Page 3449

3449 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

between seven and nine 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 nine 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 remaining 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 the husbands, sons, and brothers. The

officer ordered his men to fire. There

had been no inquiry nor any pretense of

a trial. About twenty of the inhabitants

were only wounded, but fell among the

dead. The soldiers, to make sure, fired

a new volley into the heap of them. Several citizens escaped this double discharge.

They shammed dead for more than two

hours, remaining motionless among the

corpses, and when night fell succeeded

in saving themselves in the hills. Eighty-four corpses were left in the square, and

were buried in a neighboring garden." Other

wholesale executions took place in the same

town, while many of the inhabitants were

sent as prisoners into Germany.

Of this massacre the American Minister,

Brand Whitlock, wrote to his Government:

"One scene surpasses in horror all others;

it is the fusillade of the Rocher Bayard

near Dinant. It appears to have been

ordered by Colonel Meister. This fusillade made many victims among the nearby

parishes, especially those of des Rivages

and Neffe. It caused the death of nearly

90 persons, without distinction of age or

sex. Among the victims were babies in

arms, boys and girls, fathers and mothers

of families, even old men.

"It was there that 12 children under

the age of 6 perished from the fire of the

executioners, 6 of them as they lay in their

mothers' arms:

"The child Fievet, 3 weeks old.

"Maurice Betemps, II months old.

"Nelly Pollet, II months old.

"Gilda Genon,18 months old.

"Gilda Marchot, 2 years old.

"Clara Struvay, 2 years and 6 months.,

"The pile of bodies comprised also many

children from 6 to 14 years. Eight large

families have entirely disappeared. Four

have but one survivor. Those men that

escaped death-and many of whom were

riddled with bullets-were obliged to bury

in a summary and hasty fashion their

fathers, mothers, brothers, or sisters; then

after having been relieved of their money

and being placed in chains they were sent

to Cassel [Prussia]."

Similar happenings occurred at Aerschot,

Tamines, Andenne, and numerous other

places; but the scene of the most famous

outrage was Louvain. This city lies to

the eastward of Brussels and is the seat of

one of the oldest universities in Europe.

The Germans occupied the city on August

19th, and for several days there was relative peace and quiet. But on August

24 and 25, the Belgian army made a sortie

from the entrenched camp at Antwerp,

defeated the Germans in the region around

Malines, and drove some of their forces

back to Louvain. According to the German story, the inhabitants fired upon the

returning troops; according to the people

of the city, one detachment of the Germans

fired by mistake upon another. In any

event a carnival of death and destruction

ensued during the night of the 25th and

the two following days. Fire was deliberately set to the place, and the University, with its precious library of rare

books and manuscripts, the church of

St. Peter, and many houses were burned

to the ground. Many of the inhabitants

were shot or otherwise killed, while hundreds of others were seized and sent to

Cologne.

The captured diary of a soldier of the

Prussian Guard contained the following