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BERLIN IN WAR TIME, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914
BERLIN IN WAR TIME
.SINGING AND SUFFLT! tNG. Berlin has one great advantage over London (says Henry AY. Novinsou m • Stead's 'Review of Reviews'); it can show its feelings definitely at onre. We have Trafalgar square—good enough for meetings to express either indignation or triumph. But Trafalgar square is nothing to Berlin's central avenue, Untcr den Linden. From the Kaiser's Palace that great street runs absolutely straight westward to the Brandenburg Gate, a. full mile. away. From the point where Frederick the' Great's statue rides towards the palace as in life it becomes the " Linden" —a double avenue 70 yards wide with trees and gardens down the centre and a main asphalt road on either side, each road limited to the trathe passing east or west so that there is no -confusion. Up and down the pavements and the central garden avenue the Berlin people now pace all day and most of tho night. Thev' are intensely excited —"exalted" —but they do not "shout or clamor, and no one makes a speech. Every now and then a band of young students and girl* goes singing down the street, waving flags and pushing through tho crowd. They sing liermanv's great national songs. 'Die Wacht am Rheiu' and ' Dcutschland, Deutschland 'ubcr Alles' are the favorites, but sometimes one hears the Bliicher .song of ' The Old Field-marshal' and other echoes of the ' War of Liberation ' just a century ago. For a while the crowd runs after them cheering. But
another excitement carries them away. A taxi or van drives rapidly through, and men stand in it flinging out single sheets, printed in large type, with the latest rumor or fact." These are the "Extra Blatter "of the various newspapers. They are thrown out gratis. —Tho Soldiers. — And then a squadron of Uhlans monies. their white pennons wrapped closely round the top of their lances, not showing the black skull that stands for "Death or Glory." Like all tho army. they_wear the new unitorms of dull grey, said to ho invisible .at ;i short distance, though I doubt if it is so good as greenish klialci". They have grey covers carefully drawn over their helmets to prevent them shining, but one cannot say how long those "grey covers may last on the. field. Tho infantry wear them too, and on their backs both horse and foot wear the brown overcoat tied in a circlo round the knapsack of brown hide. Behind each infantry regiment on the march follow the machine guns, and then the " train " pontoons, field kitchens, baggage waggons, ammunition waggons, ambulances, and stores. You may judge how they are cheered as they start for the. front. Finely-built and well-trained fellows they are, of a -stock so much like our own at its best. —The Kaiser.— One cheer, and only one, is louder than for them. About 4 o'clock every afternoon the restless, moving crowd stands | still. It waits, sometimes two hours on end, tliickly lined up along the kerbstones. The police clear the road and stop the traffic. Presently a motor horn is heard. It sounds four distinct notes, like a regimental bugle-call. Then a large, low motor with a crown upon it rushes past. We catch a glimpso of a man hi grey uniform —the field uniform of the Cuirassier Guards—but his helmet has no grey covering. At his side is a woman with great while ostrich feathers in her hat. His right hand is raised hi perpetual salute. He ;*.swers the enormous shout of tho people as the cheering rolls along the Linden beside the speeding motor. It is the Kaiser. People may say what they like : he is one of the weld's remarkable menj capable of stupendous errors, but capable of generous greatness, too. One thing; only I will now remember: he has granted an 'amnesty to all political offenders. He asked no pledges ; he made no conditions* "Many have opposed me." he said to- th* Roichstag; " I pardon them with all my heart. We are all Germans now." When will our Government show an equal generosity! When will they have tho greatness to extend a heartfelt pardon to all political offenders, whether men or women? | —Private Suffering.— We ordinaly people suffer in London; in Berlin they suffer more. It is not merely that in nearly every family some man has gone out to serve, and when thp full levy of all between 20 and 50 is complete, they estimate about nine millions will have gone. Prices are rushing ujb fast. The Government have tried to fix the price of rye and wheat flour, of maize and sail; but still tho cost of living is doubled. The families of the reservists] have to live somehow. The Government have issued forms under which a povertystricken wife can apply for an allowance, with something extra for every child under 15. But it is a hard pinch. Government have also issued regulations for tho billeting of soldiers in private houses, payment ranging from 9s a day for lodging a general down to Is for a soldier and 6d for a horse. But that is little against tho expense and trouble. Then there is the harvest. It is ripe; a good deal is cut and tied in sheaves. Bands of students and schoolboys volunteer to gather it in. Women toil day and night in the fields. But still the loss of food is incalculable. Before mobilisation began on August 2 all trains were crowded to bursting. Every well-to-do family was away on holidays, and camo hurrying back. All registered luggage was lost. At every station trunks and portmanteaux stand piled up in enormous heaps. The main Friedrich-strassc station is so crammed that tho luggage has overflowed into the square, and lies exposed to man and rain Or. Tuesday the station master :okl me my portmanteau was one of 72,000 lost in Berlin alone. All day long the wistful owners wander among these mountains of possessions, peering and digging as for treasure-. Cabs, taxis, and trams have almost stopped. The men have joined their companies. Every horse that can crawl fries to trot with the army now. —The Future.— Germany believes she is fighting for existence, and probably she is. right. As I passed out of the country and saw' the familiar German villages again—the wollbuilt houses, the well-cultivated fields, the churches, and tho woods—l could not but remember all that Germany had done for the world—her orderly life, 'her thoughtful literature, her patient scholarship, and adventurous science. I saw tho children of fo many careful geneiations—so neatly dressed, so dean, so well-behaved, ft.) carefully trained in mind and body. And when I thought of what a Russian village is, and how Russian troops might soon be occupying those pleasant homes, T seemed once more to bo witnessing the barbarian hordes pouring like a torrent of mud over the established civilisation of the world for its destruction.
BERLIN IN WAR TIME, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914
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