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MASSACRE OF DINANT.

MEN AND BOYS MURDERED. SLAIN WITH MACHINE GUN. A HORDE OF* BRIGANDS. LONDON, October 2. Mr Arthur Terwagne, a brother of the Deputy of Antwerp, gives m the Belgian newspaper Le Matin, on September 26, a detailed account of the fate of Dinant. He writes: — It will be remembered that on Aug j ust 15 a tremendous battle was fought J m the streets of tlio town between the French and the Germans, while the | guns thundered away at each other from both sides of the Meuse. Tlie town suffered very little during this battle, only a few houses afterwards bearing signs of the bombardment, which lasted 13 hours. During the following days tho French, retired on to tlie left bank of the Meuse, where they remained up to the day on which the order for a general retreat was given. In the night of August 31 a German armored motor car entered Dinant by the Rue Saint- Jacques and, without the slightest^ provocation, began to fire on tlio houses m the street. A woman sleeping m her bed was killed, and her child, which was at her side, was mortally wounded. Startled by the noise of the firing, a man and his wife opened the door of their house. They were immediately done to death by Uhlans. An employee of tlie gasworks who was returning from his work was killed on his doorstep. The assassins—- for one caiinot call them soldiers — set fire to several houses before they bravely withdrew.

But these savage acts were only the prelude to the fate which the horde of brigands *was reserving for the un- j happy town of Dinant. On the following flay large masses of troops arrived and were guilty of the most abominable atrocities which havo ever been recorded. The Germans forced open the doors of the houses and murdered everyone they found within. There was •Victor Poncelet, done to death m the presence of Jus wife and of his six children ; there were the members of the staff of th efimi of Capelle, murdered m cold blood. In every bouse a fresh crime was committed, while the women were driven from their beds and taken, half ' naked, to a monastery, where they were kept for three days with hardly any food, and half dead with hunger and fear. Some Avorkmen of Leffe hid m a drain near the large cotton mill, the manager of which, M. Hummer, was killed. There' were about 60 of them, and when the Germans' discovered them they shot -them all, although, not one of them was armed. In' the Faubourg SaintrPierre a number of men hid m the cellars of the brewery owned by the brothers Nicaise, old men of over 70, and their nephew, Jules Monin. Tlie modern barbarians had pity on none. All of them fell under the German bullets— they were about 40 m number.

Over 200 men and lads — old men of. 75 and boys of 12 and 14 — fathers and sons together, - were driven on to the Place d'Armes. In order that the work migljt be carried out more quickly a machine gun was brought up. It was 1 here that Xavier Wasseige, the manager of the Banque do la Mense, was killed, together with his 'two sons, and here, too, died Camillc Fisette and his little boy, aged 12. : The fate of the male inhabitants having thus been settled j <the Germans set to work methodically -on the destruction of the town, using bombs to set fire to the houses. Soon nothing but a heap of ashes remained. The -district of Saint Medart between the station and the bridgCj liad been wiped out. Coming from the bridge .to Bouvignes, the first, house that is left standing is the Hotel dv Nord. The splendid post office building is a heap of ruins. The bridge is destroyed, the Germans having built a pontoon bridge a little higher up the river. The church has lost its celebrated tower, and all the houses of the Rue Sax, near the Meuse. have been destroyed. In the Rue Grande, the Urande Place and the Place Saint Nicolas it- is the same*- and it is said that many families who had hidden m the cellars died m the flames. But for one or two houses m the Place de la Meuse, the Laurent restaurant and a few nouses standing beside it, the barracks turn ■the communal school^ m which the German garrison is lodged, the whole town of 'Dinant; lias been destroyed, ' , 7 That is;' what the bandits of the great, empiro' whicli' wished to '-rule Europe have' done' to one of t^lie most picturesque towns of Belgium. Tho monster who presided over these abominable atrocities was Lieutenant-Colonel Bee«cr.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19141109.2.20

Bibliographic details

MASSACRE OF DINANT., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13532, 9 November 1914

Word Count
797

MASSACRE OF DINANT. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13532, 9 November 1914

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