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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 15


TESTIMONY OF EYEWTNESSEES.
A certain number of men and women had been locked up In
the Court of the Prison. At six in the evening a German machine
gun, placed on the hill above, opened fire on them, and an old
woman and three other persons were brought down.
While a certain number of soldiers were perpetrating this mas-
sacre, others pillaged and sacked the houses of the town, and broke
open all safes, sometimes blasting them with dynamite.  Their
work of destruction and theft accomplished, the soldiers set fire
to the houses, and the town was soon no more than an Immense
furnace.
The women and children had been all shut up in a Convent,
where they were kept prisoners for four days. These unhappy
women remained in ignorance of the lot of their male relations.
They were expecting themselves to be shot also. All around the
town continued to blaze. The first day the monks of the Convent
had given them a certain supply of food. For the remaining days
they had nothing to eat but raw carrots and green fruit.
To sum up, the town of Dinant is destroyed. It counted 1,400
houses; only 200 remain. The manufactories where the artisan
population worked have been systematically destroyed.  Rather
more than 700 of the inhabitants have been killed; others have been
taken off to Germany, and are still retained there as prisoners.
The majority are refugees scattered all through Belgium. A few
who remained in the town are dying of hunger. It has been proved
by our Enquiry that German soldiers, while exposed to the fire of the
French entrenched on the opposite bank of the Meuse, in certain
cases sheltered themselves behind a line of civilians, women and
children.
(V) MASSACRES AT HASTIERE AND SURICE
On August 23rd, the Germans entered the village of Hastiere.
par-dela. (1.) They arrested Dr. Halloy, a Surgeon of the Red
Cross, and shot him. Crossing the street, they went to the house
of Alphonse Aigret, a butcher, drove out him, his wife and his
children, and shot him and his elder son. Next they went to the
farm of Jules Rifon, took him out of his cellar, where he had hidden
with his daughters, and shot him. They also killed the farmer
Bodson and his two sons, with ten other inhabitants of the village.
The place was then sked, and the greater part of the houses
burned. -The number of persons killed or wounded was very large,
(1) Testimony of the Right Reverend Monsignor XL vnneed to the
proceedinS of the Session of Dec. 18, 1914.
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