The true motives for the atrocities the moving evidence of which we have gathered can only be, on the one hand, the desire to terrorize and demoralize the people in accordance with the inhuman theories of German military writers, and, on the other hand, the desire for plunder. A shot fired, no one knows where, or by whom, or against whom, by a drunken soldier, or an excited sentry, is enough to furnish a pretext for the sack of a whole city. Individual plunder is succeeded by war levies of a magnitude which it is impossible to satisfy and by the taking of hostages who will be shot or kept in confinement until payment of the ransom in full, according to the well-known procedure of classic brigandage. It must also be stated that in order to establish the German case all resistance offered by detachments of the regular army is laid to the account of the civilian population, and that the invader invariably avenges himself upon the civilians for the checks or even the disappointments which he suffers in the course of the campaign.
In the course of this inquiry we use only facts supported by trustworthy evidence. It should be noted that up to the present we have been able to record only a small part of the crimes committed against law, humanity, and civilization, which will constitute one of the most sinister and most revolting pages in contemporary history. If an international inquiry, like that which was conducted in the Balkans by the Carnegie Commission, could be conducted in our country, we are convinced that it would establish the truth of our assertions.
[Signed by M. Gooreman, Minister of State, President.]
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“NOT A WORD OF TRUTH.”
Denial of Belgian Charges by Count von Bernstorff, German Ambassador at Washington, Sept. 17.
All that I care to say about the Belgian charges is that I have officially informed the State Department in Washington that there is not one word of truth in the statements made to the President yesterday by the Belgian Commission.
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Official Dispatch from Berlin to German Embassy at Washington, Aug. 29.
In consequence of a sudden attack of Belgian troops from Antwerp the German garrison at Louvain meets the enemy, leaving only one battalion of the last reserve and army service corps in Louvain. Thinking that this meant the retreat of the German troops, priests at Louvain gave arms and ammunition to the civilians, who began, at different places, suddenly to shoot out of windows at unsuspecting German troops, of whom many were wounded. A fight of twenty-five hours between German soldiers and the civil population of Louvain took place. Parts of Louvain were burning. Civilians met with arms are killed. The manifesto of the Chief General speaks of bestial cruelties committed on wounded and makes the magistrates responsible for the provocation and for providing people with arms.