Imágenes de páginas

Photo by Bain News Service



part of the town is a veritable Elysium." It was in the latter's Memoirs in which was written "Luxemburg resembles nothing but itself," with which all its visitors seem heartily to accord.

A lively interest has been awakened in France recently over the fate of the neighboring little Grand Duchy through whose territory the Germans fell upon the French stronghold of Longwy.

Part of the interest is due to the fact that it is through the acquiescence and with the assistance of France that Switzerland is today providing food for the population of the Grand Duchy, pending the gathering of the harvest, and part to the fact that, for the first time, some of the details of the violation by Germany of the neutrality of the tiny state are just coming to light.

Premier Eyschen, who had given his whole life to making and keeping the freedom of Luxemburg, did not surrender easily. Roused out of bed at daybreak by the news of the first incursion of German troops, he telephoned the German minister to the

Grand Duchy his protest and then put it into writing.

But he did not wait for the German minister to transmit the protest. He sent a telegram of his own to Imperial Foreign Minister von Jagow, and the Grand Duchess herself sent one to her cousin, the German Emperor. At the same time he sent Major von Dyck of the Luxemburg army of 150 soldiers with a protest, to be delivered to the commander of the invading troops. Lieutenant Wilhelmy registered a formal protest with the commandant of the German troops who had taken possession of the railway station of the City of Luxemburg, and Lieutenant Franck, under like orders, presented Minister Eyschen's protest to Major von Baerensprung, commanding the German corps of occupation.

It was toward evening that Minister Eyschen received an answer to his telegram to Herr von Jagow-indeed, he received two, one from the German Foreign Minister and the other from the Chancellor of the German Empire. The little Grand Duchess had her reply from her imperial cousin on August 8. All were in the same tenor. Von Jagow's message said: "The imperial Government guarantees Luxemburg full compensation for any damage done by us. * * * We have reliable information, according to which French forces are in march on Luxemburg." To this Minister Eyschen replied by telegraph: "There is not one single French soldier on Luxemburg territory, nor any sign whatsoever of any threatening of Luxemburg's neutrality from the French side. On the contrary, on August I the rails of the railroad on French territory near Mont St. Martin-Longwy were torn up."

In spite of this assurance, and in spite of the fact that hours since German scouts had already penetrated through Luxemburg into France and knew that no French attack upon Luxemburg had been or was being planned, the troops occupying the city of Luxemburg proposed to post a proclamation, dated August 2, 1914, which had been printed in Coblenz and brought with them on their coming to the Grand Duchy, giving as the reason for the military occupation of that neutral state that France had already violated the neutrality of the Grand Duchy. Minister Eyschen obtained


a copy of this document and read it to the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy. Its text follows:

"Owing to the failure of France to respect the neutrality of Luxemburg, her warlike acts-established beyond any doubt -directed against German troops from the very territory of Luxemburg have forced his Majesty, under the bitter compulsion of iron necessity, to order that German troops, the Eighth Army Corps of the First Line, also march into Luxemburg."

This document was signed simply "Commanding General of the Eighth Army Corps."

Minister Eyschen protested against this proclamation with the utmost vigor to the commanding officer of the Prussian troops in occupation, and it was then abandoned for one which read: "His Majesty, moved by an unavoidable necessity and induced to the action by the disregard of neutrality on the part of France, has ordered the marching of troops into Luxemburg." This second document was signed "Tulff von Tscheppe und Weidenbach, Commanding General of the Prussian Eighth Army Corps."

Against this, also Minister Eyschen protested, and telegraphed his protest to Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg. The reply he received was that no hostilities were directed against the Grand Duchy, and that the local laws of the Grand Duchy would continue to prevail. Constrained to accept this situation, Minister Eyschen asked assurances to the same effect from the German commander and from the German minister. Both gave them.

The following day, however, after this agreement had been reached--that Luxemburg should be free to administer her own affairs-the German dictation began.

The first step was to demand of Luxemburg's Minister of State, already struggling with the problem of feeding his people, the immediate expulsion of the French minister to Luxemburg from the soil of the Grand Duchy. When the demand was made, Mr. Eyschen, pointing out that France was not at war with the Grand Duchy, asked the German Minister to put his request in writing. Herr von Buch did


"I have the honor," he wrote Mr.

Eyschen, "in conformance with the instructions of his Excellency General von Fuchs, to beg you to invite the French minister, Mr. Mollard, to quit Luxemburg as soon as possible and to go to France; otherwise the German military authorities will be faced with the painful necessity of placing Mr. Mollard under the surveillance of a military guard and in extremity of proceeding to his arrest." The French minister made his own way, with neither escort nor safe conduct, through the German lines. His last official act was to beg the Premier of the Grand Duchy to care for the French citizens who might be remaining.

The German chancellor had explained that Germany desired only to administer her State railway through the Grand Duchy. But the Prime Minister of Luxemburg was forced to protest that the seizure and occupation of the post office, the public telephones, the telegraph, and the govern

[graphic][merged small]

ment building were not essential to the administration of the railway. The night of August 3 German sentinels stationed in the Place de la Constitution of the City of Luxemburg thought they saw a French aeroplane over the city and began firing at random.

On August 3 the Twenty-ninth, the One Hundred and Sixty-first Regiment, armed with machine guns, and the Forty-fourth Artillery, fell to hacking down trees, digging entrenchments, and driving the inhabitants from their homes in the district around Merl. Minister Eyschen set forth these infractions of previous assurances to the parliament of Luxemburg at its special meeting August 4. The Grand Duchess was unable to attend her parliament, not being permitted to leave her palace. But the German military authorities suggested to her that an isolated residence in the country like Colmar-Berg was no place for her younger sisters and advised her to send for them.

"Why should they not be safe at ColmarBerg?" the Grand Duchess asked. "They have nothing to fear from my people. It is not fitting that my family give the signal for flight to my distracted people." And they remained.

On August 4 a Luxemburger, J. Hheisen, was arrested by the German military authorities for approaching the German lines. Minister Eyschen was at great pains to save his compatriot from being shot out of hand as a spy. This arrest was followed by


"Surely," said Minister Eyschen in protest, "these arrests are not in keeping with the assurances I have been given by his Imperial Majesty that the civil laws of the Grand Duchy will be respected."

General Tulff von Tscheppe und Weidenbach on August 9 demanded and was accorded audience with the Grand Duchess. He repeated the assurance already given that the liberties of the Luxemburgers would be carefully conserved. Immediately after the interview he undertook to censor the news published in the journals of the Grand Duchy. Arrests of civilians charged with "approaching German military works" continued, and those arrested were shipped into Germany.

The entire public telephone service of the

Grand Duchy was suspended by the German military authorities on August II with the exception of the service in the city of Luxemburg proper. Two days later General von Schenk wrote Minister Eyschen demanding the exercise of rigid censorship of all newspapers in Grand Duchal territory. On the 14th the Independence Luxemburgcoise, the leading daily of Luxemburg, voluntarily suspended publication after printing a bitter announcement that it was impossible to give the news under the restrictions made by the invading military authorities.

Meanwhile, the people of the Grand Duchy feared that they were to be left to starve. "I told the superior officer to whom I first spoke," said Minister Eyschen to the Chamber of Deputies, in giving his official account of what had passed, at the extraordinary meeting on August 4, "that Luxemburg did not possess sufficient victuals to feed so many troops; that we were accustomed to buy products in bulk from Antwerp. a port of which we were, the 'Hinterland'; that this port had been closed to us, and that I had addressed Belgium requesting that other ports be opened to us, and that this was refused. You know that the countries which surround us have closed their frontiers against any exportation to the Grand Duchy. I have applied right and left for an exception in favor of Luxemburg, but I have not succeeded."

Cut off, wholly surrounded by German troops and subject to their military jurisdiction, the history of Luxemburg since that day is declared to have been an accumulation of encroachments and sacrifices, which the Luxemburgers regard as tyrannies. Today there are more than 4,000 Luxembergers serving as volunteers in the French army. In the spring the food supply failed. The government took what little was left and put the population on bread cards, each person being entitled to seven ounces of bread daily. Slowly that amount was reduced until in April the people were living on four ounces of bread a day. With the arrival of help from Switzerland, this was raised again to a shade over six ounces of bread a day, where it now stands.

Today the sentiment in the Grand Duchy would appear to be that expressed by the Grand Duchess to her Parliament on No

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.

THE UPPER CITY OF LUXEMBURG FROM THE RIVER Luxemburg has been called the flower city, for it is resplendent with roses of every hue, while trees and terraces top the dizzy walls and the battlements are covered with soft faded mosses as if to erase all ravages of earlier times.

vember 10 when she said with dignity:

"The neutrality of the Grand Duchy has been violated. I and my government hastened to protest against this act. The facts were promptly brought to the attention of the powers signatory to the Treaty of London of 1867 (Prussia, Austria, France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium). The Chamber of Deputies has given its approbation of our conduct. Our rights, therefore, remain intact, albeit they have been unrecognized."

It will breed perpetual strife to permit any outcome of the war to destroy the identity of Luxemburg by merging it into Prussia. The city was garrisoned for fifty years by Prussians and the memory of their presence is odious to every Luxemberger. To end the Prussian designs on their independence has been the very keynote of their patriotism to this day. So much the national song tells every visitor who may read its refrain on the base of the monument to two national poets in the Place d'armes. "We will never become Prussians. We will remain what we are." And the chimes of the cathedral every second hour repeat the air. It is indeed neither martial

nor stately, but as becomes so small a nation all homely and intimate.

The heroism and the sufferings of Belgium have inevitably distracted the world's attention from an outrage inhuman in inception and design upon its helpless neighbor. But the insecurity of the Grand Duchy is not the least of the problems which the war presents. What is to become of Luxemburg when it is all over? The diplomatists of Europe at least must not repeat the follies of the last grand settlement and presume to adjudicate territory without consulting the desires of the peoples. The Luxemburgers must be masters of their own communications. They must be released from their economic servitude. It may turn out that they are faithful to their old aspiration and will prefer to join their several brothers under the Belgian crown. Or they may chivalrously cling to their young ruler, although her house has no deep roots in the national soil. In any case their freedom ought not to be left again to chance nor their state sacrificed to dynastic interest or theories of race or the convenience of foreign powers with no regard for their own promises or their neighbor's peace.



By Albert Bushnell Hart

Professor of Government, Harvard University

HE government of the United States

for many years did not like "protectorates" and "spheres of influence" and other phrases which cover the intention of governments to exercise influence in the affairs of a weak state without formal annexation. The British were 22 years in Egypt before they acknowledged the truth that the country was really one of their colonies.

The United States in 1898 had a similar chance to annex Cuba; but, by the famous Teller resolution, announced in advance that the people of that island should have an opportunity to frame their own government. When the time came, however, the United States was not willing to leave the Cubans free to drift into the hands of any other power; and therefore, by the Platt amendment, laid down conditions which the

Cubans had to accept, and did so, promptly.

Cuba is therefore not an independent country, but a protectorate of the United States. The Cuban government can make no treaty and incur no debt which would interfere with interests of the United States. One of the Platt resolutions allowed the United States to send troops if necessary to keep order. It was done in 1906, and for two years the regular Cuban government was suspended.

That is a perfectly clear and open arrangement, understood on both sides; not so with the two additional protectorates which have recently been created. The attempt of Great Britain, Germany and Italy to use force against Venezuela in 1902 roused President Roosevelt to a weak spot in the Monroe Doctrine: Since the

« AnteriorContinuar »