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THE STRICKEN BELGIANS, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
THE STRICKEN BELGIANS
FAMILIES BUTCHERED. CHILDREN NOT SPARED. " It is no use the Germans denying their atrocious cruelty. It is from the victims' own lips I heard these things, and many others, said a Belgian lady, the wife of a British colonel. " Among the poorer classes the tales are appalling. A woman who is in London has had heT two ears cut off. The baby she was carrying had been struck by a German bayonet. How it was not killed no one knows. Others from that same village were burnt to death. They tied the parent* to chairs and tables.
whilst their worst victims were the young girls. After exce.< s of every kind' thev set fire to their whole cottage, and so village after village is burnt. "In the upper classes sufferings arc jnsf as terrible. Mr Eugene Beauchau, aged 65, vith his son Michael, and hie friend Mr Louis Jansens, aged 68. was taken by theGermans during tho destruction of Louvain. In company with thousands of other men they were marched for 30 miles, forced to keep their hands up for long periods, and threatened to be shot if they brought their aims down. They were tht.n put in a train and sent to Cologne without anv food. At Cologne they said they would ,iot have those "beastly Belgians,' and the party was sent back to Brussels, where they were locked in the Gare du Xord for another day and a-half. The officers refused them food and spat in their faces, and had it not been for a few of the German soldiers who fed them, and kindly got them a few biscuits and a little' chocolate when tho officers were not looking, they would have died of hunger. Mr David, one of the foremost men in Louvain, and father of the State Minister Descamp David, had given hospitality to the German Staff, and had treated them with everv care. They drank his best wine, used his house in every way, and when they left, as he had treated them fo well, they shook hane'e, and promised that himself, his son, and his house would oiot suffer from the occupation of the town. But tho next day a dead hoise was found at their door, i'hie was a sufficient excuse for the Germans to rush in, and they killed Mr David and his eon. The Germans removed a few stones and buried them.
'•' Mr Torrea.i, a professor of the Louvain Univcisity, and his wife were treated similarly. Madame Torreau had given girth to a child the day before. With her husband and the baby fche was hiding in the ceiluv of her house; but the Germane, them out, and, placing -Mr loneau •,. uh his back to the stables, shot him in front of his wife. She has .-in.e dh-1. Ul m.c inhabitants 0,000 hid in iho wood of J'A'e. - ley. They were lounu them alter several days, having lived on oats, gr.u>s, aim a few potatoes. "Mr Venden Perre, director of hit Artois Brewery, was one oi them. Mr Bosnians, solicitor, who had German oilicers slaying with him, was tiirown out of his house with his old mother, aged Ho, and his small children, in the middle oi the night. They stripped the cin.d.e. , naked, and the whole lannly wa.-> louiiu in a siate of prostration in a vei.v pui,. cottage days later. All the women inu. oeen separated from the men, and up in the churches with a few priests. " One old lady, Madame Seaes, aged 10 tells of her experience. Alter a aij am. nignt in the church they were t' Germany in. a train, and every h;uf-hr.u tile German officers made them kneel, ;i.i.: asked if anyone wished to confess, as t.i;• •r■ were priests with them. Then they vvuuhi spit in their faces, laugh and jeer at them. They wore eventually brought back tn Brussels in the same company, having luul nothing to eat but an odd crust of bread for three days.
"A few days before Louvain was burnt tho Baroness De Dieudonne, who had left. came back to her chateau to find a German officer in a motor car at the door carrying away their most valuable picture and a gramophone. Being a very plucky woman nhe ordered him to return the picture. He tried to excuso himself by saying ii was his servant who had taken it, but the butler contradicted him, and said he had seen him take down the picture. So the baroness insirtcd on getting it hack. and eventually the. officer did not dire take it away. She then ordered him to return the gramophone as well. He drove off, but the next day he brought a trnoji and burned the chateau to the ground. Nothing is loft of it.
" The doctor from Malines t-ells the following story:—A whole family had hiddn in a cesspool, thinking they would be safi but a German officer opened the irap, a seeing them there, shot them all one afk the other. One was wounded, and eve.it a ally got out. He was treated by t!)' doctor, and told him this story of the waall his family had perished. "The burgomaster of a small village i: the Province of Liege, caliod Count Polo De Borehgrave, was tied with ropes to :; board, flogged, and thrown on a manure ; heap, where they were going to n'nish him ■■ off, ■wheu his wife, recognising Priiice ! Charles of Hohenzollern. who is married tr. 3 Belgian princess, as he was giving the orders for this abominable outrage, threw herself on her knees and eventually ■ got him to spare hor husband's life."
THE STRICKEN BELGIANS, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
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