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Pardubitz - Königgrätz

Report No. 280
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment in the prisoner-of-war camp
Reported by: Josef Fuchs Report of July 4, 1946

location of Pardubitz and KöniggrätzI was released from Russian imprisonment on August 28, 1945 and crossed the Czech border on October 2 last year, passing through the Customs Office of Wittau-Grottau as per regulations. I had been assured that I could immigrate without hindrance. Nonetheless I was arrested in Grottau and then taken via Reichenberg into the concentration camp on the Pardubitz airfield. Beatings were the order of the day there for months on end. Anyone who so much as straightened up for a moment at work was beaten with rifle butts, cudgels or whips. I really have no idea how many times I myself was beaten there; it was at least twice or three times every week. One Czech legionnaire was the terror of the entire camp. One day in early April I and an old man were cutting wood, when this legionnaire spoke to us in Czech. Since despite our best efforts we could not understand what he wanted, he beat us so badly that the old man needed a doctor. Thanks to the rebuke that the legionnaire now received from the doctor, he maltreated the old man all over again by forcing him to pull a hand cart laden with 300 kilos [660 pounds] of wood at a run from Pardubitz to the airfield, beating him all the while with a cudgel so that he arrived at the airfield totally exhausted. Two days later he beat me with a shovel handle to the point where I had blood-suffused welts across my back.

On April 17, 1946 I was transferred to the concentration camp on the airfield of Königgrätz. Similar beatings also took place there. While I was working I was supervised by a guard who frequently bragged that he had shot 15 German soldiers and chopped off the hands of two. The worst beatings took place there between May 5 and 9, 1946. I myself was beaten bloody on that occasion as well. I was released on June 1, 1946, but even during my last days there I still witnessed how an old man was beaten unconscious for being unable to pull a wooden post out of the ground. I was not paid for any of my work the entire time. Rations were very meager. The money that had been taken from us on our imprisonment in Pardubitz was not returned to us. Even the few things we had managed to retain through our imprisonment were taken away from us in Pardubitz. The parcels which relatives sent us were always looted before we received them.


Report No. 281

by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Abuse, treatment of prisoners-of-war
Reported by: Franz Bieberle Report of June 15, 1946 (Pardubitz)

location of Pardubitz and KöniggrätzOn August 20, 1945 I was transported off to Moravian Ostrau for clearing work, and in early September I and about 200 other men were sent on from there to Pardubitz to do clearing work. On our arrival in Pardubitz we were beaten up by guards with rifle butts, rubber truncheons and sticks, and herded with constant beatings from the train station to the camp, a stretch of half an hour. In the camp we were beaten daily before, during and after work for months on end. Everyone was beaten, and many died of the consequences of this abuse. Despite the hard work we had to do, our rations consisted only of black coffee, watery soup and one slice of bread per day.

In early September a transport of German prisoners-of-war who had been released from Russia arrived and was taken to the concentration camp of Pardubitz. They too had to work in the Fanto Works, an hour's distance from the camp. On September 15 an explosive went off among the prisoners-of-war during their march to work. The explosion resulted in 4 dead and 25 badly injured prisoners. The Czechs now claimed that the prisoners had wanted to take this explosive into the Fanto Works in order to detonate them. As punishment, the entire camp was placed under a mail, parcel and visiting ban for six weeks around Christmas; therefore, thousands of parcels and many envelopes with money that arrived for the camp inmates around Christmas were not handed out. On Christmas Day we got no food at all. The maltreatment in the camp around this time was even worse than usual.

On January 21, the coldest day, all camp inmates from the military, the gendarmerie etc. were herded out of their barracks at 8 o'clock in the evening, most of them not fully dressed as the move-out had to proceed very quickly. Then we had to stand lined up in the square with our hands raised over our heads until 1 o'clock at night, while the barracks were searched.

The barracks were unheated the entire winter long. Most inmates had only a blanket. There were no washing facilities at all in the camp. No-one dared report sick, since then he would only be maltreated all the more. The people went to work literally until they dropped. Anyone who collapsed from exhaustion during the march was beaten with rifle butts until he continued. I spent nine months in this camp.



Report No. 282
translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Treatment of Jews
Reported by: Dr. Rudolf Fernegg Report of June 21, 1951

location of ParschnitzThe son and former owner (now about 55 years old) of the factory of Josef Pfefferkorn at Parschnitz had already lived in the United States for some time, but came back after the collapse in 1945 in order to take over the factory, which was his before. In the meantime he had acted as representative of this factory in the United States. On his return home he was told that neither re-possession of the factory nor the sale of the factory would be possible, since the Czechs had refused to transfer the purchase-money to America.


(District Deutschbrod)

Report No. 283
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Conditions in the collection camp
Reported by: Prof. Rudolf Pohl Report of September 6, 1946

location of PattersdorfI shared my villa in Frauental No. 113 near Deutschbrod with my 86-year-old aunt and foster mother, Johanna Niewelt, a retired teacher who had taught in this town for more than 30 years. On June 23, 1945, during the days of the revolution, this old lady was committed to the collection camp at Pattersdorf, even though she was feeble and very sickly. The collection camp consisted of a row of wooden barracks, where the women of the Labor Service had used to be quartered. Attached to the barracks was a pig pen dating from the same time, and that was the housing where my elderly aunt was put. She had to lie there on the concrete floor with just some straw as bedding, with no care or medical attention at all. Since she was no longer able to wash herself or even to move around, the inevitable results were not long in coming: covered in filth and lice, she lay helpless on her straw, which was soaked with her excrements. It was not until September 6, 1945 that death released her from this inhuman treatment. This outrage was perpetrated by the retired Czech staff captain J. Losenicky, of Frauental (Pohled) near Deutschbrod, the Chairman of the Národní výbor. During the occupation Losenicky had cooperated closely with the National Socialists, and served as air raid commandant. He ordered the arrest of the priest, dean and episcopal vicar August Krpalek of the District Pfarrkirchen/Niederbayern, and had him brought before the People's Tribunal in Deutschbrod, where, however, he was acquitted and had to leave his homeland with only 50 kg of luggage. The leader of the Pattersdorf collection camp was a certain Pavlicek, who carried out the orders of Hlavac, the Chairman of the Národní výbor of Deutschbrod.

The truth of my statements can be corroborated by the German priest of Schlappenz, Franz Fitz, who is now the curate in Berching, District Beilngries, Upper Palatinate.

Hlavac ordered the imprisonment and dreadful maltreatment of not only German women and innocent children but also of members of his own people (the so-called collaborators). One of my former students, H., 17 years old, daughter of a Czech engineer, was taken to a prison in Deutschbrod for having attended a German school. In the prison she was raped 20 times in a single night, and then released - with a sexually transmitted disease.

Lieutenant Colonel of the Reserves R. J. Heger's 18-year-old son, who was of mixed blood and had therefore been put to forced labor by the Nazis, was a student at the German Commercial Academy in Prague and was forced to leave the school in 1944. In May 1945 he was taken to the prison in Pankratz, where he and his father were both horrifically maltreated. His father the Lieutenant Colonel was beaten to death in that prison.

Georg Theml, age 20, formerly a student at the German Commercial Academy in Prague, and an Austrian citizen, was also of mixed blood and had been sent to the labor camp Bistritz; his mother, a Jewess, was imprisoned in Theresienstadt. In May 1945 the Czechs imprisoned Theml in the Pankratz prison in Prague where he too was inhumanly maltreated by the Czechs for fully two months.


Pisek - Brünn

Report No. 284
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
A German woman's ordeal
Reported by: Friedrich Sinzig Report of September 30, 1946

location of Pisek and BrünnMy wife Hildegard Sinzig, born on October 31, 1910, fled from Pisek in May 1945 but the Americans turned her back [at the border] as being a Czech citizen, and sent her back to Brünn on a transport. Once expelled from Brünn, she and 12 other German women had to return home on foot, and all of them were picked up by the authorities in Nezamyslic and put to work on an estate. After 6 weeks, when the work was finished, she was transferred to the concentration camp in Kojetein near Prerau. In this camp she was sent out each day to work somewhere. Beginning in August the men and women were terribly maltreated in this camp both before and after work. From 4 to 6 o'clock in the morning they had to do exercises in the camp yard - hopping and running up to the second story and back down. Three guards were posted as supervisors and beat each person with a bullwhip as he or she ran past. These blows were aimed randomly at the victim's head, face, shoulders, back, lower back and legs. Once my wife received a blow to the face that was so bad that she could not see for 14 days. My wife's Czech employer reported this maltreatment to the gendarmerie, which ordered that the maltreatment in the camp be stopped. The camp administration then informed the inmates that if anything was ever reported again, they would be made to pay for it in other ways.

When the prisoners returned to the camp in the evening after having worked all day, they were tormented for hours just like they were in the morning. These tortures took place on a daily basis, for months. In November my wife received such a severe blow to the kidney area that she fell gravely ill, could not work any more, and had to be admitted to the Kremsier hospital on November 26, 1945. She was diagnosed with severe chronic inflammation of the kidneys, which failed to improve. On my request I was permitted to bring my wife home to the Jägerndorf hospital in March. There, an x-ray found that both her kidneys had been severed and had begun to atrophy, and that therefore her condition was terminal. On July 26, 1946, after much pain and suffering, my wife succumbed to the consequences of the severe abuse she had suffered in Kojetein. She had personally told me all about her ordeal. I can take this statement on my oath and can also bring written documentation to prove it.



Report No. 285
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment during inspection of identification papers,
February 15, 1946

Reported by: Ignaz Böhm Report of June 6, 1946

location of PlanOn February 15 of this year I left my home in order to fetch sauerkraut from my uncle who lived in the same street of Plan as I. On the way I was stopped by two Czech soldiers who ordered me to produce my ID. I showed them my citizenship paper, with my photograph and fingerprints. Two officers examined the document. They gave it back to me, and I was allowed to go on. Only a few minutes later, when I was on my way back home from my uncle's, three Czech soldiers entered the house behind me. They again demanded to see my ID. I showed them the same paper as before, and they arrested me. I was led into the barracks, where several young Germans were already being detained. Hardly had I entered the office before several Czech soldiers began punching me, until I fell to the floor. Then I was kicked in the head, and then they ordered me to get up. They asked repeatedly, "you German?", and with every question they beat me some more. Then a member of the secret police showed up in civilian dress, threw my ID paper torn up at my feet and declared that it was a fake. I replied that the exact same ID paper had been examined only a brief time before by two Czech officers, and acknowledged as valid. At that, the sergeant who had led the beating ordered water brought in so that I could wash up. In the meantime my boss, a Czech, called and had me released. I am ready to take this statement on my oath.


(District Caslau)

Report No. 286
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Mail withheld from agricultural slave laborers
Reported by: Franz Seidel Report of July 15, 1946

location of PodmokyMy wife and I had to do agricultural forced labor in Podmoky, Caslau District, since October 7, 1945, and we had to work there under the worst imaginable conditions. In light of the hard labor, the rations were entirely insufficient. My wife's weight dropped by 66 pounds while we were there. Physical violence and crude invectives were frequent. There were 12 of us Germans there, and 10 are still there today. I am 65 years old, and I had to carry 39 large feed bins 100 to 300 m each day. I was barely able to carry the bins, but I was constantly urged to work faster. During the time I was there, most of the mail intended for me - including very important letters, some registered, from and to the Austrian Consulate in Prague - were withheld from me, which I can prove with the few letters I did later receive in the concentration camp Stecken.


Pohorsch - Karwin

Report No. 287
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Slave labor, maltreatment, death
Reported by: Ferdinand Münster Report of July 11, 1946

location of Pohorsch and KarwinIn Pohorsch in May of 1945 all the men of the town were brutally beaten and tortured in the town school by Czech partisans, daily for an entire month. Two men were tortured to death. After having been tortured and beaten for a day, I myself was released to go back home. In June a Czech administrator was assigned to my farm, and in late August he arranged via the Employment Office to have me shipped off to forced labor, as was done with all the men of the town between the ages of 14 and 50. At the same time my wife was driven from our home and robbed of all linen, shoes, clothing etc. I myself was sent to Karwin, where I had to work in the Franz Mine until June 26 of this year, underground at first and then later above-ground at haulage level. Conditions in the camps there were unbearable. Rations were totally inadequate, and there was no medical care whatsoever. The most horrible maltreatment and tortures were the order of the day, and continued until the very end. For example, after work two of us would be called into the guard room and asked to report who had not worked hard enough. If we refused to answer, we had to beat each other with rubber truncheons. That went on until May and June 1946. At the time of my resettlement [expulsion] I did not have the full weight allowance of luggage, since my administrator had already robbed me of everything I owned. I reported this in the resettlement [expulsion] camp, but my luggage was not supplemented even though the camp leader had promised to order the administrator by telephone to augment my luggage.

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