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Above the Battle

neutral countries, who are so ungrudging in their anxiety to aid the sufferings of the combatants, where help is most urgently needed—for the wounded prisoners, convalescents leaving the hospital without linen or boots, and with no claims on the enemy for further support.[1]

Instead of showering gifts (which, no doubt, are never superfluous) on the armies who can and should be supported by the peoples for whom they are fighting, neutrals might well reserve the greater part of their generosity for those who are most destitute, those whose need is the greatest, for they are feeble, broken, and alone.

But there is another class of prisoners on whom I would like interest to be specially concentrated, for their situation is far more precarious, unprotected as they are by any international convention. These are the civil prisoners. They are one of the innovations of this unbridled war, which seems to have set itself to violate all the rights of humanity. In former wars it was only a question of a few hostages arrested here and there as a guarantee of good faith for

  1. On this point, I would echo the appeal in the article cited above, from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.