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able to make any effective counterattack, any Belgian destruction, in Holland, and every day increases the weight of the blow that Holland may deliver. What are the chances that Holland may not ultimately realize to the full the possibilities of that blow and join the Allies?
Against her doing so is the consideration that she is doing very well as she is. She keeps her freedom. Practically the Allies fight to secure it for her. The dread of Germanization which has hung over Holland for forty years seems to recede.
And, of course, as a secondary restraining force there is the reasonable fear of devastation. The good German vindictiveness might make one last supreme effort.
But, on the other hand, is she really doing as well as it seems? Unless she intervenes this war will probably last for another full year. She wants it to end. It is a terrible oppression. Her army must remain mobilized, even if it does not fight. Her trade stagnates. She is incumbered by refugees. What if she struck to end the war and get the tension over? Not now, perhaps, but presently. Simultaneously with the Franco-British counter-stroke that now draws near.
And what if she struck also for a hatred of what has happened to Belgium? Suppose the Dutch are not so much frightened by the horrible example of Belgium as indignant. My impression of the Dutch-and we English know something of the Dutch spirit-is that they are a people not easily cowed. Suppose that they have not only a reasonable fear but a reasonable hatred of "frightfulness." Suppose that an intelligent fellow-feeling for a small nation has filled them with a desire to give Germany a lesson. There, it may be, is a second reason why Holland should come in.
And by coming in, there is something more than the mere termination of a strain and the vindication of international righteousness to consider. There is the possibility, and not only the possibility but the possible need, that Holland should
come out of this world war aggrandized. I want to lay stress upon that, because it may prove a decisive factor in this matter.
The Dutch desire aggrandizement for the sake of aggrandizement as little as any nation in Europe. But what if the path of aggrandizement be also the path of safety?
It is clear that both France and Belgium will demand and receive territorial compensation for these last months of horror. It is ridiculous to suppose that the Germans may fling war in its most atrocious and filthy form over Belgium and some of the sweetest parts of France without paying bitterly and abundantly for the freak.
Quite apart from indemnities, France and Belgium must push forward their boundaries so far that if ever Germany tries another rush she will have to rush for some days through her own lost lands. The only tolerable frontier against Germans is a day's march deep in Germany. Of course, Liége will have to be covered in the future by Belgian annexations in the Aix region and stretching toward Cologne, and France will go to the Rhine. I think Belgium as well as France will be forced to go to the Rhine.
It is no good talking now of buffer States, because the German conscience cannot respect them. Buffer States are just anvil States. At any rate, very considerable annexations of German territory by Belgium and France are now inevitable, and Holland must expect a much larger and stronger Belgium to the south of her, allied firmly to France and England.
And to the north is it very likely that the British will be able to tolerate the continued German possession of the Frisian Islands? These islands, and the coast of East Friesland, have had but one use in German hands, and that use has been the preparation of attacks on England. Clearly the British may decide to have no more of such attacks. Every advance in scientific warfare may make them more dangerous and exasperating. The British intend soberly and sanely
to do their utmost to make a repetition of the present war impossible. cure this they may find it necessary to have Germany out of the North Sea. But they have no desire whatever to take either the Frisian Islands or East Friesland, if Holland will save them that trouble.
Now, suppose the Dutch will not think of this now. Suppose, for the want of their aid, the Allies are unable to press the war to the complete regimentation of Germany, what will be the position of Holland in twenty years' time?
She will stand between England and Germany. A Germany incompletely beaten means an Anglophobe Germany.
Belgium and France expanded, recuperated, allied, linked by a common literature and language, may be too formidable for another German attack. So that there is the possibility that in twenty years' time or so Germany, recovering and vindictive, may in some way contrive to hold off France and Belgium, and try her luck against England alone. By that time submarine and aeroplane may be so developed as to render a German attack on England much more hopeful than it is at present, especially by way of the Rhine mouth. What, in the light of the Belgian experience and the new doctrine of a "right of way," will be the outlook for a little isolated Holland, as small
as she is now, as a buffer State in such
She has always been claimed as a part of the great Pan-German scheme, and at any time she may find the German heel upon her face, vindictively punishing her for her lack of enthusiasm for Teutonic brotherhood. Hadn't she better get herself a little larger and stronger now; hadn't she better help to make the ending of the German threat more conclusive, and link herself definitely with the grand alliance of the Western Powers? Now she could make a very good bargain indeed. If she inquired she would find Britain ready enough to guarantee the integrity and protection of Holland's colonial empire forever by the British fleet. All the four Western Powers, France, Belgium, Holland, Britain, would be willing to make the most binding pledges for such mutual protection. It is the manifest common sense of the settlement that they should set up such a collective guarantee. And, in addition, there are those Frisian Islands, and East Friesland, and that dangerous wedge that Germany drives into Holland along the Rhine. It is not difficult to map a very much improved Dutch frontier along the Ems, and thence striking down to the Rhine and meeting the iron country on the left bank of the Rhine, whose annexation and exploitation is Belgium's legitimate compensation for her devastation and sufferings. Here are the makings of a safer Greater Holland! Thousands of Dutchmen must be looking on the map at the present time and thinking such things as this. There, clearly and attractively, is the price of alliance.
The price of neutrality is an intact Holland and a certain isolation in the years ahead. But still, I admit, a not unhappy Holland, Dutch and free. Until a fresh Anglo-German struggle begins. Yet, be it noted, a Holland a little help
less and friendless if some renascent Asiatic Power should presently covet her Eastern possessions.
The price of participation with Germany, on the other hand, is complete envelopment in the warm embrace of the "good German brotherhood "—the gradual substitution of the German language for the Dutch, and a Germanization of such colonies as the Allies may still leave for Holland, frequent State visits from Kaisers, and the subordination of Dutch mercantile interests to those of Hamburg and Altona and (Germanized) Antwerp. And the everlasting howling everywhere of "Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles."
(No! No! They will never fight for the Germans. No sane people will ever fight for the Germans if they can possibly avoid it. Not even our press censorship, not even the Maximilian Krafts in our silliest weekly papers will provoke Holland to that.)
But I have a sort of feeling, for the reasons I have stated, that even without any serious breach of Dutch neutrality by the Germans, Holland may decide presently to put her troops beside the Belgians. And if, as is always possible, the Germans do make some lumpish onslaught upon Dutch neutrality, then I am convinced that at once that sturdy little country will up and fight like the very devil. And do remarkably well by it.
And I have a much stronger feeling that presently the Dutch Government will ask the Germans to reconsider their proposed annexation of Belgium. Upon that point Holland has absolutely dictatorial power at the present moment. She could secure the independence of Belgium at the cost of a little paper and ink, she could force Germany to evacuate her sister country by the mere movement of her army.
Copyright in U. 8. A.
French Official Report
on German Atrocities
Having been instructed to investigate atrocities said to have been committed by the Germans in portions of French territory which had been occupied by them, a commission composed of four representatives of the French Government repaired to these districts in order to make a thorough investigation. The commission was composed of M. Georges Payelle, First President of the Cour des Comptes; Armand Mollard, Minister Plenipotentiary; Georges Maringer, Counselor of State, and Edmond Paillot, Counselor of the Cour de Cassation.
They started on their mission late in September, 1914, and visited the Departments of Seine-et-Marne, Marne, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Oise, and Aisne. According to the report, they made note only of those accusations against the invaders which were backed up by reliable testimony and discarded everything that might have been occasioned by the exigencies of war.
Presented to the President of the Council by the commission instituted with a view to investigating acts committed by the enemy in violation of international law. Decree of Sept. 23, 1914. MM. Georges Payelle, First President of the Cour des Comptes; Armand Mollard, Minister Plenipotentiary; Georges Maringer, Counselor of State, and Edmond Paillot, Counselor at the Court of Appeal. TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS:
IR: Having been appointed by virtue of a decree of the 23d of last September to carry out on the spot an inquiry in relation to acts committed in violation of international law in the portions of French territory occupied by the enemy which have been reconquered by the armies of the republic, we have the honor to lay before you the first results of our mission.
We have already a full harvest of information to submit. It includes, however, a very limited part of the findings at which we should have been able to arrive if we had not submitted all the evidence which was laid before us to severe criticism and rigorous examination. We have indeed believed it to be our duty only to place on record those facts which, being established beyond dispute, consti
tute with absolute certainty what may be clearly termed crimes, omitting those the proofs of which were, in our view, insufficient, or which, however destructive or cruel they were, might have been the result of acts of war properly so called, rather than of willful excesses, attributable to the enemy.
Thus we are convinced that none of the incidents which we have investigated could be disputed in good faith. In addition the proof of each of them does not depend only on our personal observations; it is founded chiefly on photographs and on a mass of evidence received in judicial form, with the sanction of an oath.
The lamentable sights which we have had before our eyes have made the task to which we all four addressed ourselves, with a close association of ideas and feelings, a very grievous one. It would indeed have been too painful if we had not found a powerful suppor found a powerful suppor the wonderful troops whal the front, in the leaders whose failed us, tion who b with the me the district
ticularly in that country of Lorraine which was so frequently the victim of the scourge of war, not one entreaty for help, not one moan, reached our ears; and yet the terrible misery of which we have been witness surpasses in extent and horror anything which the imagination can conceive. On every side our eyes rested on ruin. Whole villages have been destroyed by bombardment or fire; towns formerly full of life are now nothing but deserts full of ruins; and, in visiting the scenes of desolation where the invader's torch has done its work, one feels continually as though one were walking among the remains of one of those cities of antiquity which have been annihilated by the great cataclysms of nature.
In truth it can be stated that never has a war carried on between civilized nations assumed the savage and ferocious character of the one which at this moment is being waged on our soil by an implacable adversary. Pillage, rape, arson, and murder are the common practice of our enemies; and the facts which have been revealed to us day by day at once constitute definite crimes against common rights, punished by the codes of every country with the most severe and the most dishonoring penalties, and which prove an astonishing degeneration in German habits of thought since 1870.
Crimes against women and young girls have been of appalling frequency. We have proved a great number of them, but they only represent an infinitesimal proportion of those which we could have taken up. Owing to a sense of decency, which is deserving of every respect, the victims of these hateful acts usually refuse to disclose them. Doubtless fewer would have been committed if the leaders of an army whose discipline is most us had taken any trouble to prevet, strictly speaking, they dered as the individual
of uncaged beasts. rson, theft, and different; the the highest manity the for these
In the greater part of the places where we carried on our inquiry we came to the conclusion that the German Army constantly professes the most complete contempt for human life, that its soldiers, and even its officers, do not hesitate to finish off the wounded, that they kill without pity the inoffensive inhabitants of the territories which they have invaded, and they do not spare in their murderous rage women, old men, or children. The wholesale shootings at Lunéville, Gerbéviller, Nomeny, and Senlis are terrible examples of this; and in the course of this report you will read the story of scenes of carnage in which officers themselves have not been ashamed to take part.
The mind refuses to believe that all these butcheries should have taken place without justification. Still, it is so! It is true that the Germans have always advanced the same pretext for them, alleging that civilians had begun by firing upon them. This allegation is a lie, and those who advance it have been unable to
give it any probability, even by firing rifle shots in the neighborhood of houses, as they are accustomed to do in order to be able to state that they have been attacked by an innocent population on whose ruin or massacre they have resolved. We have many times ascertained the truth of this; here is one among others:
One evening the Abbé Colin, Curé of Croismare, was standing near an officer when the report of a gun rang out. The latter cried, "Monsieur le Curé, that is enough to cause you to be shot as well as the Burgomaster, and for a farm to be burned; look, there is one on fire." "Sir," replied the priest, "you are too intelligent not to recognize the sharp sound of your German rifle. For my part, I recognize it." The German did not press the point.
Personal liberty, like human life, is the object of complete scorn on the part of the German military authorities. Almost everywhere citizens of every age have been dragged from their homes and led into captivity, many have died or been killed on the way.
Arson, still more than murder, forms