[p. 11]


Military Court Examination of Dr. Rehm, Army Surgeon of Reserve of the 111th Battalion of Infantry, Regiment No. 165.




Cherisy, November 23, 1914.

Present: Military Court Councillor Dr. Welt.

Military Court Secretary Lorenz, as Clerk of the Court.

Army Surgeon of the Reserve, Dr. Rehm, of the III Battalion of Infantry Regiment No. 165 appeared as witness and made the following deposition:


On August 6, 1914, I established at Retinne a dressing station for the troops, which was extensively used. It was plainly distinguishable; through the display of the Red Cross flag, and the whole arrangements would not have left any doubt as to its identity. In close proximity no fighting took place, our troops having already advanced towards Bellaire. Despite this, our station was continually shot upon; shots fell the whole day long, coming mostly from the surrounding houses, and usually from the roofs. The shots which fell into the dressing station could have been fired only be civilians as there were no hostile troops in the village. As it was not possible for me for the time being to obtain troops for the protection of the station, I armed all the lightly wounded, and ordered the hostile fire answered, at first, with small success, because the well-covered adversaries could not be seen. When in the evening bodies of troops arrived in Retinne, and were also fired upon, the houses were systematically searched. Dozens of men were dragged forth from some of the houses; curiously enough only a few women and no children were found in the houses, so that I gained the impression that the attack had been planned. The men which were dragged out of the houses were exclusively civilians, of all ages.


Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Army Surgeon, Dr. Rehm.



(Signed) Dr. Welt.                                                                   (Signed) Lorenz.


[p. 12]


Military Court Examination of Non-Commissioned Officer Rasch of Reserve in the Reserve of Infantry Regiment No. 74.


Hanover, November 20, 1914.

Present: Military Court Councillor Lindenberg.

Military Court Secretary Lühe.

The dentist Rasch, non-commissioned officer of reserve of the reserve batallion of the Infantry Regiment No. 74 appeared as witness and made the following deposition:

My name is Gustav Rasch, I am twenty-nine years old and a Lutheran.

When the Mobile Infantry Regiment No. 74 was advancing upon Liège in August, 1914, I was ordered to remain behind with a part of the 9th company to protect the baggage which was stationed on the Market Square in Poulseur. A number of other infantry men and hussars were also left behind as guards. Of the officers personally known to me Lieutenant of the artillery reserves Hillebrandt, of Hanover, was present. After the regiment had departed from Poulseur in the direction of Liège, and night had fallen, the baggage and the guards present were suddenly fired upon from all the surrounding houses. The attack was evidently well-planned and previously conceived, because just previous to the firing all the lights in the surrounding houses were extinguished, and the fire set in simultaneously from all sides. At first we did not know what had happened. But the firing out of the houses was not all; dynamite and other high explosive bombs were thrown at us, which presumably had been obtained from a mine near Poulseur.

The firing continued intermittently throughout the night. We, of course, replied and sought shelter behind the baggage wagons as best we could. But despite this we had dead and wounded; among them a Lieutenant of reserve of a Hussar-Regiment, whom we took to the inn of a German. I myself participated with the men in the storming of several houses; those who opposed us in them with arms in hand were shot. The occupants of those houses in which arms and ammunition were found were taken to the market square. I am able to state with authority that all persons who offered us resistance or who were brought to the market square were not in uniforms. They were civilians without exception. On the following morning, as we were proceeding with the baggage to the [p. 13] outskirts of the town, strong explosions were heard in the town, which indicated the presence of thousands of cartridges. Some men said that the large quantities of cartridges were exploding which had been found by them in the Mayor's residence. Also when the baggage of the 74th regiment passed back through Poulseur on the following day in the direction from Liège, we were again fired upon.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Rasch.

Witness was sworn.



(Signed) Lindenberg.                                                               (Signed) Lühe.




Report Made to the Fifth Cavalry Division by Von Wentzky, Commander of the Eleventh Cavalry Brigade.

On August 10, Dragoon Regiment No. 8 arrived in Grande-Rossière
(2½ kilometers N. W. of Nives) where for the first time it went into bivouac in a Belgian place, i. e., the four squadrons of the regiment camped in two groups just outside of the village. The staff of the 11th Cavalry Brigade took quarters in a house. The occupants were two elderly women and a young man, who received us with especially courteous manner and readily provided us with food. It struck us that a number of young men came into the house in the course of the evening, stayed a short time ands then disappeared again. The young man who belonged to the house also disappeared.


Toward 11 o'clock that evening I went in company with an orderly officer to the bivouac of the fourth and fifth squadron of Dragoon-Regiment No. 8, a distance of about 300 meters from my quarters. When I wanted to return from there about ten minutes later, I heard firing in various, parts, during which the shots from the carbines of the sentries were clearly distinguishable from those fired from other arms. At that moment the Adjutant of Dragoon-Regiment No. 8 met me and reported he had just been fired upon at the entrance of his house; the fire came from an apparently vacant house situated across the street. I immediately called the fourth squadron to arms and ordered Lieutenant Baron von Richthofen of the fourth squadron to surround the house out of which the shots had been fired, and to arrest all people found within. Several minutes later more shots were heard. Lieutenant Baron von Richthofen received a shot in the abdomen and died the following morning. Two civilians armed with revolvers were brought out of the house. The [p. 14] revolvers were found to have been fired shortly before. In addition cartridges, both spent and intact, were found on the prisoners. In the course of the night the bivouacs of Dragoon-Regiment No. 8 were repeatedly fired upon. Lieutenant von Nickisch reported, that a large quantity of revolvers, rifles and ammunition were found in the houses; powder and fuses were also found, especially in the house in which the staff of the 11 Cavalry Brigade had been quartered.


(Signed) von Wentzky,


Colonel and Brigade Commander.



Report of Infantry Regiment No. 23 "Von Winterfeldt" to the 24th Infantry Brigade.

October 4, 1914.


Captain Illgner reports: On August 22 in Léglise two civilians from Antier, who were met with firearms in their possession by two grenadiers, were delivered over to the company, which was engaged in protecting the baggage. During this time the company was repeatedly shot upon by civilians.

In Tintigny a reservist of Infantry Regiment No. 38 was found who had been slain by the inhabitants with a brick-axe. In Laheycourt a man of the I battalion shot and killed a civilian who shot from a garden upon the soldiers.

Captain von Debschitz reports: In our first quarters in Belgium in Nothomb, after the Commanding-general's proclamation had been announced, a great number of military rifles with ammunition were handed in by civilians which undoubtedly had been distributed only shortly before by the authorities for the purpose of franctireur warfare. So far as I know, they were Menier rifles, they had been freshly greased; the cartridges were packed in stamped linen-packages, exactly as if they had just been received from an army depot.

Lieutenant of the Reserves, Schmidt, in charge of the baggage of the regiment, reports: During the night from August 23-24 the baggage of regiment was repeatedly fired upon in Houdemont and Rulles while on the way from Habay to La Neuve-Ansart. In Houdemont the inhabitants shot from behind the windows and walls; thereupon several houses were burned. On leaving Houdemont the baggage had to pass through a cutting; small light signals were noticed from all sides, and suddenly the baggage was fired upon from the front, from behind and from both [p. 15] sides. The projectiles pierced the planks of the wagon and the grain bags; we are still in possession of one of the bullets. One man is missing, two horses were wounded and had to be killed. The baggage was also fired upon in Rulles and behind Rulles from front and the right flank.

On August 24 franctireurs again fired from the houses upon the baggage on the road Ansart-Tintigny; two soldiers of the transport service were killed. On the evening of August 25 the baggage passed through the village of Villers devant Orval. The mean were friendly received by the inhabitants, who gave fruit and food to them. After dark when the baggage halted about Km. behind the village, they were suddenly fired upon from behind.


(Signed) Count Keller.



Military Court Examination of Lieutenant Von Lindeiner-Wildau of Field Artillery Regiment No. 6.

Court of Field Artillery Regiment No. 6.

Transacted at Binarville, September 25, 1914.


Lieutenant von Lindeiner called von Wildau of Field Artillery Regiment No. 6 appears and, after having been informed of the object of the examination, declares as follows:

My first names are Hans Erdmann, I am thirty-one years old and a Lutheran.

About August 20 I was quartered at Thibesart together with the staff of the regiment, and was called in as interpreter at the examination of a forest warden by the name of Bienveler, on whom cartridges had been found the possession of which he had denied. The men who had arrested him produced several of the cartridges and I ascertained that some of them had been opened, and closed again by biting, a habit quite common among game wardens and foresters; from one of these cartridges which I opened the buck-shot had been removed and replaced by small hacked pieces of lead. This had evidently been done quite recently, for the cuts of the lead pieces were still bright. As I was told, several of our patrols had been fired upon on this and the preceding day from the forest around Thibesart, among them the patrol of Captain von Richthofen of the 11th Mounted Sharp-shooters, despite the fact that no hostile troops were in the vicinity.

[p. 16] During the skirmish at Rossignole-Tintigny on August 22, Colonel von Zglinicki and I rode into the village of Tintigny. Marching by our side were parts of the Grenadier Regiment No. 11; field kitchens were standing along the road. From one of the first houses on the left, a woman, standing in the door, called out to me something like: "Est-ceque nous sommes sûrs ici, monsieur?" (Are we safe here, sir?) Just as I was going to answer her, I got two shots, both missing their aim, from the same direction, and looking up, beheld two civilians in a window on the first story of the same house, who were opening a lively fire on the German troops, and evidently had also fired those shots at me. My horse took a few leaps ahead to the corner of a side street on the right. From that street I and the German troops, which got jammed there, were greeted by a lively fire from all the windows. Hostile soldiers were nowhere to be seen, whereas shooting civilians were standing in several windows. I believe also to be certain that I noticed a machine-gun, operated by civilians, in a window on the first floor of a house about twenty paces from where I was. I personally observed that a considerable number of our soldiers were injured by this fire. Obviously the whole thing was a carefully arranged plot, for the firing commenced simultaneously over the entire village after the first two shots had fallen.

I was subsequently sent back and on this occasion was again fired at from the houses of the next village to the north (Ansart or Marinsart) which are situated along the highway running from north to south. I ordered the men of the light ammunition column of the 42nd Field Artillery, which had stopped there, to batter down the locked doors of the houses, and in one of the houses from which shots had been fired, they found six or eight civilians, but neither soldiers nor women.

About an hour later I got instructions to lead the 2nd Detachment of Field Artillery Regiment No. 6 along the north side of the street running from east to west into a position west of the same village. I requested, and was given, infantry protection of the Company "Rode" of the 10th Grenadiers. While executing this order we were fired upon continuously from that direction although there were no French or Belgian soldiers left in that village. I observed the following:

At different places I saw bedding in the gardens; from this bedding, which was evidently put there for protection, we were fired upon.

At another place three persons in women's dress came towards us and disappeared behind a shrub. I called out: "Don't shoot, they are women." At the same moment we were fired at from that shrub.

At the end of the village two or three cows came towards us and [p. 17] immediately two shots were also fired from the direction of the cows. We then saw that a man had come up behind one of the cows and fired at us. He was subsequently shot by one of our infantry men.


Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Lindeiner called von Wildau.


(Signed) von Buttlar, Chief Lieutenant and Adjutant.


(Signed) von Zglinicki, Judge.




Report of Chief Surgeon-Major Esche of Field Hospital 7, No. 73, X Army Corps.


On August 24, toward six o'clock in the evening, inhabitants of Biesme fired from their houses upon a column of soldiers passing through the village. A detachment of about fifty men of Infantry Regiment No. 164, which guarded 216 prisoners in the garden of the castle, where field hospital No. 7 had been established, advanced to enforce order, while during their absence, the slightly wounded undertook to guard the prisoners. Sergeant Kortebein and two drivers attached to field hospital No. 7 named Schmidt and Dietrichs observed that firing was done out of two houses.

According to the testimony of the proprietors of castle Gougnies, in which the sanitary and other officials of the field hospital lived, Conseiller provinciel (Provincial Councillor) Adelin Piret of Gougnies distributed among the inhabitants the arms which had been delivered at the City Hall. Military detachments passing through the village were fired upon.


(Signed) Esche, Surgeon-Major.




Military Court Examination of Vice-Sergeant Schulze, First Class Private Spans and Grenadiers Wenzel, Kachel, Pfeifer, Wittstadt and Wilhelmy, all of Infantry Regiment No. 3.


Berlin, September 18, 1914.

Vice Sergeant Schulze, of the ninth company, first class private Spans of the twelfth company, and grenadiers Wenzel of the fifth company, [p. 18] Kachel of the ninth company, Pfeifer and Wittstadt of the twelfth company and Wilhelmy of the fifth company of infantry regiment No. 93 appeared and made the following statements:

On August 24, 1914, we, together with Belgian and French wounded, were laid up in the monastery of Champion converted into a hospital. After the departure of our troops on the evening of August 24, only a light munition-column remained near us in the proximity of the monastery. There were no sentries stationed anywhere.

Toward ten o'clock in the evening a heavy rifle fire was suddenly started against the main entrances and the windows of the monastery. I, vice-sergeant-at-arms Schulze, was awakened by the shots, went to the main entrance and heard the bullets whizzing by. I then went back to get my arms. When I returned to the entrance, the light munition column had already gone into action. Previous to this, the Belgian physician who was present in the monastery, had from the courtyard called in Belgian to the shooters who did not show themselves, to cease their firing. Privates Wilhelmy and Wenzel had heard this. As soon as the doctor re-entered the monastery, however, the firing was resumed.

The light munition column thereupon cleared the courtyard and vicinity, captured several franctireurs, who were identified as shooters, searched the surrounding houses, and after establishing that shots had been fired out of them, set them afire as a punishment.

We should state that all the houses in the village were searched on August 25, and that several boxes of dynamite and munition were found in the parson's house. The dynamite was destroyed by the engineers of the munition column. The parson was kept under guard for two days by that column and then set free again.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Schulze, Spans, Wenzel, Kachel, Pfeifer, Wittstadt, Wilhelmy.

Done as stated:

(Signed) Hilsmann, Lieutenant and Adjutant in the auxiliary battalion of the Infantry Regiment of Reserve No. 93.

[p. 19]



Military Court Examination of Captain Caspari, of Infantry Regiment No. 75.

Baylle, December 11, 1914.

Present: Lieutenant Stürenberg-Jung as Court Officer.

Vice-Sergeant-at-Arms Bannehr, as Clerk of the Military Court.

Captain Caspari appeared as witness and deposed as follows:

As I drew near Hougaerde at the head of the third company of Infantry Regiment No. 75, to which I was assigned, a man in clerical habit approached us from the town. He saluted me and told me that there were no more Belgian soldiers in the place, that the population were friendly, and that we did not have to fear any attack from them. My request, however, to show us the way through Hougaerde, was visibly disagreeable to the man, but he acceded. The streets were empty when we marched into the town, the shutters and house-doors were locked and the window openings of a building under construction on the right hand side were covered up with bag cloth. Shortly before we reached a curve in the street, about 100-200 meters behind the railroad crossing, the clergyman jumped into a doorway. One of my men, musketier Ernst Block, barely caught him by the coat-tails and pulled him back. When we came to the curve we were confronted by a street barricade, 30-49 meters away, and received well-timed volleys from all sides out of the houses, even from the rear. The clergyman was hit by one of the first  shots out of the houses and mortally wounded. As we later ascertained, the town had been systematically prepared for defense. Houses and walls had been provided with well-concealed loop-holes, and the population had been prepared for the attack to be made at a certain place. I could personally ascertain that civilians participated in this attack because I saw them, weapons in hand, fleeing through the gardens. Several of my men were wounded by small-shot.


Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Caspari.


Witness was sworn.


(Signed) Stürenberg-Jung, Lieutenant and Court Officer.

(Signed) Bannehr, Military Court Clerk.


[p. 20]



Court Examination of Gottfried Hilberath, Reservist, of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 236.




October 31, 1914.

in the hospital at Werne.


Present: Local Judge Hidding.

Local court assistant Harries as clerk of the court.


Upon request of the head of the Werne Hospital the above named court commission went to said hospital for the purpose of examining a sick soldier.

They met the reservist, Gottfried Hilberath of Cologne, No. 60 Moselstrasse, who after being warned against perjury testified as follows:

My name is Gottfried Hilberath, hotel porter; born August 12, 1893 in Neuenahr, Catholic, reservist of Reserve-Infantry-Regiment No. 236, III Battalion; 12 company. Our regiment started out on September 13, 1914. From our drilling grounds at Wegmar we were transported by railway to Belgium.

During the middle of October, 1914, our regiment lay in the neighborhood of the Belgian village of Deynze, where we had to dig trenches. Over night we were quartered in the village. At sunrise we went back to the trenches.

On the evening of October 25th we brought the wounded to the field hospital established in a village. With ten to fifteen men we entered a house in Deynze, where light was burning and where a number of soldiers had already arrived before us. They were sitting in the parlor drinking coffee. The wife cooked coffee for the soldiers and also for us new arrivals. The husband was busy in his grocery store. All soldiers remained in the house over night.

On the same evening about eight of our men filled their flasks with the coffee which the woman had prepared. Some of them bought 10 centimes worth of sugar in the store in the evening. So did I, putting it into the flask like the others. The sugar was put up in small packages. I noticed on the paper a sticky substance looking like gum arabic. The sugar was in paper bags which were not stuck down and had apparently been filled by the store keeper.

The next day about ten minutes after I had drunk the coffee I became unconscious in the trench and must have stayed unconscious for about five hours. Two men of the brigade corps took me through [p. 21] the village of Deynze to the field hospital at West-Roosebeck. Here I heard that also the other soldiers had been poisoned and that some of them had already died. What has happened to the store keeper and his wife I do not know.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Gottfried Hilberath.

Witness, thereupon, after having been warned again against perjury, took the oath.




(Signed) Hidding.                                                                    (Signed) Harries.




Court of the Government General of Belgium.


Brussels, December 14, 1914.

Present: Military court councillor Sager.

Military court assistant Duwe as Military court clerk.

Interpreter Füller of the Military court of the province of Brabant, once for all sworn in.

The merchant Heinrich Bloch of Brussels, No. 35 Rue de Marché appears and declares:

My name is as mentioned, age: 68; Religion: Hebrew; native of Baden.

Until August 20, 1914, six A. M. I was in Brussels. The Brussels papers had published the announcement that all weapons were to be delivered. On August 19, 1914, I sent my porter to the commissariat in Rue croisate to deliver a revolver. After a short time he came back and said verbally: "Il ne faut pas croire tout ce qu'on lit dans les journeaux." (One must not believe everything which one reads in the newspapers.)

The publications were officially issued by the Mayor. I have no reason to believe that the commissary presumed we were Belgians.


The commissary who did not accept the revolver from my porter fell in Belgium; when and where I cannot say.


Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) H. Bloch.


Furthermore Jules Brontine, porter, thirty-eight years old, Catholic, Belgian citizen, appears as witness and declares:


I only can testify to what Mr. Bloch already has stated. He sent me on August 19th to the police in order to deliver his revolver. The police-commissary to whom I presented the weapon refused to take it saying: "One must not believe everything which one reads in the newspapers." [p. 22] Thereupon I went away again with the revolver. I mentioned that it was the weapon of Mr. Bloch, who was personally known to the police-commissary to be a German. I presumed that the announcement in the newspapers referred to rifles and to sabres only.


Read in French, approved and signed.


(Signed) J. Brontine.


Brontine and Bloch, witnesses, were sworn according to law.




(Signed) Sager.                                                                       (Signed) Duwe.



Examination of Reservist Richard Weisse of Fusilier Regiment No. 36.



Blankenburg, (Harz), November 13, 1914.

Present: Chief District Judge Dr. Schilling, as judge.

Chief Court Clerk Hornig, as Clerk of the Court.


There appears Richard Weisse, Reservist of Company 6, Fusilier Regiment No. 36, born March 29, 1890, at Hohenmoelsen, Weissenfels County, at present at the local reserve hospital.

The following statement was read to him which he had made on October 31, 1914 before First Lieutenant Reyner:

"During the first days of the month of August—it may also have been middle of August—I was with an officers' patrol near the Belgian border with instructions to occupy a bridge. Together with another Fusilier I was sent on a special errand and consequently separated from the patrol.

When returning across a meadow we noticed several civilians in a ditch near a group of houses. When we came nearer we saw a German soldier lie in the ditch both of whose eyes had been gouged out. We attacked the civilians and they fled into the houses nearby from which they opened fire on us. I cannot say what became of the mutilated man."

Witness thereupon declared: The statement is correct and I only wish to add that I did not actually see the three or four civilians who got scared when we came to the ditch where the mutilated soldier lay and ran into the houses nearby, gouge out the soldier's eyes; but that [p. 23] they were the perpetrators I conclude from the fact that our wounded German comrade begged us: "Take me along, they have just gouged out both my eyes."

Thereupon witness was instructed in the meaning of the oath and duly sworn.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Richard Weisse.

(Signed) Dr. Schilling.                                                                        (Signed) R. Hornig.




Military Court Examination of Reservists Gustav Voigt, Fritz Marks and Henry Hartmann, of Infantry Regiment No. 165.


Transacted at the Reserve Hospital at Quedlinburg.


Schilling, November 11, 1914.

Present: Military Court Councillor Keil.

Military Court Secretary Fahlberg.


At the Reserve Hospital of Schilling where the above mentioned court officers had proceeded, the following witnesses, duly instructed in the meaning of the oath, deposed as follows:


(1) Reservist Gustav Voigt:

My name is Gustav Voigt, my age twenty-four. I am a Lutheran and a Reservist of Company 6 of Infantry Regiment No. 165.

In the morning of August 7 I and seven other comrades became detached from our troop. We had to sneak through the gardens of a village closely beyond Herve in Belgium to look for cover. Suddenly we saw how five Belgian soldiers threw up their hands and wished to surrender. They hailed us and we approached them and noticed that they had two Germans with them (of the 10th Hussars) bound with ropes. One of the latter drew our attention to a third Hussar hanging up in a tree, dead. We saw that his ears and nose were cut off. The two Hussars also told us that the five Belgians had hanged and mutilated their comrade, and that the five Belgians had just been getting ready to kill or mutilate them, if we had not come up. We disarmed the Belgians, took them prisoners and delivered them to a troop of the 5th Uhlans who had already several captured Belgians with them. We joined the Uhlans to get back to our company, and, while passing through the village, were fired at from cellars and windows. I do not [p. 24] know the name of the village, but it is situated between Herve and a big coal mine in the direction towards Liège. I myself was wounded in the street fighting at Liège.

On the day previous to that incident our company was engaged in a skirmish of outposts to the right of Herve; at that time a one-year private of Company 5 of Infantry Regiment No. 165 was wounded and left where he fell. When we passed the spot the next morning we found body of that private at a garden fence; both his eyes had been gouged out. Everyone of us was convinced that villagers had done this.

On or about August 7th when we marched on Liège we saw a German Infantry-man—I think of Regiment No. 27; he showed no shot wound but was dead, having been completely emasculated.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Gustav Voigt.


(2) Reservist Fritz Marks:

My name is Fritz Marks, my age twenty-three, I am a Protestant, by trade a factory-hand, and a Reservist of Company 2 of Infantry Regiment No. 165.

On August 25th our battalion marched through a village near Herve in Belgium. A man of the 5th company met us and exclaimed: "Such a dirty trick, now they have gouged out the eyes of one of our men." He pointed out where the man lay. We all had to pass the spot and there saw the dead man lie by the fence with both eyes gouged out. We were certain that villagers had done this. When on the next day we again passed through the village we were shot at from cellars and windows, and orders were given to disarm and arrest the villagers. We entered the houses and executed the order. But when the shooting continued all the same six guilty Belgian peasants were executed by order of an officer.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Fritz Marks.


(3) Reservist Heinrich Hartmann:

My name is Friedrich Heinrich Hartmann, my age twenty-four, I am a Protestant, Reservist of Company 2 of Infantry Regiment No. 165.

I, too, saw the private of Company 5 with his eyes gouged out. The officer in charge of our company, Captain Burkholz, ordered us to search the houses of the village. In the house by the fence of which the body of the private had been found, we discovered a big strong middle-aged man who lay in bed and feigned sleep. We arrested him and led him before the officers who examined the man. He was then upon order shot by a musketier of Company 4.

[p. 25] While we marched on Liège we passed a German infantry-man who had been submerged, head down, in a bog and was dead.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Heinrich Hartmann.


Witnesses were thereupon duly sworn.




(Signed) Keil.                                                                         (Signed) Fahlberg.



Court Examination of Musketier Paul Blankenburg of Infantry Regiment No. 165.




Blankenburg (Harz Mountains), November 14, 1914.

Present: Chief Judge Dr. Schilling as judge.

Chief Court Secretary Hornig as Clerk of the Court.


Paul Blankenburg, musketier of Company 7 of Infantry Regiment No. 165, at present under treatment at the reserve hospital of this city, appeared and, having been instructed as to the meaning of the oath, deposed as follows:

My name is Paul Blankenburg, I am a native of Magdeburg, twenty-one years old, a Lutheran.

The following statement is read to witness which he made in the presence of Lieutenant Reyner on October 31st:

"Marching in closed column we passed through a Belgian village situated west of Herve. There were German wounded lying about in the village, amongst whom I recognized men of the 4th battalion of Chasseurs. Suddenly our marching columns were fired at from the houses, and orders were given, therefore, to remove all civilians from these houses and gather them in one place. While this was being done I noticed that girls, about eight or ten years old, armed with a sharp instrument, busied themselves with the German wounded. Later I ascertained that the ear lobes and upper part of the ears of those of the wounded, who were gravely injured, had been cut off. As we proceeded an orderly of the sanitary corps—if I remember right of the 27th Regiment—was shot to death by Belgian civilians firing from the school house while he was engaged in aiding a wounded soldier in the school yard."

[p. 26] Witness thereupon declared: The statement just read to me is true and correct. I emphasize once more that I myself saw how girls aged eight or ten busied themselves with the severely wounded in the Belgian village. The girls had steel instruments in their hands—but these were not knives or scissors—and with these instruments which had a sharp edge on one side, and which we took from them, they busied themselves with the wounded. There were fresh wounds on the ears of the wounded soldiers, their ear-lobes and upper parts of the ears having been cut off evidently only just before we came.

One of the wounded, in reply to my questions, told me that he had been mutilated in the above described manner by the girls.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Paul Blankenburg.


Witness was thereupon duly sworn.


(Signed) Dr. Schilling.                                                                        (Signed) Hornig.




Military Court Examination of Reservist Ernst Baldeweg of Infantry Regiment No. 35.




Magdeburg, November 1, 1914.

Present: Deputy Military Judge Dr. Pauls as judge.

Military Court Secretary Glasdrow.

By order of the Acting General Command of the 4th Army Corps, Ernst Baldeweg, a dairy man of Berlin, 37 Rathenower Street, at present a reservist of Company 11 of Infantry Regiment No. 35, twenty-eight years old, of the German Reformed Church, after having been impressed with the sanctity of the oath, testified as follows:

On or about August 8, 1914, I personally observed in a stable near the village of Verviers that the tongue of a horse had been cut off and in another stable I saw that the tongues of four horses had been cut off. The tongue of the horse in the first stable was not quite severed, but hung out of its mouth by a little band at the palate. I presume that Belgian civilians mutilated the animals so that they could not be of service anymore to the Germans.

Either on Sunday, August 9, 1914, or on Monday, August 10, 1914, in a place which adjoins Herve, Belgium, I saw a German hussar tied by his hands and his feet to a tree. Two big nails had been driven through his eyes so that he was spiked to the tree by the two nails. [p. 27] The hussar was dead. In the same village, near a wooden fence in front of a farm, lay an infantrist of the 52nd Regiment whose eyes were gouged and whose ears, nose and fingers had been severed and belly cut open so that the intestines protruded. The dead man also showed stab wounds in his chest which had completely lacerated it. Both cases can only have been perpetrated by Belgian civilians.

I wish to affirm that I have stated only my personal observations and that I have carefully avoided to exaggerate anything.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Ernst Baldeweg.

Witness was sworn.

(Signed) Dr. Pauls.                                                                  (Signed) Glasdrow.



Military Court Examination of Musketier Lagerahausen of Reserve Regiment No. 230.

Hanover, November 21, 1914.

Present: Military Court Councillor Lindenberg.

Non-commissioned officer of Reserve Koepf, as Clerk of the Military Court.


Musketier Lagershausen of the First Substitute Company of Reserve Regiment No. 230 appeared as witness and made the following deposition:

I am Hugo Lagershausen, nineteen years old, a Lutheran.

I was a member of the 8th Company of Infantry Regiment No. 73. This had advanced from Spa toward Liège. A first class private of the 74th Regiment, several musketiers of the 82nd and 83rd Regiments and myself were ordered to patrol duty and reconnoitred the territory to our right. This was in the night from August 5th to 6th. As we had to remain absolutely quiet, I finally became separated in the darkness from the other members of the patrol. Towards noon of August 6th I came to a dressing station which had been established in a farmhouse in the vicinity of the village Chênée. There were about fifteen badly wounded German soldiers in the house, four or five of whom had been cruelly mutilated. Both of their eyes had been gouged out and several of them had their fingers cut off. Their wounds were comparatively recent, although the blood was already somewhat clotted. The men were still alive and moaned. It was not possible for me to help them. There was no physician present, as I ascertained by questioning other [p. 28] wounded soldiers who were in the house. Besides the wounded I found six or seven Belgian civilians in the house, four among whom were women. The latter gave the wounded to drink, but the men remained inactive. I did not see any weapons in their possession, nor can I say whether their hands were bloody, because they kept them in their pockets. I cannot venture to express an opinion as to whether these people committed the cruelties against the wounded. I could not proceed against them because I was alone.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Musketier Lagershausen.


Witness was duly sworn.


(Signed) Lindenberg.                                                               (Signed) Koepf.



Military Court Examination of "Landwehr" Soldier Koch of Infantry Regiment No. 25.



Staden, November 27, 1914.

Present: Military Court Councillor Jager.

Military Court Secretary Brehmer as Clerk of the Court.


Landwehr soldier Koch of the 4th Company of Infantry Regiment No. 25 appeared as witness.

After being made acquainted with the object of the examination, and being impressed with the meaning of the oath, he gave the following evidence:

My Christian name is Mathias. I am thirty-two years of age, a Catholic, engaged in foundry work, and a resident of Eschweiler-Roehe.

Until August 16, 1914 I belonged to the first Company of the Reserve Battalion of Infantry Regiment No. 25. We were attached to the automobiles of the sanitary corps as protection. The automobiles had been provided by the Voluntary Nursing Union and they were running between Liège and Aix-la-Chapelle. On a day between the 10th and 16th of August I had been ordered as escort of such an automobile. We drove to the battle-field near Visé. The body of the voluntary nursing Corps were deploying in front of us, while we slowly followed. From a height I could well survey the field in front of me. At a distance of about 500 meters I saw by the side of a wounded German soldier two women in a crouching position. I first thought that [p. 29] the women were praying near the soldier. Three or four men were standing near them. One of them suddenly shot at me. I returned the shot, whereupon the men and the two women ran away. I then walked up to the wounded soldier who was bleeding from a wound in his chest. His body was partly exposed and closer inspection showed that he had been emasculated. {NOTE: The details stated in the affidavit are so revolting as to be unfit to be laid before the general public.} His body was still warm, but he gave no sign of life. It was so terrible a sight that tears started from my eyes—I let the man lie as there was no doubt that he was dead.

On the same day I found a fallen German whose ring-finger had been cut off. When I spoke to the men of the voluntary nursing corps they said that was nothing new to them, they had often seen it.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Mathias Koch.


Witness was sworn.




(Signed) Jager.                                                                        (Signed) Brehmer.



Report of the 2nd Sanitary Column of the Fourth Army Corps.

Beine, October 15, 1914.


On August 23, I went to the French Field Hospital at Rossignot where the company had established its main dressing station. On my way there a musketier reported to me, that a dead German was lying in one of the houses. I looked at the dead man at once and noticed that, aside from a wound which was not dangerous, his head was badly burned. A few meters away stood a half-filled kerosene and a benzine bottle. This showed clearly that the inhabitants had carried the wounded German into the house, poured kerosene and benzine over his head and set it afire.

In the night from August 24th to 25th I drove in an automobile from Rossignol to Florenville, where several inhabitants stood in animated conversation in front of one of the houses. When I ordered the automobile to stop, about one hundred meters from the place, to ascertain the direction from one of the signs, these people suddenly opened a violent rifle fire upon me from the rear, so that I could only save myself by driving away quickly.

(Signed) Sternberg, Captain and Commander of Sanitary Company No. 2 of the VI Army Corps.


[p. 30]



Report of the Chief Army Surgeon, Dr. Kiefmann, to the Corps Surgeon of the VIII Army Corps.


Transacted in the field-hospital of the VIII Army-Corps.


St. Morel, October 15, 1914.


Army-surgeon Dr. Beyer appeared and reported that in Graide, Belgium, Lieutenant Erich Koch of the 8th Company of Infantry Regiment No. 160, who had been severely wounded in the abdomen, had told him that, after he had received the wound he was stripped by civilians, robbed of his belongings and then thrown into a cess-pool.

Lieutenant Koch was actually brought to the hospital naked, wrapped in blankets only.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Dr. Beyer, Army-Surgeon.


Sergeant-major Joseph Steffen of the Sanitary Corps appeared and testified:

I can only confirm the report of Dr. Beyer. Lieutenant Koch has given me the same account and added that women also took part in the atrocity. Koch had been wounded near Porcheresse.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Steffen, Sergeant-major of the Sanitary Corps.

Transacted as above:

The chief surgeon:


(Signed) Dr. Kiefmann, Surgeon-major.




Military Court Examination of Landwehr-man Alwin Chaton of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 78.




Brunswick, October 31, 1914.


(Hospital "Concert Hall")

Present: Military Court Councillor Dr. Behme.

Military Court Secretary de Boer.

There appeared to-day Alwin Chaton, a landwehr-man of Company 5 of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 78 and declared:

[p. 31] My name is Alwin Chaton, my age thirty-two, I am a Lutheran and by occupation bookkeeper in Emmerstedt near Helmstedt.

During the street fighting in Charleroi, while passing through the main street and turning into a side street, I saw, upon reaching the corner, about 50 to 60 paces from me, a German dragoon lying in the street. Three civilians were beside him one of whom was bending over the dragoon who was seen struggling with his legs. I fired at them and hit one of them; the rest escaped. When approaching I noticed that the slain civilian had a long blood-stained dagger in his hand. The right eye of the German dragoon had been gouged out, likewise the left one which still hanging to the side of his head. The character of the wound clearly showed that his eyes were not gouged while fighting but that they had been maliciously pierced. The body of the dragoon was smouldering strongly. Doubtlessly an inflammable liquid had been poured over him and then ignited.

Later on I saw other burning bodies where there was no fire near, so that they must have been ignited.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Alwin Chaton.

Witness thereupon was sworn.

(Signed) Behme.                                                                      (Signed) DeBoer.



Military Court Examination of Sergeant Major Weinrich of Infantry Regiment No. 20.


Ursel, November 10, 1914.

Present: Acting Military Court Councillor Schmetzer.

Military Court Secretary Hanse.

Sergeant Major Weinrich of the Machine gun Company of Infantry Regiment No. 20 appeared, and, after being instructed about the meaning of the oath, declared the following:

My name is Adolf Weinrich, I am thirty-two years of age, a Protestant.

On a day during the middle of August of this year, while the company was engaged in fighting the enemy, I was following in the rear with the wagons. At the entrance, of Neer-Linter I saw a German Hussar lying near a house; he was covered with a bag. I alighted from [p. 32] my horse, raised the bag, and observed that the Hussar was dead. His face was covered with blood, and his eyes had been pierced; both eye apples had been completely cut out and could not be found nearby. His uniform was torn open, the chest was bare and showed about twenty stabs. His hands were tied together on his back. I then covered the corpse again with the bag.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Adolf Weinrich.

Witness was then sworn.

(Signed) Schmetzer.                                                                (Signed) Hanse.



Court Examination of Paul Rohr of the 36th Fusilier Regiment.



Blankenburg (Harz), November 14, 1914.

Present: Chief-District-judge Dr. Schilling, as judge.

Chief Court Secretary Hornig as Clerk of the Court.

Fusilier Paul Rohr of the 8th Company of Fusilier Regiment No. 36, at present in the Reserve Hospital of this town, appeared and testified as follows:

My name is Paul Rohr, born August 28, 1892 in Golbitz near Connern, a Protestant.

The following report, which he had made here before first lieutenant Reyner on October 31, 1914, was read to the witness:

"Towards the end of August, when we were about to get straw from a barn in the neighborhood of Brussels, we found two otherwise unwounded German Uhlans hidden under the straw, whose eyes were put out. The case, as I know, has already been reported to the Commander of my battalion Kirchner."

Witness then declared: I confirm this report to-day and wish to add the following: The matter occurred in a village in the neighborhood of Brussels towards the end of August of this year. The two German Uhlans whom I found dead in the barn under the straw were entirely free from wounds, aside from having their eyes gouged out. I have no doubt that they died from the result of the injuries to their eyes.

Read, approved, signed.


(Signed) Paul Rohr.

Witness was instructed as to the meaning of the oath and then sworn.


(Signed) Dr. Schilling.                                                                        (Signed) Hornig.


[p. 33]





Berlin, November 24, 1914.

Military Court Examination of Captain Troeger of Infantry Reserve Regiment No. 204.

Present: Military Court Councillor Dr. Linde, as Judge.

Military Court Secretary Pfitzner as Clerk of the Military Court.

Captain Troeger of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 204 appeared as witness and deposed:

I am Hans Paul Troeger, forty-nine years old, and a Lutheran.

During the march from Ghent to Thourout two volunteers of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 203 who had fallen by the roadside through fatigue, were mutilated by Belgian village inhabitants. Their noses and ears were cut off, the abdomen ripped open and the head of one of them was crushed in with the heel of a boot.

This fact was reported to us by Company-commander, Captain Reserve County Councillor zur Nieden, of whose company the two volunteers had been members.

Another case which occurred in Eessen-Kappel is as follows:

Non-commissioned officer Schnitzer of the 5th company of Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 204 reported to me on October 26 or 27 that he had found a mutilated Prussian Cavalry man lying near Eessen-Kappel whose ears and nose had been cut off, and whose abdomen was slashed open by the inhabitants. The non-commissioned officer searched the surrounding farms with a detachment of soldiers, and shot some inhabitants who were found armed.

During our march across Belgium from Ghent, we were continuously subjected to the firing of the village population out of houses and church steeples.

Read, approved, signed.

(Signed) Troegers.

The witness was sworn.



(Signed) Dr. Linde                                                                  (Signed) Pfitzner.