A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 170

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GERMAN INVASION OF BRUSSELS


authority was established. It was a remarkable example of how a great city can, in an afternoon, pass under the control of an invader. The German flag flew from the town hall. German out- poststookpossessionofthevillagesaround. Theydrewacordon around the city. Count von Arnim was appointed acting- governor. He issued a proclamation stating that through the circumstances of war he was forced to levy on the people requisi- tions for food and other supplies. While hoping that everything would go quietly, he warned them that the severest possible measures would be taken against anyone who fired on German troops or interfered with the German communications. Enormous bodies of troops, apparently six or seven army corps, marched through the^city ki the days that immediately followed itsoccupation. Therequisitionsforfoodstuffsforthesemyriads soon materially affected the supplies of the city. Most of the Belgiait wounded had been removed when the Belgian army retiredtowardsAntwerp. TheirplacewasnowtakenbyGerman wounded, brought in from the front. One surprise came within a few hours of the German triumphantentry. Theburgomasterwasinformedth£^.tthecity of Brussels would have to find an indemnity of 000,000. M. Max declared that all the money had been sent to Antwerp. Dire threats were uttered against him. He calmly replied J,hat hemustawaitthecourseofevents. Soon,theauthoritiespaid for what they had, not in gold, but in paper money issued by the Germangovernor. InafewdaystheGermansannouncedtheir intention of regarding Belgium as German. Greenwich time was altered to German time, and steps were taken for a lunv Germanised government. Following the fall of Namur, the German military administra- tionofBelgiumwasorganized. TheGermansshowedthatthey ii:itended to regard the country as annexed by conquest to the German empire. Field Marshal von der Goltz was appointed governor-general of Belgium, and the entire country south of Alost and Malines was mapped out into military commands. The German language was introduced, the clocks were altered to German time, and day by day the process of the Germanifleation ofthecountryproceededapace. ThestoryoftheGermancon- quest and administration of Central and southern Belgium is an appalling one. Never before in modern history has a civilized country been treated with such merciless severity. The Germaji

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