14. Trip Home
Instances of the terrible atrocities committed by the Germans were cited by Mr. Sylvester. He said, during the time he was in a French hospital, German aviators stormed it eight out of fourteen nights, tearing down and blowing up building within a hundred yards from where he was lying helpless. Then he spoke of the way in which prisoners taken by the Germans were treated. He said the wounds of the injured are not taken care of for days and many thousands of the allied prisoners die from blood poison and exposure. The wounded men that come out whole when taken prisoner by the Germans, according to the speaker, do so because they have a great deal of endurance and because they won’t give up. But, on the other hand, he said the prisoners taken by the allies are treated as well as the wounded allied soldiers.
Most of the casualties in the Verdun fighting that Mr. Sylvester came in contact with, he said, were the result of poisonous gases. After the French had driven the Huns out of trenches they had occupied from the beginning of the war, many pianos were found in them. Many of the prisoners that were taken at this time he said, appeared to be about fourteen to fifteen years old, although they firmly asserted that they were eighteen years of age. Upon acquainting them with the fact that the American nation was now in the war, said the young soldier, they grew furious and said it was untrue and they also said it was impossible for the Americans to travel across the ocean on account of the German submarines.
Dr. Devitt Talks…
* SOURCE: Manzow, Ron (compiler), "The Sylvester Family of Plainview, Minnesota - a collection of information taken from the Plainview News, other newspapers, letters, and diaries beginning in 1884": Plainview Area History Center, 40 4th St. S.W., Plainview, MN 55964. Compiled in 2001.
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was
compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That
should be enough."
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That should be enough."
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