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Troppau

Report No. 94
translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Severe maltreatment of a woman in 1945
Reported by: Elfriede Hanke Report of June 21, 1946

location of TroppauOn June 2, 1945 I was sent to the camp at Troppau. There I was beaten, half-strangled and threatened with being shot, because I said that I [was not] a member of the party and that I know nothing of any ammunition, neither of which they were willing to believe. I was taken to the camp-prison on July 6, 1945, where I was severely maltreated. Immediately on my arrival I was punched, trampled under foot and thrashed with rubber-truncheons. This treatment was repeated day after day for a period of 13 days. On the 13th day one Fitzek came, together with several other Czechs. They threw me on the [pallet] of my cell, took my pants off and lashed me with rubber-truncheons from the hips to the calves of both legs, so that I had to be taken to the sick-room in the evening, where I had to lie flat on my face for four weeks, since I had big festering wounds on my buttocks and on both calves. My sores also had to be lanced several times. I was ill for four months. After this I was no longer beaten, but, like the others, was pushed about, ill-used and yelled at. On February 8, 1946 I was released.



 

Report No. 95

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Collection camp, torture of a sick man in autumn 1945
Reported by: V. Skolaut Report of June 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauIn early July 1945 I and the rest of the city's German population were taken to the collection camp Troppau. From there I was sent every day to perform heavy physical labor in the electricity plant, and my health was not up to this work as I was 52 years old and suffering from severe angina pectoris, and had only recently had a severe inflammation of the gall bladder.

In the afternoon of August 3 I had a heart attack. When I returned from work in the evening with the rest of the inmates, I went to see the physician and before I could even consult him I was assigned to more physical labor in the camp. I obeyed this order without objection, and only asked permission to fetch my evening soup first as it was being distributed just then. The militiaman agreed to that. When I went into my barrack to get my dish, another militiaman came along and maltreated me. He knocked me to the ground with a wooden slat and kicked me all over my body, to the point where I had open wounds in my sides and lay unconscious for hours. Nonetheless I had to report for work as usual the next day, and the militiaman who had maltreated me jeered and made fun of me for my weakness and pain. In the course of the forenoon, when I was carrying some office equipment up some steep stone steps, I was suddenly seized with weakness and fell down unconscious, breaking my kneecap in the process. First I was not even acknowledged as being ill, and was forced to continue working. It was not until two days later, when my swollen knee looked ominous and the pain got steadily worse, that I was transferred to the hospital, where I had to remain for four weeks. Towards the end of this time I was asked to donate blood for a Czech, which I did.



 

Report No. 96

translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Cases of severe maltreatment in the camp
Reported by: Emma Bittner Report of June 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauOn May 31, 1945, I was sent to the labour camp at Troppau and remained there until June 5, 1946. I worked in this camp for three weeks and took part in all the parades with their accompanying maltreatment and humiliations. When I collapsed during a roll-call as a result of the constant terror, the doctor certified me unable to work and [unfit] for further detention in the camp; thus I came to the sick-room on [June] 20, 1946, where I stayed for several months. During this time drunken members of the militia, led by one Grossmann, known as the "tiger of the camp", broke into the cells which were nearest to our barrack. Female members of the militia were also involved. The inmates of these cells were beaten so terribly that their cries of pain could be heard for hours. A wholesale merchant named Habel from Troppau was killed on this occasion. Such beatings went on for months. I myself saw the bruises of the victims. The diet consisted of only 100 g of bread and a thin soup without [nutritional value].

When the camp was moved to Eichendorff Platz, Troppau, at the end of August, the food improved thanks to the influence of a German partisan by the name of Gebauer. But we suffered from vermin, as the washing facilities were entirely insufficient. Three months later a shower-bath was built. There were, however, still beatings of men, women and girls as well as base insults. When I was brought to the camp, my last shirt was stolen.

I am prepared to swear to the foregoing statements.



 

Report No. 97

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Severe maltreatment in the camp
Reported by: Rundt Report of June 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauOn June 4, 1945, arriving with travel permission at the Troppau train station from Böhmisch-Leipa, I was arrested for being a German, with no official reason given, and was taken to the police prison, where I was beaten and robbed of all my valuables. After three days I was transferred to the Troppau labor camp and immediately put into solitary confinement where, for two weeks, like all other inmates in solitary, I was beaten every day. The militia beat us all over our bodies with belts, rubber truncheons and sticks. Many of us passed out, and had open bleeding wounds. I myself had several open wounds on my back, and since I was nonetheless still beaten every day they eventually suppurated. The worst of the Czechs were Grossmann, Fitzek, Noss and Hoza. The German partisan Gebauer frequently stood up for the inmates, and saved many a life by doing so. When he was on duty I was not beaten. After bearing these tortures for 14 days, I volunteered for farm labor in the country. It took another two months before my wounds had healed.



 

Report No. 98

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Woman fatally injured on or about November 20,1945
Reported by: Alois Leckl Report of June 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauOn or about November 20, 1945 my aged mother, Irene Leckl of Troppau, was walking along Ginschwitzer Street, and used the sidewalk to cut across a corner. A Czech woman shoved her off the sidewalk. She fell and hit the back of her head, and remained lying in the street, unconscious. She was taken to the Nursing Hospital of Troppau, where she died of brain hemorrhage without ever regaining consciousness. She was buried in the Troppau municipal cemetery, but church consecration was denied. At the cemetery itself I managed with much effort to persuade a Czech clergyman who happened to be there, to consecrate her grave. Charges were brought against the Czech woman who had pushed my mother. She was acquitted. I was not allowed to attend the trial, as I was in the labor camp.



 

Report No. 99

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Abuse and rape
Reported by: M. T. Report of June 19, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauOn June 19, 1945 four partisans beat me up in my home. I had to lie across a chair, and one held my head between his legs while another beat me with his leather belt. My 66-year-old father was beaten up in the same way after they finished with me. After that I had to lead the partisans through the entire house, from the basement to the attic. In the attic they attacked me and raped me. My father and I were then taken to the Troppau camp without being allowed to take anything at all with us from our home.



 

Report No. 100

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Confiscation of a family tomb
Reported by: Wilhelm Loy Report of August 3, 1945 (Troppau)

location of TroppauI spent 13 months in the Troppau concentration camp and was severely maltreated after my arrest and my committal to the camp. In the Troppau cemetery I owned a family tomb, in which my first wife had been buried for the last 10 years. In September 1945 - as I found out in October - my wife was exhumed and reburied elsewhere at an unmarked location. A Czech master-turner, a member of the Vrablik family, was buried instead in my family tomb. The German inscription on the grave stone was removed.



 

Report No. 101

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Eye injury as result of abuse
Reported by: Dr. Karl Prokop Report of August 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauBecause I am an Austrian I received Czech food-ration cards [which were much better than the ration cards issued to Germans; comment added by The Scriptorium] from June until October 1945. Due to an informant's denunciation I was summoned to the police office in Teichgasse [Street], Troppau on November 2, 1945 for a follow-up questioning, and there I was told that I am not Austrian. When I objected and said that I certainly am Austrian, I was boxed about the head three times so severely that I was quite dazed for the rest of the day and experienced impaired vision. At the same time I was dragged off to the concentration camp, where I was detained for eight months until at long last it was found that the denunciation had been groundless. From the camp I was sent to a Czech ophthalmologist by the name of Dr. Steffek, who diagnosed retinitis and clouding of the vitreous body. He accepted me as patient, but seven weeks later, when he asked me when I had first noticed these problems and I answered him honestly that "on November 2nd I was slapped about the head and the defects in my vision began after that," he refused to treat me further.



 

Report No. 102

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Concentration camp Schimrowitz,
woman maltreated after giving birth

Reported by: Maria Weißhuhn Report of September 21, 1946 (Troppau)

location of TroppauOn May 15, 1945 I and my three children, of which the youngest was two weeks old, were committed to the concentration camp Schimrowitz near Troppau, where I was forced to work in the paper mill and to do the dirtiest and hardest jobs usually reserved for men, even though I had just given birth shortly before. Time and again I heard: let's hope she croaks, she and her German children. I was forbidden to nurse the baby. I had to give it water and black coffee. After 8 weeks I was released from that camp. While there, I had been robbed of everything I had brought along for myself and the children. My home had also been looted. Even my resettlement [expulsion] luggage was looted, including a bag of clothes and linen, the baby buggy and diapers, the night pot and other things for the children, and all cutlery and dishes for four people. I immediately protested to the gendarmerie and the Resettlement Commissar in Bautsch, later to the district captain in Bärn, and finally to the Czech border official in Wiesau, but nothing helped. The Resettlement Commissar was drunk when I spoke to him. When I applied to him again the next day, when he was sober again, he stated that I could not have my things back because he needed them for himself. I know that his wife was expecting a baby in the next few days.

My husband, engineer Karl Weißhuhn, born in Innsbruck on March 13, 1902, was arrested on May 12, 1945 and sent via Troppau and Ratibor to Auschwitz. All my efforts to find out what happened to him were in vain.


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