The martyrdom of Belgium: official report of massacres of peaceable citizens, women and children by the German army
Official Belgian commission of inquiry, pp. -19 PDF (6.7 MB)
THRE MARTYRDOM OF BELGIUM. On Sunday morning next, the 23rd, at 6.30 in the morning, soldiers of the 108th Regiment of Infantry invaded the Church of the Premonastrensian Fathers, drove out the congregation, sepa- rated the women from the men, and shot 50 of the latter. Between 7 and 9 the same morning the soldiers gave themselves up to pillage and arson, going from house to house and driving the inhabitants into the street. Those who tried to escape were shot. About 9 in the morning the soldiery, driving before them by blows from the butt ends of rifles men, women, and children, pushed them all into the Parade Square, where they were kept prisoners till 6 o'clock in the evening. The guard took pleasure in repeating to them that they would soon be shot. About 6 o'clock a Captain separated the men from the women and children. The women were placed in front of a rank of infantry soldiers, the men were ranged along a wall. The front rank of them were then told to kneel, the others standing behind them. A platoon of soldiers drew up in face of these unhappy men. It was in vain that the women cried out for mercy for their husbands, sons, and brothers. The officer ordered his men to fire. There had been no inquiry nor any pretense of a trial. About 20 of the inhabitants were only wounded, but fell among the dead. The soldiers, to make sure, fired a new vol- ley into the heap of them. Several citizens escaped this double discharge. They shammed dead for more than two hours, re- maining motionless among the corpses, and when night fell suc- ceeded in saving themselves in the hills. Eighty-four corpses were left on the Square, and buried in a neighbouring garden. The day of August 23rd was made bloody by several more mas- sacres. Soldiers discovered some inhabitants of the Faubourg St. Pierre in the cellars of a brewery there and shot them. Since the previous evening a crowd of workmen belonging to the factory of M. Himmer had hidden themselves, along with their wives and children, in the cellars of the building. They had been Joined there by many neighbours and several members of the family of their employer. About 6 o'clock in the evening these unhappy people made up their minds to come out of their refuge, and defiled all trembling from the cellars with the white flag in front. They were immediately seized and violently attacked by the soldiers. Every man was shot on the spot. Almost all the men of the Fau- bourg de Leffe were executed en masse. In another part of the town 12 civilians were killed in a cellar. In the Rue en Ile a paralytic was shot in his armchair. In the Rue Enfer the soldiers killed a young boy of 14. In the Faubourg de Leffe the viaduct of the railway was the scene of a bloody massacre. An old woman and all her children were killed in their cellar. A man of 65 years, his wife, his son and his daughter were shot against a wall Other inhabitants of Leffe were taken in a barge as far as the rock of Bayard and shot there, among them a woman of 83 and her husband.
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