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visions made for the working class which as yet are unknown in their homes. These men may prove to be a valuable element in the work of bringing about a mutual understanding.
A big step toward improving social conditions was taken in Brussels when some 3,000 disorderly girls were forced to go to work under the threat of deportation in case they refused to avail themselves of the opportunity to work at sewing machines in the light rooms of a bag factory at good wages.
An industry the revival of which was really the least to be expected was the diamond-cutting business of Antwerp. Before the war this industry employed about 10,000 men. When Antwerp fell 400 were still at work. Under the control of Senator Sthamer, Captain Baron Plettenberg took the lead in handling the situation with skill and hearty interest. Raw material was brought in from the large stocks in Berlin that had come from West Africa, and one after another . the employers slowly resumed operations, so that today about 5,000 persons are earning their bread in that industry-of course at smaller wages than before—and some 12,000 carats are being cut per month, with a value of about $1,000,000.
The iron and steel industry of Belgium has always suffered from the fact that it is split up into a large number of comparatively small plants and that its concentration into great concerns has only made good progress in a few cases, such as the Cockerille plant and the arms factories; and furthermore its technical equipment is not up to the German standard.
In connection with the revival of industry and of domestic trade, plans for the reopening of foreign commerce have already been worked out. Such men as Senator Sthamer in Antwerp and his circle of gentlemen from the German seaports are studying all the possibilities of a traffic that shall go from the interior of Germany through Antwerp to the lands beyond the seas. It seems strange to find in more than one office maps of the canals of Belgium and Germany and their connections via the Main
and Danube with Austria, enriched with all sorts of new and personal sketches and suggestions; or to learn that both projects for the development of the harbor of Antwerp have met a competitor in the shape of a new German plan.
In the great basin of the harbor of Antwerp lie the thirty-five German steamers whose engines were destroyed by the English before they fled from the city with complete and perfect engines again installed and with the coal bunkers filled ready to steam out into the Atlantic with German goods the moment the peace bells begin to ring.
There has probably never been a case before where the conquerors devoted such an amount of force and energy to the internal rejuvenation of a conquered land, without regard to what sort of bonds were to connect victors and vanquished in the future. It would be a mistake to believe, however, that we have won over a large part of the Belgians. What we have been able, in favorable cases, to give, is very little in comparison with what the country has lost, and what, in the opinion of the inhabitants, would be lost forever if the connection with Germany were to become closer. To people like the Belgians, who have grown up under the protection of neutrality, and in whom the sense of individual freedom has been developed to a remarkable degree, the thought of being joined to Germany, with its subjec tion of individual interests to those of the community, with its military service and social provisions, must be infinitely unsympathetic. Besides, there are all sorts of little annoyances to which the broad masses are subjected, such as the trebling of the railroad rates, which seriously interferes with the workers' habit of living a long distance from their place of business, the strict rule requiring each in person to report to the police, &c.
The well-to-do classes in many ways feel themselves menaced in their very existence, for they plainly see that the great income from the founding of exotic companies will be cut down, like that from the Congo colony, and that through
the better education of the laboring masses and through the introduction of sickness and accident insurance in short, through the social provisions developed in Germany—the economic foundation of many a concern that is technically backward would be shattered or destroyed. Therefore, the propertied classes use every means to maintain and revivify anti-German sentiment among the masses, and in this struggle the clergy stands steadfastly at their side, for annexation to Germany would cause the Church to lose some of its enormous influence. *
A case in which a girl was accused of having assisted the flight of a number of young fellows who joined the Belgian Army caused considerable comment. The defender assigned to her by the military court, with an impartial sense of justice, fought hard for his client, and, after an eight-hour struggle with the military lawyer, won her acquittal. A large number of Belgian Judges sent him
letters of thanks. So the longer the German administration lasts the more there penetrates into broader and broader eircles an understanding of its excellent intentions and of the strength and energy it is devoting to the good of the country.
But we dare not cherish expectations that the rapprochement will become genuinely deep and hearty, because, aside from their history and development, the inhabitants of Belgium, be they Walloons or Flemish, have been impressed with customs and ideas that lead them into entirely different ways from those which are natural and right to Germans. However things may turn out. during the next year, the civil administration has done its best to make the sufferings of war endurable for the Belgians just back of the battle front and to revive the rudely interrupted development of their national life, of their trade and industry, and to lead them into paths that are bound to conduct them to new heights after the war.
Humor Even in Conquered Belgium
In the outskirts of Bruges the Germans have put up signs at all the grade crossings with this Flemish inscription: “ Verboden over den ijzeren weg te gaan "; which means: “ It is forbidden to cross the railway.” The other day some mischievous boys rubbed out the letters “en” at the end of “ ijzeren (iron), making the sign read: “It is forbidden to cross the Yser,” a statement painfully true for the German army at that point. They are still hunting the culprits.-From “ Anecdotes Pathétiques et Plaisantes,” by Gabriel Langlois.
By Colonel Feyler
English Military Expert This study of the invasion of Belgium, which appeared in Land and Water, marshals the constructive evidence tending to show that Germany had made long and minute preparation for such an attack.
MONG the historical problems
raised by the great European war, the question of the invasion
of Belgium remains one of the most absorbing. The German official theory, of course, lays the responsibility upon the Belgians themselves, in that they violated their own neutrality and thus forced the German Army to protect itself against the trap they had laid, by occupying forthwith their territory. It is interesting to examine whether strategical principles (and the German doctrine of their application) will help to support this theory.
Let us, first of all, remember that, apart from a detailed examination, the manoeuvre of 1914 across Belgium gave a striking first impression of being a thoroughly organized and long-considered operation, and showed, outwardly at least, every sign of perfect production and stage management. Of course, in such a judgment, formed without serious documentary evidence, imagination may perhaps play a large part, but we cannot get away from the fact that this judgment coincides exactly with what the Germans themselves affirm to be the reason of that superiority which confers on them the right to world hegemony, namely, in the words of a great German scientist, the chemist Ostwald: faculty for organization which has allowed Germany to attain a higher stage of civilization than the other nations and to which only the war will raise them, (the others.) The French and the English are still at a stage of civilization which the. Germans left more than fifty years ago, the stage of individualism. Germany today is at the higher stage, that of organization."
The Dominant Idea 'If this had been the opinion of a single
man, however influential, it would have been more or less negligible. It was to be found, however, in a multitude of writings; numberless and most varied circumstances go to prove that the opinion of the chemist Ostwald was a current, or rather dominant, opinion in Germany. The idea inspired the German people and, surely to a much higher degree, the German Army: Thus the General Staff was to organize victory by virtue of this superior stage of civilization, just as the Government would organize the nation's labor by suppressing the inferior principle of individualism.
Of course, at present we can only deal in hypotheses. The study of this subject must be resumed at a later date, when it can be approached in a calmer spirit. We can none the less seek to find to what extent the campaign of 1870 influenced, in Germany, that of 1914, for it is beyond doubt, and this applies to France no less than Germany, that the preparation for the war of 1914, excepting, of course, the fixing of its date, began as soon as the Treaty of Frankfort had laid down the new frontier line.
An Infallible System At that moment the Prussian General Staff started work on what one might call the scientific or dogmatic history of the war of 1870-71, for the famous work, so well known to all military men, was intended not merely for a summarization of facts, but more for a justification of methods. An attempt was made in this work to show how warfare should be scientifically organized, leaving nothing, or practically nothing, to chance, and securing victo:y by its very perfection of theory and practice; in short, the German method of warfare, as impeccable and infallible as German science and German truth.
The victorious Moltke of 1870 was thus zones of concentration for the armies as made a prototype for the present war, betrayed by strategic railways, stations, being proclaimed superior to Napoleon, and platforms. As and when the French not only by virtue of his military prowess, strengthened their eastern frontier, so but also by reason of that amazing Ger the Germans tended to abandon their man superstition of race superiority. original bases at Strassburg and Metz Napoleon's equal in military genius, and to develop their preparations for conMoltke had the advantage of belonging to centration on the frontier of Luxema superior race.
burg, and even further north, right up This puerile belief, however, does not to the Dutch frontier. Many writers in prevent Moltke being inferior to Napo
France followed this evolution closely, leon, and indeed to many more in one
so much so that the large and interestrespect-he concluded but two great
ing work by Senator Maxime Lecomte campaigns, as against Napoleon's four
and Lieut. Col. Camille Levi, Neuteen. Less by many were the occasions tralité belge et invasion allemande," pubon which he had to solve intricate stra
lished in 1914 on the eve of hostilities, tegical problems and, in the few cases
prognosticated the operations almost when he was called upon so to do, circum exactly as they took place. stances always led him to repeat the A Remarkable Prediction same manoeuvre. Sadowa, the attempted French envelopment on the Sarre, St.
To the question, “ When the Germans
invade France, will they pass through Private, and Sedan, all these four battles were of a similar type.
Belgium ?” these authors answer most
clearly, “The Germans will pass through Successes of such a lightning character proved irrefutably (to tlic German mind)
Belgium.” In a chapter thus headed, the worth of complete organization, and
they examine the why and the how. the German theory of warfare, based
Why? Because of the weakness of the first and last upon superior organization,
northern French frontier compared with would, therefore, infallibly lead to a com
the eastern, (for the French had long plete German victory. Forty years of
relied on Belgian neutrality to cover military literature impressed this view
their northern flank.) How? Through upon the minds of officers.
the whole of Belgium, for the size of the
first-line armies would involve a crossing A Military Necessity
of the Meuse, without which, indeed, this This hypothesis of a long and minate right wing would hardly succeed in its preparation of the German manoeuvre
attempted envelopment of the French. on the western front leads logically to
“ Their right wing," wrote Messrs. the conclusion that the invasion of Bel
Lecomte and Levi, “ will advance across gium was premeditated. As a matter of
Central Belgium, making in force for fact, it is incredible that any one with the
Paris and moving chiefly along the valley slightest knowledge of German strate
of the Oise, approximately along the gical science should have any doubt on
line Brussels-Mons-Paris.” the subject, despite the subsequent de It is obvious, too, that so enormous an nials by the Imperial Government. The operation could not be improvised on the only man to be frank on this point was
spur of the moment. In order to be von Bethmann Hollweg himself, (at first,) carried out with the regularity which no when he declared to the Reichstag that military man can but admire, the moveBelgium was being crossed in defiance ment must have been prepared in its of all treaties, as a military necessity.
most minute details with the utmost The manoeuvre through Belgium was
foresight. The success of the whole not only a consequence of the systematic plan depended upon a torrential overstudy of Moltke; it was writ large in the local geography. The development of the
flowing of the Belgian territory; it is
hardly to be expected that Realpolitik intention could be followed from 1870
would have omitted stock its hand to 1914 by noting the variation in the
with all the available trumps and that
in this particular case, therefore, above improved and perfected the details of all (where only success could justify the the offensive against France. In 1869 iniquitous means) Germany would fail to the twentieth plan was ready, and when, employ what has always been her ace of faithful to his tradition, Moltke re-examtrumps, namely, her minute organiza ined this plan, he found it satisfactory tion.
and wrote in the margin “Gut auch für Yet another argument: Germany has 1870.” (“Good also for 1870.") never shone in the realms of improvisa Is it possible that the staff which tion, but always as regards analysis and copied all from Moltke would neglect the elaboration. Germans have always known method of working which was his most how to use and develop to the best ad shining success? Out of the question. vantage the invention of others. To take For many years past the violation of Bela recent example, look at aviation; avia gian neutrality must have been written tion originated in France, but at the out in the dossiers of the German staff. And break of the war the German air service
again, not only would they thus be folwas very much better adapted than the lowing Moltke, but all great warriors. French. In France, on the other hand, a Napoleon wrote much on this subject. certain indifference seems always to fol Letter to Berthier Oct. 2, 1804; “ At low on the heels of a crisis of en the moment of declaring war there is so thusiasm. Who, for instance, would much to do that it is wise to start some have thought that, after the hard ex
years beforehand." perience of 1870, the French would have
Letter to Eugene Sept. 18, 1806: been so little prepared for 1914? Ger “ Matters must be considered many many, however, tends to sin on the other
months before they come to pass." side, by an exaggeration of minute or Letter to the staff Sept. 8, 1808: ganization which would often compro Only solid and well-conceived plans can mise a situation brought about by novel
succeed in war." and unexpected circumstances. This is
Journal at St. Helena: “ A plan of another reason why an improvised in
campaign must foresee all that the enemy vasion of Belgium would seem to con
can or may do, and must contain in itflict with all the most stable qualities self the antidote.” of the German character.
That which Napoleon and Moltke emPlan Long Matured
phasized as necessary would not have Lastly, an argument still less assail been neglected by the German staff of able, although lack of documentary evi
the twentieth century, self-styled supedence causes it to be hypothetical: Hav
rior to these. From the moment when ing taken Moltke as strategic mentor, it
the German Government decided to viowould be most extraordinary had the late the treaty it had signed, the staff German staff departed from his most had no alternative but to prepare the masterly quality, namely, an unceasing said violation; the more so as Governreviewing and improving of the plans he ment and staff are one and the same in meditated for future campaigns. Moltke Germany. prepared the campaign of 1870 for thir Everything contradicts, therefore, the teen years, from 1857 onward. During puerile excuse, that the Belgians had viothis period he prepared no less than lated their own neutrality, and, on the twenty detailed memorials addressed to other hand, proves that the passage the King and his Ministers, Generals, through Belgium was premeditated, prob&c. Upon every political change in Eu ably more in the light of conquest than rope, upon every modification of inferior of mere passage. But this last question conditions in Prussia, upon every in will remain for history to answer more crease in the strength of the army, he fully.