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Their Crimes   By:

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Translated from the French


It is proposed to devote any profits from the sale of this work to The League of Remembrance, or for relief work in Lorraine .







Outrages on Women and Children

Killing the Wounded

Sheltering behind Women

Martyrdom of Civilian Prisoners

German Excuses: Lies and Calumny

The German Appeal

Appeal by Belgian Workmen



The purpose of this book is to remind English speaking people all over the Empire and our Allies in America of the wanton destruction and unspeakable terror which have overwhelmed the regions of France and Belgium occupied by the Boche, and also to quicken a true perception of the reparation and punishment due when peace is made with the enemy. In many minds time has dimmed the horrors of August and September 1914. When war weariness is apt to sap resolution and the possibility of a patched up peace is furtively canvassed, the great world of the English speaking race should call to remembrance the inhuman and barely credible acts of brutality and bestiality committed in cold blood by the German race.

No apology is made for this book. It is a translation of a document which has created a profound impression in France. It is an authoritative record of German crimes committed on the people of Belgium and Northern France, attested by the Mayors of twenty six French towns. Some time ago permission was obtained from the French Committee of Publication (the Prefect of Meurthe and Moselle, and the Mayors of Nancy and Luneville) to produce an English version on condition that the translation be an "exact and literal translation." This has been completed and the Editor, the Rev. J. Esslemont Adams, an Assistant Principal Chaplain with the British Expeditionary Force in France, is indebted to the friends who have assisted in producing the work.


This is a book of horrors, but a book of plain truths! Where have we discovered our facts? They are taken from three sources: First , Four reports issued by the French Commission of Enquiry[1]; and "Germany's Violation of the Laws of Warfare," published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Second , Two volumes containing twenty two reports of the Belgian Commission[2], and the Reply to the German White Book of the 15th May, 1915; Third , Notebooks found upon a large number of German soldiers, non commissioned officers, and officers, who have been wounded or taken prisoners, and translated under the direction of the French Government. These valuable records, in which the bandits and their leaders have imprudently given themselves away, are real " pièces à conviction ."

These reports in their entirety form an overwhelming indictment. We wish that everyone could study them in full. But the books are large, running to thousands of pages, and will not find their way to the general public.

Yet everyone ought to know how the Germans carry on war. We have therefore made selections from these documents in order to compile this small pamphlet. A dismal task, this wading through mud and blood! And a hard task, to run through all these reports, pencil in hand, with the idea of underlining the essential facts ! You find yourself noting down each page, marking each paragraph; and, lo and behold, at the end of the book, you have selected everything that is to say, nothing. One might as well start to gather the hundred finest among the leaves of a forest, or to pick up the hundred most glittering grains among the sand on a beach. All we can do is to take the first examples which come to hand. This, then, is not a collection of the most stirring and striking German crimes, but simply a book of samples. Until complete statistics are forthcoming, two classes of outrage stand out, and must remain ever present to the mind: murdered civilians can be counted in thousands; houses wilfully burned, in tens of thousands.

For want of time and space we have concerned ourselves here only with crimes committed in Belgium and France, and we have had no thought of separating the two neighbouring sister nations... Continue reading book >>

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