时间：<2020-06-07 03:29:59 作者：5B2013北京车展iCq 浏览量：9777
I was very curious to know what had happened in Veldwezelt. When I came near the village, I noticed great activity; men, women, and children were busy with saws and hatchets cutting down all the trees and shrubs along the road.The answer is, surely, not very convincing!
"Of course, captain; everything is properly signed, stamped, and legalised.""But, madame, I am not German; I am a Netherlander. I should....""I can hear quite well that you are German, and if you were a Netherlander you would not venture on a bike at this moment. If you come here to seize my bikes, I'll deliver them, for I cannot do anything against that, but I refuse to sell them of my own free-will."
At Eerneghem we were not only stopped, but also sent back outright. It was considered extremely impudent on our side that we had dared to push246 on so far, because we were in the fighting-line. Even the permit given by the commander of Thourout was of no avail.Is it thinkable that persons in that frame of mind would take up arms and invite the enemy's revenge upon themselves and those near and dear to them, a revenge of which they were so mortally afraid?85
"His face, unshaven since ever so long, is quite emaciated, and presents all the symptoms of nervous exhaustion. Once more twenty German soldiers are being nursed in his college, where only once a German doctor came to see them. He (Dr. Goffin) and a couple of Sisters have to manage everything by themselves, and the Germans do not even dream of providing food for their own wounded, although the college is so inadequately provisioned that the Head and the Sisters have to deny themselves the necessary nourishment that they may feed the wounded."6. Eduard Peltzer, senator.That "being a Netherlander" had become my stock-argument, and, as a matter of fact, it made me feel calmer. Quietly I made myself free of the surrounding crowd, in order to proceed on my way; but then they got hold of my arms and gently tried to induce me to go with them, so I had to speak more firmly to make them understand that they could not prevail on me. When at last I was able to resume my march, they looked back frequently, shaking their heads, and in their anxiety for me, their fellow-creature, they seemed to forget for a moment their own hardly bearable sorrows.
"It must be done, surely, it must be done! That is her only chance of escape, and if she stops here she will be killed with the rest of us. Oh!... oh!..."The duration of the war has more or less surprised me, and I postponed writing this book for a long time as I wished to quote the evidence of persons in high places, clergymen, and educated foreigners. As the war is not over yet, I must omit these in the interest of their safety.In the streets and in the cafés I saw a great many marines who had taken part in the fights near Antwerp and were sent to Brussels for a few days' rest. It was remarkable that so many of them who had only lately looked death in the face, thought that they could not amuse themselves better than by mixing with girls of the worst description. Although I cannot, of course, always believe what soldiers, fresh back from a fight, assert in their over-excited condition, I assumed that I might conclude that things went badly with the defence of Antwerp.
Children and old people perished in consequence94 of the cruel heartlessness of the Germans, and in St. Hadelin College they robbed their own wounded of medical help and surgical appliances.Starting in the early morning of August 15th, I arrived at Visé without much trouble, after having been led across the Lixhe bridge once more. Since my first visit the bridge had been destroyed three times over, and this new one seemed very weak. As I stood there looking at it, a motor lorry had to cross it, and the bridge gave way near the bank. Another motor had then to pull the lorry up to the top of the bank, and this made the bridge give way still further.The German officers at the commander's office were elated in consequence of the reports received, and also told me that Antwerp would not be able to hold out for more than two days. They also tried to explain this to the people in the hall who were waiting for their passports. I followed the conversation, but not very closely, and one of the officers explained on a map what he asserted. Willy-nilly, because they had to get their passports, the waiting people listened to him. Suddenly I heard him say: "And after all we might have surrounded Antwerp also on the north by crossing Netherland territory, as we did when we invaded Belgium."
"Not? Oh! they are sure to do it. All the villages are burning already. The smoke suffocates us here. In Bressoux there is not a house left standing, and in other villages all civilians have been killed, men, women, and children. Not even the tiniest babies escaped.... Oh!... and now it is Liège's turn!"But the German troops had ample provisions for themselves, and as an officer noticed that I went all over the town to find some food in one of the58 restaurants, he offered me, the "friendly" Netherlander, something to eat at the Guard House. This I declined, however, for I could not have enjoyed bread taken from the starving population.There was a general complaint in that district about the very arbitrary requisitions: for example, beds and blankets were extensively taken away from238 the convents, a thing against which the burgomaster of Bruges had already protested. Horses, cows, and other cattle were simply taken from the stables and the meadows, and paid for with paper promises.
They constantly heard the boom, boom of the shells exploding near by, and each time thought that their last hour had struck. The gloomy cellar depressed them still more, and nobody really believed that there was any chance of being saved. So the44 little sisters prayed on, preparing each other for death, and looking for the approaching end in quiet resignation.At that hour the Namur Canal ("Naamsche Vest") was already dark in consequence of the thick foliage of tall trees, and suddenly the wild horsemen were shot at. Several neutral witnesses established the fact that this was done by a small troop of German infantry who came from the station, probably on their way to the battle-field, and thought that Belgian cavalry came racing into the town.
After a long time we were able to enter a train taking numerous new troops to Antwerp. We occupied a first-class compartment, which looked like a cattle-truck: pieces of bread, paper, cigar-ends, and tobacco were lying on the floor and the seats; the ledges of the windows were full of candle-grease.In other circumstances I should not have taken so much trouble, but I was so tired that I gave the man all my papers to make him see that I was a Netherland journalist. But according to him that didn't matter at all, because the Netherlanders were quite as dirty as the Germans, for they had allowed the enemies of Belgium to pass through their country, and so on. In a torrent of words I told him that there was not a word of truth in it, and that the Belgian Government would surely lose no time in declaring the same as soon as the country was free again. At last I appealed to his heart by relating all the Netherlanders had done for the Belgians. This had the desired effect, and I was allowed to drive home with him."What is happening here is frightful; those men are also human beings, who had to do their duty as much as you!"
"His face, unshaven since ever so long, is quite emaciated, and presents all the symptoms of nervous exhaustion. Once more twenty German soldiers are being nursed in his college, where only once a German doctor came to see them. He (Dr. Goffin) and a couple of Sisters have to manage everything by themselves, and the Germans do not even dream of providing food for their own wounded, although the college is so inadequately provisioned that the Head and the Sisters have to deny themselves the necessary nourishment that they may feed the wounded.My mysterious companion touched my shoulder198 and asked whether we should not go on. "All right," I said, and we got in again.During my first visit I estimated the number of civilian victims at about eighty. This number turned out to be larger, as many during the second fire fled to their cellars, exits of which were however choked up by the collapsing walls. The corpses of numerous suffocated citizens were found in these cellars.