Rape of Belgium
The Rape of Belgium was the German mistreatment of civilians during the invasion and subsequent occupation of Belgium during World War I. The term initially had a propaganda use but recent historiography confirms its reality. One modern author uses it more narrowly to describe a series of German war crimes in the opening months of the war (August–September 1914).
The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. However, the German Schlieffen Plan required that German armed forces violate Belgium’s neutrality in order to outflank the French Army, concentrated in eastern France. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper". Throughout the beginning of the war, the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, including the destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, and 17,700 died during expulsion, deportation, imprisonment, or a death sentence by court. 25,000 homes and other buildings in 837 communities were destroyed in 1914 alone, and 1.5 million Belgians (20% of the entire population) fled from the invading German army.:13
The list is endless and still added to.