, because we have weakened our own
sense of nationality. Our tradition has been drowned out by new voices.
Ninety years ago, we responded to Greece, and, later, to Garibaldi and
Kossuth. To-day, only those understand the fight of the nations who
have been reared in our American tradition. Richard Neville Hall went
from Dartmouth College and died on an Alsatian Hill, serving France.
A friend writes of him: "He was saying things about the France of
Washington and Lafayette, how he had been brought up on the tradition
of that historic friendship."

I have found something inspiring in the action of these young Americans
in France. Perhaps out of them will come the leadership which our
country lacks. My own generation moves on to middle life, and, as
is the way of elders, reveals moderation of mind and a good-natured
acceptance of conditions. Nothing is to be hoped for from us. The great
generation of Walt Whitman and Julia Ward Howe is dead, and the next
generation of George Haven Putnam and Eliot and O. O. Howard is dying.
There is nowhere to turn but to the young. They must strive where we
have failed. They must fight where we were neutral. I have seen some
hundreds of these youth who love France because they love America. In
them our tradition is continued. Through them the American idea can
be reaffirmed for all our people. May they remember their dead, their
boy-comrades who fell in service at the front. They have shared in
the greatness of France. May they come home to us very sure of their
possession. We have nothing for them. Complacent in our neutrality,
and fat with our profits, we have lost our chance. They bring us moral

Now, all this will have no appeal to the many nationalities among us.
The American tradition (except for a few personalities and ideas) is
meaningless to them. I have dealt with their needs in the preceding
chapter. I am writing these next chapters for the inheritors of our
American tradition, who have grown slack and cosmopolitan, who, though
of the blood-strain and cultural consciousness that fought our wars
and created our civilization, are now too tired, some of them, to do
anything but exploit the other nationalities which have tumbled in on
the later waves of immigration. Others of us are simply swamped by the
multitude and find our refuge in cosmopolitanism. "They're all alike.
They will all be Americans to-morrow." If these tame descendants of
America will be true to their own tradition, they will learn to be
merciful to their fellow-countrymen with quite other traditions. It is
precisely because we "old-timers" have been forgetting our tradition
that we have been blind to the rich inherited life of those that come
to us. If we recover our own sense of spiritual values, we shall
welcome the tradition and the hope which the humblest Jew has brought



Cosmopolitanism is the attempt to deny the instinct of nationality. It
works in three ways with us. It seeks to impose an English culture on
our mixed races; it seeks to create an American type at one stroke;
it preaches an undiscriminating indeterminate merging of national
cultures into a new blend, "the human race," which will be composed
of individuals pretty much alike, with the same aspirations. The
differences of inheritance will be thrown away like the bundle from the
pilgrim's back. Modern thought is permeated with this "new religion of
humanity," which is going to accomplish what the Roman Empire and the
Spanish Inquisition failed to do: unify the infinite variety of human

One of its analysts says that "internally it is productive of many
evil vapors which issue from the lips in the form of catchwords." He
traces it to ill-assimilated education, and sees its final stage when
"the victim, hating his teachers and ashamed of his parentage and
nationality, is intensely miserable." He is the man without roots,
who has lost his contacts with the ideas, the ethic, the customs, the
affectionate attachments, out of which social life develops.

For the last fifty years certain Germans have preached a boundless
cosmopolitanism, while the German people have practiced an intense
ingrowing racialism. It is, of course, true that these men who
preached it were themselves rebels against the German system. Karl
Marx, Lasselle, Engels, helped to found an international movement in
protest against the form of nationality within which they lived. But
the direction and violence of their rebound were governed by the hard
surface from which they recoiled. The personality of these men and the
tonic value of their thought have been of inestimable benefit to our
age. In their main position they were much nearer the truth than their
opponents. But the precise point I am dealing with is their theory of
cosmopolitanism. And here a grievous personal experience in a cramping
environment misled these early radicals, and they incorporated in
their program the anti-national item which did not belong. Because
their analysis of conditions was in the main so searching, so just,
their thought has continued to exercise a profound influence, and the
animating ideas in their philosophy of history and in their analysis of
industrialism were imported to England and to America. The stern and
unbending leaders of socialist thought have reproduced their masters'
voice with an almost unchanged accent. A few great Russians contributed
to the same theory of cosmopolitanism, and have powerfully affected
groups of modern thinkers. I doubt if any single idea has traveled
further and more swiftly than this idea that the sense of nationality
is a mistaken thing, and that a something wider and vaguer is the goal
of the future. The Latin races have sometimes thought they believed it,
but they quickly corrected their thinking under the impact of event.

Our present school of softened, daintily stepping radicals have
whittled away some of the original doctrine of the class war. The
materialistic theory of history, surplus value and the proletarian
division have had to yield in part to the facts of the case. But the
modern reformers cling to that creation of German and Russian thought,
a cosmopolitan world, the merging of races and nations into a universal
undifferentiated brotherhood with gradually disappearing boundaries.
We find it in our intelligent skilled social workers. I mention them
in no unfriendliness, but because I believe that they and their group
are a noble influence in our country, and because their blindness and
failure in this crisis are a grief to me and to thousands of other
persons who have looked to them for leadership. We find this idea of
cosmopolitanism in the modern essayists, who are read in America, like
Lowes Dickinson, Bertrand Russell, and Bernard Shaw. This doctrine
has misled our social workers, our socialists, our radicals in social
reform, our feminists--almost every element in our social movement.
Our American radicalism is permeated with a vague cosmopolitanism,
and its child, pacifism. At no point has "modern" thought exercised a
profounder effect than on our social movement.

We need the check here of the Latin mentality. The clear Latin mind
refuses to be misled by idealistic phrases, whose meaning does not
permit of analysis into concrete terms. The French and Italians have
recognized that the contribution of nationality is vital to the future.
Their conception of social change is healthier than ours. It is Mazzini
and not Karl Marx who was the prophet of a sane evolution. Mazzini says:

 "Every people has its special mission, which will co-operate towards
 the fulfillment of the general mission of Humanity. That mission
 constitutes its nationality. Nationality is sacred.

 "In laboring, according to true principles, for our country we are
 laboring for humanity. Our country is the fulcrum of the lever which
 we have to wield for the common good. If we give up this fulcrum, we
 run the risk of becoming useless both to our country and to humanity.

 "Do not be led away by the idea of improving your material conditions
 without first solving the national question. You cannot do it.

 "Country is not a mere zone of territory. The true country is the
 idea to which it gives birth." It is "A common principle, recognized,
 accepted, and developed by all."

His thought is clear and consistent. How shall a man serve all humanity
whom he has not seen, if he does not serve his nation whom he has seen?
"The individual is too insignificant, and humanity too vast." The stuff
of nationality is the sacrifice rendered by the people to realize their
aspirations--"By the memory of our former greatness, by the sufferings
of the millions." The limits of nationality will tend toward natural
boundaries--the division of

 "humanity into distinct groups or nuclei upon the face of the earth,
 thus creating the germ of nationalities. Evil governments have
 disfigured the divine design. Nevertheless you may still trace it,
 distinctly marked out--as least as far as Europe is concerned--by the
 course of the great rivers, the direction of the higher mountains, and
 other geographical conditions. They (the Governments) have disfigured
 it so far that, if we except England and France, there is not perhaps
 a single country whose present boundaries correspond to that design.
 Natural divisions, and the spontaneous, innate tendencies of the
 peoples, will take the place of the arbitrary divisions sanctioned by
 evil governments. The map of Europe will be redrawn.

 "Then may each one of you, fortified by the power and the affection of
 many millions, all speaking the same language, gifted with the same
 tendencies, and educated by the same historical tradition, hope, even
 by your own single effort, to be able to benefit all Humanity. O my
 brothers, love your Country! Our Country is our Home, the house that
 God has given us, placing therein a numerous family that loves us,
 and whom we love; a family with whom we sympathize more readily, and
 whom we understand more quickly than we do others; and which, from its
 being centered round a given spot, and from the homogeneous nature of
 its elements, is adapted to a special branch of activity."

The method of strengthening the sense of nationality is by education.
"Every citizen should receive in the national schools a moral
education, a course of nationality--comprising a summary view of the
progress of humanity and of the history of his own country; a popular
exposition of the principles directing the legislation of that country."

That Mazzini's ideas are a living force to-day is proved by the
response of the nations in this war. In the seaside town of Hove,
Sussex, where I live, his book, developing these ideas, was drawn out
from the public library thirty-eight times in the last four years.

There is a danger here of over-stressing nationality and inviting a
return to the anarchy of war, and this is the difficulty one has in
pointing out the psychologic unsoundness of Cosmopolitanism. The
limitations of the Mazzini theory have been convincingly drawn by
Graham Wallas.

 "Nationalism, as interpreted either by Bismarck ("We must not swallow
 more than we can digest") or by Mazzini, played a great and invaluable
 part in the development of the political consciousness of Europe
 during the nineteenth century. But it is becoming less and less
 possible to accept it as a solution for the problems of the twentieth

Wallas shows that Mazzini enormously exaggerated the simplicity of the
question. National types are not divided into homogeneous units "by the
course of the great rivers and the direction of the high mountains,"
but are intermingled from village to village. Do the Balkan mountains
represent the purposes of God in Macedonia? And for which nationality,
Greek or Bulgar? The remedy, as Wallas sees it, for recurring war
between nations is an international science of eugenics which might
"indicate that the various races should aim, not at exterminating each
other, but at encouraging the improvement by each of its own racial
type." In this way the emotion of political solidarity can be slowly
made possible between individuals of consciously different national
types. A political emotion, if it is to do away with war, cannot be
created by thwarting the instinct of nationality. It must be based,
"not upon a belief in the likeness of individual human beings, but
upon the recognition of their unlikeness." We in America have tried to
deny the facts of psychology by calling all our newcomers Americans. We
have sought to escape our problem by shutting our eyes to the infinite
dissimilarity of the individuals in our population. The only direction
for hope to travel is that the improvement of the whole species will
come rather from "a conscious world-purpose based upon a recognition
of the value of racial as well as individual variety than from mere
fighting." This is the true internationalism, and it differs as widely
from a cosmopolitan blur which "makes" Americans as from the bitter
enforced nationality of blood and iron, or spiritual imperial arrogance.

I have found a perfectly clear statement of what lies loosely in the
mind of modern Americans of mixed race and intense pre-occupation with
the game of getting on. I have found it in the editorial columns of a
Middle Western paper. The Cedar Rapids _Gazette_ says:


 "The authorities who fear that the American race will 'die out' may
 not have noticed that all the ingredients of that race are still being
 born in Europe at about the usual rate. And, at the worst, if one
 American race dies out there will be another race as good or better in
 America to take its place.

 "Several American races have already died to the extent that
 the members are no longer to be separately identified and their
 distinctive ideas no longer exert influence on the county. Among the
 vanished races are the Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Cavaliers, the
 Huguenots, the Acadian voyagers, the Knickerbockers, the Pennsylvania
 and New Jersey Dutch, the pioneer forest tribes of Kentucky, Ohio and
 southern Indiana, the picturesque Yankee, the southeastern Cracker,
 the typical Plainsman and Cowboy, each of whom in his time and place
 was the representative of a small and distinct nationality.

 "The Americans of two generations are unlike. To use an Irish epigram,
 change is the only established characteristic of the American. The
 American in whose veins flows the blood of half a dozen European
 races, whose grandparents may have been born in four states, his
 parents in two states; whose wife may have been born in a state other
 than his own and whose four children may be married to men and women
 of four nationalities, is not worrying greatly regarding the exact
 composition of the 'American race.' Individually he has on hand a
 rather complete stock of the ingredients and is satisfied with the
 idea that he is doing his best to help establish a representative
 order of humanity.

 "There is no need to worry about the passing of a race. The world and
 humanity are the big ideas. The race that deserves to die will pass.
 The race that fights for its existence, whose members have pride in
 their kind, will live. A race is recruited only through the cradle. A
 race that disregards its young is doomed. But mankind will not be less
 numerous and that which is of value will survive. Not only the end of
 the race, but the end of the world is in sight for those who leave no
 children to perpetuate their bodies and their minds."

The trouble with that is that it is devoid of self-respect. It gives no
foundation for ethics. It gives no sanction for religion. It gives no
soil and roots for literature. It treats the life of man as if it were
grass to flourish and perish. It treats men as mechanical units in a
political and industrial system. They go to their lathe in the factory,
attend a motion-picture show in the evening, and so on for a few years
to dissolution. It is pessimistic with a dark annihilating quality. And
it is a habit of mind that is growing among us. It is the inevitable
reflex of our bright surface optimism, which drowns thought in speed
and change, and believes that activity under scientific direction can
satisfy the human spirit.

Actually the stock we came of matters very much--for ourselves. Being
dead, it yet lives, and we are the channel of its ongoing. Only by
using the inheritance that comes to us can we lead the life of the mind
in art and ethics and religion. "Huckleberry Finn," "The Virginian,"
"Still Jim," "The Valley of the Moon," and "Ethan Frome," possess a
permanence of appeal precisely because they are rooted in the sense
of nationality, and are a natural growth out of a tradition. Each
story describes a vanishing race, and deals with a locality assailed
by change. Each is a momentary arrest in time of an ebbing tide. Each
has the unconscious pathos of a last stand. But not one of these books
would have carried beyond the day of its appearance if it had dealt
with a life-history removed from its long inheritance. It is only so
that the nations among us will in time produce their literature. It
will not be by surface types of "rapid" Americans. It will rather
be by rendering the individual (whether Jew or Bohemian) in all the
loneliness of crowds and modern cities, and revealing the thoughts
and "notions" and desires that have come down to him from his very
ancient past, and his little ripple of activity in the endless stream
of descent. Montague Glass and Joseph Hergesheimer and Fannie Hurst
are aware of this necessity of relating their art to the instinctive
life of their character, and so under the brightest crackle of their
American smartness something goes echoing back to a day that is older
than the Coney Island and Broadway and Atlantic City of their setting.
Joseph Stella in his drawings has shown perception of this by anchoring
his type in its inherited life, and his steel workers are better than
many reports of Mr. Gary on how it is with America at the Pittsburgh
blast furnaces.

But not only is the sense of nationality needed for the finer
activities of the mind. There is need of it in "practical" politics. It
is discouraging that our American social movement has been captured by
cosmopolitanism. For the immediate future lies with radical changes in
the world of environment. Living conditions are going to be improved.
A greater measure of equality will be achieved in our own time. But how
is the social change inside the country to be related to other States?
What shall be our foreign policy? This is where the cosmopolitanism
of our radical group is a poor guide for action. It is the vice of
liberals that they don't harness their ideas to facts. The result
is that at time of crisis the power slips over in the hands of Tory
reactionaries. We have seen a recent instance in England, where the
liberals shirked the war during the premonitory years. As the result,
the good old stand-pat crowd of Tories came in with a rush, simply
because on foreign policy they had a program which at least dealt with
the facts of the case.

Until liberals are willing to think through on foreign policy,
studying European and world history, defining the meaning of the State
and visualizing its relationship to other States, we shall have a
skimmed-milk pacifism as their largest contribution to the problems of
nation-States, submerged nationalities, backward races, exploitable
territory and international straits, canals and ports of call. That is
unfortunate. For, unless the liberal mind is brought to bear on foreign
policy, we shall continue to have that policy manipulated by little
groups of expert imperialists. These inner cliques present a program
of action based on fact-study, which wins public opinion, because the
instinct of the people trusts men who know what they want more than it
trusts a bland benevolence without direction of aim.

Our social workers and other liberals would not think of advocating a
policy of "Christianizing" the employer as the sole remedy for social
maladjustment. But this is precisely the sort of thing they advocate in
inter-State relationship. They seek to work by spiritual conversion,
turning the hearts of the rulers to righteousness and softening the
mood of the bellicose mass-people. And the chaos of the outer world
will continue to pour into our tight little domestic compartments of
nicely-adjusted social relationships.

In a word, foreign policy and domestic policy are of one piece, and
the same realism must be applied to questions like the neutrality of
Belgium and the internationalization of Constantinople which we apply
to wage-scales. Until men of liberal tendency are willing to devote the
same hard study to the map which they put on social reform and internal
development, the world will continue to turn to its only experts on
foreign policy, who unfortunately are largely imperialists.



A famous American president once said to a distinguished ambassador:

 "We make them into Americans. They come in immigrants of all
 nationalities, but they rapidly turn into Americans and make one

And the ambassador thought within himself and later said to me:

 "But a nation is a people with a long experience, who have lived and
 suffered together. There is a bell in a great church, which if you
 lightly flick it with the fingernail, gives out one single tone which
 goes echoing through the Cathedral. If you stand at the far end,
 you can hear that tone. So it is with a nation. If it is struck, it
 responds as one man to its furthest border. At the stroke of crisis it
 answers with one tone."

No. We are not a nation. We are a bundle of nationalities, and some day
we shall be a Commonwealth if we deal wisely with these nations who
dwell among us.

We cannot "make" Americans. We can make "imitation Americans,"
as Alfred Zimmern calls them. The Jew, spiritually sensitive and
intellectually acute, becomes an "amateur Gentile." The imaginative
Calabrian, of rich social impulse, becomes a flashily dressed Padrone.
The poetic, religious Irishman, whose instinct has been communal for
many centuries, becomes a district leader. These individuals have come
to us with rare and charming gifts, fruit of their nationality. Instead
of frankly accepting them in their inheritance, we have applied a hasty
conversion which denied their life of inherited impulses and desires.
Instead of bringing out the good in them, we have Americanized them
into commercial types.

Where does our future lie?

It lies in developing and making use of men like the great Jews, Abram
Jacobi, Charles Proteus Steinmetz and Louis Brandeis, who are true to
their own nature, and who respond to the American environment. These
men are not amateur Gentiles. They are Jews and they are Americans.
It lies in Italians like Dr. Stella, who love those elements in Italy
which are liberal, and who further every effort in America to create
free institutions. We need the help of every man of them to save our
country from commercialism.

Recently I asked one of the most brilliant of living scholars, of
German descent, to give me his views on the future in America. He wrote:

 "What is America to do? I should answer: preach hyphenation. Make
 the common man realize that nationality is a spiritual force which
 has in essence as little to do with government as religion has. When
 government interferes with freedom of worship, religion comes into
 politics and stays there till its course is unimpeded. The same
 is true of nationality--in Ireland, in East Europe and elsewhere.
 But that is only an accident. To allow governments to exploit for
 political ends the huge inarticulate emotional driving force of either
 religion or nationality is to open the floodgates. Hence the wars of
 religion in the Seventeenth Century and the nationalist hatreds of the
 present war."

Alfred Zimmern says:

 "It seems strange that there should be Americans who still hold firmly
 to the old-fashioned view of what I can only call instantaneous
 conversion, of the desirability and possibility of the immigrant
 shedding his whole ancestral inheritance and flinging himself into
 the melting-pot of transatlantic life to emerge into a clean white
 American soul of the brand approved by the Pilgrim Fathers. Now the
 only way to teach immigrants how to become good Americans, that is
 to say, how to be good in America, is by appealing to that in them
 which made them good in Croatia, or Bohemia, or Poland, or wherever
 they came from. And by far the best and the most useful leverage for
 this purpose is the appeal to nationality: because nationality is more
 than a creed or a doctrine or a code of conduct, it is an instinctive

The road to sound Internationalism, to an understanding between States,
lies "through Nationalism, not through leveling men down to a gray,
indistinctive Cosmopolitanism but by appealing to the best elements
in the corporate inheritance of each nation." True democracy wishes to
use the best that is in men in all their infinite diversity, not to
melt away their difference into one economic man. The American passion
for uniformity, for creating a "snappy," efficient, undifferentiated
type, is merely the local and recent form of the rigid aristocratic
desire to "Christianize" the Jew, to Anglicize Ireland, to modernize
the Hindu. It is the wish to make man in our own image. It is the last
bad relic of the missionary zeal which conducted the Inquisition. It is
only subtler and more dangerous, because persecution called out hidden
powers of resistance, but triumphant Commercialism, as engineered by
our industrial oligarchy, calls out imitation.

I have a collection of photographs made at Ellis Island by Julian
Dimock. They are subjects chosen almost at random from the stream of
newcomers on the morning of ship-arrival. There is often something very
touching in the expression of these faces: a trust in the goodness
of life, in the goodness of human nature. Man and woman and youth,
they seem to carry something that has been won by long generations of
rooted life and passed on to them for safe-keeping. And suddenly at
the landing in the new world the tradition is touched to a dream of
hope. But that light never lasts for long. Watch those same newcomers
as they are disgorged from our city factories. How soon the light
goes out of their faces, the inhabiting spirit withdrawn to its own
inaccessible home. Something brisk and natty and pert replaces that
unconscious dignity. Something tired from unceasing surface stimulus
takes possession of what was fresh and innocent in open peasant life
and the friendly intercourse of neighbors.

These races, in their weakness and poverty, have been unable to swing
back to their own deep center of consciousness. Unaided, it is doubtful
if they will ever raise their buried life from its sleep. The Jewish
nation is the only dispersion among us which has gathered its will
and recovered its self-consciousness enough to give us any promising
movement. They are slowly recognizing what is being done to their
young. They begin to see that their nation is losing its one priceless
jewel, the possession of spiritual insight. In the movement which is
spreading through the day schools for teaching young Jews the great
ethical tradition of their people, in their educational alliances, in
the Menorah Association, in the Zionist Movement, in the writings of
Brandeis, Kallen and Bourne, they are showing the first glimmerings of
statesmanship and making the first application of intelligence to our
commercialized cosmopolitan materialistic country which we have had
since we passed on from "Anglo-Saxon" Protestant civilization. May
their grip on their nationality never grow less. May the clear program
which they have constructed against the drift and rush of our careless
life seize the imagination of Italian and Serb and Bohemian. So and no
otherwise, we shall at last have a spiritual basis for our civilization.

Frank acceptance of the fact of dual nationality leads to such clear
statement as Randolph Bourne has given us in _The Menorah Journal_ for
December, 1916. He shows the fallacy of the "melting pot" idea, which
attempts to knead the whole population into an undefined colorless
mass, labeled American. In place of that undesirable and absurd
consummation, he offers a coöperation of cultures. "America has become
a vast reservoir of dispersions," and Coöperative Americanism will meet
"the demands of the foreign immigré who wishes freedom to preserve his
heritage at the same time that he coöperates loyally with all other
nationals in the building up of America."

What is Coöperative Americanism? Mr. Bourne answers that it is "an
ideal of a freely mingling society of peoples of very different racial
and cultural antecedents, with a common political allegiance and common
social ends, but with free and distinctive cultural allegiances which
may be placed anywhere in the world that they like. If the Jews have
been the first international race, I look to America to be the first
international nation."

Now, there is no unpopularity to-day in lauding a Jew or a Greek or an
Irishman. May I go a step further, and say that the same freedom to
express the tradition within them must be extended to the Americans of
the old stock, even those who hold a grateful love for France (some of
them recently have died for that), even those who love England for her
long struggle for political liberty. I cannot feel that Agnes Repplier,
Lyman Abbott, George Haven Putnam and the American Rights League are
deserving of a certain fine intellectual scorn which Randolph Bourne
and Max Eastman have applied to them. The American Rights League is
entitled to the same open field and the same respect which the Menorah
Society should receive. Why does Mr. Bourne applaud the one and lash
the other? I trust he will welcome both. What I think Bourne, James
Oppenheim, Walter Lippmann and Max Eastman have failed to see is that
the old American stock (of diverse race but common tradition) had a
right to respond vigorously to this war, where their inheritance of
social, legal and political ideas were battling with hostile ideas.
Somewhere, at some point, the new American tradition must plant itself.
In some issue it must take root. We of the old stock sought to make
this war the issue. We failed. All right. It is now your turn. In the
open arena of discussion the ideas of all of us must collide into
harmony. I can make clear the difficulty one has in reaffirming the
old American idea by quoting from the letter of an American editor in
response to what the chapters of this book are stating:

 "It seems so curiously out of focus in its estimation of the Old, the
 vanishing, America. Do you really believe that Old America should be
 raised from the dead:--The America of convenient transcendentalism
 where religion allowed a whole race to devote its body and spirit
 to material aggrandizement? If you blame America for Christian
 Science optimism, you must remember that Emerson and Whitman were
 our teachers. If you blame America for not taking part in the
 European war, you must remember that Washington told us to keep out
 of 'entangling alliances.' It is historic America that was grossly
 material, out of which our vast industrialism sprang with its
 importation of cheap labor. But the Garden of Eden always lies behind
 us, and nothing is commoner than finding Paradise in the past."

What I have tried to say is that the tradition of a nation is not a
dead thing, locked in the past. It is a living thing, operating on the
present. A tradition is a shared experience, governing present life.
The State needs to cohere and find itself and establish a cultural
consciousness, blended from manifold contributions. It is destructive
to have new swirling elements ceaselessly driving through the mass.
So I have protested against the too ready and ruthless discarding of
the cultural consciousness bequeathed us by the older American stock.
While the ideas imbedded in that consciousness will never again be in
sole command, I believe that they should be more potent than they are
to-day. I believe that politically they have a living value for us, and
that we persistently underestimate the English contribution to freedom
and justice. I deny that my desire that these ideas shall prevail is an
attempt to locate the Garden of Eden and Paradise in the smoky past.
It is, instead, the wish to see our country appropriate a particular
political contribution from the English stock, exactly as it needs to
appropriate certain social values from the Italians and the Greeks, and
many very definite spiritual ideas from the culture of the Jews.

What is the solution of these diverse elements? What blend can we
obtain from a score of mixtures? How fashion a civilization that shall
absorb and assimilate those blood-strains and traditional beliefs? I
think the one clear answer lies in the creation of free institutions,
which shall answer a common need, and which shall violate the
instinctive life and traditions of none. Those free institutions will
be the product of education, legislation, Coöperation, Trades Unionism
and Syndicalism, municipal and State ownership, and widely spread
private ownership and enterprise. The organized State under democratic
control will be the thing aimed at. But these free institutions must
gradually extend over areas far wider than vocational training and
economic well-being. They should seek to offer free expression to the
fully-functioning mind in art, science, ethics and religion. In this
way they will give a good life. We have the shadowy beginnings of such
institutions in the public school and library. But we have nothing like
the Danish or English coöperative movement. Our institution of property
affords us nothing like true peasant proprietorship of Ireland.

No apter illustration of how little we have tackled our job can be
found than in American Socialism. There is no American Socialism.
Orthodox socialism in America is dead doctrine, brought across by
German and Russian revolutionaries, reacting on their peculiar
environment, and then exhumed in a new country. Meanwhile a great
vital movement toward democratic control goes on in Europe, in Trades
Unionism, Coöperation and municipal and State ownership. Our socialist
locals repeat formulæ which Shaw, the Webbs, Rowntree, Wallas, Kautsky,
Vandervelde and Hervé outgrew a generation ago. It is here I hold
that the old American stock can do a service in interpreting American
conditions to our recent arrivals.

But if we continue to leave the door open we shall continue to be
swamped, and we shall employ our little hasty ready-made devices for
turning peasants with a thousand years of inherited characteristics
into citizens. We shatter them against our environment, and then are
astonished that their thwarted instincts, trained to another world,
revenge themselves in political corruption, abnormal vices, and
murderous "gunman" activities. Psychologists like Ross warn us in vain.

These overlapping hordes of "aliens" destroy the economic basis on
which alone free institutions can be reared. People, to whom we cannot
afford to pay a living wage, or for whom we do not care to arrange a
living wage, will not help us in creating free institutions. Instead,
they are manipulated by the industrial oligarchy into a force for
breaking down the standard of living of all workers. A resolute
restriction of immigration is not a discrimination against any race. It
is the first step toward unlocking the capacities of the races already
among us. The reason for stopping immigration, then, is economic.
It rests in the fact that our wage-scale and standard of living are
being shot to pieces by the newcomers. As the result our existent
institutions are not developing in liberal directions, and we are
failing to create new free institutions. It requires a somewhat stable
population, and a fairly uniform economic basis to create a Coöperative
movement, like that in Ireland, or a Trade Union movement, like that in

Slowly the new order is coming, the day of the Commonwealth of
nationalities, where men from many lands, drawing their spiritual
reserves from the home that nourished their line through the long
generations, will yet render loyal citizenship to the new State which
harbors them and gives them a good life. The task of America is to
create that Commonwealth, that entity which men gladly serve, and
for which at need they willingly die. Our politics have not yet held
that appeal. Not yet can an American of these recent years stand off
from the stream of his experience, saying, "What does it mean that I
am an American?" and answer it in the high terms which a Frenchman
can use. Fifty years ago the American could answer in fairly definite
terms. But does our recent history mean much to Czech or Russian Jew
or Calabrian who has settled among us? It does not. The stirring of
their blood responds to another history than ours. Shall we take away
their tradition from them? We cannot if we would. What we can do with
their help is to create free institutions which will win them to a new
allegiance, and this will slowly root itself in the fiber of their line.

For a few generations they will continue at time of stress to hear
the call of their old home, as a bird in the autumn takes the call of
the South. The Serb will return to his mountains when the battle-line
is drawn, as he returned five years ago. The German will go back to
his barracks when Russia begins to spread toward the West. And over
those that do not go back a great restlessness will come, and they
will torment themselves, like a caged bird in the month of flight. But
with each generation the call will grow fainter, till finally the old
tradition is subdued and the citizen is domesticated. In this way only
can the new allegiance and instinctive sense of nationality be created,
growing very gradually out of free institutions.

Out of free institutions in State, property, religion and marriage,
ever-developing to fit a developing people; out of the unfolding
process of law, escaping from legalism and applying psychology to human
relationship; out of an education, sanctioned by human interest, and
devoted not only to vocational training but to the sense of beauty and
wonder; out of vast movements of the mass-people toward democratic
control; there will some day grow the new American tradition, which in
the fullness of time will take possession of the heart of these diverse
races and clashing nationalities. It will not root itself and grow in
the years of "naturalization," nor yet in one or two generations. But
in a hundred or two hundred years it will coalesce infinitely repellant
particles and gently conquer antagonisms, and in that day, which not
even our children's children will see, there will at last emerge the
American Commonwealth.



I have made out the best case I can for our people. These chapters have
listed every excuse that can reasonably be given for our failure to
declare ourselves on the moral issue of this war. They have said that
a careless, busy folk, like those of the Middle West, need many facts
to enable them to see where the truth lies. They have pointed out how
short-sighted is the foreign policy of the Allies which gives few facts
to the American public. They have shown how the best of our radicals
have failed to think clearly because they have been befuddled by a
vague pseudo-internationalism. I have stated what I believe to be the
falsity in our present-day conception of Europe, the self-complacency
in our monopoly of freedom and justice; and I have tried to reveal how
that assumption of merit blinded our eyes to the struggles of other
peoples for the same causes. I have blamed our failure on Germany and
on England. But after every explanation has been made, it is still
true that our people ought to have been sensitive. At a great moment
of history we failed of greatness. There remains a shame to us that we
held aloof. There was no organized campaign of facts needed to convince
France that we were fighting for human rights in our Revolution. Three
thousand miles of water did not drown the appeal of our extremity. But
to-day our leaders are so bewildered by dreams of universal brotherhood
that they overlook our blood-brother on the Marne. Our common people
have their eyes to their work, and do not look up, as the workers of
Lancashire looked up with cheer and sympathy when we rocked in the
balance of 1863.

This war has shown to us that we are not at the level of earlier days.
We have lost our national unity, our sense of direction. The war has
revealed in us an unpreparedness in foreign and domestic policy. It is
a curse to know one's weakness unless one cures it. So this war will
not leave us blessed until we take a program of action. It is a waste
of time to write a book on the war except to convince and move to

The steps are clear.

Our first step is to set our house in order. We need to recover our
self-consciousness, to restate what we mean by America. A half million
newcomers each year will not help us to find ourselves. We shall be
the better friends of freedom if we digest our present welter. Let us
fearlessly and at once advocate a stringent restriction of immigration.
Our citizenship has become somewhat cheap. Our ideals have become
somewhat mixed. Let us take time to locate the direction in which we
wish to go, and decide on the goal at which we aim. "Thou, Oh! my
country, must forever endure," said a famous patriot; but in a few
years his country had been melted down into an autocracy. We cannot
rely for all time on luck and happy drift. Size, numbers, the physical
economic conquest of a continent--these are not a final good. They are
at best only means toward worthy living. It is easier to rush in fresh
masses of cheap labor than it is to deal with the workers already here
as members of a free community, aid them in winning a high standard of
living, and establish with them an industrial democracy. The cheapest
way of digging our ditches and working our factories, and sewing our
shirts, is of course to continue holding open our flood gates and
letting the deluge come. It is the clever policy of our exploiters,
and the sentimental policy of the rest of us who love to be let alone,
if only we can cover our unconcern with a humanitarian varnish. But
the result of it is the America of to-day with its oligarchy of
industrial captains and bankers, with its aristocracy of labor, made
up of powerful trades unions and restricted "Brotherhoods," and with
its unskilled alien masses of mine and factory labor, unorganized,
exploited. Let us begin to build the better America by sacrificing the
easy immediate benefits of unrestricted immigration.

Our second step is to teach our tradition to the hundred million
already here. It is a large enough classroom. We can advertise for new
pupils when our present group matriculates. When it has matriculated,
there will be no popularity for phrases like "He kept us out of war,"
nor for songs of "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier." The teaching
of that tradition will reveal the interweaving of the American and
the French Revolutions as products of a single impulse toward world
liberation. If we had known our history, we should have answered
the need of France, as Hall, Chapman, Thaw, Seeger, and many more
answered it who have laid down their lives for their friend, France.
The teaching of the American tradition will reveal to our awakened
astonished minds that our policy has not been that of neutrality toward
oppressed peoples like the Belgians. It will reveal that the British
fleet has served us well from the time of Canning down to Manila Bay.
It will stir in us loyalties that have long been asleep. It will show
what a phrase like "Government for the people" has meant in terms of
social legislation. It will point to the long road we must tread
before we reach that ideal goal. We cannot leave the teaching of our
tradition to the public schools alone. Courses of evening lectures for
the people, the newspapers and periodicals, clergymen and economists
and social workers, all must help.

Our third step is a deep understanding sympathy with the forces in the
world making for righteousness. We should have been sensitive enough
to see the right and the wrong of the present war. But that chance
has gone by. Let us now make ready to contribute to the future. The
fundamental question is this: Are the democracies of the world to
stand together, or is the world-fight for freedom to be made, with our
nation on the side-lines? The whole emphasis of the world's emotion
has shifted from war to peace. When thought follows this emotion and
rationalizes it, we can begin constructive work. The test of our
desire for peace will be found in this: Do we mean business? Pacifism
is valueless, because it is a vague emotion. Peace is a thing won
by thought and effort. It is not alone a "state of mind." If we are
willing to give guarantees by army and navy, and to back up protest
by force, we can serve the cause of peace. But if we continue our
"internationalism" of recent years, we shall not be admitted to any
such effective league of peace as France and England will form. We must
take our place by the side of the nations who mean to make freedom and
justice prevail throughout the world.

Our fourth step will be that measure of preparedness which will render
us effective in playing our part in world history. We cannot go on
forever asking the English fleet to supply the missing members in our
Monroe Doctrine. We cannot go on forever developing a rich ripeness,
trusting that no hand will pluck us. In a competitive world, which
builds Krupp guns, we cannot place our sole reliance in a good-nature
which will be touched to friendliness because we are a special people.
That preparedness will not stop with enriching munition makers, and
playing into the hands of Eastern bankers. It will be a preparedness
which enlists labor, by safeguarding wages and hours. It is the
preparedness of an ever-encroaching equality: a democracy of free
citizens, prosperous not in spots but in a wide commonalty, disciplined
not only by national service of arms, but by the fundamental discipline
of an active effective citizenship. It is a preparedness which
will call on the women to share the burden of citizenship. It is a
preparedness which mobilizes all the inner forces of a nation by
clearing the ground for equality. It will be a preparedness not against
an evil day, but for the furtherance of the great hopes of the race.





In presenting the facts that follow of the behavior of the German Army,
I am fortunate in being able to introduce them with a statement written
for me by Lord Bryce. The words of Lord Bryce carry more weight with
the American people than those of any other man in Europe, and his
analysis of the methods of the German Staff is authoritative, because
he was the Chairman of what is known as the "Bryce Committee," which
issued the famous report on German "frightfulness." When I told him
that our country would respond to a statement from him, he asked me to
submit questions, and to these questions he has written answers.

The first question submitted to Viscount Bryce was this:

"America has been startled by Cardinal Mercier's statement concerning
the deportation of Belgian men. Our people will appreciate a statement
from you as to the meaning of this latest German move."

Lord Bryce replied to me:

"Nothing could be more shocking than this wholesale carrying away of
men from Belgium. I know of no case in European history to surpass it.
Not even in the Thirty Years War were there such things as the German
Government has done, first and last in Belgium. This last case is
virtual slavery. The act is like that of those Arab slave raiders in
Africa who carried off negroes to the coast to sell. And the severity
is enhanced because these Belgians and the work forcibly extracted from
them are going to be used against their own people. Having invaded
Belgium, and murdered many hundreds, indeed even thousands, among
them women and children, who could not be accused of 'sniping,' the
German military government dislocated the industrial system of the
community. They carried off all the raw materials of industry and
most of the machinery in factories, and then having thus deprived the
inhabitants of work, the invaders used this unemployment as the pretext
for deporting them in very large numbers to places where nothing will
be known of their fate. They were not even allowed to take leave of
their wives and children. Many of them may never be heard of again.
And von Bissing calls this 'a humanitarian measure.' Actually, it is
all a part of the invasion policy. They defend it as being 'war,' as
they justify everything, however inhuman, done because the military
needs of Germany are alleged to call for it. It shows how hard pressed
the military power is beginning to find itself at this latest stage
of the war. It is said that Attila, when he was bringing his hosts of
Huns out of Asia for his great assault on Western Europe, forced the
conquered tribes into his army, and made them a part of his invasion. I
can hardly think of a like case since then. In principle it resembles
the Turkish plan when they formed the Janissaries. The Turks used their
Christian subjects, taken quite young and made Moslems, and enrolled
them as soldiers (to fight against Christians) to fill their armies, of
which they were the most efficient part. These Belgians are not indeed
actually made to fight, but they are being forced to do the labor of
war, some of them probably digging trenches, or making shells, or
working in quarries to extract chalk to make cement for war purposes.
The carrying off of young girls from Lille was terrible enough, and it
seemed to us at the time that nothing could be worse. But the taking
away of many thousand of the Belgian population from their homes to
work against their own countrymen, with all the mental torture that
separation from one's family brings--this is the most shocking thing
we have yet heard of. I have been shown in confidence the reports
received from Belgium of what has happened there. The details given
and the sources they come from satisfied me of their substantial truth.
The very excuses the German authorities are putting forward admit the
facts. In Belgian Luxemburg I hear that they have been trying to stop
the existing employment in order to have an excuse for taking off the

The second question read:

"How are such acts of German severity to be accounted for?"

Lord Bryce replied:

"When the early accounts of the atrocious conduct of the German
Government in Belgium were laid before the Committee over which I
presided they seemed hardly credible. But when we sifted them, going
carefully through every case, and rejecting all those that seemed
doubtful, we found such a mass of concurrent testimony coming from
different sources, and carefully tested by the lawyers who examined
the witnesses, that we could not doubt that the facts which remained
were beyond question. You ask how German officers came to give such
orders. The Committee tried to answer that question in a passage of
their report. They point out that for the German officer caste morality
and right stop when war begins. The German Chancellor admitted that
they had done wrong in invading Belgium, but they would go on and hack
their way through. The German military class had brooded so long on
war that their minds had become morbid. To Prussian officers war has
become, when the interests of the State require it, a sort of sacred
mission: everything may be done by and for the omnipotent State. Pity
and morality vanish, and are superseded by the new standard justifying
every means that conduces to success. 'This,' said the Committee, 'is
a specifically military doctrine, the outcome of a theory held by a
ruling caste who have brooded and thought, written and talked and
dreamed about war until they have fallen under its obsession and been
hypnotized by its spirit.' You will find these doctrines set forth in
'Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege,' the German Official Monograph on the
usages of war on land, issued under the direction of the German Staff.
What military needs suggest becomes lawful. You will find in that book
a justification for everything the German Army has done, for seizing
hostages, i. e., innocent inhabitants of an invaded area, and shooting
them if necessary. You will find what amounts to a justification even
of assassination. The German soldiers' diaries captured on prisoners
offer the proof that the German officers acted upon this principle.
'This is not the only case that history records in which a false
theory, disguising itself as loyalty to a State or a Church, has
perverted the conception of Duty, and become a source of danger to the
world.' This doctrine spread outside military circles. I do not venture
to say that it has infected anything like the whole people. I hope that
it did not. But national pride and national vanity were enlisted, and
it became a widespread doctrine accepted by the military and even by
many civilians. The Prussians are far more penetrated by the military
spirit than the Americans or English or French, and such a doctrine
ministered to the greatness of the power of Prussia. It was part of
Prussian military theory and sometimes of practice a century ago. But
in the rest of Germany it is a new thing. There was nothing of the kind
in southern Germany when I knew it fifty years ago.

"In an army there will be individual cases of horrible
brutality--plunder, rape, ill-treatment of civilians. There will always
be men of criminal instinct whose passion is loosed by the immunities
of war conditions. Drunkenness, moreover, may turn a decent soldier
into a wild beast. But most of the crimes committed in Belgium were
not committed by drunken troops. The German peasant, the 'Hans' whom
we know, is a good, simple, kindly sort of fellow, as are the rural
folk in every country. But remember in the German army there is a habit
of implicit obedience. The officers are extremely severe in military
discipline. They will shoot readily for a minor infraction. It is the
officers more than the private soldiers that were to blame. And some
of the officers were shocked by what they were forced to do. 'I am
merely executing orders and I should be punished if I did not execute
them,' said more than one officer whose words were recorded. How can
an officer in war time disobey the orders of the supreme military
command? He would be shot, and if he were to say he could not remain
in an army where he was expected to commit crimes, to retire in war
time, if he were permitted to retire, would mean disgrace to his name.
It is the spirit of the Higher German Army Command that is to blame.
The authority that issued the orders is guilty. The German people as a
whole are not cruel, but many of them have been infected by this war

"And we little realize how strict is the German censorship. The German
people have been fed with falsehoods. So far are they from believing
in the record of their own army's cruelties, that they have been made
to believe in cruelties alleged to have been committed by French and
English troops. They have been fed on stories of soldiers with their
eyes put out by Belgians. The Chancellor of the German Empire in a
press communication said:

"Belgian girls gouged out the eyes of the German wounded. Officials
of Belgian cities have invited our officers to dinner and shot and
killed them across the table. Contrary to all international law, the
whole civilian population of Belgium was called out, and after having
at first shown friendliness, carried on in the rear of our troops
terrible warfare with concealed weapons. Belgian women cut the throats
of soldiers whom they had quartered in their homes while they were

"There was no truth at all in these stories."

The next question was submitted as follows:

"Has the German Government made any effort to prove their general
charges and to disprove the detailed charges of your report and the
report made by the French Government?"

Lord Bryce writes in reply:

"The diaries of German soldiers referred to have been published
throughout the world, and no question has been raised of their
authenticity. They contain testimony to outrages committed in Belgium
and France that is overwhelming. No answer is possible. The German
Government have never made a reply to the Report of the British
Committee. They attempted to answer some of the reports made by the
Belgian Government. But their answer was really an admission to the
facts, for it consisted in allegations that Belgian civilians had given
provocation. They endeavored to prove that Belgian civilians had shot
at them. It would not have been strange if some civilians had shot at
those who suddenly burst into their country, but no proof has ever been
given of more than a few of such cases, nor of the stories of outrages
committed by Belgian priests, women and children on German soldiers.
Even if such occasional shooting by civilians had taken place, as very
likely it did, that did not justify the wholesale slaughter of innocent
persons and the burning of whole villages. In the burning of the 26
houses at Melle, which you tell me you witnessed, no allegations were
made of shooting by civilians. The little girl murdered at Alost, to
whom you refer, had not shot at the Germans. The woman, eighty years
old, had not shot at them. These severities were committed as a method
to achieve an end. That end was to terrorize the civilian population,
and destroy the spiritual resources of the nation."

The final question was this:

"As the result of this war, what hope have we of reconstruction and an
altered policy in Germany?"

Viscount Bryce answered:

"It is to be hoped and expected that the Allies will so completely
defeat Germany as to discredit the whole military system and the ideas
out of which the horrors of German war practice have developed. It is
essential to inflict a defeat sufficiently decisive in the eyes of the
German people that they will have done with their military caste and
its nefarious doctrine, and it is essential to discredit the methods
themselves--discredit them by their failure--in so thorough a manner
that no nation will ever use them again. The way, then, of ending what
is called 'frightfulness' is by a complete victory over it. It is our
task to show that shocking military practices and total disregard of
right do not succeed. We must bring to pass the judgment of facts
to the effect that such methods do not avail. In this determination
our British people are unanimous as they have never been before. The
invasion of Belgium, the atrocities committed there, and the sinking of
the _Lusitania_--these three series of acts united the whole British
people in its firm resolve to prosecute the war to a complete victory.
Now on the top of these things and of isolated crimes of the German
Government, like the shooting of Miss Cavell and Captain Fryatt, come
these abominable deportations of Belgians into a sort of slavery."

In all communication with Lord Bryce, one feels the accurate
fair-minded scholar. He is without heat and partisanship. He added in a

"We know that our British soldiers fight hard, but they fight fair,
and they have no personal hatred to their enemies. I have been at the
British front and have seen their spirit. I was told that our men
when they take a prisoner often clap him on the back and give him a
cigarette. There is no personal hatred among our officers or men.
Efforts are properly made here at home to keep bitterness against the
German people as a whole from the minds of our people, but it is right
that they should detest and do their utmost to overthrow the system
that has produced this war and has made it so horrible."



I have seen the original diaries of the German soldiers in the army
which devastated Belgium and Northern France. Things tumble out just as
they happened, hideous acts, unedited thoughts. Phillips Brooke once
spoke of the sensation there would be if the contents of our minds were
dumped on Boston Common for people to see. Here is the soul of the
German people spilled out into writing. This is what Germany was in the
year 1914. This record left by dead men and by captured men is a very
living thing to me, because I saw these German soldiers at their work
of burning and torture. Here they have themselves told of doing the
very thing I saw them do. We must not miss the point of their proof,
written and signed by the perpetrators themselves. It is the proof of
systematic massacre, systematic pillage, systematic arson.

These diaries found on the field of battle were brought to the French
General Staff along with the arms and equipments of the dead and the
prisoners. They are written by the soldiers because of Article 75 of
the German Instruction for Campaign Service (Felddienst-Ordnung), which
states that "these journals of war serve for information on the general
operations, and, by bringing together the various reports of active
fighting, they are the basis for the later definitive histories of the
campaigns. They should be kept daily." No words could be more exactly
prophetic. Those diaries will be the basis of all future histories of
the war. The keeping of them is obligatory for the officers, and seems
to be voluntary on the part of the men, but with a measure of implied
requirement. So stern did some of the soldiers feel the military
requirement to be that they kept on with their record up to the point
of death. Here is the diary of a soldier of the Fourth Company of the
Tenth Battalion of Light Infantry Reserves, which he was writing at the
moment he was fatally wounded.

"Ich bin verwundet. Behüte dich Gott. Küsse das Kind. Es soll fromm
sein." And then the pencil stops forever. The writing on that final
page of all is regular and firm up to the "Ich bin verwundet." Those
last four sentences are each just a line long, as if each was a cry.
He wrote the word "Küsse" and could hardly rally himself. His pencil
slips into three marks without meaning, then he writes "das Kind." I
trust my German readers will not deny me the use of this diary. It is
the only one of which I have not seen the original. The photographic
reproduction is my only evidence of this flash of tenderness among a
thousand acts of infamy.

The diaries are little black-covered pocket copybooks: the sort that
women in our country use for the family accounts. They contain about
100 pages. They average five inches in length and three in width. A few
of the diaries, and those mostly belonging to officers, are written in
ink. But most of them are in pencil, occasionally in black, but the
large majority in purple.

Many of the diaries are curt records of daily marches and military
operations. The man is too tired to write anything but distances, names
of places, engagements. That was what the Great German General Staff
had in mind in ordering the practice. They could not foresee what would
slip through into the record, because in all their calculations they
have always forgotten the human spirit. Once again we are indebted to
German thoroughness. The causes, the objects, the methods of this war,
will not be in doubt, as in other wars of the past. History will be
clear in dealing its judgments. Like the surgeon's ray on a fester,
German light has played on the sore spots. So the soldiers have gone
on making their naked records of crimes committed and their naïve
mental reactions on what they did, till all too late the German machine
forbade further exposure of the national soul. But the faithful peasant
fingers had written what all eternity cannot annul.

"These booklets, stained, bruised, sometimes perforated by bayonet or
torn by splinters of shell, the pencilings in haste, day by day, in
spite of fatigue, in spite even of wounds"--they are the most human
documents of the war.

This privilege of working with the originals themselves was extended
by the Ministry of War. The General Staff issued a _Laissez-Passer_,
and gave me an introduction to the fine white-haired old Lieutenant,
who is a Russian and German scholar. Together we went word by word
over the booklets. I was impressed by the fair-minded attitude of my
co-worker. "An honest man," he said, when we came to Harlak's record.
"Un brave soldat," he declared of the old reservist, who protested
against murder. He was not trying to make a case. He had no need to
make a case. The pity of it is that the case has been so thoroughly
made by German hands. These diaries have not been doctored in the
smallest detail. There they are, as they were taken from the body of
the dead man and the pocket of the prisoners. The room where we worked
is stuffed with the booklets of German soldiers. Shelves are lined
with the black-bound diaries and the little red books of identification
carried by each soldier. They overflow upon tables. In this room and
a suite adjoining sit the official translators of the French General
Staff. I have purposely selected certain of my examples from the
official reports of the French Government. I wanted to verify for
American "neutrals" that no slightest word had been altered, that no
insertions had been made.

My first diary was that of a Saxon officer of the Eighth Company, of
the 178th Regiment, of the XII Army Corps. He makes his entry for 26
August, 1914.

"The lovely village of Gué-d'Hossus, apparently entirely innocent, has
been given to the flames. A cyclist is said to have fallen from his
machine, and in so doing his rifle was discharged, so they fired at
him. Accordingly the male inhabitants were cast into the flames. Such
atrocities are not to happen again, one hopes."

The German phrases carry the writer's sense of outrage: "Das
wunderschöne Dorf Gué-d'Hossus soll ganz unschuldig in Flammen gegangen
sein. ... Man hat männliche Einwohner einfach in die Flammen geworfen.
Solche Scheusslichkeiten Kommen hoffentlich nich wieder vor."

He adds: "At Läffe, about 200 men have been shot. There it was an
example for the place; it was inevitable for the innocent to suffer.
Even so there ought to be a verification of mere suspicions of guilt
before aiming a fusillade at everybody."

In the village of Bouvignes on August 23, 1914, he and his men entered
a private home.

"There on the floor was the body of the owner. In the interior our men
had destroyed everything exactly like vandals.... The sight of the
inhabitants of the village who had been shot beggars any descriptions.
The volley had nearly decapitated certain of them. Every house to the
last corner had been searched and so the inhabitants brought out from
their hiding-places. The men were shot. The women and children put in
the convent. From this convent shooting has come, so the convent will
be burned. Only through the giving up of the guilty and the paying of
15,000 francs can it save itself."

The German phrases of frightfulness have a sound that matches their

"Hatten unsere Leute bereits wie die Vandalen gehaust." "Männer

I opened the diary of Private Hassemer of the VIII Corps, and in the
entry at Sommepy (in the district of the Marne) for September 3, 1914,
I read:

"3/9 1914. Ein schreckliches Blutbad, Dorf abgebrannt, die Franzosen in
die brennenden Häuser geworfen, Zivilpersonen alles mitverbrandt."

("A hideous bloodbath (massacre), the village totally burned, the
French hurled into the burning houses, civilians, everybody, burned

An unsuspected brutality is here revealed. To these men a peasant of
another race is not a father and husband and man. He is as a dog. He is
"Ausländer," beyond the pale--a thing to be chased with bayonets and
burned with fire, to the rollicking amusement of brave soldiers. Back
of the slaughter lies the basic idea of a biological superiority in
the German people, a belief that their duty calls them to a sacred war
to dominate other races, and create a greater Germany. They think they
are a higher order of beings, who can kill creatures of a lesser breed,
as one slays the lower order of animals in the march of progress.
Other races have had dreams of grandeur, but never so mad a dream, so
colossal in its designs on world dominion, so cruel in its methods of
achieving that supremacy.

Soldat Wilhelm Schellenberg, of 106 Reserve Infantry of the XII Reserve
Army Corps, gives his home as Groitzsch bei Leipzig, "am Bahnhof,"
first floor, number 8. "Frau Martha Schellenberg" is to be notified.
His diary is innocent.

I held in my hands the diary of Erich Harlak of the II Company, 38
Fusilier Regiment of the Sixth Army Corps. There is a cut through the
cover and pages of the pamphlet--probably the stab of a bayonet. Harlak
is a Silesian. On the first page he writes in German "Bitte dieses
Buch gütigst meinen Eltern zusenden zu wollen." Then in French "Je prie
aussi Les Français de rendre, s'il vous plait, cet livre à mes parents.
Addresse Lehrer Harlak." "Meinen lieben Eltern gewidmet in Grune bei
Lisser in Posen."

He writes, "I noticed how our cavalry had plundered here." He gives an
instance of how the men broke to pieces what they could not carry away.
"La Guerre est la Guerre." He writes that in French. He runs his table
of values.

  1 kleiner sous = 4 pfennig.
  1 grosser sous = 8    "
  1/2 sous       = 2    "

He has a vocabulary of French words in his own handwriting. His record
is one of honest distress at the pillage done by his comrades.

When the French soldiers say "C'est la Guerre"--"that's the way it is
with war"--they refer to the monotony of it, or the long duration, or
some curious ironic contrast between a peaceful farmyard scene and
a Taube dropping bombs. The Germans say it again and again in their
diaries, sometimes in the French phrase, sometimes "Das ist der Krieg,"
and almost always they use it in speaking of a village they have burned
or peasants they have shot. To them that phrase is an absolution for
any abomination. It is the blood-brother of "military necessity."

Carl Zimmer, Lieutenant of the 57th Infantry of the VII Corps, has a
diary that runs from August 2 to October 17, 1914. On August 29 he
tells of marching through a village of Belgium.

"Very many houses burned whose inhabitants had shot at our soldiers.
250 Civilians shot."

At the head of his diary he writes: "Mit Gott für König und Vaterland."
His record is in ink. Bielefeld in Westphalia is his home town.

Prussia has Prussianized Germany. These diaries cover the Empire. The
writers are Rhenish Pomeranian and Brandenburgian, Saxon and Bavarian.
And the very people, such as the Bavarians and Saxons, whom we had
hoped were of a merciful tradition, have bettered the instruction of
the military hierarchy at Berlin. What Prussia preached they have
practiced with the zeal of a recent convert eager to please his master.

Fahlenstein, a reservist of the 34 Fusiliers, II Army Corps, writes on
August 28th:

"They (the French troops) lay heaped up 8 to 10 in a heap, wounded and
dead, always one on top of the other. Those who could still walk were
made prisoners and brought with us. The severely wounded, with a shot
in the head or lungs and so forth, who could not make further effort,
received one more bullet, which ended their life. That is indeed what
we were ordered to do."

[Illustration: "The severely wounded received one more bullet. That is
what we were ordered to do."--The diary of Reservist Fahlenstein of the
34 Fusiliers.]

[Illustration: Photograph of the German Diary, examined by the writer
of this book. It was written by Corporal Menge of the 8th. Company of
the 74th. Reserve Infantry. He reports: "A curé and his sister hanged,
houses burned."]

("Die schwer verwundeten ... bekamen dennoch eine Kugel zu, dass ihr
Leben ein Ende hatte. Das ist uns ja auch befohlen worden.")

His unwillingness to do the wicked thing must be subordinated to the
will of the officer.

Corporal Menge of the Eighth Company of the 74th Reserve Infantry, 10
Reserve Corps, writes in his diary for August 15:

"Wir passieren unter dreimaligen Hurra auf unsern Kaiser u. unter den
Klängen d. Liedes Deutschland über alles die Belgische Grenze. Alle
Bäume ungefällt als Sperre. Pfarrer u. dessen Schwester aufgehängt,
Häuser abgebrannt."

("We passed over the Belgian border under a three times given Hurrah
for our Kaiser, and under the Strain of the song Deutschland über
alles. All the trees were felled as barricades. A curé and his sister
hanged, houses burned.")

This is a neatly written diary, which he wishes to be sent to Fraulein
F. Winkel of Hanover.

Penitential days are coming for the German Empire and for the German
people. For these acts of horror are the acts of the people: man by
man, regiment by regiment, half a million average Germans, peasants
and clerks, stamped down through Belgium and Northern France, using
the incendiary pellet and the bayonet. In the words of the manifesto,
signed by the 93 Wise Men of Germany, referring to the German army,
"Sie kennt keine zuchtlose Grausamkeit": it doesn't know such a thing
as undisciplined cruelty. No, these are the acts of orderly procedure,
planned in advance, carried out systematically. Never for an instant
did the beautiful disciplined efficiency of the regiment relax in
crushing a child and burning an inhabited house. The people of Germany
have bowed their will to the implacable machine. They have lost their
soul in its grinding.

Private Sebastian Weishaupt of the Third Bavarian Infantry, First
Bavarian Corps:

"10.8.1914--Parie das erste Dorf verbrannt, dann gings los; Dorf nach
dem andern in Flammen; über Feld und Acker mit Rad bis wir dann an
Strassengraben kamen, wo wir dann Kirschen assen."

("Octobre 8, 1914. Parux is the first village burned, then things
break loose: 1 village after another to the flames; over field and
meadow with cycle we then come to the roadside ditches, where we ate

It is all in the day's work: the burning of villages, the murder of
peasants, the eating of cherries. Travelers among savage tribes have
told of living among them for years, and then suddenly in a flash the
inmost soul of the tribe has revealed itself in some sudden mystical
debauch of blood. There is an immense unbridled cruelty in certain of
these German soldiers expressing itself in strange, abnormal ways. This
is the explanation of some of the outrages, some of the mutilations.
But, for the most part, the cruelty is not perversion, nor a fierce,
jealous hate. It is merely the blind, brutal expression of imperfectly
developed natures, acting under orders.

Göttsche, now commissioned officer of the 85 Infantry Regiment, 9 Army
Corps, writes:

"The captain summoned us together and said: 'In the fort which is to
be taken there are apparently Englishmen. I wish to see no Englishmen
taken prisoner by the company.' A universal Bravo of agreement was the

("'Ich wünsche aber Keinen gefangenen Engländer bei: der Kompagnie zu
sehen.' Ein allgemeines Bravo der Zustimmung war die Antwort.")

Forty-three years of preparedness on every detail of treachery and
manslaughter, but not one hour of thought on what responses organized
murder would call out from the conscience of the world, nor what
resistances such cruelty would create. It is curious the way they set
down their own infamy. There is all the naïveté of a primitive people.
Once a black man from an African colony came to where a friend of mine
was sitting. He was happily chopping away with his knife at a human
skull which he wore suspended from his neck. He was as innocent in the
act as a child jabbing a pumpkin with his jack-knife. So it has been
with the Germans. They burn, plunder, murder, with a light heart.

There are noble souls among them who look on with sad and wondering
eyes. What manner of men are these, they ask themselves in that
intimacy of the diary, which is like the talk of a soul with its
maker. These men, our fellow-countrymen, who behave obscenely, who
pour out foulness--what a race is this of ours! That is the burden
of the self-communion, which high-minded Germans have written down,
unconscious that their sadness would be the one light in the dark
affair, unaware that only in such revolt as their own is there any hope
at all of a future for their race.

The most important diary of all is that of an officer whose name I
have before me as I write, but I shall imitate the chivalry of the
French government and not publish that name. It would only subject his
family to reprisal by the German military power. He belongs to the
46th Reserve Infantry Regiment, 5 Reserve Corps. He has a knack at
homely details. He enters a deserted house where the pendulum of the
clock still swings and ticks and sounds the hours. He believes himself
under the direct protection and guidance of God. He sees it when a
shell explodes, killing his comrades. He speaks of the beauty of the
dead French officers, as he sees them lying in a railway station.
He is skeptical about the lies told against French and Belgians. He
realizes that the officers are whipping up a fury in the men, so that
they will obey orders to kill and burn. In his pages you can see the
mighty machine at work, manufacturing the hate which will lead to
murder. The hand on the lever at Berlin sets grinding the wheels, and
each little cog vibrates and moves in unison. He is a simple, pious
man, shocked by the wickedness of his soldiers, offended by the cruelty
of the officers, hating war, longing for its end. He plans to publish
his memoirs of the campaign, with photographs, which he will return to
France to make after the war. He is a natural philosopher. Most of all,
he loves his quiet smoke, which keeps him good-humored. He has written
a page in his diary in praise of tobacco.

"I smoke about ten cigars a day. And if it hadn't been for these cigars
my good-humor in these dangers and fatigues would be much less. Smoking
gives me to a degree calm and content. With it I have something to
occupy my thoughts. It is necessary for one to see these things in
order to understand."

Later he writes:

"October 15, 1914. It had been planned at first that we should go
into quarters at Billy (Billy sous-Nangiennes), where the whole civil
population had been already forced out, and whatever was movable
had been taken away or made useless. This method of conducting war
is directly barbarous. I am astonished how we can make any complaint
over the behavior of the Russians. We conduct ourselves in France much
worse, and on every occasion and on every small pretext we have burned
and plundered. But God is just and sees everything. His mills grind
slowly, but exceedingly small."

("Diese Art kriegführung ist direkt barbarisch ... bei jeder
Gelegenheit wird unter irgend einem Vorwande gebrannt und geplündert.
Aber Gott ist gerecht und sieht alles: seine Mühlen mahlen langsam aber
schrecklich klein.")

[Illustration: "One village after another to the flames. We then came
to the roadside ditches, where we ate cherries"--so writes Sebastian
Weishaupt of the 3 Bavarian Infantry.]

[Illustration: "We have burned and plundered. But God is just and sees
everything. His mills grind slowly, but exceeding small."--The diary of
an officer of the 46 Reserve Infantry Regiment.]

These extracts which I have given are from diaries of which I have
examined the originals, and gone word by word over the German, in the
penciling of the writer. The revelation of these diaries is that the
Germans have not yet built their moral foundations. They have shot up
to some heights. But it is not a deep-centered structure they have
reared. It is scaffolding and fresco. We shall send them back home to
begin again. Sebastian Weishaupt and Private Hassemer and Corporal
Menge must stay at home. They must not come to other countries to try
to rule them, nor to any other peoples, to try to teach them. Their
hand is somewhat bloody. That is my feeling in reading these diaries
of German soldiers--poor lost children of the human race, back in the
twilight of time, so far to climb before you will reach civilization.
We must be very patient with you through the long years it will take to
cast away the slime and winnow out the simple goodness, which is also



In former European wars foul practices were committed by individual
members of armies. But the total army in each country was a small hired
band of men, representing only the fractional part of one per cent of
the population. It was in no way representative of the mind of the
people. Of the present German Army, Professor Dr. Max Planck, of the
University of Berlin, a distinguished physicist, has recently written:

"The German Army is nothing but the German people in arms, and the
scholars and artists are, like all other classes, inseparably bound up
with it."

We must regard the acts of the German Army as the acts of the people.
We cannot dodge the problem of their misbehavior by saying they have
not committed atrocities. We have the signed statements of a thousand
German diaries that they have practiced frightfulness village by
village through Belgium and Northern France. We cannot say it was a
handful of drunken, undisciplined soldiers who did these things. It
was "the German people in arms." It was an army that "knows no such
thing as undisciplined cruelty." It was a nation of people that burned
and murdered, acting under orders. Now, we have arrived at the heart of
the problem. Why did they commit these horrors?

Irritated by an unexpectedly firm resistance from the Belgian and
French Armies, fed on lies spread by German officers concerning the
cruelty of French and Belgians, they obeyed the commands to burn houses
and shoot civilians.

These commands released a primitive quality of brutality.

On August 25th, 1914, Reservist Heinrich Bissinger, of the town of
Ingolstadt, of the Second Company, of the First Bavarian Pioneers,
writes of the village of Orchies:

"A woman was shot because she did not stop at the word Halt, but kept
running away. Thereupon we burn the whole place."

("Sämtliche Civilpersonen werden verhaftet. Eine Frau wurde vershossen,
weil sie auf Halt Rufen nicht hielt, sondern ausreissen wollte. Hierauf
Verbrennen der ganzen Ortschaft.")

One wonders if Heinrich Bissinger would wish the treatment he and
his comrades accorded to Orchies, to be applied to his own home town
of Ingolstadt. If some German peasant woman in Ingolstadt failed to
understand a word in a foreign tongue, and were killed, and then if
Ingolstadt were burned, would Heinrich Bissinger feel that "military
necessity" exonerated the soldiers that performed the deed?

Private Philipp, from Kamenz, Saxony, of the First Company, of the
first Battalion of the 178th Regiment, writes: "Kriegs Tagebuch-Soldat
Philipp, 1 Kompanie (Sachsen)," at the head of his diary. On August 23
he writes of a village that had been burned:

"A spectacle terrible and yet beautiful. Directly at the entrance
lay about 50 dead inhabitants who had been shot, because they had
traitorously fired on our troops. In the course of the night many more
were shot, so that we could count over 200. Women and children, lamp in
hand, had to watch the horrible spectacle. Then in the middle of the
corpses we ate our rice; since morning we had eaten nothing. By search
through the houses we found much wine and liquor, but nothing to eat."

("Im Laufe der Nacht wurden noch viele erschossen, sodass wir über 200
zählen konnten. Frauen und Kinder, die Lampe in der Hand, mussten dem
entsetzlichen Schauspiele zusehen. Wir assen dann inmitten der Leichen
unsern Reis, seit Morgen hatten wir nichts gegessen.")

German soldiers obey these orders because their military training and
their general education have made them docile. They have never learned
to exercise independent individual moral judgment on acts ordered by
the state. The state to them is an organism functioning in regions
that lie outside the intellectual and moral life of the individual. In
every German there are separate water-tight compartments: the one for
the life he leads as a husband and father, the other for the acts he
must commit as a citizen of the Empire and as a soldier of the Army. In
his home life he makes choices. In his public life he has no choice.
He must obey without compunctions. So he lays aside his conscience.
In the moral realm the German is a child, which means that he is by
turns cruel, sentimental, forgetful of the evil he has done the moment
before, happy in the present moment, eating enormously, pleased with
little things, crying over a letter from home, weary of the war, with
sore feet and a rebellious stomach, a heavy pack, and no cigars. I
am basing every statement I make on the statements written by German
soldiers. We do not have to guess at German psychology. They have
ripped open their subconsciousness.

The lieutenant of the 5th Battalion of reserves of the Prussian Guard
writes on August 24 at Cirey:

"In the night unbelievable things have taken place. Warehouses
plundered, money stolen, violations simply hair-raising."

("In der Nacht sind unglaubliche Sachen passiert. Läden ausgeplündert,
Geld gestohlen, Vergewaltigungen, Einfach haarsträubend.")

This diary of the lieutenant's has a black cover, a little pocket for
papers, a holder for the pencil. It is written partly in black pencil
and partly in purple. Thirty-two pages are written, 118 are blank. It
covers a space of time from August 1 to September 4, 1914.

Mrs. Wharton has brought to my attention the chronicle of Salimbene,
a Franciscan of the thirteenth century, wherein similar light-hearted
crimes are recorded.

"On one day he (Ezzelino) caused 11,000 men of Padua to be burnt in the
field of Saint George; and when fire had been set to the house in which
they were being burnt, he jousted as if in sport around them with his

"The villagers dwelt apart, nor were there any that resisted their
enemies or opened the mouth or made the least noise. And that night
they (the soldiers) burned 53 houses in the village."

The orders given by the German commanding general to his officers,
far from recommending prudence and humanity, impose the obligation
of holding the total civil population collectively responsible for
the smallest individual infractions, and of acting against every
tentative infringement with pitiless severity. These officers are as
specialized a class as New York gunmen or Paris apaches. Their career
lies in anti-social conduct. "This wild upper-class of the young German
imperialistic idea" are implacable destroyers. Their promotion is
dependent on the extent of their cruelties.

I have seen an original copy of the order for the day
(Korps-Tagesbefehl) issued on August 12, 1914, by General von Fabeck,
commanding the 13th Army Corps. He says:

"Lieutenant Haag of the 19th Regiment of Uhlans, acting as chief of
patrol, has proceeded energetically against the rioting inhabitants,
and as agreed has employed arms. I express to him my recognition for
his energy and his decision."

("Ich spreche ihm für seinen Schneid und seine Umsicht meine
Anerkennung aus.")

What that gives to Lieutenant Haag is the power of life and death over
non-combatants, with praise for him if he deals out death.

Let us hear General von Fabeck speak again. Here are his instructions
for his troops on August 15, 1914 (I have held the original in my

"As soon as the territory is entered, the inhabitants are to be held
responsible for maintaining the lines of communication. For that
purpose the commander of the advance guard will arrange a strong
patrol of campaign gendarmes (Feldgendarmerie-Patrouille) to be used
for the interior of the locality held by our troops. Against every
inhabitant who tries to do us a damage, or who does us a damage, it is
necessary to act with pitiless severity."

"Mit rücksichtsloser Strenge."

This order is on long sheets of the nature of our foolscap. It is
written in violet ink.

The copy reads:

  gez. v. Fabeck
  Für die Richtigkeit der Abschrift
  Oberlt. und Brig-Adjutant.

Baessler is the aide-de-camp.

Two violations of the rights of non-combatants are in that order. The
requisitioning of inhabitants on military work where they are exposed
to the fire of their own nation; pitiless severity applied to every
non-combatant on the least suspicion of a hostile act.

Actually the state which the simple soldiers obey so utterly is
an inner clique of landed proprietors, captains of industry, and
officers of the army--men of ruthless purpose and vast ambitions. The
sixty-five millions of docile peasants, clerks, artizans and petty
officials are tools for this inner clique.

"The theories of the German philosophers and public men are of one
piece with the collective acts of the German soldiers. The pages
of the Pan-German writers are prophetic. They are not so much the
precursors as the results, the echoes of a something impersonal that
is vaster than their own voice. Here we have acted out the cult of
force, creator of Right, practiced since its dim origins by Prussia,
defended philosophically by Lasson, scientifically by Haeckel and
Ostwald, politically by Treitschke, and in a military way by General
von Bernhardi."

The modern Germany is the victim of an obsession. Under its sentimental
domestic life, its placid beergarden recreation, its methodical
activities, its reveries, its emotional laxity fed on music, it was
generating destructive forces. Year by year it was thinking the
thoughts, inculcated by its famous teachers, until those ideas, pushed
deep down into the subconscious, became an overmastering desire, a
dream of world-grandeur. For once an idea penetrates through to the
subconsciousness, it becomes touched with emotional life, later to leap
back into the light of day in uncontrolled action.

I can produce one of the original bills posted on the walls of Liège by
General von Bulow. Here is the way it reads:


  A la population Liègeoise.

 La population d'Andenne, après avoir témoigné des intentions
 pacifiques à l'égard de nos troupes, les a attaquées de la façon la
 plus traîtresse. Avec mon autorisation, le Général qui commandait ces
 troupes a mis la ville en cendres et a fait fusilier 110 personnes.
 Je porte ce fait à la connaissance de la ville de Liège, pour que ses
 habitants sachent à quel sort ils peuvent s'attendre s'ils prennent
 une attitude semblable.

  Liège, le 22 Août, 1914.

  Général von Bulow.

("The inhabitants of the town of Andenne, after having testified to
their peaceful intentions in regard to our troops, attacked them in
a fashion the most treacherous. By my authorization, the General who
commanded the troops has burned the town to ashes and has shot 110
people. I bring this to the knowledge of the town of Liège, in order
that the inhabitants may know what fate they invite if they take a like

It is only in victorious conquest that the German is unendurable. When
he was trounced at the Battle of the Marne, he ceased his wholesale
burnings and massacres throughout that district, and continued his
campaign of frightfulness only in those sections of Belgium around
Antwerp where he was still conquering new territory. His dream of world
conquest will die in a day, when the day comes that sends him home. In
defeat, he is simple, kindly, surprised at humane treatment. He ceases
to be a superman at the touch of failure. All his blown-up grandeur
collapses, and he shrinks to his true stature.

This return to wholesomeness is dependent on two things: a thorough
defeat in this war, so that the German people will see that a machine
fails when it seeks to crush the human spirit, and an internal
revolution in the conception of individual duty to the state, so that
they will regain the virtues of common humanity. The water-tight
compartments, which they have built up between the inner voice of
conscience in the individual life and the outer compulsion of the
state, must be broken through.



One of the best jokes of the war has been put over on the Germans by
themselves. Here I quote from a German diary of which I have seen the
original. It is written by a sub-officer of the Landwehr, of the 46th
Reserve Regiment, the 9th Company, recruited from the province of
Posen. He and his men are on the march, and the date is August 21. He

"We are informed of things to make us shudder concerning the wickedness
of the French, as, for instance, that our wounded, lying on the ground,
have their eyes put out, their ears and noses cut. We are told that we
ought to behave without any limits. I have the impression that all this
is told us for the sole purpose that no one shall stay behind or take
the French side; our men also are of the same opinion."

On August 23 he writes:

"I learn from different quarters that the French maltreat our
prisoners; a woman has put out the eyes of an Uhlan."

By August 24 all this begins to have its effect on the imperfectly
developed natures of his comrades, and he writes:

"I find among our troops a great excitability against the French."

There we can see the machinery of hate in full operation. The officers
state the lies to the soldiers. They travel fast by rumor. The
primitive, emotional men respond with ever-increasing excitement till
they readily carry out murder.

Let us see how all this is working back home in the Fatherland. I have
seen the photographic reproduction of a letter written by a German
woman to her husband (from whose body it was taken), in which she tells
him not to spare the French dogs ("Hunden"), neither the soldiers nor
the women. She goes on to give her reason. The French, she says, men
and women, are cruel to German prisoners. The story had reached her.

The German Chancellor in September, 1914, stated in an interview for
the United States:

"Your fellow countrymen are told that German troops have burned Belgian
villages and towns, but you are not told that young Belgian girls have
put out the eyes of the defenseless wounded on the field of battle.
Belgian women have cut the throats of our soldiers as they slept, men
to whom they had given hospitality."

The final consecration of the rumor was given by the Kaiser himself.
On September 8, 1914, he sent a cable to President Wilson, in which he
repeated these allegations against the Belgian people and clergy. Of
course, he knew better, just as his Chancellor and General Staff and
his officers knew better. It was all part of the play to charge the
enemy with things akin to what the Germans themselves were doing. That
makes it an open question, with "much to be said on both sides." That
creates neutrality on the part of non-investigating nations, like the
United States.

But what he and his military clique failed to see was that they had
discharged a boomerang. The comeback was swift. The German Protestants
began to "agitate" against the German Roman Catholics. The old
religious hates revived; a new religious war was on. Now, this was the
last thing desired by the military power. An internal strife would
weaken war-making power abroad. Here was Germany filled with lies told
by the military clique. Those lies were creating internal dissension.
So the same military clique had to go to work and deny the very lies
they had manufactured. They did not deny them out of any large love
for the Belgian and French people. They denied them because of the
anti-Catholic feeling inside Germany which the lies had stirred up.
German official inquiries have established the falsity of the atrocity
charges leveled against the Belgians.

A German priest, R. P. Bernhard Duhr, S. J., published a pamphlet-book,
"Der Lügengeist im Völkekrieg. Kriegsmärchen gesammelt von Bernhard
Duhr, S. J.," (München-Regensburg, Verlagsanstat, Vorm. G. J. Manz,
Buch und Kunstdruckei, 1915). Its title means "The spirit of falsehood
in a people's war. Legends that spring up in war-time." His book was
written as a defense of Roman Catholic interests and for the sake of
the internal peace of his own country. This book I have seen. It is a
small pamphlet of 72 pages, with a red cover. The widest circulation
through the German Empire was given to this proof of the falsity of the
charges laid to the Allies. Powerful newspapers published the denials
and ceased to publish the slanders. Generals issued orders that persons
propagating the calumnies, whether orally, by picture or in writing,
would be followed up without pity. So died the legend of atrocities by
Belgians. The mighty power of the Roman Catholic Church had stretched
out its arm and touched the Kaiser and his war lords to silence.

The charges are treachery, incitement to murder and battle, traitorous
attacks, the hiding of machine guns in church towers, the murder,
poisoning and mutilation of the wounded. The story ran that the civil
population, incited by the clergy, entered actively into hostilities,
attacking troops, signaling to the Allies the positions occupied by the
Germans. The favorite and most popular allegation was that women, old
people and children committed atrocities on wounded Germans, putting
out their eyes, cutting off their fingers, ears and noses; and that
priests urged them on to do these things and played an active part in
perpetrating the crimes. Putting out the eyes became the prize story of
all the collection.

The German priest, Duhr, runs down each lie to its source, and then
prints the official denial. Thus, a soldier of the Landwehr sends the
story to Oberhausen (in the Rhine provinces):

"At Libramont the Catholic priest and the burgomaster, after a sermon,
have distributed bullets to the civil population, with which the
inhabitants fire on German soldiers. A boy of thirteen years has put
out the eyes of a wounded officer, and women, forty to fifty years old,
have mutilated our wounded soldiers. The women, the priest and the
burgomaster have been all together executed at Trèves. The boy has been
condemned to a long term in the home of correction."

The German commander of the garrison at Trèves writes:

"Five Belgian francs-tireurs who had been condemned to death by the
court martial were shot at Trèves. A sixth Belgian, still rather
young, has been condemned to imprisonment for many years. Among the
condemned there were neither women, nor priests nor burgomaster."

This communication is signed by Colonel Weyrach.

Postcards representing Belgian francs-tireurs were placed on sale at
Cassel. The commander of the district writes:

"The commanding general of the XI Army Corps at Cassel has confiscated
the cards."

Wagner Bauer, of the Prussian Ministry of War, writes of another tale:

"The story of the priest and the boy spreads as a rumor among troops on
the march."

The _Herner Zeitung_, an official organ, in its issue of September 9,
printed the following: "Among the French prisoners was a Belgian priest
who had collected his parishioners in the church to fire from hiding on
the German soldiers. Shame that German soil should be defiled by such
trash! And to think that a nation which shields rascals of that sort
dares to invoke the law of humanity!"

Frhr. von Bissing, commanding general of the VII Army Corps, writes:

"The story of a Belgian priest, reported by the _Herner Zeitung_ does
not answer at any point to the truth, as it has since been established.
The facts have been communicated to the _Herner Zeitung_ concerning
their article."

The _Hessische Zeitung_ prints the following under title of "Letters
from the Front by a Hessian Instructor":

"The door of the church opens suddenly and the priest rushes out at the
head of a gang of rascals armed with revolvers."

The Prussian Ministry of War replies:

"The inquiry does not furnish proof in support of the alleged acts."

The _Berliner Tageblatt_, for September 10, has a lively story:

"It was the curé who had organized the resistance of the people, who
had them enter the church, and who had planned the conspiracy against
our troops."

The Prussian Minister of War makes answer: "The curé did not organize
the resistance of inhabitants; he did not have them enter the church,
and he had not planned the conspiracy against our troops."

The dashing German war correspondent, Paul Schweder, writes in
_Landesbote_ an article, "Under the Shrapnel in Front of Verdun." He
says that he saw:

"A convoy of francs-tireurs, at their head a priest with his hands

The German investigator pauses to wonder why every prisoner and every
suspect is a franc-tireur, and then he goes on with his inquiry, which
results in a statement from the Prussian War Minister:

"Deiber (the priest) had nothing charged against him, was set at
liberty, and, at his own request, has been authorized to live at

The _Frankfurter Zeitung_, September 8, has a spirited account of a
combat with francs-tireurs in Andenne, written by Dr. Alex Berg, of

"The curé went through the village with a bell, to give the signal for
the fight. The battle began immediately after, very hotly."

The military authority of Andenne, Lieutenant Colonel v. Eulwege:

"My own investigation, very carefully made, shows no proof that the
curé excited the people to a street fight. Every one at Andenne gives a
different account from that, to the effect that most of the people have
seen hardly anything of the battle, so-called, because they had hidden
themselves from fear in the cellars."

Finally, the War Ministry and the press wearied of individual denials,
and one great blanket denial was issued. _Der Völkerkrieg_, which is a
comprehensive chronicle of review of the war, states:

"It is impossible to present any solid proof of the allegation, made by
so many letters from the front, to the effect that the Belgian priests
took part in the war of francs-tireurs. Letters of that kind which we
have heretofore reproduced in our record--for example, the recital of
events at Louvain and Andenne--are left out of the new editions."

_Der Fels_, Organ der Central-Auskunftstelle der katholischen Presse,

"The serious accusations which I have listed are not only inaccurate in
parts and grossly exaggerated, but they are invented in every detail,
and are at every point false."

And, again, it says:

"All the instances, known up to the present and capable of being
cleared up, dealing with the alleged cruelties of Catholic priests
in the war, have been found without exception false or fabrications
through and through."

Turning to the "mutilations," we have the _Nach Feierabend_ publishing
a "letter from the front" which tells of a house of German wounded
being burned by the French inhabitants. Asked for the name of the place
and the specific facts, the editor replied that "you are not the forum
where it is my duty to justify myself. Your proceeding in the midst of
war of representing the German soldiers who fight and die as liars, in
order to save your own skin, I rebuke in the most emphatic way."

But the Minister of War got further with the picturesque editor, and

"The editorial department of the _Nach Feierabend_ states that it
hasn't any longer in its possession the letter in question."

Now we come to the most famous of all the stories.

"At a military hospital at Aix-la-Chapelle an entire ward was filled
with wounded, who had had their eyes put out in Belgium."

Dr. Kaufmann, an ecclesiastic of Aix-la-Chapelle, writes:

"I send you the testimony of the head doctor of a military hospital
here, a celebrated oculist whom I consulted just because he is an
oculist. He writes me:

"'In no hospital of Aix-la-Chapelle is there any ward of wounded with
their eyes put out. To my knowledge absolutely nothing of the sort has
been verified at Aix-la-Chapelle.'"

The _Kölnische Volkzeitung_, October 28, gives the testimony of
Dr. Vülles, of the hospital in Stephanstrasse, Aix-la-Chapelle, in
reference to the "Ward of Dead Men," where "twenty-eight soldiers lay
with eyes put out." The men laughed heartily when they were asked if
they had had their eyes put out.

"If you wish to publish what you have seen," said Dr. Vüller, "you will
be able to say that my colleague, Dr. Thier, as well as myself, have
never treated a single soldier who had his eyes put out."

Professor Kuhnt, of the clinic for diseases of the eye at Bonn, writes:

"I have seen many who have lost their sight because of rifle bullets or
shell fire. The story is a fable."

The _Weser-Zeitung_ has a moving story of a hospital at Potsdam for
soldiers wounded by the francs-tireurs, where lie officers with their
eyes put out. "Young Belgian girls, of from fourteen to fifteen years
of age, at the incitement of Catholic priests, have committed the

The commander at Potsdam writes:

"There is no special hospital here for soldiers wounded by the
francs-tireurs. There are no officers here with eyes put out. The
commander has taken measures to correct the article under dispute, and
also in other publications."

So perish the lies used against Belgium. Lies manufactured by the
General Staff and taught to their officers, to be used among the
soldiers, in order to whip them to hate, because in that hate they
would carry out the cold cruelty of those officers and of that General
Staff. Lies put out in order to blind the eyes of neutrals, like the
government at Washington, to the pillage, the burning and the murder
which the German army was perpetrating as it marched through Belgium
and Lorraine. Lies that later had to be officially denied by the same
military power that had manufactured them, because those lies were
stirring up civil strife at home, and because the Roman Catholic
Germans investigated the sources and silenced the liars.

The Kaiser cabled to our country:

"The cruelties committed in this guerilla warfare by women, children
and priests on wounded soldiers, members of the medical staff and
ambulance workers have been such that my generals have at last been
obliged to resort to the most rigorous measures. My heart bleeds to
see that such measures have been made necessary and to think of the
countless innocents who have lost their life and property because of
the barbarous conduct of those criminals."

Now that he knows that those stories are lies he must feel sorrier yet
that his army killed those countless innocents and burned those peasant





I was standing in what was once the pleasant village of Sommeilles. It
has been burned house by house, and only the crumbled rock was left in
piles along the roadside. I looked at the church tower. On a September
morning, at fourteen minutes of nine o'clock, an incendiary shell had
cut through the steeple of the church, disemboweled the great clock,
and set the roof blazing. There, facing the cross-roads, the hands
of the clock once so busy with their time-keeping, are frozen. For
twenty-three months, they have registered the instant of their own
stoppage. On the minute hand, which holds a line parallel with that
of the earth, a linnet has built its nest of straw. The hour-hand,
outpaced by its companion at the moment of arrest, was marking time at
a slant too perilous for the home of little birds. Together, the hands
had traveled steadily through the hours which make the years for almost
a century. High over the village street, they had sent the plowman to
his field, and the girl to her milking. Children, late from their
play, had scrambled home to supper, frightened by that lofty record
of their guilt. And how many lovers, straying back from the deep,
protecting meadows, have quickened their step, when the revealing moon
lighted that face. Now it marks only cessation. It tells of the time
when a village ceased to live. Something came down out of the distance,
and destroyed the activities of generations--something that made an
end of play and love. Only the life of the linnet goes on as if the
world was still untroubled. Northern France is held in that cessation.
Suddenly death came, and touched seven hundred villages. Nor can there
ever be a renewal of the old charm. The art of the builders is gone,
and the old sense of security in a quiet, continuing world.

I have been spending the recent days with these peasants in the ruins
of their shattered world. Little wooden baraquements are springing up,
as neat and bare as the bungalows of summer visitors on the shore of
a Maine lake. Brisk brick houses and stores lift out of crumpled rock
with the rawness of a mining camp. It is all very brave and spirited.
But it reminded me of the new wooden legs, with shining leather
supports, and bright metal joints, which maimed soldiers are wearing.
Everything is there which a mechanism can give, but the life-giving
currents no longer flow. A spiritual mutilation has been wrought on
these peasant people in destroying the familiar setting of their life.
They had reached out filaments of habit and love to the deep-set hearth
and ancient rafters. The curve of the village street was familiar to
their eye, and the profile of the staunch time-resisting houses.

From a new wooden structure, with one fair-sized, very neat room in it,
a girl came out to talk with us. She was about twenty years old, with
a settled sadness in her face. Her old home had stood on what was now
a vegetable garden. A fragment of wall was still jutting up out of the
potatoes. Everything that was dear to her had been carefully burned by
the Germans.

"All the same, it is my own home," she said, pointing to the new shack,
"it does very well. But my mother could not stand it that everything
was gone. We ran away for the few days that the Germans were here. My
mother died eight days after we came back."

The 51st Regiment of German Infantry entered the village, and burned it
by squirting petrol on piles of straw in the houses. The machine they
used was like a bicycle pump--a huge syringe. Of the Town Hall simply
the front is standing, carrying its date of 1836. Seventeen steps go up
its exterior, leading to nothing but a pit of rubbish.

"For three days I lay hidden without bread to eat," said a passer-by.

An old peasant talked with us. He told us that the Germans had come
down in the night, and burned the village between four and six in the
morning. A little later, they fired on the church. With petrol on hay
they had burned his own home.

"Tout brûlé," he kept repeating, as he sent his gaze around the wrecked
village. He gestured with his stout wooden stick, swinging it around in
a circle to show the completeness of the destruction. Five small boys
had joined our group. The old man swung his cane high enough to clear
the heads of the youngsters. One of them ran off to switch a wandering
cow into the home path.

"Doucement," said the old man. ("Gently.")

We went to his home, his new home, a brick house, built by the English
Quakers, who have helped in much of this reconstruction work. He and
his wife live looking out on the ruin of their old home.

"Here was my bed," he said, "and here the chimney plate."

He showed the location and the size of each familiar thing by gestures
and measurements of his hands. Nine of the neighbors had lain out in
the field, while the Germans burned the village. He took me down into
the cave, where he had later hidden; the stout vaulted cellar under the
ruined house.

"It is fine and dry," I suggested.

"Not dry," he answered, pointing to the roof. I felt it. It was wet and

"I slept here," he said, "away from the entrance where I could be seen."

His wife was made easier by talking with us.

"How many milliards will bring us back our happiness?" she asked. "War
is hard on civilians. My husband is seventy-eight years old."

The cupboard in her new home stood gaping, because it had no doors.

"I have asked the carpenter in Revigny to come and make those doors,"
she explained, "but he is always too busy with coffins; twenty-five and
thirty coffins a day."

These are for the dead of Verdun.

When the Germans left Sommeilles, French officers found in one of the
cellars seven bodies: those of Monsieur and Madame Alcide Adnot, a
woman, thirty-five years old, and her four children, eleven years,
five, four, and a year and a half old. The man had been shot, the young
mother with the right forearm cut off, and the body violated, the
little girl violated, one of the children with his head cut off. All
were lying in a pool of blood, with the splatter reaching a distance of
ninety centimeters. The Germans had burned the house, thinking that the
fire would destroy the evidence of their severity, but the flames had
not penetrated to the cellar.

Sommeilles is in one of the loveliest sections of Europe, where the
fields lie fertile under a temperate sun, and the little rivers glide
under green willow trees. Villages of peasants have clustered here
through centuries. One or two of the hundreds of builders that lifted
Rheims and Chartres would wander from the larger work to the village
church and give their skill to the portal, adding a choiceness of stone
carving and some bit of grotesquerie. Scattered through the valleys of
the Marne, and Meuse, and Moselle, you come on these snatches of the
great accent, all the lovelier for their quiet setting and unfulfilled

The peasant knew he was part of a natural process, a slow,
long-continuing growth, whose beginnings were not yesterday, and
whose purpose would not end with his little life. And the aspect of
the visible world which reinforced this inner sense was the look
of his Town Hall and his church, his own home and the homes of his
neighbors--the work of no hasty builders. In the stout stone house,
with its gray slabs of solidity, he and his father had lived, and his
grandfather, and on back through the generations. There his son would
grow up, and one day inherit the house and its goods, the gay garden
and the unfailing fields.

Things are dear to them, for time has touched them with affectionate
association. The baker's wife at Florent in the Argonne is a strapping
ruddy woman of thirty years of age, instinct with fun and pluck,
and contemptuous of German bombs. But the entrance to her cellar is
protected by sand-bags and enormous logs.

"You are often shelled?" asked my friend.

"A little, nearly every day," she answered. "But it's all right in the
cellar. For instance, I have removed my lovely furniture down there. It
is safe in the shelter."

"Oh, then, you care more for your furniture than you do for your own

"Why," she answered, "you can't get another set of furniture so easily
as all that." And she spoke of a clock and other wedding-presents as
precious to her.

A family group in Vassincourt welcomed us in the room they had built
out of tile and beams in what was once the shed. The man was blue-eyed
and fair of hair, the woman with a burning brown eye, the daughter with
loosely hanging hair and a touch of wildness. The family had gone to
the hill at the south and watched their village and their home burn.
They had returned to find the pigs ripped open. The destruction of live
stock was something more to them than lost property, than dead meat.
There is an intimate sense of kinship between a peasant and his live
stock--the horse that carries him to market, his cows and pigs, the
ducks that bathe in the pool of his barnyard and the hens that bathe
in the roadside dust. No other property is so personal. They had lost
their two sons in the war. The woman in speaking of the French soldiers
called them "Ces Messieurs," "these gentlemen."

In this village is a bran-new wooden shed, "Café des Amis," with the
motto, "A la Renaissance," "To the Rebirth."

In Sermaize, nearly five hundred men marched away to fight. When the
Germans fell on the town, 2,200 were living there. Of these 1,700 have
returned. There are 150 wooden sheds for them, and a score of new
brick dwellings, and twenty-four brick houses are now being built.
Six hundred are living in the big hotel, once used in connection with
the mineral springs for which the place was famous: its full name
is Sermaize-les-Bains. Eight hundred of the 840 houses were shelled
and burned--one-third by bombardment, two-thirds by a house to house

The Hotel des Voyageurs is a clean new wooden shed, with a small
dining-room. This is built on the ruins of the old hotel. The woman
proprietor said to me:

"We had a grand hotel, with twelve great bedrooms and two
dining-rooms. It was a fine large place."

The Café des Alliés is a small wooden shed, looking like the store-room
of a logging camp. We talked with the proprietor and his wife. They
used to be manufacturers of springs, but their business was burned,
their son is dead in the war, and they are too old to get together
money and resume the old work. So they are running a counter of soft
drinks, beer and post cards. The burning of their store has ended their
life for them.

We talked with the acting Mayor of Sermaize, Paul François
Grosbois-Constant. He is a merchant, fifty-four years old. The Germans
burned his six houses, which represented his lifetime of savings.

"The Germans used pastilles in burning our houses," he said, "little
round lozenges, the size of a twenty-five-centime piece (this is the
same size as an American quarter of a dollar). These hop about and
spurt out fire. They took fifty of our inhabitants and put them under
arrest, some for one day, others for three days. Five or six of our
people were made to dress in soldiers' coats and casques, and were
then forced to mount guard at the bridges. The pillage was widespread.
The wife and the daughter of Auguste Brocard were so frightened by the
Germans that they jumped into the river, the river Saulx. Brocard tried
to save them, but was held back by the Germans. Later, when he took
out the dead bodies from the river, he found a bullet hole in the head
of each."

As we drove away from Sermaize, I saw in the village square that a
fountain was feebly playing, lifting a thin jet of water a few inches
above the basin.



We are a nomadic race, thriving on change. Apartment houses are our
tents: many of us preempt a new flat every moving day. This is in
part an inheritance from our pioneer readiness to strike camp and go
further. It is the adaptability of a restless seeking. It is also
the gift made by limitless supplies of immigrants, who, having torn
up their roots from places where their family line had lived for a
thousand years, pass from street to street, and from city to city, of
the new country, with no heavy investment of affection in the local
habitation. Once the silver cord of ancestral memory is loosened, there
is little in the new life to bind it together. The wanderer flows on
with the flowing life about him. To many of us it would be an effort of
memory to tell where we were living ten years ago. The outline of the
building is already dim.

The peasant of France has found a truth of life in planting himself
solidly in one place, with an abiding love for his own people, for the
house and the village where he was born. Four centuries ago the French
poet wrote:

  _Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage
  Ou comme cestuy-là qui conquit la Toison
  Et puis est retourné plein d'usage et raison
  Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge._

  _Quand revoiray-je hélas! de mon petit village
  Fumer la cheminée, et en quelle saison
  Revoiray-je le clos de ma pauvre maison
  Qui m'est une province, et beaucoup davantage._

  _Plus me plaist le sejour qu'out basty mes ayeux
  Que des palais romains le front audacieux
  Plus que le marbre dur me plaist l'ardoise fine._

  _Plus mon Loyre gaulois que le Tybre latin
  Plus mon petit Liré que le mont Palatin
  Et plus que l'air marin la douceur Angevine._

  Happy the man who like Ulysses has traveled far and wide,
  Or like that other who won the Golden Fleece,
  And then wended home full worn and full wise,
  To spend among his own folk the remainder of his days.

  When shall I see once more alack! above my little hamlet
  Rise the chimney smoke, and in what season of the year
  Shall I see once more the garden of my humble home,
  Which is a wide province in my eyes, and even more.

  Dearer to my heart is the home my forefathers built
  Than the cloud-capped tops of haughty Roman palaces.
  Dearer than hardest marble the fine slate of my roof.

  Dearer my Gaulish Loire than Tiber's Latin stream.
  Dearer my little hill of Liré than Mount Palatinus,
  And than sea-airs the sweet air of Anjou.

Till yesterday that voice still spoke for the unchanging life of
France. The peasant remained where his forefathers had broken the
fields and loaded the wains. Why should he be seeking strange lands,
like the troubled races? He found his place of peace long ago. To what
country can he travel where the sun is pleasanter on happy fields?
What people can he visit who have the dignity and simplicity of his

Then the hordes from the north came down, eager to win this sunny
quietness, curious to surprise the secret of this Latin race, with
its sense of form and style, its charm, its sweet reasonableness. Why
are these Southerners loved? Why do their accomplishments conquer the
world so gently, so irresistibly? Surely this hidden beauty will yield
to violence. So it came, that dark flood from the north, pouring over
the fertile provinces, breaking the peace of these peasants. Something
was destroyed where the human spirit had made its home for a longer
time than the individual life: a channel for the generations. Their
fields are still red with the poppy, but their young men who reaped are
busy on redder fields. Their village street is crumbled stone, through
which the thistle thrusts. The altar of their church is sour with rain
water, and the goodness of life is a legend that was slain in a moment
of time. A modern city can be rebuilt. An ancient village can never be
rebuilt. That soft rhythm of its days was caught from old buildings and
a slowly ripening tradition. Something distinguished has passed out of
life. What perished at Rheims in the matchless unreturning light of its
windows was only a larger loss. A quiet radiance was on these villages,

Still the peasants return to the place they know. Even their dead are
more living than the faces of strangers in cities. The rocks in the
gutter once held their home. There is sadness in a place where people
have lived and been happy, and now count their dead. It is desolate
in a way wild nature never is, for the raw wilderness groups itself
into beauty and order. It would have been better to let the forest
thicken through centuries, than to inherit the home where one day the
roof-tree is razed by the invader. These peasants are not hysterical.
They are only broken-hearted. They tell their story in a quiet key, in
simple words, with a kind of grayness of recital. There are certain
experiences so appalling to the consciousness that it can never reveal
the elements of its distress, because what was done killed what could
tell. But the light of the day is never seen again with the same eyes
after the moment that witnessed a child tortured, or one's dearest shot
down like a clay pigeon. The girl, who was made for happiness, when
she is wife and mother, will pass on a consciousness of pain which had
never been in her line before. The thing that happened in a moment will
echo in the troubled voices of her children, and a familiar music is



One day when I was in Lorraine, a woman came to me carrying in her
hands a boy's cap, and a piece of rope. She was a peasant woman about
forty years of age, named Madame Plaid. She said:

"You see, Monsieur, I found him in the fields. He was not in the house
when the Germans came here. I thought that my little scamp (mon gamin)
was in danger, so I looked everywhere for him. He was fourteen years
old, only that, at least he would have been in September, but he seemed
to be all of nineteen with his height and his size.

"I asked the Prussians if they had not seen my little scamp. They were
leading me off and I feared that they would take me away with them. The
Prussians said that somebody had fired on them from my house.

"Your son had a rifle with him and he fired on us, just like the
others," they said.

"I answered: 'My little scamp did not do anything, I am sure.'

"'What shirt did he have on?' they asked.

"'A little white shirt with red stripes,' I replied.

"They insisted that he was the one that had fired.

"When the cannonading stopped, the people who had been with me told me
that they had seen a young man lying stretched out in the field, but
they could not tell who it was. I wanted to see who it was that was
lying there dead, and yet I drew back.

"'No,' I said to myself, 'I am too much afraid.'

"But I crossed the field. I saw his cap which had fallen in front of
him. I came closer. It was he. He had his hands tied behind his back.

"See. Here is the cord with which he had been killed. For he had not
been shot. He had been hanged.

(She held out to us the cord--a coil of small but strong rope.)

"And here is the cap.

(She was holding the gray cap in her two hands.)

"When I saw him, I said to the Prussians:

"'Do the same thing to me now. Without my little scamp I cannot go on.
So do the same to me.'

"Three weeks later, I went again to search for my little scamp. I did
not find him any more. The French soldiers had buried him with their



We were searching for the Mayor of Clermont, not the official Mayor,
but the real Mayor. This war has been a selector of persons. When the
Germans came down on the villages, timid officials sometimes ran and
left their people to be murdered. Then some quiet curé, or village
storekeeper, or nun, took over the leadership. Wherever one of these
strong souls has lived in the region of death, in that village he has
saved life. When the weak and aged were wild with terror, and hunted
to their death, he has spoken bravely and acted resolutely. The sudden
rise to power of obscure persons throughout Northern France reminds
an American of the life history of Ulysses Grant. So at Clermont, the
Mayor took to his heels, but Edouard Jacquemet, then sixty-eight years
old, and his wife, stayed through the bonfire of their village and
their home. And ever since, they have stayed and administered affairs.

[Illustration: One of the new little red-brick houses of reconstructed

[Illustration: The Mayor of Clermont and his wife, who did not run away
when the invaders came.]

Clermont was a village of one thousand inhabitants. Thirty-eight
persons remained--old people, religious sisters and the Jacquemets.
The Germans burned 195 houses. The credit falls equally to a corps of
Uhlans with the Prince of Wittgenstein at their head, and to the XIII
corps from Württemberg, commanded by General von Urach. The particular
regiments were the 121st and 122d Infantry.

We inquired of soldiers where we could find the Mayor.

"He is up above," they said. We were glad to leave the hot little
village, with its swarms of flies, its white dust that lay on top of
the roadbed in thick, puffy heaps, and its huddles of ruined houses.
Each whirring camion, minute by minute, grinding its heavy wheels into
the crumbling road, lifted white mists of dust, which slowly drifted
upon the leaves of trees, the grass of the meadows, and the faces
of soldiers. Eyebrows were dusted, hair went white, mustaches grew
fanciful. Nature and man had lost all variety, all individuality. They
were powdered as if for a Colonial ball. The human eye and the eyes of
cattle and horses were the only things that burned with their native
color through that veil of white that lay on Clermont.

We went up a steep, shaded hill, where the clay still held the summer
rains. The wheels of our car buzzed on the slush--"All out," and we did
the last few hundred yards on foot. We were bringing the Mayor good
news. The Rosette of the Legion of Honor had just been granted him.

We found him in a little vine-covered old stone house on the hilltop,
where he took refuge after his village was burned. He wept when my
friend told him that the emblem of the highest honor in France was on
its way.

"It means I have done something for my country," he said.

He is a cripple with one leg short. He goes on crutches, but he goes
actively. He has fulfilled his life. His sons are fighting for France,
and he, too, has served, and his service has been found acceptable
in her sight. He is bright and cheery, very patient and sweet, with
that gentleness which only goes with high courage. But underneath that
kindliness and utter acceptance of fate, I felt that "deep lake of
sadness," which comes to one whose experience has been over-full.

So we came through the dust of the plain and the clay of the climb to a
good green place. It is a tiny community set on a hill. That hill was
covered with stately trees--a lane of them ran down the center of the
plateau, as richly green and fragrant as the choicest pine grove of New
England. The head of the lane lost itself in a smother of low-lying
bushes and grasses, lush-green and wild. But just before it broke into
lawlessness, one stout tree, standing alone, shot up; and tacked to
its stalwart trunk, this notice fronts the armies of France:






Little strips of bark from the protected tree framed the notice.

There was the voice of France, mindful of the eternal compulsions of
beauty, even under the guns. No military necessity must destroy a
grove. In the wreckage of almost every precious value in that Argonne
village, the one perfect thing remaining must be cherished.

Nowhere else have I ever seen that combination of wildness and
stateliness, caught together in one little area, except on some
hill crest of New Hampshire. For the first time in two years I felt
utterly at home. This was the thing I knew from childhood. Nothing
that happened here could seem strange. Nothing spoken in that grove
of firs would fall in an alien tongue. The lane was doubly flanked
by great growths, planted in 1848--the inner line of cypresses, the
outer windshield of fir trees. One lordly fir had been blown down by
a shell, and cut up for kindling. Other shell-holes pitted the grove.
We were standing on an historic spot. In the XIV century, Yolande of
Flanders built her castle here, high above danger. She was the Countess
of Bar-le-Duc, the Catherine de Medici of her district. When a little
village to the North protested at her heavy taxes, she burned the
village. The Bishop sent two vicars to expostulate. She drowned the
two vicars, then built three churches in expiation, one more for good
measure than the number of vicars, and died in the odor of sanctity.
One of her chapels is on the plateau where we were standing. On the
outer wall is a sun dial in colors, with a Latin inscription around the

"As many darts as there are hours. Fear only one dart, the last one."

So the old illuminator had written on this Chapel of Saint Anne.

"Only one shell will get you--your own shell. No need to worry till
that comes, and then you won't worry," how often the soldiers of France
have said that to me, as they go forward in their blithe fatalism.

Little did the hand that groined that chapel aisle and fashioned that
inscription in soft blue and gold know in what sad sincerity his
words would fall true. When he lettered in his message for the hidden
years, he never thought it would speak centuries away to the intimate
experience of fighting men on the very spot, and that his hilltop would
be gashed with shell-pits where the great 220's had come searching,
till the one fated shell should find its mark.

The Mayor led me down the grove, his crutches sinking into the conifer
bed of the lane. From the rim of the plateau, we looked out on one of
the great panoramas of France. The famous roads from Varenne and Verdun
come into Clermont and pass out to Chalons and Paris. Clermont is the
channel through the heart of France. From here the way lies straight
through Verdun to Metz and Mayence. We could see rolling fields,
and mounting hills, ridge on ridge, for distances of from twelve to
twenty-five miles. To the South-East, the East, and the North and the
West, the sweep of land lay under us and in front of us: an immense
brown and green bountiful farm country. There we were, lifted over the
dust and strife. In a practice field, grenades clattered beneath us.
From over the horizon line, the guns that nest from Verdun to the
Somme grumbled like summer thunder.

"I have four sons in the war," said the Mayor. "One is a doctor. He is
now a prisoner with the Germans. The other three are Hussar, Infantry
and Artillery."

We turned back toward the house. His wife was walking a little ahead of
us, talking vivaciously with a couple of officers.

"My wife," he went on, "has the blood of four races in her, English,
Greek, Spanish and French. She is a very energetic woman, and brave.
She is a soul. She is a somebody. (_Elle est une âme. Elle est

We talked with her. She is brown-eyed and of an olive skin, with
gayety and ever-changing expression in the face. But she is near the
breaking-point with the grief of her loss, and the constant effort
to choke down the hurt. Her laughter goes a little wild. I felt that
tears lay close to the lightest thing she said. Her maiden name was
Marie-Amélie-Anne Barker.

"When the Germans began to bombard our village," she told me, "my
husband and I went down into the cellar. He stayed there a few minutes.

"'Too damp,' he said. He climbed upstairs and sat in the drawing-room
through the rest of the bombardment. Every little while I went up to
see him, and then came back into the cellar.

"After their bombardment they came in person. In the twilight of early
morning they marched in, a very splendid sight, with their great coats
thrown over the shoulder. I heard them smash the doors of my neighbors.
The people had fled in fright. The soldiers piled the household stuff
out in the street. I saw them load a camion with furniture taken from
the home of M. Desforges and with material taken from Nordmann, our
merchant of novelties.

"A doctor, with the rank of Major, seized the surgical dressings of our
hospital, although it was under the Red Cross flag.

"I stood in my door, watching the men go by.

"You are not afraid?" asked one.

"I am not afraid of you," I replied.

"I believed my house would not be burned. It was the house where the
German Emperor William the First spent four days in 1870. It was the
house where he and Bismarck and Von Moltke mapped out the plan of
Sedan. You see it was the finest house in this part of France. Each
year since 1871, three or four German officers have come to visit
it, taking photographs of it, because of the part it played in their
history. I was sure it would not be burned by them.

"I left all my things in it--the silverware, the little trinkets and
souvenirs, handed down in my family, and gathered through my lifetime.
I said to myself, if I take them out, they will treat it as a deserted
house. I will show them we are living there, with everything in sight.
I was working through the day at the hospital, caring for the German

"The soldiers began their burning with the house of a watchmaker. They
burned my house. I saw it destroyed bit by bit (morceau par morceau).
I saw my husband's study go, and then the drawing-room, and the
dining-room. The ivories, the pictures, the bibelots, everything that
was dear to me, everything that time had brought me, was burned.

"I said to the German doctor that it was very hard.

"He replied: 'If I had known it was Madame's house, I should have
ordered it to be spared.'"

We were silent for a moment. Then Madame Jacquemet said:

"Come and see what we have now."

She led us upstairs to a room which the two beds nearly filled.

"All that I own I keep under the beds," she explained. "See, there are
two chairs, two beds. Nothing more. And we had such a beautiful room."

"Why did you burn our homes?" I asked a German officer, after the
village was in ruins.

"We didn't burn the place," he answered. "It was French shells that
destroyed it."

"I was here," I answered. "There were no French shells."

"The village people fired on our troops," he said.

"I was here," I told him. "The village people did not fire on your
troops. The village people ran away."

"An empty town is a town to be pillaged," he explained.

The Mayor took up the story.

"A German officer took me into his room, one day," he said. "He closed
the door, and began:

"I am French at heart. I believe that your village was burned as a
spectacle for the Crown Prince who has his headquarters over yonder at
a village a few kilometers away."

The picture he summoned was so vivid that I said, "Nero--Nero, for whom
the destruction of a city and its people was a spectacle. Only this is
a little Nero. Out of date and comic, not grandiose and convincing."

Monsieur Jacquemet went on:

"They burned our houses with pastilles, the little round ones with a
hole in the middle that jump as they burn. In the Maison Maucolin we
found three liters of them. The Thirty-first French Regiment picked
them up when they came through, so that no further damage should
come of them. The Germans left a sackful in the park belonging to M.
Desforges. The sack contained 500 little bags, and each bag had 100
pastilles. Monsieur Grasset threw the sack into water, as a measure of

The Mayor had saved a few pastilles as evidence, and passed one of them
around. He has an exact turn of mind. He made out a map of his hilltop,
marking with spots and dates the shells that seek his home.

Under one of the oldest of the linden trees--the historian of our
party, Lieutenant Madelin, wondered how old: "four, five centuries,
perhaps"--we ate an open-air luncheon. Our hosts were the Mayor and
his wife. Our fellow-guests were the Captain and the Major--the Major
a compact, ruddy, sailor type of man, with the far-seeing look in his
blue eyes of one whose gaze comes to focus at the horizon line.

It seemed to me like the simple farm-meals I had so often eaten on the
New England hills, in just that rapid sunlight playing through the
leaves of great trees, in just that remote clean lift above the dust
and hurt of things. I thought to myself, I shall always see the beauty
of this little hill rising clear of the ruin of its village.

Then we said good-by, and I saw on the doorstep, sitting motionless
and dumb, the mother of a soldier. Her white hair was almost vivid
against the decent somber black of her hood, and dress. There was a
great patience in her figure, as she sat resting her chin on her hand
and looking off into the trees, as if time was nothing any more. For
many days the carpenters had not been able to work fast enough to
make coffins for the dead of Clermont. She was waiting on the Mayor's
doorstep for the coffin of her son.



We were in the barracks of the Eighth Regiment of Artillery. They have
been converted into a home for refugees, but the old insignia of famous
victories still adorn the walls. We were talking with Madame Derlon.
She is a refugee from Pont-à-Mousson, widowed by German severity. But
unlike so many women of Lorraine whom I met, she still could look to
her line continuing. For while she sat, slightly bent over and tired,
Charles, her fifteen-year-old son ("fifteen and a half, Monsieur"),
stood tall and straight at her side. While the mother told me her
story, I looked up from her and saw on the wall the escutcheon of the
Regiment, and I read in illuminated letters the names of the battles in
which it had fought:


At the beginning of the war, her husband was ferryman of the Moselle,
she said. He carried civilians and soldiers across. Their little son,
then thirteen years old, liked to be near him, and watch the river
and the passing of people. The boy had discovered a cellar under the
bridge--a fine underground room, well-vaulted, where boy-like he had
hidden tobacco and where he often stayed for hours, dreaming of the
bold things he would do when his time came, and he would be permitted
to enlist. His day was closer than he guessed. A cave is as wonderful
to a French boy as it was to Tom Sawyer. Sometimes he made a full
adventure of it and slept the night through there.

During the early battles, the bridge had been blown up. So Father
Derlon was kept very busy ferrying peasants and stray soldiers from
bank to bank. One day three German patrols came along. Charles was
standing by the bridge, watching his father sitting in the wherry. The
boy stepped down into his underground room to get some tobacco. He was
gone only five minutes. When he came back, the three Germans said to

"Your father is dead."

It was so. They had climbed the bridge, and fired three times; one
explosive bullet had entered the ferryman's head, and two had shattered
his arm. The Germans said he had been carrying soldiers across, and
that it was wrong to carry soldiers.

"The little one came home crying," said Madame Derlon. "Since that
moment, the little one left home without telling me. He did not send me
any news of himself. I searched everywhere to try to find a trace of
him. Monsieur Louis Marin, the Deputy, told me he had seen a boy like
my little one following the soldiers. Actually he had been adopted by
the 95th Territorial Regiment."

He told the soldiers that he had just seen his father killed by the
Germans. One of the captains took him under his protection. The
boy insisted on becoming a fighter. He was brave and they made him
Corporal. He fell wounded in action, winning the Croix de Guerre.

Charles Derlon, the little Corporal of the 95th Infantry, has a
bright open face, but it is a face into which has passed the look of
responsibility. In one moment, he became a man, and he has that quiet
dignity of a boy whom older men respect and make a comrade of. He holds
himself with the trim shoulders and straight carriage of a little
soldier of France.

One of us asked him:

"And weren't you afraid, my boy, of the fight?"

"It is all the same to me," he replied, "when I get used to it."

[Illustration: The Little French Corporal, who joined the army at 14
years of age and, wounded, won the Cross of War.]

[Illustration: The Curé of Triaucourt (at the right) who stayed with
his people when the village was burned. Next him, in trench helmet,
stands one of the thousands of French priests who serve by day and
night at the front, rescuing the wounded, and cheering the fighting

"And why," we pressed him, "did you run away without going to your
mother? Didn't you think she might be anxious?"

"Because I knew very well," he said, "that she would not want to let me

"And you are away from the army now, 'on permission'?" we asked.

Very proudly he answered:

"No, Monsieur. I am on leave of convalescence for three months. I have
been wounded in three places, two wounds in my arm, and one in my leg."



What was true of Joan of Arc is true to-day. There is no leadership
like the power of a holy spirit. It lends an edge to the tongue in
dealing with unworthy enemies. It gives dignity to sudden death.
Religion, where it is sincere, is still a mighty power in the lives of
simple folk to lift them to greatness. Out beyond Rheims, at the front
line trenches, the tiny village of Bétheny is knocked to pieces. The
parish church is entirely destroyed except for the front wall. Against
that wall, an altar has been built, where the men of the front line
gather for service. Over the altar I read the words

  _Que le Coeur de Jésus sauve la France_.

In that name many in France are working. Such a one is Paul Viller,
curé of Triaucourt. The burning of the village is the world's end for
a peasant, because the village was his world. When the peasants of
Triaucourt saw their little local world rocking, they turned to the
curé. He was ready.

"It is better to run," said the Mayor; "they kill, those Germans."

As the curé said to the German lieutenant who tried to force him up
the bell-tower, "That ascension will give me the vertigo," so he felt
about running away: his legs were not built for it. He would like to
"oblige," but he was not fashioned for such flights.

Curé Viller is 55 years old, short and ruddy and sturdy. In his books
and his travel, and wellgrounded Latin education, he is far removed
from the simple villagers he serves. But he has learned much from them.
He has taken on their little ways. He has their simplicity which is
more distinguished than the manners of cities. With them and with him
I felt at home. That is because he was at home with himself, at home
in life. His house was full of travel pictures--Brittany fishermen and
nooks of scenery. He had the magazine litter, scattered through all
the rooms, of a reading man who cannot bear to destroy one printed
thing that has served a happy hour. His volumes ranged through theology
up to the history of Thiers. His desk was the desk of an executive,
orderly, pigeon-holed, over which the transactions of a village flow
each day. A young priest entered and stated a case of need. The curé
opened a little drawer, peeled off five franc notes from a bundle, and
saw the young man to the door. It was as clean-cut as the fingering of
a bank-cashier. The only difference was the fine courtesy exchanged by
the men.

The curé talked with us about the Germans. We asked him how the
peasants felt toward them, after the burning and the murders.

"I will tell you how the village electrician felt," replied he. "He
came back after the troops had left and took a look about the village.

"'If I ever get hold of those Germans, I'll chew them up,' he said to

"'Some of them are still here,' I replied.

"'Show them to me quick,' he demanded.

"'They are in the church--grievously wounded.'

"We went there. A German was lying too high on his stretcher, groaning
from his wound and the uncomfortable position.

"'Here, you, what are you groaning about?' thundered the electrician.
He lit a cigarette and puffed at it, as he glared at his enemy.

"'Uncomfortable, are you? I'll fix you,' he went on, sternly. Very
gently he eased the German down into the softer part of the stretcher,
and tucked in his blankets.

"'Now, stop your groaning,' he commanded. He stood there a moment in
silence, then burst out again angrily:

"'What are you eyeing me for? Want a cigarette, do you?'

"He pulled out a cigarette, put it in the lips of the wounded man and
lit it. Then he came home with me and installed electric lights for me.
That was the way he chewed up the Germans.

"As for me, I lost twenty pounds of weight because of those fellows.
After they have been in a room, it is a chaos: men's clothing, women's
undergarments, petticoats, skirts, shoes, napkins, cloths, hats,
papers, boxes, trunks, curtains, carpets, furniture overturned and
broken, communicants' robes--everything in a mess. I have seen them
take bottles of gherkins, cherries, conserves of vegetables, pots of
grease, lard, hams, everything they could eat or drink. What they
couldn't carry, they destroyed. They opened the taps of wine casks,
barrels of oil and vinegar, and set flowing the juice of fruits ready
for distillation.

"The official pillage of precious objects which are to be sent to
Germany is directed by an officer. He has a motor car and men. I have
sometimes asked for vouchers for the objects, stolen in that way.
The vouchers are marked with the signature of the officer doing the
requisitioning, and with the stamp of the regiment. But who will do
the paying, and when will they do it? The plunderer who takes bottles
of wine gives vouchers. I have seen some of them which were playfully
written in German, reading:

"'Thanks, good people, we will drink to your health.'

"They don't always have good luck with their pillage. A Boche, who is
an amateur of honey, rummages a hive. The valiant little bees hurl
themselves on the thief and give him such a face that he can't open
his mouth or his eyes for a couple of days. A Boche once held out to
me a handful of papers which he took for checks of great value. They
were receipts filched from the drawers of Madame Albert Fautellier. The
biter was well bitten.

"When the Germans entered my house they held revolvers in their hand.
It is so always and everywhere. If all they are asking of you is a
match, or a word of advice, the Boche takes out his revolver from its
holster, and plunges it back in, when he has got what he wishes. With a
revolver bullet he shoots a steer, and knocks down a pig with the butt
of his rifle. The animals are skinned. He doesn't take anything but the
choice morsels. He leaves the rest in the middle of the street, or a
court or garden, the head, the carcass and the hide."

No man in France had a busier time during the German occupation than
this village curé. He went on with his recital:

"On Sunday morning, the Germans set our church clock by German time,
but the bell was recalcitrant and continued to sound the French hour,
while the hands galloped on according to their whim. While they were
here, the hour didn't matter. We lost all notion of time. We hardly
knew what day it was. My cellar is deep and well vaulted. I placed
there a pick-ax, spades and a large shovel. Every precaution was taken.
I placed chairs, and brought down water. Wax tapers, jammed in the
necks of empty bottles, gave us light enough. That Sunday and the days
following I had the pleasure of offering hospitality to 76 persons. My
parishioners knew that my home was wide open to them. When you are in
numbers, you have less fear.

"The men went into the garden to listen and see whether the battle was
coming closer. I recited the rosary in a loud tone. The little children
knelt on their knees on the pavement and prayed. Cavalry and infantry
passed my door in silence. Once only, I heard the Teutons chanting;
it was the third day of the battle: a regiment, muddy and frightened,
reentered Friaucourt chanting.

"The hours go slowly. Suddenly we saw to the East a high column of
smoke. Can that be the village of Evres on fire? I think it is, but to
reassure my people I tell them that it is a flax-mill burning, or the
smoke of cannon. At night we sleep on chairs. The children lie down on
an immense carpet, which I fold over them, and in that portfolio they
are able to sleep.

"Monday was a day of glorious sunshine. Nature seemed to be en fête.
After I had buried seven French and German dead, and was walking home,
I saw coming toward me Madame Procès, her daughter Hélène, in tears, a
German officer and a soldier. The officer asked me:

"'Do you know these ladies?'

"'Very well,' I answered, 'they are honest people of my parish.'

"'All right. This soldier has not shown proper respect to the young
lady. He will be rebuked. If he had gone further he would be shot.'

"The officer then reprimanded the soldier in my presence. The man,
stiff at attention, listened to the rebuke in such a resentful, hateful
way that I thought to myself there is going to be trouble. The soldier,
his rifle over his shoulder, went toward the Mayor's office.

"About twenty minutes later I heard firing from the direction of the
Mayor's office, two shots, several shots, then a regular fusilade. The
sullen soldier had gone down there, clapped his hand to his head, said
he was wounded, and fired. When I heard the first firing, I thought it
was only one more of their performances. I had seen them kill a cow
and a pig in the street by shooting them.

"But at the sound of these shots the Germans ran out from the houses
and the streets, rifle and revolver in hand, shouting to me:

"'Your people have fired on us.'

"I protested with all my power, saying that all our arms had been put
in the Mayor's office, and that no one of us had done the firing. But
they only shouted the louder:

"'Your people have fired on us.'

"Flames broke out in the homes of Mr. Edouard Gand, and Mr. Gabriel
Géminel. We saw the Boches set them on fire with incendiary fuses.
Later on, we found the remnants of those fuses.

"Women began running to me, weeping and saying:

"'Curé, save my father.' 'My child is in the flames.' 'They are killing
my children.'

"The shooting went on. The fire spread and made a hot cauldron of two
streets. Cattle and crops and houses burned.

"Then a strange thing happened. Some Germans aided in saving clothing
and furniture from two or three of the houses. But most of them watched
the destruction, standing silent and showing neither pleasure nor
regret. I could tell it was no new sight for them. In two hours, there
was nothing left of the thirty-five houses on two streets.

"Our people ran out, chased by angry Germans who fired on them as if
they were hunter's game. Jules Gand, 58 years old, was shot down at
the threshold of his door. A seventeen-year-old boy named Georges
Lecourtier, taking refuge with me, was shot. Alfred Lallemand hid
himself in a kitchen. His body was riddled with bullets. We found it
burned and lying in the rubbish, eight days later. He was 54 years old.
Men, women and children fled into the gardens and the fields. They
forded the river without using the bridge which was right there. They
ran as far as Brizeaux and Senard. My cook ran. She had a packet of my
bonds, which I had given her for safe-keeping, and she had a basket of
her own valuables. In her fear she threw away her basket, and kept my

"The daughter of one of our women, shot in this panic, came to me and

"'My mother had fifty thousand francs, somewhere about her.'

"The body had been buried in haste, with none of the usual rites paid
the dead, of washing and undressing. So no examination had been made.
We dug the body up and found a bag.

"'Is that the bag?' I asked the daughter.

"'It looks like it,' she replied. It was empty.

"A day later we found another bag in the dead woman's room, and in it
were the bonds for fifty thousand francs. That shows the haste and
panic in which our people had fled, picking up the wrong thing, leaving
the thing of most value.

"It was in the garden of the Procès family that the worst was done.
It was Hélène Procès, you remember, who was insulted by the German
soldier. The grandmother, 78 years old, Miss Laure Mennehand, the aunt,
who was 81 years old, the mother, 40 years old, and Hélène, who was 18,
ran down the garden. They placed a little ladder against the low wire
fence which separated their back yard from their neighbor's. Hélène was
the first one over, and turned to help the older women. The Germans had
followed them, and riddled the three women with bullets. They fell one
on the other. Hélène hid herself in the cabbages.

"That same evening some of the villagers went with me to the garden.
The women looked as if they were sleeping. They had no trace of
suffering in the face. Miss Mennehand had her little toilet bag,
containing 1,000 francs, fastened to her left wrist, and was still
holding her umbrella in her right hand. Her brains had fallen out. I
collected them on a salad leaf and buried them in the garden.

"We carried the three bodies to their beds in their home. In one bed,
as I opened it, I saw a gold watch lying. From Monday evening till
Wednesday morning, the bodies lay there, with no wax taper burning, and
no one to watch and pray. By night the Germans played the piano, close

"'Your people fired on our soldiers,' said a Captain to me next day.
'I'll show you the window.'

"He led me down the street, and pointed.

"'It is unfortunate you have chosen that window,' I replied to him; 'at
the time you started burning our village the only person in the house
was a paralytic man, who was burned in his bed.'

"It was the house of Jean Lecourtier, 70 years old.

"In front of the Poincaré house, I met a General, who, they said, was
the Duke of Württemberg. He said to me:

"'I am glad to see you, Curé. I congratulate you. You are the first
chaplain I have seen. Generally, when we get to a village, the mayor
and the curé have run away. We officers are angry at what has taken
place here. You have treated us well.'

"'Perhaps you will be able to stop the horror,' I said to him.

"'Ah, what can you expect? It is war. There are bad soldiers in your
army and in ours.'

"The next day I saw him getting ready to enter a magnificent car. His
arm was bandaged.

"'You are wounded, General?' I asked him.

"'No, not that,' he answered.

"'A strained ligament (_entorse_)?' I asked.

"'No,' he said, 'don't tell me the French word,' He opened a pocket
dictionary with his unhurt hand, wetting his finger and turning the

"'It is a sprain (_luxation_),' he said.

"That is the way they learn a language as they go along.

"'You are leaving us?' I asked.

"Yes, I am going to my own country to rest."

The afternoon had passed while we were talking. We rose to make our

"Come with me," said the curé. He led us down the village street, to a
small house, whose backyard is a little garden on the little river. All
the setting was small and homelike and simple, like the village itself
and the curé. A young woman stepped out from the kitchen to greet us.

"This is the girl," said Father Viller. Hélène Procès is twenty years
old, with the dark coloring, soft, slightly olive skin, brown eyes, of
a thousand other young women in the valley of the Meuse. But the look
in her eyes was the same look that a friend of mine carries, though it
is now twelve years since the hour when her mother was burned to death
on board the _General Slocum_. Sudden horror has fixed itself on the
face of this girl of Triacourt, whose mother and grandmother and aunt
were shot in front of her in one moment.

She led us through the garden. There were only a few yards of it: just
a little homely place. She brought us to the fence--a low wire affair,
cheaply made, and easy to get over.

"The bullets were splashing around me," she said.

The tiny river, which had hardly outgrown its beginnings as a brook,
went sliding past. It seemed a quiet place for a tragedy.



Two persons came in the room at Lunéville where I was sitting. One was
Madame Dujon, and the other was her granddaughter. Madame Dujon had a
strong umbrella, with a crook handle. Her tiny granddaughter had a tiny
umbrella which came as high as her chin. As the grandmother talked,
the sadness of the remembrance filled her eyes with tears. Her voice
had pain in it, and sometimes the pain, in spite of her control, came
through in sobbing. The little girl's face was burned, and the wounds
had healed with scars of ridged flesh on the little nose and cheek. The
emotion of the grandmother passed over into the child. With a child's
sensitiveness she caught each turn of the suffering. Troubled by the
voice overhead, she looked up and saw the grandmother's eyes filled
with tears. Her eyes filled. When her grandmother, telling of the dying
boy, sobbed, the tiny girl sobbed. The story of the murder tired the
grandmother, and she leaned on her umbrella. The little girl put her
chin on her tiny umbrella, and rested it there.

Madame Dujon said:

"I will try to tell you the beginning of what I have passed through,
Monsieur, but I do not promise that I shall arrive at the end. It is
too hard. The day of the twenty-fifth of August, which was a Monday----"

As she spoke her words were cut by sobs. She went on:

"When the Germans came to our house, my son had to go all over the
house to find things that they wanted. I did not understand them, and
they were becoming menacing. I said to them:

"'I am not able to do any better. Fix things yourself. I give you
everything here. I am going to a neighbor's house.'"

She went with the tiny grand-girl, who was three years old, her son,
Lucien, fourteen years old, and another son, sixteen. The Germans came
here too, breaking in the windows, and firing their rifles. The house
was by this time on fire. The face of the little girl was burned.

"My poor boys wished to make their escape, but the fourteen-year-old
was more slow than the other, because the little fellow was a bit
paralyzed, and he already had his hands and body burned. He tried to
come out as far as the pantry. I saw the poor little thing stretched on
the ground, dying.

"'My God,' he said, 'leave me. I am done for. Mamma, see my bowels.'

"I saw his bowels. They were hanging like two pears from the sides of
his stomach. Just then the Germans came, shooting. I said to them:

"'He has had enough.'

"The little one turned over and tried to get the strength to cry out to

"'Gang of dirty----' ("Bande de sal----")

"Every one called to us to come out of the fire. The fire was spreading
all over the house. I did not want to understand what they were saying.
I went upstairs again where the little girl was, to try to save her
(see still the marks which she received). I succeeded, not without
hurt, in carrying away the little girl out of the flames.

"I had to leave my boy in the flames, and, like a mad person, save
myself with the little girl.

"I have two sons-in-law, of whom one is the father of this little girl
here. Look at her face marked with scars."

"Yes. They burned me," said the tiny girl. She held up her hand to the
scars on her face.

"My other little boy escaped from the fire. He was hidden all one day
in a heap of manure. He did not wish to make me sad by telling how his
brother had cried out to die."

Madame Dujon sobbed quietly and could not go on for a moment. The
little girl put her chin on her little umbrella, and her eyes filled
with tears. The Mayor of Lunéville, Monsieur Keller, said to us:

"Madame has not told you--the Germans finished off the poor child.
Seeing that he was nearly dead, they threw him into the fire and closed
the door."



When I went across to France there was one man whom I wished to meet.
It was the Prefect of the Meurthe-et-Moselle. I wanted to meet him
because he is in charge of the region where German frightfulness
reached its climax. Leon Mirman has maintained a high morale in
that section of France which has suffered most, and which has cause
for despair. Here it was that the Germans found nothing that is
human alien to their hate. When they encountered a nun, a priest,
or a church, they reacted to the sacred thing and to the religious
person with desecration, violation and murder. But that was only
because there were many Roman Catholics in the district. They had no
race or religious prejudice. When they came to Lunéville there was
a synagogue and a rabbi. They burned the synagogue and killed the
rabbi. As the sun falling round a helpless thing, their hate embraced
all grades of weakness in Lorraine. In Nomeny they distinguished
themselves by a fury against women. In some of the villages they
specialized in pillage. Others they burned with zeal. Badonviller,
Nonhigny, Parux, Crevic, Nomeny, Gerbéviller--the list of the villages
of Meurthe-et-Moselle is a tale of the shame of Germany and of the
suffering of France.

But not of suffering only. At no place is France stronger than at this
point of greatest strain. The district is dotted with great names of
the humble--names unknown before the war, and now to be known for as
long as France is France. Here Sister Julie held back the German Army
and saved her wounded from the bayonet. Here the staunch Mayor of
Lunéville and his good wife stayed with their people through the German

Leon Mirman is the Prefect of all this region. He was Director of
Public Charities in Paris, but when war broke out he asked to be sent
to the post of danger. So he was sent to the city of Nancy to rule
the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. The Prefect of a Department in
France is the same as the Governor of a State in America. But his
office in peace is as nothing compared to his power in time of war. He
can suspend a Mayor and remove an entire population from one village
to another. The morale of France for that section is dependent on the
reaction he makes to danger and stress.

The answer of the ravaged region to the murder and the burning is
a steadiness of courage, a busy and sane life of normal activity.
Beautiful Nancy still lifts her gates of gold in the Place of
Stanislaus. The lovely light of France falls softly on the white stone
front of the municipal buildings, and from their interior comes a
throbbing energy that spreads through the hurt district. The Prefect's
houses for refugees are admirably conducted. School "keeps" for the
children of Pont-à-Mousson on a quiet country road, while their mothers
still live in cellars in the bombarded town, busy with the sewing
which has made their home famous. They are embroidering table cloths
and napkins, and Americans are buying their work. They are not allowed
any longer to be happy, but they can go on creating beauty. None of
their trouble need escape into the clean white linen and the delicate
needle-work, and the Bridge of Pont-à-Mousson embosses the centerpiece
as proudly as if the town had not been pounded by heavy shells for two

But the parents were agreed on one thing: it was no place for children.
So these and other hundreds of little ones have been brought together.
The Prefect means that these children, some of whom have seen their
homes burned, their mothers hunted by armed men, shall have the evil
memory wiped out. He is working that they shall have a better chance
than if the long peace had continued. The simple homely things are
going on, as if the big guns could not reach in.

I attended the classes of domestic science, where little girls plan
menus for the family meal. Overhead, the aeroplanes spot the sky. Three
times in my days in the district they came and "laid their eggs," in
the phrase of the soldiers. Sometimes a mother is killed, sometimes a
sister, but the peaceful work goes on. The blackboard is scribbled over
with chalk. Piping voices repeat their lesson. I saw the tiny boys at
school. I saw the older boys working at trades. Some of them were busy
at carpentry, remaking the material for their own village, bureaus,
tables and chairs. We talked with boys and girls from Nomeny, where
the slaughter fell on women with peculiar severity. These children had
seen the Germans come in. Wherever I went I met children who had seen
the hand grenades thrown, their homes burning. I visited many hundreds
of these children at school. They are orderly and busy. It will take
more than fire and murder from unjust men to spoil life for the new
generation of France. For that insolence has released a good will in a
greater race than the race that sought to offend these little ones.

And the same care has been put on the older refugees. I saw the
barracks of the famous Twentieth Army Corps--the Iron Divisions--and
of the Eighth Artillery used for this welfare work. Mirman has
taken these poor herds of refugees and restored their community life
in the new temporary quarters. Here they have a hospital, a church
and a cinema. He is turning the evil purpose of the Germans into an
instrument for lifting his people higher than if they had known only
happiness. Beyond the great power and authority of his office he is
loved. The Prefect is a good man, simple and high-minded.

He has given me the statement that follows for the American people.
Let us remember in reading it that it comes from the highest official
in France in charge of the region where systematic atrocity was
practiced in an all-inclusive way. On this chance section of the
world's great area, a supreme and undeserved suffering fell. Monsieur
Mirman makes here the first official statement of the war on the
subject of reprisals. There is something touching in his desire for our
understanding. France hoped we would see her agony with the eyes she
once turned toward us. She still hopes on, and sends this message of
her representative:

"I wish you to understand in what spirit we began the war in France,
and especially in this district. It was our intention to follow the
rules of what you call in English 'Fair Play.' We wished to carry
on the war as we had carried on other wars, to our risk and peril,
with all the loyalties of fighting men. But from the start we have
been faced with men whom we are unable to consider as soldiers, who
have conducted themselves in a section of our Department as veritable
outlaws. You are not going, unfortunately, to Nomeny, which is a town
of this Department where the Germans have committed the worst of their
atrocities. At least you will go to Gerbéviller, where they burned the
houses, one by one, and put to death old men, women and children.

"Mention is often made of these two townships where the inhabitants
suffered the most severely from the invasion of the enemy, but in many
other townships, a long list, the Germans acted in the same way. They
burned the streets, they killed men, women and children without cause.
Always they gave the pretext, to excuse themselves, that the civilian
population had fired on them. On that point, I bring you my personal
testimony: I say to you on my honor that this German allegation is
absolutely false.

"At my request I was appointed the Prefect of Meurthe-et-Moselle on
August 9, 1914. In all the townships of this Department, on my arrival,
I requested in the most urgent terms that the inhabitants should not
give way to restlessness, and should not resort to a single act which
I called an unruly act, by themselves taking direct part in the war.
I made those requests in perfect agreement with all the population,
approved by the most ardent patriots. I held inquiries, frequent and
detailed, to find out if my instructions had been respected. Not once
have I been able to establish the fact that a civilian fired on the

"If isolated instances of that sort did take place, they could not be
admitted as justifying the total of systematic crimes committed by the
Germans, but I have not been able to lay hold of a single instance.

"I will cite two incidents which will mark out for you, in a clear-cut
way, what I believe to be "the French method."

"At the beginning of the war a German aviator threw bombs on a town
near Nancy. The Mayor, revolted, went to the town-hall, where the arms
had been deposited, and took a hunting rifle and fired at the aviator.
It is clear that the German aviator was committing a crime contrary
to all the laws of war, but I held that the Mayor of that town, by
himself firing in that way on a criminal, was disobeying the laws of
his country. I proceeded to disciplinary measures against the Mayor: I
suspended him from office for many weeks.

"Another incident: In the first days of August, 1914, the Germans
entering Badonviller, exasperated perhaps by the resistance which our
soldiers of the rear-guard gave them, or simply wishing to leave a
token of their Kultur, and to terrorize the population, burned part of
the village, and fired on the inhabitants as if they were rabbits.

"I arrived the next day. The French troops had reentered Badonviller
and had taken some German soldiers prisoner. The prisoners were being
led to the town-hall. The fires had not yet been put out, and the women
whom the Germans had murdered were still unburied.

"The Mayor had seen the terrible spectacle. He had seen his young wife
murdered at his doorstep in front of her little children. He himself
had suffered violence. But he had stuck to his post, and had continued
to carry on the affairs of his town. While the prisoners were being
led along the inhabitants of Badonviller, who had seen these crimes,
recognized the prisoners and surrounded them, threatening them and
crying out against them. The Mayor threw himself resolutely between the
prisoners and his people. This Mayor, who had had his own flesh and
blood murdered and his heart torn, declared with emphasis that those
prisoners, no matter what crimes they had committed, were protected by
the law, and that it was not permitted to any civilian to touch a hair
of their head.

"Because he had called to order some of his people whose anger was
natural enough, because he had respected the law under trying
conditions, I asked that this Mayor should be decorated, and the French
Government decreed for him the cross of the Legion of Honor. He was
rewarded in this way, not for having carried out criminal violence
according to the German method, but on the contrary for preventing, by
coolness and force of will, reprisals made against enemy prisoners.

"By these examples, and I could cite many others, you will be able to
estimate the ideas with which the French began the war.

"The French in more than one instance have run against, not armies,
but veritable bands organized for crime. I say 'organized,' and that
is the significant fact. In a war when individual accidental excesses
are committed, tragic situations, to be sure, arise, but we ought not
to conclude that we have found ourselves face to face with a general
organization of cruelty and destruction.

"In the townships of which I am speaking, it is by the order of the
heads that the crimes have been committed. They are not the crimes of
individuals: there has been a genuine organization of murder. It is
that which will be thrown into the light by the testimony which you
will gather--notably at Gerbéviller.

"Then I call your attention to what the city of Nancy has suffered in
violation of the laws of humanity since the beginning of the war.

"From the beginning of August, 1914, Nancy has been empty of troops,
the numerous barracks have been converted into hospitals; some were
used as asylums for our refugees. Nothing remained at Nancy, nothing
has come since then. You won't find at the present time a single
cannon, a single depot of ammunition, no fortification, no military
work. For a garrison there are some dozens of old territorials, barely
sufficient in number to keep order.

"On the Fourth of September an enemy aviator threw bombs on the square
where the Cathedral stands, killing a little girl and an old man.

"A few days later, knowing that they were not going to be able to enter
Nancy, furious at the thought that they would soon be forced to retire
and that they must give up their cherished dreams, in the night of the
ninth and tenth of September, those unfortunate men advanced two pieces
of artillery under cover of a storm, bombarded our peaceful city, and
ripped to pieces houses in various quarters of the town, murdering
women and children.

"A military point to that bombardment? I challenge any one to state it.
Act of cruelty, simply, an act of outlawry.

"Ever since then acts against Nancy are multiplied. The list is long of
victims stricken in Nancy by the bombs of Zeppelins, of aeroplanes,
and by the shells of the 380, shot for now many months by a long-range
gun. All the victims are civilians, mostly women and children. I repeat
to you that the city of Nancy is empty of soldiers.

"And what I say of Nancy is true of the other towns, particularly at
Lunéville, where a bomb falling in the full market killed 45 persons,
of whom 40 were women.

"Adding childishness to violence, with a craving for the histrionic,
obsessed by the desire to strike the imagination (or let us say more
simply having the souls of 'cabotins'), these outlaws have conceived
the bombardment of Nancy by a 380 cannon on the first of January--New
Year's, the day of gifts--and on the first of July. In that New Year
bombardment they so arranged it that the first shell fell on Nancy at
the last stroke of midnight. I will show the little furnished house
which that shell crushed, killing six persons, of whom four were women.

"For a long while we were content to suffer those crimes, protesting in
the name of law. We did not wish to defend ourselves. We shrink from
the thought of reprisals. But public opinion ended by forcing the hand
of the Government. Unanimously the nation has demanded that, each time
an undefended French town is bombarded by the Germans by aeroplane,
Zeppelin or cannon, a reply shall be made to that violation of the
laws of war and of the rights of humanity by the bombardment of a
German town.

"I wish to say to you, and I beg you to make it known to your noble
nation: it is not with serenity that we see our French soldiers do that
work. It is with profound sadness that we resign ourselves to those
reprisals. Those methods of defense are imposed upon us. Since all
considerations of humanity are to-day alien to the German soul, we are
reduced for the protection of our wives and our children to the policy
of reprisals and to the assassination in our turn of the children and
the women in Germany. The Germans have vociferously rejoiced in the
crimes committed by their soldiers; they have made an illumination for
the day of the _Lusitania_ crime; they have delighted in the thought
that on the first of January the children of Nancy received, as New
Year's presents, shells from a 380 cannon. The acts of reprisal to
which we are forced do not rejoice us in the least; they sadden us. We
speak of them with soberness. And we have here reason for hating Kultur
all the more. We French hate the Germans less for the crimes which they
have committed on us than for the acts of violence contrary to the laws
of war which they have forced us to commit in our turn, and for the
reprisals on their children and their women.

"I thank you for having come here. You will look about you, you will
ask questions, you will easily see the truth. That truth you will make
known to your great and free nation. We shall await with confidence the
judgment of its conscience."



Burned villages are like ruins of an ancient civilization. To wander
through them was as if I were stepping among the bones of a dead age.
Only the green fields that flowed up to the wrecked cottages and the
handful of sober-faced peasants--only these were living in that belt of
death that cuts across the face of France, like the scar from a whip
on a prisoner's cheek. French soil is sacred to a Frenchman. I saw a
little shop with pottery and earthenware in the window: vases, and
jars, and toilet cases. The sign read:

"La terre de nos Grés--c'est la même terre que défendent nos soldats
dans les tranchées."

("The earth which made these wares is the same earth which our soldiers
defend in the trenches.")

I want the people at home to understand this war. So I am telling of
it in terms that are homely. I asked the authorities to let me wander
through the villages and talk with the inhabitants. What a village
suffers, what a storekeeper suffers, will mean something to my friends
in Iowa and Connecticut. Talk of artillery duels with big guns and
bayonet charges through barbed wire falls strangely on peaceful ears.
But what a druggist's wife has seen, what a school-teacher tells,
will come home to Americans in Eliot, Maine, and down the Mississippi
Valley. What one cares very much to reach is the solid silent public
opinion of the smaller cities, the towns and villages. The local
storekeeper, the village doctor, the farmer, these are the men who make
the real America--the America which responds slowly but irresistibly
to a sound presentation of facts. The alert newspaper editor, the
hustling real-estate man, the booster for a better-planned town, these
citizens shape our public opinion. If once our loyal Middle Westerners
know the wrong that has been done people just like themselves, they
will resent it as each of us resents it that has seen it. This is no
dim distant thing. This is a piece of cold-planned injustice by murder
and fire done to our friends in the sister republic. I should like a
representative committee from South Norwalk, Conn., Emporia, Kansas,
and Sherman, Texas, to see Gerbéviller as I have seen it, to walk past
its 475 burned houses, to talk with its impoverished but spirited
residents. I should like them to catch the spirit of Sermaize, building
its fresh little red-brick homes out of the rubble of the wrecked

I had thought that I had some slight idea of French spirit. I had
thought that five months with their soldiers at Melle, Dixmude, and
Nieuport had given me a hint of France in her hour of greatness. But I
found that not even the cheery first line men, not even the democratic
officers, are the best of France. They are lovable and wonderful.
But the choicest persons in France are the women in the devastated
districts. They can make or break morale. What the people back of the
trenches are feeling, the talk that they make in the village inn--these
are the decisive factors that give heart to an army or that crumble its
resistance. No government, no military staff can continue an unpopular
war. But by these people who have lost their goods by fire, and their
relatives by assassination, the spirit of France is reinforced. The war
is safe in their hands.

The heaviest of all the charges that rests against Germany is that of
preparedness in equipment for incendiary destruction. They had not only
prepared an army for fighting the enemy troops with rifle, machine-gun
and howitzer. They had supplied that army with a full set of incendiary
material for making war on non-combatants. Immediately on crossing the
frontier, they laid waste peaceful villages by fire. And that wholesale
burning was not accomplished by extemporized means. It was done by
instruments "made in Germany" before the war, instruments of no value
for battle, but only for property destruction, house by house. Their
manufacture and distribution to that first German army of invasion show
the premeditation of the destruction visited on the invaded country. On
his arm the soldier carried a rifle, in his sack the stuff for fires.
He marched against troops and against non-combatants. His war was a
war of extermination. The army carried a chemical mixture which caught
fire on exposure to the air, by being broken open; another chemical
which fired up from a charge of powder; incendiary bombs which spread
flames when exploded; pellets like lozenges which were charged with
powders, and which slipped easily into the bag. These were thrown by
the handful into the house, after being started by match or the gun.
When the Germans came to a village, where they wished to spread terror,
they burned it house by house. I have seen their chalk-writing on the
doors of unburned houses. One of their phrases which they scribbled on
those friendly doors was "Nicht anzünden." Now "anzünden" does not mean
simply "Do not burn." It means "Do not burn with incendiary methods."
Wherever a spy lived, or a peasant innkeeper friendly with drinks, or
wherever there was a house which an officer chose for his night's rest,
there the Germans wrote the phrase that saved the house. The other
houses to right and left were "burned with incendiary methods." That
phrase is as revealing as if in a village where there were dead bodies
of children with bayonet wounds upon them, you discovered one child
walking around with a tag hung round her neck reading "Do not murder
this little girl by bayonet."

That military hierarchy which extends from the sergeant to the Emperor,
controlling every male in Germany, came down upon Belgium and France,
prepared to crush, not alone the military power, but every spiritual
resource of those nations. I have a bag of German incendiary pastilles
given me by Jules Gaxotte, Mayor of Revigny. On one side is inked


On the other side

                             6. 10.10.111.

indicating the company and the regiment and the division. The pellets
are square, the size of a fingernail. They burn with intensity, like
a Fourth of July torch. That little bag has enough bits of lively
flame in it, to burn an ancient church and destroy a village of homes.
Packets like it have seared the northern provinces of France. Not
one of those millions of pellets that came down from Germany was used
against a soldier. Not one was used against a military defense. All
were used against public buildings and homes. All were used against
non-combatants, old men, women and children. The clever chemist had
coöperated with the General Staff in perfecting a novel warfare. The
admirable organization had equipped its men for the new task of a
soldier. In their haste the Germans left these pellets everywhere along
the route. The Mayor of Revigny has a collection. So has the Mayor of
Clermont. Monsieur Georges Payelle, premier president de la Cour des
Comptes, and head of the French Government Inquiry, has a still larger
collection. These three gentlemen have not told me, but have shown me
this evidence. The purpose of the German military can be reconstructed
from that one little bag which I hold.

But not only have the Germans dropped their scraps of evidence as they
went along, as if they were playing hare-and-hounds. They have put into
words what they mean. The German War Book, issued to officers, outlines
their new enlarged warfare.

Madame Dehan of Gerbéviller said to me:

"A high officer arrived this same day (when she was prisoner) and said:

"'It is necessary to put to death the people here. They must be shot.
This nation must disappear.'"

Monsieur Guilley of Nomeny told me how Charles Michel, a boy of
seventeen, was killed. He said: "A patrol of scouts, composed of six
Bavarians, said: 'We are going down there to kill, yes, kill all the
people of Nomeny.'

"Arrived at Nomeny, they asked where the farm was. They then came along
the side of the farm where there was a little door. Three entered
there, the other three came around by the big door. We were ready for
supper, sitting around a table. We heard blows on blows of the bayonets
before the doors, with cries and exclamations in German. They came
into the place where we were sitting to eat, and placed themselves
facing us, with nothing to say. They took all that they wanted from
the table. Five of them left, going by a way in front of the farm. The
sixth stayed there, ruminating and thinking. I believed that he was
meditating to himself a crime, but I thought to myself, 'They wouldn't
kill a man as they would kill a rabbit.'

"We went into the kitchen. The man was always there. I closed the door.
Two men of my farm were eating in the kitchen. Now, from the kitchen
leading into the stable there was a door. The little Michel went out by
this door. He did not see the German who was there. The soldier fired
at him. I heard the rifle shot go. Then I saw the man following the
same way that the others had taken, to rejoin them at a trot."

"How long did he remain there thinking before he accomplished his
crime?" we asked.

"Plenty long, a good quarter of an hour. He was a Bavarian, big and

I find that strange racial brooding and melancholy in the diary of a
sub-officer of the Landwehr. On September 3, 1914, he writes:

"It is well enough that Germany has the advantage everywhere up to the
present; I am not able to conquer a singular impression, a presentiment
that, in spite of all that, the end will be bad."

In his case it is accompanied by horror at the wrong-doing of his
comrades, a noble pity for wasted France. But in others, that brooding
turned to sudden cruelty. Any act, however savage, is a relief from
that dark inner burden.

Madame Dauger of Gondrecourt-Aix (Meuse) said to me:

"On the night of Christmas, 1914, with fixed bayonets they came to get
us to dance with them--the dances were entirely unseemly. Ten persons
were forced out to dance. We danced from five in the evening till half
past six."

"Were they soldiers or officers?"

"Only officers; and when they were sufficiently drunk, we made the
most of that advantage to save ourselves."

It was Christmas night--the time to dance. So they chose partners,
by the compulsion of the bayonet, with the women of an invaded and
outraged race. The same rich, childlike sentiment floods their eyes
with tears at thought of the mother at home. Cruel, sentimental,
melancholy, methodical, they are a race that needs wise leadership.
And they have not received that. They have been led by men who do not
believe in them. Every evil trait has been played upon, to the betrayal
of the simple rather primitive personality, which in other hands
would have gone gently all its days. But the homely goodness has been
stultified, and we have a race, of our own stock, behaving like savages
under the cool guidance of its masters.

The next piece of testimony was given me by a woman who was within a
few days of giving birth to a child by a German father. I withhold her
name and the name of her village.

"I was maltreated by them, Monsieur. They abused me. Last year in the
month of October, 1915, they arrived. I was learning how to take care
of the cattle, to help my father, who already had enough with what the
Germans required him to do outside in the fields. My father had not
returned; I was entirely alone. I was in the bottom of the barn; my
children were in the house with my mother. They were upon me; I did not
see them. They threw me down and held me. They were the soldiers who
lodged with my parents. I cried out three or four times for some one to
come, but it was finished. I got up from the straw."

"Have you told your parents or any one?"

"No. Never to a person, Monsieur. I am too much ashamed. But I always
think of it. My eldest child is eleven years old, the next seven years,
the third six years, and the last I have had since the war. The one I
wait for now, of course, I do not count on bringing up."

Monsieur Mirman, the Prefect, replied:

"Since you must have him, you will tell me at the time, so that I may
take action and give you assistance."

Through the courtesy of Mrs. Charles Prince, I spent an afternoon with
a French nurse, Marie Louise Vincent, of Launois, in the Ardenne.

The Germans came. She was on the road, one hundred yards away, when she
saw this:

"I saw an old French beggar, whom everybody knew, hobbling down the
road. He passed through our village every week. He was called "Père
Noël" (Father Christmas) because of his big beard. He was seventy-five
years old. It was the 29th of August, about 8 o'clock in the morning.
Officers ordered twelve men to step out from the ranks. They took the
old man and tied him to a tree. An officer ordered the men to shoot.
One or two of the sous-officers fired when the men fired. So they shot
Père Noël. The villagers found thirteen bullet holes in him.

"That day the soldiers burned the first four houses of our village.
They made a big blaze, and if the wind had turned the whole village
would have burned.

"The commander came to our hospital. He patted me on the cheek and said
he had a big daughter at home like me, and she was in Red Cross work
like me."

"He said he was very thirsty. I gave him three glasses of water. I had
good wine in the cellar, but not for him. He talked with the doctor and
me. He asked for the Burgomaster. We said he had gone away. He asked
for those next in authority to the Burgomaster. We said they had gone

"'Why? Why?' asked the commander. 'The Belgians have told you we are
barbarians, that is why. We have done things a little regrettable,
but we were forced to it by the Belgians. The colonel whose place I
took was killed by a little girl, fourteen years old. She fired at him
point-blank. We shot the girl and burned the village.'

"Then the French doctor with me asked the commander why his men had
burned the four farmhouses. They were making a bright blaze with their
barns of hay. We could see it.

"'Why, that--that's nothing,' said the commander. ('Ce n'est rien.
C'est tout petit peu.')

"A sous-officer came in to our hospital. He showed us a bottle of
Bordeaux which he had taken from the cellar of one of our houses. He

"'I know it is good wine. I sold it myself to the woman a couple of
months ago. I thought she wouldn't have had time to drink it all up.'

"'You know France?' asked the doctor.

"'I know it better than many Frenchmen,' replied the officer. 'For
eight years I have been a wine agent in the Marne district.'

"'At Rheims?'

"'At Rheims.'

"'For the house of Pommery?'

"'No, no. Not that house.'

"After the fighting of August 27 and 28, some of the peasants began
to come back to their homes. Near us at the little village of
Thin-le-Moutier a few returned. Nine old men and boys came back on the
morning of the 29th. The Germans put them against a wall and shot them.
I saw traces of blood on the wall and bullet marks. The youngest boy
was too frightened to stand quietly against the wall. He struggled.
So they tied him to a signpost. I saw traces of his blood on the
post. The old sacristan of the village church was forced to witness
the shooting. The bodies were guarded by a sentinel for three days. On
the third day, August 31, a German officer ordered an old man and his
wife, of the place, to bring a cart. They carried the bodies to the
graveyard. The officer had the two old people dig one deep hole. The
old man asked permission to take out the bodies, one by one. But the
officer had the cart upturned, and the bodies, all together, dumped
into the hole.

"A few days later a poor woman came along the road, asking every one
she met if anybody had seen her boys. They were among the nine that had
been shot.

"A sous-officer, a Jew named Goldstein, a second lieutenant, came to
our hospital. While our French doctor was held downstairs Lieutenant
Goldstein took out the medical notes about the cases from the pocket
of the doctor's military coat. I protested. I said that it was not
permitted by international law.

"'What do you make of the convention of Geneva?' I asked him.

"'Ah, I laugh at it" he answered. "He was a professor of philosophy at

With all the methodical work of murder and destruction the figure of
the officer in command is always in the foreground.

The Curé of Gerbéviller said to me:

"They ordered me to go on my knees before the major. As I did not go
down on the ground, an officer, who was there, quickly gave me a blow
with the bayonet in the groin.

"'Your parishioners are the traitors, the assassins; they have fired
on our soldiers with rifles; they are going to get fire, all of your
people,' the major said to me.

"I replied, No, that was not possible, that at Gerbéviller there were
only old men, women, and children.

"'No, I have seen them; the civilians have fired. Without doubt,
it is not you who have fired, but it is you who have organized
the resistance; it is you who have excited the patriotism of your
parishioners, above all, among your young men. Why have you taught your
young men the use of arms?'

"Without giving me time to respond, they led me away. They took me
to the middle of the street in front of my house, with five of my
poor old ones. A soldier was going to find a tent cord and tie us all
together. They did not permit me to go into my house. They brought out
afterwards before me five other of my parishioners, as well as three
little chasseurs à pied that they were going to make prisoners. We
waited there an hour. I saw passing a group of five of my people tied.
I thought: What is going to happen to them?

"At that moment a captain on horseback arrived in front of us, reined
up his horse in excitement, pulled his foot out of the stirrup and
kicked our chasseurs in the groin. One of my people who was with me
cried out: 'Oh, the pigs....'"

The Great German Staff believe these things are buried deep in burned
cottages and village graves. They believe an early peace will wipe
out the memory of that insolence. They have forgotten the thousands
of eye-witnesses, of whom I have met some dozens, and of whom I am
one. They cannot kill us who live to tell what we have seen them do.
They cannot destroy a thousand diaries of German soldiers that tell
the abominations they committed. This record will become a part of
history. They thought to wipe out their cruelty in success. But the
names of their victims are known, and the circumstance of their death.
Not in China alone have they made their face a horror for a thousand
years, but wherever there is respect for weakness and pity for little



I have told in these chapters of the peasants of Northern France, and
I have given their life in war in their own words. I want to tell here
how this material was gathered, because the power of its appeal rests
on the recognition of its accuracy. A small part of the testimony I
followed in long hand as it was spoken. The rest, three-quarters of
the total testimony, was taken down in short-hand by one or the other
of two stenographers. I have used about one-fifth of the collected

My companions were the well-known American writers, Will Irwin and
Herbert Corey. Other companions have been Lieutenant Louis Madelin,
the distinguished historian, whose work on the French Revolution was
crowned by the French Academy; Lieutenant Jules Basdevant, Professor of
International Law at the University of Grenoble; Lieutenant Monod, once
of Columbia University, and always a friend of our country; Captain
Callet, Professor of Geography at Saint-Cyr, now of the Etat Major of
the Third Army; and the Baron de la Chaise. I don't wish to imply that
the French Army is exclusively composed of scholarly gentlemen with an
established position in the world of letters. But it happened to be the
good pleasure of the French Minister of War and of the Foreign Office
to make of our trips a delightful social experience. Most important,
these men are worthy witnesses of the things I have seen, and the
statements I have recorded.

In the civil world the corroborating witnesses are equally
authoritative. I was accompanied, for much of the territory visited, by
Leon Mirman, Prefect of the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

It is no easy job to penetrate the war zone, wander through villages at
leisure, and establish relations of confidence with the peasants. The
whole experience would have been impossible but for the help of Émile
Hovelaque. This distinguished essayist, Director of Public Education,
went with us to all the villages. The success of the visit was due to
him. He understands American public opinion more accurately than any
other man whom I have met abroad. His human sympathy wins the peasants.
A woman brought me her burned granddaughter, five years old. A mother
brought me the cap of her fourteen-year-old son, and the rope with
which the Germans had hanged him. A woman told me how her mother,
seventy-eight years old, was shot before her eyes. I could not have had
their stories, I should not have been permitted to enter these secret
places of their suffering, if it had not been for Monsieur Hovelaque.

The pain it cost them to tell these things I shall not forget. There
was one decent married woman, within a few weeks of the birth of her
child by a German father, who had been outraged by German soldiers. She
had never before told her story, because of the shame of it. She had
not told her parents nor her sister. I cannot forget that she told it
to me. I cannot rest easily till her suffering and the suffering of the
others with whom I have been living for two years means something to
my people at home. I have kept all personal feeling out of my record.
It would have been unforgivable if, in rendering the ruin of Lorraine,
I had given way to anger. But this I have not done. I have only added
many days of detailed work on evidence that was already conclusive. But
this coolness of reporting does not mean that I think these details of
cruelty should leave us detached spectators.

Let us remember these peasants when the Allies advance to the Rhine.
Let us remember them when Belgium is indemnified, when Alsace and
Lorraine are cut loose, when the German military power is crushed, when
the individual officers who ordered these acts are singled out for the
extremity of punishment. We must teach our memory not to forget.

Certain German officers must be executed. General Clauss must be
executed. He has left a trail of blood. The officers in command of the
17th and the 60th Bavarian Regiments, who slaughtered the women, the
children and the old men of Gerbéviller, must be executed. The officers
of the 2nd and 4th Regiments of Bavarian Infantry, who murdered fifty
men, women and children of Nomeny, in a cold, methodical hate, with a
peculiar care for the women, must be executed.

In the closing passages of Browning's "Ring and the Book," the aged
prelate, about to go before his maker, is confronted with the task of
giving judgment. Count Guido, intelligent and powerful, had murdered
Pompilia and her parents. He did it by the aid of four assassins. Pope
Innocent, eighty-six years old, is called on to decide whether the five
guilty men shall be killed for their evil doings. Friends urge him to
be merciful. The aged Pope replies:

                              How it trips
  Silvery o'er the tongue. "Remit the death!
  Herein lies the crowning cogency
  That in this case the spirit of culture speaks,
  Civilization is imperative.
  Give thine own better feeling play for once!
  Mercy is safe and graceful....
  Pronounce, then, for our breath and patience fail."
  "I will, sirs: but a voice other than yours
  Quickens my spirit. Quis pro Domino?
  'Who is upon the Lord's side?'"

So he orders that Count Guido and his henchmen be killed on the morrow.

  "Enough, for I may die this very night
  And how should I dare die, this man let live?"



This is the story of Sister Julie. The Germans entered her village of
Gerbéviller, where she was head of the poor-house and hospital. As
they came southward through the place they burned every house on every
street, 475 houses. In a day they wiped out seven centuries of humble
village history. In her little street they burned Numbers 2, 4, 6, 8,
10, and 12, but they did not burn Number 14, the house where Sister
Julie lived. There they stopped, for she stopped them. And the twenty
houses beyond her hospital still stand, because that August day there
was a great woman in that little village. They killed men, women and
children throughout the village, but they did not kill the thirteen
French wounded soldiers whom she was nursing, nor the five Roman
Catholic sisters whom she directed as Mother Superior. Outside of a
half dozen generals, she is perhaps the most famous character whom the
war has revealed, and one of the greatest personages whom France has
produced: even France in her long history. The last days of Gerbéviller
live in her story. I write her account word for word as she gives it.
Her recital is touched with humor in spite of the horror that lay
heaped around her. She raises the poignard of the German Colonel: you
see it held over her head ready to strike. By pantomime she creates the
old paralytic men, the hobbling women, the man who went "fou."

[Illustration: The first woman of France: the peasant Sister Julie,
wearing the ribbon of the Legion of Honor. She held up the German Army
and saved the wounded French in her hospital.]

Because she remained through the days of fire and blood, and succored
his troops, General Castelnau cited her in an Order of the Day. The
Legion of Honor has placed its scarlet ribbon on the black of her
religious dress. The great of France--the President and the Premier,
senators and poets--have come to see her where she still lives on in
the ruins of the little village.

Amélie Rigard, whose religious name is Sister Julie, is a peasant
woman, sixty-two years old, belonging to the Order of Saint Charles
of Nancy. She is of the solid peasant type, with square chin and
wide brown eyes. Everything about her is compact, deep-centered,
close-growing; the fingers are stubby, the arms held closely to the
body, and when the gesture comes it is a strong pushing out from the
frame, as if pushing away a weight. Whenever she puts out power, she
seems to be delivering a straight blow with the full weight of the
body. With Sister Julie it is not only a genius of simple goodness.
She carries a native shrewdness, with a salient tang. She knows life.
This is no meek person, easily deceived by people, thinking every
one good and harmless. She reads motives. Power is what I feel in
her--direct, sheer power. The wonder is not that she rose to one of the
supreme crises of history, and did a work which has passed into the
consciousness of France. The wonder is that she remained hidden in a
country village for sixty-two years. Her gift of language, her strength
of nature, had vitality enough to burn through obscurity. The person
she made me think of was that great man whom I once knew, Dwight Moody.
Here was the same breadth of beam, the simplicity, the knowledge of
human nature, the same native instinct for the fitting word that comes
from being fed on the greatest literature in the world, and from using
the speech of powerful, uneducated persons. When she entered the room,
the room was filled. When she left, there was a vacancy.

Here follows the account in her own words, of the last days of
Gerbéviller. The phrase that speaks through all her recital is "_feu et
sang_," "fire and blood." The Germans said on entering that they would
give "fire and blood" to the village. The reason was this: A handful of
French chasseurs, about sixty in number, had held up the German Army
for several hours, in order to give the French Army time to retreat.
This battle had taken place at the bridge outside the village. When
at last the Germans broke through, they were irritated by the firm
resistance which had delayed their plans. So they vented their ill-will
by burning the houses and murdering the peasants.


The Germans reached the Lunéville road at the entrance of Gerbéviller
at 10 minutes after seven in the morning. They saw the barricades, for
our troops had built a barricade, and they said to a woman, Madame

"Madame, remove the barricades." As she waited undecided for a few
seconds, they said:

"You refuse. Then fire and blood."

They then began to set fire to all the houses and they shot six men.
They threw a man into an oven, a baker, Joseph Jacques, a fine fellow
of fifty years of age, married, with children. It was necessary to eat,
even at Gerbéviller, and it was necessary to work out a way to make
bread. The former baker had been mobilized, and his good old papa was
infirm and unable to work. So Monsieur Jacques was busy at this time
with the baking. They killed him when they came. It was about eight
o'clock in the morning. The fires of the oven had already started.

For a long time I did not believe it, but I have had a confirmation
since. You will see how by what follows. When there was an attack in
Champagne, a youth of Gerbéviller, Florentin, whose father was the
gardener at the chateau, found himself in front of certain Germans who
wished to give themselves up as prisoners. He looked at them, and said:

"You are not 'Comrades' ('Kamerade' is the word the German calls out
when he surrenders). You know what you did at Gerbéviller. So don't
call yourselves 'Comrades.'"

A German said to him, "It was I who flung the man into the oven. I was
ordered to do it, or else I should have been 'kaput.'" (This is slang
for a "dead one").

A search was then made, and in the oven was found the thigh bone of the
unfortunate baker.

I have seen many other things. I have seen a man, Barthélemy of
Chanteheux. I have seen that man spread out spitted on the ground by a

Here is what they have done. It was half-past six in the evening. I
heard their fifes. Our little chasseurs had retreated. The Germans
had made fire and blood all the day long. I saw them and watched them
well in this street. I was at the door. Yes, there were six of us at
this door. They put fire to the houses, house by house, shouting as
they burned them. Picture to yourself a human wave, where the bank
has been broken down. They poured into the street precipitately, with
their "lightning conductors," which shone brilliant in the sun (the
point of their helmets). They sat down, seven and eight in front of a
house. They kept going by in great numbers, but these who were ordered
remained behind in front of each house. There these sat before the
houses, while those others went past without a word. They put their
knapsacks on the ground. They took out something that looked like
macaroni. They hurled it into the house. There wasn't a pane of glass
left in our windows, because of the pom-pom of cannon on the Fraimbois
road. I saw them ordered to go on with their work of firing the houses,
when they coolly stopped for a tiny minute to talk. Then, afresh, I saw
them look in their knapsacks, and next I heard a detonation. But it was
not a detonation like that of the report of a rifle or revolver. This
was like the crackle of powder priming, of crackers, if you prefer.
They were incendiary pastilles which they had thrown into the fire to
hasten the destruction. At the end of a few minutes the fire picked up
with greater intensity, and directly the roofs broke in one after the
other with a crash. Many of our people did not see the burning, because
they stayed in the cellars, lying hidden there, frightened, under the

In one of the burning houses a woman was living in her room on the
first floor. Two Germans came to our house and said:

"My sister, come quick and look for a woman who is in the fire."

The woman was Madame Zinius. It is our sisters who went there at their
risk and peril.

The Germans had their destruction organized. In all the well-to-do
houses they began by plundering. They did not burn these as they passed.

A few minutes later we saw five or six vehicles draw up, the
"Guimbardes," vans, for plundering and carrying away the linen and the
clothing. Women came with these vans, young women, well dressed, rich
enough. They were not "bad."

[When the Germans captured a town, their organization of loot was
sometimes carried out by women, who brought up motor lorries, which
the soldiers filled with the plunder from the larger houses, and which
the women then drove away. Sometimes these women were dressed as Red
Cross nurses. I can continue the proof by other witnesses elsewhere
than in Gerbéviller. The organization of murder, arson and pillage is
participated in by German men and women.]

Monsieur Martin had at his place many sewing-machines, with the
trade-mark _Victoria_. The Germans carried them away.

I have told you that they threw persons into the fire. Monsieur Pottier
was forced back into the fire. His wife moaned and called for help.

"Help me get my husband out of the fire," she cried.

"Go die with him," they answered her, and she, too, was pushed into the

"They" kept coming on, playing the fife. We awaited them at the door.
Only thirteen wounded French soldiers had stayed with us. They had been
scattered through the different rooms. But we put them up in one room
in order to simplify the service and give them a bit of "coddling."

We saw four officers on horseback approach. They dismounted in front of
our town-hall, twenty meters away. They entered the building, and there
they put everything upside down. They tumbled out all the waste paper,
the entire office desk, determined to find the records.

They remounted and rode up in front of our house. They sat there
looking at us for a moment. They had the manner guttural and hard,
which is the German way. They began speaking German. When they showed
signs of listening to my reply, I said to them:

"Speak French. That is the least courtesy you can show me. Speak
French, I beg of you, and I will answer you."

"You have French soldiers hidden in your house with their arms," said
one of them.

And he tramped hither and thither like a madman, and he sputtered and
clattered. (Et il se promenait de long en large comme un fou, et il
bavait et degoisait.)

I answered:

"We have no French soldiers here------"

The German: "You have French soldiers."

"Yes, we have French soldiers, but they are wounded. They have no arms."

One of them, mighty, with a truculent air, pulled out his sword.

"They have their arms," he shouted, and he brandished his sword.

"They won't hurt you. Enter," I said.

A Lorraine to say to a German "Enter," that means mischief. (Un
Lorraine dire à un Allemand "Entrez": Que cela fait mal!)

Two of the officers dismounted. Each of them hid a dagger somewhere in
his breast. That thought that they could harm my poor little wounded
men made me turn my look a few seconds on the action. And as they took
out their revolvers at the same time, I did not see where they had
hidden the daggers.

The finger on the trigger, they nodded their head for me to go on in
front of them. I went in front and led the way into this room where
there was nothing but four walls, and no furniture except the thirteen
beds of my wounded. I entered by this door, not knowing in the least
what they wanted to do. Imagine this room with the first bed here, and
then the second here, et cetera, et cetera. I went automatically to
the first and, more involuntarily still, placed my hand on the bed of
wounded Number One, a dragoon wounded by a horse.

See, now, what took place: the imposing one of them walked in with his
dagger in his left hand (son poignard, la gauche); the other man with
his revolver was there, ready. With his dagger in his left hand, the
first man stripped the bed for its full length, lifting the sheet,
the coverlet and the bedclothes. He looked down in a manner evil,
malevolent, ill-natured (méchante, malveillante, mauvaise).

No response from the wounded men.

He did not say anything when he had seen what he wished to see. He
stepped up to the head of the wounded man. I made a half turn toward
him. I was separated from him by our wounded man who was between the
two of us.

He said to my poor unfortunate, with a harsh gesture:

"You and your men, you make our wounded suffer on the battlefield. You
cut off their ears. You put out their eyes. You make them suffer."

Still no response. (Pas réponse encore.)

When I saw the state of mind he was in, I went round at once on the
left side of the wounded, and I said:

"This is a wounded man, and this place is the Red Cross. Here we do
well for all and ill for none, and if you mean well, do not hurt us.
Leave us in peace as you do everywhere else. We will nurse your wounded
and nurse them well."

He had turned around to watch the smoke of the fires which was pouring
into the room through that opening, and he stood there several seconds
with set face.

My little wounded men hardly ventured to breathe. Seeing that calm,
that brooding which did not bode anything good, I exerted myself to
repeat once more:

"If you mean well, do not hurt us. We will nurse your wounded."

And, at last, to help him come out of his speechlessness:

"See, there, everything is on fire over there."

He answered me:

"We are not barbarians. No, we are not barbarians. And if the civilians
had not fired on us with rifles, we should not have had any burning

"Those were not civilians. Those were soldiers."

"Civilians," he said.

"No. No. No. Soldiers."

"Civilians," he repeated; "I know well what I am saying. I saw them."

He made a gesture to show me that men had fired, while he cried in my
ears with all his might "Civilians."

He went in front of me, and stripped the second bed. I feared that he
might speak to my wounded, and I thought I should do well if I placed
myself at the head of each of the beds as he uncovered them. I stepped
between the two beds, and I feared what would come of it all. In this
way I made the round of the room with them, standing at each of the
thirteen points, always placing myself at the pillow of each wounded
man, while "they" advanced bed by bed, and cautiously.

I did not know how they had arranged their weapons, but it seemed to me
that they always had their finger placed on the trigger.

The second man with his revolver held his gun a little low.

I followed them, shutting the door, when they went to the Infirmary of
the old men. They did not say anything and they did not promise that
they would not set fire to us. How should I go about getting that

A third time I asked them:

"It is clearly understood that we shall nurse your wounded, and that
you will not burn this house."

"They" start to leave, and go toward the door, walking slowly. When the
chief was just leaving, I said again to him:

"It is clearly understood that you will not harm us nor burn our house."

"No, no."

I looked to see if he gave the order to any of his soldiers. I
didn't see that, but I noticed one of our sisters who was drawing a
wheelbarrow with an old man in it, who weighed at least seventy-five
kilos and who was paralyzed.

"Where are you going?" I asked her.

"Over there; the soldiers tell me that they are coming to set fire to
the hospital," she replied. "One of our old men cried out to me, 'My
sister, do not make us stay here. Let us go and die in peace, since
they are killing everybody here. We would rather leave and die of
hunger in the fields.' So I said, 'Come along, then.'"

For the moment I am all alone in this room with my thirteen wounded
men. I said to myself, "My God, what will become of me all alone in
the midst of fire and blood."

I stood a few seconds in the doorway and then went in to see our little

"My poor children, I ask your forgiveness for bringing in such a
visitation, but I assure you that I thought my last quarter hour had
come. I thought they were going to kill us all."

"My sister, stay with us," they said; "stay with us."

"I will bear the impossible, my children, to save your life."

I remained there a few minutes, and then two German soldiers presented
themselves with fixed bayonets. I stepped down the two stairs; see what
an escort was there for me!

"Why is this house shut up? There are French in it, lying hidden with
their arms."

"The owner has been mobilized, and so has gone away. His wife and
children have gone away."

They kept on insisting: "The French. Hidden. In there."

They indicated the place with a gesture.

I thought to myself, What is happening? What will they do? Here are the
men who will set fire to the house.

"Why will you set fire to this house?" I asked. "Your chiefs don't wish
it. They have promised me that they won't burn here. You want to set
fire here out of excitement (par contagion). Will you put out the fire?"

I said again to them:

"It is wicked to set fire here, because we shall nurse your wounded."

While this was going on, our sisters upstairs were not able to subdue
the poor father Prévost. He is an old man of eighty-eight years, partly
paralyzed in leg and arm. I was at the doorway. I heard him call out:

"They shoved me into the fire. They have gone away and left me. I am
going to fall out of the window."

I climbed to the fourth floor of the house where he was, to try to
attract him away, but he did not wish to come. He was foolish. I knew
that he was fond of white sugar. I went up to him and showed him the
sugar. I took his jacket and put his snowboots on him, so that he could
get away more quickly. You know those boots which fasten by means of
two or three buckles, very primitive, and which are so speedily put on.
At last I led him to the edge of the doorway here.

The Germans saw him and said: "It is a lunatic asylum, don't you see?"
so they said to each other. "They want to kill the sisters. There is no
need of going into that house. It is a lunatic asylum."

That is the reason, I believe, why they didn't come into the house
during the night. They entered the chapel of the hospital.

While I was with the Germans, some of their like had come to our
Infirmary to say:

"You must leave here because we are going to set fire."

They then said to the old people:

"We have orders to burn the Infirmary."

Among the number we had the poor mother André, Monsieur Porté, who
walked hobbling like this; Monsieur Georget, who is hung on only one
wire, and Monsieur Leroy, who isn't hung on any (qui ne tenait qu'à un
fil, Monsieur Leroy qui ne tenait plus non plus).

[Sister Julie limped across the room. She bent her back double. She
went feeble. In swift pantomime she revealed each infirmity of the aged
people. She created the picture of a flock of sick and crippled sheep
driven before wolves.]

At four o'clock they were led away to Maréville. Those of whom I tell
you died in the course of the year. Death came likewise to seven others
who would not have died but for that.

The next morning we had German wounded. No one to care for them. What
to do? I said to a wounded Lieutenant-Colonel:

"You have given us many wounded to tend. Where are your majors?"

See what he answered me. "They have abandoned us."

That evening this Lieutenant-Colonel said to me in a rough voice:

"Some bread, my sister."

"You haven't any bread?" I said. "You have burned our bakery and killed
our baker in it. You have burned our butcher shop with our butcher in
it. And now you have no bread and no meat. Eat potatoes as we have to."

He was hit in the calf of the leg, but the leg bone was not touched,
nor the femur; it was not a severe wound. He unrolled his bandage and
showed me his treatment, assuming an air of pain.

"Aie! Aie!" he cried.

Ah! "They" are more soft (douillets) than our poor little French. I
began to dress his leg.

"It is terrible, my sister, this war. Terrible for you and for us also.
If the French were the least bit intelligent, they would ask for peace
at once. Belgium is ours. In three days we shall be at Paris."

The bandage tightened on his wound. "Ah," he said.

I replied to him: "It is your Kaiser who is the cause of all this."

"Oh, no. Not the Kaiser. The Kaiser. Oh, the Kaiser." As he pronounced
the word "Kaiser," he seemed to be letting something very good come out
of his mouth, as if he were savoring it.

The bandage went round once more. "Ah," he said.

"It is then his son, the Crown Prince, who is responsible?" I continued.

"Not at all. Not at all; it is France."

"France is peace-loving," I replied.

"It is Serbia, because the Austrian Archduke was killed by a Serbian."

The 29th or 30th of the month shells fell occasionally over our roof.
My famous wounded German was frightened.

"My sister, I must be carried to the cellar at once."

"There's no danger. The French never fire on the Red Cross," I said to

"I am a poor wounded man. So carry me to the cellar."

I gave in. I carried him to the cellar, and he stayed there some days.



During the days of fire and blood Sister Julie was acting mayor of
Gerbéviller. It was no light job, for she had to steer an invading
army away from her hospital of wounded men, and she was the source
of courage for the village of peasants, who were being hunted and
tortured. Many months have passed, and nothing is left of those days
but crumbled stone and village graves and an everlasting memory. But
she is still the soul of Gerbéviller. Pilgrims come to her from the
provinces of France, and give her money for her poor and sick. The
village still has need of her. I saw her with the woman whose aged
mother was shot before her eyes, and with the mother whose little boy
was murdered.

She went on with her story:


As soon as the Germans came they began their work by taking hostages,
the same number as that of the municipal councilors. They led them
all away to the end of town by the bridge, on the road which leads to
Rambervillers. A German passed, and when he saw them he shouted out:

"See the flock of sheep. They are taking you away to be shot." And he
pointed out to them with his fingers the place of their torment.

In the morning four or five officers arrived to hear testimony from
some of the men. It was Leonard, the grocer, who told me that four
persons were questioned.

"Stand there," They said to them.

"Which is the one who lives next door to the hospital?" an officer

Leonard stepped forward.

"Is it not true that the Lady Superior of the Hospital organized her
people for the purpose of firing on our wounded with rifles?"

Leonard replied:

"I am sure that it is not so. And even if she were to order it, they
would not obey."

"Do you know what you are in danger of in telling lies? We have
seen the bullets come from the hospital. We are sure. Go write your

"I can't do it," answered Leonard.

He was forced to write his deposition. When he had finished it, he
presented it to the chief.

"Sign it, and follow me. I am sure that I saw bullets come from that
part of the street. Certainly men were there who fired on our chiefs."

They also said to him that our chasseurs had fired on them from the
chateau of Madame de Lambertye, and they themselves went to get a
statement at the spot to see if it was possible to hit a man from the
chateau and kill him.

I had seen the turrets of the chateau of Lambertye burning about
half-past nine in the morning and all the upper part. That was by
incendiary bombs. The day after the fires we saw empty cans, about
sixty of them, the kind used for motor-car gasoline, lying about in the
garden of the chateau.

Besides all that, there are still the bodily indignities which must
not be passed over in silence. The twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth,
"they" used fire and blood. The following days "they" amused themselves
by teasing everybody. The poor Monsieur Jacob, who makes lemonade,
was struck and thrown to the ground. Then they spit in his face, and
threatened to shoot him, without any reason.

They were drunk with the wine of Gerbéviller, if one is to judge from
their helmets, which had lost their lightning conductors.

The sacred images of the church were not respected. It was the evening
of the twenty-ninth. A soldier-priest, Monsieur the Abbé Bernard, went
to see a tiny bit of what was taking place.

"Do you know, my sister, what has been done to the ciborium (sacred
vessel for the sacrament)?"

I went with him. We came to the church. We entered with difficulty. A
bell blocked us from passing, and shells had broken down the vaulting
in many places. We went on our way, but always with difficulty. We
saw the crucifix which had the feet broken by blow on blow from the
butt-end of rifles. We still went on, and saw the pipes of the organ
lying on the ground. We came in front of the tabernacle (the box which
holds the sacred vessels). There we counted eighteen bullet holes
which had perforated the door around the lock. The displacement of
air produced by the bursting of the bullet had forced the screws to
jump out. "They" had not thought that this little dwelling-place was
a strongbox and that it had flat bolts, both vertical and horizontal.
We were now agitated to see if anything else had taken place in the

Monsieur, the Abbé Bernard, took a hammer, and as gently as he could he
succeeded in making a little opening just large enough for one to see
that there was something else inside. With the barrel of an unloaded
gun, he then made a full opening. The ciborium, the sacred vessel, was
uncovered and had been projected against the bottom. The cover, fallen
to one side, had a number of bullet marks, as the ciborium itself had.

The bullets in penetrating the front of the tabernacle had made
everywhere little holes, and these holes were in a shape nearly
symmetrical around the lock. At the rear there were many much larger

Monsieur, the Abbé, took those sacred things and the cover of the altar
and carried them to the chapel.

The 17th and the 60th Bavarian Regiments were the ones that did this
work. One-third at least of these men were protestant, and among them
were many returned convicts.

One of our sisters saw a book of a German officer who was nursed here,
and noticed that he was from Bitsch.

(Bitsch is a Roman Catholic town in Lorraine which long belonged to
France, and which held out against the Germans almost to the end of the
Franco-Prussian War).

"How is this?" she asked. "You are from Bitsch, and yet it is you who
dare to do the things that you have done."

"We are under orders," he answered. "The further we go into France,
the worse we shall do. It is commanded. Otherwise we shall be killed

Let us return to the Germans who were applying fire and blood. They led
away fifteen men, old men, to a shed at about quarter past ten. Later
they made them leave the shed. General Clauss, who was in command of
two regiments, was sitting under the oak tree which you will be able
to see on your return trip. He was in front of a table charged with
champagne, and was drinking, during the time that his soldiers were
arranging the poor unhappy old men, getting them ready to be shot. They
had bound them in groups of five, and they shot them in three batches.
They now lie buried in the same spot.

The General said: "When I have filled my cup and as I raise it to my
lips, give them fire and blood."

       *       *       *       *       *

We said good-by to Sister Julie. I walked down the street to the
ruins of the chateau of Lambertye. Sister Julie has told of the empty
gasoline cans that were left in the garden of the chateau. They had
served their purpose well: I stepped through the litter that was once a
beautiful home. But there was one work which flaming oil could not do.
I went into the garden, and came to the grotto of the chateau. It is a
lovely secret place, hidden behind a grove, and under the shadow of a
great rock. It glows red from the fundamental stone of its structure,
with jewel-like splinters of many-colored pebbles sunk in the parent
stone. Fire, the favorite German instrument for creating a new world,
could not mar the stout stone and pebbles of the little place, but such
beauty must somehow be obliterated. So the careful soldiers mounted
ladders and chipped to pieces some of the ceiling, painfully with
hammers. The dent of the hammers is visible throughout the vaulting.
The mosaic was too tough even for their patience, and they had to leave
it mutilated but not destroyed.

Several times in Gerbéviller we see this infinite capacity for taking
pains. The thrusting of the baker into his own oven is a touch that a
less thoughtful race could never have devised. When they attacked the
tabernacle containing the sacramental vessel of the Roman Catholic
church, Sister Julie has told how they placed the eighteen bullets
that defiled it in pattern. The honest methodical brain is behind each
atrocity, and the mind of the race leaves its mark even on ruins.

Finally, when they shot the fifteen white-haired old men, the murders
were done in series, in sets of five, with a regular rhythm. I can
produce photographs of the dead bodies of these fifteen old men as
they lay grouped on the meadow. We stood under the oak tree where the
officer sat as he drank his toasts to death. We looked over to the
little spot where the old men were herded together and murdered. Leon
Mirman, Prefect of Meurthe-et-Moselle, said to us as we stood there:

"I, myself, came here at the beginning of September, 1914. Fifteen
old men were here, lying one upon the other, in groups of five. I
saw them, their clothes drooping. One was able to see also by their
attitude that two or three had been smoking their pipes just before
dying. Others held their packets of tobacco in their hands. I saw these
fifteen hostages, fifteen old men, some ten days after they had been
killed; the youngest must have been sixty years of age.

"We shall set up here a commemorative monument which will tell to
future generations the thing that has taken place here."

For centuries the race has lived on a few episodes, short as the turn
of a sunset. The glancing helmet of Hector that frightened one tiny
child, the toothless hound of Ulysses that knew the beggar man--always
it is the little lonely things that shake us. Vast masses of men and
acres of guns blur into unreality. The battle hides itself in thick
clouds, swaying in the night. But the cry that rang through Gerbéviller
does not die away in our ears. Sister Julie has given episodes of a
bitter brevity which the imagination of the race will not shake off. It
is impossible to look out on the world with the same eyes after those
flashes of a new bravery, a new horror. I find this sudden revelation
in the lifting of the cup with the toast that signed the death of the
old men. The officer was drinking a sacrament of death by murder. It is
as if there in that act under the lonely tree in the pleasant fields
of Gerbéviller the new religion of the Germans had perfected its rite.

That rite of the social cup, held aloft in the eyes of comrades, has
been a symbol for good will in all the ages. Brotherhood was being
proclaimed as the host of the feast looked out on a table of comrades.
At last in the fullness of time the rite, always honored, was lifted
into the unassailable realm of poetry, when one greater man came who
went to his death blithely from the cup that he drank with his friends.
There it has remained homely and sacred in the thought of the race.

Suddenly under the oak tree of Gerbéviller the rite has received a
fresh meaning. The cup has been torn from the hands of the Nazarene. By
one gesture the German officer reversed the course of history. He sat
there very lonely, and he drank alone. The cup that he tasted was the
death of men.

It is no longer the lifting of all to a common fellowship. It no longer
means "I who stand here am prepared to die for you": pledge of a union
stronger even than death. It is suddenly made the symbol of a greater
gospel: "I drink to your death. I drink alone."


In the month of November, 1915, the "American Hostels for Refugees"
were founded by Mrs. Wharton and a group of American friends in
Paris to provide lodgings and a restaurant for the Belgians and
French streaming in from burning villages and bombarded towns. These
people were destitute, starving, helpless and in need of immediate
aid. The work developed into an organization which cares permanently
for over 4,000 refugees, chiefly French from the invaded regions.
A system of household visiting has been organized, and not even
temporary assistance is now given to any refugee whose case has not
been previously investigated. The refugees on arrival are carefully
registered and visited. Assistance is either in the form of money
toward paying rent, of clothing, medical care, tickets for groceries
and coal, tickets for one of the restaurants of the Hostels, or
lodgings in one of the Model Lodging Houses. Over 6,000 refugees have
been provided with employment.

There are six centers for the work. One house has a restaurant where
500 meals a day are served at a charge of 10 centimes a meal, and
an "Ouvroir" where about 50 women are employed under a dressmaker,
with a day-nursery, an infant-school, a library and recreation room.
Another center is a Rest-house for women and children requiring rest
and careful feeding. Young mothers are received here after the birth
of their children, and children whose mothers are in hospital. Sixty
meals a day are served here with a special diet for invalids. Another
center contains a clothing depot, which has distributed nearly 100,000
garments, including suits of strong working clothes for the men placed
in factories; layettes, and boots. In the same building are Dispensary
and Consultation rooms. Twenty to thirty patients are cared for
daily at the Dispensary. Another house contains the Grocery Depot,
and another the office for coal-tickets. An apartment house, and two
other houses have been made into lodging houses. The apartment lets
out rooms at rents varying from 8 to 15 francs a month. One of the
houses contains free furnished lodgings for very poor women with large
families of young children. These three houses have met the need of
cheap sanitary lodgings in place of damp, dirty rooms at high rents,
where sick and well were herded together, often in one filthy bed.

Such is the work of the "American Hostels for Refugees." The present
cost of maintaining all the branches of this well-organized charity is
about five thousand dollars a month.

Mrs. Wharton has also established "American Convalescent Homes for
Refugees." Many refugees come broken in health, with chronic bronchitis
and incipient tuberculosis and even severer maladies. Seventy-one beds
are provided. There is also a house where 30 children, suffering from
tuberculosis of the bone and of the glands are being cared for. Four
thousand dollars a month should be provided at once for this work.

At the request of the Belgian Government Mrs. Wharton has founded the
"Children of Flanders Rescue Committee." The bombardment of Furnes,
Ypres, Poperinghe and the villages along the Yser drove the inhabitants
south. The Belgian Government asked Mrs. Wharton if she could receive
60 children at 48 hours' notice. The answer was "yes," and a home
established. Soon after, the Belgian Government asked Mrs. Wharton to
receive five or six hundred children. Houses were at once established,
and these houses are under the management of the Flemish Sisters who
brought the children from the cellars of village-homes, from lonely
farmhouses, in two cases from the arms of the father, killed by a
fragment of shell. Lace-schools, sewing and dress-making classes,
agriculture and gardening are carried on. Seven hundred and thirty-five
children are cared for. The monthly expense is 8,000 francs.

One of the most important charities in which Mrs. Wharton, Mrs.
Edward Tuck, and Judge Walter Berry are interested, is that for
"French Tuberculous War Victims," in direct connection with the Health
Department of the French Ministry of War. Nearly 100,000 tuberculous
soldiers have already been sent back from the French front. They must
be shown how to get well and receive the chance to get well. One
hospital is already in operation, and three large sanatoria are nearing
completion, with 100 beds each. The object is not only to cure the
sufferers, but to teach them a trade enabling them to earn their living
in the country. Tuberculous soldiers are coming daily to the offices
of this charity in ever-increasing numbers asking to be taken in. The
answer will depend on American generosity.

A group of Americans, headed by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, whose
husband is First Secretary of the American Embassy in Paris, have
instituted and carried on a "Distributing Service" in France. The name
of the organization is "Service de Distribution Américaine." It was
established on its present basis in December, 1914, and grew out of
personal work done by Mrs. Bliss since the beginning of the war. The
purpose has been to supply hospitals throughout France with whatever
they need. By the end of 1916, the results were these:

  Number of towns visited                          1,290
  Number of hospitals inspected and supplied       3,026
  Number of articles distributed               4,839,902

The Director of the organization is Russell Greeley, the secretary of
Geoffrey Dodge. The service has a garage outside the gates of Paris
with ten cars and a lorry. All the staff, except the stenographers and
packers, are volunteers.

This work for the French is connected with the American Distributing
Service for the Serbians, which was begun by sending the late Charles
R. Cross, Jr., to Serbia as a member of the American Sanitary
Commission headed by Dr. R. P. Strong, in the spring of 1915. Mr. Cross
made an investigation of the situation in Serbia at that time from the
point of view of the American Distributing Service.

In January, 1916, Mrs. Charles Henry Hawes of the Greek Red Cross, wife
of Professor Hawes of Dartmouth College, Hanover, being on her way
to Italy and Greece for the purpose of conveying relief into Albania
through Janina, offered her services to the Distributing Service for
the convoying and distribution of supplies. Mrs. Hawes's offer was
accepted and she was furnished with a small fund for the purpose of
supplies. Events forestalled her, but she succeeded in landing and
distributing to the last Serbians leaving San Giovanni di Medua, a
thousand rations. At the same time she took an active part in relief
work at Brindisi, and distributed about a thousand dollars' worth of
supplies to the Serb refugees passing through that port.

Meanwhile the French Army Medical Service had created the "Mission
de Coordination de Secours aux Armées d'Orient" for the purpose of
distributing relief supplies to the Serbian and other Allied armies
in the Balkans. A member of the Distributing Service was appointed
a member of the Mission, and a fund of 100,000 francs placed at the
disposal of the Distributing Service which thenceforward coöperated
actively in the work of the Mission. Urgent representations of the
need of help in Corfou having been made early in February to the
Mission by the French Army Medical Service, Mrs. Hawes, representing
the Distributing Service and the Mission jointly, was sent to
Corfou where she established a soup kitchen and did other valuable
relief work at Vido. She was later joined at Corfou by Countess de
Reinach-Foussemagne, Infirmière Déléguée of the Mission. Through these
two agents the Distributing Service sent to Corfou and distributed 197
cases of foodstuffs, clothing, and various articles needed, 5 cases of
medicines and 40 tins of paraffine. The Service disbursed for similar
purposes through Mrs. Hawes and Countess de Reinach, fifteen thousand
francs in cash. It was also instrumental in erecting a monument at Vido
to the Serbs who died there.

When the crisis at Corfou was at an end the field depot of the Mission
was moved to Solonica. There the Service distributed to Serbians
various shipments of relief and hospital supplies: A total of 454 cases.

The Distributing Service now has ready and is preparing to send forward
for the Serbian Army a laundry outfit, a disinfecting outfit and a
complete field surgical outfit (portable house for operating room
equipment and radiograph plant). A shipment is also going forward
for Monastir where the field depot of the Mission was established on
November 22nd, of 5,000 francs' worth of foodstuffs and other urgently
needed materials, and a larger quantity is being accumulated to be sent
forward without delay.

In addition, the Distributing Service has sent about 2,000 kilos of
hospital supplies to the Serbs in the Lazaret of Frioul, off Marseille,
and a similar quantity of material to the hospitals at Sidi-Abdallah
(Tunis), and elsewhere in Tunisia and Algeria, given over to the
treatment of Serbians.

Mrs. Bliss and her friends have also conducted a work for "frontier
children," dating from August, 1914, which has cared for French,
Belgian and Alsatian children to the number of 1,500.




This book is only a sign post pointing to the place where better men
than I have suffered and left a record. For those who wish to go
further on this road I give sources of information for facts which I
have sketched in outline.

The full authoritative account of the American Ambulance Field Service
will be found in a book called "Friends of France," written by the
young Americans who drove the cars at the front. It is one of the most
heartening books that our country has produced in the last fifty years.
Much of our recent writing has been the record of commercial success,
of growth in numbers, and of clever mechanical devices. We have been
celebrating the things that result in prosperity, as if the value of
life lay in comfort and security. But the story of these young men
is altogether a record of work done without pay, under conditions of
danger that sometimes resulted in wounds and death. Their service was
given because France was fighting for an idea. Risk and sacrifice and
the dream of equality are more attractive to young men than safety,
neutrality and commercial supremacy.

Those who wish to assure themselves that a healthy nationalism is
the method by which a people serves humanity will find an exalted
statement in Mazzini's "The Duties of Man." A correction of his
overemphasis is contained in "Human Nature in Politics," by Graham
Wallas. Valuable books on Nationality have been written by Ramsay Muir
and Holland Rose. Lord Acton's essay on Nationality in his "The History
of Freedom and Other Essays" should be consulted. He shows the defects
of the nation-State.

On the American aspects of nationality, Emile Hovelaque and Alfred
Zimmern are the two visitors who have shown clear recognition of the
spiritual weakness of our country, and at the same time have pushed
through to the cause, and so offered opportunity for amendment.
Hovelaque's articles in the _Revue de Paris_ of the spring of 1916 I
have summarized in the chapter on the Middle West. From Zimmern I have
jammed together in what follows isolated sentences of various essays.
This is of course unfair to his thought, but will serve to stimulate
the reader's interest in looking up the essays themselves.

"There is to-day no American nation. America consists at present of a
congeries of nations who happen to be united under a common federal
government. America is not a melting pot. It does not assimilate its
aliens. It is the old old story of the conflict between human instincts
and social institutions. The human soul can strike no roots in the
America of to-day. I watched the workings of that ruthless economic
process sometimes described as 'the miracle of assimilation.' I watched
the steam-roller of American industrialism--so much more terrible to me
in its consequences than Prussian or Magyar tyranny--grinding out the
spiritual life of the immigrant proletariat, turning honest, primitive
peasants into the helpless and degraded tools of the Trust magnate and
the Tammany boss. Nowhere in the world as in the United States have
false theories of liberty and education persuaded statesmen on so large
a scale to make a Babel and call it a nation."

And the remedy?

"Those make the best citizens of a new country who, like the French in
Canada and Louisiana, or the Dutch in South Africa, bear with them on
their pilgrimage, and religiously treasure in their new homes, the best
of the spiritual heritage bequeathed them by their fathers."

Alfred Zimmern is the author of "The Greek Commonwealth," contributor
to the "_Round Table_," and one of the promoters of the Workers
Educational Association. Those who wish to get his full thought on
Nationality should consult the pamphlet "Education and the Working
Class," the volume "International Relationships in the Light of
Christianity," and the _Sociological Review_ for July, 1912, and
October, 1915.

The most penetrating recent articles on the American democracy as
opposed to the cosmopolitanism of the melting pot were written by
Horace M. Kallen in issues of the New York _Nation_ of February, 1915.
Dr. Kallen is a Jewish pupil of the late William James, of outstanding
ability, the spiritual leader of the younger generation of Jews. He has
touched off a group of thinkers on the American problem, of whom one is
Randolph Bourne.

Those interested in the interweaving of French and early American
history should read the book by Ambassador Jusserand, called "With
Americans of Past and Present Days."

A careful investigation of the myth-making machinery used by nations
in war-time is given by Fernand van Langenhove in "The Growth of a
Legend"--a study based upon the German accounts of francs-tireurs and
"wicked priests" in Belgium. It is made up of German documents.

A fuller study of the German letters and diaries is contained in
the pamphlets of Professor Joseph Bedier, the books of Professor J.
H. Morgan, and the volumes by Jacques de Dampierre "L'Allemagne et
le Droit des Gens" and "Carnets de Route de Combattants Allemands."
After an examination of these German documents, no student will speak
of German atrocities as "alleged." The most careful collection of
testimony by eye-witnesses is that contained in the report of the
French Government Commission, "Rapports et Procès-Verbaux D'Enquête."
I have personally examined several of the witnesses to this report.
They are responsible witnesses. Their testimony is accurately
rendered in the Government record. I trust that some American of
high responsibility, such as Professor Stowell, of the Department of
International Law at Columbia University, will make an exhaustive study
of the German documents held by the French Ministry of War.

For the peasant incidents in the last section of my book, I refer
to the book by Will Irwin, "The Latin at War," as independent



Certain points in my testimony have been challenged by persons sitting
in security, three thousand miles away from the invaded country, where
at my own cost and risk I have patiently gathered the facts on which I
have based my statements.

I have built my testimony on three classes of evidence.

First: The things I have seen. I have given names, places and dates.

Second: The testimony of eye-witnesses, made to me in the presence
of men and women, well-known in France, England and America. These
eye-witnesses I have used in precisely the same way in which a case is
built up in the courts of law.

Third: The diaries and letters written by Germans in which they
describe the atrocities they have committed. I have seen the originals
of these documents.

It is noticeable that the specific fact has never been challenged. The
date has never been found misplaced, the place has never been confused,
the person has never been declared non-existent. The denial has always
been in blanket form.

The New York _Evening Post_ says: "After the spy came the invasion, and
after the invasion came the 'steam roller,' flattening out Belgium.
This is all given in a general way."

It is given with exact specifications.

Clement Wood, in the Socialist paper, _The New York Call_, writes:
"This book attempts more of a summing up of German offenses, and,
being written to sustain an opinion rather than to give impartially
the facts, correspondingly loses in interest and persuasiveness. Its
usefulness to the general reader or the person who desires an unbiased
understanding of the conflict is slight." He speaks of "the alleged
German atrocities in Belgium."

My statements do not deal with opinion but with things seen. Apparently
it is an offense to take sides on this war. One is a trusthworthy
witness if one has seen only picturesque incidents that do not reveal
the method of warfare practiced by an invading army. One is fair-minded
only by shutting the eyes to the burned houses of Melle, Termonde and
Lorraine, and the dead bodies of peasants; and by closing the ears to
the statements of outraged persons. One is judicial only by defending
the Germans against the acts of their soldiers, and the written
evidence of their officers and privates.

The _Independent_ says: "He saw the wreck of the convent school, but
learned none of the sisters had been harmed."

The critic selects that portion of my testimony on the convent school
which relieves the Germans of the charge of rape. As always, I have
given every bit of evidence in favor of the Germans that came my
way. I have told of the individual soldier who was revolted by his
orders. I have published the diaries of German soldiers which revealed
nobility. But is that scrupulous care of mine a justification to the
_Independent_ for omitting to tell the humiliations visited on that
convent school?

My testimony of bayonetted dying peasants is "credible in so far as no
testimony from the other side was obtainable."

"Mr. Gleason also saw the ruins of bombarded Belgian cities."

Is it fair of the _Independent_ to be inaccurate? My evidence is not
of bombarded Belgian cities. It is of Belgian cities, burned house by
house, with certain houses spared where "Do not burn by incendiary
methods" was chalked on the door.

"Otherwise his evidence is at second or third hand mainly."

On the contrary, I have quoted witnesses whom I can produce.

The _Times_, of Los Angeles, says: "He is quite rabid. He writes with
the frenzy of a zealot."

I do not think the colorless recitation of facts, fortified by name,
place and date, is rabid or frenzied.

The _Literary Digest_ says: "Of the 'atrocities' in Belgium, we find
reports of a 'friend,' or a 'friend's friend,' or what 'some one saw or

I have told what I myself saw and heard.

"Fair-minded readers will be inclined to reserve judgment."

But in the light cast by eye-witnesses and German diaries, we have
reserved judgment too long. Our American Revolution would have been a
drearier affair, if the French had reserved judgment. In a crisis the
need is to form a judgment in time to make it tell for the cause of
justice. Truth-seeking is a living function of the mind.

Another critic says: "By careful reading one sees that, while it
pretends to give real evidence, there isn't any that is real except
where not essential. Mr. Gleason attempts to belittle the stories of
priests inciting girls to deeds of violence."

I do not attempt to belittle those stories. I disprove them on the
evidence given by German generals, whose names I cite. Because I
defend Roman Catholic priests from slander does not mean that I am
anti-Protestant. Because I prove that Belgium and France have suffered
injustice does not mean that I am anti-German. I went over to find out
whether Belgian and French peasants, old men, women and children, were
a lawless, murderous mob, or whether the German military had sinned in
burning their homes and shooting the non-combatants. Neutrals can not
have it both ways--either the peasants were guilty, or the German Army
was guilty. I found it was the German Army that had sinned.

This critic goes on to say: "Only a few years ago the entire world was
shocked by the horrible atrocities carried on in the Congo."

Evidently those atrocities were proved to his satisfaction. But was
the case not established by the same process I have used--personal
observation, documentary proof, and the testimony of eye-witnesses?

The _Post-Dispatch_, of St. Louis, says: "Gleason in trying to make
out a strong case against Germany goes too far. He is too venomous. It
will be a hard thing to convince neutral Americans that German soldiers
maliciously ran their bayonets through the backs of girl children. The
volume would be of much greater historical value if Gleason had used
his head more and his heart less." Dr. Hamilton, in _The Survey_, makes
the same point.

In my testimony I detail my evidence, and they who deny it rest on
general statements. I assure them it is not in lightness that I record
these conclusions about the German Army. I have gone into the zone of
fire to bring out German wounded. I have taken the same hazards as
thousands of other men have taken to save German life. Does venom act

I find in these criticisms an underlying assumption, a mental attitude,
toward war, and therefore toward facts about war. Some of these
periodicals are sincere pacifists. In the cause of social reform, in
their several and very different ways, they have served the common
good. But because they believe war is the worst of all evils, they
assume that both sides are equally guilty or equally foolish. It
is not a mental attitude which leaves them open-minded. I want to
ask them on what body of facts they base their criticism. Were they
present in Belgium at the moment of impact? Has the German Government
provided them with detailed documentary proof that in the villages
I have mentioned, on the dates given, the persons I have named were
not burned, were not bayonetted? Have they examined the originals of
the German diaries and found that I have omitted or altered words?
Have they spent many days in Lorraine taking testimony from curé
and sister and Mayor and peasant? Has that testimony shown that the
destruction and murder did not take place? Has Leon Mirman, Prefect of
Meurthe-et-Moselle, given them a statement in which he retracts what he
said to me?

Several of these critics happen to be personal friends. It would
be impossible to write in resentment of anything they say. I am
not interested in making out a case for myself. But I am very much
interested in inducing my fellow countrymen to accept the facts of the
present world struggle. My books about the war have been written with
one purpose only--to bring home to Americans the undeserved suffering
of Belgium and France. To do that I need the help of all men of good
will. I ask them not to break the force of the facts which I have
patiently collected, by the carelessness which calls systematically
burned cities "bombarded" cities, and by the mental attitude which
finds me "rabid," when I have given every favoring incident to German
soldiers that I could find. I have spent nearly two years in observing
the facts of this war. Against my desires, my pre-war philosophy,
my hopes of internationalism, I was driven by the facts to certain


[1] Some of our people go further even than the giving of banquets
to the efficient staff of the _Deutschland_. They give praise to
U-53. In a newspaper, edited and owned by Americans, and published in
an American Middle Western city of 40,000 inhabitants, the leading
editorial on the exploits of U-53 was headed, "Hats Off to German
Seamen," and the writer says:

"The world in general that had educated itself to regard the German as
a phlegmatic and plodding citizen will remove its headgear in token
of approbation of the sustained series of sensational feats by German
commanders and sailors. The entire aspect of affairs has been changed
by the events of two years. The Germans have accumulated as much heroic
and romantic material in that time as has been gathered by other
nations since the date of the American Revolution."

In the second section of this book, I have told why we talk like
that. The mixture of races (mixed but not blended), the modern
theory of cosmopolitanism, a self-complacency in our attitude toward
Europe, an assumption that we alone champion freedom and justice,
the fading of our historic tradition--these have caused us to preach
internationalism, but fail to defend ourselves or the little nation of
Belgium. They have led us to admire successful force.

[2] Mazzini's idea of neutrality was this:

"A law of Solon decreed that those who in an insurrection abstained
from taking part on one side or the other should be degraded. It was
a just and holy law, founded on the belief--then instinctive in the
heart of Solon, but now comprehended and expressed in a thousand
formulæ--in the solidarity of mankind. It would be just now more than
ever. What! you are in the midst of the uprising, not of a town, but of
the whole human race; you see brute force on the one side, and right
on the other ... whole nations are struggling under oppression ...
men die in hundreds, by thousands, fighting for or against an idea.
This idea is either good or evil; and you continue to call yourselves
men and Christians, you claim the right of remaining neutral? You
cannot do so without moral degradation. Neutrality--that is to say,
indifference between good and evil, the just and the unjust, liberty
and oppression--is simply Atheism."

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

-Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.

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