Fate of the Prisoners

The translation into English of this report contributes to furthering the understanding of what happened in East Africa during the Great War. Its contents were first published in 1919 by the Belgian Ministry of Colonies in order to refute German claims that Belgian forces had mistreated Germans in Tanganyika. 

The report makes an effort to provide both sides of the story, and its contents are divided between documentation of German treatment of Belgians and then Belgian treatment of Germans. 

Alongside its conclusion that the German accusations are unfounded, the report provides new insight into some of the people and places of the time.  New perspectives of figures like the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Schnee, are given in the form of testimonials and personal journals. 

Finally, a sense of the culture of the era is evident through the writing of the report, which ventures at times into subjectivity.  For example, the author’s blatant racism and prejudices against black African peoples display that such feelings were rather permissible even at the highest level of international government and law.

This translation is not produced by the original author of the text. However, the original formatting of the document has been maintained wherever possible.  Because of this, discrepancies in names which may refer to the same individual (Guiseppe v. Joseph) do occur, as per the original.  Also, telegrams such as the one on page 114 have been translated to reflect their original grammar and multilingual vocabulary. Footnotes within the document are from the editor of the original Belgian publication.

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