Report No. 28
severe maltreatment of a 71-year-old man
Reported by: Josef Kramlovsky Report of June 29, 1946
In June 1945 partisans took me to the Jägerndorf concentration camp. At the time the entire German population of Jägerndorf was being concentrated in several camps. Everyone was robbed blind on his or her arrival. Every evening, starting several days later, everyone was ordered to line up and then we had to march around in a circle. Suddenly we were ordered to run. Since I have had a bullet lodged in my hip joint ever since the first world war, and am 71 years old, I was unable to run. And so a partisan took a flying leap at me and kicked me in the stomach with both his boots, so that I collapsed in convulsions. Then he kicked me repeatedly in the leg and screamed: "You German bastard, if you report sick tomorrow you'll be shot." The next morning my leg was so swollen that I could not walk. But I did not dare to go see the doctor, and dragged myself painfully on. To escape the constant harassment and abuse, I volunteered myself and my wife, who was 66 years old at that time, for labor duty in an industrial camp, where we then worked. But we were constantly tormented there too. We had to provide our own food, and received no pay for the work we did. On December 7, 1945 my wife and I were discharged from the camp due to our advanced age. By that time our home and all our furnishings, linen and clothes had been confiscated. We were not allowed to enter our home again, and got none of our things either. We had to go to some acquaintances to even have a place to sleep. We had to beg for some supplies for our resettlement.
In the resettlement camp as well, the people were intimidated with harsh punishments and verbal abuse. The authorities in charge took anything they liked from the people being expelled.
Reported by: Johann Korsitzke Report of July 4, 1946 (Jägerndorf)
I was arrested in my home on June 13, 1945 and detained for three weeks in the District Court of Jägerndorf. Nobody ever interrogated me. On my committal to the court I was beaten unconscious. Then I and about 250 other men were squeezed into 2 wagons and taken to Moravian Ostrau. During the transport a guard walked up and down and randomly beat us over the head with his whip. Then he ordered some of us to open our mouths, and spat into them. During the entire transport, at each of the train's more than 20 stops, we had to sing the German national anthem and the Horst-Wessel song. In Ostrau, despite totally insufficient rations, we had to do the hardest manual labor in the coke refinery, so that everyone was soon quite debilitated. In July I was once again beaten, because I had exchanged a few insignificant words with a comrade - in German. The Germans were forbidden to speak German amongst themselves in the camp outside the barracks. In December I was discharged for health reasons, and went to work for a Czech acquaintance of mine in Jägerndorf.
Reported by: Erika Kunisch Report of December 13, 1945 (Jägerndorf)
In early June my mother and I returned to Jägerndorf, which had been evacuated during the battles that had taken place there, and later we lived in Braunsdorf near Jägerndorf. Whereas the Germans in Jägerndorf were put into camps right away, we who lived in Braunsdorf were able to remain in our homes for the time being. But the Czechs kept the town under close guard. They had set up a machine gun in the Church tower, for example, and shot at anyone who tried to leave the town without permission.
In late July my parents and I were sent to a camp in Jägerndorf after all, where all of us were treated very badly. Rations were extraordinarily poor. The men were gradually sent off into the mines, and many were shot for no reason at all. The wife of Mayor Kieslich of Braunsdorf was beaten up, had cold water dumped on her, and was then shot by Czech partisan guards. All of us were forced to watch this execution.
In the evening the Czechs often let Russian soldiers into the camp, and these would look for German girls and women and rape them. Once, a Czech lieutenant had already taken me and my mother to a Russian officer's car. But my mother pretended to faint, and so we got free again.
In mid-July my aunt had returned to Braunsdorf. When she left the town, her entire 30 kg of luggage was taken from her. The Czechs fired from the Church tower at any German who tried to escape into the hills and mountains.
In the Jägerndorf camp I was put to work washing locomotives. The rations I got consisted of 100 grams of bread, and two cups of soup in the morning and at noon. In Jägerndorf the Czech guards also tried to rape us. I managed to escape into the Altvater Mountains, where I was able to find a temporary place to stay with my aunt. Later I went to Germany.
maltreatment resulting in death
Reported by: Olga Arndt Report of June 19, 1946 (Jägerndorf)
In late May, I and several hundred women and children were driven and whipped out of our homes at gunpoint and chased through the streets of Jägerndorf into the Burgberg concentration camp. There we were herded into mostly empty barracks and had to stay there for three days without getting anything to eat. Men were housed in the same camp as well, and for 14 days, several times each day, they had to strip to the waist and then the bue-uniformed Czech militia would beat them. Two men, one of them by the name of Sieber, were beaten to death. Sieber was buried in the camp square. A latrine was set up over top of his grave.
After about four days a uniformed woman appeared. We had to line up, and this woman relieved us of all money, jewelry and savings bank books. At the same time the barracks were searched. After I had already handed everything over, this women called me up with the words: "You black bitch, come here!" She body-searched me in the lowest manner, without finding anything. Then she hit me in the face three times, yanked me by the hair and chased me away with a curse. After 14 days I was sent to a factory camp, where conditions were quite a bit better.
Reported by: Otto Langer, veterinarian Report of September 30, 1946 (Jägerndorf)
Although I have never been a member of any political party organization, I was arrested on June 15th, 1945, at Braunsdorf and taken to the court jail at Jägerndorf. There I was repeatedly maltreated for several days without any cause. Since I am a veterinary-surgeon, the Czechs considered me capable of giving medical attention to my German fellow prisoners, whom they designated as animals, even in the notices on the cell doors. I was thus in a position to note the results of the horrible maltreatment; I also witnessed the abuse of prisoners. The beatings were carried out with rubber tubing, lengths of steel cable, whips, chair-legs, clubs etc. Each one received from 80 to 160 blows from several people. I saw with my own eyes how two persons were beaten so severely that they died within two days. One of them was the gardener Schmalz from Olbersdorf. I also attended a man who suffered from fractures of the collarbone and the upper arm, both caused by blows. I requested his transfer to the hospital, which was refused with the words: "There is no hospital for Germans."
When I attempted to bandage a German woman, who had a purulent wound on her foot, I was prevented from doing so: "Germans are only animals, it is a pity to waste bandages on them."
I saw the bodies of many tortured people, literally covered with bruises; three prisoners, among
them a young woman, were driven to desperation by the maltreatment they had endured, and
hanged themselves. In spite of the extreme heat of June the corpse of the woman was left in the
cell for three days. When a transport of 160 men left the jail for Witkowitz, many of them were
sent along half-naked, their garments and shoes having been taken away from them. The diet in
the camp consisted mainly of watery soup. For the first week we received 100 g of bread, later
we had the same quantity twice a week. As a result of malnutrition, dangerous cases of diarrhoea
occurred. There was a shortage of medicines and a lack of adequate sanitary arrangements. From
17 to 32 prisoners would be crowded together in cells 14.3 meters square (about 17 yards
The doors of the cells were always kept locked, and the bucket we used to relieve ourselves was
much too small for the purpose. Each cell received only 3 liters of water (5.2 pints) a day both
drinking and cleaning. On August 7, 1945, I was released and received employment from the
district committee at Olbersdorf as a veterinary surgeon. In the meantime my wife had been sent
agricultural labour where she suffered severe injury to her health. As a result of her condition
was released in March. We have seen nothing more of our property or personal belongings. The
luggage, which we finally took with us on our transfer, consisted for the most part of articles
which had been given to us.