Report No. 86
Reported by: Julia Käthe Tseng Report of September 25, 1949
The undersigned, Julia Käthe Tseng, née Patsch, born on April 19, 1897 at Teplitz-Schönau, residing at Teplitz-Schönau, 459/19 Hamburger Street, Chinese citizen by marriage with the late Mr. Tseng Dean Yi, declares herewith under oath as follows:
On June 9, 1945 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon I was arrested by a member of the "Národní výbor" (National Committee) and two Czech partisans. They threatened me that I should be shot for espionage. One of the soldiers, supposed to be a corporal, examined my handbag, took all the jewellery and money out of it and furthermore two wedding-rings from my hand as well as my ear-rings and a small chain with a cross from my neck. The man of the "National Committee" searched the whole apartment. About 14 days later the aforementioned corporal was the owner of the "Rathaus-Hotel" on the market-place.
After this search I was taken in a car to the "Hotel Sachsen" in the Bahnhof Strasse. There I was locked in a room and after three to four hours a soldier took me to the local jail on the market-place. There I found Mrs. Frank from Teplitz, Goetheplan, with her daughter and a young girl from Auperschin. With our hands lifted and our faces towards the wall we had to stand absolutely motionless for a long time. Even the slightest movement provoked a lash with a whip. One of those who lashed us was a soldier, who later took over the forwarding agency of Schuster and Nettel. All this took place in the yard of the jail; afterwards we had to go up to the 2nd floor and the Czechs took this opportunity to beat us again. On the 2nd floor the warder by the name of Franta Landa waited for us and locked us up in our cells. 28 to 32 persons were imprisoned in cell No. 7 and there were also between 28 and 30 women in cell No. 6. In No. 6 I had to stay 3 or 4 days while the other inmates were allowed to go to work. In the morning of the fifth day they took me in a car to the villa Sieh at Goetheplan, where - as a first greeting - I had my ears boxed by a woman, who was some kind of a secretary there. After I had been locked up first in the hay-barn and then in the coal-shed, the interrogation finally began. A tall, stout man, wearing a khaki uniform and calling himself a colonel, asked me if I knew why I was on trial. I answered him that I did not. Thereupon I had my ears boxed again, twice on the right side and twice on the left. I was then told to sit down at the table; the soldier played constantly with his pistol. He took up a longish object, a steel spiral, and struck me with it on the head and on the chin, he then did the same with his pistol. Several times he or the girl shouted: "Zatracená špionka" (damn spy). Later on the girl pulled me up, turned me around and kicked me in the back. When I sat down at the table again, the man slapped me once more. After some time had passed I was taken in a car back to the local jail.
I remained in the local jail till July 21, 1945, but this time I was allowed to work.
On July 22 we were divided into three columns in the prison-yard; one group was transported to the internment camp (Internační tábor) at Hansa Strasse, another troop to the court-building, the last group to the camp in the Lasten Str. The rest remained in the local jail. I myself was taken to the camp at Hansa Strasse. My number was 87 on the list. In the camps we were permitted neither to sit down nor to lean against anything and we had to watch how those persons, whose numbers on the list were from 1 to 86, were clubbed, punched and kicked until they were bleeding. Among them were old people of 70 or 80 [years of age]. There were also younger persons who underwent the same treatment. I was also ordered to go to the office, where I was whipped, even receiving a lash in the face. In the office we received our prison-numbers, my number was 325. As long as I remained in the camp I went to work and was no longer beaten.
On the evening of August 27, 1945 at half past seven, one Horst Sonn of the Czech police arrived together with other soldiers. Sonn was in civilian clothes. It was a short interrogation. I was asked what Germans were known as having been in the party or otherwise for their bad treatment of Czechs. The interview took place in a billard-room and I was beaten by a soldier with the nickname of "Prügel-Tondo" (Tondo the beater) with a billiard cue. Horst Sonn continually urged on the soldiers to further blows. Afterwards, I had to stand with my face pressed against the wall, a piece of paper was drawn along between my nose and the wall and whenever the paper stuck for a moment I at once received further blows on my back and legs. This lasted for almost three hours. Then I was permitted to go to the storeroom. "Tondo the beater" came back about 10 o'clock in the evening and led me to the gate. There was a car parked there. Dead mice were lying around. Tondo forced me to put one in my mouth which he [held] shut, meanwhile hitting me in the face. Outside the door I had to spit out the mouse, put another one in my mouth and spit it out and then again for a third time. After that I was put into the car and was driven to the Czech police-station at the Hahn-Villa in Masaryk Str.
In the office there I was punched and lashed with a whip for almost two and a half hours without interruption. Whenever one of the policemen grew tired of hitting me, another one started. This was carried out by "Tondo the beater" and a certain Wandierek. Sonn himself merely encouraged them.
I remained at the Hahn-Villa from August 27 to September 25, 1945. We had to work there and were struck at every opportunity.
From the Hahn-Villa I was taken back to the camp at Hansa Strasse. I remained there from September 20 to October 2, 1945, working outside the camp. From October 2 to October 26 I was in a hospital with a German [lady] doctor, who spared no pains in taking care of the prisoners. Mrs. Görg, another [lady] doctor at the hospital, also took care of the prisoners. On October 26 I came again to the camp at Hansa Str. On November 6, 1945, at half past eight in the morning, I [escaped] from the camp and met my mother at the cemetery. I had told her of my intention when she had visited me in the camp; she brought food and an overcoat with her. We succeeded in crossing the border by secret paths and arrived at Altenberg on November 6, 1945.
The following persons were struck until they were bleeding in the jail and in the camp:
Mrs. Hanni Fingerhut and her daughter Margit from Turn as well as her sister; Mrs. Marek, clerk at the local administration; Franz Öser, employee of the Wenzel-pit; Mr. Zibelius, apothecary and his wife from Schönau; Mr. Wagner, salesman, Duxer Str.; Pohl, salesman, and his wife from Weisskirchlitz; Mrs. Absalom, Josefinenbar, Edmund Str.; Mrs. Wild, Prague Str.; Mr. Müller, priest, from Schönau; Mr. Wittenbrink, dean, from Teplitz; Mr. Kutschera from the gas works at Schönau; Mr. Michel and his wife from the power plant at Teplitz; Mrs. Tomann, Goetheplan (her husband was shot); the whole family of Meissner, the pastry-cook from Königs Str.; Dr. Hiebsch, dentist, with his son and maid from Königstrasse; Mr. Illemann, butcher, and his mother, Waldtorplatz; Mr. Arwed Grohmann and his wife; Mrs. Nikodym.
Reported by: A. B. (Teplitz-Schönau)
I am a Sudeten German and was born on July 25, 1885 in Groß-Chmeleschen, District of Podersam, Bohemia. Together with my wife and son Gerd I was expelled from Teplitz-Schönau on August 4, 1945. My son and I spent two months in prison in Teplitz-Schönau. Beatings from morning till night were the order of the day. My son and I were incarcerated right off the street, on June 29, 1945 at 8 o'clock in the evening. The first welcome we were given there were punches in the face. We had to spend several hours standing facing the wall, and the blows to the back of the head were almost unbearable. I fended off one punch to my face, and for that I was dragged into an adjoining room, where they tore the clothes from my upper body and threw me onto a wooden plank, to which I was tied. Then two men (one of them was called Josef Landa) beat me with rubber whips and then also with a rubber hose until I lost consciousness. Then they dragged me into a solitary-confinement cell. It was twelve hours before I regained consciousness. Then I was given a mouthful of bitter, cold black coffee. Our daily rations [in the Teplitz-Schönau prison] consisted of a little soup, a few potatoes and a morsel of dry bread. 22 prisoners had to spend the night[s] in a 4½-square-meter room.
Reported by: Walter Weichert Report of November 9, 1947 (Teplitz-Schönau)
Until May 31, 1945 my wife and I lived in our own home in Teplitz-Schönau. On May 31 we were expelled from Czechoslovakia by the Csl. Národní výbor, bytový úrad, pododdelení úrad evakuacní, Teplice Sanov. This office appointed me as transport leader for a transport of expellees to southern Germany. This transport consisted of 8 men, 62 women, 5 children and 4 infants, all of them Germans from the Reich.
Thanks to the kindness of the station master in Teplitz-Schönau two covered freight cars were provided for the transport, so that around 6 o'clock in the evening of May 31, 1945 - the day that had been fixed for our expulsion - we left on time on a train bound for Komotau, Karlsbad, Eger. I had distributed the expellees among the two freight cars in such a way that the same number of people were in each car. I myself was identified as transport leader with a "Red Cross" armband and a Russian stamp.
On June 1, 1945, at about 5:45 am, we arrived at Neudau station. Most expellees were still sleeping. I myself sat by the open door of Wagon No. 2. While the train was yet pulling in, I saw two men dressed in eccentric uniforms standing on the platform. They were armed with revolvers and riding crops, and one also had a rubber truncheon hanging from his belt. The two men came walking along the train, directly towards our two cars. They spoke Czech and cursed at us in broken German. I tried to negotiate with them, but only received a crack with a whip in reply and was shoved aside. First the male prisoners had to leave the train. They were chased out with kicks and whip lashes and the words, "you German dogs don't need to ride". These two Czechs cursed us left, right and center. The expressions "dogs, swine, bastards, German crooks, hang you, stand you up against the wall" etc. were the most restrained of their repertoire. At the same time they wildly beat and whipped the women and children. The men were herded across the tracks to the other side of the train. I did not see them again for the rest of the trip. Then the women and children were thrown from the cars. It didn't matter how old the women were; and it also didn't matter if they had brought all their luggage out or not. I saw later that much luggage had been left in the train. Referring to my "Red Cross" designation, I tried again to convey to these people that we had been given permission by the Národní výbor in Teplitz-Schönau to use the train, but I was not allowed to say my piece. The two Czechs indifferent flung luggage and baby carriages with the babies still inside from the train onto the embankment, while maltreating the women and children with kicks and whip lashes. Even as the train was starting off again, they threw a baby carriage with a female infant out in a big double somersault. It was almost a miracle that the baby was unharmed. When the train had left the station, the Czechs herded us back along the tracks towards Komotau, constantly beating us with their riding crops. Anyone who couldn't walk fast enough for them was forbidden to go further, and had to remain behind. I found a spot on the otherwise steep embankment where we could climb up. We did so, and found ourselves on a road, from where we had to watch how the Czechs ruthlessly beat the women and children, who were laden down with their luggage and quite helpless. Then, on the street, when I gathered together the transport that had been entrusted to me, I found that no more than 25 people were left from the initial 79. We waited for about half an hour, but nobody else turned up. Since the grounds surrounding the tracks were level, I would have seen it if some frightened people had headed off in a different direction. So I had to conclude that these two Czech partisans had forcibly detained the missing people. I also noticed that a large amount of luggage fell into the hands of these two partisans.
I then continued our journey on foot with the remainder of my transport group, via Altrohlau to Johanngeorgenstadt.
The following persons can confirm these events: Mrs. Frieda Weichert, Mrs. Alice Hoffmann, Mrs. Elsa Günther.
I can name further witnesses on request.
Reported by: Theresia Wiegand Report of August 9, 1950 (Teplitz-Schönau)
Mrs. Dick lived next door to us in the "Kreuz" Inn. Her husband had been in a psychiatric hospital, but had been released to be cared for at home.
During the days of the persecution of Germans in 1945 Mrs. Dick came to me, crying, and told me that her husband had gone out the night before to walk the dog and had not come back. The little dog had returned alone at 3 o'clock at night, and had been let in by a servant at the inn.
I advised her to check at the cemetery morgue to see if he was among the dead. The next day the poor woman really went there, and found her husband - he had been murdered. Mr. Dick had sat down on a bench in the park grounds (which Germans were forbidden to do), and as punishment some partisans had dragged him to the police station where he was savagely murdered.
All Germans were buried in mass graves. When her husband had already been buried, Mrs. Dick went to the Czech police one more time to ask for details, and the Czechs told her that the Russians had abducted her husband. His watch, money and rings had also been taken off his body.
Reported by: Käte Leitenberger (Teplitz-Schönau)
I lived at Teplitz-Schönau together with my four sons. All of them had joined the army. On May 10th, 1945 two Czechs in uniform with riding whips came to my apartment, of which they made a thorough search. Later on they took me to a sawmill, where I had to pick up stones.
In the course of the night of June 2nd, 1945, six armed partisans forcibly entered my apartment, threatened me, opened with their bajonets wardrobe and doors, got drunk and left after two hours, loaded with plunder. In the course of the summer I was taken to the Národní Výbor (National Committee) several times and interrogated concerning the whereabouts of my sons.
On August 28th, 1945, I was arrested and sent to the local jail and later to the Internační tábor (internment camp), where there was plenty of hard work and conditions approaching famine. The Czechs received 55 Czech crowns per day from our employers, but we got nothing. Only one more piece of bread in the evening than those who did not work. Some time later the Russians requisitioned us for work in various camps. They took away from us the small amount of money which we had been able to hide.
At the beginning of January 1946 I collapsed as a result of exhaustion; the camp physician declared me incapable of work and I was released on February 1st, 1946, but in view of the fact that I had no longer a home, I was expelled from Teplitz. I therefore went to the Národní Výbor (National Committee), in order to get back a part of my property, the 50 or 60 kilos (110-125 lbs) which one was permitted to take along; unfortunately, I fell there into the power of a former partisan. His wife, a member of the Czech Communist party, had formerly been the maidservant of a hairdresser, who lived in the same house as ourselves. I had not known the husband before. His name was Stepanek. This man now arranged that all I was allowed to take with me should be old shoes and an old coat - no underwear and no dresses - as well as a blanket and a pillow out of my apartment. The latter had been requisitioned by a Czech family. Thus my whole property amounted to only a few kilos. Since I was born at Graz in Austria, I had already got in touch with the Austrian "Geschäftsstelle" - a kind of emergency Consulate - for the purpose of obtaining transfer to my old home country and had also deposited there my money and my valuables. A person, supposedly a Roumanian, who posed as Consul, embezzled the money and delivered up some of the valuables only under pressure from abroad. In this swindle a Czech lawyer, his friend, played quite an important part. Shortly before my transfer to Linz on September 9, 1946, which this "Consul" tried to have cancelled, he was arrested as a previously convicted swindler by reason of considerable new swindles and embezzlements. He was led away in fetters. His previous sentence had been seven years hard labour. Now my way to Austria was free.
It should be mentioned here that I was neither tried nor accused during my imprisonment of five months. They only told me: "We believe it is because of your sons." Actually, on August 26, 1945, Czech police came for my eldest son during the night, but did not find him - two days later they came for me.
I was not permitted to take any money on the transfer [expulsion].