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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 23


THE GERMAN MILITARY CODE.
as a "follow-up" letter. This is a form of letter to be written
by the
Commanding General to his subordinate, and the substance is to
be communicated to the recalcitrant citizens.
"I acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 7th of
this month telling me of the great difficulties you
think you will meet in collecting the contributions.
"I can only regret the explanations that you think
proper to make on this subject. The order in ques-
tion (which comes from my Government) is so clear
and precise, the orders which I have received (on this
subject) are so explicit, that, if the amount due by the
City of B............................ is not paid the city will be
burned without mercy."
The foregoing form seems to have been substantially followed
by Lieutenant General von Niebur in his letter to the Burgomaster
of Wavre on August 27th, 1914. A fine of three million francs
was imposed upon the little town of Wavre for an alleged attack on
the German troops, and in his letter of the above date Lieutenant
General von Niebur declares that "the City of Wavre will be burned
and destroyed if the levy is not paid in due time, without regard
for anyone; the innocent will suffer with the guilty."
Here is another form for extorting money from a community:
"On account of the destruction of the bridge at
F             I command, as follows:
"The district shall pay an additional contribution of
ten million francs, as a fine. This information is
brought to the knowledge of the public with the fol-
lowing notice, namely, that the manner of distributing
the assessment will be indicated later, and that the
payment of the said amount will be exacted with the
greatest severity. The village of F..........................
has been at once burned with the exception of certain
houses reserved for the use of the troops."
The foregoing form recalls the Proclamation of General
von Buelow to the Municipal Authorities of Liege, on
Autut 22nd, 1914, in which he said:
"it is with my consent that the Commander-in-
Chief has ordered the whole town (of Andenne) to be
burned and that about one hundred people have been
shot."
The scenes of horror and barbarism depicted in the Reports of
the Official Belgian Commission of Inquiry have not been brought
about by accident. They are the direct result of the orders given
and the doctrines inculcated by the German General Staff.
as


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