Rape of Belgium

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The Rape of Belgium (4 August through September 1914) is a term describing a series of German war crimes in the opening months of the World War I.

The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London which had been signed by Prussia. The Treaty of London was confirmed in 1871 and at the Hague Conference in 1907 by the German Empire, which largely inherited and reaffirmed Prussia's diplomatic obligations.

However the German Schlieffen Plan required that German military violate 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".Memoirs of Prince Von Bulow—The World War and Germany's Collapse 1909-1919, Translated from the German by Geoffrey Dunlop and F. A. Voight. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1932: There is no doubt that our invasion of Belgium, with violation it entailed of that country's sovereign neutrality, and of treaties we ourselves had signed, and the world had respected for a century, was an act of the gravest political significance. Bad was made worse when than ever by Bethman's Hollweg's speech in the Reichstag (August 4, 1914). Never perhaps, has any other statesman at the head of a great and civilized people (...) pronounced (...) a more terrible speech. Before the whole world - before his country, this spokesman......
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