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

Official Belgian commission of inquiry,   pp. [5]-19 PDF (6.7 MB)


Page 12


THE MARTYRDOM OF BELGIUM.
wounded hand; the wound was a month old. An engineer was also
put apart because he had in his pocket a spanner, which was con-
sidered as a weapon. Another man seems to have been arrested
because his face showed his contempt and rage at what was going
on. These people were shot in presence of the crowd and all died
bravely.
Subsequently the soldiers, on the order of their officers, picked
out of the mass some 40 or 50 men who were led off and all shot,
some along the bank of the Meuse, and others in front of the Police
Station.
The rest of the men were kept for a long time in the Place.
Among them lay two persons, one of whom had received a ball in
the chest, and the other a bayonet wound. They lay face to the
ground with blood from their wounds trickling into the dust, oc-
casionally calling for water. The officers forbade their neighbours
to give them any help. One soldier was reproved for having wished
to give one of them his water-bottle. Both died in the course of the
day.
While this scene was going on in the Place des Tilleuls, other
soldiers spread themselves through the Town, continuing their work
of sack, pillage and arson. Eight men belonging to the same house-
hold were led out into a meadow some 50 yards from their dwelling,
some of them were shot, the rest cut down with blows of an axe.
One tall red-haired soldier with a scar on his face distinguished him-
self by the ferocity with which he used an axe. A young boy and
a woman were shot.
About 10 in the morning the officers told the women to withdraw,
giving them the order to gather together the dead bodies and to
wash away the stains of blood which defiled the street and the
houses. About midday the surviving men to the number of 800
were shut up as hostages in three little houses near the bridge, but
they were not allowed to go out of them on any pretext, and so
crammed together that they could not even sit down on the floor.
Soon these crowded buildings reached a highly insanitary condition.
The women later in the day were allowed to bring food to their
husbands. Many of them, fearing outrage, had fled from the Place.
These hostages were not finally released till the Tuesday following.
The statistics of the losses at Andenne give the following total:
Three hundred were massacred in Andenne and Seilles, and about
300 houses were burnt in the two localities. A great number of
inhabitants have fled. Almost every house has been sacked; indeed,
the pillage did not end for eight days. Other places have suffered
more than Andenne, but no other Belgian Town was the theatre of
of so many scenes of ferocity and cruelty. The numerous inhabi-
tants whom we have cross-examined are unanimous in asserting
that the German troops were not fired upon. They told us that no


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