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go, surrounded by soldiers, with the band playing before them, to the station, whence at evening they depart without knowing whither or for what labor they are destined.
As our turn was delayed we had time to prepare as far as possible the girls, who are known among us as the ters" and the “ two.". They packed their luggage pluckily, each wishing in case of need to take the place of the other, and I had to settle which it would be best to let go. On Monday we found some comfort at the little village we visited with you last year; everybody overwhelmed us with their sympathy, suffering for us and with us; for none, not even our helpers, were free from fear. All helped us, and Mme. D. made me promise to tell her if the girls I spoke of above were taken; if so, she was free, and would accompany them and be their mother. All the week this torture lasted, and the agony weighed us down. A., the servant girl, was taken and then released, partly owing to her father and partly to her young sister, whose gratitude is touching. L. A.'s daughter was seized. Then came our turn. You may imagine that sleep was impossible to me. I heard the troops passing, and awoke all my household.
At 4 A, M. the visits in our street began. They lasted till 1:30 P. M. We were taken at 10 o'clock. You guess
agony during those six fatal hours!
Of course, there a chance of getting them released, but as surely some would be seized, and had they not already
endured more than enough during that terrible day, passed beside the public women of our district, without any real certainty of delivery ? At last-God again accorded us His fatherly protection-and having gone over every one, none was seized, but we were worn out. It was sinister to see the young girls living in our street passing one by one silently by, each under the guard of a soldier: there were three members of the little working party I started, deeply moved. I had given them some words of advice as to the danger to which they would
be exposed, (it was on Good Friday before the first raid;) the plucky children could not keep back their tears, and like all the others were most troubled at the thought that they would be made to work for the enemy.
Our fears are, however, not yet at an end. As regards ourselves—alas!—father himself may be threatened. Our chief accountant, M.'s husband, has been taken, and they are of an age. Oh, if they take him too! Pray, dearest, pray all of you with us, I entreat you, and thank God for having spared us this time—us, Aunt A., and all her children, also our relations and friends, (B.'s relations;) pray Him to continue His protection, for which our need is so great! Will our release never come?
It has been said—another lie—that we were in revolt and that this was a punishment. At Roubaix officers of the guard, finding themselves in the midst of a calm and dignified population, refused to carry off women and children by night. Here the Sixty-fourth Regiment, who have been at Verdun, were quite ready. Some, they said, would have preferred to have stopped in the trenches. At the least they will get the Iron Cross and the name of this glorious feat of arms will decorate their flag.
But, above all things, let our soldiers, when they get there, not revenge themselves by committing similar deeds. To do so would be to sully the fair name of France. Let them leave such evil deeds and crimes to God's vengeance. These people, as woman whose husband, daughter, and son were seized told them, “ will be accursed in their race, in their wives, and in their children.”
I have finished my long, miserable tale, but I cannot adequately describe the awful misery of those whose homes have been decimated. Many will die of it. It is, as Monsigneur said, the passion of our families added to the Passion of Christ. One woman burst out into a sweat of blood when they seized her son; they brought him back, and she did not know him. It is terrible, and our position seems to me very threatening. Pray for us.
VV was normal, except for the ab
By A. J. Hemphill
HEN I got to Brussels my first system whereby the relief organization
nation the supplies without which there sence of vehicles owing to the would be chaos and unthinkable sufferscarcity of horses and the prohibition of ing. motors except to a few. The people are
In this complex work of rationing well clad, the shops are open, and men every day over 7,000,000 souls, of whom go about their daily life much the same just one-half are totally or partially as they do in London or New York. At destitute, the Belgians themselves are the markets I saw people buying and co-operating magnificently. Without selling-mostly vegetables--and business their unflagging support and publicbeing freely transacted in the ordinary spirited work the efforts of those way. That was on the surface. But one throughout the world who, regardless of has to remember that Belgium normally nationality, sympathize with the Belgian lives on imported raw materials and food, people would fail of their purpose. and pays for her food by export of her The Comité National in Brussels, commanufactures. This vital current is posed of the leading Belgians who dared stopped by the war, and 60 per cent. of to stay and face the invaders, has enBelgium's workpeople are idle. A large rolled thousands of volunteer helpers, part of the commercial class are also idle who are now experts in this problem of and reduced to dependence upon charity. rationing. When I went to the relief stations where Both in America and England a good the wholly destitute-amounting to a deal of uneasiness somewhat naturally large proportion of the population-get exists as to the relief supplies actually their soup and other provisions, I saw, in reaching the Belgians. I discussed this the waiting queues, not only the needy point thoroughly with responsible Belclass that one would expect, but well gians throughout the country and with dressed men, women, and children. the Americans who are supervising the Brussels and elsewhere throughout Bel distribution, besides keeping my own gium the human lines that daily wait for eyes open for any indication of conthe small ration provided by the charity fiscation by the Germans. As a result of the world are marked by this same I am convinced that the relief supplies sad feature. Destitution is not only sent into Belgium reach, in their enwidespread, but there are now dependent tirety, the Belgian people. Except for upon relief thousands of the upper classes trivial local incidents, which are inwho never dreamed of coming to such a variably remedied, I heard of no instance pass.
whatever of the Germans breaking their It is only after being in Brussels for a guarantees to respect the food which the little time, and after visiting Charleroi, allied Governments allow to be brought Malines, Antwerp, Liége, and other places, through the blockade. As regards the that one realizes how misleading are first home-grown produce, there are, probably, impressions of life in Belgium as it is to still some minor leakages-almost inday. The outward appearance of normal evitable in a country garrisoned by a ity is sustained only by the fact that foreign army—but I can safely say that relief to the value of over $6,000,000 is, 95 per cent. of the native food supplies so to speak, injected into the country go toward feeding the Belgian people. every month. The external calm is an The inappreciable leakages to which I amazing tribute to the efficiency of the refer are always made the subject of
negotiations between the relief organization and the belligerent powers.
What do the Belgian people really think? They don't think. They just hope. They live from day to day in the undimmed expectancy of regaining their independence. I might also say they live on hope, because if that wonderful spirit were not there the scanty ration, which is all the relief organization can supply, would be inadequate to prevent increased disease and mortality.
Under ordinary circumstances the population would be pauperized by free feeding of the unemployed. This is not the case in Belgium. In the first place, a daily diet of soup, bread, sometimes potatoes and a little bacon, and occasionally rice and beans, continued over two years, does not offer many attractions. It is only the indomitable spirit of the people themselves that makes it bearable. They will be glad enough when peace comes to exchange free meals of such a kind for the food they can earn by work. At present a small percentage get a few days' work weekly in local industries, such as the enamel, glass, and coal trades, at a few francs per week. They unceasingly refuse wages at from 15 to 25 francs a week, which they could obtain by working for the Germans. Glass and enamel ware, by consent of the Allies, are being exported in small quantities, but the payments for such exports are retained in allied countries until the conclusion of the war. The German assertion that the whole Belgian Nation has organized a passive resistance strike on precedented scale is undoubtedly correct.
In one relief canteen which I inspected a man came up and made a complaint. There was no meat, he said excitedly, in his soup. He had long given up the idea of receiving meat as part of his daily meal, but if he was to live, he declared, he must get some of the nourishment that meat provides. He was right. There was practically no meat in the soup. But what is one to do? Such meat as there is in the country is $1.50 per pound.
There are 600,000 children in Belgium entirely dependent upon the tenderheartedness of the outside world. A large percentage of the remaining 2,000,000 children up to the age of 16 are partially dependent upon relief. The problem of bringing them up and even of keeping them alive is becoming more and more grave. The relief organization has just started an extraordinarily interesting experiment to meet the emergency of short milk supplies in industrial centres. They have asked the peasants to lend, free of charge, for one year, one cow from each of their herds to a communal herd which will provide milk for the children. In Antwerp the herd now numbers over 400 cattle. In other centres the peasants are responding excellently to the appeal. At the end of the year the cows will be returned to their owners, who will be compensated for the loss of any of their cattle.
My visit to Belgium gave me my first opportunity to see for myself the actual working of the relief system. It is a marvel of efficiency and devotion. As an American I am proud not only of my fellow-countryman, Mr. Herbert Hoover, to whose genius for organization the whole structure owes its continued existence through a thousand heartbreaking difficulties, but of those Americans who, so self-sacrificingly and self-effaeingly, are devoting themselves in the occupied territory to keeping the Belgian Nation alive. * * * All Americans admire the magnificent generosity with which the British Empire, despite the many other calls upon its benevolence and resources, has contributed, through the National Committee for Relief in Belgium, to the support of the relief work. After seeing that work for myself, I venture to say that it is the duty of every humane individual to help these helpless civilians in Belgium-especially the children—who for nearly two years have endured sorrows and privations that would try the soul of any nation in the world, and yet still remain heroically true to those traditions of liberty and freedom which they have inherited through centuries.
By Baron Adolf von Bachofen
T is a matter of course that the the articles of food and similar objects military administration of Belgium, that come from the United States for the so far as its needs are concerned, civil population. Only the highest of
holds the country in an iron grip, ficials are missing, and, naturally, the guarding the conquered territory in every Ministries, which could not work with way. But the fact that, immediately fol the German Government, are out of the lowing the great military successes of the country. Where the native institutions Fall of 1914, a civil administration had are not sufficient, or where sharp and been called into life and since that time continued opposition prevents effective had solidly incorporated itself in the life work, the organs of the civil adminisof the nation was one of the things that tration reinforce the native organizations impressed me the most. I still distinctly and bring new life to the severely remembered the conditions in Alsace in stricken land. The staff of men that his the eighties, when the relations between Excellency von Bissing has gradually the Government and the people were thus gathered together for this task comes characterized by a worthy citizen: “We from every part of Germany and from all don't mind being governed, but we will spheres of activity. not be scolded.” At that time there were After the country had been conquered all kinds of orders as to what must and in an incredibly short time, the civil admust not be, but the economic union of ministration was organized as soon as the new territory with the empire and possible, and it certainly faced one of the reconstruction of its sadly stricken the hardest tasks that could be placed industries were still in a bad way fifteen before a Government. In a country whose years after the conquest.
life depended upon industry in a greater There is a mighty difference between degree than any other, all the factories the Prussian jurists who were in power were at a standstill. The people were at that time and the far-seeing officials filled with the deepest hatred toward the of the empire of today. Forces from all new rulers, the owners of almost all the parts of Germany are keing employed in industrial and commercial establishments the civil administration to put the country had fled, the enormous trade that ordiin a new state of industrial activity, to narily ebbed and flowed through the make everything ready for peace, and to country was in complete stagnation. It shape the relations between the empire was necessary to feed the population and and Belgium, so that an active trade after to revive labor. the conclusion of peace will develop close The first problem, that of providing bonds between the two countries. At the food,
solved with comparative same time everything adaptable about speed. Because of the killing off of the administrative bodies has been re young cattle and the selling of horses tained and left in the hands of the natives. abroad, some drastic orders were issued; Belgian Judges administer the law, and as a result, the supply of live stock is Belgian Mayors attend to the affairs of now again at its former height and the the cities and towns, only a few of them agricultural output is scarcely less than having been removed or interned because at any time before the conquest. All of political intrigues, as in Brussels. this output, which, nevertheless, meets
A Belgian committee looks after the only a scant two-thirds of the demand. distribution, even to the last village, of was held at the disposition of the coun
try for its own needs. Additional sup about 600 yards of rock, on six new
renewed operations, though still on a Far more difficult was the task of rather modest scale; their products go reviving industrial activity, but it has through the anals to Holland and from been accomplished to a surprising de
there, to a large extent, find their way gree. The first step was to open the
to their old destination, England. coal mines, under the supervision of the The Cockerille Iron and Steel Works, Government, but for the account and at which also belong to the Liége district, the risk of the owners, and today some are employing almost 5,000 men, more 70 per cent of the workings are again in than half the normal number. The operation. The coal, except in so far textile industry is in the worst condition, as it is used in the country itself, is being almost entirely dead. It is true exported to Sweden, which receives about that when Antwerp was captured very 200,000 tons a month, and to Holland and large quantities of raw materials, espeSwitzerland. Many carloads are also cially wool, were found; but this material . sent to the trenches in the east. The had already been bought, to a large total exports amount to about 300,000 extent, for Germany, and therefore it tons a month.
went to Germany, and to a lesser degree While the management of all the to Austria. The Belgian industry was mines is in the hands of Chief Mining thus left to depend upon its own stock, Officer Bonhardt, in the east, around which naturally in the course of a year Liége and that section, Director Wolters and a half is practically exhausted. dorf runs the workings with extraordi Efforts to get raw material from abroad nary ability. Herr Woltersdorf, who came of particular importance to this upon the scene as a Lieutenant of artil industry. lery, was ordered, after the capture of In many cases the various establishLiége, to blow up the entrances to some ments are being operated by their old mines where it was thought francs Directors and engineers, and only the tireurs were in hiding. But before obey work of superintendence and the matter ing the order, he informed the Governor of exportation and consumption are that the hostile band could be driven out handled by the Germans. in three hours by stopping the pumps. But in spite of the revival of activity This method was adopted, and as a mat in many industries there are still many ter of fact no francs-tireurs came out, tens of thousands of industrial workers but the mines were saved, and shortly entirely out of employment, and thereafterward Woltersdorf, who in civil life fore it is of great importance that the is Director of the Central Bureau for emigration of Belgian workers to GerMine Safety and of the experimenting
many is being promoted and that already station at Beuthen, was placed at the
some 10,000 workers have heeded the head of the district. He not only put all the coal mines in operation, but was
call and are employed in the Rhine also able to see that work was continued
country and in Westphalia. There they in the Campine, a waste region in Lim
are becoming acquainted with better burg, where the coal is covered with
wages, the highly developed sick and accident insurance, and all the other pro
€, the cr ed as gri face's