London His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1915, Soft Cover. 1st Edition. 2 large folded maps, plates, 1st. edition. Original blue wraps. Condition: Binding G+. 61 pages.
The Rape of Belgium is a phrase given to the German mistreatment of civilians during the invasion and subsequent occupation of Belgium during World War I. The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. However, the German Schlieffen Plan required that German armed forces pass through Belgium (thus violating Belgium’s neutrality) in order to outflank the French Army, concentrated in eastern France. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper".  Throughout the beginning of the war, the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, including the destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, and 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, imprisonment, or death sentence by court.  Another 3,000 Belgian civilians died due to electric fences the German Army put up to prevent civilians from fleeing the country, and 120,000 became forced laborers, with half of that number deported to Germany.  25,000 homes and other buildings in 837 communities were destroyed in 1914 alone, and 1.5 million Belgians (20% of the entire population) fled from the invading German army.
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