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Ausgleich: Scales of Justice

Ausgleich: Scales of Justice

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Ausgleich: Scales of Justice

valutazioni:
3/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
434 pagine
7 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 18, 2014
ISBN:
9781310072437
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Ausgleich is a hybrid book. Fiction--yet with a bibliography One part mainstream history, another part witness statements, both embedded in a fictional matrix. The plot, characters and situations are fictional. Yet Ausgleich rests on a solid historical bedrock that many will find difficult to accept. A second holocaust occurred in WWII. One ignored in the West. The victims? Germans. Though not as draconian as the horrific fate of the Jews, the Germans did in fact suffer their own holocaust as the Allies, both East and West, sought revenge. Fifteen million Germans were disenfranchised and driven from their ancestral homes. And often with great brutality that was eerily reminiscent of the Nazis. Death marches, mass rapes, death camps, slave labor, mass executions, with robberies and beatings, degradations and humiliations daily occurrences in the lives of millions of eastern Germans. In this German holocaust, besides fifteen million people being stripped of their homelands, millions--repeat, millions--of German women were raped, often brutally gang raped and frequently murdered, and between one and two million Germans died in what they called, and still call, Die Vertreibung. The Expulsion. Ausgleich tells this historical reality in a fictional setting. But make no mistake, what happened was not fictional.
It was real.

Pubblicato:
Oct 18, 2014
ISBN:
9781310072437
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Whitesell was born and raised in Minnesota where he spent the winter months learning just how long an icicle can get before spring comes. This had the unsurprising result of Whitesell eventually hotfooting it for the Land of No Icicles. Southern Arizona. Here Señor Whitesell began a new career with Customs and Border Protection, raised his kids and managed to (mostly) avoid unpleasant encounters with dyspeptic rattlesnakes and the sneaky ubiquitous assassin of the desert the unwary call 'cactus.' Whitesell is non-fluent in a several languages, plays a number of musical instructions to distraction and irritates the hell out of his family with constantly sticking his Nikon D5100 DSLR in their unamused faces. Plus he likes to write books. .

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Ausgleich - James Whitesell

Ausgleich

Scales of Justice

by

James Whitesell

PUBLISHED BY:

James Whitesell on Smashwords

Ausgleich

Copyright © 2014 by James Whitesell

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Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Table of Contents

Foreword/Editor's Note/Introduction

Lake Susquah

Chapter 1 Operation Gomorrah

Chapter 2 Operation Hannibal

Chapter 3 Nuremberg 1945

Chapter 4 A Baby Is Born

Chapter 5 Dresden 1945

Chapter 6 Russian Atrocities In the East

Chapter 7 Sam Jones

Chapter 8 General Freiherr von Wittendorf

Chapter 9 Cap Arcona

Chapter 10 Master Sergeant Caldwell

Chapter 11 Rheinwiesenlager

Chapter 12 Hedgehopping

Chapter 13 The Trial

Chapter 14 The Pole

Epilogue

Bibliography

About the Author

Sample Chapter

Ausgleich!

Scales of Justice

by

James Whitesell

Editor's Note

Skeptics are invited to view a scholarly work on the WWII east German maelstrom by the widely respected United Nations human rights activist, Alfred de Zayas. His book is available to read online without charge at https://archive.org/details/A-Terrible-Revenge. A second available online book is a compendium of witness statements published shortly after WWII by Sudeten survivors, Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans, available free at www.wintersonnenwende.com. LEMO, Lebendiges (Living) Museum Online, has many online wartime documents in German. Also available are the German Federal Archives which contain thousands of corroborating documents and photos relating to what the Germans called, and still call, Die Vertreibung.

The Expulsion.

Author's Foreword

One of my earliest childhood memories, which will resonate with me for the remainder of my days, is of my grandmother's heartbroken sobbing over the shiny flag-draped coffin of her son, an American airman killed in the skies over Europe and brought home after the end of WWII. Linda Bongiovanni, who kindly supplied the survivor's accounts from the Sudetenland in this book, was herself once stunned as a small child to see her own grandmother collapse into tears. The grandmother was looking at an old photo. Of her daughter, Linda's aunt. A Sudeten German aunt that Linda never knew because she died in the horrific Allied maelstrom that engulfed the Germans of the east at the end of WWII. This pair of grandmothers tell us something all of us should take to heart.

Grief does not know national or ethnic boundaries. Grief does not take sides.

Nor does tragedy.

Introduction

Sections of this work are closely based on multiple sources of professionally documented history. These sections are noted as such by italics in the chapter headers and the sources are cited in the bibliography. They are the skeleton of this work, the words of history. Not so with a second group of sections, many of them graciously provided by British Columbian Linda Bongiovanni & Scriptorium. These sections--totally in Italics--are more than mere word scratchings of carefully vetted history. They are first person flesh and blood accounts by witnesses and survivors of the horrors in the German east that were put to paper during, just after and, for some, long after, the end of WWII. (The survivors' quotes are repeated here as they were printed, without editing.) Together the history--the skeleton, and the survivor's accounts--the flesh and blood, are the palette on which is word-painted this work of historical fiction. Ausgleich. A German word which means, roughly, a balancing of the scales.

The bulk of this book's chapters are fictional. In a narrow sense. The specifics are fictional. The characters are fictional. The theme is fictional. Not so the underlying matrix of the book. Some, perhaps many, will resist believing it, but Ausgleich rests in a well documented rock solid intimacy on actual historical events. There is an hoary timeworn axiom that the victors write the history books. True enough. In ancient times.

And in times not so ancient.

Ausgleich

by

James Whitesell

Yes! For three weeks the war had been going inside Germany and all of us knew very well that if the girls were Germans they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction...... Nobel Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago.

Lake Susquah

1972

California's Governor Ronald Reagan did it again. Turned a reporter's sharp question around at a news conference and made it a joke. Good enough to make the lead story on network TV the evening before. They were chuckling about it. Two of them. Native Americans. They liked Reagan's wit but otherwise paid little attention to the politics of the outside world. As usual, the two were up early. It was one of those thickly fogged early mornings on Lake Susquah's big bay, evocative of both the spooky and the mystical. The men, lean and hard-muscled cousins who grew up together fishing and hunting in the bounteous Pacific Northwest, often rose before dawn to begin their day with the quiet serenity of fishing the bay. For reasons long lost to tribal memory the locals called it Weeping Woman Bay. Whatever the history of the bay, fishing in its mist shrouded early morning waters settled their spirits and prepared them for the remainder of their day. Shifts in the din and hustle of the Nations power plant. It was a lifestyle tradeoff, but they were comfortable with it. Literally. Where so many Native Americans struggled to survive, they had reliable and comfortable livings. They, at least, had found a reasonable middle ground between the past and the present. They still had the quiet ancestral bay to fish. And a sturdy fourteen foot fiberglass boat with a fifty horse Johnson outboard to fish it. Their octogenarian grandfather, a retired high school teacher who twenty years earlier walked out of the classroom onto the golf course and never looked back, had a word for it that he thought nicely fit their lifestyle. Which is what they named their boat.

Synergy.

They were trolling near the shore, close to the submerged piles of rocks by the lake's access ramp where the lunkers liked to lurk, when it happened.

Hey! One of them suddenly said, lulled out of his sleepy early morning reverie by a stout jarring jerk on the line. He was instantly alert, scrambling for solid footing and grabbing a firmer hold on the fishing rod that was bent so far over that the tip was in the water. He'd hooked something big. And heavy. But. Wait. Something was wrong. The heavy weight was inert. There was no active resistance to his line. He looked in puzzlement at his cousin and began to pull it in, puffing with the exertion of tugging on the heavy weight. Whatever it was, it sure as hell was no fish. Not a live one, anyhow. Probably a chunk of floating deadwood. As the heavy object slowly emerged from the mists next to the boat on the foggy lake, the curious expressions drained from both men's faces and were replaced with shock. This was no chunk of deadwood. It was dead, all right. But not wood.

It was Jaroslav Svoboda

Chapter 1

Operation Gomorrah

In German the word Hamburger means someone from the city of Hamburg. In America the word is often used in a variety of allusive and sometimes joking ways. The end of July and the first part of August in 1943 were a very long way from anything remotely related to any kind of joke to the inhabitants in the German city of Hamburg. The British Royal Air Force, with the assistance of the American 8th Air Force, launched a series of air raids on the city. Operation Gomorrah. The allusion to the Biblical Gomorrah was no accident. The intent of Operation Gomorrah was no less than to wipe the German city of Hamburg from the map. Operation Gomorrah was the most successful large city raid to that point in the overall British strategy of area bombing. Otherwise known as morale bombing. Bomb the bloody hell out of the Germans, so the thinking went, and they'd lose stomach for the war and sue for peace. And that means intentionally bombing--and killing--civilian noncombatants. There was just one problem with the strategy. Not that it didn't kill hundreds of thousands of Germans and destroy the architectural heritage of an entire people. It did that. Over and over and over. It obliterated much that was Germany.

But it didn't knock the Germans out of the war.

At first only the intent was there. To destroy the German cities and knock Germany out of the war. The intent but not the means. Not until the summer of 1943. By then the actual mechanisms of destroying German cities were in place. British scientists, working hand in hand with military specialists, developed a system of bombing that used a combination of immense hordes of small incendiaries and hundreds of large, blockbuster bombs. The big bombs blew down walls, cratered streets and opened up holes in buildings where the clouds of incendiaries could enter and ignite.

It was a hot and largely rainless summer in 1943 Hamburg. Early July. The city was tinder dry and ripe for combustion when the Allied bombers appeared overhead. The bombs fell in multitudes of incendiary metallic hail. Fires by the thousands flared up all over the city. The big bombs hampered German fire fighters by blocking streets with rubble, disrupting communications and destroying fire fighting equipment. To make things even more difficult for the German fire fighters and rescue workers some of the big bombs had delayed time fuses on them. Which caused even more disruption when the firemen and rescue workers were caught in the blasts of the time delayed bombs and the would be rescuers were added to the horrendous toll of victims.

But something else happened on the night of the big raid in early July of 1943. Something even the British and Americans didn't expect. The first human caused fire storm. The combination of the extremely dry weather, the relative lack of firewalls in the construction of the city and the mixture of bombs engendered a man made conflagration that even the bomb crews flying overhead realized was something new to history. The many small fires combined into a raging inferno that flared hundreds of feet into the air, consuming the oxygen in the city, which in turn sucked oxygen in from adjacent suburban areas and created typhoon strength winds that scooped human beings up and hurled them into the firestorm as though they were no more than mere bits of leaves in an autumn gale.

Thousands of the city's residents thought they were safe in the strongly built cellars under many of the city's buildings. In previous air raids that was true. Not in the Hamburg fire storm. In some places the cellars became so hot the people inside were roasted alive. In others all the oxygen was consumed and the cellar dwellers died either from lack of oxygen or from poisonous combustion gasses. Those that tried to escape found the asphalt of the streets had melted and caught on fire from the intense heat. They were trapped to be either roasted alive or burned to death. Many of the adult corpses were shriveled to the size of an infant.

When Operation Gomorrah ended Hamburg was a twisted heap of rubble and metal filled with dead. Quite literally a dead city. A million people fled Hamburg for safer locations all over Germany. But not all. When the Allies invaded Normandy on D Day the total Allied dead that day amounted to about 4500 men. In Operation Gomorrah the Hamburg dead were ten times that many. Almost all of them civilians. Many of them children. Thousands of them. Children. Dead children. Roasted. Asphyxiated. Burned alive. Thousands more children, many already sent off to safer parts of Germany before Operation Gomorrah, were still alive. Alive, but without parents. Orphans. Orphans with memories. Who would one day grow up.

And for some, at least, time would not heal.

Discomfiting History

"Woe to the Germans, woe to the Germans,

thrice woe to the Germans, we will liquidate them!"

Attributed to Czech Premier Edvard Beneš by Sudeten German victim M. v. W.

At the end of WWII the Czechs, who wanted to get rid of their unwelcome and troublesome German minority since they'd been dumped on them by the Versailles Treaty of WWI, set about to do just that. But not the land where the Germans historically lived. Nor the towns or farms or the mines or the factories or the businesses. The Czechs didn't want to get rid of them. It was the people they didn't want. Their exiled premier, Edvard Beneš, a devious man disliked and distrusted by many of those among the Allies who knew him, but who still was undeniably effective in political machinations, had repeatedly cajoled his fellow Czechs in London radio broadcasts to get rid of the Germans once and for all. The German Problem of the Czechs was scarily reminiscent of the Jewish Problem of the Nazis. Both were cynical euphemisms for ethnic cleansing. Make no mistake. The fate of the Germans of eastern Europe could not begin to approach that of the Jews. But it was just as horrific for those Germans unlucky to be in the path of the maelstrom. And they were legion.

At war's end Beneš returned to Czechoslovakia exhorting his fellow Czechs to ethnically cleanse Czechoslovakia of the Germans once and for all. Anti-German hysteria gripped the Czech body politic. The Germans. Get rid of them once and for all. Kill them. Expel them. Anything that worked. Just get rid of them. And they did. In scenes that were grim mirror images of the human displacements the Nazis perpetrated, three and a half million Czech Sudetenland Germans would be kicked out of their homes, often in a very barbaric way, and expelled from their ancestral lands. It was done, especially in the chaotic days of the first half of 1945, with a viciousness that equaled and often surpassed much of the vengeful Allied vindictive treatment of Germans over the German speaking lands. Many thousands among the German Sudetenlanders met their deaths at the hands of the Czech revanchists. Thousands of them directly. Hands-on directly. Murdered. Executed. Raped to death. Succumbed to beatings and torture. Many others indirectly, through starvation, untreated epidemics, suicide brought on by utter despair and, finally, exposure to the unkind elements that first laid low the very young and the very old before decimating the rest.

Ústí nad Labem

It was and still is a pretty place. The town in the Czech Republic called Ústí nad Labem. Just a few kilometers from the German border. Closer to Dresden than to Prague. The town sits in a photographer's dream of a location, an eyeful of a scenic spot snuggled in the folds of the rolling timbered mountains of the Bohemian Highlands on the Elbe River where it meets the Bilina. Which is what Ústí nad Labem means in Czech. The meeting of two rivers. Its population is an eclectic mixture of peoples brought in at the end of WWII, among them Roma as well as Czechs. The town was once part of Bohemian Sudetenland, the German speaking portions of pre-WWII Czechoslovakia. Its name then was Aussig an der Elbe. A German name. A German town. An area long German in language and culture. For hundreds of years. German. An area annexed to Czechoslovakia against the will of the German inhabitants by the tragically myopic vindictive Versailles treaties at the end of WWI. In 1938 the Nazis marched into the Sudetenland. Aussig came under German control and was annexed to the Third Reich. Most of the residents, bitter over the oppression, both real and imagined, of the German minority of Czechoslovakia by the Czech majority welcomed the change.

At first.

As in so many other places, the Jews of Aussig an der Elbe disappeared into the concentration camps. They were the first casualties of the war. Many more would follow. Political dissidents and those who, for whatever reason, displeased the Nazis were soon tossed into the camps. Almost all the men of military age were drafted and sent off to war. Few returned. And then hundreds more of the residents in what was then Aussig died in mid-April 1945 when the Allies bombed the town, one among the hundreds and thousands of questionable acts by the Allies at war's end when so many cities, towns and villages were obliterated and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed when everyone knew the war was almost over. After the bombing the last of the German troops retreated from Aussig and the Russians and their Slavic satraps entered. The Russians and then the Czechs took political control of the German town. A new Dark Ages descended on the Germans of Aussig and the rest of the Sudetenland. Rapes by the tens of thousands, unnumbered murders, brutal beatings, an avalanche of robberies. It was just the beginning. Worse would soon follow. Total disenfranchisement. Assets--homes, farms, businesses, factories--ripped from the owners' hands and redistributed to non-Germans. And, finally, the expulsion of the surviving Germans from their ancestral homeland, the Sudetenland. And not just the Sudetenland. In all as many as fifteen million Germans in eastern Europe suffered the same fate. No one will ever know how many, but probably somewhere between one and two million of them died either directly or in direct consequence from the expulsions.

And all this while the Allies were trumpeting to the world their righteous triumph in the unfolding of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

The Massacre at Aussig

Ill-treatment and murder of German workmen

Reported by: Max Becher Report of December 14, 1946 (Aussig)

An ammunition dump exploded on July 31st, 1945, in a suburb of Aussig. The Germans were blamed for this and the Czechs used the excuse for an attack on them. Aussig lies on the left bank of the Elbe, and the factory where I worked, Georg Schicht-Schreckenstein, on the right bank. There is one bridge connecting the two sides. After work, at 4:30 that afternoon, we were searched for weapons both on leaving the factory and again at the bridge. Once on the bridge we were not allowed to turn back. On the Aussig end we were received by hundreds of Czechs, armed with clubs and iron bars. I received several serious head injuries, whilst my companion, a 67-year-old foreman, had his skull smashed in. I learned later that his body had been thrown into the river and washed up 10 miles downstream. Then I was told to carry the body of another man whose head had been smashed in, to a dump near by. On my return they said it would be my turn to be killed. I was forced to take off my jacket and to wipe up the pool of blood, while I was struck from all directions. I managed to get away, but a Czech followed and attacked me. He was carrying a heavy club and with it injured me severely. He did not stop until, as I suppose, he thought me dead. When I regained consciousness two Czechs helped me to a house, where the German inhabitants notified the Red Cross. I was taken away on a stretcher and was lucky enough to be admitted to the hospital at ten o'clock that night. This saved my life. The following were my injuries: 3 ribs broken, left arm broken, 6 head injuries, requiring 23 stitches. My left arm, which I had used as a shield against the blows, was so swollen that the fact it had been broken was not discovered until two months later, during the course of an x-ray examination. I stayed in hospital from July 31st to October 20th, 1945, and had to continue treatment at home from October 20th to November 19th, 1945.

As a result of my injuries I still suffer severe attacks of dizziness when I move my head and look upwards, and from pains in the ribs when doing manual labour or during changes of the weather.

Aussig

On July 31, before the Nuremberg Trials began and only a few weeks after the war ended, a mysterious explosion that may have been an accident but more likely was a deliberate provocation by Czech saboteurs, possibly Communist provocateurs, triggered a massacre of the German inhabitants of Aussig. Several hundred? A thousand? Perhaps two thousand. Perhaps more. And that wasn't the end of it for the Germans of Aussig. Within a year most would be brutally kicked out of the homes their families had occupied for hundreds of years. Many would soon die from the privations of homelessness.

No one was ever convicted of war crimes for the Aussig massacre. It was kept a secret until after the Communist Czech government fell in 1989. After the Velvet Revolution of that year Czech premier Vaclav Havel's government admitted that the massacre happened. A plaque was put in place in the town to commemorate the tragedy. But plaques do not bring back the dead. Nor do they bring any kind of justice. No one was ever convicted for the massacre, although the man behind the massacre was known. His name? Bedřich Pokorný. A Czech who had been in the Czechoslovakian Secret Service and had a murky past and an equally murky future.

Aussig Eyewitness

The explosion on July 30, 1945

Reported by: A. U. Report of February 8, 1951

[Due to various circumstances the author of this report was in the position to give an authoritative and objective account of the explosion and its terrible consequences:]

About 10 o'clock on the day in question I walked into the center of the town. As soon as I entered the busier streets, I discovered both in the former Dresdener Strasse and in the Schmejkal Strasse that the soldiers of the notorious Svoboda-army were attacking the Germans wearing their white armbands, driving them from the sidewalks and even knocking them down. I asked what was going on and learned that during the night the Svoboda-army had arrived at Aussig.

Judging by events in other regions of the Sudetenland I immediately guessed that now rough times would come for the Germans of Aussig and of the whole district.

I arrived at the station just as about 300 persons left the train coming from Prague; they were suspicious-looking people between 18 and 30 years of age and I had the impression that they were convicts released from a prison.

At half past three in the afternoon I sat in my apartment when there was a terrific bang. At that moment I thought that a cupboard had fallen over in the next room. I looked into it, but could find nothing. I then assumed that an explosion must have occurred and went up to the roof. There I noticed a large cloud of smoke rising behind the Marienberg. Several smaller explosions followed. I immediately ran downtown - not wearing my white armband, which proved lucky for me. The hunt after the Germans had begun. Soldiers of the Svoboda-army and individual Russians took part in it. These brutes had equipped themselves with all sorts of makeshift weapons such as fence-posts, crow-bars, shovel-handles and so on. With these they struck down all those who spoke German or wore the white badge. I had the impression that the perpetrators were not Czechs from our own district, but those who had left the train in the forenoon. My impression was strengthened by the fact that they had helped themselves to any instruments at hand to improvise their weapons.

I walked through the streets of the town for about two hours; what I saw during that time was dreadful. Of course, I could not say a word, since that would have exposed me as a German.

The factories closed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and the Germans who worked in the Schicht-works had to use the bridges over the River Elbe in order to get home. The most savage groups therefore were active near these bridges, in the vicinity of the marketplace and the railway station. Even women with babies in perambulators were shoved into the river and then used for target practice. The shooting did not stop until none of the women rose to the surface any longer. Other Germans were thrown into the big water-tank on the market-place. Whenever one of them rose to the surface, the Czechs would push him down again and keep him under water with long poles. Only at 5 o'clock in the afternoon a number of Russian officers appeared and tried to clear the streets. Uniformed Czechs helped them in doing so. Loudspeakers announced the curfew in Czech. On July 31st, a printed poster was issued, announcing that the Germans were not allowed to be in the streets after 6 o'clock in the afternoon, the curfew for the Czech population began at 8 o'clock p.m.

In the evening of July 30 the dead were collected at three places and then taken away in trucks. About 400 corpses were counted at all three collection points. How many may have been collected elsewhere and the number of those who floated down the Elbe cannot be established. Not even the most informed members of the National Committee were able to make an estimate.

Nor was the Aussig massacre Bedřich Pokorný's only war crime. And not his first. He was the man behind the Brno--Brünn--Death March where, again, the victims were ethnic Germans.

Brno/Brünn

The war was barely over. The end of May. 1945. In Brno--German Brünn--Pokorný's men rounded up the twenty or more thousand Germans of the town, allowing them only to bring whatever they could carry, and marched them the thirty miles to the Austrian border. The Germans of the town had already suffered from the typical Russian treatment of Germans when they entered a German area. Beatings, rapes, murders, executions, looting on a massive scale. Bad enough. But the forced march to the Austrian border, made by old people, women and children, left a trail of dying people unable to keep up. And when they reached the Austrian border the Russians, who controlled the adjacent part of Austria, refused to accept them. The exhausted Germans were forced into detention camps without food, water or medicine. They died by the hundreds. Eventually the emaciated survivors were deported to Germany. The blood of many hundreds of Germans was on Pokorný's hands.

Brünn

Death march to Pohrlitz

Reported by: M. v. W. Report of February 22, 1951

I still remember very well the proclamation made by Beneš, broadcast from Kaschau two or three days before the arrival of the Russians in Brünn. I understood all he said, since I speak Czech fluently. I will never forget his solemn vow: Woe to the Germans, woe to the Germans, thrice woe to the Germans, we will liquidate them! It was on April 25, 1945, about 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon, when scenes of fraternization between the invading Russians and the Czechs took place in the streets. In the evening I returned to my apartment and was able to witness how the public rape of German women, beatings, ill-treatment and abuse brought the entire German population into a state of great agitation and danger.

The next morning all Germans had to report for work in accordance with the notices posted on public advertising pillars. I was assigned to the St. Anna Hospital, the men having found out that I was a Red Cross nurse. First I was given only the most menial tasks. Only through the intervention of a Czech physician who had been active in this hospital for a long time was I reinstated as a Red Cross nurse, but even then I was only supposed to go on duty in the air-raid shelter, a cellar to which all the German patients of this big hospital had been moved. In this cellar they lay on bare palliasses without blankets or pillows, and without any medical care. No medications were available for these patients. The cellar was only scantily illuminated by a little lamp and all I could do for these gravely ill people was to help them by applying wet rags or giving them water. Already on the second or third day of my activities in this cellar, human beings dreadfully mutilated, beaten half-dead and tortured almost to death were brought in. All I could give them in the way of assistance, however, were consoling words because I had no drugs whatsoever. The great dying began. All those who had been brought in from the Kaunitz College died almost without exception, and such cases came in without pause. I remember the following cases in particular:

The first to die was a man who had been brought in on the point of death with a horrible injury in the area of the genitals. I could not ascertain his name, as he regained consciousness only for a few moments before he died, and could only briefly reply to my question: How did you get this terrible injury? He answered: I was kicked for having formerly sold vegetables to the Gestapo. With these words he collapsed and I could not elicit any further information before he died.

I also remember another case, that of Mr. Venklarczik, a solicitor, 63 years of age, living at Stiftgasse, Brünn. The man was delivered into the hospital and recounted the following incident: under a threadbare pretext partisans dragged him into the camp in the Kaunitz College and thrashed him there so violently that his back was one gaping wound. He was then forced to thank his torturers for the dreadful ill-treatment. In a semi-conscious state he was taken up to the third floor. In his panic he attempted, during a moment when he was not being watched, to bring his life to an end by jumping through the window. He was saved, however, by a lush tree underneath the window. Instead of being killed, one of his kidneys was torn loose. When he was brought in his excrement and urine were pure blood. It was not until a second German was delivered with his arteries cut through that I saw a physician for the first time in this cellar-camp full of wounded. The reason was that the man who had tried to commit suicide by cutting the arteries should be brought back to consciousness by a blood-transfusion in order that he might be executed later while conscious.

The physician, a Czech himself, examined Venklarczik, the unfortunate man, and was shocked to see the marks of the atrocious maltreatment and said, But you didn't get this from your jumping out of the window, did you? The seriously injured man did not dare to accuse any Czech by answering, as that would have meant the death sentence for him.

There is a further case which I remember: a saleswoman from Brünn, Wiener Strasse, had been brought in. She was about 50 years of age and completely unconscious. She was carried to the darkest comer of the basement, where a group of partisans, including a GPU-commissar, who was a Czech, ill-treated the unconscious woman. I was ordered to undress her, after which the Czech commissar intended to bring her back to consciousness with brutal kicks. I also remember that the Czech commissar then told a nun that the reason for the woman's ill-treatment was that she had stolen a Russian uniform complete with decorations. I myself was forced to give the dying woman a series of Coramin injections in order to get her back to consciousness. But all efforts were in vain, her condition was past all hope. Again and again the commissar returned, cursing her in the most inhuman manner, calling her a pig, a German sow, a German whore, bastard and so on, and giving me the order to bring her to speak by means of artificial respiration. I myself wished her nothing but a quick death, for I imagined what they would have done to her if she had really regained consciousness. It seemed that this woman had refused to allow some man to have his way with her and had defended herself. In revenge she had been dreadfully abused. However, she had had the opportunity to take poison, from which she had sunk into unconsciousness. When she died shortly after midnight, the commissar entered the basement and kicked her from the straw pallet with his boot, furious that she could no longer speak.

Let me also recount the following case of Schlesinger, an innkeeper from Brünn, Neugasse district. He was the owner of a restaurant. Among his guests had been both members of the Nazi Party and also, of course, Czechs. For business reasons he had decided to become an inactive member of the Party. On these grounds this rather weak man 40 years of age was now forced to do hard labour, in particular to carry heavy sacks, accompanied by horrible mishandlings. Since he frequently collapsed under the weight and was forced by blows to continue, he finally contracted a rupture of the wall of the stomach, having formerly suffered from stomach ulcers. After his delivery into the hospital he was operated on without anesthetic and submitted to a stomach resection. I found the man screaming and crying in my ward. He implored me to give him something to relieve his pain.

I decided, although being apprehensive myself, to ask at the Surgical Ward. Upon my arrival there I explained the case to the nun (who was about 60 years of age and the nurse in charge) and received the following answer: I can hear him screaming but he'll get nothing from me - we don't have anything for Germans, just as you didn't have anything for us. When I remarked that during my eleven years of work as Red Cross nurse at the hospitals in Felsberg and Brünn I had never heard of a single case of a Czech to whom assistance had been refused, the nun yelled back at me: Don't pontificate here, a German will get nothing - tell him that! When I answered that I did not dare to tell him that, she replied that she would do so herself. Actually, a few minutes later, the head nurse of the Surgical Ward went to the basement and shouted at the patient as he writhed in agony: You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you are a superman and roar like an animal! You won't get anything, we don't have anything for you! The sick man clasped his hands and asked for help for God's sake. When she again refused, he said: Then give me some poison so I can put an end to this suffering! The same moment a partisan ran up to the bed and shouted: It would just suit you, you swine, to take poison and so escape the gallows. The moment your wound is healed you'll be hanged. The gallows are waiting for you! The man was in actual fact dragged away during the night of the sixth day and from what I heard from Schneider, a partisan, he was hanged in the Kaunitz College.

In order to cloak the fact that they had been murdered, it was customary to deliver persons murdered on the streets to the hospital, in the basement, so that they would be registered as though they had died in hospital.

Brünn

Death March and Concentration Camp:

an Old Woman's Account

Reported by: M. K. Report of July 4, 1950

On May 30, 1945 at 8:30 in the evening Czech authorities notified us that we would have to leave our house and home within half an hour and would only be allowed to take with us

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