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Title: German War Practices, Part 1: Treatment of Civilians
Author: Dana Carleton Munro, George C. (George Clarke) Sellery, and August, - To be updated
Language: English
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Edited by

Princeton University

University of Wisconsin      University of Minnesota


Issued by
The Committee on Public Information
          The Secretary of State
          The Secretary of War
          The Secretary of the Navy
          George Creel

November 15, 1917


I hereby create a Committee on Public Information, to be composed of
the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the
Navy, and a civilian who shall be charged with the executive direction
of the Committee. As civilian Chairman of the Committee I appoint Mr.
George Creel.

The Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the
Navy are authorized each to detail an officer or officers to the work
of the Committee.


April 14, 1917.


[Sidenote: Germany pledged to Hague regulations.]

For many years leaders in every civilized nation have been trying to
make warfare less brutal. The great landmarks in this movement are the
Geneva and Hague Conventions. The former made rules as to the care
of the sick and wounded and established the Red Cross. At the first
meeting at Geneva, in 1864, it was agreed, and until the present war
it has been taken for granted, that the wounded, and the doctors and
nurses who cared for them, would be safe from all attacks by the enemy.
The Hague Conventions, drawn up in 1899 and 1907, made additional rules
to soften the usages of war and especially to protect noncombatants
and conquered lands. Germany took a prominent part in these meetings
and with the other nations solemnly pledged her faith to keep all the
rules except one article in the Hague Regulations. This was article
44, which forbade the conqueror to force any of the conquered to give
information. All the other rules and regulations she accepted in the
most binding manner.

[Sidenote: German policy of frightfulness.]

But Germany's military leaders had no intention of keeping these solemn
promises. They had been trained along different lines. Their leading
generals for many years had been urging a policy of frightfulness. In
the middle of the nineteenth century von Clausewitz was looked upon as
the greatest military authority, and the methods which he advocated
were used by the Prussian army in its successful wars of 1866-1871.
Consequently, because these wars had been successful, the wisdom of von
Clausewitz's methods seemed to the Prussian army to be fully proven.

Now, the essence of von Clausewitz's teachings was that successful war
involves the ruthless application of force. In the opening chapter of
his master work, _Vom Kriege_ (_On War_), he says:

 "Violence arms itself with the inventions of art and science. * * *
 Self-imposed restrictions, almost imperceptible and hardly worth
 mentioning, termed usages of international law, accompany it without
 essentially impairing its power. * * * Now, philanthropic souls
 might easily imagine that there is a skillful method of disarming or
 subduing an enemy without causing too much bloodshed, and that this
 is the true tendency of the art of war. However plausible this may
 appear, still it is an error which must be destroyed; for in such
 dangerous things as war, the errors which proceed from a spirit of
 'good-naturedness' are precisely the worst. As the use of physical
 force to the utmost extent by no means excludes the cooperation of the
 intelligence, it follows that he who uses force ruthlessly, without
 regard to bloodshed, must obtain a superiority, if his enemy does not
 so use it."

In 1877-78, in the course of a series of articles upon "Military
necessity and humanity," Gen. von Hartmann wrote, in the same spirit as
von Clausewitz:

[Sidenote: Frightfulness advocated by German generals.]

 "The enemy State must not be spared the want and wretchedness of
 war; these are particularly useful in shattering its energy and
 subduing its will." "Individual persons may be harshly dealt with
 when an example is made of them, intended to serve as a warning. * *
 * Whenever a national war breaks out, terrorism becomes a necessary
 military principle." "It is a gratuitous illusion to suppose that
 modern war does not demand far more brutality, far more violence,
 and an action far more general than was formerly the case." "When
 international war has burst upon us, terrorism becomes a principle
 made necessary by military considerations."

In 1881 von Moltke, who had been commander in chief of the Prussian
army in the Franco-Prussian War, declared:

 "Perpetual peace is a dream and not even a beautiful dream. War is
 an element in the order of the world established by God. By it the
 most noble virtues of man are developed, courage and renunciation,
 fidelity to duty and the spirit of sacrifice--the soldier gives his
 life. Without war, the world would degenerate and lose itself in
 materialism." "The soldier who endures suffering, privation, and
 fatigue, who courts dangers, can not take only 'in proportion to the
 resources of the country.' He must take all that is necessary to his
 existence. One has no right to demand of him anything superhuman."
 "The great good in war is that it should be ended quickly. In view of
 this, every means, except those which are positively condemnable,
 must be permitted. I can not, in any way, agree with the Declaration
 of St. Petersburg when it pretends that 'the weakening of the military
 forces of the enemy constitutes the only legitimate method of
 procedure in war. No! One must attack all the resources of the enemy
 government, his finances, his railroads, his stock of provisions and
 even his prestige. * * *"

[Sidenote: Kaiser's "Hun" speech in 1900.]

Many other examples might be cited from the writings of German
generals. The very best illustration of this attitude, however, is
to be found in the Emperor's various speeches, and especially in his
speech to his soldiers on the eve of their departure for China in
1900. On July 27 the Kaiser went to Bremerhaven to bid farewell to
the German troops. As they were drawn up, ready to embark for China,
he addressed to them a last official message from the Fatherland. The
local newspaper reported his speech in full. In it appeared this advice
and admonition from the Emperor, the commander in chief of the army,
the head of all Germany.

 "As soon as you come to blows with the enemy he will be beaten. No
 mercy will be shown! No prisoners will be taken! As the Huns, under
 King Attila, made a name for themselves, which is still mighty in
 traditions and legends to-day, may the name of German be so fixed in
 China by your deeds that no Chinese shall ever again dare even to look
 at a German askance. * * * Open the way for _Kultur_ once for all."

[Sidenote: Opposition in Reichstag.]

Even the imperial councillors seem to have been shocked at the
Emperor's speech, and efforts were promptly made to suppress the
circulation of his exact words. The efforts were only partly
successful. A few weeks later, when letters from the German soldiers
in China were being published in local German papers, the leading
socialist newspaper, _Vorwärts_, excerpted from them reports of
atrocities under the title "Letters of the Huns." Many of the leaders
in the Reichstag felt very keenly the brutality of the Emperor's
speech. The obnoxious word "Huns" had excited almost universal
condemnation. When the Reichstag met, in November, the speech was
openly discussed. Herr Lieber, of the Center (the Catholic party),
after quoting the "no mercy" portion of the speech, added, "There
are, alas, in Germany groups enough who have regarded the atrocities
told in the letters which have been published as the dutiful response
of soldiers so addressed and encouraged." The leader of the Social
Democrats, Herr Bebel, spoke even more pointedly. Toward the end of a
two-hour address on the atrocities committed by the German soldiers in
China and on the speech of the Emperor he said:

 "If Germany wishes to be the bearer of civilization to the world, we
 will follow without contradiction. But the ways and means in which
 this world policy has been carried on thus far, in which it has
 been defined by the Emperor * * * are not, in our opinion, the way
 to preserve the world position of Germany, to gain for Germany the
 respect of the world."

The consequences of the Emperor's speech Bebel aptly described:

 "By it a signal was given, garbed in the highest authority of the
 German Empire, which must have most weighty consequences, not only for
 the troops who went to China but also for those who stayed at home."
 "An expedition of revenge so barbarous as this has never occurred in
 the last hundred years and not often in history; at least, nothing
 worse than this has happened in history, either done by the Huns, by
 the Vandals, by Genghis Khan, by Tamerlane, or even by Tilly when he
 sacked Magdeburg."

[Sidenote: Atrocities in China.]

These stories of atrocities in China or "Letters of the Huns" continued
to be published in the _Vorwärts_ for several years and appeared
intermittently in the debates of the Reichstag as late as 1906. At that
time the socialist, Herr Kunert, reviewing the procedure in a trial
of which he had been the victim in the previous summer, stated that
he had offered to prove "that German soldiers in China had engaged in
wanton and brutal ravaging; that plunder, pillage, extortion, robbery,
as well as rape and sexual abuses of the worst kind, had occured on a
very large scale and that German soldiers had participated in them."
He had not been given an opportunity to prove his allegations, but had
been sentenced to prison for three months for assailing the honor of
the "whole German Army." The outrageousness of this sentence was made
clear by the revelations, made in the Reichstag shortly afterwards, of
similar atrocities committed by German officials and soldiers in Africa
in the campaign against the Hereros.

The teachings of Treitschke and Nietzsche and their evil influence
upon the present generation in Germany are well known. The minds of
the responsible officials were filled with ideas wholly different from
those to which Germany had agreed at The Hague. The cult of might, and
of war as its expression, found many disciples who flooded the press
with pamphlets and panegyrics on war and its place in the natural and
political development of a nation. Before the war the average number of
volumes concerning war published each year in Germany was 700, and the
vast majority of those written by the German Army officers advocated
the ruthless policy of von Clausewitz, von Hartmann, and von Moltke.

These ideas, which have come to control the minds of the military
class, are best shown in the _German War Book_ (_Kriegsbrauch im
Landkriege_), published in 1902. The tone of this authoritative book
may be judged from the following extracts:

[Sidenote: Teachings of the German War Book.]

 "But since the tendency of thought in the last century was dominated
 essentially by humanitarian considerations which not infrequently
 degenerated into sentimentality and flabby emotion (_Sentimentalität
 und weichlicher Gefühlschwärmerei_), there have not been wanting
 attempts to influence the development of the usages of war in a way
 which was in fundamental contradiction with the nature of war and its
 object. Attempts of this kind will also not be wanting in the future,
 the more so as these agitations have found a kind of moral recognition
 in some provisions of the Geneva Convention and the Brussels and Hague

 "By steeping himself in military history an officer will be able to
 guard himself against excessive humanitarian notions; it will teach
 him that certain severities are indispensable to war, nay more, that
 the only true humanity very often lies in a ruthless application of

For the guidance of the officers in case the inhabitants of conquered
territory should take up arms against the German Army, the _German War
Book_ quotes with approval the letter Napoleon sent to his brother
Joseph, when the inhabitants of Italy were attempting to revolt against

 "The security of your dominion depends on how you behave in the
 conquered province. Burn down a dozen places which are not willing to
 submit themselves. Of course, not until you have first looted them;
 my soldiers must not be allowed to go away with their hands empty.
 Have three to six persons hanged in every village which has joined the
 revolt; pay no respect to the cassock" [that is, to members of the

[Sidenote: German war proclamations in French translations.]

Some of the rules laid down in the _German War Book_ are illustrated
and their spirit made more definite in _L'Interprète Militaire_. _Zum
Gebrauch im Feindesland_ (Military Interpreter for Use in the Enemy's
Country). This is a manual edited at Berlin in 1906. "It contains,"
says the introduction, "the French translation of the greater part of
the documents, letters, and proclamations, and some orders of which
it may be necessary to make use in time of war." Thus, eight years
before this war began, the German military authorities were not only
preparing their officers to wage war in a manner wholly contrary to the
Hague regulations, but also were looking forward to the use of these
proclamations in French or Belgian territory. Among its forms, ready
for use by inserting names, date, and place, are the following:

 "A fine of 600,000 marks in consequence of an attempt made by ---- to
 assassinate a German soldier, is imposed on the town of O. By order of

 "Efforts have been made, without result, to obtain the withdrawal of
 the fine.

 "The term fixed for payment expires to-morrow, Saturday, December 17,
 at noon ----.

 "Bank notes, cash, or silver plate will be accepted."

       *       *       *       *       *

 "I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated the 7th of this
 month, in which you bring to my notice the great difficulty which you
 expect to meet in levying the contributions. * * * I can but regret
 the explanations which you have thought proper to give me on this
 subject; the order in question which emanates from my Government is so
 clear and precise, and the instructions which I have received in the
 matter are so categorical that if the sum due by the town of R---- is
 not paid the town will be burned down without pity!"

       *       *       *       *       *

 "On account of the destruction of the bridge of F----, I order: The
 district shall pay a special contribution of 10,000,000 francs by
 way of amends. This is brought to the notice of the public who are
 informed that the method of assessment will be announced later and
 that the payment of the said sum will be enforced with the utmost
 severity. The village of F---- will be destroyed immediately by fire,
 with the exception of certain buildings occupied for the use of the

These forms have been of great use to the German commanders in Belgium
and northern France. The closeness with which they have been followed
in these conquered lands, during the present war, may be seen by
reading the following proclamations and the other proclamations which
are printed elsewhere in this pamphlet.

 "The City of Brussels, exclusive of its suburbs, has been punished by
 an additional fine of 5,000,000 francs on account of the attack made
 upon a German soldier by Ryckere, one of its police officials.

  "The Governor of Brussels,

 "_November 1, 1914._"

Placard posted on the walls of Lunéville by order of the German

 "Notice to the People.

 "Some of the inhabitants of Lunéville made an attack from ambuscade on
 the German columns and wagons (_trains_). The same day [some of the]
 inhabitants shot at sanitary formations marked with the Red Cross. In
 addition, German wounded and the military hospital containing a German
 ambulance were fired upon.

 "Because of these acts of hostility a fine of 650,000 francs is
 imposed upon the commune of Lunéville. The mayor is ordered to pay
 this sum in gold or silver up to 50,000 francs, September 6, 1914,
 at nine o'clock in the morning, to the representative of the German
 military authority. All protests will be considered null and void. No
 delay will be granted.

 "If the commune does not punctually obey the order to pay the sum of
 650,000 francs, all property that can be levied upon will be seized.

 "In case of non-payment, visits from house to house will be made
 and all the inhabitants will be searched. If anyone knowingly has
 concealed money or attempted to hold back his goods from the seizure
 by the military authorities, or if anyone attempts to leave the city,
 he will be shot.

 "The Mayor and the hostages taken by the military authorities will be
 held responsible for the exact execution of the above orders.

 "The Mayor is ordered to publish immediately this notice to the

 "Hénaménil, Sept. 3, 1914.

  "The General in Chief,


The German officers were provided with the forms to be used in
terrorizing the conquered people. The common soldiers were provided
with phrase books which would enable them to impose their will upon the
terrified people. Minister Brand Whitlock in his report to the State
Department on September 12, 1917, writes:

 "The German soldiers were provided with phrase books giving alternate
 translations in German and French of such sentences as:

 "'Hands up.' (It is the very first sentence in the book.)

 "'Carry out all the furniture.

 "'I am thirsty. Bring me some beer, gin, rum.

 "'You have to supply a barrel of wine and a keg of beer.

 "'If you lie to me, I will have you shot immediately.

 "'Lead me to the wealthiest inhabitants of this village. I have orders
 to requisition several barrels of wine.

 "'Show us the way to ----. If you lead us astray, you will be shot.'"

[Sidenote: The system of frightfulness.]

The quotations and proclamations printed above show clearly the
attitude of mind of the German military authorities. The policy of
frightfulness had been exalted into a system with every minute detail
worked out in advance. The _German War Book_ with its "cold-blooded
doctrines of the nature of war and of the means which may be employed
in prosecuting war," did its work in training the German military
officials. Of this book it has been well said: "It is the first time in
the history of mankind that a creed so revolting has been deliberately
formulated by a great civilized State." The generals gave their
sanction to this policy of frightfulness. Gen. von Bernhardi was quoted
in an interview in the _Neue Freie Presse_ of Vienna, as follows:

 "One cannot make war in a sentimental fashion. The more pitiless the
 conduct of the war, the more humane it is in reality, for it will run
 its course all the sooner. The war which of all wars is and must
 be most humane is that which leads to peace with as little delay as

This interview was reproduced in the _Berliner Tageblatt_ of November
20, 1914.

Mr. F.C. Walcott, of the Belgian Relief Commission, tells, in the
_Geographical Magazine_ for May, 1917, of meeting Gen-von Bernhardi:

[Sidenote: Interview with Bernhardi.]

 "As I walked out, General von Bernhardi came into the room, an expert
 artillery-man, a professor in one of their war colleges. I met him the
 next morning, and he asked me if I had read his book, _Germany and the
 Next War_.

 "I said I had. He said, 'Do you know, my friends nearly ran me out of
 the country for that. They said, "You have let the cat out of the
 bag." I said, "No, I have not, because nobody will believe it." 'What
 did you think of it?'

 "I said, 'General, I did not believe a word of it when I read it, but
 I now feel that you did not tell the whole truth;' and the old general
 looked actually pleased."

Speaking on August 29, 1914, at Münster, of the extreme measures which
the Germans had felt obliged to take against the civil population of
Belgium, Gen. von Bissing said:

[Sidenote: Statement by von Bissing.]

 "The innocent must suffer with the guilty. * * * In the repression
 of infamy, human lives cannot be spared, and if isolated houses,
 flourishing villages, and even entire towns are annihilated,
 that is assuredly regrettable, but it must not excite ill-timed
 sentimentality. All this must not in our eyes weigh as much as
 the life of a single one of our brave soldiers--the rigorous
 accomplishment of duty is the emanation of a high _Kultur_, and in
 that, the population of the enemy countries can learn a lesson from
 our army."

Gen. von Bissing, after his appointment as governor general of Belgium,
repeated in substance the above opinion to a Dutch journalist. The
interview is published in the _Düsseldorfer Anzeiger_ of December 8,

Irvin S. Cobb states his conclusions on the responsibility of the
higher German command for the atrocities:

 "But I was an eyewitness to crimes which, measured by the standards of
 humanity and civilization, impressed me as worse than any individual
 excess, any individual outrage, could ever have been or can ever be;
 because these crimes indubitably were instigated on a wholesale basis
 by order of officers of rank, and must have been carried out under
 their personal supervision, direction, and approval. Briefly, what I
 saw was this: I saw wide areas of Belgium and France in which not a
 penny's worth of wanton destruction had been permitted to occur, in
 which the ripe pears hung untouched upon the garden walls; and I saw
 other wide areas where scarcely one stone had been left to stand upon
 another; where the fields were ravaged; where the male villagers had
 been shot in squads; where the miserable survivors had been left to
 den in holes, like wild beasts.

 "Taking the physical evidence offered before our own eyes, and
 buttressing it with the statements made to us, not only by natives
 but By German soldiers and German officers, we could reach but one
 conclusion, which was that here, in such and such a place, those in
 command had said to the troops: 'Spare this town and these people.'
 And there they had said: 'Waste this town and shoot these people.'
 And here the troops had discriminately spared, and there they had
 indiscriminately wasted, in exact accordance with the word of their
 superiors." Irvin S. Cobb, _Speaking of Prussians_, New York, 1917,
 pp. 32-34.

These ideas, then, were systematically impressed upon the military and
official classes. It was necessary, however, to work upon the minds of
the German people, so that they might lend themselves to the inhuman
policies advocated by the military leaders. To do this was difficult,
for, as has been shown above, many of the civilian leaders of public
opinion, time and again, expressed their horror of the new spirit which
was animating the military authorities. The Reichstag debates give
ample evidence of this, and the task of the military leaders would have
been still more difficult if the Reichstag had had any real power. (See
War Information Series, No. 3, _The Government of Germany_; see also
Gerard's _My Four Years in Germany_, Chap. II.)

[Sidenote: Hatred against Belgians.]

The military authorities and those in sympathy with them have done all
in their power to stimulate a hatred of other peoples in the minds of
the Germans. A campaign of education before the war was carried on with
the object of impressing upon the minds of the Germans the treacherous
nature of the peoples against whom the military leaders were anxious
to wage war. Not only were the Germans gradually led to believe that
it was necessary to fight a defensive war against unscrupulous foes,
but also that these foes would violate every precept of humanity,
and consequently must be crushed without mercy as a measure of
self-defense. The fruits of this campaign of suspicion and hatred
became evident when almost at the outbreak of the war many Germans
became possessed with the belief that the whole population of Belgium,
the first country to be invaded, had violated every rule of honorable
warfare, that the _francs-tireurs_ (guerillas) were everywhere present
doing their deadly work in secrecy or under the cover of darkness; that
women and even children were mutilating and killing the wounded or
helpless prisoners.

The effect of the fables upon the popular mind may be seen in the
following extracts from German letters:

Extract from a letter written by a German soldier to his brother. (This
letter, now in the possession of the United States Government, was
obtained for this pamphlet from Mr. J.C. Grew, formerly secretary to
the United States Embassy at Berlin.)

  "NOVEMBER 4, 1914.

 "The battles are everywhere extremely tenacious and bloody. The
 Englishmen we hate most and we want to get even with them for once.
 While one now and then sees French prisoners, one hardly ever
 beholds French black troops or Englishmen. These good people are not
 overlooked by our infantrymen; that sort of people is mowed down
 without mercy. The losses of the Englishmen must be enormous. There is
 a desire to wipe them out, root and all."

Extract from another letter to a brother:

  "SCHLESWIG, 25, 8, 14 [Aug. 25, 1914].

 "DEAR BROTHER, * * * You will shortly go to Brussels with your
 regiment, as you know. Take care to protect yourself against these
 _Civilians_, especially in the villages. Do not let anyone of them
 come near you. _Fire without pity on everyone of them who comes
 too near._ They are very clever, cunning fellows, these Belgians;
 even the women and children are armed and fire their guns. Never go
 inside a house, especially alone. If you take anything to drink make
 the inhabitants drink first, and keep at a distance from them. _The
 newspapers relate numerous cases in which they have fired on our
 soldiers whilst they were drinking._ You soldiers must spread around
 so much fear of yourselves that no civilian will venture to come near
 you. Remain always in the company of others. _I hope that you have
 read the newspapers and that you know how to behave. Above all have no
 compassion for these cut-throats. Make for them without pity with the
 butt-end of your rifle and the bayonet._ * * *

  "Your brother,


The Emperor gave his sanction to the reports of the brutal acts of the
Belgians in a telegram to President Wilson.

[Sidenote: Emperor's telegram.]

  "BERLIN, VIA COPENHAGEN, _Sept. 7, 1914_.



 "Number 53. September 7. I am requested to forward the following
 telegram from the Emperor to the President:

 "'I feel it my duty, Mr. President, to inform you as the most
 prominent representative of principles of humanity, that after taking
 the French fortress of Longwy, my troops discovered there thousands
 of dumdum cartridges made by special government machinery. The
 same kind of ammunition was found on killed and wounded troops and
 prisoners, also on the British troops. You know what terrible wounds
 and suffering these bullets inflict and that their use is strictly
 forbidden by the established rules of international law. I therefore
 address a solemn protest to you against this kind of warfare, which,
 owing to the methods of our adversaries has become one of the most
 barbarous known in history. Not only have they employed these
 atrocious weapons, but the Belgian Government has openly encouraged
 and since long carefully prepared the participation of the Belgian
 civil population in the fighting. The atrocities committed even by
 women and priests in this guerilla warfare, also on wounded soldiers,
 medical staff and nurses, doctors killed, hospitals attacked by rifle
 fire, were such that my generals finally were compelled to take the
 most drastic measures in order to punish the guilty and to frighten
 the blood-thirsty population from continuing their work of vile murder
 and horror. Some villages and even the old town of Loewen [Louvain],
 excepting the fine hôtel de ville, had to be destroyed in self-defense
 and for the protection of my troops. My heart bleeds when I see that
 such measures have become unavoidable and when I think of the numerous
 innocent people who lose their home and property as a consequence of
 the barbarous behavior of those criminals. Signed. William, Emperor
 and King.'

  "GERARD.      _Berlin._"

Lorenz Müller in the German Catholic review, _Der Fels_, February,
1915, made the following statement in regard to the Emperor's telegram:

[Sidenote: Refutation by a German.]

 "Officially no instance has been proven of persons having fired with
 the help of priests from the towers of churches. All that has been
 made known up to the present, and that has been made the object of
 inquiry, concerning alleged atrocities attributed to Catholic priests
 during this war, has been shown to be false and altogether imaginary,
 without any exception. Our Emperor telegraphed to the President of the
 United States of America that even women and priests had committed
 atrocities during this guerilla warfare on wounded soldiers, doctors
 and nurses attached to the field ambulances. How this telegram can be
 reconciled with the fact stated above we shall not be able to learn
 until after the war."

The _Vorwärts_, of Berlin, October 22, 1914, said:

[Sidenote: Refutation by Vorwärts.]

 "We have already been able to establish the falseness of a great
 number of assertions which have been made with great precision and
 published everywhere in the press, concerning alleged cruelties
 committed, by the populations of the countries with which Germany is
 at war, upon German soldiers and civilians. We are now in a position
 to silence two others of these fantastic stories.

 "The War Correspondent of the _Berliner Tageblatt_ spoke a few weeks
 ago of cigars and cigarettes filled with powder alleged to have
 been given out or sold to our soldiers with diabolical intent. He
 even pretended that he had seen with his own eyes hundreds of this
 kind of cigarettes. We learn from an authentic source that this
 story of cigars and cigarettes is nothing but a brazen invention.
 Stories of soldiers whose eyes are alleged to have been torn out
 by francs-tireurs are circulated throughout Germany. Not a single
 case of this kind has been officially established. In every instance
 where it has been possible to test the story its inaccuracy has been

 "It matters little that reports of this nature bear an appearance
 of positive certitude, or are even vouched for by eyewitnesses. The
 desire for notoriety, the absence of criticism, and personal error
 play an unfortunate part in the days in which we are living. Every
 nose shot off or simply bound up, every eye removed, is immediately
 transformed into a nose or eye torn away by the francs-tireurs.
 Already the _Volkszeitung_ of Cologne has been able, contrary to the
 very categorical assertions from Aix-la-Chapelle, to prove that there
 was no soldier with his eyes torn out in the field ambulance of this
 town. It was said, also, that people wounded in this way were under
 treatment in the neighborhood of Berlin, but whenever enquiries have
 been made in regard to these reports, their absolute falsity has been
 demonstrated. At length these reports were concentrated at Gross
 Lichterfelde. A newspaper published at noon and widely circulated
 in Berlin printed a few days ago in large type the news that at the
 Lazaretto of Lichterfelde alone there were 'ten German soldiers, only
 slightly wounded, whose eyes had been wickedly torn out.' But to a
 request for information by comrade Liebknecht the following written
 reply was sent by the chief medical officer of the above-mentioned
 field hospital, dated the 18th of the month:


 'Happily there is no truth whatever in these stories.

  'Yours obediently,


[Sidenote: German soldiers protest against atrocities.]

Thus the teachings of the _German War Book_ and of the German apostles
of frightfulness, suspicion, and hatred, had now begun to bear their
natural fruit. But the voice of protest was not entirely silent. A
considerable number of letters by German soldiers who were shocked by
the German atrocities were sent to Ambassador Gerard, because he was
the representative of the United States, the leading neutral nation.
The three letters which follow, in translation, were received by the
American ambassador from German soldiers. They were obtained for this
pamphlet from Secretary Grew; they illustrate both the system and the
horror of it, which the writers felt.

Here is the protest of a German soldier, an eyewitness of the slaughter
of Russian soldiers in the Masurian lakes and swamps:

 "It was frightful, heart-rending, as these masses of human beings
 were driven to destruction. Above the terrible thunder of the cannon
 could be heard the heart-rending cries of the Russians: 'O Prussians!
 O Prussians!'--but there was no mercy. Our Captain had ordered: 'The
 whole lot must die; so rapid fire.' As I have heard, five men and one
 officer on our side went mad from those heart-rending cries. But most
 of my comrades and the officers joked as the unarmed and helpless
 Russians shrieked for mercy while they were being suffocated in the
 swamps and shot down. The order was: 'Close up and at it harder!' For
 days afterwards those heart-rending yells followed me and I dare not
 think of them or I shall go mad. There is no God, there is no morality
 and no ethics any more. There are no human beings any more, but only
 beasts. Down with militarism.

 "This was the experience of a Prussian soldier. At present wounded;
 Berlin, October 22, 1914.

 "If you are a truth-loving man, please receive these lines from a
 common Prussian soldier."

Here is the testimony of another German soldier on the Eastern front.

  "RUSSIAN POLAND, _December 18, '14_.

 "In the name of Christianity I send you these words.

 "My conscience forces me as a Christian German soldier to inform you
 of these lines.

 "Wounded Russians are killed with the bayonet according to orders.

 "And Russians who have surrendered are often shot down in masses
 according to orders, in spite of their heart-rending prayers.

 "In hope that you, as the representative of a Christian State will
 protest against this, I sign myself,


 "I would give my name and regiment, but these words could get me
 court-martialed for divulging military secrets."

       *       *       *       *       *

The third letter, from the Western front, shows the same horror of the
system of which the writer was a witness.

  "To the
  "_Washington, U.S.A._

 "Englishmen who have surrendered are shot down in small groups. With
 the French one is more considerate. I ask whether men let themselves
 be taken prisoner in order to be disarmed and shot down afterwards? Is
 that chivalry in battle? It is no longer a secret among the people;
 one hears everywhere that few prisoners are taken; they are shot down
 in small groups. They say naïvely: 'We don't want any unnecessary
 mouths to feed. Where there is no one to enter complaint, there is no
 judge.' Is there then no power in the world which can put an end to
 these murders and rescue the victims? Where is Christianity? Where is
 right? Might is right.


[Sidenote: Socialists oppose system.]

Many of the Germans, as has been already indicated, do not believe
the reports of the atrocities committed by the Belgian civilians and
refuse to accept the system of frightfulness. The _Vorwärts_, the
leading socialistic paper, which has a very wide circle of readers, has
opposed the policy of frightfulness. All honor to its editors who have
so courageously opposed powerful military authority! Its editorial,
entitled "Our Foes," published August 23, 1914, reads as follows:

 "We wish to show ourselves humane and friendly towards those whom the
 fortune of war has played into our hands as prisoners. But we wish
 also to be humane towards our foes on the field. We must fight them.
 * * * But fighting does not mean murdering. It does not mean being
 barbarous. * * *

 "What should one say when even such an organ as the _Deutsches
 Offizier-Blatt_ expresses its sympathy with a demand that 'the
 beasts' who are taken as francs-tireurs should not be killed but only
 wounded so that they may then be left to a fate 'which makes any help
 impossible?' Or what should we say when the _Deutsches Offizier-Blatt_
 states that 'a punitive destruction even of whole regions' cannot
 'afford full recompense for the bones of a single murdered Pomeranian
 grenadier' Those are the desires of blood-thirsty fanatics and we
 are thoroughly ashamed of ourselves because it is possible that
 there are people among us who urge such things. Such disclosures in
 themselves, even if they are not followed out, are likely to place our
 fighting quite in the wrong before all the world. * * * Let us show
 knightliness even though we are of the proletariat. Let us take such
 pains that when the fight has finally been fought it will also not
 be so difficult again to work in common as brothers with our class
 associates on the other side of the border."

On the following day, August 24, 1914, the _Vorwärts_ returned to the
attack in an editorial "Against Barbarism."

[Sidenote: Some Germans demand "orgies of barbarism."]

 * * * "One might, in the first place, possibly believe that such a
 demand for a bloody vengeance [against alleged Belgian outrages]
 emanates from a single disease-racked brain; but it appears that whole
 groups among certain classes who represent German _Kultur_ want to
 indulge in orgies of barbarism and to devise a whole system for the
 purpose of organizing 'a war of revenge.'

 "What of law and custom! Such thoughts do not stir a 'great nation'.
 Thus in a leading article of the _Berliner Neueste Nachrichten_, the
 demand is made that all the authorities in Brussels--one, the second
 Burgomaster, is generously excepted--should be immediately seized and
 subjected to trial in order to expiate the wrongs which, according
 to fragmentary and highly uncertain reports, were said to have been
 committed by the people. They demand that the captured city should
 immediately pay a fine of 500,000,000 marks; that all stores of the
 conquered territory be requisitioned without paying the inhabitants a
 single penny for them."

Three years later, August 26, 1917, the _Vorwärts_ quoted the following
passage from the _Deutsche Tagezeitung_:

[Sidenote: Still hold same opinions.]

 "We have a ring of politicians who hold that might makes right
 (_Machtpolitiker_) who despise the forces of the inner life and
 believe that they must eliminate all ethical points of view * * * from
 foreign and social politics. For them, Germany of the present and of
 the future is the country of the Krupps and Borsigs, of the Zeppelins
 and the U-boats. Any idea of a connection between politics and morals
 is rejected and any reference to the right of a moral method of
 consideration is ridiculed as delusion and sentimentality."

[Sidenote: Belgian warning of danger.]

Naturally the reports of the atrocities committed by the Germans and
the Emperor's declaration that the war would henceforth assume a
terrible character (_grausamen Charakter_) caused grave anxiety among
the Belgians. In order to avoid the danger of reprisals, the Belgian
Government, at the beginning of the invasion, had every Belgian
newspaper publish each day the following notice on its first page, in
large print:


 "The Minister of the Interior advises civilians in case the enemy
 should show himself in their district:

 "Not to fight;

 "To utter no insulting or threatening words;

 "To remain within their houses and close the windows; so that it will
 be impossible to allege that there was any provocation;

 "To evacuate any houses or isolated hamlet which the soldiers may
 occupy in order to defend themselves, so that it cannot be alleged
 that civilians have fired;

 "An act of violence committed by a single civilian would be a crime
 for which the law provides arrest and punishment. It is all the more
 reprehensible in that it might serve as a pretext for measures of
 oppression, resulting in bloodshed or pillage, or the massacre of the
 innocent population with the women and children."

In the hope of arousing the sympathy and securing the aid of the
neutral nations, the Belgian Government appointed a committee to
ascertain the facts about the German practices. The evidence collected
by the Belgian commissioners is detailed and explicit, and their
reports give names, places, and dates. It is not possible, however, to
include in this pamphlet more than the following summary of the charges
they make against the Germans:

 "1. That thousands of unoffending civilians, including women and
 children, were murdered by the Germans.

 "2. That women had been outraged.

 "3. That the custom of the German soldiers immediately on entering a
 town was to break into wineshops and the cellars of private houses and
 madden themselves with drink.

 "4. That German officers and soldiers looted on a gigantic and
 systematic scale, and, with the connivance of the German authorities,
 sent back a large part of the booty to Germany.

 "5. That the pillage had been accompanied by wanton destruction and by
 bestial and sacrilegious practices.

 "6. That cities, towns, villages, and isolated buildings were

 "7. That in the course of such destruction human beings were burnt

 "8. That there was a uniform practice of taking hostages and thereby
 rendering great numbers of admittedly innocent people responsible for
 the alleged wrongdoings of others.

 "9. That large numbers of civilian men and women had been virtually
 enslaved by the Germans, being forced against their will to work for
 the enemies of their country, or had been carried off like cattle into
 Germany, where all trace of them had been lost.

 "10. That cities, towns, and villages had been fined and their
 inhabitants maltreated because of the success gained by the Belgian
 over the German soldiers.

 "11. That public monuments and works of art had been wantonly
 destroyed by the invaders.

 "12. And that generally the Regulations of the Hague Conference and
 the customs of civilized warfare had been ignored by the Germans,
 and that amongst other breaches of such regulations and customs, the
 Germans had adopted a new and inhuman practice of driving Belgian men,
 women, and children in front of them as a screen between them and the
 allied soldiers."

The German authorities undertook to defend themselves against the
terrible indictment in the report published by the Belgian Government
and appointed a German commission, which collected a huge mass of
materials designed to show that their acts of cruelty were merely acts
of reprisal necessitated by the deeds of the Belgians. This mass of
testimony was published in a _German White Book_ with the title _Die
völkerrechtswidrige Führung des Belgischen Volkskriegs_.

The German commission declared in its findings that the German soldiers
had acted with humanity, restraint, and Christian forbearance. But the
sworn statements of German soldiers, which the commission published,
show the reverse to be true.

[Sidenote: German White Book reveals atrocities.]

It has been well said that the publication of this _German White Book_
was "an amazing official blunder." The neutral world, whose good
opinion Germany sought, was not convinced by it that the Belgians had
committed the atrocities with which the Germans charged them. On the
other hand, this _White Book_, published by the German Government, will
be accepted by everyone as conclusive evidence of the massacres and
other brutal deeds which were carried out as "reprisals" by the orders
of the German military authorities in Belgium. The names of the German
officers who gave the terrible orders are published officially, and
"frequently the very men themselves come forward and depose coldly and
callously to acts which have degraded the German Army and left a stain
upon its banners that [future] generations of chivalry will not efface."

Indeed, in the light of the admissions of the _German White Book_, it
is not too much to say that the time has already come which was spoken
of by President Wilson in his dispatch to President Poincaré, September
19, 1914, when he said (speaking for "a nation which abhors inhuman
practices in the conduct of a war"):

 "The time will come when this great conflict is over and when the
 truth can be impartially determined. When that time arrives those
 responsible for violations of the rules of civilized warfare, if
 such violations have occurred, and for false charges against their
 adversaries, must of course bear the burden of the judgment of the


[Sidenote: German sources.]

In this pamphlet throughout, as in the preceding pages, the evidence
is drawn mainly from German and American sources. The German sources
include official proclamations and other official utterances, letters
and diaries of German soldiers, and quotations from German newspapers.
The diaries which are so frequently quoted form a unique source. The
_Rules for Field Service_ of the German Army advises each soldier to
keep such a diary while on active service. Very many German soldiers
who have been taken prisoner had kept such diaries, and these have been
confiscated by the captors. Many have been published, frequently with
facsimile reproductions to guarantee their authenticity. The best known
collection was made by Bédier, whom Prof. Hollmann, of the University
of Berlin, properly described as "the distinguished Prof. Joseph Bédier
of the Collège de France." Of Bédier's publication Prof. Nyrop, of the
University of Copenhagen, says:

 "He has translated the diaries and commented upon them just as one
 does with all old historical documents, and, in order that everyone
 may be in a position to check up his work, he has also accompanied
 the account with facsimile copies of the documents he used. Here,
 accordingly, at the outset every proof of the evidence which he has
 employed is provided. No falsification is possible. The accounts
 are those of eyewitnesses, and these eyewitnesses are Germans. They
 tell what they themselves or their comrades have done, and Bédier
 accompanies their remarks with running comments which show that not
 only have common law and the Hague Conventions been violated, but sins
 have also been committed against the most elementary laws of humanity.
 Both the material and the presentation are unassailable. The details
 which are provided by the German soldiers in regard to their own
 violent acts are horror-striking."

Prof. Hollmann attempted to prove that Bédier had made mistakes in
translating and interpreting, but he did not deny the genuineness of
the diaries. "These notebooks," he says, "may well be authentic and I
accept this without further comment for all those which are provided
with the name of their authors and whose authenticity can in any case
be established after the war."

[Sidenote: American sources.]

The American evidence is drawn mainly from material in the archives
of the State Department. In addition, statements from our ambassadors
and ministers and other well-known officials and authors are given.
Messrs. Hoover, Kellogg, and Walcott have written statements especially
for this pamphlet. All of this material is essentially the testimony
of neutrals, for it is based wholly on observations made before the
United States entered the war. Occasionally official documents and well
authenticated facts from foreign sources are used.

[Sidenote: Frightfulness as a system.]

The purpose of this pamphlet is to show that the system of
frightfulness, which is itself the greatest atrocity, is the definite
policy of the German Government, against which more humane German
soldiers themselves revolted at times. For this reason it has not
seemed necessary to set forth the individual acts of cruelty; such
acts are cited only when necessary to illustrate the system. Anyone
who wishes to read chapters of horrors can find them in the _Report of
the Committee on Alleged German Outrages_, presided over by the former
British Ambassador to this country and therefore generally known as
"the Bryce report;" in the official reports by the Belgian _Commission
d'Enquête_; in the official French reports compiled under the auspices
of the French minister for foreign affairs; in many other publications,
and especially in the conclusive admissions of the official _German
White Book_ cited above. The last, published by the German Government,
is the most damning testimony concerning the system of frightfulness.


[Sidenote: Protection of noncombatants agreed to by Germany.]

[Sidenote: But her military leaders did not acquiesce.]

In the wars waged in ancient times it was taken for granted that
conquered peoples might be either killed, tortured, or held as slaves;
that their property would be taken and that their lands would be
devastated. "_Vae victis!_--woe to the conquered!" For two centuries
or more there has been a steady advance in introducing ideas of
humanity and especially in confining the evils of warfare to the
combatants. The ideal seemed to have become so thoroughly established
as a part of international law that the powers at The Hague thought it
sufficient merely to state the general principles in Article XLVI of
the regulations: "Family honors and rights, the lives of persons and
private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must
be respected. Private property can not be confiscated." Germany, in
common with the other powers, solemnly pledged her faith to keep this
article, but her military leaders had no intention of doing so. They
had been trained in the ideas voiced by Gen. von Hartmann 40 years
ago: "Terrorism is seen to be a relatively gentle procedure, useful
to keep the masses of the people in a state of obedience." This had
been Bismarck's policy, too. According to Moritz Busch, Bismarck's
biographer, Bismarck, exasperated by the French resistance, which was
still continuing in January, 1871, said:

[Sidenote: Bismarck's idea in 1871.]

 "If in the territory which we occupy, we can not supply everything for
 our troops, from time to time we shall send a flying column into the
 localities which are recalcitrant. We shall shoot, hang, and burn.
 After that has happened a few times, the inhabitants will finally come
 to their senses."

The frightfulness taught by the German leaders had held full sway
in Belgium. This is best seen in the entries in the diaries of the
individual German soldiers.


"During the night of August 15-16 Engineer Gr---- gave the alarm in the
town of Visé. Everyone was shot or taken prisoner, and the houses were
burnt. The prisoners were made to march and keep up with the troops."
(From the diary of noncommissioned officer Reinhold Koehn of the Second
Battalion of Engineers, Third Army Corps.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"A horrible bath of blood. The whole village burnt, the French thrown
into the blazing houses, civilians with the rest." (From the diary of
Private Hassemer, of the Eighth Army Corps.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"In the night of August 18-19 the village of Saint-Maurice was punished
for having fired on German soldiers by being burnt to the ground by
the German troops (two regiments, the 12th Landwehr and the 17th). The
village was surrounded, men posted about a yard from one another, so
that no one could get out. Then the Uhlans set fire to it, house by
house. Neither man, woman, nor child could escape; only the greater
part of the live stock was carried off, as that could be used. Anyone
who ventured to come out was shot down. All the inhabitants left in the
village were burnt with the houses." (From the diary of Private Karl
Scheufele, of the Third Bavarian Regiment of Landwehr Infantry.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"At 10 o'clock in the evening the first battalion of the 178th marched
down the steep incline into the burning village to the north of Dinant.
A terrific spectacle of ghastly beauty. At the entrance to the village
lay about fifty dead civilians, shot for having fired upon our troops
from ambush. In the course of the night many others were also shot, so
that we counted over 200. Women and children, lamp in hand, were forced
to look on at the horrible scene. We ate our rice later in the midst
of the corpses, for we had had nothing since morning. When we searched
the houses we found plenty of wine and spirit, but no eatables. Captain
Hamann was drunk." (This last phrase in shorthand.) (From the diary
of Private Philipp, of the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Regiment of
Infantry, Twelfth Army Corps.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"Aug. 6th crossed frontier. Inhabitants on border very good to us and
give us many things. There is no difference noticeable.

"Aug. 23rd, Sunday (between Birnal and Dinant, village of Disonge).
At 11 o'clock the order comes to advance after the artillery has
thoroughly prepared the ground ahead. The Pioneers and Infantry
Regiment 178 were marching in front of us. Near a small village the
latter were fired on by the inhabitants. About 220 inhabitants were
shot and the village was burnt--artillery is continuously shooting--the
village lies in a large ravine. Just now, 6 o'clock in the afternoon,
the crossing of the Maas begins near Dinant * * * All villages,
châteaux, and houses are burnt down during this night. It was a
beautiful sight to see the fires all round us in the distance.

"Aug. 24th. In every village one finds only heaps of ruins and many
dead. (From the diary of Matbern, Fourth Company, Eleventh Jäger
Battalion, Marburg.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"A shell burst near the 11th Company, and wounded seven men, three very
severely. At 5 o'clock we were ordered by the officer in command of
the regiment to shoot all the male inhabitants of Nomény, because the
population was foolishly attempting to stay the advance of the German
troops by force of arms. We broke into the houses, and seized all who
resisted, in order to execute them according to martial law. The houses
which had not been already destroyed by the French artillery and our
own were set on fire by us, so that nearly the whole town was reduced
to ashes. It is a terrible sight when helpless women and children,
utterly destitute, are herded together and driven into France." (From
the diary of Private Fischer, Eighth Bavarian Regiment of Infantry,
Thirty-third Reserve Division.)

Other German soldiers, too, we are glad to see, show their horror at
the foul deeds.

"The inhabitants have fled in the village. It was horrible. There was
clotted blood on all the beards, and what faces one saw, terrible to
behold! The dead, sixty in all, were at once buried. Among them were
many old women, some old men and a half-delivered woman, awful to see;
three children had clasped each other, and died thus. The altar and
the vaults of the church are shattered. They had a telephone there
to communicate with the enemy. This morning, September 2, all the
survivors were expelled, and I saw four little boys carrying a cradle,
with a baby five or six months old in it, on two sticks. All this
was terrible to see. Shot after shot! Thunderbolt after thunderbolt!
Everything is given over to pillage; fowls and the rest all killed.
I saw a mother, too, with her two children; one had a great wound on
the head and had lost an eye." (From the diary of Lance-Corporal Paul
Spielmann, of the Ersatz, First Brigade of Infantry of the Guard.)

       *       *       *       *       *

* * * In the night the inhabitants of Liége became mutinous. Forty
persons were shot and 15 houses demolished, 10 soldiers shot. The
sights here make you cry.

"On the 23rd August everything quiet. The inhabitants have so far
given in. Seventy students were shot, 200 kept prisoners. Inhabitants
returning to Liége.

"Aug. 24th. At noon with 36 men on sentry duty. Sentry duty is A 1, no
post allocated to me. Our occupation, apart from bathing, is eating and
drinking. We live like God in Belgium." (From the diary of Joh. van der
Schoot, reservist of the Tenth Company, Thirty-ninth Reserve Infantry
Regiment, Seventh Reserve Army Corps.)

       *       *       *       *       *

"August 17th. In the afternoon I had a look at the little château
belonging to one of the King's secretaries (not at home). Our men had
behaved like regular vandals. They had looted the cellar first, and
then they had turned their attention to the bedrooms and thrown things
about all over the place. They had even made fruitless efforts to smash
the safe open. Everything was topsy-turvy--magnificent furniture,
silk, and even china. That's what happens when the men are allowed to
requisition for themselves. I am sure they must have taken away a heap
of useless stuff simply for the pleasure of looting."

"Aug. 23rd. * * * Our men came back and said that at the point where
the valley joined the Meuse we could not get on any further as the
villagers were shooting at us from every house. We shot the whole
lot--16 of them. They were drawn up in three ranks; the same shot did
for three at a time.

"* * * The men had already shown their brutal instincts; * * *

"The sight of the bodies of all the inhabitants who had been shot
was indescribable. Every house in the whole village was destroyed.
We dragged the villagers one after another out of the most unlikely
corners. The men were shot as well as the women and children who were
in the convent, since shots had been fired from the convent windows;
and we burnt it afterwards.

"The inhabitants might have escaped the penalty by handing over the
guilty and paying 15,000 francs.

"The inhabitants fired on our men again. The division took drastic
steps to stop the villages being burnt and the inhabitants being shot.
The pretty little village of Gue d'Ossus, however, was apparently set
on fire without cause. A cyclist fell off his machine and his rifle
went off. He immediately said he had been shot at. All the inhabitants
were burnt in the houses. I hope there will be no more such horrors.

"At Leppe apparently 200 men were shot. There must have been some
innocent men among them. In future we shall have to hold an inquiry as
to their guilt instead of shooting them.

"In the evening we marched to Maubert-Fontaine. Just as we were having
our meal the alarm was sounded--everyone is very jumpy.

"September 3rd. Still at Rethel, on guard over prisoners. * * * The
houses are charming inside. The middle class in France has magnificent
furniture. We found stylish pieces everywhere and beautiful silk, but
in what a state * * * Good God! * * * Every bit of furniture broken,
mirrors smashed. The Vandals themselves could not have done more
damage. This place is a disgrace to our army. The inhabitants who fled
could not have expected, of course, that all their goods would have
been left intact after so many troops had passed. But the column
commanders are responsible for the greater part of the damage, as they
could have prevented the looting and destruction. The damage amounts to
millions of marks; even the safes have been attacked.

"In a solicitor's house, in which, as luck would have it, all was in
excellent taste, including a collection of old lace and Eastern works
of art, everything was smashed to bits.

"I could not resist taking a little memento myself here and there. * *
* One house was particularly elegant, everything in the best taste. The
hall was of light oak; I found a splendid raincoat under the staircase
and a camera for Felix." (From the diary of an officer in the One
Hundred Seventy-eighth Regiment, Twelfth Saxon Corps.)

But this horror apparently was not shared by the German commander in
chief, as is evident from the following:


  "_To the People of Liége._

 "The population of Andenne, after making a display of peaceful
 intentions towards our troops, attacked them in the most treacherous
 manner. With my authorisation, the General commanding these troops has
 reduced the town to ashes and has had 110 persons shot.

 "I bring this fact to the knowledge of the people of Liége in order
 that they may know what fate to expect should they adopt a similar

 "Liége, 22nd August, 1914.


The following "Order of the Day" shows how the town of Huy escaped a
like fate. Drunken German soldiers were frightened and began to shoot
men and burn houses. The commanding officer condemned this because it
was not done by his order and because two German soldiers were wounded.
It is evident that massacres and arson were permitted only when
commanded by the officers.

 "Last night a shooting affray took place. There is no evidence that
 the inhabitants of the towns had any arms in their houses, nor is
 there evidence that the people took part in the shooting; on the
 contrary, it seems that the soldiers were under the influence of
 alcohol, and began to shoot in a senseless fear of a hostile attack.

 "The behavior of the soldiers during the night, with very few
 exceptions, makes a scandalous impression.

 "It is highly deplorable when officers or noncommissioned officers set
 houses on fire without permission or order of the commanding, or, as
 the case may be, the senior officer, or when by their attitude they
 encourage the rank and file to burn and plunder.

 "I require that everywhere strict instructions shall be given with
 regard to the treatment of the life and property of the civilian

 "I prohibit all shooting in the towns without the order of an officer.

 "The miserable behaviour of the men caused a noncommissioned officer
 and a private to be seriously wounded by German bullets.

  "The Commanding Officer,

In his report of September 12, 1917, to the Secretary of State,
Minister Whitlock has much to tell of the policy of frightfulness. The
following passages refer to the subject of massacres:

[Sidenote: Germans force wives to witness husbands' executions.]

 "Summary executions took place [at Dinant] without the least semblance
 of judgment. The names and number of the victims are not known, but
 they must be numerous. I have been unable to obtain precise details
 in this respect and the number of persons who have fled is unknown.
 Among the persons who were shot are: Mr. Defoin, mayor of Dinant;
 Sasserath, first alderman; Nimmer, aged 70; consul for the Argentine
 Republic, Victor Poncelet, who was executed in the presence of his
 wife and seven children; Wasseige and his two sons; Messrs. Gustave
 and Léon Nicaise, two very old men; Jules Monin and others were shot
 in the cellar of their brewery. Mr. Camille Pistte and son, aged 17;
 Phillippart, Piedfort, his wife and daughter; Miss Marsigny. During
 the execution of about forty inhabitants of Dinant, the Germans placed
 before the condemned their wives and children. It is thus that Madame
 Albin who had just given birth to a child, three days previously, was
 brought on a mattress by German soldiers to witness the execution of
 her husband; her cries and supplications were so pressing that her
 husband's life was spared."

 "On the 26th of August German soldiers entered various streets [of
 Louvain] and ordered the inhabitants of the houses to proceed to the
 Place de la Station, where the bodies of nearly a dozen assassinated
 persons were lying. Women and children were separated from the men
 and forced to remain on the Place de la Station during the whole day.
 They had to witness the execution of many of their fellow-citizens,
 who were for the most part shot at the side of the square, near the
 house of Mr. Hemaide. The women and children, after having remained on
 the square for more than 15 hours, were allowed to depart. The Gardes
 Civiques of Louvain were also taken prisoners and sent to Germany, to
 the camp of Münster, where they were held for several weeks.

 "On Thursday, August 27th, order was given to the inhabitants to
 leave Louvain because the city was to be bombarded. Old men, women,
 children, the sick, priests, nuns, were driven on the roads like
 cattle. More than 10,000 of the inhabitants were driven as far as
 Tirlemont, 18 kilometers from Louvain."

 "One of the most sorely tried communities was that of the little
 village of Tamines, down in what is known as the Borinage, the coal
 fields near Charleroi. Tamines is a mining village in the Sambre; it
 is a collection of small cottages sheltering about 5,000 inhabitants,
 mostly all poor laborers.

 [Sidenote: Massacres in Tamines.]

 "The little graveyard in which the church stands bears its mute
 testimony to the horror of the event. There are hundreds of new-made
 graves, each with its small wooden cross and its bit of flowers; the
 crosses are so closely huddled that there is scarcely room to walk
 between them. The crosses are alike and all bear the same date, the
 sinister date of August 22d, 1914."

 "But whether their hands were cut off or not, whether they were
 impaled on bayonets or not, children were shot down, by military
 order, in cold blood. In the awful crime of the Rock of Bayard, there
 overlooking the Meuse below Dinant, infants in their mother's arms
 were shot down without mercy. The deed, never surpassed in cruelty by
 any band of savages, is described by the Bishop of Namur himself:

 [Sidenote: Slaughter of the innocents at Rocher Bayard.]

 "One scene surpasses in horror all others; it is the fusillade of the
 Rocher Bayard near Dinant. It appears to have been ordered by Colonel
 Meister. This fusillade made many victims among the nearby parishes,
 especially those of des Rivages and Neffe. It caused the death of
 nearly 90 persons, without distinction of age or sex. Among the
 victims were babies in arms, boys and girls, fathers and mothers of
 families, even old men.

 "It was there that 12 children under the age of 6 perished from the
 fire of the executioners, 6 of them as they lay in their mothers' arms:

  "The child Fiévet, 3 weeks old.
  "Maurice Bétemps, 11 months old.
  "Nelly Pollet, 11 months old.
  "Gilda Genon, 18 months old.
  "Gilda Marchot, 2 years old.
  "Clara Struvay, 2 years and 6 months.

 "The pile of bodies comprised also many children from 6 to 14 years.
 Eight large families have entirely disappeared. Four have but one
 survivor. Those men that escaped death--and many of whom were riddled
 with bullets--were obliged to bury in a summary and hasty fashion
 their fathers, mothers, brothers, or sisters; then after having been
 relieved of their money and being placed in chains they were sent to
 Cassel [Prussia]."

Mr. Hugh Gibson, the secretary of our legation in Belgium, visited
Louvain during its systematic destruction by the Germans. In _A Journal
from our Legation in Belgium_, New York, 1917, pages 164-165, he
relates what the German officers told him:

 "It was a story of clearing out civilians from a large part of the
 town, a systematic routing out of men from cellars and garrets,
 wholesale shootings, the generous use of machine guns, and the free
 application of the torch--the whole story enough to make one see red.
 And for our guidance it was impressed on us that this would make
 people respect Germany and think twice about resisting her."

German pastors and professors far from the excitement of the firing
have defended this policy of frightfulness, e.g.:

[Sidenote: Pastor defends frightfulness.]

 "We are not only compelled to accept the war that is forced upon us
 * * * but are even compelled to carry on this war with a cruelty, a
 ruthlessness, an employment of every imaginable device, unknown in any
 previous war." Pastor D. Baumgarten, in _Deutsche Reden in schwerer
 Zeit_, "German Speeches in Difficult Days."

       *       *       *       *       *

 "The fate that Belgium has called down upon herself is hard for
 the individual, but not too hard for this political structure
 (_Staatsgebilde_), for the destinies of the immortal great nations
 stand so high that they cannot but have the right, in case of need,
 to stride over existences that cannot defend themselves, but live,
 as parasites, upon the rivalries of the great." Prof. H. Oncken, in
 _Süddeutsche Monatsheft_, "South German Monthly."

Would they have dared to defend such a policy if they could have seen
the announcement sent out by the parish of St. Hadelin with its silent

This is an invitation to a service in memory of 60 men and women from
one parish, of whom all but two were killed by the Germans in the
massacre of August 5 and 6, 1914. The closing sentences are:


  Gentle Heart of Mary, be my refuge.
  Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
  St. Joseph, patron of Belgium, pray for us.
  St. Hadelin, patron of the parish, pray for us.
  Sainte Barbe, patroness of kindly death, pray for us.

After reading such ghastly accounts, many of them written by German
eyewitnesses, and knowing that similar tales were published widely in
the German newspapers, it is difficult to read with patience such words
as these:

 "The German Army (in which I of course include the Navy) is to-day the
 greatest institute for moral education in the world."

 "The German soldiers alone are thoroughly disciplined, and have never
 so much as hurt a hair of a single innocent human being." Houston
 Stewart Chamberlain, in _Kriegsaufsätze_, "War Essays", 1914.

 "We see everywhere how our soldiers respect the sacred defencelessness
 of woman and child." Prof. G. Roethe, in _Deutsche Reden in Schwerer
 Zeit_, "German Speeches in Difficult Days."


The massacres described above were a part of the German system of
frightfulness. Another feature of this system was the use of civilians
as hostages and for screens.

In discussing the use of hostages the _German War Book_ (_Kriegsbrauch
im Landkriege_) says:

[Sidenote: Views of the German General Staff.]

 "By hostages are understood those persons who, as security or bail for
 the fulfillment of treaties, promises, or other claims, are taken or
 detained by the opposing State or its army. Their provision has been
 less usual in recent wars, as a result of which some professors of the
 law of nations have wrongly decided that the taking of hostages has
 disappeared from the practice of civilized nations. * * *

 "A new application of 'hostage right' was practiced by the German
 Staff in the war of 1870, when it compelled leading citizens from
 French towns and villages to accompany trains and locomotives in order
 to protect the railway communications which were threatened by the
 people. Since the lives of peaceable inhabitants were, without any
 fault on their part, thereby exposed to grave danger, every writer
 outside Germany has stigmatised this measure as contrary to the law of
 nations and as unjustified towards the inhabitants of the country."

Although their deeds in the Franco-Prussian war had been universally
condemned, as they themselves admitted, the leaders did not intend
to abandon such a useful measure of frightfulness. In _L'Interprète
Militaire_ the forms were provided for such acts in the next war. Both
in Belgium and in France the Germans have constantly used hostages. The
evidence is contained in the proclamations of the governing authorities
and also in the diaries of the German soldiers. A few examples from
these will illustrate the system which was employed.

A specimen of the arbitrariness and cruelty is furnished by the
proclamation of Maj. Dieckmann, from which the following sections are


 "4. After 9 a.m. on the 7th September, I will permit the houses in
 Beyne-Heusay, Grivegnée, and Bois-de-Breux to be inhabited by the
 persons who lived in them formerly, as long as these persons are not
 forbidden to frequent these localities by official prohibition.

 [Sidenote: Maj. Dieckmann seizes hostages.]

 "5. In order to be sure that the above-mentioned permit will not
 be abused, the Burgomasters of Beyne-Heusay and of Grivegnée must
 immediately prepare lists of prominent persons who will be held as
 hostages for 24 hours each at Fort Fléron. September 6th, 1914, for
 the first time [the period of detention shall be] from 6 p.m. until
 September 7th at midday.

 "The life of these hostages depends on the population of the
 above-mentioned Communes remaining quiet under all circumstances.

 "During the night it is severely forbidden to show any luminous
 signals. Bicycles are permitted only between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. (German

 "6. From the list which is submitted to me I shall designate prominent
 persons who shall be hostages from noon of one day until the following
 midday. If the substitute is not there in due time, the hostage must
 remain another 24 hours at the fort. After these 24 hours the hostage
 will incur the penalty of death, if the substitute fails to appear.

 "7. Priests, burgomasters, and the other members of the Council are to
 be taken first as hostages.

 "8. I insist that all civilians who move about in my district * * *
 show their respect to the German officers by taking off their hats,
 or lifting their hands to their heads in military salute. In case of
 doubt, every German soldier must be saluted. Anyone who does not do
 this must expect the German military to make themselves respected by
 every means."

       *       *       *       *       *


 "1. The Belgian and French soldiers must be delivered as prisoners of
 war before 4 o'clock in front of the prison. Citizens who do not obey
 will be condemned to hard labor for life in Germany.

 "The rigorous inspection of houses will commence at 4 o'clock. Every
 soldier found will be immediately shot.

 "2. Arms, powder, and dynamite must be given up at 4 o'clock. Penalty,
 being shot.

 "Citizens who know of a store of the above must inform the
 burgomaster, under penalty of hard labor for life.

 [Sidenote: Von Bülow takes hostages in every street.]

 "3. Every street will be occupied by a German guard, who will take ten
 hostages from each street, whom they will keep under surveillance. If
 there is any rising in the street, the ten hostages will be shot.

 "4. Doors may not be locked, and at night after 8 o'clock there must
 be lights at three windows in every house.

 "5. It is forbidden to be in the street after 8 o'clock. The
 inhabitants of Namur must understand that there is no greater and more
 horrible crime than to compromise the existence of the town and the
 life of its citizens by risings against the German Army.

  "The Commander of the Town,

  "NAMUR, _25th August, 1914_. (Printed by Chantraine)."

       *       *       *       *       *


 "September 25th, in the evening, the railroad track and telegraph were
 destroyed on the line Lovenjoul-Vertryck. * * *

 [Sidenote: Hostages are made responsible for railroads.]

 "Henceforth the villages situated nearest the spot where such events
 take place--it is of no consequence whether they are guilty or
 not--will be punished without mercy. For this purpose hostages have
 been taken from all places in the vicinity of railways in danger of
 similar attacks; and at the first attempt to destroy any railway,
 telegraph, or telephone line they will be immediately shot.

 "Furthermore, all troops entrusted with the protection of railways
 have received orders to shoot anyone approaching railways or telegraph
 or telephone lines in a suspicious manner.

 "The Governor General of Belgium,


       *       *       *       *       *


 "In order to insure sufficiently the safety of our troops and the
 tranquility of the population of Rheims, the persons mentioned have
 been seized as hostages by the Commander of the German Army. These
 hostages will be shot if there is the least disorder. On the other
 hand, if the town remains perfectly calm and quiet these hostages and
 inhabitants will be placed under the protection of the German Army.


  "RHEIMS, _12th September, 1914_."

[Sidenote: Over 80 hostages in Rheims.]

Beneath this proclamation there were posted the names of 81 hostages
and a statement that others had also been seized as hostages. The lives
of all these men depended in reality upon the interpretation which the
German military authorities might give to the elastic phrase, "the
least disorder," in the proclamation.

Hugh Gibson, in _A Journal from our Legation in Belgium_, page 184,
explains what was likely to happen:

 "Another thing is, that on entering a town, they hold the burgomaster,
 the procureur du roi, and other authorities as hostages to insure good
 behavior by the population. Of course, the hoodlum class would like
 nothing better than to see their natural enemies, the defenders of law
 and order, ignominiously shot, and they do not restrain themselves a
 bit on account of the hostages."


 "Aug. 8th. First fight and set fire to several villages.

 "Aug. 9th. Returned to old quarters; there we searched all the houses
 and shot the mayor and shot one man down from the chimney pot, and
 then we again set fire to the village.

 "On the 18th August Letalle (?) captured 10 men with three priests
 because they have shot down from the church tower. They were brought
 to the village of Ste. Marie.

 [Sidenote: Hostages at Willekamm.]

 "Oct. 5th. We were in quarters in the evening at Willekamm. Lieut.
 Radfels was quartered in the mayor's house and there had two prisoners
 (tied together) on a short whip, and in case anything happened they
 were to be killed.

 "Oct. 11th. We had no fight, but we caught about 20 men and shot
 them." (From the diary of Bombardier Wetzel, Second Mounted Battery,
 First Kurhessian Field Artillery, Regiment No. 11.)

The Germans also found it convenient on many occasions to secure
civilians, both men and women, who could be forced to march or stand in
front of the troops, so that the countrymen of the civilians would be
compelled first to kill their own people if they resisted the Germans.
This usage is illustrated in the following:


  "OCTOBER 7, 1914.

 [Sidenote: Civilians used as screens.]

 "But we arrested three other civilians, and then I had a brilliant
 idea. We gave them chairs, and we then ordered them to go and sit out
 in the middle of the street. On their part, pitiful entreaties; on
 ours, a few blows from the butt end of the rifle. Little by little
 one becomes terribly callous at this business. At last they were all
 seated outside in the street. I do not know what anguished prayers
 they may have said but I noticed that their hands were convulsively
 clasped the whole time. I pitied these fellows, but the method was
 immediately effective.

 "The flank fire from the houses quickly diminished, so that we were
 able to occupy the opposite house and thus to dominate the principal
 street. Every living being who showed himself in the street was shot.
 The artillery on its side had done good work all this time, and when,
 toward 7 o'clock in the evening, the brigade advanced to the assault
 to relieve us I was in a position to report that Saint Dié had been
 cleared of the enemy.

 "Later on I learned that the regiment of reserve which entered Saint
 Dié further to the north had tried the same experiment. The four
 civilians whom they had compelled in the same way to sit out in the
 street were killed by French bullets. I myself saw them lying in the
 middle of the street near the hospital."


 Letter published on the 7th October, 1914, in the "Vorabendblatt" of
 the _Münchner Neueste Nachrichten_.

Minister Whitlock, in his report of September 12, 1917, to the
Secretary of State, gives an instance of this German practice of
seeking protection.

[Sidenote: "No respect to the cassock."]

"The Germans attacked Hougaerde on the 18th August; the Belgian troops
were holding the Gette Bridge in the village. The Germans forced the
parish priest of Autgaerden to walk in front of them as a shield. As
they neared the barricade the Belgian soldiers fired and the priest
was killed. After the retreat of the Belgians the Germans shot 4 men,
burned 50 houses, and looted 100."

Hugh Gibson, in _A Journal from our Legation in Belgium_, page 155,
gives another incident:

"Two old priests have staggered into the ---- legation more dead than
alive after having been compelled to walk ahead of the German troops
for miles as a sort of protecting screen. One of them is ill, and it is
said that he may die as a result of what he has gone through."


 "At the time of the invasion Belgian civilians, in twenty places, were
 made to take part in operations of war against their own country. At
 Termonde, Lebbeke, Dinant, and elsewhere in many places, peaceable
 citizens, women, and children were forced to march in front of German
 regiments or to make a screen before them.

 [Sidenote: Cardinal Mercier's judgment on the system of hostages.]

 "The system of hostages was carried out with a fierce cruelty.
 The proclamation of August 4th, quoted above, declared, without
 circumlocution: 'Hostages will be freely taken.'

 "An official proclamation, posted at Liége, in the early days of
 August, ran thus: 'Every aggression committed against the German
 troops by any persons other than soldiers in uniform not only exposes
 the guilty person to be immediately shot, but will also entail the
 severest reprisals against all the inhabitants, and especially against
 those natives of Liége who have been detained as hostages in the
 citadel of Liége by the commandant of the German troops.'

 "These hostages are Monsignor Rutten, Bishop of Liége; M. Kleyer,
 burgomaster of Liége; the senators, representatives, and the permanent
 deputy and sheriff of Liége."

The above quotation is taken from _An Appeal to Truth_, addressed Nov.
24, 1915, by Cardinal Mercier and the other bishops of Belgium to the
cardinals, archbishops, and bishops of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

[Sidenote: Will Irwin on brutality of German drive through Belgium.]

 "Some ten or a dozen American correspondents, of whom I was one,
 witnessed the First German drive through Belgium. Most of us were so
 appalled and horrified by what we saw as to become anti-German for
 life." Will Irwin, in _Saturday Evening Post_, Oct. 6, 1917, p. 41.


The contracting nations, including Germany, who signed the Conventions
of the Second Peace Conference at The Hague, 1907, pledged themselves
to the following:

[Sidenote: Germany's promises in Hague conventions.]

 "Article L. No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be
 inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals
 for which they can not be regarded as jointly and severally

 "Article LII. Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded
 from municipalities or inhabitants except for the deeds of the army
 of occupation. They shall be in proportion to the resources of the
 country, and of such a nature as not to involve the inhabitants in the
 obligation of taking part in military operations against their own

[Sidenote: German violations of Hague conventions.]

The German authorities have violated these articles from the very
beginning. As soon as they invaded Belgium, heavy fines were laid upon
individual communities as reprisals for some act against the German
Army or its regulations which was committed within their boundaries. In
_An Appeal to Truth_ Cardinal Mercier cites the following cases:

 "Malines, a working-class town, without resources, has had a fine of
 20,000 marks inflicted on it because the burgomaster did not inform
 the military authority of a journey which the Cardinal, deprived of
 the use of his motor car, had been obliged to make on foot. In fact,
 upon the flimsiest pretexts heavy fines are inflicted on communes.
 The commune of Puers was subjected to a fine of 3,000 marks because
 a telegraph wire was broken, although the inquiry showed that it had
 given way through wear."

In addition to such arbitrary, sporadic exactions, in December, 1914,
the Germans demanded 40,000,000 francs ($8,000,000) a month to be paid
by the Belgian Provinces jointly.

Concerning this enormous imposition Cardinal Mercier says, in the
_Appeal to Truth_:

 "The essential condition of the legality of a contribution of this
 kind, according to the Hague Convention, is that it should bear
 _relation to the resources of the country_, article 52.

 [Sidenote: Cardinal Mercier's comments.]

 "Now, in December, 1914, Belgium was devastated. Contributions of
 war imposed on the towns and innumerable requisitions in kind had
 exhausted her. The greater part of the factories were idle, and in
 those, which were still at work, raw materials were, contrary to all
 law, being freely commandeered.

 "It was on this impoverished Belgium, living on foreign charity, that
 a contribution of nearly 500,000,000 francs was imposed."

[Sidenote: The crushing fine is increased.]

The German authorities were not satisfied with this impoverishing levy.
In November, 1915, one month before the expiration of the twelve-month
period fixed for the levy, they decreed that this contribution of
40,000,000 francs a month should be paid for an indefinite period. In
November, 1916, they increased the levy to 50,000,000 francs a month,
in May, 1917, to 60,000,000 francs a month. In addition, the German
authorities have continued to levy fines upon towns and villages for
acts committed in their neighborhood, although they had no proof that
these acts had been committed by any inhabitant of the city or village
thus fined. (Compare taking of hostages, noted above.)

The German military rulers have also made the families responsible
for acts committed by or charged against members as is shown in the
following examples, which are quoted from the _Appeal to Truth_, cited

[Sidenote: Family made responsible.]

 "The Belgian Government has sent orders to rejoin the army to the
 militiamen of several classes. * * * All those who receive these
 orders are strictly forbidden to act upon them. * * * _In case of
 disobedience the family of the militiaman will be held equally

 "A warning of the Governor General, dated January 26th, 1915, renders
 the _members of the family_ responsible if a Belgian fit for military
 service, between the ages of 16 and 40, goes to Holland."

The Commander in Chief of the German army in Belgium posted a
proclamation declaring:

 [Sidenote: Villages made responsible.]

 "The villages where acts of hostility shall be committed by the
 inhabitants against our troops _will be burned_.

 "For all destruction of roads, railways, bridges, etc., _the villages
 in the neighborhood_ of the destruction _will be held responsible_.

 "The punishments announced above will be carried out severely and
 without mercy. _The whole community will be held responsible._
 Hostages will be taken in large numbers. The heaviest war taxes will
 be levied."

At the end of the _Appeal to Truth_ Cardinal Mercier says:

 "But we can not say all here, nor quote all.

 [Sidenote: Cardinal Mercier has proofs.]

 "If, however, our readers wish for the proof of the accusations * * *
 we shall be glad to furnish them. There is not in our letter, nor in
 the four annexes [to the _Appeal to Truth_], one allegation of which
 we have not the proofs in our records."

A striking illustration of the German methods is contained in the
archives of the State Department, because the Prince of Monaco appealed
to President Wilson against the injustice of a fine imposed upon a
small and impoverished village. The following documents from the State
Department archives tell the story. They need no comments.

  "PARIS, _Oct. 27, 1914_.


 "Prince of Monaco called this morning and asked that the following
 case be submitted to the President:

 [Sidenote: The case of Sissonne.]

 "Prince states that General von Bülow for weeks has been inhabiting
 Prince's ancestral château near Rheims, historical monument,
 containing works of art and family heirlooms; that von Bülow has
 imposed fine of five hundred thousand francs on village of Sissonne
 some miles distant from château, because broken glass found on road
 near village. Sissonne being unable alone to pay has raised with a
 number of other neighboring villages one hundred twenty-five thousand
 francs but von Bülow has sent two messengers from Sissonne to Prince
 that unless latter pays fine for Sissonne the château and adjoining
 village, as well as Sissonne, will be destroyed on November first.
 Prince has answered refusing to pay sum now but willing to give his
 word to German Emperor that amount would be paid after removal of
 danger of fresh war incidents. Prince now fearful lest returning
 messengers, as well as male employees on his estate, be shot because
 of refusal to pay.

 "I have arranged meeting this afternoon between Spanish Ambassador and
 Prince, to whom I have suggested that matter be presented to German
 Government through Spanish Ambassador at Berlin inasmuch as Prince's
 threatened property is in France.


  "_Warmériville, Sept. 19th, 1914_.


 [Sidenote: Von Bülow's levy on Sissonne.]

 "It has been conclusively proven that the road between Sissonne and
 the railway station of Montaigu was, on September 18th, strewn with
 broken glass along a distance of one kilometre and at intervals of 50
 metres, for the purpose, no doubt, of impeding automobile traffic.

 "I hold the commune of Sissonne responsible for this act of hostility
 on the part of its inhabitants and I punish the said commune by
 levying upon it a contribution of 500,000 francs (five hundred
 thousand francs).

 "This sum must be entirely paid into the Treasury of the Etape by
 October 15th.

 "The Inspection of the Etape now at Montcornet has been directed to
 enforce execution of this order.

 "The General Commander in Chief of the Army.



  "MONACO, _Oct. 22nd, 1914_.


 "I forward to Your Majesty several documents relating to a very grave
 and urgent matter.

 [Sidenote: Prince of Monaco writes Emperor William.]

 "The General von Bülow has caused to be occupied since one month and
 a half my residence of Marchais, situated at five kilometres from the
 village of Sissonne. The general has levied upon the fifteen hundred
 inhabitants of this poor ruined village a war contribution of five
 hundred thousand francs, of which they are unable to pay more than
 one-quarter. Moreover, he has sent to me two emissaries bearing a
 document in which he threatens to destroy my property and the village
 of Marchais, over and above that of Sissonne, in the event of my not
 disbursing myself the sum in question before the end of the month of

 "That is how a Prussian general treats a reigning Prince who for 45
 years has been a friend to Germany, and who in all the countries of
 the world is surrounded with respect and gratitude for his work.

 "In reply to the summons of the General von Bülow I have given my
 word of honor to complete the above contribution in order to avert
 a horrible action accomplished in cold blood, but adding that as a
 sovereign Prince I submit this matter to the judgment of the Emperor
 by declaring that the said sum shall be paid when the Château de
 Marchais will be free from the danger of intentional destruction.

 "I am, with great respect, Your Majesty's devoted servant and cousin,

  "ALBERT, _Prince of Monaco_."


  "MONACO, _Oct. 22nd, 1914_.


 "To avert from the Commune of Sissonne and that of Marchais the
 rigorous treatment with which you have threatened them, I give my word
 of honor to remit to His Majesty the Emperor William, should the war
 come to an end without intentional damage being caused to my residence
 or to these two communes, the necessary sum to complete the amount of
 five hundred thousand francs imposed by you upon Sissonne.

 "As a Sovereign Prince, I wish to deal in this matter with the
 Sovereign who, during fifteen years, called me his friend and has
 decorated me with the Order of the Knight of the Black Eagle.

 [Sidenote: Prince comments on German treatment of monuments.]

 "My conscience and my dignity place me above fear, as also my personal
 will shall elevate me above regret; but should you destroy the Château
 de Marchais which is one of the centers of universal science and
 charity, should you reserve to this archeological and historical gem
 the treatment you have given to the Cathedral of Rheims--when no
 reprehensible action has been committed there--the whole world will
 judge between you and myself.

 "I tender to Your Excellency the expression of my high regard.

  "ALBERT, _Sovereign Prince of Monaco_."


[Sidenote: Advance in humanity--until August, 1914.]

Until the present war the whole civilized world has boasted of its
advance in humanity. This advance had been marked in many fields, and
in none had greater progress been made than in the protection to be
given to the private citizen in an invaded country. As far back as
1863, in the _Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United
States in the Field_ the United States declared:

[Sidenote: United States treatment of civilians, 1863.]

 "22. Nevertheless, as civilization has advanced during the last
 centuries, so has likewise steadily advanced, especially in war on
 land, the distinction between the private individual belonging to a
 hostile country and the hostile country itself, with its men in arms.
 The principle has been more and more acknowledged that the unarmed
 citizen is to be spared in person, property, and honor as much as the
 exigencies of war will admit.

 "23. Private citizens are no longer murdered, enslaved, or carried
 off to distant parts, and the inoffensive individual is as little
 disturbed in his private relations as the commander of the hostile
 troops can afford to grant in the overruling demands of a vigorous war.

 "24. The almost universal rule in remote times was, and continues
 to be with barbarous armies, that the private individual of the
 hostile country is destined to suffer every privation of liberty and
 protection, and every disruption of family ties. Protection was, and
 still is with uncivilized people, the exception."

[Sidenote: German Government's reversion to barbarism.]

These declarations were made in the midst of our Civil War--one of
the world's fiercest conflicts. A half-century later, after more than
50 years of progress, the German Government has gone back to the
methods used by "barbarous armies" and "uncivilized people." It has
deliberately adopted the policy of deporting men and women, boys and
girls, and of forcing them to work for their captors; it has even
compelled them to make arms and munitions for use against their allies
and their own flesh and blood.

No other act of the German Government has aroused such horror and
detestation throughout the civilized world. Thousands of helpless men
and women, boys and girls, have been enslaved. Families have been
broken up. Girls have been carried off to work--or worse--in a strange
land, and their relatives have not known where they have been taken, or
what their fate has been.

This system of forced labor and deportation embraced the whole of
Belgium, Poland, and the occupied lands of France.

The plan for setting forth the essential facts of the deportations and
forced labor is as follows: the documents, that is to say, a small
fraction of those which could be cited, will be allowed to tell the
story, and only such comments will be added as are needed to enable the
reader easily to grasp the connection of events.


 "The deportations * * * were the most vivid, shocking, convincing,
 single happening in all our enforced observation and experience of
 German disregard of human suffering and human rights in Belgium."
 Vernon Kellogg, in _Atlantic Monthly_, October, 1917.

A summary of the whole situation, down to January, 1917, can be
obtained by reading continuously the report of Minister Whitlock, taken
from the files of the State Department, which is given in italics on
pages 48-49, 53, 54-55, 67-68, 74-75, 78. The insertion of his report
at appropriate points has made it possible to avoid all but a minimum
of repetition.

  "_Legation of the United States of America_,
  "_Brussels, January 16th, 1917_.

  "_The Honorable the Secretary of State_,

 [Sidenote: Horrifying behavior of the Germans in Belgium.]

 "_Sir: I have had it in mind, and I might say, on my conscience, since
 the Germans began to deport Belgian workmen early in November, to
 prepare for the Department a detailed report on this latest instance
 of brutality, but there have been so many obstacles in the way of
 obtaining evidence on which a calm and judicious opinion could be
 based, and one is so overwhelmed with the horror of the thing itself,
 that it has been, and even now is, difficult to write calmly and
 justly about it. I have had to content myself with the fragmentary
 despatches I have from time to time sent to the Department and with
 doing what I could, little as that can be, to alleviate the distress
 that this gratuitous cruelty has caused the population of this unhappy

 [Sidenote: Belgian Government wished to support unemployed Belgians.]

 "_In order to understand fully the situation it is necessary to go
 back to the autumn of 1914. At the time we were organizing the relief
 work, the Comité National--the Belgian relief organization that
 collaborates with the Commission for Relief in Belgium--proposed an
 arrangement by which the Belgian Government should pay to its own
 employees left in Belgium, and other unemployed men besides, the wages
 they had been accustomed to receive. The Belgians wished to do this
 both for humanitarian and patriotic purposes; they wished to provide
 the unemployed with the means of livelihood, and, at the same time,
 to prevent their working for the Germans. I refused to be connected
 in any way with this plan, and told the Belgian committee that it had
 many possibilities of danger; that not only would it place a premium
 on idleness, but that it would ultimately exasperate the Germans.
 However, the policy was adopted, and has been continued in practice,
 and on the rolls of the Comité National have been borne the names of
 hundreds of thousands--some 700,000, I believe--of idle men receiving
 this dole, distributed through the communes._

 [Sidenote: German cupidity excited.]

 "_The presence of these unemployed, however, was a constant temptation
 to German cupidity. Many times they sought to obtain the lists of
 the chômeurs, but were always foiled by the claim that under the
 guarantees covering the relief work, the records of the Comité
 National and its various suborganizations were immune. Rather than
 risk any interruption of the ravitaillement, for which, while loath to
 own any obligation to America, the Germans have always been grateful,
 since it has had the effect of keeping the population calm, the
 authorities never pressed the point, other than with the burgomasters
 of the communes. Finally, however, the military party, always brutal,
 and with an astounding ignorance of public opinion and of moral
 sentiment, determined to put these idle men to work._

 "_General von Bissing and the civil portion of his entourage had
 always been and even now are opposed to this policy and I think have
 sincerely done what they could, first, to prevent its adoption, and
 secondly, to lighten the rigors of its application._"

 (Continued on page 53.)

In the early days of the German advance into Belgium, the people had
learned to fear the worst. This was particularly true in Antwerp. In
order to alleviate their fears and to obtain guarantees which might
hasten the restoration of settled conditions, Cardinal Mercier secured
from the German governor of Antwerp promises, and in a circular letter
dated October 16th, 1914, asked the clergy of the Province of Antwerp
to communicate them to the people:

[Sidenote: Solemn promises of Germans not to exploit Belgians.]

 "The governor of Antwerp, Baron von Hoiningen, General von Huene,
 has authorized me to inform you in his name and to communicate by
 your obliging intermediary to our populations the three following

 "(1) The young men need not fear being taken to Germany, either to be
 enrolled into the army or to be employed at forced labors.

 "(2) If individual infractions of police regulations are committed,
 the authorities will institute a search for the responsible authors
 and will punish them, without placing the responsibility on the entire

 "(3) The German and Belgian authorities will neglect nothing to see
 that food is assured to the population."

These promises were not kept, as Cardinal Mercier and his colleagues
show by abundant evidence in the _Appeal to Truth_.

 "On March 23rd, at the arsenal at Luttre the German authority posted
 a notice demanding return to work. On April 21st, 200 workmen were
 called for. On April 27th soldiers went to fetch the workmen from
 their homes and take them to the arsenal. In the absence of a workman,
 a member of the family was arrested.

 [Sidenote: Violation of German promises.]

 "However, the men maintained their refusal to work, 'because they were
 unwilling to co-operate in acts of war against their country.'

 "On April 30th, the requisitioned workmen were not released, but shut
 up in the railway carriages.

 "On May 4th, 24 workmen detained in prison at Nivelles were tried at
 Mons by a court-martial, 'on the charge of being members of a secret
 society, having for its aim to thwart the carrying out of German
 military measures.' They were condemned to imprisonment.

 [Sidenote: Early deportations.]

 "On May 8th, 1915, 48 workmen were shut up in a freight car and taken
 to Germany.

 "On May 14th, 45 men were deported to Germany.

 "On May 18th a fresh proclamation announced that the prisoners would
 receive only dry bread and water, and hot food only every four days.
 On May 22nd three cars with 104 workmen were sent towards Charleroi."

 "A similar course was adopted at _Malines_, where, by various methods
 of intimidation, the German authorities attempted to force the workers
 at the arsenal to work on material for the railways, as if it were not
 plain that this material would become war material sooner or later.

 "On May 30th, 1915, the Governor General announced that he 'would be
 obliged to punish the town of Malines and its suburbs by stopping all
 commercial traffic if by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 2nd, 500 workmen
 had not presented themselves for work at the arsenal.'

 "On Wednesday, June 2nd, not a single man appeared. Accordingly, a
 complete stoppage took place of every vehicle within a radius of
 several kilometres of the town."

 "Several workmen were taken by force and kept two or three days at the

 [Sidenote: Belgians asked to make barbed wire.]

 "The commune of _Sweveghem_ (Western Flanders) was punished in June,
 1915, because the 350 workmen at the private factory of M. Bekaert
 refused to make barbed wire for the German Army.

 "The following notice was placarded at _Menin_ in July-August,
 1915: 'By order: From to-day the town will no longer afford aid of
 any description--including assistance to their families, wives,
 and children--to any operatives except those who work _regularly_
 at _military work_, and other tasks assigned to them. All other
 operatives and their families can henceforward not be helped in any

 [Sidenote: Punished for refusal to work for German Army.]

 "Similar measures were taken in October, 1915, at
 Harlebekelez-Courtrai, Bisseghem, Lokeren and Mons. From Harlebeke
 29 inhabitants were transported to Germany. At Mons, in M. Lenoir's
 factory, the directors, foremen, and 81 workmen were imprisoned for
 having refused to work in the service of the German Army. M. Lenoir
 was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, the five directors to a
 year each, 6 foremen to 6 months, and the 81 workmen to eight weeks.

[Sidenote: Interference with Red Cross.]

 "The General Government had recourse also to _indirect_ methods of
 compulsion. It seized the Belgian Red Cross, confiscated its property,
 and changed its purpose arbitrarily. It attempted to make itself
 master of the public charities and to control the National Aid and
 Food Committee.

[Sidenote: Trickiness of German rulers of Belgium.]

 "If we were to cite _in extenso_ the decree of the Governor General
 of August 4th, 1915, _concerning measures intended to assure the
 carrying out of works of public usefulness_, and that of August 15th,
 1915, '_concerning the unemployed, who, through idleness, refrain from
 work_,' it would be seen by what tortuous means the occupying Power
 attempts to attack at once the masters and the men."

October 12th, 1915, the German authorities took a long step in the
development of their policy of forcing the Belgians to aid them in
prosecuting the war. The decree of that date reveals the matter and
openly discloses a contempt for international law.


 "Article 1. Whoever, without reason, refuses to undertake or to
 continue work suitable to his occupation, and in the execution of
 which the military administration is interested, such work being
 ordered by one or more of the military commanders, will be liable to
 imprisonment not exceeding one year. He may also be transported to

 [Sidenote: Germans flout international law and order Belgians to work
 for them.]

 "Invoking Belgian laws or even international conventions to the
 contrary, can, in no case, justify the refusal to work.

 "On the subject of the lawfulness of the work exacted, the military
 commandant has the sole right of forming a decision.

 "Article 2. Any person who by force, threats, persuasion, or other
 means attempts to influence another to refuse work as pointed out in
 Article 1, is liable to the punishment of imprisonment not exceeding
 five years.

 "Article 3. Whoever knowingly by means of aid given or in any other
 way abets a punishable refusal to work, will be liable to a maximum
 fine of 10,000 marks, and in addition may be condemned to a year's

 "If communes or associations have rendered themselves guilty of such
 offence the heads of the communes will be punished.

 "Article 4. In addition to the penalties stated in Articles 1 and 3,
 the German authorities may, in case of need, impose on communes,
 where, without reason, work has been refused, a fine or other coercive
 police measures.

 "This present decree comes into force immediately.

  "Der Etappeinspekteur,

 "GHENT, _October 12th, 1915_."

Cardinal Mercier's brief comment is as follows: "The injustice and
arbitrariness of this decree exceed all that could be imagined. Forced
labor, collective penalties and arbitrary punishments, all are there.
It is slavery, neither more nor less."

[Sidenote: October 3, 1916, German Government inaugurates wholesale

Cardinal Mercier was in error, for the German authorities were able
to imagine a much more terrible measure. In October, 1916, when the
need for an additional labor supply _in Germany_ had become urgent,
the German government established the system of forced labor _and
deportation_ which has aroused the detestation of Christendom.
The reader will not be misled by the clumsy effort of the German
authorities to mask the real purpose of the decree.



 [Sidenote: German verbal camouflage.]

 "I. People able to work may be compelled to work even outside the
 place where they live, in case they have to apply to the charity of
 others for the support of themselves or their dependents on account of
 gambling, drunkenness, loafing, unemployment, or idleness.

 "II. Every inhabitant of the country is bound to render assistance in
 case of accident or general danger, and also to give help in case of
 public calamities as far as he can, even outside the place where he
 lives; in case of refusal he may be compelled by force.

 "III. Anyone called upon to work, under Articles I or II, who shall
 refuse the work, or to continue at the work assigned him, will incur
 the penalty of imprisonment up to three years and of a fine up to
 10,000 marks, or one or other of these penalties, unless a severer
 penalty is provided for by the laws in force.

 "If the refusal to work has been made in concert or in agreement with
 several persons, each accomplice will be sentenced, as if he were a
 ringleader, to at least a week's imprisonment.

 "IV. The German military authorities and Military Courts will enforce
 the proper execution of this decree.

  "The Quartermaster General, SAUBERZWEIG.
  "GREAT HEADQUARTERS, _3d October, 1916_."

[Sidenote: Hindenburg's responsibility for deportations.]

The responsibility for this atrocious program rests upon the military
rulers of Germany, who had labored so zealously to infect the army and
the people with the principles of ruthlessness. It is significant that
the decree of October 3, 1916, followed hard upon the elevation of
Hindenburg to the supreme command with Ludendorf as his chief of staff.
In his long report of January 16, 1917, Minister Whitlock says:


 [Sidenote: Was Bissing against deportations?]

 "_Then, in August, von Hindenburg was appointed to the supreme
 command. He is said to have criticized von Bissing's policy as too
 mild; there was a quarrel; von Bissing went to Berlin to protest,
 threatened to resign, but did not. He returned, and a German official
 here said that Belgium would now be subjected to a more terrible
 régime--would learn what war was. The prophecy has been vindicated.
 Recently I was told that the drastic measures are really of
 Ludendorf's inspiration; I do not know. Many German officers say so._"
 (Continued on p. 54.)

If von Bissing had opposed the policy of deportation when his own
judgment was overruled, he consented to become the "devil's advocate"
and defended the system in public. Especially instructive is the
following conversation reported by Mr. F.C. Walcott:


 "I went to Belgium to investigate conditions, and while there I had
 opportunity * * * to talk one day with Governor General von Bissing,
 who died three or four weeks ago, a man 72 or 73 years old, a man
 steeped in the 'system,' born and bred to the hardening of the heart
 which that philosophy develops. There ought to be some new word coined
 for the process that a man's heart undergoes when it becomes steeped
 in that system.

 "I said to him, 'Governor, what are you going to do if England and
 France stop giving these people money to purchase food?'

 "He said, 'We have got that all worked out and have had it worked out
 for weeks, because we have expected this system to break down at any

 [Sidenote: Bissing says deportation plans were carefully prepared.]

 "He went on to say, 'Starvation will grip these people in 30 to 60
 days. Starvation is a compelling force, and we would use that force to
 compel the Belgian workingmen, many of them very skilled, to go into
 Germany to replace the Germans, so that they could go to the front and
 fight against the English and the French.'

 "'As fast as our railway transportation could carry them, we would
 transport thousands of others that would be fit for agricultural work,
 across Europe down into southeastern Europe, into Mesopotamia, where
 we have huge, splendid irrigation works. All that land needs is water
 and it will blossom like the rose.'

 "'The weak remaining, the old and the young, we would concentrate
 opposite the firing line, and put firing squads back of them, and
 force them through that line, so that the English and French could
 take care of their own people.'

 "It was a perfectly simple, direct, frank reasoning. It meant that the
 German Government would use any force in the destruction of any people
 not its own to further its own ends." (Frederic C. Walcott, in _The
 National Geographic Magazine_, May, 1917.)

A brief general view of the character of the deportations can perhaps
be gained best from the report of Minister Whitlock.


 "_The deportations began in October in the Étape, at Ghent, and at
 Bruges, as my brief telegrams indicated. The policy spread; the rich
 industrial districts of Hainaut, the mines and steel works about
 Charleroi were next attacked; now they are seizing men in Brabant,
 even in Brussels, despite some indications and even predictions of the
 civil authorities that the policy was about to be abandoned._

 [The étapes were the parts of Belgium under martial law, and included
 the province of western Flanders, part of eastern Flanders, and the
 region of Tournai. The remainder of the occupied part of Belgium was
 under civil government.]

 [Sidenote: The deportations begin.] [Sidenote: Pitiable scenes.]

 "_During the last fortnight men have been impressed here in Brussels,
 but their seizures here are made evidently with much greater care
 than in the provinces, with more regard for the appearances. There
 was no public announcement of the intention to deport, but suddenly
 about ten days ago certain men in towns whose names are on the list
 of chômeurs received summons notifying them to report at one of the
 railway stations on a given day; penalties were fixed for failure to
 respond to the summons and there was printed on the card an offer of
 employment by the German Government either in Germany or Belgium. On
 the first day out of about 1,500 men ordered to present themselves
 at the Gare du Midi about 750 responded. These were examined by
 German physicians and 300 were taken. There was no disorder, a large
 force of mounted Uhlans keeping back the crowds and barring access
 to the station to all but those who had been summoned to appear. The
 Commission for Relief in Belgium had secured permission to give to
 each deported man a loaf of bread, and some of the communes provided
 warm clothing for those who had none and in addition a small financial
 allowance. As by one of the ironies of life the winter has been more
 excessively cold than Belgium has ever known it, and while many of
 those who presented themselves were adequately protected against the
 cold, many of them were without overcoats. The men shivering from cold
 and fear, the parting from weeping wives and children, the barriers of
 brutal Uhlans, all this made the scene a pitiable and distressing one._

 "_It was understood that the seizures would continue here in Brussels,
 but on Thursday last, a bitter cold day, those that had been convoked
 were sent home without examination. It is supposed that the severe
 weather has moved the Germans to postpone the deportations._"
 (Continued on page 67.)

 Cardinal Mercier attempted to persuade the German authorities to
 abandon their terrible plans, reminding them of their solemn promises
 in the past:

  "MALINES, _19th October, 1916_.


 [Sidenote: Another "Scrap of Paper."]

 "The day after the surrender of Antwerp the frightened population
 asked itself what would become of the Belgians of age to bear arms
 or who would reach that age before the end of the occupation. The
 entreaties of the fathers and mothers of families determined me
 to question the governor of Antwerp, Baron von Huene, who had the
 kindness to reassure me and to authorize me in his name to reassure
 the agonized parents. The rumor had spread at Antwerp, nevertheless,
 that at Liége, Namur, and Charleroi young men had been seized and
 taken by force to Germany. I therefore begged Governor von Huene to
 be good enough to confirm to me in writing the guarantee which he had
 given to me orally, to the effect that nothing similar would happen
 at Antwerp. He said to me immediately that the rumors concerning
 deportations were without basis, and unhesitatingly he sent me in
 writing, among other statements, the following: 'Young men have no
 reason to fear that they will be taken to Germany, either to be there
 enrolled in the army or employed for forced labor.'

 "This declaration, written and signed, was publicly transmitted to the
 clergy and to those of the Faith of the province of Antwerp, as Your
 Excellency can see from the document enclosed herewith, dated October
 16th, 1914, which was read in all the churches. [Printed on preceding

 "Upon the arrival of your predecessor, the late Baron von der Goltz,
 at Brussels I had the honor of presenting myself at his house and
 requested him to be good enough to ratify for the entire country,
 without time limit, the guarantees which General von Huene had given
 me for the province of Antwerp. The Governor General retained this
 request in his possession in order to examine it at his leisure.
 The following day he was good enough to come in person to Malines
 to bring me his approval, and confirmed to me, in the presence of
 two aides-de-camp and of my private secretary, the promise that the
 liberty of Belgian citizens would be respected.

 "To doubt the authority of such undertakings would have been to
 reflect upon the persons who had made them, and I therefore took steps
 to allay, by all the means of persuasion in my power, the anxieties
 which persisted in the interested families.

 "Notwithstanding all this, your Government now tears from their homes
 workmen reduced in spite of their efforts to a state of unemployment,
 separates them by force from their wives and children and deports
 them to enemy territory. Numerous workmen have already undergone this
 unhappy lot; more numerous are those who are threatened with the same
 acts of violence.

 [Sidenote: Mercier's moving appeal.]

 "In the name of the liberty of domicile and the liberty of work of
 Belgian citizens; in the name of the inviolability of families; in
 the name of moral interests which the measures of deportation would
 gravely compromise; in the name of the word given by the Governor of
 the Province of Antwerp and by the Governor General, the immediate
 representative of the highest authority of the German Empire, I
 respectfully beg Your Excellency to be good enough to withdraw the
 measures of forced labor and of deportation announced to the Belgian
 workmen, and to be good enough to reinstate in their homes those who
 have already been deported.

 "Your Excellency will appreciate how painful for me would be the
 weight of the responsibility that I would have to bear as regards
 these families, if the confidence which they have given you through my
 agency and at my request were lamentably deceived.

 "I persist in believing that this will not be the case.

 "Accept, Mr. Governor General, the assurance of my very high

  "_Arch. of Malines_."

Municipal governments in Belgium appealed to the German authorities
to observe their solemn promises. The two documents which follow
illustrate Belgian appeals and German answers.


 "In the matter of the requisition made by the German authorities on
 October 20, 1916 (requisition of a list of workmen to be drawn up by
 the municipality) * * *

 "The municipal council resolves to maintain its attitude of refusal.

 "It further feels it its duty to place on record the following:

 "The city of Tournai is prepared to submit unreservedly to all the
 exigencies authorised by the laws and customs of war. Its sincerity
 can not be questioned. For more than two years it has submitted to
 the German occupation, during which time it has lodged and lived at
 close quarters with the German troops, yet it has displayed perfect
 composure and has refrained from any act of hostility, proving thereby
 that it is animated by no idle spirit of bravado.

 [Sidenote: Council of Tournai refuses immoral and illegal demands.]

 "But the city could not bring itself to provide arms for use against
 its own children, knowing well that natural law and the law of nations
 (which is the expression of natural law) both forbid such action.

 "In his declaration dated September 2, 1914, the German Governor
 General of Belgium declared: 'I ask none to renounce his patriotic

 "The city of Tournai reposes confidence in this declaration, which it
 is bound to consider as the sentiment of the German Emperor, in whose
 name the Governor General was speaking. In accepting the inspiration
 of honor and patriotism, the city is loyal to a fundamental duty, the
 loftiness of which must be apparent to any German officer.

 "The city is confident that the straightforwardness and clearness of
 this attitude will prevent any misunderstanding arising between itself
 and the German Army."


  "TOURNAI, _23rd October, 1916_.

 [Sidenote: And is roundly lectured and fined.]

 "In permitting itself, through the medium of municipal resolutions, to
 oppose the orders of the German military authorities in the occupied
 territory, the city is guilty of an unexampled arrogance and of a
 complete misunderstanding of the situation created by the state of war.

 "The 'clear and simple situation' is in reality the following:

 "The military authorities order the city to obey. Otherwise the city
 must bear the heavy consequences, as I have pointed out in my previous

 "The General Commanding the Army has inflicted on the city--on account
 of its refusal, up to date, to furnish the lists demanded--a punitive
 contribution of 200,000 marks, which must be paid within the next six
 days, beginning with to-day. The General also adds that until such
 time as all the lists demanded are in his hands, for every day in
 arrears, beginning with December 31, 1916, a sum of 20,000 marks will
 be paid by the city.

  "HOPFER, _Major General_,

The Commission Syndicale of Belgian workingmen also attempted to induce
the German authorities to abandon their terrible plans.

  "_Brussels, 30th Oct., 1916_.


 "EXCELLENCY: The measures which are being planned by your
 administration to force the unemployed to work for the invading power,
 the deportation of our unhappy comrades which has begun in the region
 of the étapes, move most profoundly the entire working class in

 "The undersigned, members and representatives of the great central
 socialist and independent syndicates of Belgium, would consider that
 they had not fulfilled their duty did they not express to you the
 painful sentiments which agitate the laborers and convey to you the
 echo of their touching complaints.

 "They have seen the machinery taken from their factories, the most
 diverse kind of raw materials requisitioned, the accumulation of
 obstacles to prevent the resumption of regular work, the disappearance
 one by one of every public liberty of which they were proud.

 [Sidenote: Workmen recite their wrongs at German hands.]

 "For more than two years the laboring class more than any other has
 been forced to undergo the most bitter trials, experiencing misery
 and often hunger, while its children far away fight and die, and the
 parents of these children can never convey to them the affection with
 which their hearts are overflowing.

 "Our laboring class has endured everything with the utmost calm and
 the most impressive dignity, repressing its sufferings, its complaints
 and heavy trials, sacrificing everything to its ideal of liberty
 and independence. But the measures which have been announced will
 make the population drain the dregs [of the cup] of human sorrow;
 the proletariat, _the poor upon whom unemployment has been forced_,
 citizens of a modern state, are to be condemned to forced labor
 without having disobeyed any regulation or order.

 [Sidenote: And appeal for decent treatment.]

 "In the name of the families of workmen among which the most painful
 anxiety reigns at present, whose mothers, whose fiancées, and whose
 little children are destined to shed so many more tears, we beg Your
 Excellency to prevent the accomplishment of this painful act, contrary
 to international law, contrary to the dignity of the working classes,
 contrary to everything which makes for worth and greatness in human

 "We beg Your Excellency to pardon our emotion and we offer you the
 homage of our distinguished consideration.

 "(Appended are signatures of members of the National Committee and the
 Commission Syndicale.)"

Von Bissing in his reply, November 3rd, practically admitted the truth
of the complaint by attempting to justify the measures protested
against. The arguments which he used are taken up and refuted in the
letter of the Commission Syndicale, November 14, which follows:

  "_Brussels, 14th Nov., 1916_.

  "To His Excellency BARON VON BISSING,
  "_Governor General in Belgium_.

 "EXCELLENCY: The Secretaries and representatives of the socialistic
 and independent labor Unions of Belgium have, with a painful
 disappointment, taken cognizance of the answer which you were good
 enough to make to their petition of October 30th, concerning the
 deportation of laborers to Germany, and it is in the name of the
 working classes as a united whole that we are making a final effort
 to prevent the consummation of an act, without precedent, directed
 against its liberty, its sentiments, and its dignity.

 [Sidenote: Socialists refute Bissing's arguments.]

 "You say that many industrial works have been closed on account of
 the lack of raw materials brought about by the blockade by the enemy.
 Permit us, Excellency, to remind you that the allied powers manifested
 very clearly their intention to permit the importation into Belgium
 of raw materials required by our industries, provided, with a very
 natural provision, that no requisitions should be made, except those
 mentioned in Article 52 of the Hague Convention, that is to say
 those necessary to the 'occupying army,' and that an international
 commission, the Commission for Relief in Belgium, should have the
 right to supervise the destination of the manufactured products.

 "Instead of agreeing to such a proposal, we have seen the occupying
 authorities systematically remove the machinery, implements, machines
 of all kinds, the engines and raw materials, metals, leather, and
 wool, limit production, aggravate continually the difficulties of
 transactions. When communes or committees have desired to employ
 workmen without employment on works of public utility, obstacles have
 been thrown in their way and finally in many cases their undertakings
 have been stopped and broken. In a word, as fast as the most tireless
 efforts were strained to employ as many hands as possible, other men
 were constantly thrown out of work.

 [Sidenote: And proudly praise the Belgian workman.]

 "You state also that unemployment is caused by the laborers' hostility
 to work. The whole past of our working class protests against this
 accusation with every bit of energy that still remains in them. Where
 is there to be found in the whole world a working class which has made
 of such a small country such a great industrial and commercial power?
 And we, who for the last 25 years have been the enthusiastic witnesses
 of the magnificent efforts of our brother workmen, in the matter of
 their material and moral betterment, we proudly affirm that it is
 not among their ranks that one can find men so degraded as to prefer
 to receive a charitable assistance which barely furnishes them with
 sufficient food to an honest wage given in remuneration for free and
 fruitful work.

 "What is true, however, is that the Belgian workmen, conforming to the
 same article 52 of the Hague Convention which only admits requisitions
 of labor 'for the needs of the army of occupation and in case these
 requisitions do not imply an obligation to take part in the war
 against their country,' have refused the most tempting offers, not
 wishing to build trenches nor to repair forts nor to work in factories
 which manufacture war materials. This was their right and their duty.
 Their attitude deserved respect and not the most humiliating of

 "You refer to your decrees of August 15th, 1915, and of May 15th,
 1916, in which are mentioned the possible punishment of any workmen
 who receive support and refuse work suited to their capacities and
 carrying with it a proper wage. Those who know with what care and with
 what minute detail the conditions, under which the unemployed have
 the right to receive assistance, have been established might perhaps
 think that these menaces were, to say the least, useless. But as you
 yourself say, these decrees declare in their article 2 that every
 motive of refusal to work will be considered valid if it is admitted
 by international law.

 [Sidenote: Laborers see through the German scheme.]

 "For these cases of refusal, the German Authorities reserved the
 right to cause these recalcitrants to appear before Belgian tribunals
 and later before German military tribunals. It is therefore certain
 that the unemployed have the right to refuse to work for any motive
 approved by international law. When summoned before the tribunal they
 have the right to employ counsel in their defense and to state clearly
 their reasons for refusal. One might, of course, say that it is not a
 question obliging the workmen to participate in military enterprise;
 but it is only too evident that every Belgian deported to Germany will
 take the place there of a man who to-morrow will go to reinforce the
 ranks of the enemy. We should like to know, Excellency, whether these
 tribunals carry on their functions.

 "You fear that continued unemployment may depreciate the physical and
 moral status of the workmen. We, who know them, have more confidence
 in them. We have seen them suffer with a stoicism which exists only
 in proud and high souls. Did not the splendid idea come from them, of
 organizing throughout the entire country a vast chain of educational
 work for the unemployed in order to develop their technical knowledge
 and to increase their professional value? The _Comité National_ was
 not, alas, authorized to undertake this magnificent enterprise. Is
 it the idea that it is through forced labor, performed with black
 despair, like slaves, that our unhappy brothers will keep up their
 physical and moral energy?

 [Sidenote: The Germans have no right to talk about unemployment of

 "You fear also that 'the assistance which they receive will at length
 weigh down Belgian economic life.' We can with difficulty believe that
 Belgians, as you say, have had the smallness of soul to grudge in that
 form the bitter piece of bread and the little soup which have formed
 the food of so many working families for so many months; and what,
 after all, do the twelve million francs amount to that are distributed
 each month to from 500,000 to 600,000 unemployed, in comparison
 with the destruction, beyond reckoning, of goods and lives which the
 horrors of a war in which it has not the slightest responsibility have
 cost and still cost our country? With the most unshakable faith in
 our destinies; we, the most nearly interested, know that in the near
 future Flanders and _Wallonie_ will rise again, glorious, in history.

 [Sidenote: All Belgians understand the German scheme.]

 "Excellency, our heart and our reason refuse, then, to believe that it
 is for the good of our class and to avoid an additional calamity to
 our country, that thousands of workers are suddenly torn from their
 families and transported to Germany. Public sentiment has not been
 deceived and in reply to the grievous complaints of the victims, there
 echo the indignant protests of the entire population, as expressed by
 its representatives, its communal magistrates, and those persons who
 constitute the highest incarnation of law in our country.

 "Furthermore, the arbitrary and brutal manner employed in the
 execution of these sad measures has raised all kinds of doubts
 regarding the object in view: the need, above all, is to obtain
 workmen in Germany, for Germany's profit, and for the success of its

 "While at Antwerp they did not take any young men from 17 to 31 years
 who were under the régime of control, in the Borinage they call all
 the men from 17 to 50 years of age; in Walloon Brabant all men over
 17 years, without making any distinction between the employed and
 unemployed. Men of all professions and of all conditions have been
 taken--bakers, who have never ceased to work in our co-operatives
 of the Borinage, for example; mechanics, who always had employment;
 agricultural workmen, merchants * * * At Lessines on the 6th instant,
 2,100 persons were taken away, all workmen up to 50 years of age.
 Several cases are cited where old men with five or six of their sons
 have been exiled thus by force.

 [Sidenote: The tears of the mothers and the children.]

 "Distressing scenes occur everywhere. The unhappy ones gathered
 together in the public squares are rapidly divided into gangs. They
 had been directed to bring a small amount of baggage; they are taken
 at once to the railway station and loaded in cattle cars. They are not
 allowed to say good-bye to their families. No opportunity is given
 to them to put their affairs in order, even the most pressing ones.
 They do not know where they are going, nor for what work, nor for
 how long. Taken away at the beginning of the winter, after two years
 of privations, having no further resources and no means to provide
 themselves with warm clothing or with other indispensable articles,
 what privations are they going to endure? How will they live there?
 In what state will they return? This mystery and this anxiety are the
 cause of the ceaseless tears of the mothers and little children.
 Distress and despair reign in the homes.

 "Listen, Excellency, to these tears and these sobs. Do not permit
 our past of liberty and independence to be ruined. Do not permit
 human rights to be violated in its holy of holies. Do not permit the
 dignity of our working classes, which has been acquired after so many
 centuries of effort, to be trodden under foot.

 "It is to law and humanity that we appeal, solemnly and with the hope
 of being heard, for we have the profound conviction that by our voice,
 at this tragic hour, the great voice of the working class of the
 entire civilized world expresses its sorrow and its protest.

 "Accept, Excellency, the homage of our most distinguished

(Here follow the signatures of the Members of the _Comité Nationale_
and of the _Commission Syndicale_.)

 "We transmit this letter and previous correspondence to the Ministers
 and representatives of Foreign powers at Brussels, as well as to our
 comrades of the Commission Syndicale des Syndicats in Holland."

The files of the State Department contain authentic copies of very many
such moving protests. The foregoing ones are taken from this pathetic
collection, and from it may be cited, by way of further illustration,
some passages from two others:


  "BRUSSELS, _9th November, 1916_.

  "To his Excellency, BARON VON BISSING,
  "_Governor General in Belgium_.

 [Sidenote: Belgian legislators recite the wrongs of Belgium.]

 "EXCELLENCY: It seemed that no suffering could be added to those under
 which we have already been weighed down since the occupation of our
 country. Our banished liberty, our destroyed industry and commerce,
 our raw products and instruments of work taken out of the country, the
 public fortune ruined, want succeeding to wealth in families formerly
 most prosperous, privations, anxieties, and mourning. * * *

 [Sidenote: The "summary and sorrowful" procedure of the Germans.]

 "Is there need to relate the scenes which the region of the étape
 has been the theater of for several weeks, and which are now being
 reenacted, during the past days, in the territory of the Government
 General, where this scourge threatens to extend from commune to
 commune until its victims are counted by hundreds of thousands?
 The notices posted on the walls and reproduced in the papers tell
 sufficiently what it is. Everywhere the same procedure, summary and
 sorrowful: arrests in mass, men classified arbitrarily among the
 unemployed, herded together, divided into groups, sent toward the
 unknown. * * *

 "The authorities prefer to give them work in Germany, where the
 representatives of the [German] Industrial Bureau promise them 'good
 wages,' if they consent to work there 'voluntarily,' and where they
 may expect, in case of refusal, famine wages. What physical and moral
 depression is counted on in order to force their hand?

 [Sidenote: Everyone knows what Germany wants Belgian workers for.]

 "True, it has been asserted that the work which is offered to them
 will be nonmilitary in character; but voices have replied on every
 side: 'in taking the place of a German workman, the Belgian workman
 permits Germany to increase the numerical forces of its armies.'
 The most odious work is that whose results are used against the
 fatherland. To serve Germany is to fight against their own country.
 To compel our workmen to do this is nothing else than an act of force
 contrary to international law (referred to by Your Excellency in your
 proclamation of August 15th, 1915), and contrary also to the spirit,
 if not to the text, of the Fourth Convention of the Hague of 1907. * *

 "They adjure Your Excellency to employ with the military authorities
 the high prerogatives which are yours from your position to prevent
 the consummation of an act without precedent in the history of
 modern wars, and they beg you to accept the assurance of their most
 distinguished consideration."

  [Signatures of Belgian Senators and Deputies.]


  "_Malines, 10th November, 1916_.


 "I refrain from expressing to Your Excellency the sentiments which
 have been evoked in me by your letter of reply to the letter which
 I had the honor to address to you on October 19th, relative to the
 deportation of the unemployed.

 [Sidenote: German perfidy.]

 "I have recalled with melancholy the words which Your Excellency,
 dwelling upon each syllable, pronounced in my presence, after your
 arrival at Brussels: 'I hope that our relations will be loyal * * * I
 have received the mission of dressing the wounds of Belgium.'

 "My letter of October 19th recalled to Your Excellency the engagement
 taken by Baron von Huene, military governor of Antwerp, and ratified
 a few days later by Baron von der Goltz, your predecessor as Governor
 General at Brussels. The engagement was explicit, absolute, unlimited
 as to time: 'The young men need not fear being taken to Germany,
 either to be enrolled in the army _or to be employed at forced labor_.'

 "This engagement is being violated every day--thousands of times in
 the last fortnight.

 "Baron von Huene and the late Baron von der Goltz did not say
 conditionally, as your despatch of the 26th of October would seek to
 imply: 'If the occupation does not last longer than two years men
 fit for military duty shall not be taken into captivity;' they said
 categorically: 'Young men, and with greater reason, men who have
 reached an advanced age, shall not _at any moment of the occupation,
 either be made prisoners or employed at forced labor_.' * * *

 "The decrees, posters, and comments of the press, which were intended
 to prepare public opinion for the measures now being taken, pleaded
 especially two considerations: The unemployed, so they declared, are a
 danger to public security; they are a charge upon governmental charity.

 [Sidenote: The Belgians have got no charity from the Germans.]

 "It is not true, I said in my letter of October 19th, that our
 workmen have troubled, or even anywhere threatened the public peace.
 Five million Belgians and hundreds of Americans are the astonished
 witnesses of the dignity and the flawless patience of our working
 class. It is not true that the workmen deprived of work are a charge
 upon the occupying power for the charity which is dispensed by
 their administration. The _Comité National_, in which the occupying
 government has no active part, is the sole purveyor of subsistence to
 the victims of enforced idleness. * * *

 [Sidenote: The German plan makes Belgians war against their own

 "Each Belgian workman will liberate a German workman who will add
 one more soldier to the German army. There, in all its simplicity,
 is the fact which dominates the situation. The author of the letter
 himself feels this burning fact, for he writes: 'nor is the measure
 one which affects the conduct of war _properly speaking_ (_proprement
 dite_)'. It is, then, connected with the war _improperly speaking_
 (_improprement dite_); which can only mean that the Belgian workman,
 although he does not bear arms, will free the hands of a German
 workman who will take up the arms. The Belgian workman is forced to
 co-operate, in an indirect but evident manner, in the war against
 his country. This is manifestly contrary to the spirit of the Hague

 "Here is another statement: _unemployment is not caused either by the
 Belgian workman or by England; it is brought about by the régime of
 the German Occupation_.

 [Sidenote: No disorder is caused by Belgians.]

 "The occupying government has seized considerable supplies of raw
 material intended for our national industry; it has seized and
 shipped to Germany the machinery, tools, and metals of our factories
 and our workshops. The possibility of national labor being thus
 suppressed, there remained one alternative to the workman: to work
 for the German Empire, either here or in Germany; or to remain
 idle. Some thousands of workmen, under the pressure of fright or of
 hunger, accepted, with regret for the most part, work for the enemy;
 but four hundred thousand workmen and workwomen preferred to resign
 themselves to unemployment, with its privations, rather than injure
 the interests of the fatherland; they lived in poverty, with the aid
 of a meager relief allowed them by the _Comité national de secours et
 d' alimentation_, under the supervision of the protecting ministers
 of Spain, America, and Holland. Calm, dignified, they bore without
 a murmur their painful lot. In no part of the country was there a
 revolt or even the semblance of one. Employers and employees awaited
 with patience the end of our long martyrdom. Meanwhile, the communal
 administrations and private initiative endeavored to alleviate the
 undoubted inconveniences of unemployment. But the occupying power
 paralyzed their efforts. The _Comité National_ attempted to organize
 a professional school for the use of the unemployed. This practical
 instruction, respectful of the dignity of our workmen, was meant to
 keep up their skill, increase their capacity for work, and prepare for
 the restoration of the country. Who opposed this noble movement, the
 plan of which had been elaborated by our large manufacturers? Who? The
 occupying government.

 [Sidenote: Communes not allowed to furnish work for unemployed.]

 "Notwithstanding all this, the communes made every effort to give
 work to the unemployed upon undertakings of public utility; but the
 governor general made these enterprises depend upon permission which,
 as a general rule, he refused. There are numerous cases, I am assured,
 where the General Government authorized undertakings of this kind upon
 the express condition that they should not be undertaken by unemployed.

 "They were seeking to create unemployment. They were recruiting the
 army of the unemployed. * * *

 "The letter of October 26th says that the first responsibility for the
 unemployment of our workmen rests upon England, because she has not
 allowed raw materials to enter Belgium.

 [Sidenote: England not to blame.]

 "England generously allows foodstuffs to enter Belgium for the
 revictualling [of the country], under the control of neutral
 States--Spain, the United States, and Holland. She would allow raw
 materials necessary for industry to enter the country under the same
 control if Germany were willing to agree to leave them to us, and not
 to seize the finished products of our industrial work.

 [Sidenote: Germany robs Belgians and inflicts privations.]

 "But Germany, by various proceedings, notably by the organization of
 its _Centrales_, over which neither the Belgians nor our protecting
 ministers can exercise any efficacious control, absorbs a considerable
 portion of the products of agriculture and of the industry of our
 country. The result is a considerable increase in the cost of living,
 which causes painful privations for those who have no savings. * * *

 [Sidenote: Deportation is slavery.]

 "Deportation is slavery, and the heaviest penalty of the penal code
 after that of death. Has Belgium, who never did you any wrong,
 deserved at your hands this treatment which cries to heaven for

 "Mr. Governor General, in the beginning of my letter I recalled the
 noble words of Your Excellency: 'I have come into Belgium with the
 mission of dressing the wounds of your country.'

 "If Your Excellency could penetrate into the homes of workingmen, as
 we priests do, and hear the lamentations of wives and mothers whom
 your orders cast into mourning and into dismay, you would realize far
 better that the wound of the Belgian people is gaping.

 [Sidenote: Cold calculation of Germans.]

 "Two years ago, we hear people say, it was death, pillage, fires,
 but it was war! To-day it is no longer war, it is cold calculation,
 intentional destruction, the victory of force over right, the
 debasement of human personality, a cry of defiance to humanity.

 "It depends upon you, Excellency, to silence these cries of a revolted
 conscience; may the good God, whom we call upon with all the ardor of
 our soul for our oppressed people, inspire you with the pity of the
 good Samaritan!

 "Accept, Mr. Governor General, the homage of my highest consideration.

  "_Arch. of Malines_."

In less moving phrases, but in deadly corroboration, the continuation
of the report of Minister Whitlock says:


 [Sidenote: Appalling stories of German behavior.]

 "_The rage, the terror, and despair excited by this measure all over
 Belgium were beyond anything we had witnessed since the day the
 Germans poured into Brussels. The delegates of the Commission for
 Relief in Belgium, returning to Brussels, told the most distressing
 stories of the scenes of cruelty and sorrow attending the seizures.
 And daily, hourly almost, since that time appalling stories have been
 related by Belgians coming to the Legation. It is impossible for us
 to verify them, first, because it is necessary for us to exercise all
 possible tact in dealing with the subject at all, and secondly because
 there is no means of communication between the Occupations-Gebiet and
 the Etappen-Gebiet. Transportation everywhere in Belgium is difficult,
 the vicinal railways scarcely operating any more because of the lack
 of oil, while all the horses have been taken. The people who are
 forced to go from one village to another must do so on foot or in
 vans drawn by the few miserable horses that are left. The wagons of
 the breweries, the one institution that the Germans have scrupulously
 respected, are hauled by oxen._

 [Sidenote: A foul deed.]

 "_The well-known tendency of sensational reports to exaggerate
 themselves, especially in time of war, and in a situation like that
 existing here, with no newspapers to serve as a daily clearing house
 for all the rumours that are as avidly believed as they are eagerly
 repeated, should of course be considered; but even if a modicum of all
 that is told is true there still remains enough to stamp this deed as
 one of the foulest that history records._

 "_I am constantly in receipt of reports from all over Belgium that
 tend to bear out the stories one constantly hears of brutality and
 cruelty. A number of men sent back to Mons are said to be in a dying
 condition, many of them tubercular. At Malines and at Antwerp returned
 men have died, their friends asserting that they have been victims of
 neglect and cruelty, of cold, of exposure, of hunger._" (Continued on
 page 74.)

A vivid sketch of the deportations from Mons, drawn by a participant,
may well be cited here:

 [Sidenote: "The woes of slavery."]

 "I will take the 18th of November of last year [1916]. A week or so
 before that a placard was placed on the walls telling my capital
 city of Mons that in seven days all the men of that city who were
 not clergymen, who were not priests, who did not belong to the city
 council, would be deported.

 "At half past five, in the gray of the morning on the 18th of
 November, they walked out, six thousand two hundred men at Mons,
 myself and another leading them down the cobblestones of the street
 and out where the rioting would be less than in the great city, with
 the soldiers on each side, with bayonets fixed, with the women held

 "The degradation of it! The degradation of it as they walked into this
 great market square, where the pens were erected, exactly as if they
 were cattle--all the great men of that province--the lawyers, the
 statesmen, the heads of the trades, the men that had made the capital
 of Hainaut glorious during the last twenty years.

 "There they were collected; no question of who they were, whether they
 were busy or what they were doing, or what their position in life. 'Go
 to the right! Go to the left! Go to the right!' So they were turned to
 the one side or the other.

 "Trains were standing there ready, steaming, to take them to Germany.
 You saw on the one side the one brother taken, the other brother left.
 A hasty embrace and they were separated and gone. You had here a man
 on his knees before a German officer, pleading and begging to take his
 old father's place; that was all. The father went and the son stayed.
 They were packed in those trains that were waiting there.

 "You saw the women in hundreds, with bundles in their hands beseeching
 to be permitted to approach the trains, to give their men the last
 that they had in life between themselves and starvation--a small
 bundle of clothing to keep them warm on their way to Germany. You saw
 women approach with a bundle that had been purchased by the sale of
 the last of their household effects. Not one was allowed to approach
 to give her man the warm pair of stockings or the warm jacket, so
 there might be some chance of his reaching there. Off they went!" John
 H. Gade, in _The National Geographic Magazine_, May, 1917.

The Belgian women sent a touching appeal to Minister Whitlock:


  "_November 18, 1916, 46 Rue de la Madeleine_.

  "His Excellency Mr. BRAND WHITLOCK,
  "_Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
  of the United States of America_.


 "From the depths of our well of misery our supplication rises to you.

 "In addressing ourselves to you, we denounce to your Government, as
 well as to our sisters, the women of the nation which you represent
 in our midst, the criminal abuse of force of which our unhappy and
 defenseless people is a victim.

 "Since the beginning of this atrocious war we have looked on
 impotently and with our hearts torn with every sorrow at terrible
 events which put our civilization back into the ages of the barbarian

 [Sidenote: No shadow of excuse for deportations.]

 "Mr. Minister, the crime which is now being committed under your eyes,
 namely, the deportation of thousands of men compelled to work on enemy
 soil against the interests of their country, can not find any shadow
 of excuse on the ground of military necessity, for it constitutes a
 violation by force of a sacred right of human conscience.

 "Whatever may be the motive it can not be admitted that citizens may
 be compelled to work directly or indirectly _for_ the enemy _against_
 their brothers who are fighting.

 "The Convention of The Hague has consecrated this principle.

 "Nevertheless, the occupying power is forcing thousands of men to this
 monstrous extremity, which is contrary to morals and international
 law, both these men who have already been taken to Germany and those
 who to-morrow will undergo the same fate, if from the outside, from
 neutral Europe and the United States, no help is offered.

 [Sidenote: The women of Belgium have kept back their tears.]

 "Oh! The Belgian women have also known how to carry out their duty in
 the hour of danger; they have not weakened the courage of the soldiers
 of honor by their tears.

 "They have bravely given to their country those whom they loved. * * *
 The blood of mothers is flowing on the battle-fields.

 "Those who are taken away to-day do not go to perform a glorious
 duty. They are slaves in chains who, in a dark exile, threatened by
 hunger, prison, death, will be called upon to perform the most odious
 work--service to the enemy against the fatherland.

 "The mothers can not stand by while such an abomination is taking
 place without making their voices heard in protest.

 "They are not thinking of their own sufferings, their own moral
 torture, the abandonment and the misery in which they are to be placed
 with their children.

 [Sidenote: The rights of honor and conscience.]

 "They address you in the name of the inalterable rights of honor and

 "It has been said that women are 'all powerful suppliants.'

 "We have felt authorized by this saying, Mr. Minister, to extend our
 hands to you and to address to your country a last appeal.

 "We trust that in reading these lines you will feel at each word the
 unhappy heartbeats of the Belgian women and will find in your broad
 and humane sympathy imperative reasons for intervention.

 "Only the united will of the neutral peoples energetically expressed
 can counterbalance that of the German authorities.

 "This assistance which the neutral nations can and, therefore, ought
 to lend us, will it be refused to the oppressed Belgians?

 "Be good enough to accept, Mr. Minister, the homage of our most
 distinguished consideration."

 (Signed by a number of Belgian women and 24 societies.)

The United States Government did not fail to respond to this touching
appeal and to others of a similar nature. The American Embassy at
Berlin promptly took up the burning question of the deportations with
the Chancellor and other representatives of the German Government. In
an interview with the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr.
Grew was handed an official statement of the German plans, which is, in
translation, as follows:


 [Sidenote: More German camouflage.]

 "Against the unemployed in Belgium, who are a burden to public
 charity, in order to avoid friction arising therefrom, compulsory
 measures are to be adopted to make them work so far as they are not
 voluntarily inclined to work, in accordance with the regulation
 issued May 15, 1916, by the Governor General. In order to ascertain
 such persons the assistance of the municipal authorities is required
 for the district of the Governor General in Brussels, while in the
 districts outside of the General Government, i.e., in the provinces of
 Flanders, lists were demanded from the presidents of the local relief
 committees containing the names of persons receiving relief. For the
 sake of establishing uniform procedure the competent authorities have,
 in the meantime, been instructed to make the necessary investigations
 regarding such persons also in Flanders through the municipal
 authorities; furthermore, presidents of local relief committees who
 may be detained for having refused to furnish such lists will be

Mr. Grew pointed out that the deportations were a breach of faith and
would injure the German cause abroad. In his official summary of the
negotiations which he carried on he says:

 [Sidenote: Mr. Grew points out that Germany excites public opinion
 against her.]

 "I then discussed in detail with the Under Secretary of State for
 Foreign Affairs the unfortunate impression which this decision would
 make abroad, reminding him that the measures were in principle
 contrary to the assurances given to the Ambassador by the Chancellor
 at General Headquarters last spring and dwelling on the effect which
 the policy might have on England's attitude towards relief work in
 Belgium. I said I understood that the measures had been promulgated
 solely by the military government in Belgium and that I thought the
 matter ought at least to be brought to the Chancellor's personal
 attention in the light of the consequences which the new policy would
 entail. Herr Zimmermann intimated in reply that the Foreign Office had
 very little influence with the military authorities and that it was
 unlikely that the new policy in Belgium could be revoked. He stated,
 however, in answer to my inquiry, that he would not disapprove of my
 seeing the Chancellor about the matter."

[Sidenote: Mr. Grew appeals to the Chancellor]

Mr. Grew accordingly took up the whole question with the Chancellor,
and among other arguments urged the promises which the German
Government had solemnly made to the Belgian civilians through Baron
von Huene and Baron von der Goltz. [These pledges are set forth in
detail in Cardinal Mercier's letter of October 19th, 1916, quoted in
full on preceding pages.] Mr. Grew found it impossible to persuade the
Chancellor to secure the abandonment of the policy of deportations,
and thereupon urged that the policy should be modified. His formal
statement of this phase of the negotiations is as follows:

 "The points of amelioration which I then suggested as a concession to
 Belgian national feeling and foreign opinion were as follows:

 "1. Only actual unemployed to be taken, involving a more deliberate
 and careful selection.

 "2. Married men or heads of families not to be taken.

 "3. Employees of the Comité National not to be taken.

 [Sidenote: and asks certain concessions]

 "4. The lists of the unemployed not to be required of the Belgian
 authorities, but to be determined by the German authorities
 themselves, as a concession to Belgian national feeling, and the
 Belgians, who had already been imprisoned for refusing to supply these
 lists, released.

 "5. Deported persons to be permitted to correspond with their families
 in Belgium.

 "6. Places of work or concentration camps of deported persons to be
 voluntarily opened by the German Government to inspection by neutral

       *       *       *       *       *

 "A few days later Count Zech, the Chancellor's adjutant, called on me
 and communicated to me informally and orally the following replies to
 the various suggestions which I had made for concessions and points of

 [Sidenote: but with slight success.]

 "1. Only actual unemployed were to be taken. The selections would be
 made in a careful and deliberate manner.

 "2. Married men or heads of families could not in principle be
 exempted, but each case would be considered carefully on its merits.

 "3. Employees of the _Comité National_ are regarded as actually
 employed and therefore exempt.

 "4. It was essential that the Belgian authorities should co-operate
 with the German authorities in furnishing lists of unemployed, in
 order to avoid mistakes. Only one Belgian had been imprisoned for
 refusing to give such lists, and orders had now been given for his

 "5. Deported persons would be permitted to correspond with their
 families in Belgium.

 "6. Places of work and concentration camps would in principle be open
 to inspection by Spanish diplomatic representatives.

 "American inspection might also be informally arranged if desired.

       *       *       *       *       *

 "On December 2nd, the Minister at Brussels communicated to me the text
 of a telegram which he had sent to the Department on November 28th,
 stating that he had been encouraged by the report of the results of my
 interview with the Chancellor." * * *

The telegram to which Mr. Grew refers was the following:


  "BRUSSELS, VIA THE HAGUE, _November 28, 1916_.


 [Sidenote: Germans are deporting the skilled Belgian workmen.]

 "We are naturally encouraged by Grew's telegrams concerning his
 conversations with the Chancellor. It is probable that the orders
 [for softening the rigors of the deportations] have not yet been put
 into effect, as the recruiting of Belgian workmen continues without
 distinction as between the employed and unemployed. I have received
 creditable information that choice is made with great rapidity, which
 allows no time for examination. Mayor in the Province of Namur had
 given a list of unemployed as one hundred. Practically none of the
 persons in this list were taken by the Germans, but from the same
 district hundreds of employed were taken. Apparently the choice is
 based entirely on the skill and physical fitness of the workmen. There
 is a great demand for blacksmiths and iron workers. The identification
 cards from the Commission for Relief in Belgium issued to men working
 for the _Comité National_ were respected in Antwerp; nine men holding
 them were taken at Mons; over thirty at Namur, and a few each day
 in various parts of the country. Over forty thousand are engaged in
 various departments of relief work, however, and this is but a small
 percentage. It is reliably reported that very bad conditions exist
 in the Province of Valenciennes, and that many men have been taken
 there. They have been without food for sixty-three hours and have
 no blankets. Apparently they have been deprived of food in order to
 oblige them to work for the Germans.

  "_American Minister_."

The American minister and the representatives of other powers were able
to secure some lessening of the severity of the deportations. Minister
Whitlock says:


 [Sidenote: Neutral representatives are allowed to request
 reconsideration of special cases.]

 [Sidenote: They run into high figures.]

 "_We have, of course, done all that was in our power to ameliorate the
 conditions without in any way seeming officially to intervene. I have
 already reported to the Department the conversations I have had with
 the officials. Recently I induced the Political Department to request
 that we bring to their attention any case of flagrant injustice, and
 on the basis of this admission we have been sending from time to time
 to the German authorities the names of certain deported Belgians who
 were working at the time of their seizure and therefore did not come
 within the purview of the rule laid down by the German Government
 that the unemployed should be deported. Other neutral Legations in
 Brussels have done the same, and the work has assumed proportions
 that are so large that I fear they may defeat its ends. The Legations
 of Spain and Holland have organized similar bureaus, and so many
 requests for repatriation are received that I have been compelled to
 rent rooms in a vacant house, across the street from the Legation
 in the rue Belliard, to carry on the work. The necessary staff and
 supplies for the work have been furnished by the Comité National,
 which has organized a central bureau that investigates all reports
 received by the Legations in order to determine whether or not the
 persons mentioned have received financial assistance since the war,
 and, as well, to avoid duplication in representations. Inasmuch as it
 is difficult to make exceptions, I fear, as I said before, that the
 very mass of these requests will prevent their being examined with
 any care. So far as we are able to determine, about 100,000 have been
 deported, and of those less than 2,000 have returned._

 "_The Spanish Legation which, because of the fact that Spain is
 charged with the protection of Belgian interests in Germany, claims
 precedence in this matter, * * * makes a demand for the return of each
 and every one who applies, and sends in about two hundred names each
 day. The Dutch Legation * * * forwards each request that is presented,
 and, owing to the fact that after the fall of Antwerp, assurances
 were given by the German Authorities through the Dutch Government to
 Belgian refugees in Holland that they would not be deported should
 they return to Belgium, they are receiving a great many. I am told
 that they submit over fifteen hundred each day._ * * *

 "_We have a great many requests, and although we try not to
 discriminate we attempt to pick out the most deserving cases, though
 now that I have written that phrase I feel a certain shame in it
 because all the cases are deserving._

 [Sidenote: Germans rarely allow food packages to reach deported

 "_I have had requests from the burgomasters of ten communes from La
 Louvière, asking that permission be obtained to send to the deported
 men in Germany packages of food similar to those that are being sent
 to prisoners of war. Thus far the German authorities have refused
 to permit this except in special instances, and returning Belgians
 claim that even when such packages are received they are used by the
 camp authorities only as another means of coercing them to sign the
 agreements to work._

 "_It is said that, in spite of the liberal salary promised those who
 would sign voluntarily, no money has as yet been received in Belgium
 from workmen in Germany._" (Concluded on p. 78.)

The American Government was not content with informal recommendations
to the German Government, and on December 5, 1916, the American
representative at Berlin laid this formal protest before the German


 [Sidenote: A solemn protest by United States.]

 "The Government of the United States has learned with the greatest
 concern and regret of the policy of the German Government to deport
 from Belgium a portion of the civilian population with the result
 of forcing them to labor in Germany, and is constrained to protest
 in a friendly spirit but most solemnly against this action which is
 in contravention of all precedent and those humane principles of
 international practice which have long been accepted and followed by
 civilized nations in their treatment of noncombatants in conquered
 territory. Furthermore, the Government of the United States is
 convinced that the effect of this policy if pursued will in all
 probability be fatal to the Belgian relief work so humanely planned
 and so successfully carried out, a result which would be generally
 deplored and which, it is assumed, would seriously embarrass the
 German Government."

[Sidenote: Other neutrals support American protest.]

This protest was followed by those of the Pope, the King of Spain, the
Government of Switzerland, and other neutrals. They were of no avail,
except, perhaps, to lead the German authorities to draw a tighter veil
over their detestable proceedings. But the evidence has in some measure
come through, although the full facts will not be known until the
liberation of heroic Belgium.

In the _Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_ of December 2, 1916, the
following protests appeared, made, respectively, by Socialist Deputy
Haase and Deputy Dittmann, members of the Reichstag:


 "Thousands of workmen in the occupied territory have been compelled
 to forced labor; we earnestly ask the government to restore to these
 workmen their liberty, especially in Belgium. In truth, we [the
 Germans] find no sympathy in neutral countries; even the Pope has made
 a protest against this procedure, and several neutral states have done
 the same. Common sense itself demands that we abandon this procedure
 which moreover is in opposition to the Hague Convention to which we
 have agreed."

 "In opposition to the Secretary of State, I must recall that when
 formerly the Belgian workmen who had fled to Holland returned to
 Belgium, Governor General von Bissing promised that these Belgian
 workmen would under no circumstances be deported to Germany. This
 reassuring promise has not been kept."

Ambassador Gerard's interesting testimony appears in his recent book:


 [Sidenote: American indignation at deportations.]

 "The President [during my visit to America in 1916] impressed upon me
 his great interest in the Belgians deported to Germany. The action
 of Germany in thus carrying a great part of the male population
 of Belgium into virtual slavery had roused great indignation in
 America. As the revered Cardinal Farley said to me a few days before
 my departure, 'You have to go back to the times of the Medes and
 the Persians to find a like example of a whole people carried into

 "Mr. Grew had made representations about this to the Chancellor and,
 on my return, I immediately took up the question.

 [Sidenote: Gerard not permitted to visit deported Belgians.]

 "I was informed that it was a military measure, that Ludendorf had
 feared that the British would break through and overrun Belgium and
 that the military did not propose to have a hostile population at
 their backs who might cut the rail lines of communication, telephones
 and telegraphs, and that for this reason the deportation had been
 decided on. I was, however, told I would be given permission to visit
 these Belgians. The passes, nevertheless, which alone made such
 visiting possible were not delivered until a few days before I left

 [Sidenote: Some of them call on him.]

 "Several of these Belgians who were put to work in Berlin managed to
 get away and come to see me. They gave me a harrowing account of how
 they had been seized in Belgium and made to work in Germany at making
 munitions to be used probably against their own friends.

 "I said to the Chancellor, 'There are Belgians employed in making
 shells contrary to all rules of war and the Hague Conventions.' He
 said, 'I do not believe it.' I said, 'My automobile is at the door. I
 can take you, in four minutes, to where thirty Belgians are working on
 the manufacture of shells.' But he did not find time to go.

 "Americans must understand that the Germans will stop at nothing to
 win this war, and that the only thing they respect is force." James W.
 Gerard, _My Four Years in Germany_, 1917, pp. 351-52.

A similar point of view is expressed in an article entitled "Vae
Victis" from the Hungarian newspaper _Nepszawa_ of Budapest (quoted in
K.G. Ossiannilsson, _Militarism at Work in Belgium and Germany_, 1917,
pp. 53-54).


 "Mechanical skill, and especially qualified mechanical skill, is
 for the moment a more important factor than usual, and as it must
 be obtained where it can be obtained, Belgium has had to suffer in
 accordance with the old saying which always holds good: _Vae victis_
 (woe to the vanquished). In Poland, mechanical skill and the arms
 which exist there are mobilized under 'the glorious and fortunate
 banners of Poland'; in Belgium under 'the banner of necessity.'"

 [Sidenote: The Germans are using the Belgians for war work.]

 "* * * The question remains: for what kind of work will the Germans
 use the Belgians? * * * Every kind of work in Germany is war work,
 whether it is called agricultural or industrial work. As the deported
 Belgians have not given their consent, their use is contrary to
 international law, and the policy of the Germans in Belgium and Poland
 is equally to be deplored. Instead of aiming at bringing us nearer
 peace, it serves to embitter our opponents and to rouse more hatred
 towards us amongst the neutrals. Many times and more and more we have
 had occasion to observe that the neutrals show more sympathy for
 Belgium than for any other belligerent."

[Sidenote: Belgians still being deported, September, 1917.]

The news dispatches indicate that the deportation and forced labor of
Belgians still continue. In a dispatch from Havre (New York _Evening
Post_, September 13, 1917) it is stated: "The removal of the civilian
population of Belgium continues, according to advices received here.
The town of Roulers, immediately behind the battle line in Flanders,
has been evacuated completely. Ostend is being emptied gradually, and
two thousand persons already have been sent from Courtrai." In another
dispatch from Havre (_Washington Post_, September 24, 1917) it is
stated that "the German military authorities at Bruges, Belgium, are
conscripting forcibly all the boys and men of that city between the
ages of 14 and 60 to work in munition factories and shipyards. The
rich and poor, shopkeepers and workmen, all are being taken, only the
school-teachers, doctors, and priests escaping."


 [Sidenote: German capacity for blundering.]

 "_One interesting result of the deportations remains to be noted,
 a result that once more places in relief the German capacity for
 blundering, almost as great as the German capacity for cruelty. Until
 the deportations were begun there was no intense hatred on the part
 of the lower classes, i.e., the workingmen and the peasants. The
 old Germans of the Landsturm had been quartered in Flemish homes;
 they and the inmates spoke nearly the same language; they got alone
 fairly well; they helped the women with the work, the poor and the
 humble having none of those hatreds of patriotism that are among the
 privileges of the upper classes. It is conceivable that the Flemish
 population might have existed under German rule; it was Teutonic in
 its origin and anti-French always. But now the Germans have changed
 all that._

 [Sidenote: Germans will be hated for generations.]

 "_They have dealt a mortal blow to any prospect they may ever have
 had of being tolerated by the population of Flanders; in tearing away
 from nearly every humble home in the land a husband and a father or a
 son and brother they have lighted a fire of hatred that will never go
 out; they have brought home to every heart in the land, in a way that
 will impress its horror indelibly on the memory of three generations,
 a realization of what German methods mean, not, as with the early
 atrocities, in the heat of passion and the first lust of war, but by
 one of those deeds that make one despair of the future of the human
 race, a deed coldly planned, studiously matured, and deliberately and
 systematically executed, a deed so cruel that German soldiers are
 said to have wept in its execution, and so monstrous that even German
 officers are now said to be ashamed._


Mr. Hoover's mature conclusions on the German practices in Belgium,
which he has written for this pamphlet, reinforce the detailed evidence
already presented.


  SEPTEMBER, 1917.

 I have been often called upon for a statement of my observation of
 German rule in Belgium and Northern France.

 I have neither the desire nor the adequate pen to picture the scenes
 which have heated my blood through the two and a half years that I
 have spent in work for the relief of these 10,000,000 people.

 [Sidenote: Belgian atrocities are the result of the "system."]

 The sight of the destroyed homes and cities, the widowed and
 fatherless, the destitute, the physical misery of a people but
 partially nourished at best, the deportation of men by tens of
 thousands to slavery in German mines and factories, the execution of
 men and women for paltry effusions of their loyalty to their country,
 the sacking of every resource through financial robbery, the battening
 of armies on the slender produce of the country, the denudation of the
 country of cattle, horses and textiles; all these things we had to
 witness, dumb to help other than by protest and sympathy, during this
 long and terrible time--and still these are not the events of battle
 heat, but the effects of a grinding heel of a race demanding the
 mastership of the world.

 All these things are well known to the world--but what can never be
 known is the dumb agony of the people, the expressionless faces of
 millions whose souls have passed the whole gamut of emotions. And why?
 Because these, a free and democratic people, dared plunge their bodies
 before the march of autocracy.

 I myself believe that if we do not fight and fight now, all these
 things are possible to us--but even should the broad Atlantic prove
 our present defender, there is still Belgium. Is it worth while for
 us to live in a world where this free and unoffending people is to be
 trampled into the earth and to raise no sword in protest?



[Sidenote: German practices were the same in all occupied regions.]

In France the German system of forced labor and deportations, with its
attendant callousness, brutalities, and horrors, was the same as in
Belgium. Inasmuch as the German system in action has been adequately
illustrated in the foregoing pages on Belgium, it will suffice in this
part simply to show the real identity of German practice in the two
occupied regions. This can be done from the official documents and from
a summary by Ambassador Gerard. The harrowing details may be gathered
from the scores of depositions which accompany the note addressed by
the French Government to the Governments of the neutral powers July 25,
1916. These are on file in the State Department, and have also been
translated, along with the official documents, in _The Deportation of
Women and Girls from Lille_, New York, Doran.


 "The attitude of England makes the provisioning of the population more
 and more difficult.

 "To reduce the misery, the German authorities have recently asked for
 volunteers to go and work in the country. This offer has not had the
 success that was expected.

 [Sidenote: German proclamation at Lille, April, 1916.]

 "In consequence of this the inhabitants will be deported by order
 and removed into the country. Persons deported will be sent to the
 interior of the occupied territory in France, far behind the front,
 where they will be employed in agricultural labor, and not on any
 military work whatever. By this measure they will be given the
 opportunity of providing better for their subsistence.

 "In case of necessity, provisions can be obtained through the German
 depots. Every person deported will be allowed to take with him 30
 kilograms of baggage (household utensils, clothes, etc.), which it
 will be well to make ready at once.

 "I therefore order that no one, until further orders, shall change
 his place of residence. No one may absent himself from his declared
 legal residence from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (German time), unless he is in
 possession of a permit in due form.

 "Inasmuch as this is an irrevocable measure, it is in the interest of
 the population itself to remain calm and obedient.


  "LILLE, _April, 1916_."


 "All the inhabitants of the house, with the exception of children
 under fourteen and their mothers, and also of old people, must prepare
 themselves for transportation in an hour and a half's time.

 [Sidenote: Inhabitants of Lille given 90 minutes to get ready to

 "An officer will decide definitely what persons will be taken to the
 concentration camps. For this purpose all the inhabitants of the house
 must assemble in front of it; in case of bad weather they may remain
 in the passage. The door of the house must remain open. All protests
 will be useless. No inmate of the house, even those who are not to be
 transported, may leave the house before 8 a.m. (German time).

 "Each person will be permitted to take 30 kilograms of baggage; if
 anyone's baggage exceeds that weight, it will all be rejected without
 further consideration. Packages must be separately made up for each
 person and must bear an address legibly written and firmly affixed.
 This address must contain the surname and the Christian name and the
 number of the identity card.

 [Sidenote: Must carry their own cooking utensils.]

 "It is absolutely necessary that each person should, in his own
 interest, provide himself with eating and drinking utensils, as well
 as with a woolen blanket, good shoes, and body linen. Everyone must
 carry his identity card on his person. Anyone attempting to evade
 transportation will be punished without mercy.


  [LILLE, _April, 1916_.]


 "MONSIEUR LE GÉNÉRAL: It is my duty to bring to your notice the fact
 that a very agitated state of mind exists among the population.

 "Numerous removals of women and girls, certain transfers of men and
 youth, and even of children, have been carried out in the districts of
 Tourcoing and Roubaix without judicial procedure or trial.

 [Sidenote: The Bishop protests against deportations.]

 "The unfortunate people have been sent to unknown places. Measures
 equally extreme and on a larger scale are contemplated at Lille. You
 will not be surprised, Monsieur le Général, that I intercede with you
 in the name of the religious mission confided to me. That mission
 lays on me the burden of defending with respect but with courage, the
 Law of Nations, which the law of war must never infringe, and that
 eternal morality whose rules nothing can suspend. It makes it my duty
 to protect the feeble and the unarmed, who are as my family to me and
 whose burdens and sorrows are mine.

 [Sidenote: Appeals to the humanity of the commander.]

 "You are a father; you know that there is not in the order of humanity
 a right more honorable or more holy than that of the family. For every
 Christian the inviolability of God, who created the family, attaches
 to it. The German officers who have been billeted for a long time in
 our homes know how deep in our hearts we of the North hold family
 affection and that it is the sweetest thing in life to us. Thus to
 dismember the family by tearing youths and girls from their homes is
 not war; it is for us tortures and the worst of tortures--unlimited
 moral torture.

 [Sidenote: The methods of deportation a danger to morals.]

 [Sidenote: Hopes for restoration of the deported.]

 "The violation of family rights is doubled by a violation of the
 sacred demands of morality. Morality is exposed to perils, the mere
 idea of which is revolting to every honest man, from the promiscuity
 which inevitably accompanies removals _en masse_, involving mixture
 of the sexes, or, at all events, of persons of very unequal moral
 standing. Young girls of irreproachable life, who have never committed
 any worse offense than that of trying to pick up some bread or a few
 potatoes to feed a numerous family, and who have besides paid the
 light penalty for such trespass, have been carried off. Their mothers,
 who have watched so closely over them and had no other joy than that
 of keeping their daughters beside them, in the absence of father and
 sons fighting or killed at the front--these mothers are now alone.
 They bring to me their despair and their anguish. I am speaking of
 what I have seen and heard. I know that you have no part in these
 harsh measures. You are by nature inclined toward justice; that is
 why I venture to turn to you; I beg you to be good enough to forward
 without delay to the German High Military Command this letter from a
 Bishop, whose deep grief they will easily imagine. We have suffered
 much for the last twenty months, but no stroke of fortune could be
 comparable to this; it would be as undeserved as it is cruel and
 would produce in all France an indelible impression. I cannot believe
 that the blow will fall. I have faith in the human conscience and I
 preserve the hope that the young men and girls of respectable families
 will be restored to their homes in answer to the demand for their
 return and that sentiments of justice and honor will prevail over all
 lower considerations.



  "_President of the French Republic, Paris_.

 "SIR: We have the honor to express again our most sincere gratitude to
 you for your most kind reception, a few days ago, of the deputation
 which went with feelings of legitimate emotion to inform you of the
 deportation of lads and girls, which the German authorities have just
 carried out in the invaded districts.

 "We have collected some details on the subject from the lips of an
 honorable and trustworthy person, who succeeded in leaving Tourcoing
 about ten days ago; we think it our duty to bring these details to
 your notice by reproducing textually the declarations which have been
 made to us:

 "'These deportations began towards Easter. The Germans announced that
 the inhabitants of Roubaix, Tourcoing, Lille, etc., were going to be
 transported into French districts where their provisioning would be

 [Sidenote: The procedure of the deportations.]

 "'At night, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, a whole district of
 the town was invested by the troops of occupation. To each house
 was distributed a printed notice, of which we give below an exact
 reproduction, preserving the style and spelling. [See second document,

 "'The inhabitants so warned were to hold themselves ready to depart an
 hour and a half after the distribution of the proclamation.

 "'Each family, drawn up outside the house, was examined by an officer,
 who pointed out haphazard the persons who were to go. No words can
 express the barbarity of this proceeding nor describe the heartrending
 scenes which occurred; young men and girls took a hasty farewell of
 their parents--a farewell hurried by the German soldiers who were
 executing the infamous task--rejoined the group of those who were
 going, and found themselves in the middle of the street, surrounded by
 other soldiers with fixed bayonets.

 [Sidenote: Sometimes a kind-hearted officer could not carry out the
 brutal orders.]

 "'Tears of despair on the part of parents and children so ruthlessly
 separated did not soften the hearts of the brutal Germans. Sometimes,
 however, a more kind-hearted officer yielded to too great a despair,
 and did not choose all the persons whom he should--by the terms of his
 instructions--have separated.

 "'These girls and lads were taken in street cars to factories, where
 they were numbered and labelled like cattle and grouped to form
 convoys. In these factories they remained twelve, twenty-four, or
 thirty-six hours until a train was ready to remove them.

 "'The deportation began with the villages of Roncq, Halluin, etc.,
 then Tourcoing and Roubaix. In towns the Germans proceeded by

 [Sidenote: Numbers deported.]

 "'In all about 30,000 persons are said to have been carried off up
 to the present. This monstrous operation has taken eight to ten days
 to accomplish. It is feared, unfortunately, that it may begin again
 soon. The departures took place in freight cars to the sound of the

 "'The reason given by the German authorities is a humanitarian (?)
 one. They have put forward the following pretexts: provisioning is
 going to break down in the large towns in the north and their suburbs,
 whereas in the Ardennes the feeding is easy and cheap.

 [Sidenote: Young men and girls lodged in "disgraceful promiscuity."]

 "'It is known from the young men and girls, since sent back to
 their families for reasons of health, that in the Department of the
 Ardennes the victims are lodged in a terrible manner, in disgraceful
 promiscuity; they are compelled to work in the fields. It is
 unnecessary to say that the inhabitants of our towns are not trained
 to such work. The Germans pay them 1.50 m. But there are complaints of
 insufficient food.

 "'They were very badly received in the Ardennes. The Germans had told
 the Ardennais that these were "volunteers" who were coming to work,
 and the Ardennais proceeded to receive them with many insults, which
 only ceased when the forcible deportation, of which they were the
 victims, became known.

 "'Feeling ran especially high in our towns. Never has so iniquitous a
 measure been carried out. The Germans have shown all the barbarity of
 slave drivers.

 "'The families so scattered are in despair and the morale of the
 whole population is gravely affected. Boys of 14, schoolboys in
 knickerbockers, young girls of 15 to 16 have been carried off, and the
 despairing protests of their parents failed to touch the hearts of the
 German officers or rather executioners.

 "'One last detail: The persons so deported are allowed to write home
 once a month; that is to say, even less often than military prisoners.'

 "Such are the declarations which we have collected and which, without
 commentary, confirm in an even more striking way the facts which we
 took the liberty of laying before you.

 "We do not wish here to enter into the question of provisioning in the
 invaded districts; others, better qualified than ourselves, give you,
 as we know, frequent information. It is enough for us to describe in a
 few words the situation from this aspect:

 "The provisioning is very difficult; food, apart from that supplied by
 the Spanish-American Committee, is very scarce and terribly dear. * *
 * People are hungry and the provisioning is inadequate by at least a
 half; our population is suffering constant privations and is growing
 noticeably weaker. The death rate, too, has increased considerably.

 [Sidenote: People rely on the neutral powers.]

 "Sometimes inhabitants of the invaded territories speak with a note
 of discouragement, crying apparently: 'We are forsaken by everyone.'
 We, on the other hand, are hopeful, Monsieur le Président, that the
 energetic intervention on the part of Neutrals, which the French
 Government is sure to evoke, will soon bring to an end these measures
 which rouse the wrath of all to whom humanity is not an empty word. *
 * *

 "With all confidence in the sympathy of the Government we venture
 to address a new and pressing appeal to your generous kindness and
 far-reaching influence in the name of those who are suffering on
 behalf of the whole country."

 (Signed on behalf of various specified organizations by Toulemonde,
 Charles Droulers, Léon Hatine-Dazin, and Louis Lorthiois.)

  "PARIS, _15th June, 1916, 3, rue Taitbout_."


 [Sidenote: Barbarity of deportations.]

 "It seems that the Germans had endeavored to get volunteers from the
 great industrial towns of Lille, Roubaix, and Tourcoing to work these
 fields; that after the posting of the notices calling for volunteers
 only fourteen had appeared. The Germans then gave orders to seize
 a certain number of inhabitants and send them out to farms in the
 outlying districts to engage in agricultural work. The Americans told
 me that this order was carried out with the greatest barbarity; that
 a man would come home at night and find that his wife or children had
 disappeared and no one could tell him where they had gone except that
 the neighbours would relate that German noncommissioned officers and
 a file of soldiers had carried them off. For instance, in a house
 of a well-to-do merchant who had perhaps two daughters of fifteen
 and seventeen and a man servant, the two daughters and the servant
 would be seized and sent off together to work for the Germans in some
 little farm house whose location was not disclosed to the parents. The
 Americans told me that this sort of thing was causing such indignation
 among the population of these towns that they feared a great uprising
 and a consequent slaughter and burning by the Germans.

 [Sidenote: Chancellor says that the military authorities ordered the

 "That night at dinner I spoke to the Chancellor about this and told
 him that it seemed to me absolutely outrageous; and that, without
 consulting with my government, I was prepared to protest in the name
 of humanity against a continuance of this treatment of the civil
 population of occupied France. The Chancellor told me that he had not
 known of it, that it was the result of orders given by the military,
 that he would speak to the Emperor about it, and that he hoped to be
 able to stop further deportations. I believe that they were stopped,
 but twenty thousand or more who had been taken from their homes were
 not returned until months afterwards. I said in a speech that I made
 in May on my return to America that it required the joint efforts of
 the Pope, the King of Spain, and our President to cause the return of
 these people to their homes; and I then saw that some German press
 agency had come out with an article that I had made false statements
 about this matter because these people were not returned to their
 homes as a result of the representations of the Pope, the King of
 Spain, and our President, but were sent back because the Germans had
 no further use for them. It seems to me that this denial makes the
 case rather worse than before." James W. Gerard, _My Four Years in
 Germany_, 1917, pp. 333-335.


The systematic exploitation of human misery by the German authorities
in Poland followed the general plan with which the reader has become
only too familiar. In order to prove the identity of procedure it will
be enough to present the detailed report specially written for this
pamphlet by Mr. Frederic C. Walcott. A fuller and in some ways more
touching treatment is given in his article, "Devastated Poland," in the
_National Geographic Magazine_ for May, 1917.


  SEPTEMBER, 1917.

 Poland--Russian Poland--is perishing. And the German high command,
 imbued with the Prussian system, is coolly reckoning on the
 necessities of a starving people to promote its imperial ends.

 West Poland, which has been Prussian territory more than a hundred
 years, is a disappointment to Germany; its people obstinately remain
 Poles. This time they propose swifter measures. In two or three years,
 by grace of starvation and frightfulness, they calculate East Poland
 will be thoroughly made over into a German province.

 [Sidenote: Devastation of Poland.]

 In the great Hindenburg drive one year ago, the country was completely
 devastated by the retreating Russian army and the oncoming Germans.
 A million people were driven from their homes. Half of them perished
 by the roadside. For miles and miles, when I saw the country, the
 way was littered with mudsoaked garments and bones picked clean by
 the crows--though the larger bones had been gathered by the thrifty
 Germans to be ground into fertilizer. Wicker baskets--the little
 basket in which the baby swings from the rafters in every peasant
 home--were scattered along the way, hundreds and hundreds, until one
 could not count them, each one telling a death.

 Warsaw, which had not been destroyed--once a proud city of a million
 people--was utterly stricken. Poor folks by thousands lined the
 streets, leaning against the buildings, shivering in snow and rain,
 too weak to lift a hand, dying of cold and hunger. Though the rich
 gave all they had, and the poor shared their last crust, they were
 starving there in the streets in droves.

 In the stricken city, the German governor of Warsaw issued a
 proclamation. All able-bodied Poles were bidden to go to Germany to
 work. If any refused, let no other Pole give him to eat, not so much
 as a mouthful, under penalty of German military law.

 [Sidenote: The policy of starvation.]

 It was more than the mind could grasp. To the husband and father
 of broken families, the high command gave this decree: Leave your
 families to starve; if you stay, we shall see that you do starve--this
 to a high-strung, sensitive, highly organized people, this from the
 authorities of a nation professing civilization and religion to
 millions of fellow Christians captive and starving.

 [Sidenote: Country to be restocked with Germans.]

 General von Kries, the governor, was kind enough to explain.

 Candidly, they preferred not quite so much starvation; it might get on
 the nerves of the German soldiers. But, starvation being present, it
 must work for German purpose. Taking advantage of this wretchedness,
 the working men of Poland were to be removed; the country was to be
 restocked with Germans. It was country Germany needed--rich alluvial
 soil--better suited to German expansion than distant possessions. If
 the POLAND that was had to perish, so much the better for Germany.

 Remove the men, let the young and weak die, graft German stock on the
 women. See how simple it is: with a crafty smile, General von Kries
 concluded, "By and by we must give back freedom to Poland. Very good;
 it will reappear as a German province."

 Slowly, I came to realize that this monstrous, incredible thing was
 the PRUSSIAN SYSTEM, deliberately chosen by the circle around the
 all-highest, and kneaded into the German people till it became part of
 their mind.

 German people are material for building the State--of no other
 account. Other people are for Germany's will to work upon. Humanity,
 liberty, equality, the rights of others--all foolish talk. Democracy,
 an idle dream. The true Prussian lives only for this, that the German
 State may be mighty and great.

 [Sidenote: German system of frightfulness everywhere.]

 All the woes in the long count against Germany are part of the
 Prussian system. The invasion of Belgium, the deportations, the
 starving of subject people, the Armenian massacres, atrocities,
 frightfulness, sinking the Lusitania, the submarine horrors, the
 enslavement of women--all piece into the monstrous view. The rights of
 nations, the rights of men, the lives and liberties of all people are
 subordinate to the German aim of dominion over all the world.




(Prepared for this pamphlet.)

[Sidenote: The graves of the massacred.]

It was my privilege--and necessity--in connection with the work of
the Commission for Relief in Belgium to spend several months at the
Great Headquarters of the German armies in the west, and later to
spend more months at Brussels as the Commission's director for Belgium
and occupied France. It was an enforced opportunity to see something
of German practice in the treatment of a conquered people, part of
whom (the French and the inhabitants of the Belgian provinces of
East and West Flanders) were under the direct control of the German
General Staff and the several German armies of the west, and part, the
inhabitants of the seven other Belgian provinces, under the quasi-civil
government of Governor General von Bissing. I did not enter the
occupied territories until June, 1915, and so, of course, saw none of
the actual invasion and overrunning of the land. I saw only the graves
of the massacred and the ruins of their towns. But I saw through the
long, hard months much too much for my peace of mind of how the Germans
treated the unfortunates under their control after the occupation.

It would be an unnecessary repetition to describe again the scenes in
Louvain, Dinant, Visé, Andenne, Tamines, Aerschot, and the rest of
the familiar long list of the ruined Belgian towns. But too little
has been said of the many, many ruined villages all over the extent
of the occupied French territory from Lille in the north to Longwy in
the south, and from the eastern boundary of France to the fatal trench
lines of the extreme western front.

As chief representative for the Commission, it was my duty to cover
this whole territory repeatedly in long motor journeys in company with
the German officer assigned for my protection--and for the protection
of the German army against any too much seeing. As I had opportunity
also to cover most of Belgium in repeated trips from Brussels into
the various provinces, I necessarily had opportunity to compare the
destruction wrought in the two regions.

[Sidenote: Towns untouched by war but ruined.]

I could understand why certain towns and villages along the Meuse and
along the lines of the French and English retreat were badly shot to
pieces. There had been fighting in these towns and the artillery of
first one side and then the other had worked their havoc among the
houses of the inhabitants. But there were many towns in which there
had been no fighting and yet all too many of these towns also were in
ruins. It was not ruin by shells, but ruin by fire and explosions.
There were the famous "punished" towns. Either a citizen or perhaps
two or three citizens had fired from a window on the invaders--or were
alleged to have. Thereupon a block, or two or three blocks, or half the
town was methodically and effectively burned or blown to pieces. There
are many of these "punished" towns in occupied France. And between
these towns and along the roadways are innumerable isolated single
farm houses that are also in ruins. It is not claimed that there was
any sniping from these farmhouses. They were just destroyed along the
way--and by the way, one may say. When the roll of destroyed villages
and destroyed farmhouses in occupied France is made known, the world
will be shocked again by this evidence of German thoroughness.

[Sidenote: Heartlessness of German rule.]

The rigor of the control over the inhabitants of the occupied French
territory is almost inconceivable. The lines delimiting the regions
occupied by the various distinct German armies are lines of impassable
steel for the inhabitants. If a member of the family in one town was
visiting friends or relatives in another town a few kilometers away at
the time of the outbreak of the war that family has remained separated
through all the long months that have since elapsed. No messages can
pass except by dangerous subterranean ways from town to town.

[Sidenote: False receipts for requisitioned property.]

The requisitioning of everything from food to furniture, from farm
animals to the blankets and mattresses from the beds, has been carried
to such an extent that the people live on nothing, amid nothing. These
requisitions in the earlier days had a more or less official seeming
in that quartermaster's _bons_ were given for the things taken. Even
then the German sense of humor too often made the _bon_ a crude jest.
The _bons_ were written in the German language in German script,
illegible and beyond the understanding of the simple natives. A _bon_
might be given for a chicken when it was a pair of horses that was
taken. But later, when these jests palled on the German soldiers, the
requisitioning was simplified by the omission of _bon_-giving. Where
the villagers and peasants had tried to save something that could be
buried or concealed, the searching out of these pitiful hiding places
became a great game with the German soldiers. One ingenious Frenchman
had secreted a few choice bottles of wine in a famous tomb on heights
above the Meuse. But these bottles found their way to special tables
at the Great Headquarters.

In the spring of 1916 the army authorities devised the plan of
deporting a number of men and women from Lille and the industrial towns
near it to the agricultural regions further south. These French were
to work in the fields and help produce food for the German army. As a
matter of fact this plan had at bottom something to recommend it. The
congestion in the industrialized northern region made the food problem
there very difficult. Our Commission had more trials in connection
with the provisioning of the great city of Lille and the lesser but
crowded towns of Valenciennes, Roubaix, and Tourcoing than with all the
rest of the occupied territory. Also these people had no work to do,
as the great factories were still. To come south and work in the open
air in the fields and be allowed a fair ration would have been a real
advantage to these people. It would also have helped in the whole food
supply situation.

[Sidenote: Horrors of deportations.]

But the horrible methods of that deportation were such that we,
although trying to hold steadfast to a rigorous neutrality, could not
but protest. Mr. Gerard, our Ambassador to Berlin, happened at the
very time of this protest to make a visit to the Great Headquarters in
the west and the matter was brought to the attention of certain high
officers at Headquarters on the very day of Mr. Gerard's visit and in
his hearing. So that he added his own protest to that of Mr. Poland,
our director at the time, and further deportations were stopped. But
a terrible mischief had already been done. Husbands and fathers had
been taken from their families without a word of good-bye; sons and
daughters on whom perhaps aged parents relied for support were taken
without pity or apparent thought of the terrible consequences. The
great deportations of Belgium have shocked the world. But these lesser
deportations--that is, lesser in extent, but not less brutal in their
carrying out--are hardly known.

[Sidenote: No American can fail to oppose Prussianism.]

I went into Belgium and occupied France a neutral and I maintained
while there a steadfastly neutral behavior. But I came out no neutral.
I can not conceive that any American enjoying an experience similar to
mine could have come out a neutral. He would come out, as I came, with
the ineradicable conviction that a people or a government which can do
what the Germans did and are doing in Belgium and France to-day must
not be allowed, if there is power on earth to prevent it, to do this a
moment longer than can be helped. And they must not be allowed ever to
do it again.

[Sidenote: Civilization must crush Prussian system.]

I went in also a hater of war, and I came out a more ardent hater of
war. But, also, I came out with the ineradicable conviction, again,
that the only way in which Germany under its present rule and in its
present state of mind can be kept from doing what it had done is by
force of arms. It can not be prevented by appeal, concession, or
treaties. Hence, ardently as I hope that all war may cease, I hope
that this war may not cease until Germany realizes that the civilized
world simply will not allow such horrors as those for which Germany is
responsible in Belgium and France to be any longer possible.


Your Government Is Willing to Send You


Any Two of the Pamphlets Listed Here with Exceptions Noted

_Committee on Public Information._

(Established by Order of the President, April 14, 1917, Washington,

Series No. 1. War Information. (Red, White and Blue Covers.)

Catalogue No.

1. How the War Came to America.

 _Contents_: A brief introduction reviewing the policy of the United
 States with reference to the Monroe Doctrine, freedom of the seas, and
 international arbitration, developments of our policy reviewed and
 explained from August, 1914, to April, 1917; Appendix: the President's
 address to the Senate January 22, 1917, his war message to Congress
 April 2, 1917, his Flag Day address at Washington, June 14, 1917. 32
 pages. (Translations: German, Polish, Bohemian, Italian, Spanish,
 Swedish, Portuguese. 48 pages.)

 NOTE.--For Numbers 2, 3 and 7 described below, a contribution is
 required as noted. All other booklets are free.

2. National Service Handbook. (Price, 15 cents)

 (A reference work for libraries, schools, clubs and other

 _Contents_: Description of all civic and military organizations
 directly or indirectly connected with war work, pointing out how
 and where every individual can help. Maps, Army and Navy Insignia,
 diagrams. 246 Pages.

3. The Battle Line of Democracy. (Price, 15 cents)

 _Contents_: The best collection of patriotic prose and poetry. Authors
 and statesmen of America and all the countries now associated with us
 in the war have expressed the highest aspirations of their people. 134
 Pages. (Price 15 cents.)

4. President's Flag Day Speech with Evidence of Germany's Plans.

 _Contents_: The President's speech with the facts to which he alludes
 explained by carefully selected notes giving the proofs of German
 FACTS, all gathered from original sources. 32 Pages.

5. Conquest and Kultur.

 _Contents_: A brief introduction outlining German war aims and showing
 how the proofs were gathered; followed by quotations from German
 writers revealing the plans and purposes of Pan Germany, one chapter
 being devoted entirely to the German attitude toward America. The
 quotations are printed with title or no comment, THE EVIDENCE PILING

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