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Full text of "Headquarters nights; a record of conversations and experiences at the headquarters of the german army in France and Belgium"

HEADQUARTERS 
NIGHTS 










v- • 



Book Notes 



The Atlantic Monthly Press, cele- 
brating its twenty-fifth anniversary, 
recalls its first publication, Vernon 
Kclloggs "Headquarters' Nights," 
which appeared on Oct. 2. 1917. 
Since that time the press has 
brought out 473 titles, three of them 
Pulitzer Prize winners and eighteen 
of them book club selections. In 1925, 
Little. Brown took over the publica- 
tion of all books bearing the Atlan- 
tic Monthy Press imprint; last year 
both parties signed a fifty-year con- 
tract on the same basis. 



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Headquarters Nights 



Headquarters Nights 



A Record of Conversations and Experiences 

at the Headquarters of the German 

Army in France and Belgium 



By Vernon Kellogg 




The Atlantic Monthly Press 
Boston 



Copyright, 1017 
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS, INC. 

FIRST PRINTING, SEPTEMBER, 1917 

SECOND PRINTING, OCTOBER, 1917 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Biographical Note 7 

Foreword by Theodore Roosevelt. ... 13 

The Headquarters of the Great General 

Staff 15 

Von Bissing's Headquarters 57 

A Belgian Record 105 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

Vernon Kellogg graduated from the uni- 
versity of his native state of Kansas in 1889. 
After winning his master's degree, he studied 
at Cornell, and subsequently spent several 
years abroad specializing upon entomology 
and biology at the University of Leipzig, and 
considerably later at the University of Paris. 
For the past twenty years, he has been a 
professor of entomology in Stanford Uni- 
versity, writing and lecturing on problems of 
life in a multitude of its most interesting and 
extraordinary forms. 

Soon after the war broke out, Professor 
Kellogg, pacifist and humanitarian by con- 
viction, obtained a furlough from his univer- 
sity and went abroad to devote himself to the 
alleviation of human suffering. It was not 
long before he joined his friend of long stand- 
ing, Mr. Herbert Hoover, in the memorable 
enterprise of the Commission for the Relief 
of Belgium, of which he has become the official 
historian. In connection with this work of 



Headquarters Nights 

civilian relief, it is worth recording that his 
wife, Charlotte Hoffman Kellogg, was the 
only woman member of that commission. 
Both Professor and Mrs. Kellogg spent their 
strength and energy to the utmost upon the 
cause; and in the years which preceded the 
inevitable intervention of the United States, 
it was Professor Kellogg's duty to serve 
during considerable periods as a sort of 
informal ambassador of the C. R. B., both at 
the Headquarters of the Great General 
Staff and at the Headquarters of the German 
Army of Occupation of Belgium. The unique 
opportunities given through this official yet 
intimate acquaintance with the German higher 
command and with German civilians of im- 
portance are set forth in this little book, which 
incidentally becomes an illuminating record 
of the conversion of a reasoned pacifist into 
a supporter of the great and necessary war. 

In an article published in the Atlantic 
Monthly Professor Kellogg once gave a de- 
scription of the surroundings in which he 
lived during those tense months. "The 
Great Headquarters," he wrote, "is quiet. 
The loudest sounds there come from the 

8 



Headquarters Nights 

playing of children in the streets. In the 
larger buildings of the town sit many officers 
over maps and dispatches. Telephones and 
telegraph instruments, stenographers, mes- 
sengers, all the bustle of busy but quiet offices, 
are there. The General Staff, the General 
Quartermaster's group, the General Intend- 
ant's department, scores, aye, hundreds, of 
officers, play here the war game for Germany 
on the chessboard whose squares are bits of 
Europe. 

"The small gray town is another head- 
quarters, too; it is the great headquarters of 
all relief work that goes on in the North of 
France. Here lives, by permission and ar- 
rangement with the German staff, the Ameri- 
can head of the neutral relief work — he and 
one other American who is the local head of 
the district including a hundred and fifty 
thousand people around the town. They 
live in a large comfortless house, and with 
them two ( lerman staff officers as official 
protectors and friendly jailers. And they, 
too, are part of the neutral relief work, for no 
man can live with it and not become part of 
it. It is too appealing, too gripping. 

9 



Headquarters Nights 

"We had seven orderlies and two chauffeurs, 
for we are provided with two swift gray mili- 
tary motors for our incessant inspecting. 
One of the orderlies is named cook, and he 
cooks, in a way. Another was a barber before 
he became corporal, which was convenient. 
And another blacked my shoes and beat my 
clothes in the garden with a rough stick and 
turned on the water full flow in our improvised 
bath at a given hour each morning, so that I 
had to get up promptly to turn it off before it 
flooded the whole house. 

" Quite four nights of each seven in the week 
there were other staff officers in to dinner, 
and we debated such trifles as German Mili- 
tarismus, the hate of the world for Germany, 
American munitions for the Allies, submarin- 
ing and Zeppelining, the Kaiser, the German 
people. 

"We were not all of one mind. 'Now all 
keep still,' demands my officer, the Haupt- 
mann Graf W., 'and my American will tell 
us just what the Americans mean by German 
Militarismus.' 

"They all kept still for the first ten words 
and then all broke out together : 

10 



Headquarter s Nights 

" 'No, we shall tell you what it is. Organ- 
ization and obedience — nothing more, noth- 
ing less. It is that that makes Germany 
great. And it is that that you must come to 
if you would be a great nation.' 

"I protested that I thought we are already 
a great nation. 

" 'Well, then,' they answered, 'if you would 
continue great. Otherwise you will smash. 
Democracy, bah! license, lawlessness, dis- 
ruption. Organize, obey, — or smash.' And 
they believe it. " 

When the actual distribution of Belgian 
relief had passed out of American control, 
Professor Kellogg followed Mr. Hoover to his 
new patriotic work, and is now an important 
member of the organization which controls 
the distribution and influences the consump- 
tion of the food of one hundred millions of the 
American people. 



n 



FOREWORD 

One of the most graphic pictures of the 
German attitude, the attitude which has 
rendered this war inevitable, is contained in 
Vernon Kellogg's 'Headquarters Nights.' 
It is a convincing, and an evidently truthful, 
exposition of the shocking, the unspeakably 
dreadful moral and intellectual perversion of 
character which makes Germany at present a 
menace to the whole civilized world. 

The man who reads Kellogg's sketch and 
yet fails to see why we are at war, and why 
we must accept no peace save that of over- 
whelming victory, is neither a good American 
nor a true lover of mankind. 



Theodore Roosevelt. 



Sagamore Hill, 
August 26, 1917. 



13 



The Headquarters of the Great 
General Staff 



I 

We do not hear much now from the 
German intellectuals. Some of the pro- 
fessors are writing for the German news- 
papers, but most of them are keeping 
silent in public. The famous Ninety- 
three are not issuing any more proclama- 
tions. When your armies are moving 
swiftly and gloriously forward under the 
banners of sweetness and light, to carry 
the proper civilization to an improperly 
educated and improperly thinking world, 
it is easier to make declarations of what 
is going to happen, and why it is, than 
when your armies are struggling for life 
with their backs to the wall — of a French 
village they have shot and burned to ruin 
for a reason that does not seem so good a 
rca-ou now. 

•7 



Headquarters Nights 

But some of the intellectuals still speak 
in the old strain in private. It has been 
my peculiar privilege to talk through 
long evening hours with a few of these 
men at Headquarters. Not exactly the 
place, one would think, for meeting these 
men, but let us say this for them: some 
of them fight as well as talk. And they 
fight, not simply because they are forced 
to, but because, curiously enough, they 
believe much of their talk. This is one 
of the dangers from the Germans to 
which the world is exposed: they really 
believe much of what they say. 

A word of explanation about the 
Headquarters, and how I happened to 
be there. It was — it is no longer, and 
that is why I can speak more freely 
about it — not only Headquarters but 
the Great Headquarters — Grosses Haupt- 
quartier — of all the German Armies of 
the West. Here were big Von Schoeler, 
General-Intendant, and the scholarly- 



Headquarters Nights 

looking Yon Freytag, General-Quartier- 
mcister, with his unscholarly-looking, 
burly chief of staff, Yon Zoellner. Here 
also were Yon Falkenhayn, the Kaiser's 
Chief of Staff, and sometimes even the 
All-Highest himself, who never missed the 
Sunday morning service in the long low 
corrugated-iron shed which looked all 
too little like a royal chapel ever to inter- 
est a flitting French bomber. 

But not only was this small gray town 
on the Meuse, just where the water pours 
out of its beautiful canon course through 
the Ardennes, the headquarters of the 
German General Staff — it was also the 
station, by arrangement with the staff, of 
the American Relief Commission's hum- 
ble ununiformed chief representative for 
the North of France (occupied French 
territory). For several months I held 
this position, living with the German 
officer detached from the General Quar- 
termaster's staff to protect me — and 

[Q 



Headquarters Nights 

watch me. Later, too, as director of the 
Commission at Brussels, I had frequent 
occasion to visit Headquarters for con- 
ferences with officers of the General 
Staff. It was thus that I had opportunity 
for these Headquarters Nights. 

Among the officers and officials of 
Headquarters there were many strong 
and keen German militaristic brains — 
that goes without saying — but there 
were also a few of the professed intel- 
lectuals — men who had exchanged, for 
the moment, the academic robes of the 
Aula for the field-gray uniforms of the 
army. The second commandant of the 
Headquarters town was a professor of 
jurisprudence at the University of Mar- 
burg; and an infantry captain, who lived 
in the house with my guardian officer 
and me, is the professor of zoology in one 
of the larger German universities, and 
one of the most brilliant of present-day 
biologists. I do not wish to indicate his 
person more particularly, for I shall say 

20 



Headquarters Nights 

some hard things about him — or about 
him as representative of many — and we 
are friends. Indeed, he was Privat-docent 
in charge of the laboratory in which I 
worked years ago at the University of 
Leipzig, and we have been correspondents 
and friends ever since. How he came 
to be at Headquarters, and at precisely 
the same time that I was there, is a story 
which has its interest, but cannot be told 
at present. 

Our house was rather a favored centre, 
for 'my officer,' Graf W. — he always 
called me 'my American,' but he could 
no more get away from me than I from 
him — is a generous entertainer, and our 
dinners were rarely without guests from 
other headquarters houses. Officers, 
from veteran generals down to pink- 
cheeked lieutenants, came to us and 
asked us to them. The discussions, be- 
gun at dinner, lasted long into the night. 
They sat late, these German officers, over 
their abundant wine— French vintages 



21 



Headquarters Nights 

conveniently arranged for. And always 
we talked and tried to understand one 
another; to get the other man's point of 
view, his Weltanschauung. 

Well, I say it dispassionately but with 
conviction: if I understand theirs, it is a 
point of view that will never allow any 
land or people controlled by it to exist 
peacefully by the side of a people gov- 
erned by our point of view. For their 
point of view does not permit of a live- 
and-let-live kind of carrying on. It is a 
point of view that justifies itself by a 
whole-hearted acceptance of the worst of 
Neo-Darwinism, the Allmacht of natural 
selection applied rigorously to human 
life and society and Kultur. 

Professor von Flussen — that is not 
his name — is a biologist. So am I. So 
we talked out the biological argument 
for war, and especially for this war. 
The captain-professor has a logically 
constructed argument why, for the good 
of the world, there should be this war, 

22 



Headquarters Nights 

and why, for the good of the world, the 
Germans should win it, win it completely 
and terribly. Perhaps I can state his 
argument clearly enough, so that others 
may see and accept his reasons, too. Un- 
fortunately for the peace of our evenings, 
I was never convinced. That is, never 
convinced that for the good of the world 
the Germans should win this war, com- 
pletely and terribly. I was convinced, 
however, that this war, once begun, must 
be fought to a finish of decision — a finish 
that will determine whether or not Ger- 
many's point of view is to rule the world. 
And this conviction, thus gained, meant 
the conversion of a pacifist to an ardent 
supporter, not of War, but of this war; 
of fighting this war to a definitive end — 
that end to be Germany's conversion 
to be a good Germany, or not much of 
any Germany at all. My 'Headquarter^ 
Nights' an- the confessions of a converted 
pacifist. 

In talking it out biologically, we agreed 

*3 



Headquarters Nights 

that the human race is subject to the 
influence of the fundamental biologic laws 
of variation, heredity, selection, and so 
forth, just as are all other animal — and 
plant — kinds. The factors of organic 
evolution, generally, are factors in human 
natural evolution. Man has risen from 
his primitive bestial stage of glacial time, 
a hundred or several hundred thousand 
years ago, when he was animal among 
animals, to the stage of to-day, always 
under the influence of these great evo- 
lutionary factors, and partly by virtue 
of them. 

But he does not owe all of his prog- 
ress to these factors, or, least of all, to 
any one of them, as natural selection, 
a thesis Professor von Flussen seemed 
ready to maintain. 

Natural selection depends for its work- 
ing on a rigorous and ruthless struggle 
for existence. Yet this struggle has its 
ameliorations, even as regards the lower 
animals, let alone man. 

24 



Headquarters Nights 

There are three general phases of this 
struggle: — 

1. An inter-specific struggle, or the 
lethal competition among different ani- 
mal kinds for food, space, and opportunity 
to increase; 

2. An intra-specific struggle, or lethal 
competition among the individuals of a 
single species, resultant on the over-pro- 
duction due to natural multiplication by 
geometric progression; and, 

3. The constant struggle of individuals 
and species against the rigors of climate, 
the danger of storm, flood, drought, cold, 
and heat. 

Now any animal kind and its indi- 
viduals may be continually exposed to 
all of these phases of the struggle for 
existence, or, on the other hand, any 
one or more of these phases may be 
largely ameliorated or even abolished for 
a given species and its individuals. This 
amelioration may come about through 
a happy accident of time or place, or 

23 



Headquarters Nights 

because of the adoption by the species of 
a habit or mode of life that continually 
protects it from a certain phase of the 
struggle. 

For example, the voluntary or involun- 
tary migration of representatives of a 
species hard pressed to exist in its native 
habitat, may release it from the too severe 
rigors of a destructive climate, or take it 
beyond the habitat of its most dangerous 
enemies, or give it the needed space and 
food for the support of a numerous prog- 
eny. Thus, such a single phenomenon 
as migration might ameliorate any one 
or more of the several phases of the strug- 
gle for existence. 

Again, the adoption by two widely 
distinct and perhaps antagonistic species 
of a commensal or symbiotic life, based 
on the mutual-aid principle — thousands 
of such cases are familiar to naturalists 
— would ameliorate or abolish the inter- 
specific struggle between these two species. 
Even more effective in the modification 

25 



Headquarters Nights 

of the influence due to a bitter struggle 
for existence, is the adoption by a species 
of an altruistic or communistic mode of 
existence so far as its own individuals 
are concerned. This, of course, would 
largely ameliorate for that species the 
intra-specific phase of its struggle for 
life. Such animal altruism, and the bio- 
logical success of the species exhibiting 
it, is familiarly exemplified by the social 
insects (ants, bees, and wasps). 

As a matter of fact, this reliance by 
animal kinds for success in the world 
upon a more or less extreme adoption 
of the mutual-aid principle, as contrasted 
with the mutual-fight principle, is much 
more widely spread among the lower 
animals than familiarly recognized, while 
in the case of man, it has been the greatest 
single factor in the achievement of his 
proud biological position as king of living 
creatui 

Altruism or mutual aid, as the biolo- 
gist - prefer to call ii , to escape the tmpli- 

27 



Headquarters Nights 

cation of assuming too much conscious- 
ness in it — is just as truly a fundamental 
biologic factor of evolution as is the cruel, 
strictly self-regarding, exterminating kind 
of struggle for existence with which the 
Neo-Darwinists try to fill our eyes and 
ears, to the exclusion of the recognition of 
all other factors. 

Professor von Flussen is Neo-Dar- 
winian, as are most German biologists 
and natural philosophers. The creed of 
the Allmacht of a natural selection based 
on violent and fatal competitive struggle 
is the gospel of the German intellectuals; 
all else is illusion and anathema. The 
mutual-aid principle is recognized only 
as restricted to its application within 
limited groups. For instance, it may 
and does exist, and to positive biological 
benefit, within single ant communities, 
but the different ant kinds fight desper- 
ately with each other, the stronger de- 
stroying or enslaving the weaker. Sim- 
ilarly, it may exist to advantage within 

28 



Headquarters Nights 

the limits of organized human groups — as 
those which are ethnographically, nation- 
ally, or otherwise variously delimited. 
But as with the different ant species, 
struggle — bitter, ruthless struggle — is the 
rule among the different human groups. 
This struggle not only must go on, for 
that is the natural law, but it should go 
on. so that this natural law may work 
out in its cruel, inevitable way the salva- 
tion of the human species. By its salva- 
tion is meant its desirable natural evolu- 
tion. That human group which is in the 
most advanced evolutionary stage as 
regards internal organization and form of 
social relationship is best, and should, for 
the sake of the species, be preserved at 
the expense of the less advanced, the 
less effective. It should win in the 
struggle for existence, and this struggle 
should occur precisely that the various 
types may be tested, and the best not 
only preserved, but put in position to 
impose its kind of social organization — its 

i 



Headquarters Nights 

Kultur — on the others, or, alternatively, 
to destroy and replace them. 

This is the disheartening kind of argu- 
ment that I faced at Headquarters; 
argument logically constructed on prem- 
ises chosen by the other fellow. Add to 
these assumed premises of the Allmacht 
of struggle and selection based on it, and 
the contemplation of mankind as a con- 
geries of different, mutually irreconcilable 
kinds, like the different ant species, the 
additional assumption that the Germans 
are the chosen race, and German social 
and political organization the chosen 
type of human community life, and you 
have a wall of logic and conviction that 
you can break your head against but can 
never shatter — by head work. You long 
for the muscles of Samson. 



30 



II 

The danger from Germany is, I have 
said, that the Germans believe what they 
say. And they act on this belief. Pro- 
fessor von Flussen says that this war is 
necessary as a test of the German position 
and claim. If Germany is beaten, it will 
prove that she has moved along the 
wrong evolutionary line, and should be 
beaten. If she wins, it will prove that 
she is on the right way, and that the rest 
of the world, at least that part which we 
and the Allies represent, is on the wrong 
way and should, for the sake of the right 
evolution of the human race, be stopped 
and put on the right way — or else be 
destroyed as unfit. 

Professor von Flussen is sure that 
Germany's way is the right way, and 
that the biologic evolutionary factors 

3 



Headquarters Nights 

are so all-controlling in determining 
human destiny, that this being biolog- 
ically right is certain to insure German 
victory. If the wrong and unnatural 
alternative of an Allied victory should 
obtain, then he would prefer to die in the 
catastrophe and not have to live in a 
world perversely resistant to natural law. 
He means it all. He will act on this 
belief. He does act on it, indeed. He 
opposes all mercy, all compromise with 
human soft-heartedness. Apart from his 
horrible academic casuistry and his con- 
viction that the individual is nothing, the 
State all, he is a reasoning and a warm- 
hearted man. So are some other Ger- 
mans. But for him and them the test of 
right in this struggle is success in it. So 
let every means to victory be used. The 
only intelligence Germans should follow 
in these days is the intelligence of the 
General Staff; the only things to believe 
and to repeat are the statements of the 
official bureau of publicity. 

32 



Headquarters Nights 

There is no reasoning with this sort 
of thing, no finding of any heart or soul 
in it. There is only one kind of answer: 
resistance by brutal force; war to a de- 
cision. It is the only argument in rebut- 
tal comprehensible to these men at Head- 
quarters into whose hands the German 
people have put their destiny. 

One evening we had a larger and more 
distinguished dinner group than usual. 

The Duke of , a veteran of 1870 and 

very close to the Kaiser, altogether a per- 
sonage, had come by motor with a small 
staff from his headquarters near the 
Champagne front. My officer was all of 
a flutter with the importance and excite- 
ment of the event. He coached all of us 
— orderlies, myself, and resident guests 
— as to our proper behavior during the 
visit. This was to consist chiefly of 
much stiff standing up, repeated formal 
bows, and respectful silence. No one 
was to start anything on his own initia- 

33 



Headquarters Nights 

tive. We were to take the conversational 
cue from His Highness. The Comman- 
dant-professor of jurisprudence was there, 
and a casual baron or two, and various 
Headquarters officers. 

The duke entered, to find us a fixed 
row of effigies, hands on trouser-seams, 
eyes front, chins up, in the receiving- 
room. His Highness was a small be- 
whiskered gentleman, very abrupt and 
disconcerting in manner, but not at 
all stupid, and very ready to express 
his opinions on all subjects of war and 
church history, his hobby. 

As he surveyed the row of effigies his 
keen eye spotted the ununiformed Amer- 
ican, and he directed a questioning look 
toward Graf W., the host. My officer 
made a concise explanation of the situa- 
tion, which the duke acknowledged with 
a grunt of understanding and the sharp 
question, — 

'But does he speak German?' 

Graf W. hastened to declare, 'Wie 

34 



Headquarters Nights 

cin Eingcborener' — like a native — which 
is far from true. Another grunt of 
satisfaction, a critical stare of examina- 
tion, and finally a direct phrase of formal 
recognition. I reserved any exhibition 
of my fluent German, and merely bowed. 
My officer gave me an expressive look of 
approval and found a later chance to 
congratulate me on my 'success.' I sup- 
pose not being ordered out of the room 
may be called success, under the circum- 
stances. 

After giving the whole row a final 
looking-over, His Highness mumbled 
something, whereupon an aide-de-camp 
stepped briskly up, clicked heels, and 
held out to him a small box containing 
several medals on yellow ribbons. They 
were the insignia of some minor order in 
his duchy. He presented one to one of 
the barons, one to the Commandant- 
professor of jurisprudence, and one to — 
my officer's chief orderly, who acted as 
hou^-e barber and head waiter! The 

35 



Headquarters Nights 

baron and professor had done their best 
and deepest bowing, but when Muller's 
turn came, it was like morning gym- 
nastics in the bedroom. 'Touch toes ten 
times with finger-tips, legs remaining 
unbent.' I fancied that the baron and 
professor became less satisfied with their 
honor, the more Miiller waxed enthusi- 
astic. In fact, they did not put on their 
orders immediately ; Miiller did. Finally, 
my officer got our barber to stop bowing 
— the duke wasn't even seeing him — 
and we went into the dining-room. 

At dinner the personally conducted 
conversation leaped suddenly from church 
history to Zeppelining. It was just after 
one of those earlier London raids, when 
the great city was practically defenseless, 
and the German newspapers had been full 
for several days of accounts of the enor- 
mous damage and losses of life achieved 
by the raid. As a matter of fact there 
were some horrors — not extensive but 
intensive horrors: women and babies in 

36 



Headquarters Nights 

several houses, and an omnibusful of 
passengers in a by-street, sickeningly 
mangled and murdered. 

The duke declared that Zeppelining 
was stupid and the men who ordered 
it fools. The table was struck silent. 
A duke close to the Kaiser might say 
such a thing, but no less a personage. 
Zeppelining had been declared wise and 
good by the General Staff and the Berlin 
official publicity bureau. It was there- 
fore wise and good. So one of the barons 
ventured to remonstrate. It was the 
one who had received his order along 
with Muller, and in whom the champagne 
had perhaps let some obscure natural 
feeling of resentment get the better of the 
well-learned feeling of proper gratitude 
for his dubious distinction. 

'But His Highness will recall,' said 
the baron, 'the military advantage of 
Zeppelining: the value of holding guns 
and gunners in England which might 
otherwise 1,«- .-• nt to the battle-line, and 

.17 



Headquarters Nights 

the blowing up of munition factories, 
and the — ah — the terror and the — well, 
the military advantage generally. One 
must not consider the — ah — other side 
of the matter. A few — ah — non-combat- 
ants, perhaps, but the military advantage, 
that is the sole criterion.' 

His Highness snorted audibly and 
visibly. 

'That is, of course, all that one does 
take into consideration. It is precisely 
and only because there is no military 
advantage in Zeppelining that it is stupid 
and the men who order it are stupid pigs. 
We don't blow up any munition factories, 
and for every miserable woman killed, 
hundreds, aye, thousands of Englishmen 
rush into the army to come over to the 
front and fight us. We are doing their 
recruiting for them.' He fixed the squirm- 
ing recipient of his yellow ribbon with a 
cold gray eye. 'We are all only thinking 
of the military advantage. What are a 
few — oh, pouf, why talk of it? My dear 

38 



Headquarters Nights 

baron, I am perhaps as much a military 
man as you' (this was withering scorn; 
the baron was the Headquarters reader 
of foreign newspapers!), 'and I repeat: 
Zeppelining is bad, and it is bad simply 
and entirely because it has no military 
advantage.' 

That ended Zeppelining for the moment, 
until unlucky I — well, the very next 
subject introduced was the attitude of 
the neutral world, America in particular, 
toward Germany. The newspaper-read- 
ing baron suddenly turned to me. 

'Why is this universal hate of Ger- 
many? Why do you Americans hate us?' 

It was too soon after what I had just 
heard. I blurted out, — 

'For things like the military advantage 
of Zeppelining.' 

My officer gave a scrape and a lurch; 
something tipped over. Then he stared 
— all of us stared — at the duke. His 
Highness did not order me to the firing 
squad or even to the cells. He did noth- 

39 



Headquarters Nights 

ing, said nothing, to show any displeas- 
ure. He looked steadily and thought- 
fully at me, and then gruffly indicated 
his pleasure that the company should 
rise from the table. My officer recov- 
ered his color and his equanimity. 

I believe that His Highness knew 
that answer all the time. But the rest 
did not, and they do not understand it 
now. 'Military advantage,' 'military 
expediency' — how often have these 
phrases blocked us of the Relief Com- 
mission in our efforts in Belgium and 
North France! No mercy, no 'women- 
and-children' appeals, no hesitation to 
use the torch and the firing squad, de- 
portation, and enslavement. And it is 
all a part of Professor von Flussen's 
philosophy; the pale ascetic intellec- 
tual and the burly, red-faced butcher 
meet on common ground here. And 
then they wonder why the world comes 
together to resist this philosophy — and 
this butchery — to the death ! 

-to 



Ill 

Late one afternoon we left Head- 
quarters to dine with General von R. 
down near the Champagne front. Mr. 
Hoover, Chairman of the Commission, 
and Mr. White, of its London office, 
had come over to Brussels and on to 
Headquarters for a conference in con- 
nection with our work in Northern France; 
and so we were all to go with my officer 
and two or three other men of the General 
Staff to receive this special attention 
from a commanding general at the front. 

We made an imposing procession in 
three big gray military cars running 
swiftly to the south. As the general's 
chief of staff, who had come to Head- 
quarters bo escort us personally, spoke 
no English and did not like to hear 
English spoken, he took me alone with 

4' 



Headquarters Nights 

him in his car. He was a taciturn, crusty 
major, with a thin, stern face and tight 
lips. 

His first remarks were certain direct 
questions about conditions in London 
and England. I could reply only that, 
if such questions were asked me in 
England about Germany or German- 
occupied territory, I would not answer 
them. He did not like it, but after a 
little bullying settled into moody silence, 
occasionally broken by curt remarks to 
me, and brutally put instructions to his 
soldier chauffeur. It was evident that 
he did not like the idea of his general's 
showing this high courtesy to the in- 
truding Yankees. It was not a pleasant 
excursion for any of us, and yet it was a 
beautiful two hours' ride over smooth 
tree-lined roads — the trees are mostly 
gone now — through picturesque country 
of wide outlooks. 

Just at dusk we climbed slowly up a 
gentle hill-slope. As we reached the flat 

42 



Headquarters Nights 

summit and sped along over it, one 
could see the road stretching far ahead, 
a gently irregular white line dipping 
out of sight into a valley in front, but 
reappearing on the farther up-slope and 
running there straight away into invisi- 
bility. Just at the horizon, where the 
hilltop met the heavens and the road 
disappeared, the tower of a little church 
silhouetted itself against the darkening 
blue of the evening sky. 

'This is the road to Rheims,' mut- 
tered my companion. 'You can see it 
from that church.' 

I thrilled. The road to Rheims! 
Rheims just there in front, and a shell 
bursting over it — over the Cathedral, 
say — could be seen from that little 
church. I wanted to go right on along 
that white line to that hilltop. 

Later I really did go there, and be- 
yond it even to the very verge of the 
sad city itself. There is an extraordinary 
little village of cellars — the houses above 

n 



Headquarters Nights 

are mere stone-heaps — just behind the 
German trenches in front of Rheims. 
These cellars are occupied by two hundred 
and thirty-three women and girls, sixty- 
seven children, and four tottering old 
men, the total remaining population of a 
once picturesque and crowded village. 
We wanted them to come away and be 
housed farther back from the line. But 
they prefer to live 'at home.' And so 
we have fed these women and children 
there two years. They live in their 
cellars, with the shells moaning back 
and forth over them whenever there is 
'desultory artillery firing before Rheims.' 
As we were running swiftly over the 
flat hill-summit with the long view in 
front of us, our driver, without being 
instructed — and cursed — by the major, 
suddenly slowed the car, and I noted the 
major staring hard at a soldier's grave 
by the roadside. There had been hard 
fighting all about here and the graves 
were numerous along the way. My 

44 



Headquarte r s Nights 

companion turned abruptly to me, with a 
thumb- jerk toward the grave. 

'He was my best friend,' he said 
gruffly; and with another jerk to the 
front, he added, 'And my brother lies 
under the shadows of that church- 
tower there on the hill.' 

I forgave him his gruffness. 

Arrived at the general's headquarters 
in a French industrial town now half in 
ruins, we walked by a stiff row of orderlies 
into a spacious house, and were shown 
by other orderlies and a young lieutenant 
to an upstairs room to brush off the white 
chalk-dust of the Champagne road. My 
officer had remained below. Suddenly 
he came into our room, excited and with a 
face of much concern. He told us swiftly 
that a translation of President Wilson's 
latest note, a short and sharp one, had 
just been telephoned to the general from 
Berlin. And tin- general and everybody 
downstairs were violently incensed. He 
wondered whether one of us had not 

45 



Headquarters Nights 

better get suddenly ill, so that we should 
have to go back at once without staying 
for dinner. 

This seemed absurd. We said that 
the general could get ill and call off the 
dinner if he wanted to, but we should 
not. Poor Graf W. ! He had been 
trained to abuse his subordinates and 
cringe before his superiors, and it was 
really a horrible position for him; he 
felt, in a way, responsible for his Yankees, 
and he wanted the occasion to go off 
pleasantly. However, we had not written 
the note, or done anything except come, 
with no anticipations of pleasure, to eat 
dinner with the general! And so we 
insisted on going down. 

It was a strenuous meal, not because 
of an overabundance of things to eat 
— it is a long time now since there has 
been too much to eat in Germany, even 
among generals — but because of the 
situation. The general and his staff 
were always polite, but never more than 

4 6 



Headquarters Nights 

that. They were perfectly correct and 
perfectly reserved. We talked much 
and said little. The general declared an 
interest in 'caring for the people.' He was 
trying to reestablish the industries of 
the region, he said. I had noted the 
stacks of two factories smoking as we 
entered the town. Such sights in Belgium 
and North France have been unusual for 
two years, and attract attention. I said 
we were very glad to learn of his interest, 
and asked what the factories were. He 
turned to the gentleman on his other side. 
But a less discerning young officer across 
the table said they were making corrugated 
iron. This is an article much used in 
and behind the trenches. 

There is also much cutting of trees 
— French trees — and sawing of lumber 
going on in occupied France. Wood 
is also much used in the trenches. And 
large herds of cattle are being pastured 
in French pastures. They are German 
cattle for the soldiers. The French cat- 

47 

4 



Headquarters Nights 

tie have long ago been eaten by 
them. 

I suppose all this is just war. But 
when such things are given the color 
before the world of 'restoring the indus- 
tries of the people,' the specific object 
of this restoration should be told. The 
bald truth is that Governor von Bis- 
sing's repeated declarations of rehabil- 
itating industries in Belgium, and the 
similar statements of the General Staff 
for Northern France, are equivocations. 
What has been strongly attempted has 
been a forced exploitation of the people 
for German military advantage. It has 
been resisted by the simple but brave 
and patriotic workingmen of the occupied 
territories with a success that seems in- 
credible in the face of the guns and 
deporting trains all too familiar to them. 
It is true, as has been said in criticism of 
them, that the Belgians do not work. 
They have little work of their own that they 
can do, and they will not work for the 

4 8 



Headquarters Nights 

Germans. That is one of the reasons for 
the deportations, which have been, by 
the way, one of the greatest of German 
blunders — and brutalities — in this war. 
But I must not write of Belgium now; 
Headquarters was in Northern France. 

It was not all sticking at Headquar- 
ters. I traveled — always with my offi- 
cer, of course — up and down and 
across and back over all of occupied 
France; from Lille to Longwy, from 
Coucy-le-Chateau to Charleville. For 
the purposes of our ravitaillement the 
occupied French territory is divided 
into six districts. These corresponded 
with no political subdivisions of the 
country, as departements and arrondisse- 
ments, but were determined chiefly by 
the original disposition of the German 
armies, each of which, having a certain 
degree of autonomy as regards the region 
occupied by it, objected to any movement 
of French feeding committees and our own 

49 



Headquarters Nights 

American Commission representatives 
across the borders of its own region. 
We had, therefore, six district ravitaille- 
ment centres, or headquarters, at each of 
which were stationed one or two of our 
representatives, who moved about more 
or less freely in his district, each with a 
specially detailed German officer of his 
own — 'nurses,' we called them. It was 
my privilege and duty as chief repre- 
sentative, and my officer's as chief of 
the officer group, to visit occasionally 
each of the districts. 

We traveled by military motor, my 
officer and I in the tonneau, and a sol- 
dier chauffeur and an orderly in the 
driver's seat, each of them with a loaded 
Mauser held erect in clamps by his 
side. In each side-flap pocket of the 
tonneau was a loaded Browning. We 
were never shot at, nor did we ever 
shoot at anybody, but the armament 
gave the proper military tone to our 
equipage. We ran frightfully fast, and 

50 



Headquarters Nights 

I always had the uneasy feeling that I 
should find my finish in North France, 
not in a dramatic erasure by a stray 
shell or casual bomb from overhead, 
but in a commonplace motor smash-up. 
As it came out, the only casualties 
attending our 5000 or more kilometres 
of mad running were among the few 
remaining half-fed chickens of the French 
villagers. We did once rather narrowly 
miss being run over by the Crown Prince, 
who sat on the front seat with an orderly, 
and drove his own car like a hurricane. 
As he swerved slightly to miss us, he 
intrusted his life — and ours — to one of 
his hands, while with the other he gave us 
a debonnaire salute. 

This extraordinary touring of North 
France came finally to get strongly on 
my nerves. It is such a sad land; such 
a wreck of half-destroyed villages and 
crumbled farm-houses, of stripped wood- 
land and neglected fields. And the 
people: all women and children and old 

5« 



Headquarters Nights 

and infirm men! And the meagerness of 
the food-supply, despite the best we could 
do! We meant much to these people, 
we eight or ten Americans moving about 
among them; at least, they gave us un- 
mistakably to understand that we did. 
We represented the sympathy and en- 
deavor of a great nation far away. Cut 
off as these imprisoned French are from 
all communication with their fighting 
men across the terrible trench-lines; cut 
off even from communication with each 
other, if only a few miles apart, we 
exemplified the freedom that still existed 
somewhere, and the hope of the freedom 
to come to them again. And we meant, 
too, for them, the holding back of the 
spectre of actual starvation. 

The sights and the incidents of those 
trips are too harrowing to exploit. They 
are untellable, intimate memories for us, 
but they went far in making us con- 
vinced and bitter believers that the only 
comprehensible answer to the German 

52 



Headquarters Nights 

philosophy of ' raison d'Etat,' and 'military 
exigency,' to these ravages of non-com- 
batant countryside and village, is an 
answer of force. Not that we wish to do 
to them what they have done to others, 
but to prevent them by force from ever 
doing that again. 

I could understand why the villages 
along the Meuse were shot to pieces; 
there was real fighting there — at least 
in some of them. And there were some 
more whose names I recalled as asso- 
ciated with the desperate retreating 
struggles of the overwhelmed French 
and British. But there are many, many 
others in which there was no fighting, 
but just destroying. They have not 
been enumerated as have the Belgian 
towns; they have no sad fame in the 
ears of the world: they are just name- 
less scores of illustrations and results of 
the German conception of the struggle 
for existence as a contributory factor 
in the evolution of human kind. 

53 



Headquarters Nights 

There is, I suppose, a slight military 
advantage in so maltreating and terri- 
fying a conquered land that only a few 
elderly Landsturmers, scattered here 
and there over it, are sufficient as an 
army of occupation. The rest of the 
Landsturmers can be used in the trenches. 
But it is a terrible price — of something — 
to pay for this alleged military advantage. 

I used to ask my officer about these 
wrecked villages as we ran through them, 
or stopped to inspect a local distributing 
centre, or watch a soup-line, or get a 
report, and always a piteous request, 
from a feeding committee. He had a 
stereotyped reply: 'Punishment.' 

'Punishment for what?' 

'For a civilian's shooting at a soldier; 
or the village's harboring a spy; or a 
failure to meet a requisition ; or something 
or other.' 

He never knew exactly; nobody ever 
knew exactly; and I do not know ex- 
actly. Not even with all the explana- 

54 



Headquarters Nights 

tion from the captain-professor, who 
explained it on a basis of biological 
philosophy. Xor with the explanation 
of the non-philosophizing fighters, who 
simply said that it was necessary as a 
military advantage. Nor with the ex- 
planation of my officer, who, when I 
continued to press him, would make an 
ugly screwing gesture with closed fist, 
which seemed to mean, 'Just do it to 
them!' 

I went into Northern France and Bel- 
gium to act as a neutral, and I did act 
as a neutral all the time I was there. If 
I learned there anything of military 
value which could be used against the 
Germans I shall not reveal it. But I 
came out no neutral. Also I went in an 
ardent hater of war and I came out a 
more ardent one. 1 have seen that side 
of the horror and waste and outrage of 
war which is worse than the side re- 
vealed on tin- battlefield. How I hope 
for the end of all war! 

55 



Headquarters Nights 

But I have come out believing that 
that cannot come until any people which 
has dedicated itself to the philosophy 
and practice of war as a means of human 
advancement is put into a position of 
impotence to indulge its belief at will. 
My conviction is that Germany is such a 
people, and that it can be put into this 
position only by the result of war itself. 
It knows no other argument and it will 
accept no other decision. 



56 



Von Bissing's Headquarters 



I 

Twenty years ago the Samoan Is- 
lands belonged to England, Germany, 
and the United States. The Gordian 
knot of trouble inevitably tied by such 
a handling of Samoan affairs had its cut- 
ting hastened by the famous hurricane of 
1889, which piled up some men-of-war of 
the ruling nations on the vicious coral 
reefs of Apia harbor, and drove others in 
safety out to sea. 

This terrible common experience made 
temporary friends of the struggling Eng- 
lish, German, and American sailors and 
Samoan boatmen, who had all been mu- 
tual enemies. It also helped to hasten the 
arrangement by which England exchanged 
her inn rests in Samoa for another South 

1 quid pro quo, and the four principal 
islands were divided between Germany 

59 



Headquarters Nights 

and America, two to each. The Ger- 
mans got Savaii with its volcano and 
Upolu with its cocoanut groves, while we 
got beautiful Tutuila with its harbor and 
little Manua without much of anything. 

The money in use in Upolu, and in its 
chief town, Apia, had been, for years, 
English money, its lesser pieces known 
to the natives as 'shillins' (accent on the 
second syllable), 'seese-a-pennies,' and 
'kolu-pennies,' kolu being the native 
word for three. When the Germans took 
full possession of Upolu, they, of course, 
introduced their own currency. But the 
natives persisted in calling a silver mark 
a 'shillin,' and a fifty-pfennig piece a 
'seese-a-penny.' A mark looked like a 
shilling and it bought no more or less of 
anything than a shilling; the same with 
fifty-pfennigs and six-pence. Why new 
names, then? 

But though the natives persisted, the 
Germans insisted. The Governor of Ger- 
man Samoa — now head of a great de- 

60 



Headquarters Nights 

partment of the Imperial German Gov- 
ernment at Berlin — gave much time and 
energy to trying to change 'shillin' to 
mark. But he never succeeded. So with 
a host of other trivial things. He could 
tell a German to say this for that, or do 
that for this, and it was said and done; 
why not a Samoan? He could not under- 
stand it. Apparently no German can 
understand it. 

So it has been in all the other one- 
time German colonies. And so it has 
been in Belgium. 

Governor-General von Bissing died 
from too much telling the Belgians to 
do things — some important, many triv- 
ial — and too much trying to make them 
do them. He fumed and worried and suf- 
fered because they would not behave 
properly. Why would they not? Why 
should not Belgians be managed as Ger- 
mans are managed? Why would they 
not? He djed unenlightened. lie had a 
large stall' of subordinates: department 

6j 



Headquarters Nights 

heads, provincial governors, and what 
not. None of them enlightened him. 
None of them could enlighten him. I 
almost believe that no German could. 

Von Bissing is dead and Von Falken- 
hausen has stepped into his shoes, and 
is going on trying to rule Belgium in the 
same way. But he will succeed no bet- 
ter. He will never know the Belgians, 
as Solf did not know the Samoans, and 
the statesmen and rulers of Germany do 
not know the English, or the French, or 
the Americans. How often have I been 
asked, angrily, pathetically, always in- 
sistently, 'Why do you Americans do as 
you do? Germans would not.' 

At first I tried to explain. But they 
could not understand. Some few under- 
stood that they did not understand, but 
even they could not understand why they 
did not, why they could not. I say some 
few ; really I remember only one. He was 
a business man of proved capacity. For 
the moment, he was in an officer's uni- 

62 



Headquarters Nights 

form and head of an important depart- 
ment of Von Bissing's government; a 
man of good mind, and university-trained. 
Most of the German officers and officials 
are men of good mind and university- 
trained. 

He said, 'You say we can't understand 
other people, their minds, their points of 
view, their feelings. Look at us in South 
America. Our traders were getting the 
best of the English traders and your own 
keen Yankee traders. We understood 
better than you the wants and business 
methods of the South Americans. We 
made the goods the way they wanted 
them made; we packed them the way 
they wanted them packed ; we gave them 
credit in the way they preferred to 
have it. We were more adaptable than 
either you or the British. But — yes, it is 
true, our statesmen do not understand 
your statesmen or your people; our diplo- 
mats do not understand the people to 
whom we send them. Everything you 

63 
5 



Headquarters Nights 

do surprises them, disappoints them, dis- 
mays them. And we lose by it. We suffer 
by it. What is the reason?' 

But he was the only one I remember 
out of the many I talked with who un- 
derstood that they did not understand. 
And he himself did not really understand 
that he did not understand the Belgians 
whom he was helping to govern! He 
thought they were just insolent liars and 
rebels! Yes, because they did not do, 
if they could help it at all, whatever and 
everything the Germans ordered them to 
do, they were 'rebels.' 

Had not the German army beaten their 
army and occupied their land? Well, 
then, were they not rebels and traitors if 
they did not do things that the Germans 
told them to do, and did things that they 
were told not to do? Could they not 
learn to behave properly after having to 
have thousands of their civilian citizens 
and their women and children shot in 
groups at the beginning, and hundreds 

64 



Headquarters Nights 

shot scatteringly along through the weary- 
ing months, and other hundreds sent to 
prison in Germany? 

' Idiots and ingrates, these Belgians.' 
I use the word actually as used to me: 
ingrates. For had not His Excellency, 
Governor-General von Bissing, expressed 
in a score or more of proclamations his 
own interest and the interest of the Im- 
perial German Government in the welfare 
of the people? Had His Excellency not 
actively displayed this interest by tangi- 
ble things done for their advantage? 

I studied earnestly for a moment, but 
I had to ask for help. 'What things, for 
example?' I asked. 

'Well' — he studied too for a moment; 
then triumphantly, 'Well, for example, 
the reestablishment of the Flemish uni- 
versity at Ghent. You ought to remem- 
ber that, for I heard His Excellency tell 
you that you could lecture there.' 

I remember that saturnine jest. Gen- 
eral von Bissing had reestablished the 

65 



Headquarters Nights 

old Flemish university at Ghent just as 
General von Beseler reestablished the old 
Polish university at Warsaw — recently 
closed, by the way. In Poland this was 
a slap at Russophil Poles; in Belgium, a 
slap at the ruling Walloons. Von Bissing 
had arranged for fifty professors, some 
German, some Dutch, and a few renegade 
and bribable Flemish, to accept chairs at 
Ghent. The bribe for these men was a 
good immediate salary and a pension for 
life after cessation — for cause — of teach- 
ing. 

That cessation will come the min- 
ute that Belgium is free again, and the 
cause will be a swift flight from the coun- 
try. For not one of these renegade Flem- 
ish professors can live in Belgium after 
the Germans go out, nor even anywhere 
within reach of Belgian vengeance. They 
will urgently need their pensions. 

With a grand flourish — but an all- 
German flourish — the reestablished Flem- 
ish university at Ghent opened with fifty 

66 



Headquarters Nights 

professors — and forty students! These 
students will need pensions, too. 

My companion's remark about the 
Governor-General's offer to let me lec- 
ture at Ghent had reference to a grim 
jest on the part of His Excellency. I had 
acted for a few months in 19 15 as the 
Relief Commission's director in Brussels, 
on leave from my university in California, 
but had had to return for the second half 
of the college year. This finished, I went 
back, at Mr. Hoover's request, to take 
up the directorship again. Soon after my 
arrival in Brussels, I made my call of 
formality on Yon Bissing, in company with 
the German head of the department 
having chief cognizance of our relief 
work. 

The Governor-General received me not 
unkindly, in his stiffly pleasant manner, 
and said he hoped I would not have to 
leave again while the relief work went 
on, adding that, if I felt once more the 
need of giving -mum- university lectures, 

67 



Headquarters Nights 

I might give a course in the new uni- 
versity at Ghent! 

It was meant as a jest, but, as he knew 
as well as I did what fate was in reserve 
for the lecturers in his new university, it 
had a grimness that made his smile, under 
the stiff clipped mustache, no less awry 
than mine. I had a horrible temptation, 
fortunately resisted, to return jest for jest 
by asking the figure of my pension. 

All this great and affectionate interest 
in matters and people Flemish, exhibited 
by General von Bissing and his staff, and 
by the German Chancellor and his Berlin 
associates, and now by Von Schaibele, 
the new special sub-governor for Flemish 
Belgium, is so simple and obvious in its 
reason and intent that it is nothing short 
of astounding that any Germans, 'of good 
mind and university- trained,' can, for a 
moment, believe that it could fool any 
one, least of all the people most imme- 
diately concerned. The naive te of the 
whole performance is simply pathetic. 

68 



Headquarters Nights 

To hire a few cheap Flemings to come to 
Berlin and do a stage chat with the chan- 
cellor, and have their pictures taken in a 
top-hatted group with him, and then ex- 
pect to palm off this infantile perform- 
ance as evidence of German and Flemish- 
Belgian rapprochement, is to betray a 
simplicity that is past conception. Copies 
of that group photograph, as published 
in Die Woche, are being religiously kept 
by hundreds of Belgians as evidence, 
when the time comes, on which to hang 
these paid Flemish renegades. I hope 
that they, like the professors, have been 
pensioned, and have reserved future lodg- 
ings in the heart of Germany. They will 
be safe nowhere else — perhaps not there. 
That is the simple, naive side of Ger- 
man rule. There is another and fearfully 
contrasting side. It is the side of blood 
and iron. And Belgium has had full 
nn-asure of laughable and tragic experi- 
ence of both -ides. Her keen wits have 
often bested tin rule of naivete — by pay- 



Headquarters Nights 

ing a fine; her bravest hearts have often 
bested the rule of brutality — by paying 
their lives. No week has passed in all the 
many since Germany violated her own 
honor, and that of Belgium, three years 
ago, without a new Verordnung placarded 
on the hoardings, prescribing some trivial 
doing or not doing, — which meant smiles 
and shrugs and quick little schemes of 
avoidance to the reading Belgians; nor 
has a week passed without some grim 
court-martial running its fated course of 
judicial travesty — which meant imprison- 
ment or death to some devoted woman 
or brave man of Belgium. 

Some woman or some man, do I say? 
Some tens or twenties of women and men, 
I ought to say. The trials and condem- 
nations at Hasselt alone are of scores at 
a time. 



70 



II 

The German government of Belgium 
is three fourths strictly military and one 
fourth quasi-civil. There is a Civil-Ver- 
•waltung, or department of civil govern- 
ment; a Politische Abteilung, or 'political' 
department, having to do with the dip- 
lomatic and general political relation of 
the government to the Belgian people 
generally, and the Belgian and American 
relief organizations specially; a Bank- 
Abteilung, whose most conspicuous activi- 
ties have had relation to the forced re- 
moval of 450,000,000 marks from the 
vaults of two great Belgian banks to 
those of the Reichsbank in Berlin, and 
the putting of proper pressure on all the 
Belgian banks to produce the huge 
monthly indemnity, first of forty million 
francs, then fifty, and now sixty, that is 



Headquarters Nights 

collected from Belgium by Germany; a 
Press-Abteilung, presided over by a capa- 
ble sculptor, which looks after the edit- 
ing of all the Belgian newspapers — except 
La Libre Belgique! — a Vermittlungsstelle, or 
special bureau of the political depart- 
ment, through which all negotiations of 
the Belgian Comit6 National and the 
American Commission with the German 
government, either in Brussels or Berlin, 
are taken up; a Central Harvest Com- 
mission {Central Ernte Kommission), with 
special charge of the native food-crops 
and live stock (horses excepted) ; and last, 
but very far from least, the Military ' In- 
tendance, ' which represents the army's 
interests and control. 

In addition to these various chief de- 
partments — and I may have overlooked 
one or two; it does not matter — there is 
a series of bureaus or organizations of 
lesser rank, called Centrale, which take 
special cognizance and charge of different 

72 



Headquarters Nights 

kinds of local foodstuffs and related com- 
modities. 

The Central Harvest Commission 
ought, perhaps, more properly to be 
listed as the first and most important of 
this group, rather than among the chief 
departments as noted above. It is com- 
posed of five German officials representing, 
respectively, the Governor-General him- 
self, the civil department, the bank de- 
partment, the political department, and 
the military department, and a Belgian 
representing the Comite National, and an 
American representing the Relief Com- 
mission. The Belgian and American 
members were tolerated rather than wel- 
comed, and their voices, although heard, 
rarely carried conviction to the already 
unanimously convinced German members. 
They had, however, full voting privilege, 
but the minutes of the bi-monthly meet- 
ings — solemn, formal affairs with an oc- 
Ional relieving glimpse of uncovered 
feeling and humanness — record a monot- 

73 



Headquarters Nights 

onous list of motions carried by five voices 
to two, and other motions lost by two to 
five! 

There are, in addition to the principal 
Harvest Commission, a barley central; 
an oats central, wholly in military hands; 
a sugar central; a general fats and oils 
central, with a special butter central; a 
vegetables central, with special potato 
and chicory centrals; a brandy central, 
for the controlling and taxing of all alco- 
holic production, this alcohol coming 
chiefly from the yeast factories; and, 
finally, a coal central, which, oddly 
enough, controls the fertilizers as well as 
coal. 

I may also have overlooked a central 
or two; but, again, it doesn't matter. 
There were enough, if not too many; 
enough, that is, to give a very plausible 
seeming of what one expects from Ger- 
man organization, namely, careful and 
meticulous specialization and subdivision 
of labor, responsibility, and authority, but 

74 



H e a d q u a r t e r s Nights 

all tied together and subject to the supe- 
rior understanding and direction. 

At a distance, the German government 
of Belgium seems admirably organized 
and even well managed. At close range, 
especially at the close range of personal 
contact and experience, it reveals itself 
as absurdly over-organized and ineffi- 
ciently managed. The German govern- 
ment of Belgium has proved itself incapa- 
ble, except in those matters where results 
were got by sheer brutal force alone — and 
in these the force has been too often used 
blindly as well as brutally — and has never 
satisfied the Germans themselves, either 
in Belgium or in Berlin. This is a state- 
ment that I can make with confidence 
and without breach of confidence. For it 
is well known in Holland, which sees and 
knows by one means or another practi- 
cally all that goes on in Belgium and 
Germany. 

Governor-General von Bissing wished 
to gain a certain measure of Belgian ap- 

75 



Headquarters Nights 

proval of his administration of the coun- 
try. His first approval, naturally, should 
come from Berlin; his second, from Ger- 
many; his third, if there could be any- 
thing for Belgians to approve of what 
must first be commended by Berlin and 
Germany, was to come from Belgium. 
And he really wanted this approval. 

Hopeless cynics might explain his de- 
sire simply as dictated by pure personal 
selfishness and ambition. A successful 
civil administration should receive some 
measure of approval from the adminis- 
tered". Von Bissing's government was al- 
ways a quasi-civil government. He would 
commend himself and his administration 
to his over-lords if things went fairly 
quietly in Belgium. But he would not if 
Berlin's already fatigued ears had to be 
assaulted by the disquieting rattle of ma- 
chine-guns in the streets of Brussels and 
Antwerp, and the screams, groans, and 
last sobbing coughs of the dying Bruxellois 
and Anversois. The world seemed in- 

76 



Headquarters Nights 

clined to give a too attentive ear to noises 
from Belgium, and Berlin's own ears, 
usually only too deaf to the cries of the 
tortured, had become, by virtue of this 
fact, a little sensitive also to sounds from 
Brussels. It is a popular belief that Ber- 
lin cares not a rap for the world outside. 
But this is not true. She does care, and 
does not at all relish being so continually 
and distressfully 'misunderstood.' What 
is true is that it is only with the utmost 
difficulty, and only rarely, that Berlin can 
understand what the reaction of the 
world outside is going to be to German 
behavior. I believe that it is chiefly this 
limitation that is leading Germany to 
defeat and near-destruction. 

But I am not a hopeless cynic — to get 
back to the matter of General von Bis- 
sing's rather pathetic desire for Belgian 
approval. And I think that the past 
governor's wish was based partly on less 
questionable grounds than pure selfish- 
ness. He had in some degree a feeling of 

77 



Headquarters Nights 

personal responsibility for the five million 
or more human bodies and souls, nameless 
and hardly distinguishable to him, with 
social traditions and natural inheritance 
utterly uncomprehended by him, which 
had, by the inexplicable hazards of hu- 
man fate, been thrust, willy-nilly, into 
his hands. It would be a bit too super- 
mannish not to feel a little anxious, for 
the people's own sake, about the fate of 
individuals in such a mass of people, 
hanging ever on the verge of starvation 
and kept from literal destruction only by 
the interference of an incomprehensible 
foreign neutral organization. 

But, some way, for whatever Governor 
von Bissing was able to do, there was not 
approval enough to go around. After 
Berlin and Germany had approved, there 
was never any to come from Belgium. 
In the face of what he did, or allowed to 
be done, how in the name of humanity, of 
honor, and of what there is of God in 
man, could there be? 

78 



Headquarters Nights 

And so the Germans in Belgium have 
been an ostracized people. The Belgians 
on the streets look another way as they 
pass the spurred, field-gray officers. The 
German soldiers have learned to ride on 
the platforms of the tramcars; it is less 
chilling there than inside. The few open 
hotels and shops have become differen- 
tiated into places for Germans and places 
for Belgians. It is an odd victory that 
these conquered people win over their 
conquerors every day. 

For the Germans feel it. They have 
wanted friendly civil treatment from the 
Belgians; they have tried in their un- 
comprehending, unsympathetic, stiffly 
patronizing, semi-contemptuous way to 
get it, and they have expected it. Indeed, 
it was more than civility, it was deference 
that they first expected — in parts of oc- 
cupied France the people have to salute 
the German officers or get shot — but 
when the deference was seen to be hope- 
less, they expected civility. 

79 

6 



Headquarters Nights 

Well, they have not got it; they have 
not had it. And this complete withhold- 
ing of Belgian approval of the German 
administration, and the complete lack of 
any personal rapprochement between Ger- 
man officers and officials and Belgians 
during the long period of enforced rela- 
tionship and companionship, is, to me, 
vivid evidence of two things: Belgian 
spirit, and German mal-administration 
and utter lack of human consideration of 
the people and persons they are ruling 
and professing to be trying to placate, 
befriend, and elevate. For the Belgians 
are no more than human, and human con- 
sideration would inevitably have had its 
usual effect in some visible measure. 

This condition is also a sufficient proof, 
if the world needs further proof, of the 
utter inability of the Germans to help the 
world in its efforts to humanize and so- 
cialize and lift up its peoples. Even were 
German Kultur that most desirable thing 
that the German intellectuals have said 

80 



Headquarters Nights 

it is — and that most of us are convinced 
it is not — the Germans are utterly un- 
able to make it over to any other people. 
The Ninety-Three Intellectuals were 
quite sure that Germany could spread 
and bestow its Kultitr on the backward 
nations of the earth by conquering them 
by arms. But Kultitr cannot be imposed 
on a people, even though its rule can. 
The Belgians are ruled by German Kultitr, 
but they are not penetrated by it. 

From the depths of their bleeding 
hearts they execrate it. They have 
seen what it does to a people — to two 
peoples, the Germans and themselves. 
It makes brutes and martyrs: brutes of 
its possessors, martyrs of those who 
conn- in contact with its possessors. 

rman Kuliur stifles the good in man 
for the good of a man-made Juggernaut 
called the State. 

Whatever headway any German 
singly might have been able to make in 
gaining the tolerance or friendship of 

Ki 



Headquarters Nights 

the Belgians — and there have been and 
are to-day individual Germans in Bel- 
gium of a certain warmth of heart and 
human sympathy — this man, as member 
of the German administrative organiza- 
tion in Belgium, was no longer 'any Ger- 
man singly,' but a nameless, individual- 
less, rigid little cog on one of the myriad 
wheels of the Great German Machine. 
He could move only as his wheel moved, 
which in turn moved — or should move — 
only in perfect relation to the moving of 
the other wheels. 

This 'any German singly' gave up, in 
all matters in which he acted as a part of 
the German administration, all of the 
thinking, all of the feeling, all of the con- 
science which might be characteristic of 
him as an individual, a free man, a sep- 
arate soul made sacred by the touch of 
the Creator. And he did this to accept 
the control and standards of an imper- 
sonal, intangible, inhuman, great cold 
fabric made of logic and casuistry and 

82 



V 



Headquarters Nights 

utter, utter cruelty, called the State — or 
often, for purposes of deception, the 
Fatherland. There is fatherland in Ger- 
many, but it is not the German State. It 
is German soil and German ancestry, but 
not the horrible, depersonalized, super- 
organic state machine, built and managed 
by a few ego-maniacs of incredible selfish- 
ness and of utter callousness to the suffer- 
ings, bodily and mental, of their own as 
well as any other people in their range of 
contact. 

But this machine is a Frankenstein that 
will turn on its own creators and work 
their destruction, together with its own. 
Such sacrifice and stultification of human 
personality as national control by such a 
machine requires, can have no perma- 
nence in a world moving certainly, even if 
hesitatingly and deviously, toward indi- 
vidualism and the recognition of personal 
\ .dues. 






Ill 

The experience of our Relief Commis- 
sion with this machine has been wearing. 
It has also been illuminating. For it has 
resulted in the conversion of an idealistic 
group of young Americans of open mind 
and fairly neutral original attitude, into a 
band of convinced men, most of whom, 
since their forced retirement from Bel- 
gium, have ranged themselves among 
four armies devoted to the annihilation 
of that machine and to the rescue and 
restoration of that one of its victims, the 
sight of whose mangling and suffering 
brought unshed tears to the eyes and silent 
curses to the lips of these Americans so 
often during the long two and a half 
years of the relief work. 

We were not haters of Germany when 
we went to Belgium. We have simply, 

8 4 



Headquarters Nights 

by inescapable sights and sounds and 
knowledge forced on us, been made into 
what we have become. If we hate Prus- 
sians and Prussianism now, it is because 
Prussia and Prussianism have taught us 
to hate them. Whom have they ever 
taught to love them? 

The work of the Relief Commission 
was carried on under a series of guaran- 
ties given by the succeeding German 
governors-general, the Berlin Foreign 
Office, and the Great General Staff of 
the German armies. These guaranties 
committed the German authorities, from 
the beginning of the work, to the non- 
requisition of the food-supplies imported 
into Belgium and to non-interference 
with our distribution of these supplies. 
Later they included the non-requisition 
of the food-stuffs produced within the 
country, and the non-purchase of these 
native crops for the use of the German 
army. Also they contained the positive 
promise that the Commission should en- 

85 



Headquarters Nights 

joy all reasonable facilities to do its benef- 
icent work and to be able to satisfy itself 
that the guaranties as to non-requisition 
and purchase were strictly lived up to. 

In general these guaranties have been 
maintained; the one respecting the non- 
requisition of the imported supplies in 
particular has been scrupulously regarded. 
Of course, if it had not been, the work 
would have stopped abruptly at the mo- 
ment of its disregard. But in detail, in the 
relationship with German officialdom and 
German soldiery, made necessary in the 
carrying on of the work, difficult in itself 
under the most favorable circumstances, 
we were harassed and delayed and tricked 
and bullied in a thousand ways, but al- 
most always under cover of a sophisticated 
and specious reasoning. A German offi- 
cial is no less plausible than brutal. 
There was always a protracted debate, a 
delaying argument, an exasperating show 
of consideration and conference, when- 
ever we protested and pleaded and de- 

86 



Headquarters Nights 

mandcd that our work be not interfered 
with. 

The dying of children, the weakening of 
women and men, the advance of disease, 
were not arguments that we could push 
forward to our advantage; there was al- 
ways a convenient 'military exigency' to 
put these summarily out of court. The 
argument had to turn on the form of 
words in the guaranties; this was suscep- 
tible of debate, this was a matter to con- 
sider. 

The machine seemed to have a curi- 
ous regard for our 'scraps of paper' 
except when it was more convenient to 
disregard them entirely, which was not 
often, although always possible. In this 
respect we were constantly surprised, 
having always in mind the original noto- 
rious scrap-of-paper incident. Perhaps 
the machine has become a little sensitive 
to paper troubl< 

A prolific source of difficulty for us was 
the lack of clear demarcation among the 

87 



Headquarters Nights 

many wheels and parts of the machine, 
and a lack of coordination among these 
bits of mechanism. But sharp special- 
ization and thorough coordination are 
generally supposed to be exactly the basis 
of the reputed high organization and effi- 
ciency of the German government. Be 
that true of all the rest of German admin- 
istration or not, I do not know; I only 
know it is not true of German adminis- 
tration in Belgium. A difficulty over the 
movement of canal boats; over the cen- 
soring and transmission of our necessary 
mails between the Brussels central offices 
and the provinces; over the circulation of 
our workers and their motor-cars ; over the 
printing and posting of our protecting 
placards on warehouses and railway 
wagons; or over what not else — it made 
no difference. Never was there a well- 
defined course of procedure for us; never 
could we quickly find the proper depart- 
ment of the government to which to apply 
and from which to obtain decision in any 

88 



Headquarter s N i g h t s 

of these and the many other cases of 
trouble. 

It was indeed precisely because of this 
constant uncertainty, and a final recog- 
nition of the difficulty by Governor-Gen- 
eral von Bissing, that there was finally 
established — just a year after the relief 
work was begun — the Vermittlungsstelle, 
to which all our troubles were first to be 
referred, to be in turn passed on by it into 
the whirring interior of the creaking ma- 
chine, there to be whirled around until 
some kind of final or provisional decision 
was ejected. 

But these interior processes of diges- 
tion and resynthesis — for what went in 
always came out in a different form — 
took time, and time too often freighted 
with awful significance to the helpless, 
waiting, hungering Belgians. But the 
machine took little account of human 
suffering, or human lives, even. It took 
the tim<- that its incapacity made neces- 
sary, and turned out its work in the in- 



Headquarters Nights 

complete or distorted form that its clum- 
siness assured. This must seem, in the 
face of the popular conception of German 
administrative organization, like uncon- 
sidered and exaggerated writing. But 
it is not. It is the revelation of simple 
truth. 

Under whatever detailed guaranties, 
or on the basis of no matter how elab- 
orate regulations, an inevitable require- 
ment for the carrying on of our work 
was a certain element of trust by the 
German authorities in the correct be- 
havior of our American workers. The 
struggle between German officialdom's 
need for an absolute control of us, be- 
cause any or all of us were potential spies 
— we were, of course — and the impossi- 
bility, under existing circumstances, of 
establishing any such effective control, 
resulted in a state of affairs that was ludi- 
crous when it was not too irritating to be 
anything else. 

The control was attempted by a rigor- 

90 



Headquarters Nights 

ous set of restrictive rules concerning the 
movements of the Americans and their 
cars, prohibitions against carrying any 
letters except certain censored official 
ones, and a careful reissuing of passes each 
month for all of the men connected with 
the relief work. Our compliance with 
these insulations was checked on all motor 
trips by a regular inspection of passes, 
including the special ones of chauffeur 
and motor, a recording of the movement 
of the car, and sometimes an examination 
of the contents of bag and pockets, at all 
the sentry posts scattered along the roads. 
These posts were so abundant in the early 
days — when there were soldiers to spare — 
that we would be stopped a dozen times 
between Brussels and Antwerp, less than 
a two-hour trip. In addition to the regu- 
lar inspection, there was another irregular 
one, which consisted of the sudden halting 
of the ear any day anywhere along the 
road by a group of military-sccret-service 
men, who made a close examination, not 

91 



Headquarters Nights 

only of passes and papers, but of cars and 
persons. The cars would be fairly taken 
to pieces, tires deflated and searched, and 
gasoline tanks fished in. The examination 
of the clothing and bodies of our men was 
no less thorough — and more disgusting. 

Now all this was good control to pre- 
vent — what? It prevented our carrying 
any persons unauthorized to travel by 
motor, or any dangerous information in 
letters, from one part of Belgium to an- 
other — from Brussels to Antwerp, say. 
But these possible would-be travelers 
could go without hindrance or examination 
from Brussels to Antwerp by any one of 
several trains a day, or by a combination 
of tram-lines and buses, or on foot. What 
they might not do was to joy-ride! And 
if we wished to carry any dangerous in- 
formation we certainly should not have 
confided it to letters, but should simply 
have taken it as told us or discovered by 
us, and made it over to whomever we 
cared to, provided he could understand 

92 



Headquarters Nights 

our kind of French. We were allowed — 
the circumstances of the work made it ab- 
solutely necessary, as the German authori- 
ties recognized — to talk when and where 
and to whom we pleased. 

More than this and much more impor- 
tant than this, we sent out — with the 
consent, of course, of the Germans — three 
times a week, a mail courier from Brussels 
through the electrified wire fence and 
across the Belgian frontier into Holland. 
The mails he carried had been censored 
and sealed — the seals to be examined at 
the frontier — and he was subject to 
search, regular and irregular, at any time 
before reaching the wire. But he was a 
very intelligent young man, who spoke 
French, German, Flemish, Dutch, and 
English, and when in Holland was free to 
tell any one there — and Holland's popu- 
lation is, at present, most interestingly 
cosmopolitan — or write to any one any- 
where — to a man in England, say, with an 
interest in matters in Belgium— anything 

93 



Headquarters Nights 

he pleased. In Holland he had but one 
control — his honor. And there was an 
alternate courier with this same privilege, 
and several others of us had to go out often 
to Holland. Mr. Hoover and myself went 
back and forth often — Mr. Hoover very 
often and more or less regularly — between 
London and Belgium. In other words, if 
we could not be trusted, there was abso- 
lutely no hindrance in the German scheme 
of control to our conveying information 
at any time to the enemy. And yet the 
exercise of the absurd control attempted 
was evidence that we were not trusted. 
The repeated personal examinations, care- 
fully planned to catch any guilty one off 
his guard, outraged our sense of honor — 
and decency. The whole situation might 
well have stimulated a man to accept the 
implication of dishonesty which it placed 
on him as a recognition that he might spy, 
if he could get away with it! All this 
absurd pseudo-control was stupid in the 
psychology that dictated it, and stupid in 

94 



H e a d q u a r t e r s Nights 

the method of its carrying out. It was 
inexpedient and inefficient. 

And it was unnecessary. We were not 
spies, and the German officials knew it. 
If we were, or if they really thought we 
were, their only sensible and safe action 
would have been to remove us. But 
knowing that we were not spying — in 
a few cases in which some over-eager 
'flat-foot' thought he had found proof 
that we were, we were able brilliantly 
to prove the contrary — they neverthe- 
less treated us in a way to make us feel and 
seem suspect, though not in a way which 
would have prevented us from spying 
and informing had we really been inclined 
to. That is machinery, but not brains. 
And wheels can never really replace brain- 
cells in human functioning. 



95 



IV 

However, a pacifist, or a neutral, is 
hardly to be made into an adherent of a 
war against any people on the basis of 
being ever so convinced of the stupidity 
of that people's form of government, or 
because of an ego-maniacal overestimate, 
on the part of this people, of its form of 
Kultur. And it was something more 
than any conviction of this kind that 
turned our group of American neutrals in 
German-occupied Belgium and North 
France into a shocked, then bitter, and 
finally blazing, band of men wishing to 
slay or be slain, if necessary, to prevent 
the repetition anywhere of the things 
they had to see done in these tortured 
lands. 

The Germans entered Belgium in Au- 
gust and September, 1914; we began to 

96 



Headquarters Nights 

come in November. Hence we saw none 
of the 'atrocities' of the invasion — we saw 
only results of them. Among these re- 
sults, as seen by us, were, I hasten to say, 
no women without breasts or children 
without hands. But there were women 
without husbands and sens and daughters, 
and children without mothers and fathers. 
There were families without homes, farms 
without cattle or horses or houses, towns 
without town halls and churches and most 
of the other buildings, and even some 
without any buildings at all, and a few 
without many citizens. But there were 
cemeteries with scores and hundreds of 
new graves — not of soldiers; and little 
toddling children who came up eagerly to 
you, saying, ' Mon pere est mort; ma mere 
est morte.' They were distinguished from 
some of their playmates by this, you see! 
And we had to hear — and endure — the 
stories, the myriad stories, of the relicts 
of Dinant, Vis6, Tamines, Andennes, and 
all the rest. Of course, there were stories 

97 



Headquarters Nights 

exaggerated wilfully, and others exagger- 
ated unintentionally, simply by the in- 
evitable inaccuracies that come from ex- 
citement and mental stress. But there 
were stories that were true, all true. 

If we had had but to make acquaintance 
this way with happenings of the days be- 
fore we came! But there was no escape 
for us; the civilizing of Belgium did not 
cease with the terrible rush over the land 
to the final trench-lines in the West. It 
kept, and is keeping, everlastingly on. 
And we had to see it, and hear it, and 
feel it. We had to see the citizens of a 
proud and beautiful capital barred from 
walking in certain of its streets and parks, 
that elderly Landsturmers and schneidige 
boy officers might stroll and smoke there; 
and to be sent indoors to bed every night 
for a fortnight at eight o'clock to learn 
to be deferential and friendly to soldiers 
who had slain their relatives and friends, 
not in the heat of battle, but at cool dawn 
in front of stone-walls. 

98 



Headquarters Nights 

And we had to be there the fateful 
night of Nurse Cavell's death; and the 
days and nights of many other like 
deaths and travestied trials that pre- 
ceded them. And we had to make the 
acquaintanceship of noble men and 
women, giving all the hours of all their 
days to the relief and encouragement of 
their people, only to have them disap- 
pear, carried off without an opportunity 
for a good-bye, for imprisonment in Ger- 
many, because of some trivial word or 
act of indignation at the sufferings of 
their people. Which carrying off brings 
us to the final word : Deportations. 

There have been deportations of one 
kind or another from Belgium ever since 
the war began. Removal to Germany 
has been a punishment much favored by 
the German authorities for indiscreet or 
too uncomfortable Belgians. Hut most 
of these removals have been made of 
Citizens singly or in small groups, usually 
after a military trial; and the official morn- 

99 



Headquarters Nights 

ing placards on the street walls have 
announced the alleged special reason for 
each removal and the particular period of 
years to be suffered by the victim in Ger- 
many. Or, rather, did until it seemed 
better — or worse for the friends — not to 
make any announcements at all. 

But these removals are not what the 
world understands by deportations. The 
world knows hazily of the rapid gath- 
ering together and sending in large gangs 
to Germany — or to regions in occupied 
France near the west front — of thousands, 
tens of thousands, altogether a total of 
something more than one hundred thou- 
sand ablebodied Belgian men. With the 
exception of a few flax-workers from West 
Flanders, no women were sent away, as 
some sensational newspaper accounts have 
declared. 

The world knows too, hazily, that these 
deportations were made in many, perhaps 
most, instances in a peculiarly brutal and 
revolting manner, with a treatment of 

IOO 



Headquarters Nights 

human beings comparable only with that 
which might have been given to an equal 
number of cattle, sheep, or swine driven 
to the railways, held in yards in the rain 
or sun for a cursory examination for 
possible infectious disease and physical 
condition generally — for the importers 
wanted only sound animals— and then 
packed tightly into box-cars with enough 
feed and water for the trip to the distant 
abattoirs — enough feed, that is, if the 
trains got through on schedule, which 
they never did. 

The world knows this hazily, I say. 
Much has been written about this de- 
porting; about its causes, the conditions 
that incited German authority to do it — 
it was the highest military authority that 
decreed it, not Von Bissing's Belgian gov- 
ernment, — the manner of its doing, its 
results. But the world needs the whole 
story. Unfortunately it cannot yet be 
written. Among other things lacking is 
the knowledge of just how many of the 

IOI 



Headquarters Nights 

hundred thousand Belgian slaves have 
died and are to die in Germany. Some 
have been sent back hastily, so that they 
would not die in Germany; they die on 
the returning trains, or soon after they 
get back. Or, what is worse, some do 
not die, but continue to live, helpless 
physical wrecks. 

The deportations were not hazy to us. 
They were the most vivid, shocking, con- 
vincing single happening in all our en- 
forced observation and experience of 
German disregard of human suffering and 
human rights in Belgium. We did not 
see the things that happened to the de- 
ported men in Germany. But we could 
not help knowing some of them. When 
the wrecks began to be brought back — 
the starved and beaten men who would 
not sign the statements that they had 
voluntarily gone to Germany to work! and 
the starved and beaten ones who would not 
work at all; and the ones who could not 
work even when, driven by fear of pun- 

102 



Headquarters Nights 

ishment, they tried to, on the acorn soup 
and sawdust bread of the torture camps — 
when these poor wrecks came back, they 
brought their experiences with them, and 
revealed them by a few words and the 
simple exhibition of their scarred and 
emaciated bodies. 

The deportations occurred near the end 
of the period of our stay in Belgium. 
They were the final and the fully sufficient 
exhibit, prepared by the great German 
Machine, to convince absolutely any one 
of us who might still have been clinging to 
his original desperately maintained atti- 
tude of neutrality, that it was high time 
that we were somewhere else — on the 
other side of the trench-line, by preference. 
There could be no neutrality in the face 
of the deportations; you are for that kind 
of thing, or you are against it. 

We are against it; America is against it; 
most of the civilized nations are against 
it. That is the hope of the world. 



103 



A Belgian Record 



A BELGIAN RECORD 

In connection with the subject of the 
Belgian deportations, the following trans- 
lation, made by Professor Kellogg, of a 
memorial sent to Governor-General von 
Bissing about December I, 1916, by a 
group of prominent burghers of Antwerp, 
will be of interest. It is new to the 
American public. 

To His Excellency Baron von Bissing, 

Governor of Belgium, in Brussels: 
Your Excellency, 

By virtue of an Order of the Military 
Governor of Antwerp, rendered in accord- 
ance with the instructions of the German 
General Government in Belgium, dated 
November 2, 1916, our citizens without 
work whose names are on the lists of the 
Registry Office {Meldeamt) are instructed 

107 



Headquarters Nights 

to present themselves immediately at the 
Southern Railway Station. From there 
they will be transported, by force if neces- 
sary, into Germany, where they will be 
compelled to take up work which will be 
assigned to them. The same measures 
have been taken in the rest of the country. 
Without having committed crime, and 
without trial, thousands of our free citi- 
zens are being thus deported, against 
their will, into an enemy land, far from 
their homes, far from their wives and their 
children. They are being submitted to 
that most terrible treatment for free men : 
being forced to labor as slaves. 

We, Deputies, Senators, and notables 
of Antwerp and its environs, would be- 
lieve ourselves recreant to all our duty if 
we allowed such things to occur under our 
eyes, without resorting to the right that 
we have of addressing the executive power 
under any circumstances, in order to 
make known to it our griefs and our pro- 
tests. 

108 



Headquarters Nights 

By what right is this forced labor with 
deportation introduced into our unhappy 
country? We seek in vain for a response 
to this question. The Rights of the 
People condemn such a measure. 

There is no modern author who justifies 
it. The articles of the Convention of 
The Hague, defining requisitions made for 
the benefit of an occupying army, are 
directly opposed to such a measure. 

The constitutional right of all European 
countries, including Germany, is not less 
opposed to it. 

The most illustrious of your sovereigns, 
Frederick the Second, has regarded and 
honored as a dogma, individual liberty 
and the right of every citizen to dispose 
of his capacities and of his work as he 
wishes. An occupying authority ought 
to respect these essential principles which 
haw been the common patrimony of 
humanity for centuries. 

It cannot be denied that the Belgian 
deported workers, under the conditions 

109 



Headquarters Nights 

created by this action, will set free a 
proportional number of German workers 
to go to the front to fight the brothers and 
sons of the deported Belgians. This 
makes them forced partakers in the war 
against our country, something that 
Article 52 of the Convention of The Hague 
prohibits in express terms. That is not 
all. Immediately after the occupation of 
Antwerp, thousands of our citizens had 
fled the country and taken refuge in that 
part of Holland stretching along the 
Belgian frontier, but the German au- 
thorities made most reassuring declara- 
tions to them. 

On October 9th, 1914, General von Bes- 
eler, Commander-in-Chief of the besieging 
army, gave to negotiators from Contich a 
declaration stating: 'Unarmed members 
of the Civic Guard will not be considered 
as prisoners of war.' 

Under the same date, Lieutenant- 
General von Schutz, the German Com- 
mander of the Fort of Antwerp, gave out 

no 



Headquarters Nights 

the following proclamation: 'The under- 
signed, Commander of the Fort of Ant- 
werp, declares that nothing stands in the 
way of the return of inhabitants to their 
country. None of them will be molested; 
even the members of the Civic Guard, if 
they are unarmed, may return in all 
security.' 

On the 16th of November, 1914, Car- 
dinal Mercier communicated to the popu- 
lation a declaration signed by General 
Huene, Military Governor of Antwerp, 
in which the General said, for purposes of 
general publication: 'Young men have 
nothing to fear from being taken to Ger- 
many, either to be enrolled in the army or 
to be employed at forced labor.' A little 
later the eminent prelate requested Baron 
von der Goltz, Governor-General of Bel- 
gium, to ratify for the whole country, 
without limit as to time, these guaranties 
which General Huene has given for the 
Province of Antwerp. He was successful 
in obtaining this. 

1 11 

B 



Headquarters Nights 

Finally, on the 18th of October, 1914, 
the military authorities of Antwerp gave 
a signed statement to the representative 
of General von Terwiega, Commander of 
the Holland Field Army, to the effect that 
the young Belgian men and unarmed 
members of the Belgian Civic Guard 
could return from Holland into Belgium 
and would not be molested. One of his 
sentences was: 'The rumor according 
to which the young Belgian men will be 
sent into Germany ... is without 
any foundation.' 

Upon the faith of these solemn public 
declarations, numerous citizens, not alone 
of Antwerp but of all parts of the country, 
have returned across the Holland-Bel- 
gium frontier to their own hearth-stones. 
Now these very men who, once free, re- 
turned to Belgium, relying upon the formal 
engagements of the German authorities, 
will be sent to-morrow into Germany, 
there to be forced to undertake that 
labor of slaves which it has been promised 

112 



Headquarters Nights 

would never be put upon them. Under 
these conditions, we believe it right to 
demand that the measures taken for these 
deportations be countermanded. We add 
that the agreement of Contich formally 
stipulated that the members of the Civic 
Guard would not be treated as prisoners 
of war. Surely, then, there can be no 
question of transferring them to Ger- 
many to give them a treatment even more 
severe. 

The preamble of the Order for the de- 
portation seems to reproach our workers 
with their idleness, and it invokes the 
needs of public order and regrets the in- 
creasing charges of public charity to take 
care of these men. We beg to remark 
to Your Excellency that, at the time of 
the entrance of the German armies into 
Belgium, there were in this country large 
stocks of raw materials whose transfor- 
mation into manufactured articles would 
have occupied innumerable workers for 
a long time. But the8e Stocks of raw 

113 



Headquarters Nights 

materials have been taken from us and 
carried to Germany. 

There were factories completely 
equipped which could have been used to 
produce articles for exportation into neu- 
tral countries. But the machines and the 
tools of these factories have been sent to 
Germany. 

Certainly it is true that our workers 
have refused work offered by the occupy- 
ing authorities, because this work tended 
to assist these authorities in their military 
operations. Rather than win large wages 
at this price they have preferred to accept 
privation. Where is the patriot, where is 
the man of heart, who would not applaud 
these poor people for this dignity and this 
courage? 

No reproach of idleness can really be 
made to our worker classes who, it is well 
known everywhere, are second to none 
in their ardor for work. 

The Order refers in addition to the 
necessity of good order, and refers also to 

114 



Headquarters Nights 

the necessity of not allowing an increasing 
number of workless people to become a 
burden on the public charity. 

Public order has never caused trouble. 
As to charitable assistance, it is true that 
millions of francs have been spent in 
charity since the beginning of the war, but, 
for the accomplishment of this immense 
effort of benevolence, nothing has been 
asked from the German government, nor 
even from the Belgian Treasury, ad- 
ministered under your control and fed by 
our taxes. There should be, then, no 
anxiety on the part of Germany concern- 
ing this money, which in no way comes 
from it. Indeed, Your Excellency well 
knows that this money does not even 
come from immediate public charity, but 
is arranged for by the Comit6 National, 
which will continue to arrange for it in 
the future-, as it has in the past . 

None, then, of the motives invoked to 
support the Order of deportations seems 
to Ufl to have any foundation. 

>«5 



Headquarters Nights 

One would seek in vain in all the history 
of war for a precedent for this action. 
Neither in the wars of the Revolution, 
nor of the Empire, nor in any which have 
since that time desolated Europe, has 
anyone struck at the sacred principle of 
the individual liberty of the non-combat- 
ant and peaceful populations. 

Where will one stop in this war, if 
reasons of State can justify such treat- 
ment? Even in the colonies forced labor 
exists no longer. 

Therefore, we pray Your Excellency to 
take into consideration all that we have 
just said, and to return to their homes 
those unfortunates who have already 
been sent into Germany in accordance 
with the Order of November 2, 191 6. 



116 



OTHER VOLUMES IN THE SERIES OF 
ATLANTIC PAPERS 

PERMANENT IN INTEREST 
PERMANENT IN FORM 



THE WAR AND THE SPIRIT OF YOUTH 



This book is a spiritual interpretation of the suffering 
and sacrifice of the World War, expressed in a group of 
three papers of kindred significance, yet written from 
three different points of view by a Frenchman, an 
Englishman, and an American. The volume includes: 

Young Soldiers of France, By Maurice Barres. 
The Soul's Experience, By Sir Francis Younghusband. 
Juventus Christi, By Anne C. E. Allinson. 

Each writer is seeking in the dreadful welter of war 
some common revelation of spiritual comfort and 
advance. Is the agony of these years meaningless and 
wanton? Is the heartsickening struggle brutal and 
brutalizing, and nothing more? Each, in his or her own 
way, finds an answer. 

One, a questioner by temperament, has come to see, 
to his own amazement, the regeneration of human life 
in the miracle which the war has worked in the younger 
generation. Another, by profession a soldier, went 
unscathed and unbelieving through the perilous march 
to Lhassa, only to find, as the result of a grave and 
disabling accident, a new and vivid faith born of phys- 
ical impotence and pain. The third, an American 
woman, whose adventures are of the spirit, has come 
to her new belief from far distant fields of the imagina- 
tion. All three unite in confidence that the generation 
now culminating in manhood is passing through black- 
ness into light brighter than any dawn we have known. 

The spirit of the volume is the spirit of youth, learn- 
ing in the Book of Life, trusting that the best is yet to 
be, and reading with shining eyes to the end. It is the 
spirit of Leo Latil, a young soldier of France, who, 
shortly before his death on the edge of a German trench, 
wrote to his family: 

"Our sacrifices will be sweet if we win a great and glorious victory, 
— if there shall be more light for the souls of men; if truth shall 
come forth more radiant, more beloved. We must not forget that 
we are fighting for great things — for the very greatest things. In 
every sense this victory of ours will be a victory for the forces of 
idealism." 

' The War and the Spirit of Youth' is an inspiring, 
heartening little volume. It is well printed, handsomely 
bound, and sells postpaid for one dollar. 

The Atlantic Monthly Press 
Three Park Street, Boston 



THE ASSAULT ON HUMANISM 
Rv Paul Shorey 



The Battle of the Books is as keen today as it was in 
the time of the Renaissance. Within the last decade, 
especially, the forces of the 'old' and the 'new' 
learning have been at full tilt. Under the leadership 
of Dr. Abraham Flcxncr, President Eliot, and other 
distinguished members of the 'new school,' practical 
education has gained an apparent ascendancy, and the 
champions of classical culture have been put on the 
defensive. 

Vet the classicists are not \ am pushed — not by any 
means; and it is not likely that they ever will be, so 
long as they have such leaders as Professor Shorey. 

The Assault on HUMANISM is a brilliant offensive- 
defensive on the study of the classics in American 
schools and colleges. So ably does the author marshal 
his forces against the ' Modernists, ' so effectively does 
he use his sarcastic wit and his vast fund of learning, 
that his writing in itself is an argument of the first 
order for retaining the study of cultural subjects. 

"We are again gTateful to Dr. Fle.xner. If it had not been for 
his attack upon classical and humanistic culture, Professor Shorey 
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and the world would have been so much — and it would indeed 
have been much— poorer." ^^ York Tribune. 

"Professor Shorey upholds the standard of sound learning and 
literary culture — qualities which are in need of defenders in a land 
where the half-educated are at present more aggressive than the 
educated. Professor Shorey says to his antagonists: 'You must 
not argue that Latin is useless, without discrimin.it ing the various 
meanings of utility. You must r.ot tell the public that the science 
of psychology has disproved mental discipline in general, or the 
specific value of the discipline of analytic language study in par- 
ticular. For, if you are a competent psychologist, you know that 
it is false.' " Springfield Republican. 

"If Professor Shorey's literary style, the wealth of information 
which his article shows, the clearness of oil an liness 

and the aptness of his illustrations, are any Indil ation "f the results 
produced by the study of the humanities, he has in this article gone 
far t i • desirability of a system of education in whirh these 

humanities have a prominent part " The African School. 

Thb Assault on Humanism is a charming example 
of bookmaldng. It sella postpaid for 60 cents. 

The Atlami' MONTHLY Pri 

TliKEK I'AKK SrKEET. BOSTON 



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