Newell Dwight Hillis

German Atrocities – Their Nature and Philosophy

These inquiries into German atrocities were begun in the latter part of September, 1914. Friends who had escaped from Belgium during the latter part of August brought stories of German frightfulness that filled all hearers with horror. Being unwilling to accept their testimony without further evidence, I began a careful research, collecting letters, magazine articles, testimony of eye-witnesses, books, photographs, reports of the various commissions, by former Ambassador Bryce and Professor Toynbee, with those of the Commissions of Belgium, France, Poland, Serbia and Armenia. Last May, in the interest of the first Liberty Loan, Mr. Lawrence Chamberlain and I made a tour of eighteen states, speaking in some thirty-five cities, and often giving two, three and even five addresses in a single day. Everywhere during that tour we found public men raising the question, “What about the German atrocities? Do they not represent falsehoods invented by the enemy states?”
In the belief that this question was vital to the success of the second and all subsequent Liberty Loans, and for the full awakening of the American people, at the request of several bankers of New York, with Mr. Chamberlain I sailed for France late in June, and returned to this country in September. As guests of the British and French governments we had every opportunity of visiting the devastated regions of Belgium and France, and those long journeys through the ruined farms, villages and cities brought the opportunity of conversing with hundreds of victims of German cruelty, who gave us their testimony on the very spots where the atrocities had been committed. At the request of Henry M. and W. C. Leland of Detroit, and Richard H. Edmonds of Baltimore, I have brought together this simple record of the bare facts that came under our own personal scrutiny.
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