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Braunau

Report No. 138
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment and robbery in May 1945
Reported by: Josef Lausch

location of BraunauOn May 17, 1945 two Czech gendarmes came to the Braunau Post Office and asked the deputy where postal assistant Lausch was. The deputy pointed to me at Counter I. I had to accompany the two gendarmes, who handcuffed me, to the District Court. In an anteroom I was relieved of all papers, 1,765 Mark in cash, one postal savings book with more than 3,000 Mark, my suspenders, shoe laces, in a word: everything. While stripping me like this, they beat me almost unconscious with revolver, knucklebuster and rubber truncheon. Then, covered in blood as I was, I was taken to interrogation. I was accused of having been a Troop Commander of the SA and a Lieutenant General of the SS, and when I said that I had never been with either the SA or the SS I was again beaten half to death. I named our mayor as witness that I had never been with either formation, but the mayor himself sat under arrest in the room next door. All covered in blood, I was then thrown into a dark cell onto the stone floor. For two days I got nothing to eat, all I got was constant interrogations and beatings. Then I was put into a three-man cell, in which 9 people were housed. At almost all hours, day and night, the door was yanked open and one or several Czech youths 16 to 18 years of age came in, beat us brutally and left again, laughing. The court provided us with no rations at all. Family members had to bring us food from home, and I will leave it up to the reader's imagination what state the food was in when we got it in the cell. This torture lasted for 10 days and was repeated in brutal variations on a daily basis. After 10 days I was taken by car to the factory of the Pollak company and handed over to the GPU. From there the trip went by car to Waldenburg, in Silesia, on by foot to Oppeln, Upper Silesia, then to the fortress of Graudenz and later to the concentration camp of Fünfeichen near Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg. In July 1948 I was released, and after much searching I found my wife living here in bitter poverty. She too had been abducted to the interior [of Czechoslovakia] by the Czechs. After a year of hard labor she returned home in rags and tatters. She wanted to get some things from our home to take along on the expulsion, but by then everything had been looted and stolen. And so she was thrown out with only the rags on her back. As for myself, I returned from the concentration camp wearing only rags as well, and suffering from dropsy.



 

Bretterschlag


Report No. 139
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Groundless arrest of all the men in a village
Reported by: Wenzel Parth, sacristan Report of August 14, 1946

location of BretterschlagOn April 14, 1946 all the male inhabitants of the village of Bretterschlag who were between the ages of 16 and 60 were arrested by the community authorities and committed to the concentration camp Kaplitz. To provide an excuse for these arrests, customs officials, soldiers and gendarmes had come to the town and alleged that the Germans had shot at the customs officers. In fact the town had been surrounded by soldiers who had fired shots themselves. What is more, not a single weapon had been found when the German were arrested. Clearly that too had only been an excuse to arrest the Germans. I was also arrested even though I wasn't even a resident of Bretterschlag but had only happened to be there that day. During the arrests we were all grossly maltreated. Some were seriously injured. We were detained for 6 months, but nobody saw fit even to question us during this time.



 

Brunnersdorf
(near Kaaden)


Report No. 140
translation by Gerda Johannsen, Victor Diodon and 
Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Shootings and maltreatment
Reported by: Wenzel Parth, sacristan Report of August 14, 1946

location of Brunnersdorf and KaadenAt the church of Wistritz, where I was residing, the following happened on July 24 or 25 - I no longer remember the exact date. In the evening, about half past eleven, the Czechs came. I had personally delivered the monstrance and communion cup to one Mr. Scheffler, a Czech, who was known to me as a catholic. I had no opportunity to inform a man of the cloth because our priest Hanus of Brunnersdorf had already been sent to the camp the day before; I also could not go anywhere further away because of the curfew. Early in the morning, at 6 o'clock I had to report to the camp. On the street, before we started marching, the commissar asked me if I had the golden church vessels with me. I explained to him that I had given the monstrance and communion cup to Scheffler. He then asked me about the rest of the church vessels. I told him that they were still in the tabernacle and that I could not touch it. I was forced to hand over the keys, and to accompany him to the church and the tabernacle. "Open it!" the Czech yelled. I refused to do so: "I am not allowed to." He threatened me but I said no to him a second time. Then the man said, "To je fuk", he himself grabbed at the tabernacle, took the ciborium together with the consecrated Hosts, stuffed everything into his portfolio and went away. To what place everything was taken, I do not know. I came to the camp and immediately reported the incident to the priest, Mr. Hanus. I could do no more from inside the camp. On April 30th, we were moved.

The aforegoing statements I can testify to under oath.

At Brunnersdorf seven men were severely beaten; afterwards they were led to the cemetery, where they were ordered to dig graves behind the wall. When they had dug deep enough each one received a shot in the neck, then they were thrown into the graves and the earth shoveled over them. At Kaaden three farmers from Karkau, one by the name of Guba, were shot one morning. In the afternoon 7 men, among them Proschka, Bard and a salesman from Radonitz, were rounded up at the market place, where the citizens were forced to watch while they were shot. I myself was present together with my daughter. I cannot describe the panic which broke out among the people present. The men were shot first in the legs, then in the abdomen and finally in the head. Is that human? At Prösteritz two men were shot on a turnip field and buried there; 7 men were killed and buried at Dehlau and at Kaaden 40 more in the court-yard of the prison. If necessary, I am ready to take witnesses right to the place in question, in order to give them the opportunity of verifying what happened there. I was sacristan at Brunnersdorf and Wistritz for twenty years; there are still many things to be told, but that would be up to our priest.



 

Brüsau


Report No. 141
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Looting, maltreatment
Reported by: Franz Langer Report of September 26, 1946

location of BrüsauMy entire family and I were detained in the concentration camp Brüsau from December 9, 1945 until March 30, 1946, for no reason whatsoever. I was robbed of all my possessions.

The rations we received in the camp were very bad, even though we all had to do hard physical labor. Everyone depended on getting extra food from outside the camp, else they would have starved even if they had not had to work - that's how insufficient the rations were. All valuable foodstuffs, such as butter, jam, sugar, baked goods etc., were confiscated by the guards. In early February, while I was working, I was given a piece of bread. I ate part of it at once, and put the rest in my pocket in order to take it back to my wife in the camp. The camp leader found out about it. He called me over and maltreated me severely for it. First I was slapped about the head so hard that I fell down, then he beat me with a dog whip - 10 blows on each sole of my bare feet - and then I received 5 lashes with a bull whip. Then several guards kicked me.



 

Bürgersdorf


Report No. 142
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Severe abuse
Reported by: Adolf Aust Report of September 30, 1946

location of BürgersdorfOn June 30 all 6 SA men in the community of Bürgersdorf - men who had never worn an uniform and only ever paid the membership dues - were arrested and taken to the Würbenthal concentration camp. The next day, 102 people were marched 36 kilometers from there to Jägerndorf. On the way, a butcher from Karlsthal was shot when he moved about three steps out of line to relieve himself during a rest period. In Jägerndorf, SA and SS men were put behind bars and maltreated horribly, repeatedly, for three days. Gesierich from Heinzendorf, who had been given a medical check prior to joining the SS but had not yet been drafted, was worked over with rubber truncheons for more than a quarter of an hour until he could no longer get up. One Klement from Karsthal got the same treatment. I myself suffered two blows to my right eye, which was then totally swollen shut for a month. There was no medical care for the injured. As a special form of torture we were forced to crawl over scattered glass shards, during which we were also beaten and kicked. All of us had cuts on our elbows and knees. After three days, 100 men were transported off to Wittkowitz to work in the firebrick factory, the blast furnace, etc. There, the maltreatment was continued every day, before, during and after work. One Mr. Ott from Ludwigsthal was forced to go to work there even though he was ill, and when he collapsed, he was forced back on his feet and beaten so badly with rubber truncheons that he died the next day.

Our rations consisted only of watery soup. All of us had swollen feet. In the first 14 days in Wittkowitz, 12 people died of exhaustion. After 9 months there, I myself was so exhausted that I could no longer stand. I was sent back to Jägerndorf, where the physician called me a walking corpse. After another 11 weeks I was released as totally unfit for work.



 

Butschafka
(near Jägerndorf)


Report No. 143
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Harassment of a farmer's family
Reported by: Marie Breier Report of June 19, 1946

location of Butschafka and JägerndorfSince November 22, 1945 a Slovak administrator named Petr oversaw my farm. In the afternoon of December 19, 1945 I went to Liebental to buy some groceries with my food stamps. When I returned in the evening the administrator accused me of not working, and claimed that I had stolen a hundredweight of grain from him. I said I had done no such thing. Then he went to the Národní výbor to fetch the Commissar, who beat me and knocked me to the ground. The next day I could not get up for the pain. So the administrator fetched the gendarmerie, who took me by cart to Jägerndorf to the court. The judge pronounced me not guilty. But when I attempted to leave the courthouse with my release paper, it was taken from me and I was detained in a cell for 8 weeks.

Meanwhile no-one cared for my two children. In January the administrator threw them out of the house as well. My 13-year-old son was also locked up for three days, and twice he was beaten so badly by the gendarmerie and the Commissar that he could not get out of bed with fever for 14 days, and lost his hearing. All my clothing and linen were taken from me, and I got none of it back later. On February 20 the court in Jägerndorf decided that I was allowed to live with my children in my house in Butschafka.



 

Report No. 144

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
The Pardubitz-Königgrätz concentration camp,
looting of luggage

Reported by: Heinrich Furch Report of July 4, 1946 (Butschafka near Jägerndorf)

location of Butschafka near JägerndorfAs transport leader of Transport 96 I was in a position to determine that 30-40% of the members of the transport did not have the permitted 60 kg of luggage. Most of them were people who had spent months in labor camps, where they had been forbidden to bring many of their possessions and where they wore out many of what clothes they did have. I personally tried to see to it that the luggage of an old man who didn't even have 10 kg would be increased. Even though mountains of confiscated goods were in storage, this man did not receive a single thing. One Mr. Fuchs, who was in the same situation, was given a much-mended, barely usable suit and a pair of old shoes. His own things had been confiscated by the Národní Výbor in Butschafka while he was in the Pardubitz and Königgrätz concentration camps.

Furthermore, I witnessed how during the luggage inspections the chests and suitcases of the resettlers [expellees] were drilled into, chopped to pieces or otherwise made unusable for the transport. Anything and everything that the inspectors liked was simply taken. In particular, documents and various papers that had been issued by former Czech offices were confiscated, including especially such papers issued by Czech authorities attesting to assets that had been surrendered or left behind in Czechoslovakia. Also, there were many cases of feather bedding being slashed open and searched, so that most of the feathers were scattered and lost.



 

Report No. 145

translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment
Reported by: Hilda Breier Report of July 4, 1946 (Butschafka near Jägerndorf)

location of Butschafka and JägerndorfIn early October [1945] the farming families from Butschafka, whose farms were in the charge of Czech administrators, were all taken to Jägerndorf and put into the concentration camp. At that time I and my four children - the youngest was two years old - went to Ober-Paulowitz to stay with my grandmother. In November I heard that a letter from my husband had arrived in Butschafka. I went to Butschafka to fetch the letter. When the administrator of our farm saw me in the street in Butschafka, he came up to me, took my husband's letter from me - I hadn't even had the chance to open it yet - and punched me with his fists until I fell. Then he kicked me in the side. I managed to get away from him when he finally left off and began to read my husband's letter. He summoned the commissar and followed me to Ober-Paulowitz. By the time I arrived there myself, I was so exhausted that I fainted.


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