The whole city left by train
The end of German Liberec was abrupt. Thousands of Germans had to leave their homes within a few hours. The first phase of the expulsion – the so-called “wild” deportations – took place in the immediate aftermath of World War II, in May and June 1945. The journey of the Germans usually began at the Liberec train station from where they were taken to Zittau (Žitava in Czech), the closest German town across the border. For the Germans, their new lives began at the platform of the train station in Zittau. Many remained in nearby Lausitz but the majority chose to carry on to the western part of Germany, which wasn’t as overcrowded with refugees as the east. Mrs. Herschel remembers the first, wild wave of the deportation. Later on, especially since 1946, the expulsion took on a more organized form. The Germans were gathered in an internment camp which was located in today’s Husova Street, approximately at the site of the contemporary Technical University. From there, the majority of them was transported in trains to the western occupation zones. Testimony was gathered within the Living Memory of Liberec – Reichenberg project.
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