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ALLEGED GERMAN ATROCITIES
Report of the Committee Appointed by the British Government and -Presided Over by The Right Hon. Viscount Bryce, Formally British Ambassador at Washington. (Thru the courtesy of the Current History Magazine. The New York Rimes' Monthly, we hare permission and will reproduce in full, with weekly Installments in The Commer cial, the "Alleged Gorman Atroci ties,'' which are embraced in the report made to tho British Govern ment.) (Continued from last week.) AERSCHOT AND DISTEICT. Period III., (September.) It is unnecessary to describe with much Darticularity the events of the period beginning about Sept. 10 The Belgian soldiers, who had re captured' tho place, found corpses of civilians who must have been mur dered in Aerschot itself. Just as they found them in Sempat and the other Villages on Aug. 25. Some of these bodies were found in wells and some had been burned alive in iheir houses. The prisoners released by the Bel gian Army from the church were al most starved. HAECHT. At Haecht several children had been murdered, one of 2 or 3 years of age was found nailed to the door of a farmhouse by its hands and "feet a crime which seems almost incredible, but the evidence for which we feel bound toj accept. In the garden of this house was the body of a girl who had been shot in the forehead. CAPELEE-AU-BOIS. At Capelle-au-Bois two children were murdered in a cart and their corpses were seen hv manv -witnesses at different stages of the cart's Journey. EPPEGHEM. At Eppeghom the dead body of a child of 2 was seen pinned to the ground with a German lanco. Same witness saw a muti lated woman alive near Weerde on the same day. TREMELOO. Belgian soldiers on patrol duty found a young girl naked on the ground, covered with scratch es. She complained of having been violated. On the same day an old woman , was seen kneeling by the body of her husband, and she told them that tho Germans had shot him as he was trying to escape from the house. LOUVAIN AND DISTRICT. The events spoken to as having occurred in and around Lou vain be tween the 19th and the 25th of August deserve close attention. For six days the Germans were In peaceful occupation of the city. No, houses were set on Are no citizens killed. There was a certain amount of looting of empty houses, but oth erwise discipline was effectively maintained. The condition of Lou vein during these days was one of relative peace and quietude, present ing a ctriking contrast to the pre vious ,and contemporaneous conduct of the German Army elsewhere. On to evening of Aug. 25 a sudden change takes place. The Germans on that day repulsed by tho Belgians, had retreated to end rcoccupied Lou vain. Immediately the devastation . of the city and the holocaust of its populations commences. . Tho infer ence is irresistible that tho army as a whole wreaked its vengeance on the civil population and tho build ings of the city in revengo for the setback which tho Belgian arms in flicted on them. A subsidiary cause alleged wc.3 the assertion, often made before, that civilians had fired upon the German Army. The depositions which relate to Lou vain are numerous, and are be lieved by the committee to present a true and fairly complete picture of the events of the 25th and 26th of August and subsequent days. We " find no grounds for thinking that the inhabitants fired upon the Ger man Army on the evening of the 25th of August. Eyewitnesses worthy of credence detail exactly when, where, and how the firing com menced. Such firing was by Ger mans on Germans. No impartial tribunal could, in our opinion, come to any other conclusion. On the evening of tho 25th firing ould be heard in the direction of Herent, some three kilometers from Louvain. An alarm was sounded in the city. There was disorder and confusion, and at 8 o'clock horses at tached to baggage wagons stampeded In the street and rifle fire com menced. This was in the Rue de la Station and came from the German police guard, (21 in number,) who, seeing the troops arrive in disorder, thought it was the enemy. Then the corps of incendiaries got to work. . They had broad belts with the words "Gott mit uns" and their equipment consisted of a hatchet, a syringe, a email chorel, and a re volver. Fires blazed up in the di rection of the Law Courts, St. Mar tin's Barracks, and later in the Place de la Station. Meanwhile an in cessant fusillade was kept up on the windows of the houses." In their efforts to escape the 'flames 'the in habitants climbed the walls. "My mother and servants," says a witness, "had to do the same and took refuge at Monsieur A.'s, whose cellars are vaulted and afforded better protection than mine. A lit tle later we withdrew to Monsieur A.'s stables, where about thirty peo ple who had got there by climbing walls were to be found. Some of these poor wrenches " had to climb twenty walls. A ring camo at the bell. We opened tho door. Several civilians flung themselves under the porch. The Germans wore firing up on them from the street. Every moment new fires were lighting up accompanied by explosions. In the middle of the night I heard a knock at the outer door of the stable which led into a little street, and I heard a woman's voice crying for help. I opened the door, and Just as I was going to let her in a riflo shot fired from the street by a German soldier rang out and tho woman fell dead at my feet. About 9 in tho morning things got quieter, and we took the opportunity of venturing into the street. A German who was carrying a silver pyx and a number of boxes of cigars told us wo wore to go to the station', where trains would be waiting for us. When wo got to the Placo de la Station wo saw in the square seven or eight dead bodies of murdered civilians. Not a single house in tho place was standing. A whole row of houses behind the sta tion at Blauwput was burned. After being driven hither and thither in terminably by officers, who treated us roughly and insulted us thruout, we were divided." The prisoners were then distrib uted between different bodies of troops and marched in the direction of Herent. Seventy-seven inhabit ants of Louvain, including a number of people of good position (the names of several are given), were thus taken to Herent. "We found the village-of Herent in flames, so much so that we had to quicken up to prevent ourselves from being suffocated and burned up by the flames in the middle of the road Half-burned corpses of civilians were lying in front of the houses. . During a halt soldiers stole cattle and slaughtered them where they stood. Firing otarted on our left. We were told it was the civilians firing, and that we wore going to bo shot. The truth is that it was the Germans themselves who were firing to firighten us. There was not a single civilian in the neighborhood. Short ly afterward we proceeded on our march to Malinos. We were insulted and threatened. The of ficers were worse than the men. We got to Campenhout about 7 p. m., and were locked into the church with all the male population of the village. Some priests had joined our numbers. We had nothing to eat or drink since the evening of the day before. A few compassionate sol diers gave us water to drank, but no official took the trouble to see that we were fed." Next Thursday, the 27th, a safe conduct to return to Louvain was given, but the prisoners had hardly started, when they were stopped and taken before a Brigade General and handed to another escore. Some were grossly ill-treated. They were ac cused of being soldiers out of uni form, and were told they could not go to Louvain, "as the town was going to be razed to tho ground." Other prisoners were added, even women and children, until there were more than 200. They wore then taken toward Malincs, released, and told to go to that town together, and that those who separated would be fired on. Other witnesses cor roborate the events described by the witness. A woman employed by an old gen tleman living in the Rue de la Sta tion tells the story of her master's death: "We had supper as usual about 8, but two German officers (who were staying in the house), did not come in to supper that evening. My mas ter went to bed at 8:15, and so did his son. The servants went to bed at 9:30. Soon after I got to my bedroom I saw out of my room flames from some burning houses near by. I roused my master and his son. As they came down the stairs they were seized by German soldiers and both wore tied up and let out, my master being tied with a rope and his son with a, chain. They were dragged outside. I did not actually see what happened outside, but heard subse quently that my master was bayonet ed and shot, and that his son was shot. I heard shots from the kitch en, where I was, and was present at the burial of my master and his son thirteen days later. German sol diers came back into the house and poured some inflammable liquid over the floors and set fire to it. I es caped by another staircase to that which my master and his son had descended." On the 26th (Wednesday, in the City of Louvain, massacre, fire, and destruction went on. The university, with its library, the Church of St." Peter, and many houses were set on fire and burned to the ground. Citizens were shot and others taken prisoners and compelled to go with the troops. Soldiers went thru the streets saying "Man hat ge3Chossen." ("They have been shooting.") One soldier was seen going along shoot ing in the air. Many of the people hid in cellars, but the soldiers shot down thru the gratings. Some citizens were shot on opening tho doors, others in en deavoring to escape. Among other persons whose houses were burned was an old man of 90 lying danger ously ill, who was taken out on his mattress and left lying in his garden all night. He died shortly after in the hospital to which a friend took him the following morning. On Thursday, the 27th, orders wore given that every one should leave the city, which was to be razed to the ground. Somo citizens, in cluding a canon of tho cathedral, with his aged mother, were ordered to go to the station and afterward to take the road to Tirlcmont. Among the number wore, about twenty priests from Louvain. They were insulted and threatened, but ulti mately allowed to go free and make their way as best as they could, wo men and sick persons among them, to Tirlemont. Other groups of pris oners from Louvain wore on the same day taken by other routes, some early in the morning, thru va rious villages in tho direction of Ma- lines, with hands tightly bound by a long cord. Moro prisoners were afterwarded added, and all made to stay the night in the church at Campenhout. Next day, the 28th, this group, then consisting of about 1,000 men, women and children, was taken back to Louvain. The houses along the road were burning and many dead bodies of civilians, men and women, wero seen on the way. Some of the principal streets in Lou vain had by that time boen burned out. The prisoners were placed in a large building on tho cavalry ex ercise ground "One woman went mad, some children died, others were born,." On tho 29th tho prisoners were marched along the Malines road, and at Herent tho women and children and men over 40 were al lowed to go; tho others were taken to Boort Mecrbeek, 16 kilometers from Malines, and told to march straight to Malines or bo shot. At 11 p. m. they reached the fort of Waelhem and were at first fired on by the sentries, but on calling out they were Belgians were allowed to pass. These prisoners were practical ly without food from early morning on the 26th until midnight on the 29 th. Of the corpses seen on the road, somo had their hands tied be hind their backs, others were burn, ed, some had been killed by blows, and some corpses wero those of chil dren who had been shot. Another witness, a man of inde pendent means, was arrested at noon by the soldiers of the Ono Hundred and Sixty-fifth Regiment and taken to tho Placo do la Station. He was grossly ill-treated on the way and robbed by an officer of his purse and keys. His hands wero tied behind his back. His wife was kept a pris oner at tho other side cf the station. He was then made to march with about 500 other prisoners until mid night, slept in the rain that night, and next day, having had no food since leaving Louvain, was taken to the church in Rotsclaer, where there were then about 1,500 prisoners con fined, including some infants. No food was given, only some water. Next day they wero taken thru Wespelaer and back to Louvain. On the way from Rotselaer to Wespelaer fifty bodies wero seen, ccmo naked and carbonized and unrecognizable. When they arrived at Louvain the Fish Market, tho Place Marguerite, the cathedral, and many other build ings wero on fire. In the evening about 100 men, women end children were put in horse trucks from which the dung had not been removed, and at 6 the next morning . left for Cologne. . y Tho wife of this witness was also taken prisoner with her husband and her maid, but was separated from him, and she caw other ladies made to walk before the soldiers with their hands above their beads. One, an old lady of 85 (name given), was dragged from her cellar and taken New Clothes Get them for Easter If you need new clothes, now is the time to get them. Most everybody likes - to wear their new things at Easter time. There's one thing you should be cer tain of this Easter whatever you buy, be sure it's good. 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They were kept thero all night, but set free in the morning, Thursday, but shortly afterward sent to Tirlemont on foot. A number of corpses wero Been on the way. The prisoners, of whom thero are said to have been a thous and, wero not allowed even to have water to drink, altho there were streams on the way from which the soldiers drank. Witness was given some milk at a farm, but as she raised it to her lips it was taken away from her. A priest was taken on Friday morning, Aug. 28, and placed at the head of a number of refugees from Wygmael. He was led thru Lou vain, abused and ill-treated, and placed with some thousands of other people in the riding school in the Ruo du Manege. Tho glass roof broke in the night from the heat of the burning buildings around. Next day the prisoners were marched thru the country with an armed guard. Burned farms and burned corpses were seen on the way. The prison ers were finally separated into three groups, and the youngor men march ed thru Herent and Bucken to Camp enhout, and ultimately reached the Belgian lines about midnight on Saturday, Aug. 29. All the houses in Herent, a village of about 5,000 inhabitants, had been burned. The massacre of civilians at Lou vain was not confined to its citizens. Large crowds of people wero brought into Louvain from the surrounding districts, not only from Aerschot and Oelrode as above mentioned, but also from other places. For example, a witness describes how many women and children were taken in carts to Louvain, and there placed in a sta ble. Of the hundreds of people thus taken from the various villages and brought to Louvain as prisoners, come were massacred there, others were forced to march along with citizens of Louvain thru various - (Continued on last page.) lIllllliiMlttIiM Beauty and Comfort t3J I Beauty and Comfort go hand in hand in the New Shoe Styles for Spring The Queen Quality shoe manufacturers have attained this distinction by unceasing efforts and close observation in choosing materials and patterns. Chic, Graceful, and Petite Creations are so designed as to use every available square inch of leather to the best possible advantage. Wearers of Queen Quality shoes may now share those charming and graceful attainments pre viously enjoyed by a limited few. Come to our store and let us show you how Queen Quality shoes beautify the feet and aid the Nation. W. G. CLAGETT CO. j Phone 111 Union City, Tenn. aiiiiiittiii imniiimii'iiimmi!!!!