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Don’t think they wouldn’t do it

“In the course of a visit to General von Lüttwitz to-day, one of the colleagues remarked that the Germans must keep the Belgians alive, and could not allow them to starve. Lüttwitz was not at all of that mind, for he said with some show of feeling: ‘The allies are at liberty to feed the Belgians. If they don’t, they are responsible for anything that may happen. If there are bread riots, the natural thing would be for us to drive the whole civil population into some restricted area, like the Province of Luxembourg, build a barbed wire fence around them, and leave them to starve in accordance with the policy of their allies.’ And as the German policy is more or less frankly stated as a determination to wipe out as many of the enemy as possible without regard to what is or has been considered as permissible, it is quite within the realm of possibility that they would be prepared to let the Belgian people starve. In any event, you can’t gamble with the lives of seven millions of people when all you have to go on is the belief that Germany will be guided by the dictates of humanity.” – Hugh Gibson, October 14, 1914, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium

Published inHugh GibsonLit & CritThe Great War

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