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Berkowitz

Report No. 122
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Harassment of a farmer's family
Reported by: Anna Schneider Report of June 15, 1946

location of BerkowitzIn June 1945 a Czech administrator named Anton Gorec came from Berkowitz to take over our farm. On July 20 he brought his family as well. When he arrived with his family and 8 partisans on July 20, he tried to beat me. I dodged, so then he caught hold of my 15-year-old son and maltreated him badly. For two hours he punched, slapped and kicked him and pulled him by the hair. Finally my son managed to get away. Since then we have no idea where he is.

Following that, he treated my 17-year-old son like a prisoner. During the day he had to work hard, without food, and was locked up at night. On September 23 he too ran away.

On August 26 my husband was taken to the Národní Výbor, where he was beaten so badly that he tried to commit suicide, but a neighbor prevented him from doing so.

As early as July 26 Gorec had taken all food, clothing, linen, bedding etc. from us and locked all the rooms in the house. We lived in a tiny hut, 6 people in one small room, and at night we had to sleep on the bare bed boards, 3 people per bed. At Christmas and Easter he turned our water off. Every day around dinnertime he came into our room to check what we were eating. When I carried water in buckets because he had turned the water off, the Gorec family made fun of me. He harvested everything in the garden. We did not receive so much as one green leaf or even a single potato, even though we had to do all the gardening work.

Gorec had no inkling of agricultural work. He could not hitch up a cow, neither could his wife milk one. I had to milk for her. The milk was taken from me before I ever left the stable. I am prepared to repeat this statement under oath.



 

Bilin


Report No. 123
translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Invalids shot during the expulsion
Reported by: Anton Watzke Report of January 15, 1950

location of BilinOn June 15th, 1945 at 6 o'clock in the morning about 10 heavily armed Czech soldiers of the so-called Svoboda-army appeared at my flat at 18 Teplitzer St., Bilin (the dwelling and business premises belonged to me and my wife) and ordered us to clear out of the house within five minutes. An officer present counted the minutes with the watch in his hand. Since my wife was in bad health and confined to bed, we were able to snatch up only a few articles of clothing and some linen in the hurry of dressing and getting ready within the five minutes. We exceeded the time limit by two minutes and the officer refused our request for permission to fetch a hat for my wife. Our money, watches, jewellery etc. were taken from us. We were allowed to keep only 20 Marks each. We were also repeatedly threatened with the words: "If money is found on anybody he will be shot immediately." The residents of Teplitz St. were gathered in the guest room of the Gaudnek Inn. A machine gun was set up in the restaurant, ready to fire. While we waited there for what might come next, I saw Germans being beaten up with police truncheons. On our forced march to the border - although it was extremely hot - the soldiers struck women, children and elderly people, who were unable to keep up, with the butts of their rifles. I myself saw three dead bodies at the left hand side of the road; all of them had been shot in the neck because they were unable to move fast enough. Thy were: Fiebach, his daughter, and a certain Swoboda. I knew them all personally. I myself was lucky enough to escape from this hell. Although I was not present, I know that my brother Hans and his wife were barbarously mistreated at the town hall of Bilin, that my brother Julius was killed, and that the clergyman Köckert, the forester Tost and many, many others whose names I do not recall, were shot.



 

Bischofteinitz


Report No. 124
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Concentration camp Taus: Robbery and maltreatment
Reported by: Robert Hartl Report of July 20, 1946

location of Bischofteinitz, Taus and HostauOn November 22, 1945 my wife and I drove in a rental car from Karlsbad to Hostau, District Bischofteinitz, to my mother-in-law, who is 72 years old and disabled, in order to be resettled [expelled] with her. On our arrival in Hostau we were arrested by the gendarmerie. My wife and I were both beaten by them. All our things - clothing and suits, underwear, linen and tablecloths, shoes, my watch and that of my wife, cash in the amount of 1,900 and 4,500 Kc respectively, and even our wedding rings - all was taken from us. They also took our personal papers and documents. Then my wife and I were detained for 8 months in the Taus camp, for unpaid slave labor. We were not even interrogated until mid-June, on my appeal. Nobody knew why we had been imprisoned. There were no charges against us at all. On June 22 we were discharged. The things that had been taken from me and my wife were not to be found. As replacement we received 45 kg of poor-quality and in part entirely unusable clothes, linen and shoes. The stolen money and papers could not be replaced.



 

Report No. 125

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Concentration camp Taus:
35 Germans vanished without a trace

Reported by: Maria Büchse Report of July 20, 1946 (Bischofteinitz)

location of Bischofteinitz and TausMy husband Emil Büchse was arrested on June 16, 1945 in Bischofteinitz by the two Czech officers Karasek and Schlais and led off to Taus after a ruthless 3½-hour house search, in the course of which all our cash, our savings bank books, my husband's supply of gold which he needed for his profession (he was a dentist), all our family jewelry and even my wedding ring were confiscated. My husband had already been excluded from the Party and the medical corps of the SS in 1939 and had not been publicly active in any way at all. All my inquiries at the appropriate offices, regarding my husband's fate, were scornfully dismissed. Another 35 men from Bischofteinitz also vanished without a trace, all of them after having been committed to the concentration camp of Taus. The wives of these men were not given any information about what had happened to their husbands even though they appealed to the authorities many times. Before we were resettled [expelled], I and all the other women tried to find out where our husbands were being held, so that we could either be resettled together with them or at least get an official death certificate. All our efforts were in vain. Based on the reports of released prisoners, we must assume that our men are dead.



 

Report No. 126

translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Massacre of 35 Sudeten Germans on July 11th, 1945
Reported by: Ludwig Schötterl Report of March 3, 1948 (Bischofteinitz)

location of BischofteinitzAfter the American troops marched into Bischofteinitz, Sudetenland, on May 5th, 1945, Czech gendarmes made mass arrests. They delivered about 70 Sudeten Germans to the court jail of Bischofteinitz on May 11th and May 12th, 1945; most of the Germans were in a pitiable condition after having been thrashed and humiliated by armed Czech civilians. Day after day we had to do compulsory labour under guard; our wives or relatives were permitted to deliver food for us to the guard twice per day. At the beginning of July we were transported by truck and under heavy gendarmerie guard to Chrastwitz near Taus; we were told that we should be interrogated and afterwards released. On our arrival there we were received by a crowd of Czech soldiers armed to the teeth, equipped with cables, lengths of wire etc., and then a terrible and inhuman beating began during which many of us lost consciousness. This beating was repeated day after day and during this time we were kept without food. There was always aimless firing in front of the barrack, single individuals were taken out of the camp and never returned, others received as many as three beatings a day as a result of which they died. During the late hours between June 11th and June 12th, 1945, all hell broke loose. We were forced to line up, surrounded by sentries and gendarmes with rifles, ready to fire; a gendarme unfolded a piece of paper and started reading names. The men called up were brutally beaten as they were driven out of the room, terrible cries and wailing filled the place. Each one was beaten into unconsciousness in front of the barrack, his garments being torn to shreds in the process; afterwards the sentries threw the unconscious bodies into a truck. That was the fate of 35 of my comrades, among them my best friend, Max Netopill from Bischofteinitz, and his son. Thanks to the circumstance that a driver yelled, "the truck is full", I as well as five other comrades who were standing in line are still alive. As I learned later on, the 35 unconscious men were transported during the night to a sand pit between Taus and Trasenau, where they were literally slaughtered by two drunken Czech butchers. The corpses are said to have been buried without ceremony in the sand pit. The wives of the murdered men repeatedly applied to various Czech offices for particulars of their husbands' fate. The answers they received from the diverse offices and authorities, the Czech Red Cross, the gendarmerie and the Národní výbor (National Committee) differed totally from each other and all evaded the truth as to the cruel fate of their husbands. Shortly afterwards, German women in prison at Taus-Milotow received blood-stained male garments with orders to clean them. In one of the coats a woman found a tobacco ration card, issued in the name of Alois Schlögl, Bischofteinitz, who was one of the 35 men killed. None of the 35 men has ever been heard of again.



 

Blatna


Report No. 127
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment of Germans
Reported by: Alois Meißner Report of June 3, 1946

location of BlatnaOn December 21 of last year the Employment Office of Tuschkau sent me to Blatna to work, and while I was there I witnessed the maltreatment of Germans.

I saw how 12 German men and women, with their heads stuck through the rungs of a ladder and their hands tied to the ladder, were forced to run through the city streets, being beaten all the while with cudgels and switches. I saw how in the cemetery German men and women had to dig the bodies of Germans and such that had been murdered by Czechs out of their graves with their bare hands and dump them outside the cemetery wall instead, into a ditch-like pit.

I saw how, after the Americans had left, German girls who had gone out with American soldiers during the time of American occupation were shorn bald and then locked up.

I also saw how a German girl defended herself against being raped by a Czech farmer, and how he then chased after her with a pitchfork.



 

Blauendorf
(District Neutitschein)


Report No. 128
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Farmer's wife abused
Reported by: Amalie Gödrich Report of June 10, 1946

location of BlauendorfIn June 1945 I was taken to the police, where I was accused of having forced my farmhand, a Pole, to work the fields in the snow, of having had a sack of shoes on the trek without giving him any, and of having reported a deserter to the field gendarmerie. It wasn't even possible to justify myself; I was not allowed to say a word. I had to lie down on a bench and lift my dress, and then two men beat me with rubber truncheons, 25 blows for the alleged working in the snow, then 25 blows for the shoes and another 25 blows for the deserter. The chief of police then forbade me to tell anyone about the beating, otherwise, he said, I would get another instalment. Then he slapped me so hard that I fell down. I had pain in my left ear for a long time after that. My body was entirely covered with black bruises, from my shoulders down to the back of my knees.


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