Report No. 306
Reported by: Josef Dörfl Report of September 29, 1946
I was arrested in Schankau on August 27, 1945 and on my committal to the Karlsbad District Court I was boxed so badly about the head that I staggered. I also received a punch in my right eye. In January I suddenly went blind on my right eye. I immediately reported to an ophthalmologist, but I was not examined until three weeks later, when I had also developed numerous abscesses on my head and upper body and had to be treated in the hospital. For a time I had to visit the eye specialist every day, and he gave me injections. Due to my transfer to the Eger District Court the treatment was interrupted for two months. It was not until July 1940 that I was again able to consult an ophthalmologist in Eger, who told me that there was nothing left to be done for me.
Report No. 307
Reported by: Ottilie Smrtschka
I boarded with Mr. Wilhelm Bartosch, master plumber, in Schildberg No. 346. We were seven families there, among us the master cooper Josef Assmann, a family man and the father of five children. One day in mid-May, around 10 or 10:30 in the morning, I was looking out my kitchen window and saw a number of men, 14 or 15, rushing towards our house with cudgels and guns. They were Czechs, most of them partisans. They forced their way into Josef Assmann's home from two directions. He tried to flee, but unfortunately failed. They beat him with cudgels and rifle butts. The shirt hung in tatters from his upper body, which was blue with bruises and suffused all over with blood. Screaming, he collapsed several times. Several of the men kept yanking him back to his feet and beating him anew. Suddenly he gave a piercing, loud scream, and I saw how a heavy blow from a rifle butt split his head literally in half. He collapsed and did not get up again. The blood simply poured over his body. His clothes had been torn entirely off his body, and in this state they dragged him into his neighbor's yard, where they shot him. His own children, 10, 7, 5 and 3 years old, witnessed this murder. They screamed and cried loudly for their father. He was left lying naked and mutilated in the middle of the yard for more than an hour, and children and grown-ups alike could go and look at him. One man from the crowd went to fetch a sack, and covered the dead man. Germans who had been unjustly imprisoned then had to carry him to the cemetery and bury him in a shallow grave there.
Report No. 308
Reported by: Josef Czech Report of September 18, 1946
I served as gendarme in Czechoslovakia until 1938 and then, after the Sudetenland joined Germany proper, I entered service as gendarme in the Reich. On May 18, 1945 I transferred my position as gendarme in Schlackenwerth to Czech control. On June 13, 1945 I was arrested by partisans, severely maltreated, and then taken to a military counter-espionage division. This division was quartered in the Fasolt villa in Karlsbad. There, I was repeatedly grossly maltreated because the authorities hoped to extort statements from me, about hidden weapons, Nazi leaders etc. An SA man from Kaschlitz near Karlsbad, whose name unfortunately I do not know, was beaten to death before my very eyes during the same kind of maltreatment. On June 14 in Spickengrün, where I had been taken by car, I also witnessed how five of seven farmers who had been arrested were shot after first having been severely maltreated. Two were taken to Karlsbad, and beaten to death there the same day. I myself had to load the two corpses onto a truck. On June 15, 1945 I was released.
Report No. 309
Reported by: A. Heinl Report of October 14, 1946
I was an active member of the Social Democratic Party until 1937 and - for some time - even the Social Democratic representative of the community of Schlag. On May 28, 1945 I was arrested at Schlag and cruelly ill-treated. This ill-treatment was resumed at the camp at Reichenau a few days later; many were literally beaten to death there. Many lost their teeth or had their noses broken. One lost his right eye as a result of the ill-treatment. Each one of us was disfigured past recognition. At the end of June 1945, suffering from malnutrition, I was taken to the hospital at Gablonz, where little attention was given to the German patients. After my recovery in September I was returned to the camp at Reichenau; from there I was sent to work as a printer. My first interrogation took place on December 29th, but no reason for my detention could be given. My release was authorized on June 29, 1946, but the notice was only given to me on October 4, 1946. My wife, although seriously ill, was driven out of our apartment and expelled from the country on July 8, 1946. All she could take was small hand-luggage.
Report No. 310
Reported by: Josefine Otto Report of June 1, 1946
During the luggage inspection in Schlaggenwald my expulsion luggage, which was for two people, was looted, and almost all my linen, tablecloths, hand and dish towels, one suit, one coat, two blankets and a pillow were stolen. The inspection took place while I was being strip-searched, that's why I couldn't tell until later what all was missing.
Reported by: Helmut Nordmann Report of September 13, 1946
(Schlaggenwald, Elbogen, Karlsbad, Neurohlau)
I was arrested on July 10, 1945 in Schlaggenwald near Elbogen and imprisoned first in Elbogen Castle and later in Neurohlau. In Elbogen and in Neurohlau I was severely maltreated. Once, in Neurohlau, I was beaten so badly that I lay unconscious in the infirmary barrack for 48 hours. The Commandant himself was the one who had beaten me unconscious. I sustained severe head injuries, with meningeal bleeding and nerve damage. Nonetheless I had to do hard physical labor, with almost nonexistent rations, for months. My physical weakness made me the target for further maltreatment. It was not until April 9, 1946 that I was committed to the Karlsbad Hospital, to the neurological ward, but my condition improved only marginally by the time I was to be resettled. On my resettlement [expulsion] I had only a little luggage, which comrades had given me. I had almost no clothing, and so I turned to the camp office for help; I was given a pair of torn pants and a smoking jacket.
Report No. 312
Reported by: Antonia Honsek Report of June 22, 1950
I, Antonia Honsek, née Pietsch, born on October 2, 1875 in Schönbach, District Deutsch-Gabel (Sudetenland), having been resident at Schönbach No. 168, District Deutsch-Gabel, from my birth until the expulsion in 1946, wish to submit the following account of my experiences. My statement tells the truth and nothing but the truth, and I am ready and willing to take this on my oath at any time. Names and dates may be published in their entirety, and I can bring witnesses for corroboration.
In 1945 the Czech Commissar Kvaz who had been posted to our home community arrived together with a 21-year-old Czech fellow from the interior of Bohemia and a 17-year-old Czech girl in order to inspect and confiscate our house and property.
My husband was 75 years old and frail, and had lain down for a rest, therefore he did not immediately hear the Czech's knocking at the door. The Czech Commissar then smashed several window panes on our house. When my husband opened the door then, he did not even get the chance to say a single word before Kvaz punched him in the face over and over again until he collapsed, covered in blood. When my husband regained consciousness quite a long time afterwards, his lips were so badly swollen that they burst in a few places. His hearing had also been severely damaged. What is more, my husband was mentally disturbed from that time on. My husband had been a blue-collar worker. All his life he had been in a labor union, and for decades he had been a member of the Social Democratic Party.
In June 1946 I, my husband who was broken in body and spirit, and our granddaughter were chased out of our home town, and found emergency shelter in Schönow, District Niederbarnim, in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. On October 13, 1947 my husband died in Schönow of the consequences of the maltreatment he had received at the hands of that Czech Commissar Kvaz, consequences which had been intensified further by starvation.
Report No. 313
Reported by: Emma Prudl Report of June 15, 1946
The Czechs conscripted my husband for labour in the mines at Schönhengst. He had already worked there before. During the night of September 9th, 1945, four partisans came and asked for my husband. I told them that he was not at home, as he had gone to Klein-Heringsdorf to see his parents.
At 5:30 in the morning a partisan came back and asked for my husband again, who was not home yet. At 6 o'clock my husband returned. I told him that they had been looking for him. My husband washed himself and went to see our neighbour. 10 minutes later the partisans came again. When they were standing in the yard, my husband stepped out of the neighbour's house. The moment the partisans caught sight of him, they made a dash for him. As my husband turned round, several shots were fired and he dropped dead. Two men, Leo Mrkwec and his father, had shot him. I am prepared to swear to this statement.
Report No. 314
Reported by: N. N. Report of July 3, 1950
Our home town Schönlinde is 6 km away from the Saxon border. It was a totally German town, with all of 17 Czech inhabitants. In June 1945 the first expulsion took place, of 1,500 German businessmen, teachers and officials. Each family was allowed to take as much clothing and linen as they could carry, but everything that was new and nice was confiscated during the body search conducted at the outskirts of the town. Then they were driven out in long, pitiful treks, urged on with whip lashes and blows from rifle butts, to the border via the longest possible detour, 25 km via Dittersbach. Naturally most of the expellees had to leave the rest of their possessions lying by the wayside when they became too exhausted to carry them further. All the prominent male inhabitants were arrested, including Dr. Petzold the chief surgeon from the hospital, and were brutally beaten every day and forced to do the most demeaning work. Water and bread was all they got to eat. The Mayor and his family, a doctor, and many others put an end to their torment by committing suicide. Weeks later, the prisoners were taken to the infamous concentration camp Rabstein near Bohemian Kamnitz. I want to mention one case in particular, namely the Köhler family. The father and his two 17-year-old sons (twins) were arrested. The two boys were inhumanly beaten, and trampled with boots, until they showed no more signs of life; their father was forced to watch the torture until his sons were dead. A short time later he too was finished off.
In July a second wave of expulsions from Schönlinde was carried out, accompanied by the same maltreatment. In the meantime a similar kind of trek, 2,400 people, arrived from Warnsdorf, which was located right by the border; nonetheless the people were herded via Schönlinde to Hermsdorf, a distance of 27 km. On three-wheeled handcarts, wheelbarrows and the like, they carted their ill and elderly family members to their wretched fate. So that we would not get in their way, we were removed to the Czech interior, as labor slaves. We were taken to the limestone quarry of Biskup near Prague. We were actually treated and housed very decently there. But after six months, orders arrived from the government to send us to the Modrany camp, and from there to the infamous concentration camp Lesany, known as "the Green Hell", where we were exploited as camp laborers for 9 months. Families were torn apart, and anyone who was unable to work almost starved to death. Fleeing from the Russians, many Silesians passed through parts of the Sudeten region on their way to West Germany. 15,000 of them were separated from their treks, brought here and robbed of their last few possessions, and then left to perish from starvation-related typhus. The huge camp cemetery with its thousand crosses speaks volumes. In spring 1947 we were sold to the farmers as work slaves, the price was some bacon and butter. A government decree stipulated that all Germans had to work from 5 o'clock in the morning until 10 p.m., for regular prison rations. We were sent to the farmer Jirsa in Pelec, District Kamenice. We had to work 16 hours a day under constant guard, as did my school-aged children. Black coffee and dry bread was all we got. In the winter we had to chop wood in the forest while the children stripped feathers. They were not allowed to go to school.
In May 1945, 7 members of the Wehrmacht had been nailed to the farmer's gate
and tortured to death. His neighbors testified to it. Two Silesian girls, sisters aged
18 and 20, were left to the Russians' tender mercies every day after they returned
from their field work. After 11 months of heavy labor I managed to be transferred
to a brickworks, where we were treated quite a bit better. In autumn 1948 we
were brought back to Lesany, where we were robbed of
our hard-earned bit of cash and then expelled to Saxony.