Report No. 154
Reported by: Johann Schmoz Report of July 24, 1946
I was a woodcutter in the Bürgerwald of Deutsch-Beneschau, District Kaplitz. Gamekeeper Pils instructed me on February 8 to go pick up my wages from the forestry official Kolar in Deutsch-Beneschau. When I got there, the Czech farmer's leader Kucera, whom I had not met before, spoke to me in Czech. When I apologized and said that I do not understand Czech, he boxed me twice about the head and kicked me twice in the leg so that I could not bend my knee for 8 days. I am 71 years old.
Reported by: M. Swoboda-Frantzen Report of Nov. 2, 1946 (Deutsch-Beneschau)
On September 15 of last year I arrived in Deutsch-Beneschau. All my papers were in order, and I also reported my presence to the police immediately, as required. The purpose of my visit was to see my sick mother and to obtain copies of some lost documents. I was refused the documents, and on September 22 I was arrested even though I had never been a Party member. No reason for my arrest was given. During the subsequent interrogation I was also not told why I was under arrest; instead, the protocol stated that I refused to make a confession. I was kept under arrest for 13 months, first in the District Court in Kaplitz and then in the concentration camps Gmünd and Kaplitz. During this time I was repeatedly beaten, for the last time on July 27, 1946. Other kinds of maltreatment continued until October 16 of this year. Like the other [German] women here, I was only ever addressed as "swine" and "whore". The guards and overseers repeatedly tried to rape me and the other women. I sustained bruises and bite wounds in the process. My last attempted rape was by the Mayor of Kaplitz, Vítek, on October 20 this year.
In the court prison in Kaplitz Frau Schuhmeier was wounded by a guard's negligent use of a firearm, and was denied access to medical care even though the wound suppurated. In October 1945 a young mother and her toddler were abducted into the Czech interior.
Sanitary facilities were totally inadequate. There was no way to take a bath, and we did not even have wash bowls, brooms or rags for cleaning. In February 1946 my mother requested permission to visit me, and was rewarded for her troubles with a day of imprisonment. Another women was imprisoned for 7 weeks for the same reason. I have barely 50 kg of resettlement [expulsion] luggage, and even these are primarily my mother's things. My documents were never returned to me.
Report No. 156
Reported by: Josef Schneider Report of October 13, 1946
I was arrested on the orders of the Národní výbor at 1:30 pm on June 6, 1945, at my place of work in the community of Deutsch-Jassnik, in the district of Neutitschein in the eastern Sudetenland. I was taken to the Raiffeisen bank branch, where I was maltreated by the two gendarme guards Hranicky and Skoumal and by two partisans from our neighboring community (their names were Bork und Hurka). I was beaten on my back with a 5-foot-long rubber hose so that I turned black and blue from my neck down to my buttocks. I was also shoved up against a wall my face until blood ran from my nose, and I was spat on, and much more. This went on for one and a half hours, and all of it was intended to force me to betray some comrades who belonged to a particular unit - but I did not do so. Then I was locked into a basement room, without anything in the way of an evening meal. Later in the evening I was joined in my cell by my comrade Josef Kahlig, prisoner number 8, who was also from Deutsch-Jassnik and who was also beaten horribly, as I was able to tell from his screams which I heard from our cell.
The next day we were taken to the district town of Neutitschein, together with a third comrade who had been maltreated back in the basement. First we were dressed up as a sort of jester, draped with swastikas and German ribbons, and SA-caps were placed on our heads. We were forced to sing the song "Deutschland über alles" [the German national anthem; trans.] and paraded along the street under guard from two men armed with submachine guns. We were threatened that if we refused to sing we would be beaten. Once we arrived in the district town we were taken to the court prison, where we were robbed of our last possessions, such as money, watch and pen-knife, and then thrown into a cell. I was held in this prison for two months, and had to work every day for poor rations (70 grams of bread and some black coffee in the morning, at noon some soup made from cabbage and turnip leaves, without any fat or salt, and in the evening some more black coffee, and potatoes, some of which were also black). On August 7, 1945 I was put on a transport of 70 men and sent to Göding, to a labor camp where I was sent out to work in a brown-coal pit, without pay of course. Since I was 50 years old and became very run-down from this kind of work (I lost 22 pounds), I was sent back to the labor camp six weeks later where I had to help with clearing and construction work.
On January 18, 1946 I and six other comrades were sent back to our home-base camp Blauendorf, in the district of Neutitschein, where we were assigned to cottage-type work for the hat factories located there, since they suffered from a labor shortage. On April 4, 1946 I had to report to an examining magistrate to be interrogated about my party membership, and was to be arraigned before a People's Court, but on April 27, 1946 the public prosecutor dismissed me, with permission to emigrate, since there had been no grounds for my arrest in the first place. On April 28, 1946 I arrived at the resettlement camp, where my family was also ordered to report for emigration. On the whole, the treatment we were given, as well as the rations, left a great deal to be desired, and it was usually the younger Czechs who were the most violent. I have not seen my homeland again since my arrest. Now I want to recount my wife's tribulations, which I only learned of after she also arrived at the resettlement camp. She had had to endure several house-searches, and everything that was not nailed down was stolen and carted off (clothing, linen, bedding, food and many other things) and when my wife objected, she was beaten on her back with a rifle-butt, and threatened with submachine guns.
I am ready and willing to repeat this my report under oath at any time.
Report No. 157
Reported by: Richard Sirsch Report of November 18, 1947
I, the undersigned, Richard Sirsch, wish to make the following report about my experiences during the time of the Czechs' barbaric activities against the Sudeten Germans following the German surrender:
On May 10, 1945 the first Czechs came onto my property in Deutsch-Lodenitz. From that point on, violent Czechs armed with rubber truncheons and rifles descended upon my home every day, and ransacked it from the attic to the basement. - On July 24, 74 Germans from my town were taken to the concentration camp in Sternberg, including my 52-year-old wife and our two daughters, so that our 11-year-old son was left without a mother from that time on. I myself had to remain on our estate, to help the Czech who had taken over it to bring in the harvest and the hay.
On September 16, 1945 at 9:30 p.m. several ferocious Czechs came into the house, beat me and punched me in the face and led me off to the camp office in charge of labor details to see to the harvest in Deutsch-Lodenitz. There I was body-searched, and everything I had was taken from me, the sole exception being the clothes on my back. Then they pulled my pants down to my knees, laid me across two chairs and began to thrash my buttocks with their truncheons, in triple time to accompany their taunting chorus of "SdP, SdP...." (Sudeten-German Party). When I had almost passed out from this abuse and these vengeful savages were at a momentary loss for anything else, one of these brutish Czechs took two belts, slung one of them around my neck, buckled it to the second and pulled me up over the door. When I had almost lost my senses he dropped me, dumped a bucket of cold water over me, dragged me outside by the legs and then even asked me, derisively, whether I wouldn't like to hang myself now. About half an hour later they led me into a cold basement, without even giving me a blanket. - The second day after this, 6 people from our community, including me, were taken to the concentration camp in Sternberg. I had to stay there for nine months. Once I received 25 blows with a rubber truncheon because my axe handle had broken while I had been chopping wood. - Finally, on June 5, 1946, I was sent home from this camp, to be expelled. When my wife was released from the camp after having had to stay 7 months there, she found nothing left but an empty house. We had neither clothes nor bedding, nor linen, and were expelled from our homeland half-naked.
Written and signed on November 18, 1947.
Report No. 158
expulsion with insufficient luggage allowance
Reported by: Max Schindler Report of August 21, 1946
In Dittersdorf, Bärn District, in June of 1945, three Czech National Guardsmen arrested me - without justification, as Czech officers admitted - and took me to the police prison in Freudenthal, where I was severely maltreated twice. The beatings left me deaf on my left ear. My fellow prisoner Sezulka was beaten into a lump of unrecognizable pulp. On the seventh day I was released. I never got to return to my home in Troppau, as I was detained in a labor camp until I was resettled [expelled]. I have lost everything I owned. My expulsion luggage consists only of two backpacks, a total of 25 kg. On my attempts to have my luggage supplemented in the resettlement [expulsion] camp, all I received was 1 pair of pants, 1 jacket and 1 pair of shoes.
shootings and maltreatment
Reported by: Rev. Johann Hofmann Report of January 3, 1947 (Dittersdorf)
I should state to begin with that I have always been against Hitler and against Fascism. For this reason I was imprisoned by the Gestapo for six months which I spent at Zwittau and Moravian Schönberg in autumn 1938; after my arrest I was under police supervision for 6 years, was not allowed to teach in the schools, and moreover had to post a bond of 500 Marks as a political guarantee over a period of three years. In spite of these facts Russian soldateska looted my property and broke open the tabernacle. Czechs, too, looted the parsonage and the church and finally arrested me and my housekeeper. The arrest was carried out in the following way: poor persons from my parish and a tailor by the name of Hirnich from Dittersdorf had also been robbed when the Russians marched into the village; in order to save at least something, they brought the few articles they had been able to secure to the parsonage and to the church. One Pistella, the Oberwachtmeister of the gendarmerie in Breitenau, who was also a Communist, must have had word of it. One day he arrived at the church together with the local commissar Hampel and N. N., the secretary of the Community Council. The latter, in order to cover his past as a former employee of the German aerial defence organization in Freudenthal, was now serving as a police spy for the Czechs in Dittersdorf; both men demanded entrance to the church and the parsonage, where they, together with Pistella, made an extremely thorough house search. Afterwards my housekeeper and I were arrested, held in the school until dusk and then driven on a cart to the next gendarmerie-station at Breitenau, where we stayed over night. Next morning we were taken under escort to the district town of Freudenthal and finally put in jail there. Representations had been made to the district commission of the gendarmerie to secure our release, but these were unsuccessful. The priest Hofmann and his housekeeper Elfriede Alfa had therefore to remain in the jail, Hofmann for eight days and the housekeeper for 14!
No German, even if he were an anti-fascist and a friend of the Czechs, was allowed to listen to the radio, nor was he permitted to use the railroad, the bus, or his bicycle. If he did so, he ran the risk that the bicycle would be taken away from him or that he would be thrown out of the train. Anyone who wore the badge with the "N" [N = Nĕmec, Czech word for German] had to get permission from the local gendarmerie if he wanted to go from one village to another. There were no meat rations for the Germans. The German farmer had no right to protest if some day a Czech arrived at his farm and requisitioned the property, together with the whole inventory and all his personal possessions. The farmer had then either to clear out or, if he was allowed to stay in a little room, had to work hard for his new Czech master, without payment and with almost no food. As a rule the Czech did not work, he only drove about, slaughtered the cattle and was very rarely sober.
In May, at the time of the revolution, the majority of the farmers, who had joined the SA in order to avoid being called up for active service, were driven together, beaten with rifle butts and then locked up in a cellar; from there they were taken to the notorious prisons in the castle or in the town hall of the district town of Freudenthal. In these prisons they were beaten almost to death with rubber truncheons and loaded canes. Confessions were extorted from them in the most atrocious manner, in order to send them, after long imprisonment, to the mines or to other places for forced labour. Many of them died before they arrived at their destinations; many were shot after they had been forced to dig their own graves with bare hands. It is reported that 20 such victims were shot down in the yard of the military barracks at Freudenthal.
Many, however, who had been able to survive the terrible conditions in the mines at Ostrau or elsewhere, did not find their families when they returned; for these had been independently transferred and were waiting in vain for a reunion with their father or husband.
The worst of the officials at Freudenthal was Dr. Josef Rybař of the district administration. He simply threw German petitioners out of his office; and it was all the same to him if the petitioner was a priest, a nun or a layman. In his capacity as a district commissar this official had put many Germans in jail, or sent them to the camps; applications of petitioners who asked for the acknowledgment of their Czech citizenship were simply sent back without decision, and the enclosures were withheld.
Report No. 160
Reported by: Franz Wagner Report of July 11, 1946
As a member of the former
Communist Party I was imprisoned at Dachau for three and a half
months from 1938 to 1939. On March 6, 1946 I was arrested for the second time by the Czech
gendarmerie of Dobraken and I remained under arrest till June 15, 1946 in the district court
building of Pilsen. During the time of my arrest I was slapped and struck a number of times. In
meanwhile garments and underclothing were confiscated from my apartment. Only a few things
were returned when I was ready to be transferred. At the time of my transfer I only had 180
of luggage, for four persons. In order to increase this to the full amount allowed, it was
that I should go back to Mies; but I did not take up the suggestion, since I had been threatened
with renewed arrest.