You, who prolong this hideous hell on
Making a by-word of your native land,
Stripped of your wealth, how paltry is your worth!
See how men shrink from contact with your hand!
There is pollution in your blood-smeared
There is corruption in your pact with Death,
There is dishonor in the lie, oft-told,
Of your “Humanity”! ’Tis empty breath.
What shall it profit you to heap on high,
Makers of orphans! a few millions more,
When you must face them—those you caused to die,
And God demands of you to pay your score?
He is not mocked; His vengeance doth not
His cup of wrath He lets you slowly fill;
What you have sown, that also shall you reap;
God’s law is adamant,—“Thou shalt not kill”!
Think not to plead:—“I
did not act alone,”
“Custom allows it,” and “My dead were few”;
Each hath his quota; yonder are your own!
See how their fleshless fingers point at you, at you!
You, to whose vaults this wholesale murder
Mere needless increments of ghoulish gain,
Count up your corpses on these blood-soaked fields!
Hear . . . till your death . . . your victims’ moans of pain!
Then, when at night you, sleepless, fear
Watch the thick, crimson stream draw near your bed,
And shriek with horror, till the dawn of day
Shall find you raving at your heaps of dead!
JOHN L. STODDARD.
The League of Truth Head Offices for Germany: Berlin W 40 Potsdamer Str.
July 4th, 1916. Printed by Barthe & Co., Berlin W.
* * * * * * * *
But this was not the only time von Mackensen, or other army officers, showed their contempt for the United States. After the fall of Warsaw a group of American correspondents were asked to go to the headquarters of General von Besseler, afterward named Governor General of Poland. The general received them in the gardens of the Polish castle which he had seized as his headquarters; shook hands with the Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Swiss and South American newspaper men, and then, before turning on his heels to go back to his Polish palace, turned to the Americans and said:
“As for you gentlemen, the best thing you can do is to tell your country to stop shipping arms and ammunition.”
During General Brusiloff’s offensive I was invited together with other correspondents to go to the Wohlynian battlefields to see how the Germans had reorganised the Austrian front. In a little town near the Stochod River we were invited to dinner by Colonel von Luck. I sat opposite the colonel, who was in charge of the reorganisation here. Throughout the meal he made so many insulting remarks that the officer who was our escort had to change the trend of the conversation. Before he did so the colonel said: