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The martyrdom of Belgium: official report of massacres of peaceable citizens, women and children by the German army

The German military code,   pp. [20]-23 ff. PDF (1.8 MB)


Page [20]


THE GERMAN MILITARY CODE
In 1902 the Historic Section of the German General Staff pub-
lished a collection of works for the instruction and guidance of the
officers of the German Army. Among these works is a Manual
upon "The Laws of War on Land." ("Kriegsgebrauch im Land-
kriege.") The following extracts from this manual show that the
ideas of the German General Staff on the conduct of warfare are
diametrically opposed to the views generally adopted by civilized
countries. It is the systematic carrying-out of these ideas which
has caused the devastation and desolation of Belgium.
It is by making a deep study of the history of wars
that, "one may protect oneself against exaggerated
humanitarian ideas."
(Laws of War on Land, pp. 6 and 7)
The claims of professors of International Law (in
regard to a certain point under discussion) "should
be deliberately rejected in principle as being opposed
to the rules of war."
(Ibid page 46)
The claims of certain professors of International
Law in this respect are absolutely contrary to the
necessities of warfare, "and should be rejected by
military men."
(Ibid pages 44 and 45)
An energetically conducted war cannot be carried on
solely against the combatant enemy and his defenses,
but extends and should extend to the destruction of
his material and moral resources. Humanitarian con-
siderations, such as respect for persons and property,
can be taken into consideration only provided that
the nature and object of the war adapt themselves to
that course.
(Ibid page 3)
The above extracts indicate clearly the spirit of the German
military class, namely,
To protect themselves against humanitarian ideas,
as against a dangerous infection.
To cast aside international law if found incompat-
ible with convenience.
To strike not only at the enemy's armed forces, but
to terrorise him by striking at his "material and
moral resources," i. e. his home and property, his
wife and children.


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