25/8/1914 [Western Front] The Sack of Louvain

The German advance through Belgium has been marked by many atrocities committed against Belgian civilians. These will be exaggerated by Allied propaganda and given a lurid sexual quality, but the abuses of the German army are real enough. German troops seem to have a terror of Belgian partisans and respond with brutal reprisals to real or imagined attacks by francs-tireurs. Random executions are common.

An event emblematic of this horror occurs today as the Germans march through Louvain. German troops set upon the town’s inhabitants, beating up some and shooting dead a few hundred. The famous university’s library was set on fire, with Belgian firemen prevented from extinguishing the blaze. Thousands of the town’s inhabitants were expelled, some deported to Germany.

Remember Belgium image source (Wikipedia)

Louvain image source (Wikipedia)

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