Czechoslovak soldiers had no chance to be treated as prisoners of war. For escape from the protectorate Böhmen und Mähren, Slovak state or Subcarpathian Rus and "enemy" activities against Reich they would be mercilessly condemned to death as high "traitors". Some of them already shortly experienced what they could expect from nazis - not just death but also atrocity torture and suffering. Therefore Czechoslovaks did prefer to keep the last bullet for themselves rather than to give up and to be barbarously killed. Here are several examples of known crimes:
After the combat and the retreat from the village of Sokolovo (08.03.1943), nazis gathered seriously wounded Czechoslovaks and next day hung them at the northern edge of the village - frighteningly maimed by torture missing their eyes, noses, ears.
2 trucks full of wounded Czechoslovak and Soviet soldiers sent to Kharkov hospital were attacked by German plane, although there was a visible sign of Red Cross on the roof. Most of the wounded were killed.
Those who were succesfully transported to Kharkov hospital had the same sad fate. At 15:00 German soldiers bursted into the hospital, blocked the doors of the 8th block and burned it. Those who jumped out from the windows were mercilessly shoot. The Next day at 09:00 two SS-men arrived to the 1st floor of officer's block and started to shot wounded (stayed there about 10 minutes), after it stepped down and shot residual downstairs. 6 out of 7 Czechoslovaks were shot (Foltana František, Gorovský Michal, Fridrich Karel, Šraf Bedřich, Konig Josef, Kornhauser Josef), the last one - Frešl Erich was bayoneted.
On altitude 694 staff-sergeant Ruščák took his squad and entered forsaken German bunker. They probably fell asleep. In the morning they were all found killed. Guard had shred uniform and stab wound in heart, the rest had slit throats and were awfully maimed.
During combats of altitude 460 was at one of bunker found, out of eyes Czechoslovak soldier. Germans captured next door to bunker got out of death only thanks Czechoslovak battalion commander, who quietened furious soldiers resolved to avenge their comrade.
When Germans captured altitude 630 "Plesko" they took 2 wounded Czechoslovak soldiers, who resisted to the last moment. Later both were found barbarously killed. Second lieutenant Burč out of fingers on hands and puted bayonet in the throat, technical-sergeant Daniš out off ears, wrested tongue and shot to stomach.
Volunteers who brought dead and wounded soldiers from place of German rush in gap under mountain Polom, confirmed that some dead were maimed. They had stab wounds in faces, speared necks or hearts, cutted noses, ears and sex organs.
Maimed 3 Czechoslovak troopers found in village Bolatice. Supposedly remain crew of hit tank was captured by Germans when left burning machine and after it barbarously killed.
Feeler Kubinec was assaulted by enemies during his missions. Even resisted, he was defeated and tortured. At the end Germans nailed him to a barn-door at the settlement of Štítina.
After victorious combat of mountain Polom, was found 24 Czechoslovak soldiers inhumanely maimed. Some of them were hanged, some nailed up to ground by wooden pins, some poured by petrol and alive burnt to death. Also was found ammunition dum-dum used by nazis and forbidden on place.
In the village of Dolní Lhota Czechoslovak tank troops, when tank's ammunition ended, bravely fought shoulder to shoulder with 30 Soviet riflemen. But at the end multiple SS-men defeated them. All prisoners were sadisticly tortured, nazis carved out stars on their faces and after that shot them to napes.
Between villages Rymnice and Kolián Germans ambushed 2 vehicles of connecting platoon (from 2nd artillery regiment). After attack in place rested 19 Czechoslovaks, however directly in combat died only 4 of them. The rest wounded were post inhumanly massacred by small shovels, heels or other way.
Ivan Kubinec, killed by Germans (© Hrabyne's memorial)