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Catalog Number 1983.120.28
Object Name Print
Accession number 1983.120
Description Print by Louis Raemaekers

German soldier in room labelled "Belgique", dead baby on floor nearby.

Information Written on Back: No. 11 / 300 / Our guest Bernhardi established the methods and principles I follow.

Additional Information from "Raemaekers' Cartoons: With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers" by Louis Raemaekers Copyright 1916 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19126/19126-h/19126-h.htm)

NOTE: It is the most bestial part of this most bestial thing that it is calculated and a matter of orders. The private soldier takes his share of the loot, and is generally the instrument of the cold and ordered killing; but it is the officer-class which most profits in goods, and it is the higher command which dictates the policy. It was so in 1870. It is much more so to-day.

This note of calculation is particularly to be seen in the fluctuations through which that policy has passed. When the enemy was absolutely certain of victory, outnumbering the invader by nearly two to one and sweeping all before him, we had massacres upon massacres: Louvain, Aerschot, the wholesale butchery of Dinant, the Lorraine villages (and in particular the hell of Guébervilliers). Even at the very extremity of his tide of invasion, and in the last days of it, came the atrocities and destruction of Sermaize. In the very act of the defeat which has pinned him and began the process of his destruction he was attempting yet a further repetition of these unnameable things at Senlis under the very gates of Paris.

Then came the months when he felt less secure. The whole thing was at once toned down by order. Pillage was reduced to isolated cases, and murder also. Few children suffered.

A recovery of confidence throughout his Eastern successes last summer renewed the crimes. Poland is full of them, and the Serbian land as well.

In general, you have throughout these months of his ordeal a regular succession, of excess in vileness when he is confident, of restraint in it when he is touched by fear.

This effect of fear upon the dull soul is a characteristic familiar to all men who know their Prussian from history, particularly the wealthier governing classes of Prussia. It is a characteristic which those who are in authority during this war will do well to bear in mind. Properly used, that knowledge may be made an instrument of victory.

NOTE AUTHOR: Hilaire Belloc

CARTOON CAPTION: Bernhardiism / "It's all right. If I hadn't done it some one else might."
People Raemaekers, Louis
Subjects World War 1
Political cartoons
Dead persons
Artist Raemaekers, Louis
Title Bernhardiism
Image size 37.4 x 29 cm