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The Palatka news and advertiser. [volume] (Palatka, Fla.) 1908-19??, December 28, 1917, Image 2

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. mtr a WHY A
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American Minister Furnishes Proof of Barbarities Inflicted by Huns
on Civilians Tells of Many Carried Into Slavery.
By Milton Bronner. . '
Brand Whitlock, American minister to Belgium,' is on
official record charging the Germans with the crimes of
massacring civilians, using noncombatant natives as shields
for their advancing troops, and deporting thousands upon .
thousands of Belgians into virtual slavey in Germany.
His reports to .that effect, made while he was still at
Brussels, are on file in the archives of the State Department.
They add the last testimony if proof were needed that all
. of the atrocities charged up to the Germans are based upon
hideous facts and not merely upon the inflamed imagination
of hostile populations.
Whitlock, in his capacity as a diplomat of a power still
ai peace with Gemany, reported facts to his superior offi- .
cers. They did not want propaganda stories either for or
. against anyone. Washington wanted to know what was
going on in Belgium.
Whitlock imported the news with as much accuracy as
it was possible for-him to pet it. And he got it first-hand
becau ,.o the American legation was the clearing house thru
which the victims of the iruns passed.
Whitlock's Reports, Locked Up for Long Time,
Now Issued by Public Information Committee.
For a long time Whitlock's reports have been locked up.
Now they are released, foming part of a 94-page book on
"German War Practices," issuedTjy George Creel's Commit
tee on Public Information, and edited by Prof. D. C. Munro
of Princeton University. .
Whitlock's first dispatches regarding the cruelties of
the Germans were sent in 1914 when the kaiser's legions
were spreading death and terror before them.
"Summary executions took place at Dinant," he wrote,
"without the least semblance of judgment. The names and
number of the victims are not known, but they must be nu
merous. Among the persons who were shot are : M. Def oin,
mayor of Dinant; Sassacrath, first alderman ; Nimmer, aged
70 ; consul for the Argentine Republic ; Victor Poncelet, who
was executed in the presence of his wife and "seven chil
dren ; Gustave and Leon Nicaise, two very old men.
"Jules Monin and others were shot in the cellar of their
brewery, Camille Pistte and his son, aged 17; Phillipart '
Piedfort, his wife and daughter; Miss Marsigny.
Wives and Children Placed by Germans
Before Men They Condemned to Death
"During the execution of about 40 inhabitants of Din
ant, the Gemans placed before the condemned their wives
and children. It is thus that Madame Alin, who had just
given birth to a child three days previously, was brought on
a mattress by German soldiers to witness the execution of
her husband ; her cries and supplications were so pressing
that her husband's life was spared.
"On the 26th day of August German soldiers entered
various streets of Louvain and ordered the inhabitants of
the houses to proceed to the Place de'la Station, where the
bodies of nearly a dozen assasinated persons were lying."
"Women and children had to witness the execution of
many of their fellow citizens who were for the most part
shot at the side of the square. The women and children,
after having remained on the square for more than 15 hours,
were allowed to depart.
"The civil guards of Louvain were taken prisoners and
sent to Germany to the camp of Muenster, where they were
held for several weeks.
Hundreds of Graves, AH Bearing Same Date,
Tell of German Frightf ulness in Village
"One of the most sorely tried communities was that of
the little village of Tamines down in what is known as the
Borinage, the coal fields.of Charleroi.
"Tamines is a mining village, a collection of small cot
tages sheltering about 5000 inhabitants, mostly all poor la
borers. 1 The little graveyard, in which the church stands,
bears its mute testimony to the horror of the event. There
are hundreds of new-made graves, each with its small wood
en cross and its bit of flowers ; the crosses are so closely hud
dled that there is scarcely room to walk between them.
They are alike and all bear the same date, the sinister date
of Aug. 22, 1914.
"Whether their hands were cut off or not, whether they
. were impaled on bayonets or not, children were shot down
by military order in cold blood. In the awful crime of the
Rock of Bayard, there overlooking the Meuse below Dinant,
infants in their mother's arms were shot down without mer-
cy. . . '
"The deed, never surpassed in cruelty by any hand of
savages, is thus descibed by the bishop of Namur himself:
"One scene surpasses in horror art others; it is the fusi
lade of the Rock of Bayard. It appears to have been order
ed by Colonel Meister. This fusilade caused the death of
nearly 90 persons without distinction of age or sex. Among
the victims were babies in arms, boys and girls, fathers and
mothers of families, even old men.
" 'It was" there that 12 children under the age of six
perished from the fire of the executioners, six of them as
they lay in their mother's arms: '
" 'The child Fievet, 3 weeks old.
'"Maurice Betempts, 11 months old.
" 'Nelly Pollef r 1 1 months old.
" 'Nelly Pollet, 11 months old.
" 'Gilda Jenon, 18 months old.
" 'Gilda Marchot, 2 years old.
" 'Clara Struvay, 2 years and 6 months.
Eight Large Families
Entirely Wiped Out
" 'The pile of bodies comprised also many children from
6 to 14 years. Eight large families have entirely disappear
ed. Four have but one survivor. Those men that escaped .
death and many of whom were riddled with bullets were
obliged to bury in a summary and hasty fashion their fath
ers, mothers, brothers or sisters; then after having been Be
lieved of their money and being placed in chains, they were
sent to Cassel, Prussia.' "
Whitlock also touches upon the horrors at Louvain,
"On Thursday, Aug. 27, order was given to the inhabi
tants to leave Louvain because the city was to be bombarded.
Old men, women, children, the sick, priests, nuns were driv
en on the roads like cattle. More than 10,000 were driven as
far as Tirlemont, 18 kilometers from Bouvain."
Germans Force Priest
to Serve as Shield
Whitlock confirms the charge that the Germans shield
ed themselves behind the bodies of the Belgians: -
"The Germans attacked Hougaerd on Aug. 18 ; the Bel
gian troops were holding the Gette bridge in .the village.
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The Germans forced the parish priest of Autgaerden to walk
in front of them as a shield. As they neared the barri
cade the Belgian soldiers fired and the priest was killed.
For a time the protests of neutral nations and the out
cries of a shocked world seemed to cow the Germans, the
wholesale massacres, lootings and burnings ceased. But in
the winter of 1916 they perfected a new form of deviltry.
Their own supply of labor depleted, the Huns conceived the
idea of deporting Belgians and Frenchmen to Germany to
make them work for the kaiser, in many instances actually
compelling them to labor in munition factories.
Whitlrok lieport Tells
of Itolgian Deportations
On Jan. 16, 1917, while still in Brussels even tho it
vat occupied by the Germans Whitlock made a report on
this to the State Department. vr0t:ftT,i
The report tells of the decision of the Comite National
(Belgian relief organization) in the autumn of 1914, to con
tinue payment of wages to unemployed Belgians as a human
itarian and patriotic measure; to enable the Belgians to live
and to prevent them working for the Germans.
Whitlock pointed out the danger in this policy, saying it
would put a premium on idleness and exasperate the Ger
mans. But it was adopted and the relief wages were paid
. to some 700,000 men.
Presence of Unemployed
Tempts German Cupidity.
"The presence of these unemployed xwas a constant
temptation to German cupidity," the report continues.
"Finally the military party always brutal, and with an
astounding ignorance of public opinion and of moral senti
ment, determined to put these idle men to work.
"General Von Bissing and the civil portion of his en
tourage had always been and even now are opposed to this
policy and I think have sincerely done what they could, first,
to prevent its adoption and, secondly, to lighten the rigors of
its application. ' . "
"Then in August Hindenberg was appointed to the su
preme command. He is said to have criticized von Bissing's
policy as too mild; there was a quarrel; von Bissing went
to Berlin to protest, threatened to resign, but did not.
"More Terrible War"
Threat Carried Out
"He returned and a German official here said that Bel
gium would now be subjected to a more terrible regime
would learn what war was. The prophecy has been vindi
cated. Recently I was told that the drastic measures are
really of Ludendroffs inspiration; I do not know. Many
German officers'say so." '
Whitlock gives this picture of the actual deportations:
"They began in October at Ghent and at Bruges, as my
brief telegrams indicated. The policy spread; the rjch in
dustrial districts of Hainaut, the mines and steel work
about Charleroi were next attacked ; now they are seizing
men in Brabant, even in Brussels, despite some indications
and even predictions of the civil authorities that the policy
was about to be abandoned.
Many Deported Men
Suffer From Cold' . -
"As by one of the ironies of life, the winter has been
more" excessively cold than Belgium has ever known it, and
while many of those who presented themselves were ade-
quately protected against the cold, many of them were with
out overcoats. The men shivering from, cold and fear, the
parting from weeping wives and children, the barriers of
brutal Uhlans, all this made the scene a pitiable and distress-
ng "Xherage, the terror, the despair excited by this meas
ure all over Belgium were beyond anything we had witness
ed since the day the Germans poured into Brussels.
"Transportation everywhere in Belgium is difficult, the
- vicinal railways scarcely operating any more because of the
lack of oil, while all the horses have been taken. The peo
ple who are forced to go from one village to another must do
so on foot or in vans drawn by the few miserable horses that
are left. The wagons of the breweries, the one institution
that the Germans have scrupulously respected, are hauled
by oxen.
Men Are Sent Back
In Dying Condition . v
"I am constantly in receipt of reports from all over B
gium that tend to bear out the stories one constantly head
of brutal ty and cruelty. . - , . - j
"A number of men sent back to Mons are said to be ij
a dving condition, many of them tubercular. At JIalina
and Antwerp returned men have died, their, friends assertinl
that they have been victims of neglect and cruelty, of cold
of exposure, of hunger.
Whitlock, at that time estimated that 100,000 perso
had been deported, of whom only 2000 were returned.
Whitlock concludes his reDort as follows:
"One interesting result ofthe deportations remains t
be noted, a result that once more places in relief The Ge;
man capacity for blundering, almost as gKeat as the Germa
capacity for crulyr.
Deportations Are
At Root of Hatred '
"Until the deportations were begun there was no
tense hatred on the part of the workingmen and the pea
"Tt is cnnp.pivahlA that, the Flemish population nng
have existed under German rule.; it was Teutonic in its or
rin nnrl nnH-FYpnr h nlwnvs :
"P.nr nnw -trip fiprmnns Viavp ohantred all that. Thd
have dealt a mortal blow to any prospect they may ever hail
had of being tolerated by the population ot rianaerb.
"Tn tparinc awnv from nparlv pverv humble home ml'
land a husband and a father or a son and brother they had
lighted a fire of hatred that will never go out.
"They have brought home to every heart in the anu
a wav that will impress its horror on the memory of tru
generations, a realization of what German methyls mo;,
not. as with the earlv atrocities, in the heat of pas-on r
the first lust of war but by one of those deeds that ina,-o uil
utofj(ui ui Luc luiuxc vjl luc Human xcivv,, i - .
ed, studiously matured and deliberately and systema.'CfU
ovopnf or! q A tin A or n,!iol Viof flm-inon RiMHiprS ai'C Siifl
- LI t.v-1, v i v v.. v t .iw viui biiab Vi . mi" i' - ,
!,,. ,4. ; :t Li i ,nmiitc flint fVi'll til",
nave weiJi m us CAecuiiuii anu so immoLiuuo
man officers are now said to be ashamed."
Dr. Henry Van Dyke, of Prince
ton, formerly minister to The Neth
erlands, makes this appeal under the
caption "A Red Cross Christmas to
Those Who Feel Poor."
"I write as a brother.
Ve are a large family.
"This world war Made in Germany
against which we are fighting has
sent our incomes down and our ex
penses up.
"The pinch hurts, but it is not go
ing to kill us.
"We still have enough and some
thing to spare.
"Though we feet poor don't let us
feel impoverished by selfish fear.
"Let us save in fod, in service, in
clothes, in luxuries, but not in money-
"Let us use that by giving it to
save the wounded, the suffering, our
friends, our country.
"Let us keep Christina
by keeping up the Red I
"Then it will not be a lr (
- :i, riirislmiis to
mas, uui o i"-"
. r.h of Salmon
New fish are Introduced er
and new fishing ground
and surveyed for the benefit or
T ., nmrlr lllUOUk le
meu. uo
j aiA lfit ei
!!" owinnn flh left striind
evaporating pools, were i l
up to a iiie vi ""'
enough to be fit for the tab.e.
" ...... . n.tnr lifiS
studying frog culture , andtl e M
salmon fisheries
ed and protected in "'-.
. . . .Vila spnsons
reaerai laws . - - t
has .been enormous, the iar&-
valuable nnd ttf
owned Dy any - al(j
reau of fisheries Is their enstoout
run im im j azt
bmi pun

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