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Wekelsdorf

Report No. 360
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
List of persons executed
Reported by: Ch. S. Report of February 4, 1950

location of WekelsdorfIn May of 1945 I was alone in my home in Reichenberg-Alt-Paulsdorf 282, Weinergasse 16. My husband was still on soldier duty.

Our house was spared from Russian occupation. On September 1, 1945 I had to "voluntarily" vacate our home. On November 9, 1945 I left Czechslovakia with a "propustka". I was able to take some bedding, linen, clothes and the most necessary dishes with me after paying duty on them, but my luggage was looted on the road from Großenhain/Saxony to Leipzig.

My father, born on April 17, 1873, had already been taken away by the Czechs in May 1945 and was sent from camp to camp, and finally to Theresienstadt. According to his fellow prisoners he starved to death there, in Theresienstadt, on or about October 7, 1945.

Regarding the events in Wekelsdorf near Braunau, I wish to report:

The following citizens of Wekelsdorf, who were personally known to me, were expelled by the Czechs and herded off towards Friedland in Silesia. At the border the Poles did not want to admit them, so they were simply shot "on the bridge": Josef Kudernatsch, mailman, approx. 65-70 years old, and his wife; Josef Wrabetz, music teacher, approx. 70-75 years old, and his wife; Paul Süssner and his wife, details unknown; railroadman Maul and his wife, details unknown; District forester Lindner and his family, details unknown; Herr Unger and his wife and daughter, details unknown; Director Jüptner from the Community Office of Wekelsdorf, approx 50 years old, with his parents-in-law.



 

Report No. 361

translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Execution of 26 persons, June 28-29,1945
Reported by: N. N. Report of June 13, 1950 (Wekelsdorf)

location of WekelsdorfWe, the two undersigned, wish to report an incident which took place during the night from June 28th to 29th, 1945, at Wekelsdorf, district Braunau, Sudetenland.

At the end of May 1945, the notorious Captain Svoboda and his troop marched into our village. Arrests were made every day. The victims were put in the local jail, where they were maltreated, being whipped in the most atrocious way. Witnesses reported that in the room in which the trial took place, bloodstains and whole pieces of skin were afterwards to be seen. It was Captain Svoboda's habit, when drunk, to enter the jail at a time when everybody might be supposed to be asleep, between 11 at night and 3 o'clock in the morning, and to order that the persons be whipped or otherwise maltreated. Those in the neighbourhood of the court building were unable to sleep on account of the cries of pain. Captain Svoboda's conduct reached its high point on June 28th, 1945. On that day 26 persons, of whom the youngest was a child of 8 months while the others were for the most part old people, were driven to the Silesian border by the accomplices of Captain Svoboda. The Poles refused to take over the transport and all were taken back again and lodged in the jail. At 3 o'clock in the morning the men were led to the so-called "Buche" (beech), a remote place on the outskirts of the village, driven together and shot down by machine-gun fire. The horrible screams of these poor people caused the farmer Friedrich Bittner and his sister, whose farm was the last one of the village, to hang themselves in panic at these terrible events. The Czech militia demanded spades from the farmers residing in the neighbourhood, and buried the corpses without ceremony. The farmers were ordered not to go into the fields before 11 o'clock in the morning. Among the victims of the massacre was a woman who had been of Czech nationality but had married a Sudeten German. New crimes were committed every day.

The commissar of the místní správní komise at Wekelsdorf was a certain Josef Černý. This man had quite a sensational past. He was sentenced to penal servitude in 1917 for safe-breaking, for the same reason in 1924 and also in 1942. I have myself seen copies of all the sentences passed, attested by the district-court of Königgrätz. And to this man we were delivered over unconditionally. In the course of his and Captain Svoboda's administration the number of crimes increased to an appalling extent. The transfers were carried out in the most atrocious and inhuman manner.

There were also many decent Czechs whom we had known well for many years - they were ashamed of the brutal actions of their countrymen and utterly despised their behaviour.



 

Welpet


Report No. 362
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Gross maltreatment in May 1945
Reported by: Josef Größl Report of June 26, 1946

location of WelpetOn May 28, 1945 I was arrested on my father-in-law's estate in Welhenitz, Bilin District. I was handcuffed and beaten and taken by car to Welpet where, shackled hand and foot, I was beaten unconscious three times in a row and then thrown into a one-man bunker. On May 22 eleven men from the farming community had already been executed there by a squad led by lieutenant Anton Cerný. By a lucky coincidence I escaped the same fate, and had to remain in this camp for 14 days as the lieutenant's batman. Every day I saw people being maltreated, shot, or beaten to death with a hammer. The lieutenant carried out the executions himself. I witnessed them personally in about 20 cases. Among other things, I then had to lick the lieutenant's blood-spattered boots clean.

After about 14 days I was taken to Prague to be shot. But once there, it was found that there were no grounds for my execution. I was taken to the Rusin camp, where I again witnessed gross maltreatment. Later I had to work on the Rusin airfield, where life was somewhat bearable.



 

Willens


Report No. 363
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Treatment of a sick woman
and victim of political persecution in June 1945

Reported by: Emma Trägner Report of June 1, 1946

location of WillensEven though I had been politically persecuted, which I can document, the Czechs threw me out of my house as early as June 5, 1945, and robbed me of all my possessions. My request for supplementary food ration coupons due to my medically attested illness (a liver condition) was refused. I can take this statement on my oath.



 

Witeschau
(near Hohenstadt)


Report No. 364
translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
The murder of the German men of Witeschau
Reported by: Martha Kramer Report of June 28, 1946

location of HohenstadtAt Witeschau near Hohenstadt all German men were murdered between May 8th and May 10th, 1945. Sixteen of them lie in a pit which they themselves were forced to dig in advance. Among them were several soldiers, who had recently returned home. My husband returned from the hospital at Hohenstadt as an invalid on May 6th, 1945. He was afraid of being killed like all the others and therefore fled on his bicycle in the direction of Olmütz, in order to take shelter with his Czech sister. On his way he was shot down by the Czechs at Lukavic. On the same day (May 13th, 1945) soldiers of the militia notified me on a piece of paper, written in pencil, the exact time of my husband's shooting (11:45 a.m.).



 

Witkowitz
(and Auschwitz)


Report No. 365
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Sudeten Germans shipped off to forced labor in Poland
Reported by: Rudolf Heinisch Report of September 30, 1946

location of Witkowitz and AuschwitzI had been committed to so-called voluntary labor service, and had to work for seven months in Witkowitz and five months in Auschwitz. In Witkowitz I and more than 100 other men had to work on the slagheap. We were badly maltreated each and every day, through all the months. I had to endure the worst abuse on March 1st this year, when two Czechs beat me with rubber truncheons and kicked me for half an hour straight, so that I urinated blood for two months and still suffer from occasional kidney pain and dizziness to this day. On March 15 I and ten other men were sent to Auschwitz to load ore. The Sudeten German laborers were gradually smuggled in small groups across the Polish border to Auschwitz, where the Czechs announced them as Reich-German SS men, even though they were actually without exception civilians and had not been members of any formation. The barracks in Auschwitz were so crawling with lice and bedbugs that we could only sleep out of doors. Our rations were only bread and potatoes, with no meat or fat. Yet we had to do hard labor for 14 to 16 hours each day.



 

Wockendorf


Report No. 366
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment
Reported by: Anna Seichter Report of September 9, 1946

location of WockendorfIn June of last year several SA men from Wockendorf were arrested, imprisoned in my house, and dreadfully maltreated. They were beaten so badly with whips, sticks, rubber truncheons etc. that their screams rang through the entire house. The foremost thug was Machaletz, who is still in Wockendorf and torments the German population there to this day. He routinely robs and loots the German inhabitants' belongings, and intimidates women and children with beatings and threats. He grossly curses the Germans in the street and always carries a whip. I can take this statement on my oath.



 

Pickau
(near Jägerndorf)
[Correction: original reads "Zittau"]


Report No. 367
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Expatriate German severely maltreated
Reported by: Josef Schickling Report of June 19, 1946

location of Pickau, Jägerndorf and OlmützI had to flee from my home town of [Pickau], in the Jägerndorf District, on October 1, 1938 after the Sudetengau was annexed, and I have documents to prove it. My house was expropriated, and I was stripped of my citizenship by a decree of the Jägerndorf District Council and had to go live in the Protectorate. My wife was not allowed to return to the Sudetengau until she could prove that she had divorced me. The Party persecuted me in the Protectorate as well.

I returned to my home town [Pickau] on May 17, 1945 after the German Wehrmacht had withdrawn. In late July I was arrested there by the Czechs, but was released again the next day after an interrogation. On August 1 I was arrested a second time, and sent to Olmütz. Even though five Czechs attended my interrogation and testified that I had saved them from being executed or sent to a concentration camp, I was locked up, with the comment: "Should we perhaps reward him? A German is a German. Off to the camp with the crook!" In the camp I was brutally maltreated. I was forced onto a table and then beaten so badly by policemen with rubber truncheons and bullwhips that my entire body was black and blue. At least six times each night, partisans entered the barracks where up to 48 of us lay on the floor without so much as blankets or straw, and arbitrarily maltreated the prisoners until they collapsed. Many inmates were beaten to death on these occasions. Hundreds whose names were never recorded were beaten to death in the Olmütz camp. I myself had to clean up the blood of one such victim (the pharmacist Ziegenfuß from Olmütz).

After the fire in the Hajkorn factory, which was proven to have been caused by a short-circuit (and reported as such in the newspaper) but was blamed on the Germans as an act of sabotage, the camp inmates were so badly maltreated for three hours that many of them died of their injuries.

With one slice of bread and some black coffee as breakfast ration, we had to work all day long. Not until the evening did we get some watery soup and another slice of bread. Due to the insufficient rations and the constant maltreatment, many prisoners collapsed even during the night, and they were beaten some more for it. Many inmates went deaf from the blows to the head.

In the camp I had been looted of everything I possessed, and did not receive any pay for my work.

On March 7, 1946 I was arrested for the third time and put behind bars in Jägerndorf. Since I was ill, my daughter succeeded in having me released for resettlement [expulsion].

There are many children and teenagers in the Olmütz camp as well. They are totally emaciated and some suffer from dropsy. I myself saw how several children fought over some old, moldy bread entirely unfit for human consumption. When I pointed out to them that they could die from eating that bread, they replied: "We're going to die one way or another."

Punishment in the camp was brutal. People being punished were locked up in air raid shelters for up to 21 days and received only one slice of bread and water per day. I saw girls returning from these punishment cells bloated beyond recognition.



 

Zlin


Report No. 368
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment during forced labor
Reported by: Rudolf Kunert Report of October 9, 1946

location of ZlinI was arrested for no reason at all on September 24 of last year, and was detained until mid-August this year without so much as a questioning. From October last year until my release I had to work in Zlin. The rations we got were very bad. Food was cooked without salt. When my wife sent me salt, onions and garlic, everything was confiscated. The camp personnel used a large part of the food supplies for their own purposes, as I can prove. 10% of the German prisoners died of malnutrition. Even sick people were beaten to make them go to work. One man who suffered from lung disease had to go on working until he died, even though he had already collapsed several times at work. During the luggage inspection in the resettlement [expulsion] camp my children's mattresses were confiscated by the Czechs.



 

Znaim


Report No. 369
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Maltreatment in the prisoner-of-war camp
Reported by: Franz Hausenbigl Report of June 17, 1946

location of ZnaimI was released from French captivity on June 6, 1945 and on June 13 I returned to my home town of Nikolsburg where I worked until December 15, 1945.

On December 15 at 6 o'clock in the morning the police fetched me from my home. I was handed over to the gendarmerie and committed to the prisoner-of-war camp in Znaim. My French release papers, which I had already shown to the police on June 13, were taken from me. In the camp I was assigned the number 1380. By June 10, 1946 the camp's population had risen to more than 3,000. The rations we received in this camp were very bad. We had to do hard labor at the train station and on the roads. Many people collapsed at work due to debilitation. There were also many war-disabled ex-servicemen in the camp, who also had to do hard work due to the labor shortage. Anyone who so much as straightened up at work to catch his breath, or whomever the guards didn't like, was noted down and beaten after our return to the camp. In this way an average of about ten people were beaten each evening. They had to lie down across a chair and received 25 blows with a rubber truncheon or bull whip. At first the beatings were handed out by Czech soldiers. In March of this year a German camp police was set up, and they then had to administer the beatings. At first they refused, and were themselves beaten for it, so that they were finally forced to do this dirty work.

Former members of the SS, SA and the Party were beaten especially severely. For months on end they were all beaten three times each day. There were youths 16 and 17 years of age among them. On May 1st of this year one 19-year-old ex-soldier was beaten and kicked so badly that he fell unconscious, and died the next day in the hospital of Znaim without ever having regained consciousness. It was the chief guard Hansa who had beaten the lad.



 

Zwittau
(near Brüsau)


Report No. 370
translation 
by Victor Diodon and Arnim Johannis.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Captivity, maltreatment
Reported by: Ullrich Reinhold Report of June 15, 1946

location of Zwittau and BrüsauWhen I returned from Russian captivity to my home town of Brüsau near Zwittau, I was arrested all over again only three weeks later by the Czechs and sent to the POW camp Brünn-Slatina. We had to sleep on the bare floor without even a blanket. Several times each week the prisoners were called out at night, had to line up in the yard, barefoot and dressed only in their underwear even in winter, and were beaten with rifle butts, bullwhips etc., arbitrarily and for no reason whatsoever. Every Sudeten German prisoner was questioned about his membership in various organizations. I had a paper from the národní výbor of Brüsau, confirming that I had not belonged to any organization. Nonetheless I was accused of having belonged to the SdP and the SA, and since I denied it I was beaten until I collapsed. The paper from the národní výbor was torn up before my eyes. For a time I was sent to work outside the camp, as truck driver in Rotowitz. I was treated fairly well there.

On June 2, 1946 I was released to Zwittau to be resettled [expelled]. In the resettlement camp there, Frau Wirschich gave me a nickel wrist watch which was very precious to her, as it was a keepsake from her son who had fallen in the war. During the luggage inspection she was asked about this watch. I admitted that I had it, and laid it on the table. A partisan then showed up and took me away. In the guard room I was punched twice in the face so that the blood ran from my nose. Then I received about eight blows with a lead cable on the bare soles of my feet, and then I was punched and kicked all over until I collapsed. I was locked up until the following day. The next day I had to sign a paper stating that the watch had been confiscated from me and that I was not asking for it back.


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Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans
Survivors speak out