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across the way looked neither fierce nor fiery. In fact, they greeted me with a smile. explained that I was to go through to Liège. Was it possible? They shrugged their shoulders. Was it dangerous? Not in the least. The Germans were right. It was not dangerous-that is, for the Germans. By proclaiming the everlasting friendship of Germany and America and passing out some chocolates I made good friends on the home base. They charged me only not to return after sundown, giving point to their advice by relating how only the previous night they had shot down in the darkness a peasant woman who sought to come past the sentinels. They told this with a genuine note of grief in their voices. So, with a hearty handshake and wishes for the best of luck, they waved adieu to me as I went swinging out on the highroad to Liège. A half-mile, and I came for the first time actually face to face with the waste of war. There was what once was Mouland, the little village I had seen burning the night before. The whitewashed stone walls were still standing outside, all shining in the morning sun. Inside they were all charred black, or blazing yet with coals from the fire still slowly burning its way through wood and plaster. Here and there a house had escaped the torch. In the smashed window of one of these houses a bright geranium blossomed. It seemed to cry for water, but I dared not turn aside. In another a sewing-machine of American make testified to the thrift and progressiveness of one household. In the last house as I left the village a rocking-horse with its head stuck through the open door smiled its wooden smile, as though it at least could keep good cheer though the roofs might fall. My road now wound into the open country; and I was heartily glad of it, for the hedges and the houses at Mouland provided fine coverts for lurking German sentries or for
Belgians looking for revenge. and horses and dogs with their sides torn with bullets lay along the wayside. The roads were deep printed with the hoofs of passing cavalry. The grain-fields were flattened out. Nine little crosses marked the place where nine soldiers of the Kaiser lay. I craved companionship of any living creature to break the spell of death and silence. I was destined to have the wish gratified in abundance. Fifteen minutes brought me to the outskirts of Visé, and there, coming over the hills and wending their way down to the river, were two long lines of German soldiers escorting wagons of the artillery and the commissariat. They came slowly jolting on, but with very little noise; and I was upon them as they crossed the main road before I realized it. The men were covered with dust, so were the horses. The wagons were in their somber gray paint of war. There was something ominous and threatening in the long sullen line which wound down over the hill. The soldiers were evidently tired with the long, uneventful march, and the drivers were goaded to irritability by the difficulty of the descent. Could I have retreated I would have done so with joy and would never have stopped until I set my feet on Holland soil. But I dared not do it. As the train came to a stop I started across the road.. A soldier dropped his gun from his shoulder, cried, "Halt!" and to my question, "Is this the way to Visé ?" replied, "Perhaps it is; but what do you want in Visé ?" He kept edging up, pointing with his bayonet directly at me. A bayonet will never look quite the same to me again. At my first word of German his face relaxed. I told him I was an American, and he told me that he thought I was some Belgian. Then he told me how the civilians had treacherously shot from their houses and hedges and had killed German soldiers, and had even poisoned the wells. It was for these acts of treachery, he explained, that reprisals had been taken on the villages. He showed a real anxiety to justify the action. I shall not attempt to judge here the merits of the case. On the highroads the officers evidently hold their men in distinct bounds, and when I got to Liège our Consul told me that German soldiers had actually been shot for pillaging and plunder. No doubt in the country districts the soldiers had provoked the inhabitants; but these peasant people are not the meek, inoffensive beings one might imagine. I can imagine now where came the
WITH THE GERMANS IN BELGIUM
stuff that made the little Belgian force stand the shock of the German army at Liège. A mistake in the road brought this home to me. I turned off in the direction of Verviers. was along this road that the German army first came into the district, and the peasants, turning to the great royal elms that lined the road, had filled the highway with trees, and so had done their part to impede the onward march of the foe.
The town of Visé, which sheltered some three thousand inhabitants, is a mass of smoking ruins, and the main street, filled with the débris of fallen buildings, was hot and burned beneath my feet. Not one building that I saw here was spared.1 The huge church upon the hill was unroofed, and the fire had licked it clean of every decoration. Some soldiers were looking through the ruins. I asked them if they were seeking the corpses of any victims. "No," they said, we are hunting for something to Below Visé tens of thousands of soldiers were marching over the pontoon bridges already built, while perhaps five hundred more were engaged in building a great bridge that seemed to be a magnificent piece of work.
For the next eight miles to Jupilles the country was quite as much alive as the first four miles were dead. It was swarming with military. Through all the gaps in the hills above the river Maas the German army came pouring down like an enormous tidal wavea tidal wave with a purpose, viz., to fling itself against the Allies arranged in battle line at Namur, and with the overwhelming mass of numbers to smash that line to bits and sweep on resistlessly into Paris. I thought of the blue and red wall of French and English down there awaiting this gray-green tide of Teutons.
By the hundreds of thousands they were coming patrols of cavalry clattering along, the hoof-beats of the chargers coming with regular cadence on the hard roads; silent moving riders mounted on bicycles, their guns strapped to their backs; armored automobiles rumbling slowly on, but taking the occasional spaces which opened in the road with a hollow roaring sound and at a terrific pace; individual horsemen galloping up and down the road with their messages, and their massed regiments of dust-begrimed men marching endlessly by.
1 See in this connection a picture of Visé on another page.-THE EDITORS.
I was glad to have the spell which had been woven on me broken by strains of music from a wayside café, or rather the remains of a café, for the windows had been demolished and wreckage was strewn about the door, but the piano within had survived the ravages. Though it was sadly out of tune, the officer seated on a beer keg was evoking a noise from its battered keys, and to its accompaniment some soldiers were bawling lustily, "Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles !"
Evidently the Belgians from Visé to Liège had not roused the ire of the invaders as strenuously as the natives on the other side of Visé, and had as a whole established more or less friendly relations with the alien hosts.
On the other side of Visé nothing had availed to stay the wrath of the Germans. Flags of truce made of sheets and pillow-cases and white petticoats were hung out on poles and broom handles, but many of these houses before which they hung had been burned to the ground as had others.
One Belgian had sought for his own benefit to conciliate the Germans, and as the Kaiser's troops at the turn of the road came upon his house there was the Kaiser's emblem raised to greet them. The man had nailed it high up in an apple tree, that they might not mistake his attitude of truculent disloyalty to his own country, hoping so to save his home. But let it be said to the credit of the Germans that they had shown their contempt for this treachery by razing this house to the ground, and the poor fellow had lost his soul along with his earthly treasures.
I saw now a few houses with signs of life, and a little below Argenteau came upon several buckets of water in front of a house, with a rather neat-looking peasant woman standing by them. I inquired what these were for. She had no time to explain, for a column of soldiers at that very moment came plodding slowly along. A worried look came to her face, as though she were saying to herself, "I know that we have been spared so far by all the soldiers that have gone by, but perhaps here at last is the band that has been appointed to wipe us out." This water, then, was a peace offering, a plea for mercy. As soon as she saw the soldiers there was a smile on her face which ill concealed her anxiety. She pointed to her pails. At the sight of the water a thirsty soldier here and there would break from the ranks, rush to the pails, take the proffered cup, and. hastily swallow
down the cooling draught, and always with a smile or with a word of gratitude hand the cup to the woman and rush back again to his place in the ranks. Perhaps a dozen men removed their helmets, and, extracting a sponge from the inside, made motions to the woman to pour water on it, then, replacing the sponge in the helmet, went on their way rejoicing. A mounted officer, spying the water, drew rein, gave the order to halt, and the horse thrust his nose into the pail and greedily sucked the water up, while the men flung themselves down along the road, evidently very wearied by long forced marches.
I volunteered the information that I was an American, and immediately had a score of soldiers around me, evidently thinking that my being there was evidence enough of my right to be there, taking it for granted that the sentries on the road had passed upon my credentials. So we talked about the war in general. Evidently the officer himself had received no information for a long time, for when I said that it was probable that Japan would make war on Germany he said, “Impossible! Why, Japan is almost as good a friend of ours as is America. Those two nations will fight for us rather than against us. I did not know what move to make next, when a soldier who said he was from Wittenberg passed some witticism either at the expense of the officer or myself-which, I could not make out; but, taking advantage of the good spirit they were in, I said adieu, and was off down the road, making a very strong resolution to hold my tongue and keep walking.
In the midst of my reflections I was startled by a whistle, and, looking back, saw in the distance a puff of steam on what I supposed was the wholly abandoned railway, but there, sure enough, was a train rattling along at a good rate. I could make out soldiers with guns sitting upon the tender, and presumed that they were with these instruments directing the operations of some Belgian engineer and fireman. In a moment more I saw I was mistaken, for at the throttle was a uniformed soldier, and another comrade in his gray-green costume was shoveling coal into the furnace. One of the guards, seeing me plodding on, smilingly beckoned to me to jump aboard. When I took the cue and made a move in that direction, he winked his eye and significantly tapped upon the barrel of his gun. The train was loaded with iron rails and timbers,
and I wondered what they were for, but farther down the line saw hundreds of men unloading these, making a great noise as they flung them down the river bank to the water's edge. They were destined for a big pontoon bridge which these men were, with thousands of soldiers, throwing across the river.
All the way along now the soldiers were busy with domestic duties. In one place they were shifting hundreds of loaves of black bread from wagon to wagon. In another they were piling a yard high with mountains of grain. A great mill was humming away at full speed near by, and I judged that the Belgian fields were yielding up their golden harvests for the German hordes. Hundreds of horses I could see lined up under the trees in orchards about, enjoying with the soldiers a respite from the long, wearying marches. Here and there among the trees or along the wayside was something that looked like a tiny engine-smoke curled out of its chimney and coals blazed brightly away in the grate. A savory smell permeated the atmosphere and soldiers gathered round, looking happy. They were kitchen wagons, and each made in itself a complete, compact little cooking apparatus. The native Belgians moved in and out now rather freely. Officers were sitting around tables in the yards eating, drinking, and chatting with the native women who were serving them and with whom they had set up an entente cordiale. Indeed, the Belgians seemed to be rather enjoying this interruption of the monotony of their lives, and a few were making the most of the great adventure. In one case I could not help believing that a certain strikingly pretty, self-possessed girl was not altogether averse to a war which could thus bring to her side the attentions of such a handsome and gallant set of officers as were gathered round her. At any rate, she seemed to be equal to the occasion, and over her little court, which rang with laughter, she presided with a certain rustic dignity and ease.
The ordinary soldier could make himself understood with only motions and sundry gruntings and murmurings, and consequently had to content himself with smoking in the sun or sleeping in the shade. Everywhere was the atmosphere of physical relaxation after their long journey. So far did the tension wear off that I even forgot the resolution to hold my tongue. Two officers leaning back in their chairs at a table by the
WITH THE GERMANS IN BELGIUM
wayside surveyed me intently as I came along. Rather than wait to be challenged, I thought it best to turn aside and ask them my usual question, "How does one get to Liège ?" One of them answered rather stiffly, adding, " And where did you learn your German ?" "I was in a German university a few months," I replied. "Which one?" the officer asked. "Marburg," I replied. "Ah!" he said, this time with a smile; "that was mine. I studied philology there." talked together of the fine, rich life there, and I spoke of the students' duels I had witnessed a few miles out. "Ah!" he said, uncovering his head and pointing to the scars across his scalp; "that's where I got these. Perhaps I will get some deeper ones down in this country," he added, with a smile. With a few words more he said, Auf Wiedersehen," and I was off down the road. Only once now all the way into Liège did I feel any suspicion on me. I presented my paper to the next guard, who was a moroselooking individual, and he looked at it very puzzledly. He put several questions to me. His last one was, "Where is your home?" "I come from Boston, Massachusetts,' I replied. Encouraged with my success with the last officers, I ventured to ask him where he came from. Looking me straight in the eyes, he replied very pointedly, "Ich komme aus Deutschland." The intuition of this common soldier was better than the training of his superiors.
Immediately I made off down the road, feeling no rest from his searching eyes until I turned round a bend in the road and put an intervening obstacle between myself and him. But this relief was short-lived, for no sooner had I rounded the bend than a cry of "Halt!" shot fear into me, for I turned to see a man on a wheel waving wildly at me. I thought it was a summons back to my inquisitor, and the end of my journey. Instead, it was my officer from Marburg, who dismounted, took two letters from his pocket, and asked me would I have the kindness to deliver his letters to the Feld Post if I got through to Liège. He said that seemed like a God-given opportunity to lift the load off the hearts of the people at home. Gladly I took them, with his caution not to drop them in an ordinary letter-box in Liège, but to take them to the Feld Post or give them to an officer. I went on my way rejoicing that I had these letters to serve as credentials.
I followed the road now leading down through the long street of Jupilles, which was plastered with notices from the German authorities guaranteeing observance of the rights of the citizens of Jupilles, but threatening to visit any overt acts against the soldiers "with the most terrible reprisals." So I arrived on the outskirts of Liège, and expected to see a battered city, after all the bombardments it had undergone; but it seemed to have suffered really but little, considering it had been the center around which the storm of battle had been raging for over three weeks. The windows had been shattered in many buildings, the great bridge by the Rue Leopold had been blown up, and hundreds of stores and public buildings were flying the white flag with the Red Cross on it, while in the Point Lambert the wounded were being brought in from the front. bookseller who could speak English offered his congratulations on my coming through the lines, was glad to hear of the world's praise for his plucky little country, and proudly said that a German officer had told him that " one Belgian was as good as four Germans." He commenced a tirade against the cruelty of the invaders, but I told him that as civilians his fellow-countrymen had undoubtedly been shooting on the German soldiers. He replied that that was what could be expected when a thief or robber entered a house, no matter if he had announced his coming.
I wandered around the city for a while and noticed the bills that had been posted by order of the German burgomaster Klyper. One was a warning to people not to harbor any pigeons of any kind, because by means of them news was carried to the enemy. Another which was just being posted was the announcement of a levy of 50,000,000 francs, a war tax imposed upon the city to pay for the "administration of civil affairs." "Private property," it added, "will be respected."
I made my way now to the American Consul, who gave me a cordial welcome, said that no one had come through from the outer world for over two weeks, and begged for newspapers that he might realize what was going on. Unfortunately, I had thrown. my lot away, not having realized how completely Liège had been cut off from the outside world. Very heartily he invited me to lunch with his wife and daughter, and with much enthusiasm made me appreciate the nature of my adventure.
ALBERT R. WILLIAMS.
GERMANY'S STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE
BY H. C. G. VON JAGEMANN
PROFESSOR OF GERMAN PHILOLOGY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
OPULAR imagination demands for every great historical event a hero or
a villain. So it has tried to fix the responsibility for the present cruel war upon one man; and, in view of a particular sequence of events, the German Emperor has been singled out as the scapegoat. No student of history or of politics, however, believes that any one man nowadays could cause such a clashing of forces as is going on at present in Europe, or that such a war could be due to anything but deep underlying causes, altogether beyond the control of ordinary statesmanship. The real causes of the war are three: France's desire to win back her military prestige and the provinces lost to Germany in 1870; Russia's desire to eliminate Germany as the ally of Austria, her opponent on the way to Constantinople; England's jealousy of Germany's growth as a commercial and naval power. Let us consider these three causes in the order indicated.
FRANCE AND GERMANY
In 1870 France, in order to prevent the further unification and internal strengthening of Germany, used a slight pretext to declare war against the North German Federation, hoping thereby to extend her own territory by the conquest of the left bank of the Rhine. France was defeated, the new German Empire established, and Alsace and a part of Lorraine annexed. France has never forgiven Germany for this defeat. American sympathy has generally been with Germany in this matter; only Germany's annexation of Alsace and Lorraine is often criticised in this country, and, in view of certain wrong impressions concerning it, requires explanation. These provinces belonged to Germany from the time of the division of Charlemagne's Empire in 843 to 1648, when Germany, exhausted by the Thirty Years' War and torn by internal dissensions, was forced to cede the greater part of them to France; Strassburg and the surrounding territory was seized by Louis XIV in time of peace in 1681. The people of Alsace are almost entirely of German stock, belonging to the Alemannian tribe, from the name of which the French name for Germany, Allemagne,
is derived. That their native speech is German will appear even to the uninitiated from such names as Mülhausen, Breisach, Strassburg, Weissenburg, Saarburg, etc. Similarly the population of Lorraine is for the most part closely related to that of the adjoining part of Prussia. For a hundred years after their forcible annexation to France the population, especially of Alsace, remained essentially German in character, speech, customs, and intellectual sympathies. No proof of this is needed for any one who is familiar with the story of Goethe's student time in Strassburg in 1770 to 1771, and of his love for Friederike, the parson's daughter, of Sesenheim near Strassburg, with whom he sang the old German folk-songs of the neighborhood. Politically the provinces then were under the rule of France; in every other respect they were a part of Germany. Political sense and national feeling, however, were insignificant among the population, as they then were all over Germany. Not until the French Revolution, more than a hundred years after their annexation to France, did Alsace and Lorraine become French in feeling to any considerable extent; then the great wave of national enthusiasm proceeding from Paris swept over the two provinces and separated them from Germany, where the national spirit was not aroused till much later.
Germany had not forgotten her just claims to these provinces; but even after the terrible effort of shaking off the Napoleonic dominion in 1813-15 she was still too disunited and weak to win them back. So they remained with France until 1870, and during this long period their political attachment to France became very strong, while nevertheless the great mass of the population retained its old German speech. France during this period looked upon the provinces with the superiority of the conqueror; the Alsatian speaking his German patois was regarded as far inferior to the genuine Frenchman.
After her victory in 1870 Germany exacted the return of the lost provinces. She did this partly for military reasons, in order to erect a bulwark between herself and France, which had for centuries taken every opportunity to