|Publisher:||Creative Media Partners, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.46(d)|
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IV FIRST BRUSSELS IMPRESSIONSTHE INVADERS GERMAN SOLDIERSTHE MEN OF THE C. R. B.CLOCKS, RESTAURANTS AND THEATERS THE first impressions of Brussels were of a city surprisingly, almost disappointingly, normal. It was in the bright light. The Ministers of the neutral countries were there to observe and to report. It was the home of the occupying military government, and upon its material comfort depended the comfort of thousands of German officers. There was, in the early part of 1917, still a hope that the sympathy, or at least the tolerating acquiescence, of a part of the Bruxellois might be won over to the Imperial Government. The uniforms did not push civilians off the sidewalks nor hustle them about in tramcars. Yet never for a moment could one get away from the sense of occupation. Before the war the names of the streets and squares were printed first in French and then in Flemish. The Germans' scheme reversed the order. "Divide to rule" has ever been the motto of the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns have adapted it to Belgium. The occupying government in a thousand ways and on every possible occasion seeks to divide, to pit Walloon against Fleming; Limbourg against the Brabant. Everywhere the agents are at work, raking up historical injustices, emphasizing the differences of race and language. But though outwardly submissive they are a hard people to drive, these Belgians. There may have been discontent before, but the invasion and its cruelties have united them, welded them more than ever into one people. "Who are the figures in the war that stand out as heroes to the Belgian imagination? Joffre? Poincare? Lloyd-George? Haig?" I once asked a Belgian.There was reproof in the grave reply, "Why our own, of course. Our King and Cardinal Mercier." Albert's subjects ma...