London, Aug 31 – A Reuter dispatch to Ostend says that a small party which has just returned from a visit to Liege describes the destruction wrought by the war as appalling.
« All along the road to Vise, » said one of the party, « there was nothing to be seen but walls blackened by smoke, the remains of factories burned, and mounds of earth freshly dug – the sepulchre of the first Germans to fall.
« And then comes Vise. What a painful sight for those who knew the proud city, so typical of Walloon gayety, and now nothing but a mass of ruins, while many of the inhabitants lie all over the place, their chests riddled with bullets! I was told here that the natives were put to work building roads for the invaders from Vise to Aix-la-Chapelle.
« On the way to Argenteau we met a procession of able-bodied men marching four abreast and commanded by a non-commissioned officer, all carrying implements for road and trench building. These men have to submit to discipline Draconian in severity.
« Herstal, usually filled with the busy hum of activity in factories, coal mines, and workships, we found plunged into deathly silence.
« At last we entered Liege.The inhabitants stood at the thresholds of their homes, silent and anxious, but afraid to speak. The streets in the middle of the town wore a deplorable aspect. Many houses had been abandoned. Their doors and windows were shattered and their contents had been removed.
« Nobody but soldiers were to be seen. The Place de l’Universite, the Rue des Pitteurs, and the Quai des Pecheurs had been burned. »
The New York Times, 1 septembre 1914