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under the staircase and a camera for


An account of the use of civilian prisoners to shelter the Germans from the fire

of their enemies was written by Lieutenant Eberlein and published in the

Munchner Neueste Nachrichten on October

7th, 1914. In part it was as follows:

"We had arrested three civilians, and

suddenly a good idea struck me. We

placed them on chairs and made them

understand that they must go and sit on

them in the middle of the street. On one

side entreaties, on the other blows from

the butt-end of a gun. One gets terribly

hardened after awhile. At last they

were seated outside in the street. I do

not know how many prayers of anguish

they said; but they kept their hands

tightly clasped all the time. I pitied

them; but the device worked immediately.

The shooting at us from the house at the

side stopped at once; we were able to

occupy the house in front, and became

masters of the principal street. Every

one after that who showed himself in the

street was shot. The artillery, too, did

good work during this, and when

towards seven in the evening, the brigade

advanced to free us, I was able to report

that 'St. Die is free of the enemy:

"As I learned later on, the ....regiment

of reserve which had entered St. Die more

from the north had had 'similar experiences

to ours. The four civilians that had been

made to sit in the street had been killed

by French bullets. I saw them myself,

stretched out in the middle of the street,

near the hospital."

Minister Whitlock gives an instance

of this German practice of using civilians

as screens. He says: "The Germans