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Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben   By: (1880-)

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First Page:

SIXTEEN MONTHS IN FOUR GERMAN PRISONS

WESEL SENNELAGER KLINGELPUTZ RUHLEBEN

Narrated by HENRY C. MAHONEY

Chronicled by FREDERICK A. TALBOT Author of "The New Garden of Canada," "Conquests of Science," Etc.

London and Edinburgh Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd. 1917

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR AS HE APPEARED ON THE DAY OF HIS RELEASE FROM RUHLEBEN.

From an official photograph taken by the German Government for attachment to the passport. The embossed imprint of the stamp of the Kommandantur of Berlin may be seen.

Frontispiece ]

TO MY WIFE AND CHILDREN

WHO WAITED PATIENTLY AND ANXIOUSLY FOR "DADDY," AND TO

A FRIEND,

STILL LANGUISHING IN RUHLEBEN, TO WHOM I OWE MY LIFE

PRISONER'S NOTE

It was whilst suffering the agonies of solitary confinement in the military prison of Wesel that I first decided to record my experiences so that readers might be able to glean some idea of the inner workings and the treatment meted out to our unfortunate compatriots who were travelling in Germany at the outbreak of war and who have since been interned.

From the moment of my decision I gathered all the information possible, determining at the first opportunity to escape to the Old Country. As will be seen I have to a degree been successful.

Owing to the grossly inaccurate and highly coloured reports which have been circulated from time to time regarding the life and treatment of prisoners of war, the story has been set out in a plain unvarnished form. There are no exaggerations whatever. Much of the most revolting detail has been eliminated for the simple reason that they are unprintable.

In nearly every instance names have been suppressed. Only initials have been indicated, but sufficient description is attached to enable personal friends of those who are still so unfortunate as to be incarcerated to identify them and their present situation. Likewise, in the cases where I received kind treatment from Germans, initials only have been introduced, since the publication of their names would only serve to bring punishment upon them.

H.C.M.

[Illustration: Statutory Declaration]

CHRONICLER'S NOTE

On Friday afternoon, July 31, 1914, I shook hands in farewell with my friend Henry C. Mahoney. He was going to Warsaw and was full of enthusiasm concerning the new task which was to occupy him for at least three months. Owing to his exceptional skill and knowledge, practical as well as theoretical, of photography in all its varied branches, he had been offered, and had accepted an important appointment abroad in connection with this craft one which made a profound appeal to him. Despite the stormy outlook in the diplomatic world he felt convinced that he would be able to squeeze through in the nick of time.

Although he promised to keep me well informed of his movements months passed in silence. Then some ugly and ominous rumours came to hand to the effect that he had been arrested as a spy in Germany, had been secretly tried and had been shot. I did not attach any credence to these vague, wild stories. I knew he had never been to Germany before, and was au courant with the harmless nature of his mission.

A year elapsed before I had any definite news. Then to my surprise I received a letter from him dispatched from the Interned British Prisoners Camp at Ruhleben. As a matter of fact I learned subsequently that he had previously written six letters and post cards to me, but none had reached me; most likely they had been intercepted and suppressed by the German authorities.

The letter intimated that he had prepared a voluminous account of his experiences. Two or three days later I learned from another source that he had been "having a hard, rough, and exciting time," and that he could relate one of the most fascinating and sensational stories concerning the treatment meted out to our compatriots by the German authorities... Continue reading book >>




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