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105 Law > Criminal Law  
Their Crimes

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 "pieces a 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.

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 No. 322
 Posted on 8 June, 2006
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