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In Addition to New Fortifications and a Steel Net at the Narrows, a Mine Field Has Been Planned
by the Coast Defense Artillery
The Liberators” of Poland
Horrors of the Teutonic Invasion, as
Eugene Griselle, General Secretary of the French Catholic Committee of Foreign Missions, contributes to La Revue Hebdomedaire the subjoined account of events attending the Prussian and Austrian occupation of Poland. His materials are drawn from Colonel A. S. Rezanoff's “ German Atrocities on the Russian Front," summarizing the results of an official inquiry by the Russian Government. In each case the source is given in full in the original.
[This matter is published without verification by the editor, and is presented as en parte contribution.-EDITOR CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE.]
HE château of A. Budny was visit
ed by two Austrian officers, Count Zitchy and Baron Sardas.
They began by ordering a copious meal, and, while it was being prepared, they made a tour through the château, during which they stole shamelessly. Baron Sardas, without the smallest hesitation picked up from a table a valuable gold watch, with chain and charms, and, when M. Budny protested, drew a levolver and threatened to shoot him. Count Zitchy, carrying a small traveling bag in his hand, gathered up rare bibelots as “ keepsakes.” From the stable the two officers chose six thoroughbred horses, of a total value of 50,000 rubles, saying that they “requisitioned" them. The visit of these two Austrian " aristocrats cost M. Budny something over 80,000 rubles.
The Austrians, when retreating, set fire to the villages and savagely shut down the pacific inhabitants. Among prisoners taken by the Russians was a Captain Schmidt, who made himself famous as an incendiary of defenseless villages, a destroyer of churches and shrines. *
A Russian officer testified: “I saw with my own eyes the savagery and insane cruelty of the Austrians, running from house to house, to burn a village and destroy, in the midst of so much suffering, whatever had miraculously escaped our artillery fire. The town of Iuzefov, on the Vistula, was burned to the ground. * * * At Iurov the Teutonic fury manifested itself with peculiar violence. After setting fire to the village at four points, the Germans began to fire on all who tried to save anything from the flames.
The hapless inhabitants who escaped from the burning houses were equally greeted with rifle fire. A few families hid in the cellars; others in potato pits. As soon as they discovered this, the Germans threw straw into the pits and set fire to it. The maddened refugees, when they tried to climb out, were met with bullet and bayonet. In the cellars fortytwo bodies, slain in this horrible way, were counted. The Germans killed an old man named Bazarnik by firing four salvos at him, the first being aimed at his feet, the second at his loins, the third at his breast, the fourth at his head. These salvos were fired at intervals, intentionally lengthened."
In the villages of Sonta and VeprieCzero the Austrians assaulted the women. In the village of Sumin, according to the deposition of the parish priest of Ternovatka, a woman who resisted was murdered; her ears and breasts were cut
woman tax" was reduced to system by the Austrians. The officers coldly ordered so many women to be brought to one or another detachment of their troops. Those who resisted were shot. *
The Deputy, Makonietchni, who visited the Lublin district, testified that the violations of women were innumerable; the most monstrous and incredible outrages were inflicted on them, many of them having their breasts cut off. * Austrians, literally drunk with fury, threw the unfortunate inhabitants into the burning houses. There were numerous cases where soldiers impaled children on their bayonets and then threw them into the flames.
The manager of an estate on the outskirts of Lovicz testified: “ The Teutons
came to us toward evening, at least seyenty in number. They put their horses in the stables, the sheds, and the cow houses, driving out the cows. Then they came into the house, crying: 'Give us supper!' 'Give us wine!! We killed poultry and I opened the cellar. Meanwhile, the officers wandered from room to room,
with drawn swords, slashing at everything, portraits, porcelains, the grand piano.
“But the worst came later. When supper was over, the officers, three in number, who had drunk six bottles of wine, were completely drunk. 'Bring us women!' they cried. The soldiers rushed to fulfill their orders. I had my wife and a little girl of 12; the mechanician who lived in the house had a young wife; he had been married only that Summer. The poor creatures were seized. Terrorized, broken down, I could not move. The mechanician's wife struggled to escape, crying to him: * Save me from dishonor!' He dashed toward her, but a dragoon cut him over the head with his sabre. She died during the night. They brought the two women and the little girl into the officers' room. The little girl was found dead in the morning.
* * * An eyewitness records a monstrous piece of cruelty which he saw in the village of Kilniki, in the district of Vèrshbolovo, in the Government of Suvalki: The inhabitants led me to the hut of a Polish peasant, aged 56, Ossip Binderovitch by name. The miserable wretch was lying on a mattress, torn by convulsions of agony. His daughters, without a word, led me close to the body, which was beginning to stiffen, and with their fingers opened his mouth. I shuddered with horror; in place of the tongue there was a gaping wound. A few minutes later Binderovitch died under my eyes. His daughters told me the Germans had torn his tongue out because he had refused to show them the direction in which the Cossack scouts had retreated from the village.
The prior of the famous Polish Monastery of Czenstochovo has testified to the thefts of the Germans. Thousands of
pounds of silver and gold, the offerings of pilgrims to the shrine, a great quantity of pearls from the halo of the famous image of the Virgin, among others a costly pearl given by the Chancellor, Prince Lubomisrki; the giant ruby taken from the haft of a dagger captured by Jan Sobieski under the walls of Vienna, an emerald weighing more than forty karats, given by an unknown pilgrim in 1812, were carried away.
When the German officers, installed in the monastery after the expulsion of the monks, had emptied the wine cellars, they
requisitioned" the women of the town. The razzia was carried out under atrocious conditions. [The details here are so abominable that it is impossible to translate them.-Ed.]
Soon there was not a house in which were not heard foul German oaths; in the streets the conduct of the Germans was volting.
There was not a house in Czenstochovo that had not some infamy to lament.
By evening, more than fifteen hundred had been arrested, men and women. All were declared prisoners of war and sent to Germany.
In the village of Topaltcha, the soldiers of the Apostolic Emperor, Francis Joseph, established their hospital in the church, which was found littered with excrement.
The church vessels were gone.
On the altar the soldiers had drunk, eaten, and played cards. In the sacristy, all objects of value were stolen. The fonts were turned into urinals.
Michlachevski, employe of the Countess Branitzka, testified: With a considerable group of Poles, I was moved from town to town in Germany, working at the supply of provisions for the troops, in the slaughterhouses, at the burial of soldiers, digging trenches. Finally, we were dressed in military uniforms and sent to fight against the French at Lunéville.
S. F. Koninski testified: The Germans brought a large body of civilian prisoners to Silesia, drilled them, and sent them to Belgium and France, where they were put on the firing line.
Ordeals of the Wounded Extraordinary Phases and Episodes Described by Medical
I. [Translated for CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE from a report made by Professor Ludovico Isnardi to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Turin, Italy. Professor Isnardi has been Director of the Military Reserve Hospital at Vercelli since the beginning of the war.]
HERE is a sort of suppurating wound produced by the so-called wounds by explosion, with orifice
an order, a solid scientific preparation in our field physicians which are truly admirable.
of ample exit, funnel-shaped and especially dangerous when found in the thigh and leg. In these wounds for the most part the skeleton is affected.
It is easy to understand how in these cases the wounds become infected, if one thinks of the difficult places in which our war is being carried on.
wounded have been lowered with ropes from the rocks. Many with serious wounds are compelled to go on foot over long tracts of most laborious road. One soldier fell at fifty meters from the enemy's trenches with fracture of the femur near the base of the thigh and with a wound on the internal side as large as a hand; all alone he bound the sick leg tightly to the well one with his belt, then slid down the slope of a hill, and for five hours crawled on hands and feet until he reached his own camp
The inflammation of these wounds is impressive. From the orifices issue black blood, pus, and sometimes gas; the intermuscular spaces are invaded by the pus, the whole joint is discolored and much swollen; high fever, and in the first nights delirium. One condition only is favorable, the extert of the cutaneous opening.
I ought to say parenthetically that, in spite of everything, in general our wounded soldiers on arrival at the hospital with the clinical history which accompanies them, the dressings perfected, the fractured joints immobilized, often with plaster on which is written clearly the diagnosis and the facts, attest a calm,
[Translated for CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE from a recent article in Revue de Chirurgie, Paris, by André Chalier and Roger Glénard. These two men made a military hospital out of a Summer hotel in the high valley of the Moselle, near one of the most frequented passes of the Vosges.]
The wounded were brought to us from the firing line, distant some 20 to 25 kilometers, in French, English, or American automobiles. They came to us either directly or after having passed through a division ambulance located in front of us, in relay fashion. We have received many wounded barely a few hours after they were put hors de combat, but the majority have come to us quite late, after one or several days of waiting, the delay being accounted for by the difficulties encountered in picking them up and by the length of the transport in the mountainous regions where our soldiers were fighting.
Thus, for example, an infantryman receives a ball in the chest at 3 P. M. He loses blood by the mouth, and, very much oppressed, does 300 meters on foot in order to gain the relief station; in traversing this distance he has to rest himself three times. He remains at the relief station until 9 P. M., then the stretcher bearers carry him for two hours, until he reaches a shelter for sappers, where he rests for three hours, and continues to spit much blood. The next day, at 2 A. M., he is placed on a mule, which carries him for three hours across the mountain, only to put him down by the edge of the road at 5 A. M. There a cart picks him up at 7 A, M., and puts him down at 10 A. M. at a point where finally horse-drawn vehicles arrive, which conduct him to the division ambulance.
Another infantryman, wounded at 10