Account of the death of Rudolf Ferdinand Haase, born 07/02/1906

Shot by Polish insurgents 05/05/1921

(Member of the Leipzig Boy Scout Corps, in Feldmeister Tournier's unit)

An account by his father, translated from German and annotated by Caecilie Dance

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So, the boys went on to Markowitz station. From then on until Ratibor, because the bridges had been blown up they had to travel the rest of the way on foot. Just while Fritz was carrying a lady"s suitcase to a lorry, Rudolf was arrested by the station master (who was addressed as "Captain") on the charge of having "terrorised" Poles. Fritz was beaten back with the butts of their guns as he tried to intervene. Out of the many men and women present, none dared to put in a word for the boy. The former chairperson of the Rybnik Social Democratic Party, Head Official Wasner, and a businessman named Niemitz were also arrested in Markowitz; they were Rudolf"s last companions. I was only able to speak briefly to Wasner, as on Tuesday evening I took my only opportunity to look for my son's body, which was to travel by car under the French flag with the Polish leader Dr. Bialy and the French captain Lalanne. Coincidentally we found Wasner, previously thought dead, seriously ill in the hospital at Rydultau. Later he was taken out of the hospital and murdered, after weeks of torture. For this reason I will never learn more about the last 24 hours of my son's life. The following is, however, certain: the commandant of Markowitz, an employee of the Polish organisation which in the previous year had broken into our villa; Rudolf was acquainted with him and he with Rudolf, whilst Fritz was unknown to him. The three prisoners were transported (supposedly to a war tribunal) by three nasty fellows specially picked out by the "Commandants", and after a march of about 5 kilometres along the tree lined country road from Ratibor to Rybnik, in a forest about 2 kilometres from Kornowatz they were short without warning. Upon my question if Rudolf had shown fear, Wasner answered, "No, even on the last road he laughed!". To my next question, whether he [Rudolf] had pleaded for his life, he [Wasner] said, "he died like a..." [text breaks off; perhaps "like a man?"];

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