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GERMAN ATROCITIES, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914
WOMEN AND CHILDREN BURNT ALIVE. INDESCRIBABLE HORRORS.. IN LOUVAIN. • -V «*. The Ule of atroeitiea the Germans have perpetrated in Belgium and elsewhere is supplemented by evidence collected from Belgian rofugeea- who are now in England. Seeking sanctuary at the residence of a i -o-religionist at Liverpool is a l|»dy named .Maswiens. wife of a prosperous merchant in Lonvain. Mme Maswiens stated that her home had been burned and her» husband was lost or dead, she knew not which. Shb proceeded to give the details of what happened in Louvain on August 26. It was after eight days' occupation of the citv that thej Germans set about their wurk rif pillage, destruction, and arson. " One incident which will be remembered against them," said Mme Maswiens, "was the fate of the priost of the Church of "■(. Pierre. Canon Ceulemans, who was seized, taken to his cwn church, and there hanged in sight of his horrified parisnioners. Not content with this outrage, the Germans gathered together the peaceful inhabitants of the 'city, and, having separated the* men from the women and children, they proceeded to set the chureh on fire with the still hanging body of ths priest exposed to the view of everyone. Then, having sent the men off to Cologne .is prisoners, after indescribable Drutali ties, they picked up thel living bodies of women and children and threw them on the flames. This wholesale cremation was carried out whilst the German soldiers were in a state of intoxication." Other excesses which they perpetrated, aided Mme Maswiens, are too horrible even to mention. THE BURNING. OF TERMONDK AX ORGY OF PILLAGE AND INCENDIARISM. Termonde will have a special pUct. in the record of German brutality hi this campaign, because of the evidence it affords of the systematic preparation by Germany for war on the lines of incendiarism, pillage, and murder. The Antwerp correspondent of the • Morning Post," who visited the town Khortlv after its evacuation hy tho Germans,* declares that of 1,500 houses not 100 have survived. Hospitals, homes for the poor, churches—all have been burned out. In one case at least a sick old man was burned in his bed, but the sack of the town was not marked by massacio. Eighty civil notables were, however, taken away as prisoners to Germany, and th«?re were "a few incidental murders," says the 1 Post's' representative. He sdos : Experience of this campaign in Belgium, wherein the German* have achieved the distinction of hav'.ng killed, more of the civil popuhtion than oi soldiers, inures one to scenes of devastation. The ruins of TermonJe would not excite much attention were it not for the proof provided by tho abandoned material of the Germans and the unanimous testimony of the inhabitants that the Emperor's army has, as rwt of its training for war. drilled in systematic incendiarism, and as part of its eqniiircent carried to the item*, special :ie-y for burning down towns.
Termonde was destroyed lor mvch the same reason as Louvain. On September 4 a German fore? eame back fro.) the field rtU:r a severe beating by th.> Belg'ars, and the German commands. Sommerfield. announced: " It is our duty to burn the town." The manner of V 2 burning is thus described: The inhabitants were two hours c.f quiet; then, with well -irilletl precision, companies of uernwi soldiers marched through the streets, breaking windows on each side with rifles as they n.ar. heel. They were followed ov two files of men "with machines which spraved kerosene tho broken vindows. Most of theie spraying machines were operated .>v hand, but one at least was a big engine of arson driven by motor powtv. The ii"xt step vas for the soldiers :o pass along throw■ ing lighted fuses on the kerosene. Termonde was thus systematically destroyed. Two of the spraying machines T have seen; some others are in the possession. I believe, of the Belgian authorities. AH the inhabitants of Termapde give the same version of its destruction. TERRIBLE BRUTALITY. A JOURNALIST'S STORY. •Some graphic stories of German bru;alities in Belgium havo been supplied by a young journalist. M. Roosbroeck. who. ii» the course of his duties, travelled over a good part of the area in which the riermans were 1 operating in the earlier days of the war. He himself had an unpleasant experience, being taken .prisoner and threatened with death as a spy; but he was lucky enough to escape with the loss of his money, professional impedimenta, and a kick in the rear from a soldier's boot. While travelling In the war area many stories of brutality on the part of the Germans were told to M. Roosbroeck. At Aerschot the sheriff and his son wore murdered by the Germans, the sheriff being shot and the son, a lad of 16, hanged in the presence of the wife and mother. Xear. the same place a peasant woman whose son 'had been injured when riding from the investing troops told a terrible story of German brutality. Into a house near where she was hiding, she said, the Germans entered and demanded food and drink, which were supplied them. Having satisfied themselves, the soldiers threatened the wife and daughter of the householder, who. beside himself with rage, picked up a rifle and shot one of the men dead. The householder was instantly killed, and the two women hid themselves in a cellar The Germans then set the house »on fire. "' I was in a cellar near by," said the woman, "and I heard the two unfortunates crying out for over two hours, when there came a silence. They must havo either been burned to death or killed by the house falling in upon them." M. Roosbroeck stated that he saw the bodies of over 100 women and children who had been murdered by the Germans in Louvain. " The Germans cared for nothing." he declares. " Th-jy brought machine guns into the streets and fired on the people, shooting them down indiscriminately." Ho added that he met a man who experienced the horrors of the sacking and burning of Louvain. When the Germans got into the city, his informant told him, they seemed to go mad. They turned the men and women out in the streets, and, separating the men from the women, marched them in opposite directions. The men were marched for four days and nights in the rain between German guards in th? direction of Germany. Theye were only allowed two hours* sleep, and were practically starved, during tho whole of the time, while they suffered terribly from thirst. Mr Rooabroeck's informant mansajed to escape after th© fourth day, while the guards were sleeping, ar.d eventually found his way to England. He bears th© marks of no less than 15 bayonet wounds in the back of his legs, inflicted by the Germans, when, Jhrough gheer fatigue, he was compelled to laj; behind. MORE CORROBORATION BY OTHER EY& WITNESSES. Here also is the testimony of an American citizen-; who himself buffered at the hinds of. the .Germans- Mr Ma«tt Thompson, a young engineer, and * survivor of the Empress of lioJand. disaster, found himself at the outset of the war at Metz wit-h a party of tourists. Tha' ladies of the party were allowed t« go free, but the men were detained in a.fortresa. Although an ""American citizen* Mr Thompson was taken by the Germans to be an English soldier in mufti. Declaring thai* they would m» that he was never able to handle a> rifle again, his. captors, alter a severe straggle, got Mr Thompson down, and with a reddwrt iron? bored a hole through the centre of th» palm ci las right hand, afterwards cutting away with t knife the cbaend timU. surrounding £h£ smas. Mr
Thompson wwitually, succeeded in «H*aping from the foytreiw and reaching sanctuary on English soil. " Come into the gallery we hoy© turned into a hospital, and you shall see a mother who was forced to walk mites with her two-days-old baby at the point of tho bayonets," so writes Miss Tennyson Jesse, th* poet's grand-niece, in the London •Daily Mail* from Ghent. "I saw her, lyirig in an impoverished ward, where tho ornate pillors looked «o incongruous standing anions the littl* iron beds. The woman .lay as one exhausted to the point of death," but the baby gurgled happily. Near by—men and women-'are all together —was a boy of 15 whom the Germans had forced to march in front oi them for eight days. When he was brought in his feet were raw, iand he had gone so long without food that even a little milk or bouillon would not stay on his stomach. Thirty thousand refugees hare passed through here already."
GERMAN ATROCITIES, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914
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