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THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE
"I stood watching the little groups of women beside the tracks," says an eye-witness, "they were drenched after hours of exposure to the storm, but not one left her post. It was a truly inspiring sight"
"All of the boys certainly appreciated it (the Canteen Service), for we were hungry, as you no doubt noticed, having had nothing but a light lunch since leaving home the previous noon. With an organization like the Red Cross behind us, we are only too glad to go forward to defend Our Country."
The second to a Montana Chapter: "On our arrival at M- we were tendered a most hearty reception by the Red Cross. Their kindness in serving us with hot coffee and sandwiches left an impression upon the boys that will never be forgotten. We cherish not only the worth of such a gift, but more than that the fact that the whole nation is interested in our welfare."
And here is the third in entirety:
"When our train pulled into the station, the scene resembled a public market. Apple and peach boxes were piled high, and a dozen ladies in white aprons with red crosses were lined up with pans of hot doughnuts and bright tin cups of coffee. We mean coffee, the kind that is raised in Java, and not something "just as good" which is imported from the hay fields of Toppenish and Yakima.
"We left Fort L on short notice and were unable to stack up with everything we needed. The ladies apparently anticipated this and a Mrs.
Krouse was waiting with a big touring car all tuned up and rushed five of us up to town to buy cards, stamps, kodak films, etc., for the company.
assembled the men and commended them for their "When we got aboard, First Sergt. Lee Carter gentlemanly conduct and proposed a vote of thanks, signed by each soldier, be sent to the Red Cross Society of Spokane.
"Our stay in Spokane was brief, but the twenty minutes spent there marks an epoch in our lives as soldiers, and we will carry the thoughts of those sincere, patriotic women of Spokane with us to France and a little later to Berlin."
READY WHEN NEEDED The Canteen is purely an emergency service. It is rendered when schedules become interrupted and delays come, tending to disarrange the programme of feeding the troops
THE LAST LETTER HOME
The Red Cross Canteen Service not only takes charge of feeding the soldiers en route to various points, but performs many other services, such as mailing letters, for the soldiers
This is to inform you that I have made the Spokane Red Cross Society my beneficiary, and instructed the United States Government to give this six months' pay to this society.
Yours very truly,
Div. 1st Cl. Medical Dept.
Arved uddathe DB ove treated fare by the Red Cross five will write later
The Terrible Truths About the Treatment Accorded the Russian Prisoners of War in Germany-Another Violation of the Laws of Humanity and International Law
(Editor of the Russkoye Slovo, Russian daily newspaper published in New York)
(This tragically thrilling article is based on materials furnished the writer by Professor N. A. Borodin, of the Russian Extraordinary Mission to the United States, who speaks with absolute knowledge. From the beginning of the war Professor Borodin was in charge of the relief work for the prisoners of war carried on by the All-Russian Union of Municipalities, while after the revolution he was placed in charge of practically all the relief work for the prisoners of war.-The Editors)
NE of the blackest of the black horrors of which the Germans have been guilty in this war is the treatment which the Germans accord to their prisoners of war, especially the millions of Russians who had the dire misfortune to fall into their hands. The condition of the French and the British prisoners of war, while their treatment by their captors is just as unspeakable as that accorded to the Russians, is still considerably alleviated by the fact that they receive assistance from their home countries. This
is especially true as far as food is concerned. The Germans allow their prisoners of war very scant rations of food, impossible for the maintenance of health and the sustenance of the strength which they need in order to be able to perform the tasks which the captors assign to them. The prisoners of war are compelled to depend upon the food packages which they receive from their home countries. And in this respect the Frenchmen and the Englishmen find themselves in an infinitely better situation than the Russians. From comparative figures which have been
WORKING FOR THEIR CONQUERORS.
At the beginning of the war it was not thought necessary to provide prisoners with lodgings. Later, rude barracks were constructed but so loosely that there were gaps between the boards large enough for sparrows to fly through
compiled from the reports of the various organizations for the relief of the prisoners of war of different countries, it appears that every Englishman, held as a prisoner of war of Germany, receives six or seven food packages a month. Every Frenchman receives five or six packages a month. But among the Russians only one out of every ten receives one package a month. The others get nothing.
These figures indicate at once the difference in the organization, the scope and the extent of relief work in Western Europe and in Russia, and the unimagined hardships which the Russian prisoners undergo in Germany. In the light of this, one is inclined to believe literally in the harrowing stories which are brought from Germany by persons who have had occasion to come in close contact with the life of the Russian prisoners of war in the different prison camps. They tell us that the lack of food, which saps the last strength of these victims of modern lawlessness, coupled with the awful hardships and privations to which they are subjected, are responsible for the fact that more than one fourth of the two million or more prisoners that Germany and Austria have captured in their different Russian campaigns are already buried under the soil of these two countries, while many more will probably never return to their native land alive.
It is well known that according to international law, which Germany herself and her vassal Austria-Hungary recognized before the present war, that prisoners of war are not considered prisoners in the same sense as criminals, committed to a penal institution. Their liberty must be restricted only to the extent of preventing their escape. The prisoners, except the officers, may be compelled to perform gainful labor, but such labor must not have any connection with the industries working for the war. All such labor must be paid for, and this money must be applied partly for the improvement of the position of the prisoners themselves, and the rest should be handed over to them. In any event the international law prescribes that prisoners of war should be treated as humanely as the conditions of war time permit.
At the beginning of the war it was not thought necessary to provide the prisoners with any lodgings at all. A space of several acres would be chosen somewhere far away from any habitation, surrounded by a fence
of barbed wire, and into this bare enclosure thousands of prisoners would be driven. All their clothes, except scant underwear, would be taken away from them. And thus they would be left in such an enclosure, exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather, compelled to sleep on the bare gound, uncovered and unprotected.
This was the situation in Germany. In Austria, while some prisoners would be lodged in pigsties and in stables, from which the manure had not been removed, most of them were also driven into bare, unsheltered enclosures, often situated in marshy places. The rains would transform the ground into continuous pools of water, in which the prisoners would be compelled to spend long nights, sleepless with the cold, as well as the interminable days. In some camps the prisoners would dig holes in the ground, in which to seek protection from the wind and the cold. They were allowed no tools with which to work, and had to perform the work of digging with pieces of wood, and often with their bare hands. Two or three men would seek protection in each of such shallow holes. The unsupported walls often came down on them, and in many a camp prisoners have been found crushed to death under such earthen avalanches, descending into the holes, where they sought protection from the ravages of the weather.
Later on in some of the camps the prisoners were put to work building barracks. But even when these were constructed they were not much better than the unsheltered enclosures had been. They were simply wooden structures, so loosely constructed that in some places the cracks were large enough for sparrows to fly in and out. In winter these barracks were usually unheated; very few were provided with stoves, and those that had them usually lacked fuel most of the time.
The prisoners were provided with mattresses filled with wood shavings. For cover they were given blankets that provided no warmth or comfort whatever. The mattresses were placed on the earthen floor. Absorbing the moisture from the ground the shavings in them would rot away, and the mattress would become transformed into an ill-smelling, damp bag. In winter these mattresses often froze to the ground
In order to keep warm the prisoners would Tie close to each other, and sometimes one on