Yesterday I was too tired to mention that this is a five-part ZGram. Sorry - but here comes Part Number Two about some German youngsters, caught in a Soviet concentration camp after Germany had lost the war.
We are talking 1995-46 when supposedly all the war time "atrocities" had stopped.
The kids described in this brutal account are 13-17-year-olds:
During one long night in which Horst Neuendorf had to endure a very brutal interrogation, he spontaneously tried to escape from the interrogation building at Wiglow Strasse. However, he only made it to the allotment gardens where workers tripped him and held him. The result was a much more severe interrogation than he had ever endured before. This incident most likely resulted in the military tribunal condemning him to death.
Based on alleged testimony, a boy was ordered to retrieve from the icy waters of the Strebnitz weapons that supposedly had been dumped into the river ?? this is January '46 ?? and to dig up weapons buried at the Heist. But we did not have any weapons and we did not know of any hiding places. Of course, nobody believed us or wanted to believe us. To the prison of the military tribunal of the K.G.B.! Armed Soviet soldiers guarded the transport.
However, Dieter Bolde was not taken to Brandenburg with us. About a week later, Anneliese Ilgeroth was delivered to our basement prison. When she saw us sitting on our cots, she exclaimed at once, "Do you know who had finked on us , who is responsible for us being here?" But before we could start guessing, she herself gave the answer to her question. "Dieter Bolde."
Then she told us this: A few days before she was arrested, she ran into Dieter Bolde on the street. She asked him, "Where have you been? Where are the others?" He replied that he had disappeared, he had given his blanket to Gisela Dormann, because she did not have one. Anneliese Ilgeroth then said with some skepticism, "You can't let yourself be seen around here. You have to try to get to West Berlin into safety." When her questions continued, Dieter Bolde abruptly said to her, "Your arrest is in my hands."
In Brandenburg, we were confined to hot, stuffy, stinking basement jail cells, separated from each other and without any daylight. Our food consisted of indescribably bland and watery soup. The toilet for 20 to 25 inmates was a 25?liter (about six gallons) rusty old milk can which, as it was only allowed to be emptied once per day, continuously overflowed, making a mess in the corner where it was placed.
In all the weeks of our confinement at the K.G.B. basement prison we had no toilet paper or washing facilities, neither for our hygiene nor for our clothing, resulting in unbelievable filth. Females had to worry about the additional constant threat of being abused by the Soviets, and they had absolutely nothing available to take care of their monthly hygiene.
There was no consideration ?? but there were many thousands of fleas and lice. Each one of us will forever remember the sight of the jail door being opened for him or her at the K.G.B. cellar for the first time. Half naked, horribly stinking human beings who were busy trying to rid their clothing of fleas and lice, fleecing lice from their hair, helped each other.
After only one night, we newcomers, too, were infected with the vermin and kept busy, from then on, to hunt for the parasitic insects in what was more or less just a symbolic undertaking in order to get the upper hand in this struggle.
Each one of us had to endure the torture of nightly interrogations, which became increasingly brutal. The continuous noise of the opening and closing of the basement doors, the loud call of the names of those who had to appear to be interrogated and the never?ending cursing and swearing of the guards made it impossible for us to forget our torment, if only for a few hours of the night while we were trying to get some sleep from psychological and physical exhaustion. Interrogations were conducted more and more severely. Confrontations occurred more frequently. The intent was to convict us, based on apparent contradiction in our statements, to show that we were lying and to sow mistrust among us.
Beatings by the interrogators and guards with fence wire and other devices (the telephone wire was especially feared, because, when used to hit, it wrapped itself around the body and left painful welts which became infected in the filth of the basement), not only during the interrogations but also as the result of minor infractions during roll call or the latrine details, did their damage. Observing the condition of other prisoners who did not belong to our group again and again caused a deep shock in us. We became frightfully aware that there was no way out for us. We were doomed and could not escape our fate.
There was an additional horror for the girls: The cleaning of the basement anteroom, the lounge of the guards. A few buckets of water were dumped on the concrete floor. They then had to sweep everything the guards had dropped or spit on the floor within the last 24 hours with pine branches, after which the floor had to be wiped with old rags.
It is superfluous to mention that they always had to endure advances of the guards. The painfully desperate situation of those experiences left deep, lasting impressions in all of us. The constant light from a single bulb dangling from the ceiling also rankled our nerves.
Physically knocked about in an evil way, degraded as a human being and intimidated, we anticipated the beginning of the public military tribunal that we were informed about. Why such huge display? We just could not believe it!
Tomorrow: The kids are sentenced by a Soviet-style "Tribunal", several of them to death.
Thought for the Day:
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
(John F. Kennedy)
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