Report No. 243
Reported by: Josef, Adele und Elfriede Pomps
[Josef Pomps:] First of all I want to state that I, the undersigned, was not a member of either the National Socialist Party nor of any of its branches. My home town is Libochowan on the Elbe, District Leitmeritz, in the Sudetengau.
When I had to endure the maltreatment in question, I was 75 years old. On July 12, 1945 I was ordered by the Czech teacher Schwarz to report to the Czech school, where he confronted me with the community chronicle, which I had had to record until 1938. One passage discussing the teacher Schwarz's public incitement provided the excuse for three Czechs who were present to rain slaps and punches on me from all sides, to the point where my glasses shattered. As a consequence of the blows, I stumbled and fell, and came to lie on the floor; here all three men had at me with their boot heels, then yanked me back to my feet by my hair and ears, and beat me over and over again until I was bloody. Then the Czech teacher wiped the blood from my face, and I staggered to the door, where I encountered my two daughters.
[Adele Pomps:] I, Adele Pomps, born on February 17, 1907, and my sister Elfriede, born on September 8, 1911, both of us resident in Libochowan, were also lured into the kindergarten of the former Czech school by the henchman Franz Dorant. We didn't suspect a thing, but when we entered the anteroom, our 75-year-old father was just being let out. Blood was running down his face. I asked what had been done to him - he was wiping the blood from his face - but he wasn't allowed to answer me. He was permitted to go home. The doors closed behind us, and my sister and I were taken into the kindergarten room. The Czech teacher Schwarz said: "I'm going to read you what that old man wrote in the community chronicle." (The Czech teacher Karl Schwarz had often been a rabble-rouser.) One sentence stated: "The warriors' memorial was to be torn down, because the inscription on it read, 'Remember the brave ones, even if they fought in vain'." I had to return to the anteroom, while they dealt with my sister Elfriede first. I heard her screaming horribly, and my fear grew and grew. Then Schwarz came out. That monster no doubt thought that I would be trying to escape. But it wasn't possible. I begged Schwarz to shoot me rather than beat me like that, but he said: "No, you've still got to work!"
Now it was my turn. Just then they were trying to force my sister's mouth open. She was screaming like an animal with pain. With kicks and punches to my face, the same gangster who had maltreated my sister now greeted me as well. They only ever called us "whores and swine". In front of a bench about a foot long, Karl Dorant and Ladio beat me with a rubber truncheon and a rubber whip with many little straps to the point where I collapsed. Now I lay on the bench, and some fellows 20 to 22 years of age pulled my pants down and beat me until I fell off the bench. This was done repeatedly; and when those two criminals had grown tired, they were relieved by one Rudolf and a man who had taken over Breitfelder's grocery store. It was dreadful to have to endure all this. Schwarz only walked up and down laughing at the spectacle.
Now I stood beside my sister. The Czech street guard punched us in the face. Our hair was totally disheveled. The fellow who had taken Breitfelder's business gave us his comb, and we had to neaten ourselves. The people were not to see what these criminal had done to us. Everyone roared at us like lions. Karl Dorant stood in front of us holding a rifle, and pounded us on the feet with it, with the comment that if we told anyone outside what they had done to us we would get a bullet through the head. Now we could go. At his words I made the mistake of placing my hand over my heart and shaking my head very slightly. At that, we had to go back and got the same beating all over again. This time the street guard held our heads between his legs. We got the comb again and had to neaten ourselves again. Once more we were threatened with the rifle. Now we were allowed to leave. The people on the street looked at us as though they had turned to stone; they knew what had happened, for even in the street they had heard us scream. From our lower back to halfway down our legs we looked like a dark blue sheet, the color of blueberries. I'd be lying if I said there was a white spot even the size of a pin head to be seen on us there. I showed it all to Dr. Schmidt in Praskowitz. He called his wife to look, and both of them were speechless. He took down my statement, and I had to let him treat me. My sister showed her injuries to Dr. Gintner from Schreckenstein. He too called his wife in. They wrung their hands and said that they had never seen anything like it, ever. I showed my injuries to many acquaintances, as I wanted to have witnesses for this atrocity. I also showed them to Czechs, and told my story over and over again. Mr. Husak from Raudnitz said, "it makes one ashamed to be Czech." Mr. Swoboda from Libochowan called us to come to his neighbor, Mrs. Marie Finger, where we had to tell and show him everything. When he had seen the state we were in, he tore off his armband from the Národní výbor, threw it on my friend's manure pile and said, "I don't want to work with such criminals any more."
The one thing we don't understand is why we were beaten like that, since neither of us had written a word in the community chronicle. When they beat their other victims, they had turned the radio up to maximum volume to drown out the screams.
This is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and I, my sister and my father are willing to swear to it at any time.
Report No. 244
Reported by: Oskar Tiel Report of March 5, 1951
I was to be executed in Liebenau. I stood against the wall without a blindfold, and ten feet from me stood a firing squad from the Czech militia. They were waiting for the command to "fire". But they did not shoot, as instead two men beat me until I almost lost consciousness. Then I had to take my shirt off, and when they failed to find an SS tattoo they announced that they would beat me green, blue and bloody and get rid of me in the woods. But on the way there, the Czechs began to quarrel amongst themselves. Then their leader said that I should be handed over to the Russians, to be sent to work in Siberia. And that is what happened.
Report No. 245
Reported by: Grüner Report of July 24, 1946
I am a railroadman. On November 27, 1945 I travelled from Liebesdorf to Oberhaid to look for work there. I had a permit to do so. On the way I was challenged just outside the town of Zartlersdorf. When I stopped, several shots rang out. One of them hit me in the knee. At the edge of the woods about 30 paces away, 12 Czech soldiers lay and shot at me. When I fell to the ground, they came over and kicked and cursed me. Then they left me lying there. The next passer-by found me unconscious, took me to Zartlersdorf and notified my family. I then had to spend two months in the care of Dr. Fuchs of Rosenberg, who treated me. I had to pay the cost of the treatment myself. A report made to the Czech authorities and the gendarmerie was totally useless. To this day I have not regained full use of my leg.
Report No. 246
Reported by: Ludwig Breyer Report of January 29, 1951
For the "Schwere-Granatwerfer-Abteilung No 534" (Division No 534, heavy grenade-throwers), which was on garrison in the area of Zittau/Saxony, as well as for all German soldiers, the hostilities were over when the armistice was announced. On May 1945, about 11 o'clock at night - the division lay at Wetzwalde near Zittau - we heard the news of the capitulation. The division received the last command: to march off in the direction of Brüx-Karlsbad. At midnight, led by a young master-sergeant, 375 men marched in a truck column via Deutsch-Gabel and Böhmisch Leipa to the bridge of Melnik. The heavy guns and the ammunition had been destroyed and the troop was only in possession of small-arms for self-defense.
We only intended to get in touch with the Americans, and stood on the left side of the Elbe River, opposite to Melnik; there we met with the first Czechs.
Among them was also a Czech major, who talked like a soldier to soldiers, a comrade to comrades. He urged the Germans to lay down the arms which they were still carrying. The young master-sergeant accepted the major's word. He decided that the arms should be surrendered and these were assembled in a nearby barn.
This master-sergeant, who has since returned from Russian imprisonment, declared: "Had I ever suspected what would follow, we should never have laid down our arms and the tragedy of Liebeznice would never have happened." What then happened was the following: the defenceless soldiers were ordered to group themselves in lines of five and to link arms with one another, and between 2 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon the soldiers marched along the main road from Melnik in the direction of Prague, escorted by partisans. 200 or 300 meters before they reached Liebeznice the entire platoon was ordered to halt. In the meantime the partisans from Melnik had been relieved by others during the march and the major was no longer mentioned. Everything which the German soldiers still had in their possession was now thrown into the ditch, their last belongings, their last personal possessions. All they had was the uniform they stood up in. The order was given: "Hands-up! On the double through the village!"
The master-sergeant has also reported what followed: "We had scarcely approached the first houses when shooting started from the doors and windows with all kinds of weapons. Everybody tried to save himself and to escape. Unfortunately only a few were able to do so. After all was over, our dead and wounded comrades lay about the street. The wounded were then shot through the neck. I was one of the 57 men who escaped from death, but we were soon recaptured by the Czechs. We were then transported to Prague."
318 German soldiers met their death. It was a Czech major who helped to capture the 57
and who confirmed the suspicion of the
German master-sergeant that not all of the 318 men had been killed immediately, but that a
number of the wounded had been murdered by shots through the neck. This statement also
that Czech troops had been present at the massacre in Liebeznice. "I heard the revolver shots
myself," added the
German master-sergeant. Germans from Prague, who later on were sent to Liebeznice as forced
labourers, found the bloody uniforms of the German soldiers in the barns. These victims had
only been treacherously shot down, they had been buried naked in the cemetery of Liebeznice.