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Budweis

Report No. 19
translation by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Coal pit Lignit-Mylovar, maltreatment
Reported by: Karl Stelzig Report of September 27, 1946

location of BudweisI was released from American captivity on June 10, 1945 but re-arrested by the Czechs four weeks later and detained until early August 1946 in a concentration camp, where I had to work for some time (10 months) in the coal pit Lignit-Mylovar, where conditions were initially very bad. During this time, I was repeatedly severely maltreated, like all the other prisoners there. In June I was interrogated at the District Court in Budweis, and there was nothing they could lay to my charge. A number of Czechs had testified on my behalf. For that reason I was transferred from Budweis to the internment camp on August 6, 1946 to be resettled [expelled]. After 14 days the police got me from the camp and subjected me to another interrogation, which lasted 3½ hours and in the course of which, in the presence of police sergeant Kouba, a Czech police officer severely punched me in the face and about the head, damaging the eardrum of my left ear in the process. In the evening I was taken back to the camp in shackles, but released for resettlement the next day.



 

Report No. 20

translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment, rape, murder
Reported by: A. R. (Budweis)

location of BudweisOn Ascension Day 1945 the entire German population of Budweis was ordered to report to the labour exchange. When my parents and I approached the office we were seized by a group of Czechs, who for no reason began to knock us about. They also spat at us and maltreated us in other ways, then they drove us with kicks and blows toward the gate of the labour exchange, where the guards got hold of us once more and beat us with the butts of their rifles until we could no longer get back up. While we were being mishandled, other German families arrived, among them women with babies in perambulators. The Czechs tore the babies out of the perambulators and threw them into the brook nearby. The women were pushed into the water after them. Whenever a mother with her child reached the other bank, she was again seized, struck and thrown back into the water. This procedure was repeated to the cheers and yells of the Czechs (the majority of whom were women), until the arrival of other Germans diverted their attention. Mrs. Wallisch, a clerk at the labour exchange, was beaten until she was half dead, after which she was forced with blows from rifle butts to lick up the blood off the ground and from the stairs of the labour exchange. The yard looked like a place of execution. Blood was everywhere, men and women were lying on the ground, beaten half to death and horribly disfigured. The rest of the Germans were then ordered to line up, while the sentries stood by with their rifles trained on them; anyone who dared to lean against anything risked a blow. The monk Josef Seidl of the monastery of Budweis was brutally clubbed and whipped for the sole reason that he was German.

The people were divided into different labour gangs and led away by heavily armed guards, while the mob in front of the labour exchange beat them once more. With the gang of labourers to which I had been assigned I arrived at a hospital, where I was told to clear up after the German soldiers who had been there. The sentries kept after us. We had to do the heaviest work and were insulted by being called "German bastards, pigs, whores" etc. In the ward for infectious diseases we had to rip open the old and dirty palliasses and refill them. Unfortunately, while I was working, I stepped on a rusty nail. My foot began to bleed and was extremely painful. Only when the foot got very swollen was I allowed to tie it up, and then only with a dirty old bandage from the refuse heap. Although I was in great pain I had to go on working. They took me to the guard-room, where one of the sentries lanced my foot with a pocket-knife. This operation was repeated the following day. Only when I was at last absolutely unable to walk, the medical officer granted me two days rest.

Once I was detailed, together with other women, to the poor-house and ordered to clear it up. This building was supposed to be turned into a Russian military hospital. There were already Russian soldiers there and, being the only young girl, I was very much molested. An elderly Russian gave cigarettes to the guard assigned to me, after which I received the order to follow him to his room. The Russian was extremely drunk. I refused to drink anything. Then he threw me on his bed and wanted to rape me. I succeeded in pushing him away and jumped out of the window.

When the hospital was taken over by the Czech army, some badly wounded German soldiers were still lying in one room. The Czech doctor entered the room several times without doing anything for them. He once said to his escorting officer: "Are those German bastards not going to die soon? I need the room." Then he suggested that they should be given a helping hand; consequently a soldier who was suffering from a bullet wound in the abdomen received an injection that afternoon and was buried in the yard the very next day. The nurse who told me this also reported that several SS-men, 18 to 21 years old, had been dragged into the hospital, killed in the yard, and buried there.

An inspector by the name of Emil Hacker, who was drunk most of the time and who used to drive us with a whip, once ordered me to wash the dishes. Sitting there with his arms folded, he gave me all kinds of orders. All of a sudden he disappeared and returned with a thin rope, which he whipped through the air. He ordered me to follow him to the attic. He threatened the others with severe punishment if they should dare to follow us. Instead of leading me to the attic, he led me into a sick-room on the third floor, which he locked from inside. While he took off his uniform, he threatened what he would do to me if I cried out. He suggested that I should come every day to his room, in return for which I would be exempted from heavy work. He would also give me some ration tickets for bread. When I told him that I hated him and that I would rather be beaten, he brutally raped me. From that moment on I was forced to do the heaviest work under his command and was constantly molested by him.

Canon Jos. Neubauer was first imprisoned and had then to go, together with a labour-gang, to the hospital every day. There he was forced to do the heaviest work and was maltreated and insulted at the same time. Once I smuggled bread into his hand as I passed him. The guard observed the incident and I was punished.

My grandmother, an old woman of 73, was seized in her flat by Czech sentries and dragged to her neighbour, one Mr. Schadt. The latter, who had already been beaten so badly that he was bleeding, was now ordered to beat my grandmother. When he refused to do so, he was struck several more times and was pushed down the stairs. In her desperation my grandmother returned home and severed her arteries with a kitchen knife. Some Russians found her, almost bled to death, bandaged her and ordered that she be taken to a hospital. Lying on a stretcher in the hospital, this old woman was called an old whore and spat upon. She was locked up in a windowless cellar. She received no attendance and her wound was not dressed. My grandmother suffered from excruciating pain. My aunt, who stayed with her, appealed to the doctor for help, but he said laughing, "She's only a German", and left. After many requests my aunt at last succeeded in getting a priest, who administered extreme unction. My grandmother died the next day.

Several German girls were imprisoned in the jail. Each day Russians came to the jail and borrowed women, whom they brought back the next morning.

During the horrible times I spent at the hospital I also saw Czech chaplains, attached to the military unit, who stood over us with a gun in their hands and who yet celebrated communion the next day.


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Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans
Survivors speak out