Mears, Grimwood E. / The destruction of Belgium: Germany's confession and avoidance.
A reply to the German white book on the conduct of the German troops in Belgium, pp. -38 ff. PDF (15.1 MB)
A REPLY TO THE GERMAN WHITE BOOK ON THE CONDUCT OF THE GERMAN TROOPS IN BELGIUML Very shortly after the destruction of Louvain, the German Government seem to have realised in some degree the horror with which the conduct of their Army towards the population -of Belgium was regarded by civilised countries. That massacres, murders and wholesale destruction of property had taken place were facts too stubborn to be denied. The excuse, if any existed, for these outrages had to be found, put into the most plausible shape and published to the world. An official enquiry was therefore set on foot, and a large number of witnesses were called before various tribunals. By May, 1915, the results were ripe for publication, and they have been embodied in a White Book published in Berlin under the title of " Offences against International Law in the conduct of the War by the Belgians." It is the purpose of this paper to examine the case which has been advanced by the German Government to account for, justify, or condone the outrages of which their Army hag been accused, and to see whether that case is well founded or whether in truth the explanation of the martyrdom of Belgium does not lie, in a considered predetermined policy of outrage and destruction which had its impulse in the hope of forcing a speedy passage through that country. In this connection it is of vital importance to remember that the leaders of the German Army of invasion were brought up on the doctrines of General von Hartmann who deified brute force. "When international war has burst upon us," said he, " terrorism becomes a principle made necessary by military considerations " (Militarische Nothwendigkeit-Deutsche Rund- schau, 1877-1878, p. 462). The White Book itself runs to more than 300 folio pages and contains the depositions of hundreds of witnesses. With hardly an exception, they are German officers and soldiers, most of whom were directly implicated in the ordering or carrying out of massacres, and the razing of towns, villages and houses. For these admitted acts, one and the same reason is given by all these (6783-8.) A 2
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright