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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 13


TESTION   % OF rEYE-WTNESSES.1
German soldier was killed either at Andenne or in its neighbour-
hood. They are incapable of understanding the causes of the
catastrophe which has ruined their town, and to explain it they
give various hypotheses. Some think that Andee was sacrificed
merely to establish a reign of terror, and quote words uttered by
officers which seemed to them to show that the destruction of the
place was premeditated. Others think that the destruction of the
bridge, the ruining of a neighbouring tunnel, and the resistance of
the Belgian troops were the causes of the massacre. All protest
that nothing happened in the place to excuse the conduct of the
Germans.
(IV.) SACK OF DINANT.
The town of Dinant was sacked and destroyed by the German
Army, and its population was decimated on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th
and 25th August
On August 15th a lively engagement took place at Dinant be-
tween the French troops on the left bank of the Meuse and the
German troops coming up from the East. The German troops
were routed by the French, who passed over to the right bank of
the river following them. The town had little to suffer on that
day. Some houses were destroyed by German shells, aimed no
doubt at French regiments on the left bank, and a citizen of Dinant
belonging to the Red Cross was killed by a German ball as he was
picking up a wounded man.
The days which followed were calm. The French occupied the
neighborhood of the town. No engagement took place between
the hostile armies, and nothing happened which could be interpreted
as an act of hostility by the population. No German troops were
anywhere near Dinant. On Friday, the 21st, about 9 o'clock in
the evening, German troops coming down the road from Ciney'
entered the town by the Rue St. Jacques. On entering they began
firing into the windows of the houses, and killed a workman who
was returning to his own house, wounded another inhabitant, and
forced him to cry "Long live the Kaiser."  They bayoneted a third
person in the stomach. They entered the cafes, seized the liquor,
got drunk, and retired after having set fire to several houses and
broken the doors and windows of others. The population was
terrorised and stupefied, and shut itself up in its dwellings.
Saturday, August 22nd, was a day of relative calm. AU life,
however, was at an end in the streets. Part of the inhabitants,
guided by the instincts of self-preservation, fled into the neigh-
bouring country side. The rest, more attached to their homes, and
rendered confident by the conviction that nothing had happened
which could be interpreted as an act of hostility on their part,
remained hidden in their houses.
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