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They first wanted me to explain what put it into my head to come to Liège, and how I had managed to get there; but as the sisters heard of my empty stomach and my thirty miles, they would not listen to another word before I had put myself round a good square meal.

来源: 南方日报网络版     时间: 2020-02-25 22:33:22
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Andenne, on the right bank of the Meuse, was a town of 8,000 inhabitants. When the Germans arrived there on the morning of August 19th they found the bridge connecting Andenne and Seilles wrecked. In the afternoon they began building a pontoon bridge, which was ready the next day. They were very much put out about the wrecking of the other bridge, by the Belgian soldiers, a couple of hours before their arrival. Their exasperation became still greater when they discovered after having finished the pontoon bridge, that the big tunnel on the left bank of the Meuse had also been made useless by barricades and entanglements."But will you then please give me a pass, otherwise I may be detained again on my way back."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.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.

What happened at Landen made a very deep222 impression upon me; it shocked me more than all the terrible things which I had seen during the war and all the dangers which I went through. When the train went on again, and the soldiers began to speak to me once more, I was unable to utter a word and sat there musing.At seven o'clock in the evening I entered Liège; and so far I had achieved my end.Major and Commanding Officer."The unhappy man asserted in a loud voice that183 he was innocent, but got the answer that he would have to prove that later on. But he never had a chance of doing that. Arriving at the market-place, he and three others were simply placed against the wall and shot. He could not even have spiritual assistance."The miserable behaviour of the men has been the cause that a non-commissioned officer and a private were seriously wounded by German ammunition.Probably more than one hundred civilians had been shot, whereas many perished in the cellars. The heads of the municipality and several priests had at first been taken as hostages. Bail of ten million francs was asked for their release, but after much haggling they consented to accept one and a half millions, which sum was forthcoming from the various local banks.Having got them, several officers examined my credentials, and their faces showed that the horizon was a little clearer for me."Netherlander or not, it does not matter. Whosoever one be, every civilian is shot down by them.""Lies, gossip."


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