BELGIUM: At the Bitter Heart

Under the black slag heaps and airborne soot of the Franco-Belgian borderland lie coal mines that plunge deep—2,000, 2,500, 3,000 ft.—into the bowels of the earth, using obsolete equipment and backbreaking labor to eke out small hauls from old veins. Close by the small town of Marcinelle is the mine called Amercoeur, the "Bitter Heart." There one morning last week, 302 miners—115 of them Belgians, 139 Italians—dropped 3,105 ft. underground in their steel-cage elevators to their daily jobs at the coal face. Above ground the miners' families, mostly poor Italians imported with their husbands from overpopulated Italy,* went...

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