World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 24.

 

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Marking Time

It is reported here today that the Irish-Americans and Germans in the United States are making a combined attack on Canada. The people believe it all as gospel. Can’t they reason that the Irish-Americans and half the Germans are citizens of the United States, and as such, must curb their warlike ardour, until the Republic declares war on England?

We can’t wait until we sit in the train. You know the feeling. Once this thing is to be done, then lrt it be done quickly. Every minute seems a day, since we know that we’re going. I wonder what it will be like in England.

Krupp’s have made three new guns- 46 centimetres – and have presented them to the Kaiser for CALAIS. There! They expect to blow England up. “So now, England’s best weapon is to help to defeat the enemy on the Continent. I think the French and English troops must be fighting wonderfully. We read no more abuse no more sarcasm, no more accounts of running away and cowardice, in fact, as I say, since the 28th August we’veheard practically nothing. It’s funny to think that this is our last Sunday in Berlin. We go joyfully, glad to be pushed out. I can’t truthfully say that Jean and I have one regret. We lived in, but never loved, Berlin, though we’ve had good friends, much comfort, an abundance of art, and learnt how to appreciate music and life in general. But we were never Germanised. Many foreigners become more or less so, but it’s strange, we never did in the slightest degree. We became, with every year, more attached to our own country, and assimilated less of the Teutonic spirit as the days went by. I’m sure I don’t know if this is a good quality in us- anyhow, we were rabid patriots, and hope to be worthy some day of our Imperial birthright. I was only thinking how wonderfully far-sighted it was of England to have made that alliance with Japan. Think today, where Australia would have been, had Japan been a free agent. We would have been flying thje “Sun” instead of the Union Jack and the Southern Cross.

These battles in France must be horrible. We hear from returned soldiers, of fighting knee-deep in blood, of barricades made from dead bodies, feet high. Awful! Awful! When one pauses to think.

We are just dying to get away, to get among our own people, where we can share both defeats and victories with an open countenance and an honest heart.

The Germans could eat the English. One man has given 300 marks for the first soldier or sailor who throws a bomb in London, and today a lady has offered 200 marks for the same purpose. The Zepplin squadron is coming in a fortnight to begin the damage. So we’ll be in great excitement dodging the iron drops.

Since Lemberg, the Russians may have ceased to exist . Their doings are not even chronicled. Yet there must be millions of them somewhere.

You know there’s one thing about the German. He never uses his individual brain in national affairs, but believes implicitly every word the sorriest newspaper publishes. Such nonsense at times, which he, with his good academic education should scout. No, everything is swallowed without a grimace or demur. The German evidently thinks collectively or not at all, else he wouldn’t sit down so comfortably and talk about the billions from France, and the ease with which Russia and England can be conquered. Such a thing as Germany being conquered doesn’t occur to anyone. I wonder are they doing so marvellously as their papers report.

To be continued

Advertisements

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 23.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Belief in the Good

Wednesday, September 16 1914.

We had a long day yesterday. We arrived at the Embassy about 11 o’clock, and found rows of English people waiting in a queue outside. An exchange of subjects has been arranged by both Governments, and those wishing to leave Germany had to give in their passports to the American officials. We stood until 10 o’clock, but were then told to come back at 3, as no more could be admitted. We had a cup of coffee at Wertheim’s, and were punctually before the door at the time appointed. We succeeded in being squashed through the door, and handing in our passports. We found that it was Mrs Davenport who had made inquiries about us at the London Embassy.Wasn’t it good of her? She is a splendid woman, so motherly and so capable. Our passports are to be sent to the Military Commander of Berlin for inspection and signature, and tomorrow we receive them back, with our tickets too for London. The train, a special one, leaves on Monday morning, and takes us through Holland to Flushing. About 400 women and children are going in the first train. The men must remain behind. The English evidently never did like Germany, as where they were in hundreds the Americans were in thousands.

We hear no news from the French border. This battle, under the walls of Paris and on the River Marne, has been going on now for a good eight days- but not a detail-nothing.

The loan has to be signed by the 19th, that is Saturday, so perhaps if the Germans are having a little reverse, it’s diplomatic not to print it. It’s dreadful! One just lives in a horrible fever of excitement all the time. We know the Allies are in this long engagement, but whether they are doing well or ill, we can never find out. This morning a paragraph asked the people who collect coins, etc, to sell these, and give in the money to the Government. Even the foreign coins that one may have saved after a summer tour will not be despised. It certainly looks as if Germany didn’t possess this great wealth of which they talk so much.

Did I tell you that Prince Heinrich of Prussia gave up a gold medal, valued at 800 marks, which he received as a souvenir from the Czar, at this monarch’s wedding? (The Czarina and Prince Heinrich’s wife are sisters). The money goes to the Red Cross Funds. A connoisseur would have given double the value, but the Prince telegraphed back ;”Melt it down”. Prince Adalbert, the Kaiser’s naval son, handed in all his Russian and English decorations, also for charity, and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (the Duchess of Albany’s son) renounced his seven English Orders and Distinctions. So things are only middling in European Regal circles.

There is a great heading this morning about terrible revolutions in India. England has asked the aid of Japan to quell them, giving as compensation 200,000,000 dollars, a free hand in China, and the right of entry into Australia. Also cholera has broken out in the Indian transport ships. Egypt is in a state of open revolt, and even Arabia is rising against English oppression. I wonder what next we’ll hear -that Australia is aiding and abetting the Kaiser.

A serious minded German told us today that in East Prussia the Russian generals, instead of attending to their campaign, were busy stealing silver forks, spoons, etc and hurrying off with them in automobiles to places of safety! I often wonder why people don’t use their brains. A child in Europe knows that the Russian aristocrat is better bred and polished than his German brother, whatever the peasant class may lack.

Germany is not the only country that has a monopoly of patriotism, though from listening to the general conversation we would think that other countries hadn’t this word in their vocabularies. Because England pays its soldiers, aren’t our military abused? They are always termed ‘hirlings’ or ‘mercenaries,’ and are dismissed as unworthy.

Another example of Germany’s queer methods is this. About eight days ago, perhaps more, the Pathfinder, an English cruiser, went down on a mine or was torpedoed, trying to rescue a crew and passengers from a sinking steamer. Nearly all hands were drowned. It was a pity, but so it was. Well, yesterday an English submarine sank a German cruiser, the Hela’. The account read liberally so:-” The cruiser Hela sank, but the whole crew was saved. The English Pathfinder lost all of its crew.” One would think the two had a duel. Really, in many things this race of iron and big guns resembles little children. Absolutely no horizon beyond the German borders. Builders of a world Empire- never!

Saturday, September 19 1914

We’re in the midst of packing. Our luggage leaves tonight. Tomorrow we have to go to the station and register it, and on Monday, thank God, at quarter to eight we leave Berlin. Our passes were returned signed by the over-Commander, von Kessel, with the permission to travel by the first train. On Thursday we were all day at the Embassy, waiting our turn, and I was there again yesterday from 11 am, till 7 pm, standing in the queue for our tickets. Most of the British subjects have to be helped financially. A loan from the British Government is superintended by the American Embassy. We were yesterday at the Kaiserhof. This is one of the swagger hotels of Berlin. It is now practically empty, and one side of it is rented by the Embassy for relief funds etc.

It is funny to get in the crowd and hear all the opinions. I got into conversation with a Morman, a mild, harmless-looking man, who told me that their prophet had prodicted this catastrope. At the end of our yarn he informed me that San Francisco would route to travel back to Australia! Many of the women are terrified of the floating mines. We are all asked to take ample provisions with us, as there is no dining car attached. Inez is also leaving. Miss Waller is remaining in Berlin.

Sunday, September 20 1914

I was interrupted yesterday. Mr van Hellar called and stayed to supper. We talked war and music until our tongues ached. Today we registered our luggage as far as Rotterdam. I suppose it will be there over-hauled and re-registered to London. We bought bread, eggs, ham, a bottle of wine, and butter, so that we don’t starve on the wayside. Afterwards, we went to say goodbye to Mr Hoppe. Poor old chap! He will miss Inez sorely. The mid-day paper was out with the result of the loan, over four billiuons! Isn’t that splendid? Everybody gave, rich and poor, grown-ups and even children who had money in the Savings Bank. Servant girls too gave their hard-earned marks, and everyone partook in the national responsibility.

The situation in France is not yet decided, though the Germans have the better position, superior artillery and every confidence in the final result. There hasn’t been one detail printed from the French border since the 28th August. We read yesterday where New Guinea has been taken. Who does all these deeds? The Australian Navy? Aren’t we just mad to get an English paper into our hands!

To be continued

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 22.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Belief in the Good

Tuesday, September 15, 1914

Today we saw an illustrated paper, showing a group of English prisoners, taking their dinner. They are all shrieking and looking with such laughing contempt into basins of, well they don’t even know what, you can see by their faces. It’s a killing picture. I’ll save it. They will get very curious meat here. I’m sure; for only think, there was a letter in the paper yesterday, suggesting that the horses killed in the battle field could be saved for prisoners’ diet. It seems a really awful idea. I’m glad that we don’t live in a German boarding house. When one thinks of all the lovely horses killed in this war! Ah! Its terrible. The individual even doesn’t count. Even the chemist said that Germany commenced this war with a total disregard of human life, so now he supposed the other countries must follow suit. I am sure France and Belgium, to say nothing of the English Expeditionary Force, had their breaths taken away at the numbers and rapidity of the German system. Now, they are also learning, and used for the first time their Paris fortress guns in their battle on the Marne. This heavy artillery on the German side did all the damage in the geginning. No wonder the French soldiers mutinied at Luneville, and refused to face it. It meant useless resistance and certain massacre.

The Hague Conference is like the Ten Commandments. One knows the rules are good, and should be observed, but if the other fellow uses heavier artillery than humanity prescribes, then mustn’t I also in pure self-defence?

This war has also proved another great fact, that everything written on paper is about as binding as rotten string, and if there’s one word more than another that rubs us up the wrong way, it is this etyernal one of ‘Culture’, which we hear about every other minute. Fight if you will, like barbarians, but own up to it; then finish,and let ‘Culture’ resume its temporarily paralysed sway.

The post just rang. The letter is sealed and from the American Embassy. I open it. It contains:- “Inquiries concerning you have been received from London, and I would be obliged if you would call at the British Department of this Embassy at your earliest convience. Please bring your passport or such papers of identification as you may possess. The Ambassador”.

I suppose Miss Irving is getting anxious. We can’t get any news through to her. I’ve tried several times. We shall go in tomorrow morning. Jean is away at Hilders. They also have to live now on the Cassels Fund. So much a week- 15s and a rent allowance.

To be continued

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 21.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Belief in the Good

You know what embittered the Germans still more, General Botha taking up the cudgels of England. They write “has he forgotten the time when he came here, begging money for the boer cause, and all the practical sympathy he received both from Austria and Germany?” The Colonies have heard how Canada would leave England, how South Africa would shake off the hated yoke, how Australia would declare its independence, how india would mutiny, and how in fact, the whole world would rise en masse against the hatred tyranny of the English. But they’re mistaken. English rule and German discipline have nothing in common. The first allows the development of the individual, the latter turns out perfect machines. I prefer the human weakness of the first.

Conan Doyle has annoyed Deutschland by writing “that if England wins this war, then ahe will free the Germans themselves from the terrible rule of blood and iron; and give them back their liberty and individuality, their philosophy, their music, in fact, revive all those beautiful qualities which made this country so good and great in the past.” The Germans comment was “ so Germany without its commerce and fleet is what this intellectual writer means.”

We saw where the Australian Fleet took Herbertshohe in the Bismarck Archipelago. Do ask the Government to treat the Germans well in the Samoan and those unfortunate little islands. It does seem a pity to tear these possessions away from them, after they’ve roughed the new climate and conditions, and have just started to prosper. There’s no sentiment in polities I know, but fair play and good treatment won’t ever dishonor the victor. I know it’s a proper thing to rid the enemy of a proper naval base possession. But we are praying for them to preserve their manly spirit, as we’re sick unto death of all pettiness of the war, as exhibited in the German papers. Let us be large-hearted, courageous and noble. It will be a fine thing for posterity. Then we would read in the history book of all the glorious and chivalrous deeds. There would be no daily press to take away the enjoyment of life, and insidiously impute mean and miserable motives to every fresh turn on the part of the enemy.

We’re just fed up, six weeks with the German point-of-view. In fact, we’re stifled with it. One feels like panting for fresh air. Can’t each country allow the other a victory? And can’t a country print its own defeats? There’s no disgrace in getting a few hidings. In all these pages you will notice one insignificant victory for the French, the Schirmeck skirmish, and nothing at all for the Russians.

When General von Bulow addressed his army after their several victories, he said among other things:” And one thing gives me quite a peculiar pleasure, and that is, that the English, these insolent fellows have had a thrashing the memory of which they will not easily forget.” The General Staff, I believe would ruin their campaign, in order to catch General French, and the remnant of the British Army. It seems so silly to make such a fuss over these few thousand English, when the rest of the enemy runs into millions. And especially as they only laugh at their fighting capabilities.

I mustn’t forget to tell you that when the Russians examined the German man-o’-war, the Madgeburg which they captured, in each of the officers’ cabins they found a cat-of-nine-tails. Didn’t the Russians open their eyes wide with surprise? I suppose they said: “Ha! Ha! So is the German naval spirit fostered.” But they were quite mistaken, the “Lokal” said, these familiy comforts are not instruments of torture, but are used for dusting the officers’ uniforms! Were we born yesterday?

The fun we’ve had over various things that are published are endless. The Austrian accounts of their engagements would truly make a cat laugh. They are like the simplified edition of the “Shorter Catechism,” made for children’s plastic minds. For instance, one reads such incredibilities:”While the terrible fight at Lemberg was progressing, the field kitchen steamed up to the first line of fire, and handed out to the soldiers plates of steaming food”. We really shrieked. Fancy in the first firing line, and fighting a desperate battle, and yet having the domestic quiet of a plate of hot soup.

We like the Austrians. They always fight like lions, and so brave that they have to be warned, do the most wonderful deeds, but strange the enemy always take the town or keeps the position. About the Russians we always learn that they are numerically superior, have more ammunition, flee before a bayonet charge, and are always more or less hungry. The Frenchman, he is the only worthy just now. They don’t like fighting him, in fact, it grieves the German to take up arms against him; he’s such a good sort, but so misguided by Russia and England, that he must put up with his fate, and take his defeat. As for the British, well, when I tell you that every paper from the front page to the last has paragraphs on our race, you’ll know that I can’t reproduce in this letter any idea of the polyglot opinions that are daily printed.

But one phrase is always repeated about us:- “Our best hated enemy.”

To be continued

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 20.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Belief in the Good

Wednesday, September 9

Maubeuge fell yesterday, and 40,000 prisoners were captured, mostly British. Now the great battle under the walls of Paris is going on. How will it end? The Kaiser, besides his appeal to the American people, has also telegraphed to President Wilson. What’s at the bottom of this? The Germans have been practically crawling to the Americans ever since the outbreak of war. And now these appeals. Who, with a victorious army behind him, like the Kaiser, should care what the outside world thinks? We have been assured that their cause is a just one. Well then, why protest? Today, rumours are current on the Stock Exchange that the United States was going to declare war. And in fact, with Turkey shivering in its shoes, uncertainty over Italy, Spain and the United States’ intentions, there’s no rest at all. Canada is catching it. She is in very bad odour indeed. She refused to pay dividends of the Pacific Railway to either Austrians or Germans until cessation of hostilities.

Spain is running a special mail service three times a week, from Bilbao to Southamption, and all the little countries are getting in as much business as they can, while they can.

The new Pope, Benedict XV, has had columns devoted to his biography. He seems a very active man indeed.

Thursday, September 10.

We met the Thapell Meister from the Chicago Opera House (a German), and he told us that King Clark was in a sanatorium in Switzerland, suffering again with his head. He was very bad indeed.Of course, the man is overworked, over 108 lessons a week, and not even a summer holiday. He was rich, too, so there was no occasion to kill himself like this.

We’re living on tenderhooks to know how the great battle near Paris is progressing. We think perhaps the Australians are in it. Poor old France! It would be nice if she had a victory now. She’s had a goodly lose of hard luck, and deserves cheering up.

Miss Waller is coming this afternoon. She visits us twice a week and stays the night. As we have the grocer’s wife, so she has the chemist, with whom she discourses the various phases of events.

There’s been a great fuss about English soldiers using dum-dum bullets. We passes a window yesterday where one was on view “Notice: A dum-dum found on an English prisoner.” It’s all a made-up yarn, to excuse the Germans from having destroyed Louvain. Anyhow, as one man justly remarked; “What is the Zeppelin airship but a form of guerilla warfare, where bombs are dropped in the darkness of the night on innocent women and children, and even on hospitals?” These airships remind me of sneaking tomcats, prowling round the back fences in the depths of the night.

Monday, September 14.

Miss Waller has just left. We compare notes, and try and piece the impenetrable secrecy of the German papers. We can’t get any news. Although the Austrians were again evidently defeated at Lemberg, do you think the accounts credited Russia with the victory? Not in any way. One report said very naively:- “The Austrians were ‘voluntarily compelled’ to retire.” Isn’t that an Irishism? The Russians have been completely defeated and driven out of East Prussia by General von Hindenberg and his army.He is at the present moment the national hero, and is likened to Blucher, nicknamed “Marshall Forwards”. What the Allies are doing near Paris is a dead secret. The Germans are wondering themselves, as fights on the Marne are now reported.

Wewn’t the people disappointed when only 120 British were found in fortress of Maubege! And when these innocent 120 offered to shake hands with their German victors these said victors knocked the proffered hands on one side and muttered their intense dislike. The German account said:”Taking fortresses is not a boxing match, or a game of football; and it shows how little the average Englishman appreciates the sanctity and seriousness of war.”

There in a nutshell is one of the lights on this great contest – namely, an open, manly spirit against this terrible Prussian militarism.

It couldn’t hurt to take an offered hand; after three weeks of pounding away with heavy artillery, and the dessert of the 42 centimetre gun. But, you see, it’s again a case of different points of view. We heard on Saturday that the reason why Belfort hasn’t yet fallen is that in each fort the French have placed 800 German prisoners, and as the 42 centremetre gun kills the said 800 in one blow, the Germans are chary of using it. Only the usual heavy artillery can be employed, unless the general staff loses its patience and turns on this monster, in spite of the prisoners.

Perhaps if Prince Rupprecht is really a prisoner, he is immured within these walls. One has to use cunning against inhuman machines.

I don’t know how the loan is progressing, but even servants are invited to deposit their 100 marks. Bankruptcy cases are asked to terminate their legal processes, in order that the tied up money may be got at. Krupp, and the many insurance companies have sent in their millions, but it looks as if the bullions won’t be accumulated in a night.

To be continued

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 19.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

Belief in the Good

Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

It is mooted that the Japs are as far as the Ural Mountains, on their way to the Russo-German frontier. I can scarcely believe this, through nothing would surprise us nowadays. The Vladivostock-Moscow railway is very convenient for their mobilising.

The State Bank (Reichsbank) is issuing paper notes for the sum of one and two marks (1s and 2s). That looks as if silver too is getting scarce. Every other country declared a moratorium. It caused great amusement in Germany, especially England doing it too. They wrote:- “See what a bubble proud Albion’s financial position is!”

The passengers who left hamburg in this present month of August were 190, as against 19,500 last year. Now it’s forbidden to print any further statistics- as the enemy might find out too much in this direction. We had a long argument with an American about their trade with South America, which was practically nil on account of the German competition. Only today we read where the United States Bank is opening up branches all over South America – so this is a beginning. If England intends killing Germany’s trade, then I’m afraid she’s succeeding. Politics are a curious study, but terribly interesting.

Monday, September 7

Yesterday was my birthday, and the anniversary of our arrival in Lodz. What changes! Lodz is now in the hands of the Germans – so are we! Fortunes of war! We spent the afternoon at Inez’s. Today Germany is asking for a loan of five billion marks. She guarantees 5 per cent interest, marks. It guarantees 5 per cent interest security the money it’s going to get from its various enemies! It’s like backing – not an outsider – but an uncertainty.

The Kaiser has also published an appeal to the American people, in which England gets a goodly dose of abuse. The hatred against England is increasing by leaps and bounds. They accuse her of bleeding France; of lying wholesale; in fact, it seems to me that France, by moving its capital to Bordeaux, and thereby prolonging the war, has upset Germany’s temper. The War Office has now to make fur coats for its millions of soldiers, also to fur-line the boots, to say nothing of collapsible field barracks, so that the warriors may not sleep on an open snow field in Russia. Mechlin (Malines), near Antwerp, has been inundated by the Belgians. Aren’t they resourceful? We’re hoping that this will save the port from those deadly guns. The bombardment of Paris has not yet begun, and Russia won Lemberg, though the papers assure us that the Austrians left it voluntarily on account of strategic and ‘humane’ reasons, and that after a ten days’ fight! The weather continues glorious, though chilly. We’ve not had a drop of rain since the 1st of August. I wish we could get out of Berlin. We can’t take any journey without police permission, and no English are allowed to leave Germany at all. Perhaps, later there will be an exchange of prisoners. Russia and Germany have already had an exchange of subjects – women and children and boys under sixteen.

One gets so tired of only reading fearful tirades against one’s people and country, and though we can do exactly as we like; and suffer absolutely no inconvenience, yet we feel such hypocrites when we’re asked by our German neighbours to rejoice over their victories. It’s very unpleasant, and decidedly monotonous. We don’t know what to begin. We can’t sit here until the war ends; for who knows whether it will be a matter of weeks, months, or even years? Jean takes her two lessons a week. We practise every day, but without concentration and little interest. One can’t put one’s nose outside the door, but the people begin talking war, and as we are as enthusiastic as the rest of the world we join in. But we learn so little of the rest of Europe. It gives us hopeless fits. And the tales we hear! Miss Waller, Jean and myself have vowed to believe nothing now, until the official report of the war is written at some future date. We have lost all faith in all newspapers, for ever. A letter came from Purmall yesterday. She was quite well in Italy, but very upset over events. She spoke of coming back at the first opportunity, but I’m afraid she won’t be allowed across the frontier.

Doesn’t it seem more like a fit of madness that all the various nations are killing each other by the thousands daily? All the strongest and best men are just murdered. It’s too terrible. Now one sees all the mourning in the streets – black frocks, black arm bands, sad faces, hopeless eyes. There must be very many heavy hearts in Berlin, in spite of the bunting that flies merrily from every house.

Evening- Every page of tonight’s paper is full of scandalous doings of England – “this arch-traitor and hypocrite.” The various professors have handed in all their English titles and Orders. Paragraphs of English soldiers’ cruelties, and so much venom one reads against our Motherland, that I fancy the Germans must have a defeat somewhere. The people are even asked to bring their flags in, which makes me think perhaps even the Crown Prince is captured. That I suppose is possible. There has been a rumour current for days now that Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria is a prisoner in France. Denied – but who knows? The Reichstag has agreed at once to build new battleships in place of those that were lost – and, altogether, there’s much activity and bitterness against everything pertaining to England.

To be continued

World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 18.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

Belief in the Good

Tuesday, September 1st.

The second month of the war is ushered in, and we’re still living here, without the slightest indication, outwardly, that the world is killing each other. It’s only at times- always during night, that we feel we’re too comfortable and safe to last. We get a kind of heavy feeling – a premonition that we too will have terrors to go through. It’s when we are out in the night, and look up at the sky, black with angry and portentous clouds, that we feel – not frightened exactly – but awe-struck, at the greatest tragedy that’s renting the world. Inez feels it too. It seems as if it isn’t quite fair that we should be sitting here in ease and peace, white the rest of our race is marching on to death and glory.

When we awaken in the morning, there’s not a trace of these big prophetic moods, we run to the door for the newspaper, and bury our noses in its scanty and abrupt paragraphs, reveling in more German victories in France, unwillingly, opening our wide that Samoa now flies the “Union Jack,” tittering that the N D L “Wilhelm der Grosse” has been sunk by the “Highflyer” – and wondering how the English prisoners like this country’s brown bread and rations, after commencing their short campaign in France on a breakfast of “biscuits and marmalade”.

Mr von Kellar arrived back yesterday looking splendid. He had no difficulties being an American, but came from the Crimea, through Moscow, Petrograd, Finland and Sweden to Berlin. He said he didn’t notice anything of the war throughout his journey, and he spent three days in the capital of Russia, sightseeing.

Wednesday, September 2nd

The date of Sedan; every house is flying Germany’s flag, and the captured Russian, French and Belgian guns are being drawn through the streets, to show the people some of the spoils of the war. Russian horses are hitched to the Russian guns. We didn’t go in to see the procession. Jean had a singing lesson instead. That always means a heated argument, too, as the anteroom is full of Americans, who take a keen interest in the progress of the war.

We heard privately today that 100,000 Russians were either killed or captured in those swamps. The prisoners included 300 officers and 517 guns.

Now again today, a military train bringing Russians to the front fell into the river Weichsel, and thousands were drowned. Were there ever peasants in the world to be pitied like these? One disaster after another, not even a chance to fight for their lives. I get quite mad when i think of the injustice of it all. I’ll soon be a Russian myself. My sympathies are all on their side. I can’t help it.

We went to the Dome last night. It represents the Cathedral here. Every Tuesday evening a concert is held in it, where for the sum of 2d one can hear the leading artists of Berlin. The funds go to the Red Cross.

The penny kitchens have been opened all over Berlin. As many as 4000 daily are fed at one of these institutions. Of course, if the municipality didn’t organize like this, the people would simply starve. And yet, one doesn’t notice a great deal of difference in Berlin. I fancy it must be full, not only of refugees, but Germans from all the borders.

I wonder how this war will end. It will be fatal if it drags on into the winter months. It is commencing to get chilly already.

This is the seventh day of the big battle going on between the Austrians and the Russians at Lemberg. It is the world’s record, 1,200,000 fighting. Since Sunday the end has been expected, but it’s evidently a hard tussle. It’s supposed to be a very decisive encounter. The people all expected the good news of a win today, to celebrate Sedan.

Saturday, September, 5th

We’ve passed through exciting days. Miss Waller has been staying with us and our room is like War Headquarters.

We thought long before, that France should move its capital somewhere near the Pyrenees, and since Bordeaux has been chosen, the game has won interest, It’s full of checks and counter-checks now. Naturally England is credited with this new step,and I dare say she is at the bottom of it. “Higher Intelligence” must be used against those 42 centimetre guns. Otherwise, the battle is unequal, and is only lead and iron against soft flesh. The “Black Prince” was born in Bordeaux – and the old Cathedral there was finished by the English- so it makes the town doubly enticing.

And Petersburg exists no more. We all call it Petrograd as Petersburg is German, and the Russians don’t like the sound of it any more.

The battle of Lemberg is still raging. This is the tenth day! Germany has sent train loads of soldiers from the French border to help the Austrians, and as there’s the biggest swamp in Europe just to the north of this battle ground, perhaps they’ll try again to push the unfortunate Russians in. Von Hindenberg’s trump strategy.

I expect The Germans are bombarding Paris today. Mustn’t it be dreadful? We’re wondering if Dude is home . We saw where 10,000 more Australians had volunteered. Antwerp is holding out wonderfully, but we heard that 50 more of those 42 centremetre guns were finished and ready for transport. Where the Germans can’t use their heavy artillery and guns they never make any progress, as for instance, on the Russian border and in Lorraine. In Lorraine, the Crown Prince of Bavaria is still fighting, but apparently making no headway. It’s mountainous, and transport is difficult. But where the automobiles with their guns attached can come into action, the Allies seem to have no chance. Perhaps the Allies after the first sudden rush of the Germans will now have time to learn their system. Let us hope so. The losses for the month of August all round must run into millions. If the war lasts, then Europe will be a Continent of women. Nobody does anything but study the war map. Every man, woman and child has only this thought from morning till night. Deadly absorbing is this great conflagration.

To be continued