Review: German Posters in Belgium (Davignon)

German Posters in Belgium: Their Value as Evidence.

There are two copies of this book listed at The Internet Archive, but I happen to be fortunate enough to own an original, which I handle only when wearing white gloves. It’s bound in a paper cover, my copy of which is more darkly discolored than the one pictured above, and it has considerable damage to the spine, which has loosened some pages, but otherwise, the interior is in excellent condition, for a century-old publication.

The book features reproductions of posters and other documents relating to the invasion, occupation, and German atrocities committed in Belgium in August, 1914. Some exhibits are reproduced as photographs, which suffer from the limitations of the technology of the day, but still remain valuable research resources. Each poster is accompanied by a translation, as well as transcriptions of related documents and period commentary.

The Foreword by the compiler communicates the depth of feeling experienced by the people who were close to the action, and whose sense of outrage lay behind much of the rationale for the Versailles Treaty. These documents constituted proof positive of German villainy and propaganda during the invasion and violation of Belgium. A detailed table of contents guides the reader to each exhibit.

The collection makes a fine original-research companion to the exhaustive analysis that went into the writing of German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial.

 

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