时间：<2020-07-08 00:01:14 作者：Uh重庆市人力资源社会保障网arE 浏览量：9777
I have, happily, not seen much of the distressing flight of the Antwerp population, as I happened to be at Liège when the fortress fell into German hands. I went to Zundert via Maastricht and Breda, in order to go to the conquered fortress from that Netherland frontier-town, north-east of Antwerp.I was informed further that there had been no fighting for the possession of Huy. The citadel on which the German flag flew had not been put in a state of defence on account of its great age. The old bridge over the Meuse at Huy had been wrecked by the Belgians, but the Germans had simply driven stout piles into the river, to support a floor which they put over the wrecked part, and so restored the traffic.
They were now very friendly, and spoke even with great kindliness about the Netherlanders in55 general. They let me proceed also on my way to Maastricht, giving me their best wishes."Yes," I reply, "it is bad, very bad, but is it really all true?""'I saw how two to three hundred German soldiers, part of them slightly wounded, who were well able to walk, partly soldiers of the Landen garrison, who crowded about the open doors of one of the last wagons, raging and jeering against three seriously wounded British soldiers, about whom their French fellow-passengers told me that they had had nothing to eat for five days. The wounded were called "swine," were spit at, and some rifles were aimed at them. When I told a sergeant that it was a disgusting scene, he answered: "These British swine, they get paid for their filthy work." He alluded to the pay which the British volunteers receive because they enlist as mercenaries, Britain having no compulsory general military service. Before I witnessed this awful thing at Landen, Germans in the train had already told me that they simply killed any British whom they made prisoners. Others said that such a thing did not happen in their division, but one man contended that by his company already twenty-six had been killed. I did not believe them, and thought that they were better than they pretended to be.
After a long time we were able to enter a train taking numerous new troops to Antwerp. We occupied a first-class compartment, which looked like a cattle-truck: pieces of bread, paper, cigar-ends, and tobacco were lying on the floor and the seats; the ledges of the windows were full of candle-grease."No."The Destruction of Dinant
The first time when the Germans had only been there for about ten days, and huge masses were sent to the scene of battle, because they had decided to break through at any cost.I observed then already that much poverty prevailed, for in many places I noticed people whose appearance did not suggest that they were accustomed to that sort of work, creeping quietly in and out of hedges, carrying bags in which they put the potatoes picked up in the fields. Naturally they started and looked alarmed, when, suddenly, I passed on my bicycle.The inhabitants were driven to the station, where the husbands were cruelly separated from their wives and several persons were shot. Other men were escorted to a place behind the station, and their wives and children were told that those men were going to be shot. The poor things heard indeed the click-clack of the rifles and thought that their dear ones were dead. However, many returned later, and their "shooting" seems to have been a mere sham.
THE ILL-TREATMENT OF BRITISH WOUNDED"Several cases which occurred in the Province of Limburg oblige me to acquaint the inhabitants of a number of regulations:That mad fury was also intensified considerably by the accusations about gruesome mutilations committed on German soldiers by Belgians, who were said to have cut off the noses, ears, genitals, and so on of their enemies. These rumours were so persistent that in the end it was generally believed in neutral countries that these things had happened frequently.
The German officers at the commander's office were elated in consequence of the reports received, and also told me that Antwerp would not be able to hold out for more than two days. They also tried to explain this to the people in the hall who were waiting for their passports. I followed the conversation, but not very closely, and one of the officers explained on a map what he asserted. Willy-nilly, because they had to get their passports, the waiting people listened to him. Suddenly I heard him say: "And after all we might have surrounded Antwerp also on the north by crossing Netherland territory, as we did when we invaded Belgium.""The houses caught fire from burning benzine, and the flames burst out in other quarters also. On Wednesday afternoon part of the town and the northern suburb were in flames."A few minutes after I left the town a scene drew my attention. A lady stood there with a little girl; the lady seemed to urge the child to do something to which it objected. She refused to take a bag full of various small parcels pressed upon her, and clutched hold of the lady's skirts. I wanted to know what was the matter, got a little nearer, and was amazed to hear them both speak Netherland. I could not help asking what the trouble was and whether I might be of service.
Not a single person was seen on the road, and everything went well until we got to the village of Veldwezelt. Suddenly, quite unexpectedly, a violent rifle fire and a continued whistling of bullets was heard from the neighbourhood of a house close by. Although the soldiers later on asserted to the contrary, I was sure that the firing did not come from the house, but from some underwood near by.That mad fury was also intensified considerably by the accusations about gruesome mutilations committed on German soldiers by Belgians, who were said to have cut off the noses, ears, genitals, and so on of their enemies. These rumours were so persistent that in the end it was generally believed in neutral countries that these things had happened frequently.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.
"'5. My pertinent declarations are now opposed by the German official contradiction; but how weak is the argument! I have already pointed out that only comrades of the accused men have been heard, but not the accuser, nor, as is evident, the victims, nor other witnesses. There is more: "Crowding of two to three hundred soldiers near a wagon cannot occur"—thus says the communiqué—"because the station-guard's duty is to keep free the path along the train." Does anyone understand the weakness of this contradiction? It is as if one should say: "It is impossible that anything has been stolen in a town because it is the duty of the police to guard it." "Moreover there is also always an officer of the station-guard present at the departure of a train of wounded," the communiqué proceeds. But again I ask: What does this prove? It is a fact that this officer, if he was present, did not prevent what happened. "It is impossible that the soldiers aimed their rifles at the British, because the men who get their food in the dining-hall, and those of the military who distribute it, are always unarmed; no other soldiers are admitted to the station." I see that the German government simply quote the military regulations, and from them determine the facts. They cannot realise that it might be possible for their regulations not to be obeyed always.A good many refugees were on their way to The Netherlands, but the bulk of the crowd had passed before my visit along the long road which I walked now in the opposite direction. I did not arrive in210 Antwerp before nightfall and was then very tired. The town was dark, dismal, and deserted, and only German soldiers went about in the streets, apparently looking in vain for a shop or café where they might find some diversion. I myself, exhausted by a walk of twenty-five miles, sauntered along, constantly looking for some place or other to pass the night. Not a shop or hotel was open, and yet my stomach was craving for food, my body for rest. At last I met a policeman and told him of my difficulty."3. That everything that may appear hostile to the German army must be avoided with the utmost care.
"Who are you?""Sister," I said then, "if you will only ask S?ur Eulalie to come to this gate she will recognise me, of course?"My motor whirled along the gloriously fine road148 to Huy. It is a delicious tour through the beautiful valley of the Meuse, along sloping light-green roads. Had the circumstances not been so sad, I should have enjoyed it better.
And during these first days of the war I had not met a single person who was able to settle down quietly in the existing circumstances, not a single person in whom anger and fury subdued fear and terror.They did not understand, of course, that poor Belgium would have liked nothing better than to remain neutral also.Mr. Derricks lived at Roelanche, but with his wife and seven children had fled for security to Canne, where he was hospitably received in Mr. Poswick's, the burgomaster's, house.