“We were all placed in Station Street, Louvain, and the German soldiers fired upon us. I saw the corpses of some women in the street. I fell down, and a woman who had been shot fell on top of me. I did not dare to look at the dead bodies in the street, there were so many of them. All of them had been shot by the German soldiers. One woman whom I saw lying dead in the street was a Miss J., about 35. I also saw the body of A.M., (a woman.) She had been shot. I saw an officer pull her corpse underneath a wagon.”
Another witness, who was taken from Aerschot, also describes the occurrence:
“I was afterward taken with a large number of other civilians and placed in the church at Louvain. Then we were taken to Station Street, Louvain. There were about 1,500 civilians of both sexes, and we had been marched from Aerschot to Louvain. When we were in Station Street I felt that something was about to happen, and I tried to shelter in a doorway. The German soldiers then fired a mitrailleuse and their rifles upon the people, and the people fell on all sides. Two men next to me were killed. I afterward saw some one give a signal, and the firing ceased. I then ran away with a married woman named B., (whose maiden name was A.M.,) aged 29, who belonged to Aerschot, but we were again captured. She was shot by the side of me, and I saw her fall. Several other people were shot at the same time. I again ran away, and in my flight saw children falling out of their mothers’ arms. I cannot say whether they were shot, or whether they fell from their mothers’ arms in the great panic which ensued. I, however, saw children bleeding.”
JOURNEY TO COLOGNE.
The greatest number of prisoners from Louvain, however, were assembled at the station and taken by trains to Cologne. Several witnesses describe their sufferings and the ill-treatment they received on the journey. One of the first trains started in the afternoon. It consisted of cattle trucks, about 100 being in each truck. It took three days to get to Cologne. The prisoners had nothing to eat but a few biscuits each, and they were not allowed to get out for water and none was given. On a wagon the words “Civilians who shot at the soldiers at Louvain” were written. Some were marched through Cologne afterward for the people to see. Ropes were put about the necks of some and they were told they would be hanged. An order then came that they were to be shot instead of hanged. A firing squad was prepared and five or six prisoners were put up, but were not shot. After being kept a week at Cologne some of these prisoners were taken back—this time only thirty or forty in a truck—and allowed to go free on arriving at Limburg. Several witnesses who were taken in other trains to Cologne describe their experiences in detail. Some of the trucks were abominably filthy. Prisoners were not allowed to leave to