"Netherlander? Doesn't matter. Have you got papers? All right. You shan't have those back."The doctor now became more communicative on other matters. According to him the Germans contended that the inhabitants had been shooting from windows and cellars, in order to prevent the120 garrison from assisting their comrades, who were fighting a battle against the Belgians at a distance of about four miles and a half from the town. Such an organised action of the inhabitants, under the tyrannical rule of the Germans during the eight days before the destruction, he called impossible, and therefore the whole accusation absurd. At any rate they had felt that the destruction was coming, and had been planned systematically, for during those eight days the Germans had plundered the population, and taken from them all bread, even what they required to feed themselves. 恢复 Crowds of soldiers moved through the main streets, revelling, shouting, screaming in their mad frenzy of victors. They sat, or stood, or danced in the cafés, and the electrical pianos and organs had been started again "by order." Doors and windows were opened wide, and through the streets sounded forth the song "Deutschland über Alles" (Germany before all other), which affected the inhabitants as a provocation and a challenge. Oh! one could41 see so clearly how thousands of citizens suffered from it, how they felt hurt in their tenderest sentiments. Dull and depressed they stared in front of them, and whenever their set features relaxed, it was a scornful grin. A little farther away they were still busy with Lierce, but excepting these four, all the forts were now taken by the Germans. I stood there for a moment, gazing at these cannon, the presence of which was clearly unknown to the Belgians, for their artillery took no notice of them. Only the day before these guns had started shelling the forts, and on the evening of August 15th they had silenced two of them; but Loncin kept up the fight.
Although I had been commanded to return "at once" to Maastricht, I succeeded in having a chat here and there with the inhabitants of Riemst. I had visited the village about eight days ago, but what a change! Then the people assured me that "die Duutschen" were not so bad after all, that they were compelled to do their duty, and were kind to the inhabitants if these were kind to them. 置源 "Major Von Bassewitz." "Here rest 140 soldiers, French, I.R. 36. fell 22.8. R.I.P." I said in a few words who I was, and showed one of my German permits. He had scarcely seen the many German stamps on it when he let me go and went on with his men. I then pinned on my coat two permits which had the greatest number of stamps, and in consequence had no further trouble.
But from my personal knowledge and the evidence referred to, I am able to establish the following facts in connection with the events that preceded and followed the destruction of Louvain. 击联 Between my tours through the Liège district I made a trip in the direction of Tongres, because I wanted to know what had become of all those Germans who had crossed the Meuse near Lixhe. It was remarkable to notice how friendly the Flemings of that district behaved with regard to the Germans. Although they criticised the violation of the country's neutrality sharply, and every family was proud of the sons who had taken up arms in defence of their Fatherland, yet they judged quite kindly the German soldiers who passed through their district. I often heard expressions full of pity toward those men, who could not help themselves, but were compelled to do whatever their superiors commanded them. There I was left! After waiting a while I rang the bell once more, and once more the little shutter was opened in the same timid manner. "No."
In Devant-le-Pont, a hamlet opposite Visé, the doors of all the houses stood open, as a sign that the28 inhabitants did not propose to offer any resistance to the Germans. After much shouting the landlady of a café appeared, distressingly nervous, but doing her utmost to look unconcerned. 力量 We waited in the street for two of the soldiers who went to fetch the old man. After waiting a good while the poor wretch appeared between them. He wept profusely, and between his loud sobs affirmed repeatedly that he was innocent, that he did not know me, that I told him I was a Netherland journalist, and so on, and so on: "Oh, gentlemen!—oh, gentlemen!" he exclaimed, "I must not leave my little boy ... my laddie; ... he is quite alone.... Oh, let me go!" ... The news, that all the forts had now been taken was quickly communicated to the surrounding military posts, and in consequence the soldiers were in a wanton mood. Most of the houses which I passed had their doors and windows smashed and70 broken, but the most provoking was that soldiers had compelled the people in the cafés along the canal to open their pianos and make their musical automatons play. To the tunes of these instruments they danced, yelling and shouting. No greater contrast was imaginable than that between such scenes and the burning village with the frightened inhabitants around it. But as soon as these "tender-foots" came alongside our train and were not met with the same impetuous enthusiasm as they displayed themselves, but, on the contrary, saw sick, discouraged, exhausted faces gazing at them distressedly, their boisterousness suddenly extinguished, and a nervous, terrified expression pursed up their mouths. And the trains were already at some distance from each other before the young soldiers remembered that they ought to shout and to wave to those who had already done so much for the Fatherland.”
Outside Cherath a motor-car stood between some partially removed trees. Two officers and three soldiers stood around a map which they had laid on the ground, and with them was a young girl, scarcely twenty years old. She was weeping, and pointed out something on the map, obviously compelled to give information. One of the officers stopped me, was clearly quite satisfied with my papers, but told me that I was not allowed to go on without a permit from the military command. Then I pulled out of my pocket, as if of great importance, the scrap of paper which the commanding officer at the bridge near Lixhe had given me. The other had scarcely seen the German letters and German stamp when he nodded his head approvingly, and quickly I put the thing back, so that he might not notice that I was allowed only to go to Visé. 么永 "On August 15th a fierce fight took place between the French troops on the left bank of the Meuse and the Germans who approached from the east. The Germans were defeated, put to flight, and chased by the French, who crossed the river. On that day the town was not damaged much. Some houses were destroyed by German howitzers, which were undoubtedly aimed at the French regiments on the left bank. One Red Cross helper who lived at Dinant was killed by a German bullet when he was taking up one of the wounded. But he did not take any notice of all my exhortations and was entirely impervious to them in his grief. So I went to the station side by side with the weeping man, and surrounded by the six soldiers. The crackle of the flames, the sound of collapsing houses seemed more terrifying in the night than in day-time, and now and again I got a shock when suddenly, by the uncertain light of the flames, I saw the corpse of a civilian lying in the dark shade of the tall trees on the Boulevard. All the wounded were Roman Catholics, and as they saw the approaching priest, they implored him in a loud voice to give them absolution of sins, some making an act of contrition. The priest was unable to come near each of them, and therefore called out in a loud voice: "My Jesus, be merciful!" He then gave them all absolution of sins. But as he kneeled down to perform this sacred task, a hostile bullet whizzed past his ear, and several soldiers who ran by aimed at him, so that he had to seek safety behind a tree. I saw with my own eyes five bullet-holes in the tree that was pointed out to me.”