时间：<2020-06-04 15:01:16 作者：etwww.hkc5.comBuM 浏览量：9777
But because the German libels go on accusing the Belgian people of horrible francs-tireurs acts, I have thought that I ought not to wait any longer before giving my evidence to the public.Mr. van Wersch was told that they intended to send him to Tongres, but after a deliberation between Captain Spuer and Major Krittel, a very kind man as I have already remarked, he was allowed to stay at Bilsen until the examination should be over. He was allowed to walk through the townlet under military escort at first, but later entirely free, and to sleep at the station under military guard. After another search, he was at last allowed to leave for Maastricht on Monday morning.
The poor wretches, who expected to be killed at any moment, were driven into squares or the meadows, where they were exposed to the chilly night air, so that several babies perished. Only the next morning were the women and children allowed to leave—that is to say, they were told to take the shortest way to Maastricht."Don't you think you could find me some hotel, or private people who might put me up?"A little farther away they were still busy with Lierce, but excepting these four, all the forts were now taken by the Germans. I stood there for a moment, gazing at these cannon, the presence of which was clearly unknown to the Belgians, for their artillery took no notice of them. Only the day before these guns had started shelling the forts, and on the evening of August 15th they had silenced two of them; but Loncin kept up the fight.
In those days German Headquarters gave continuously the thoughtless order: "To Calais, to237 Calais," and the Staff considered no difficulties, calculated no sacrifices, in order to achieve success."True? True, sir? You go and look for yourself! And let me tell you one thing—there are no francs-tireurs here! We know quite well what we may do and what not, and only a moment ago I received a message from the Minister of the Interior, saying that non-combatants who shoot at the enemy expose themselves to danger and their fellow-citizens to retaliations."In a café, lower down, near the canal I saw a number of German soldiers, and was successful in having a chat with the inn-keeper, at the farthest corner of the bar. I asked him, of course, what they meant by burning the village, and he told me that the Germans had made a number of unsuccessful attacks on Fort Pontisse, until at last they reduced it to silence. They were now so near that they could open the final assault. They were afraid, however, of some ambush, or underground mine, and the Friday before they had collected the population, whom they forced to march in front of them. When they had got quite near they dared not enter it yet, and drove the priest and twelve of the principal villagers before them. That is how Pontisse was conquered.
For the rest the transports were not much troubled now, for obviously the bridge was no longer the objective of the Belgian guns. At Visé I was even told that Fort Pontisse had just been57 taken and only Lierce could harass the troops, who, after crossing the bridge, advanced towards Tongeren."Bear up, lad! Keep courage; it will soon be different.""A Netherland journalist, who is trying to get news for his paper."
The German artillery had taken up their positions here, and bombarded the forts in their immediate neighbourhood. These did not fail to answer, and rained shells on the enemy's batteries. One heard their hissing, which came nearer and nearer, until they fell on the slopes or the tops of the hills and burst with a terrific explosion. Many a time we saw this happen only a few hundred yards away. Then the air trembled, and I felt as if my legs were blown from underneath me. Broken windows too fell clattering on the "stoeps."There was a continuous coming and going at the bridge-command, for when I left the shrubberies a great many soldiers of high and low rank, with portfolios and documents, were waiting outside. The soldiers were to escort me back across the bridge, so that I might go on to Visé along the other bank.207
"It must be done, surely, it must be done! That is her only chance of escape, and if she stops here she will be killed with the rest of us. Oh!... oh!...""Indeed! And did you take notes already? Just let me have a look."22
When the Germans entered Bilsen for the first time, four persons were shot in front of the town-hall; fifteen holes were still to be seen in the wall. Amongst these four was also the brother-in-law of the editor of the Bilsenaar. He was dragged out of his house, accused of having shot, although he and his wife and children were at that moment saying the rosary. His wife had got up that day for the first time after her confinement."Every attack on German troops by others than the military in uniform not only exposes those who may be guilty to be shot summarily, but will also bring terrible consequences on leading citizens of Liège now detained in the citadel as hostages by the Commander of the German troops. These hostages are:—Considerations of space forbid me to relate many of the heroic deeds performed on this occasion, but an exception may be made of the following:—
Later on people from Louvain came with carts, which we had ordered before leaving. Thirteen of these carried the wounded away, whilst a German patrol went all over the village, setting everything on fire."Where is De Tijd printed?"Farther on in the Rue de la Station lay nine rotting carcases of horses, the intestines oozing from the bodies, and a greasy substance was poured over their skin. The stench was unbearable and made breathing nearly impossible, which compelled me to jump on my bicycle and escape as quickly as possible from the pestilential surroundings.
At Andenne things seemed much worse than at Huy. I stopped there on my way to Namur, and had been prepared in Liège for the sad things I should hear. A proclamation posted in the last-named town ran as follows:—"Where did the Germans cross Netherland territory?"A little to the north of this town many had been lying wounded in the trenches for over eight days, without being able to get their wounds bandaged. They had to admit the success of the French field artillery, which produced a most serious effect.
"To the inhabitants of the City of Louvain"Several cases which occurred in the Province of Limburg oblige me to acquaint the inhabitants of a number of regulations:This fine large village, actually a suburb of Liège, was quite deserted, not a living being was to be seen. I entered shops and cafés, called at the top of my voice, but got no reply anywhere. I was inclined to believe that everybody had fled. And they would have been quite right too, for huge columns of smoke rose up from the heights around the place, four or five in a row, after a booming and rolling peal like thunder had seemed to rend the sky.