时间：<2020-06-07 16:40:40 作者：NZQIN 浏览量：9777
The duration of the war has more or less surprised me, and I postponed writing this book for a long time as I wished to quote the evidence of persons in high places, clergymen, and educated foreigners. As the war is not over yet, I must omit these in the interest of their safety.Three soldiers stood before the open door and amused themselves by provoking these people in the most inhuman manner, by abusing them and telling them that later on they would be hanged or shot. The poor fellows shivered and their teeth clattered. I, the newly arrived "swine," was treated in much the same way, but I reduced the insolent blusterers into the quietest people of the world by warning them that by and by I would ask the commanding officer whether his soldiers had the right to call a Netherlander a "swine." That put some heart into my fellow-victims, and I urged them that they would do best by replying calmly to any questions which the commanding officer might put177 to them. They actually became more composed, and told me the following:
Shortly afterwards I met a Netherland Red Cross motor-car. The male nurses, who had met me already on former occasions during the war, recognised me, rushed up to me, and forced me to come with them to the car. Here they tried to explain with a torrential flow of words that I exposed myself to the greatest danger by coming here, as nearly all the soldiers were drunk, shot at every civilian, and so on.And over these nervous and terrified thousands at Maastricht rolled from afar the dull roar of the guns, thunder-like bursts from which had frightened them so terribly.The road itself had prepared me already in some degree for the horrors I should find there. All the villages through which I passed, excepting Tongres and the townlets of St. Trond, Borgloon, and Tirlemont, were for the greater part burned down or shelled into ruins. The German troops, who had been stoutly resisted during their march through St. Trond and Tirlemont, had attacked in a great rage the civilian population. They set the houses on fire and aimed their rifles at the terror-stricken civilians who fled from them. The men were nearly all killed, but women and children were shot as well.
"6. Who distribute in the German army hostile incitements or communications.When I left I got a lot of addresses of relations in The Netherlands, and undertook to send a postcard to each of these. They also gave me an introduction to the proprietor of an hotel whom they knew, in which they asked him to give me a bed; and thus armed I succeeded at last. It was high time too, for at nine o'clock everyone had to be at home. In the hotel everything was dark, for there was no gas in the town. At last I could lie down on my bed, and had a good rest, although I could not sleep a wink. I was too tired and had seen and experienced too much that day.And if that had been all! But dozens of boys and young men had been taken to Bilsen as prisoners. There had been a real hunt for all able-bodied lads who might be of any use in the Belgian army. Women and old men were compelled by threats to betray the hiding-places of their sons or husbands, and if one of them was found hidden away under straw or in barns, he was ill-treated or beaten with rifle-butts. Some fled to Maastricht, others to the Campine, the northern part of Belgium. I presume that both groups have at length arrived in Antwerp.
"Are they at a great distance from here?""In Cherath she saved the life of a good many. As it was alleged that there had been shooting, the priest, the chaplain, a retired priest, eighty years old, the mayor, and several leading citizens were condemned to be shot. None, not even the priest, was able to defend himself, as they knew not a word of German, and could not make themselves understood. Mrs. de Villers, who speaks German fluently, explained that the spot where the shooting was alleged to have taken place was not part of Cherath at all.It is evident from the "Report on the Violations of International Law in Belgium" that the Germans themselves admit that they were in the wrong with regard to the atrocities which were committed here. The following order of the day proves it:
Thus it went on all day long: motors and other conveyances travelled to and fro between the battle-17fields and hospitals at Maastricht; fugitives moved about in streets and squares, upsetting each other more and more by fantastic stories."And what is the news in The Netherlands about the war?""ENOUGH DESTROYED, ENOUGH DISTRESSED!
The Germans had flung some more bridges across the river beyond Andenne, which had been used for the occupation of Namur chiefly, and lay idle now guarded by only one sentry. I left by the town-gate without any difficulties; the German soldiers jumped out of the way and stood to atten153tion, as soon as they noticed the Netherland flag flying at the front of the motor. To the right and the left of the gateway they had written in gigantic letters: "Newspapers, please!"Liège now loomed up in the distance, and the nearer I got, the more civilians I met. They all wore a white armlet, and walked timidly and nervously by the side of the road or street, starting at39 each thunder-clap of the guns. Near the entrance to the town a small crowd stood on one of the hills, looking at a flying-machine moving from fort to fort and over the city, obviously investigating the effect of the German siege-guns.Yes, in the most scandalous manner they have violated the promises which the Germans gave Cardinal Mercier. But what signifies a word if treaties are only "scraps of paper?"
CHAPTER X"Berlin, November 10th. (W. B.) Official.—The Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung writes: 'The daily newspaper, De Tijd, issued at Amsterdam, published on October 16th a report from a war correspondent at Maastricht, in which he asserted that on October 9th a train in which more than two thousand wounded were transported, arrived at the station at Landen in Belgium between Tirlemont and Waremme. Here it was said that a stop had taken place of forty minutes in which to provide the wounded with food. Walking up and down the platform the reporter pretends to have seen two to three hundred German soldiers, slightly wounded men and men of the garrison of Landen, furiously abuse three seriously wounded British, who were lying in one of the last carriages of the train. They showed mugs full of steaming soup to the hungry British, whom they left lying there miserable from starvation. They were also said to have aimed their rifles at them, laughing roughly, and to have spit on them."Certainly, sister. Tell her that Bart of Uncle Henry is here." Again I was switched off, but the communication was this time restored after a few moments, and then I heard a joyful and surprised exclamation:
"Then you will stay again at the episcopal palace, your Eminence?"From Ostend I went a few days later to Thourout, a townlet to the north of the centre of the Yser-line. I was accompanied by two Netherland colleagues whom I had met at Bruges. Everything was quiet there; the commander of the naval region, Admiral von Schroeder, had made himself slightly ridiculous, by informing the population in a proclamation that he had ordered the British citizens in the coastal region to leave the country, in order to protect them from their fellow-countrymen of the British fleet, who, by bombarding Ostend, had endangered their lives."They were all unrecognisable, their faces were black from smoke, their uniforms in rags, their hands covered with blood. The general was put on a stretcher, and carried outside the fort across the heaps of obstacles; there he was attended to by a surgeon. He had lost consciousness. As soon as he recovered it, he pressed the hands of two Belgian officers. 'It is all over; there is nothing left to defend. But we did our utmost courageously.'
"And how are they thanked for it?"Where do you come from?" was his first question.CHAPTER III
The Liège people were already up and about, and wandered through the streets full of fear, for all sorts of rumours were heard—that civilians were murdered, the town was to be burned down, and that a start would be made very soon. As they looked at those burning hamlets yonder they believed the rumours, and went nearly mad for fear; the men as well as the women could not help46 themselves, and wept. During the night various posters were stuck on the walls about military action. The following is the translation of one of these:—"In agreement with the German Military authority I invite the inhabitants of Louvain to return to the city, and to take up again their usual occupations.Although at first I had a different plan, I decided on Saturday, September 26th, to go first to Riempst—a little walk of three hours each way—as I had read a report in certain papers quoted from the Handelsblad van Antwerpen that the church of Riempst had been burned and the vicars of that parish and of Sichem had been made prisoners.