David P. Boder Interviews Ernesto Moeller-Arnold; September 20, 1946; München, Germany

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] MÃnchen, September the 20th, 1946, in a UNRRA transient camp in Funkenkasernen. The interviewee is Mr. Ernesto Moelller-Arnold, fifty-one years old, nacido de . . . born in Chile. I am beginning to mix the language.

David Boder

[In Spanish] SeÃor Moeller-Arnold, venga Ud. mÃs prÃximo para que . . . [Ininteligible].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, estoy . . . estoy sentado bastante cÃmodo.

David Boder

Yo prefiero que hable Ud. en voz normal . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

. . . Entonces se recorda mejor. HarÃa Ud. el favor de decirnos otra vez cÃmo se nombra Ud., cÃmo es su nombre, cuÃntos aÃos tiene, dÃnde naciÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo . . . mi nombre es Ernesto Moeller-Arnold y soy nacido en Santiago de Chile, en el aÃo mil novecientos . . . 1894.

David Boder

SÃ. Y dÃgame . . . entonces ÂdÃnde estuvo Ud. SeÃor Arnold cuando comenzà la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Al comenzar la guerra, yo tenÃa un puesto como gerente de haciendas en . . . Alta Silesia, estaba administrando haciendas que pertenecÃan a gente que tenÃa a la vez sus haciendas en territorio polaco, en territorio checoslovaco y territorio alemÃn. Y, por consecuencia de eso, era muy difÃcil encontrar personas para administrarlas que tenÃan la confianza de todo, de todas partes.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Una persona tal fui yo como chileno, como persona neutral, de un paÃs muy lejano.

David Boder

Pues seÃor Arnold, dÃgame ÂcÃmo Ud. llegà a Europa en primer lugar? ÂCuÃndo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo la primera vez que lleguà a Europa, yo lleguà a Viena a estudiar . . . en la famosa . . . Hochschule der Bodenkultur. Ya, como me habÃa decidido de aprender la agronomÃa.

David Boder

SÃ. Y entonces, Âse quedà Ud. en Europa desde entonces?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, yo volvà a Chile y estuve un buen tiempo en Chile pero . . . durante la crisis mundial del '28 que estallà en esos aÃos, yo . . . no podÃa, no tenÃa los . . . el dinero bastante para comprarme una buena hacienda. Y como se me ofrecià este . . . un puesto bueno en la Alta Silesia, dÃnde habÃa conocido yo a gente de allà durante mi estudio en Viena, yo lo aceptÃ.

David Boder

Bueno. Bueno, entonces, ÂquiÃnes eran dueÃos de esta hacienda en Alta Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Eran varios. Eran entre otros, la . . . la compaÃÃa minera (ininteligible) en Gleiwitz, la compaÃÃa minera Godula en Katowice, la compaÃÃa minera Henkel Limited en Londres, y . . .

David Boder

Entonces ÂcÃmo . . . fueron . . . fueron haciendas agrÃcolas?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Eran haciendas que pertenecÃan a esas compaÃÃas y que esas compaÃÃas tenÃan para alimentar a sus trabajadores, que tenÃan . . .

David Boder

ÂQuà tenÃan en sus minas?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

ÂOh! Bueno, entonces, ÂUd. administraba esas haciendas de quà aÃo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Desde el aÃo '29 . . . '29, '30, '31, '32.

David Boder

Bueno. ÂY hasta quà tiempo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Hasta el Ãltimo momento, hasta el . . . enero '45 cuando esas haciendas fueron ocupadas por el ejÃrcito ruso.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, entonces dÃgame seÃor, ÂdÃnde estuvo Ud. cuando comenzà la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo estuve en Alta Silesia, justamente ahà dÃnde trabajaba.

David Boder

SÃ, bueno. ÂY . . . quà le pasà durante la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Durante la guerra no me pasà mucho, yo tuve muchas dificultades con las autoridades alemanas sobre todo con las autoridades militares.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Esas dificultades al estallar la guerra no fueron muy grandes porque al fin y al cabo se necesitaba algo de comer para la gente y por eso me dejaron al principio en paz.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero como yo me empeÃaba tambiÃn a proteger gente perseguida y . . . como yo me empeÃaba sobre todo de alimentar tanto mejor posible a los trabajadores que traÃan como prisioneros extranjeros y a . . . garantizarles mejores raciones, tuve bastantes dificultades con lo tipos que gobernaban en ese tiempo.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, dÃgame, de modo que para trabajar en su hacienda, las haciendas a su cargo, le trajeron . . . es . . . obreros extranjeros.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, no. Los obreros extranjeros trabajaban en las minas.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y yo tenÃa que . . .

David Boder

ÂOh! [Ininteligible]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Que . . . encargarme de . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . de darles de comer, no directamente sino de . . . de entregar los vÃveres necesarios a las cocinas y a las cantinas que los alimentaban.

David Boder

ÂQuà . . . ellos vivÃan quà . . . en lagers, en barraks? ÂCÃmo vivÃan?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Era diferente, parte de ellos vivÃa en barracas y en lagers, y parte de ellos vivÃa . . . vivÃa en . . . privadamente.

David Boder

Ubicados en casas privadas. Pues, dÃgame seÃor, entonces . . . Âquà clase de gente tuvo Ud . . . . tuvieron ellos para trabajar en las minas? ÂDe quà nacionalidad? ÂDe quà religiÃn?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

TenÃan gente de casi toda nacionalidad. TenÃan prisioneros ingleses, tenÃan gente de todos los paÃses, pero la mayor parte eran ucranianos que trajeron de la Rusia.

David Boder

Gente ucraniana, Âmujeres tambiÃn?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Mujeres, no. En las minas no he visto mujeres en ese tiempo . . .

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . allÃ.

David Boder

Bueno, y . . . indirectamente Ud. tuvo la responsabilidad de la alimentaciÃn. Bueno, Ây quiÃn trabajà en los campos en sus haciendas?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En los campos trabajaron . . . quedaron la mayor parte de los trabajadores que habÃan trabajado antes. Trabajaron tambiÃn en los tiempos de guerra porque . . . la mayor parte en la Alta Silesia de trabajadores son las mujeres . . .

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Los hombres se van a las minas y las mujeres quedan en las haciendas, asà ya era mucho tiempo antes de la guerra.

David Boder

Y esa es la tradiciÃn. Bueno, y entonces cuando . . . llegà el ejÃrcito ruso, entonces Âquà pasÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ. Cuando llegà el ejÃrcito ruso fuimos primeramente evacuados de allà todos los que habitÃbamos ahà por los alemanes. Nos mandaron a Turingia.

David Boder

SÃ. ÂY dÃnde los pusieron en Turingia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo me . . . dejà mi familia en Turingia que fue metida en una aldea allÃ, en muy mal alojamiento, pero como yo querÃa tratar de continuar mi trabajo tambiÃn con los rusos, yo volvà a Silesia.

David Boder

SÃ. ÂY entonces quà pasÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo encontrà las haciendas mÃs o menos todas devastadas y destruidas con . . . sobre todo habÃan arrastrado a todas las mÃquinas, a todos los caballos.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y las . . . haciendas mismas estaban confiscadas por las autoridades polacas.

David Boder

AjÃ. ÂLas confiscaron para distribuirlas entre la gente como ejidos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, dijeron que querÃan distribuirlas pero . . . yo quedà mÃs o menos, tratando de . . . seguir mi trabajo, mÃs con una ayuda muy amable por parte de los polacos. No puedo quejarme de ellos, pero como no habÃa ningÃn medio para trabajar, era imposible hacer algo y solamente sentarse como jefe ahà sin . . . sin verdadero trabajo. Yo no querÃa seguir, era una farsa lo que hacÃa.

David Boder

ÂDÃnde està su familia ahora Don Ernesto?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Mi familia està tambiÃn en el campamento aquà conmigo.

David Boder

ÂEn el campamento de UNRRA, aquÃ? Bueno. Ahora dÃgame, Âentonces cÃmo . . . cuando se separà Ud. de esas haciendas y de los rusos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, los rusos me dijeron francamente y netamente que yo como extranjero, de nacionalidad americana, para los rusos no tenÃa que ver nada mÃs allÃ, sino que tenÃa que volver a mi paÃs natal.

David Boder

Bueno.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y . . .

David Boder

[Ininteligible].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Trataron de despacharme primero vÃa Odessa, como a muchos otros extranjeros franceses y belgas, con quà estaba junto.

David Boder

SÃ. ÂCÃmo dice que estaba junto? ÂQuà le pusieron en un lager?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, no, habitaba. Y a los belgas y franceses estaban . . . los habÃan encerrado en campamentos, allÃ.

David Boder

Y a Ud . . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero yo al principio no estuve en . . . en campamento. Me trataron de persuadir de irme a un campamento allÃ, pero como me dijeron que iban a repatriarme vÃa Odessa . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Eso me parecÃa un poco extraÃo.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y yo me puse en camino primero por mi propia cuenta . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Con algunos belgas tambiÃn que no creÃan a esa repatriaciÃn vÃa Odessa.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, su familia estuvo en Turingia, de modo que estuvo Ud. solo y no tuvo mucha dificultad de marchar.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No.

David Boder

ÂEntonces cÃmo se salià Ud. de allÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo salà con nuevos prisioneros belgas que marchamos juntos . . .

David Boder

ÂIlegalmente?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Ilegalmente. No tuvimos muchas dificultades por parte de los rusos hasta me ayudaron . . .

David Boder

Um.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . de vez en cuando, y me marchà con ellos hasta la Turingia.

David Boder

AjÃ. De modo, ÂcuÃnto tiempo marcharon Ud. por territorio polaco o ruso?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, eso no me recuerdo bien, pero a lo menos unos, desde Alta Silesia hasta . . . hasta . . . hasta donde lo dejà . . . hasta Wurzen en Sajonia . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . empleà unas tres semanas mÃs o menos.

David Boder

AjÃ. Y . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y a veces en camiÃn, a veces de a pie, a veces en . . .

David Boder

En . . . en . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . por ferrocarril, en carros de papa.

David Boder

ÂTuvo Ud. algo de dinero?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, el dinero me lo quitaron soldados en el camino que estaban pillando.

David Boder

ÂCÃmo . . . le . . . le buscaron . . . ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, habÃa siempre soldados que hacÃan sus propios negocios por allÃ.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

De todas las naciones que habÃa.

David Boder

Soldados de todas las naciones.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, pero esos ÂlÃstima! eran rusos.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Buenos amigos rusos.

David Boder

SÃ, entonces llegà Ud. a Turingia. ÂY cÃmo de Turingia llegà Ud. para acÃ, para este campo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En Turingia, las autoridades rusas, por su parte, declararon otra vez que tenÃamos que dejar su zona.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y yo reunà a mi familia y entrà en un campamento ruso, y fui transportado por los rusos a la zona americana y entregado a la UNRRA americana por los rusos mismos.

David Boder

ÂOh! Del campamento ruso, bueno. ÂY la UNRRA lo trajo para acÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

La UNRRA me mandà para acÃ.

David Boder

ÂY Turingia es en la regiÃn rusa?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Turingia es regiÃn rusa.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Al principio era regiÃn americana pero desde principios de julio de 1945 es regiÃn rusa.

David Boder

Entonces lo mandaron para acÃ. Bueno, ahora ÂcuÃnto tiempo ya està Ud. aquÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Oh, casi un aÃo.

David Boder

ÂY por quà le toma tanto tiempo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Porque hasta ahora no dejaron salir a ningÃn sudamericano de acà oficialmente. Se pudieron marchar solamente la gente que se marchà negra, y un . . . padre de familia no puede marcharse negro.

David Boder

ÂOh! Negro . . . Ud. llama a . . . el camino ilegal.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, ÂcuÃntas personas son en su familia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo tengo cinco niÃos, menores de edad.

David Boder

Y su esposa.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y mi esposa, sÃ.

David Boder

ÂEs chilena su esposa?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, es de descendencia danesa.

David Boder

ÂQuÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Danesa.

David Boder

ÂDanesa? ÂSe casà Ud. aquà en Europa?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, me casà en Europa.

David Boder

ÂOh! Bueno, dÃgame, y . . . si se va Ud. ahora para Chile ÂquiÃn paga su . . . su transporte?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo podrÃa . . . habrÃa podido pagarlo, a lo menos . . . veinte veces con los dineros que tenÃa a mi disposiciÃn, pero como parte de ello se ha perdido y la otra parte no vale nada . . .

David Boder

ÂQuà dinero es?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Es dinero alemÃn porque todo el otro dinero fue confiscado por los alemanes . . . por los alemanes, que tenÃa todavÃa en SudamÃrica . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Me quedà solamente . . .

David Boder

ÂSu dinero que Ud. tuvo en SudamÃrica . . . ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En SudamÃrica.

David Boder

. . . Âfue confiscado?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, fue confiscado por las [ininteligible] alemanas.

David Boder

EspÃrese, Ud. tuvo Americ . . . dinero en Chile.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

TenÃa dinero en Chile, sÃ.

David Boder

Bueno, entonces Âquà pueden los alemanes decir sobre su dinero en Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, podÃan, exigÃan una declaraciÃn de los bienes que uno tenÃa en el extranjero, bajo juramento.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y ese dinero fue . . . para esos dineros . . . ofrecieron en cambio . . .

David Boder

Marks.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Marks, y . . . se lo llevaron.

David Boder

Bueno, pero Ud. estuvo ciudadano chileno.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, no importaba.

David Boder

ÂEl cÃnsul no podÃa defenderlo de ningÃn modo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, no podÃa defenderlo porque . . . todo lo que pertenec . . . lo que estaba aquà en el . . . en el territorio alemÃn estaba sujeto a las leyes alemanas como me declaraban y no podÃa evitarlo.

David Boder

Pero mirÃ, parece que Chile estuvo en la guerra de parte de los Aliados, Âno?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, pero declarà la guerra . . .

David Boder

MÃs tarde.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . el 12 de abril '45.

David Boder

ÂOh! Tan tarde. De modo . . . (risas) . . . de modo que . . . antes ellos podÃan tener . . . tomar su dinero.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, desde '43, habÃa las relaciones diplomÃticas . . .

David Boder

Interrumpidas.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Estaban interrumpidas.

David Boder

Entonces, ÂcÃmo se llegaron a su dinero?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No . . . mm . . . Âa mi dinero?

David Boder

[Ininteligible]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, eso lo habÃan confiscado ya antes.

David Boder

ÂAntes?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

Entonces, bueno ÂquÃ? Âla UNRRA le paga el pasaje a la gente?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, no creemos que la UNRRA vaya a pagar pasaje para nosotros, contamos . . . que nuestro gobierno nos va a ayudar.

David Boder

Bueno, Âsabe Ud. algo todavÃa de su gobierno?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, sà muy poco porque hasta ahora era muy difÃcil ponerse en comunicaciÃn con nuestro gobierno.

David Boder

ÂNo tiene consulado chileno en Alemania?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No hay todavÃa consulado chileno en Alemania.

David Boder

Entonces, Âel consulado mÃs prÃximo es dÃnde?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

El . . . los consulados mÃs prÃximos estÃn en Zurich y en ParÃs.

David Boder

En ParÃs. ÂY quÃ, tienen algÃn representante que los vino a ver aquà o . . . ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, hasta ahora nadie.

David Boder

ÂCuÃntos chilenos hay aquà en este campo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En este campo hay setenta y seis chilenos.

David Boder

ÂÂSetenta y seis chilenos?!

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

ÂEs un nÃmero bastante grande!

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, porque estÃn reunidos casi todos de la zona americana aquÃ.

David Boder

Bueno, dÃgame otra cosa. De modo que Ud. estuvo una persona relativamente libre en Alemania durante la guerra. ÂCÃmo Ud. aprecia toda la situaciÃn? Ud. conocÃa alemanes y tuvo amigos alemanes o . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

Bueno. ÂQuà . . . cuÃl fue la . . . opiniÃn . . . la actitud, por decir asÃ, de ellos sobre todo lo que pasaba aquà en Alemania durante la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, en . . . yo conozco sobre todo la situaciÃn como se . . . se puede entender en Alta Silesia porque estuve en Alta Silesia.

David Boder

SÃ, bueno.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En Alta Silesia.

David Boder

Alta Silesia es un poco polaco.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, Alta Silesia es una cosa que . . . una cosa por sÃ.

David Boder

SÃ, bueno dÃgame.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No se puede considerar como representante, digamos de toda la mentalidad alemana porque . . . digamos . . . hablan entre sÃ, hablan el polaco . . .

David Boder

Um.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y entre ellos es claro que la . . . una buena parte de ellos no tenÃa muchas ganas de participar en la guerra y . . . eran hostiles a . . . a todo lo que se pasaba . . .

David Boder

Bueno.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

A toda la polÃtica, justamente porque se consideraban . . . medio polacos.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, estuvo allà . . . un grupo que se consideraba Reichsdeutsch.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

ÂSÃ! Pero no habÃa muchos. La gente que venÃa allà sobre todo como digamos . . . como ingenieros de minas, venÃa de Westphalia.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y era gente catÃlica que estaba tambiÃn en una cierta oposiciÃn, como Alta Silesia es un paÃs muy buen catÃlico . . .

David Boder

Um. Entonces.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Ellos nunca querÃan eh . . . trabajar con los prusianos que no eran catÃlicos.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y preferÃan a sacarse la gente de Westphalia y como la gente de Westphalia es tambiÃn gente minera . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . eso estaba muy en orden.

David Boder

AjÃ. Pues, dÃgame seÃor, ÂUd. sabe la situaciÃn en que se encontrà el pueblo judÃo? Pues usted como una persona de lado, como de observador. ÂQuà sabe Ud. de està situaciÃn y cÃmo la aprecia Ud.?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ. La . . .

David Boder

Francamente.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

La situaciÃn del pueblo judÃo fue terrible. No tenÃamos lejos de allà el campamento de . . . el campamento de Auschwitz.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Nunca se sabÃa algo de lo que se pasaba allÃ, verdaderamente estaba muy bien isolado.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero se sabÃa eso, que . . . la gente fue tratada muy mal y sufrieron bastante los pobrecitos que . . . que fueron transportados por allà y que nosotros vimos que fueron transportados. No vimos mucho porque esos transportes siempre se pasaban o por la noche o por caminos que uno no podÃa observar.

David Boder

Um.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

CorrÃan solamente bolas sobre ellos y uno no sabÃa lo que era verdad y lo que era exagerado, pero sabÃamos bastante que sufrÃan.

David Boder

Bueno, allà prÃximo de Auschwitz estuvo Birkenau, Âno?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, Birkenau no està lejos.

David Boder

Bueno, dicen que en Birkenau se encontraban los crematorios y que . . . se pusieron allà a la gente . . . en las cÃmaras de gas y todo. ÂSe sabÃan en . . . la gente allà cercana, se sabÃa que se hacen esas cosas en Birkenau?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, en nuestra regiÃn, dÃnde yo trabajaba, estaba mÃs o menos a . . . digamos . . . 50 Km. de Auschwitz.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y ahà verdaderamente no se sabÃa nada de las cÃmaras de gas y de esos crematorios. Se sabÃa solamente que llevaban mucha gente por allà y dÃnde quedaba no se sabÃa exactamente nada.

David Boder

Bueno, no habÃa gente que . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SabÃamos solamente que la gente por ejemplo que . . . trabajaba . . . habÃa tambiÃn judÃos por ejemplo, que trabajaban en los caminos allÃ.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y que esos fueron tratados muy mal, eso lo sabÃamos, porque eso lo veÃamos. Eso se podÃa observar, mientras tanto que todo lo otro, solamente se oÃa de vez en cuando un rumor pero mÃs no.

David Boder

AjÃ. Bueno, Âno hubo alemanes, polacos que trabajaban en Auschwitz que tenÃan . . . que estuvieron allà de soldados y eso . . . que se regresaban y decÃan algo de esto?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No . . . por nuestra parte yo no hemos encontrado tales soldados, puede ser que . . . yo no sà si los impidieron a ponerse en contacto con el . . .

David Boder

[Ininteligible]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . Con el resto del mundo, o cÃmo lo hicieron pero . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . No me recuerdo de tal cosa. Sà solamente que se hablaba de que se llevaba a la gente allà y lo que yo mismo he visto son gente que sufrÃa mucho bajo condiciones de trabajo . . . monstruosas, en los caminos.

David Boder

Y la . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En una . . . exactamente en una vÃa ferroviaria donde lo pudo . . . lo pude observar.

David Boder

ÂPuede Ud. describir un poco lo que yo . . . lo que Ud. ha visto?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, yo he visto que la gente trabajaba en . . . con . . . muy mala alimentada y eso . . . es lo que sobre todo se podÃa ver y que era . . . tenÃan . . . cabos que los trataban bastante mal.

David Boder

ÂCabos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

ÂLos maltrataban fÃsicamente?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, eso tambiÃn se veÃa de vez en cuando, no mucho, pero se veÃa de vez en cuando que los maltrataban.

David Boder

Bueno. Ud . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Bastaba para una persona que tiene un sentimiento humano, bastaba.

David Boder

Bastaba. ÂUd. estuvo prÃximo de Katowice, Sosnowiec?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Digamos, entre Katowice y Gleiwitz.

David Boder

Katowice y Gleiwitz.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

SerÃa prÃximo de dÃnde Ud. estuvo. Bueno, ÂUd. supo que las ciudades como Katowice o Sosnowiec que se construyeron los guetos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En Katowice no sà que habÃa gueto. No habÃa gueto en Katowice, creo que llevaron a los judÃos a . . .

David Boder

[Ininteligible] A otro lugar.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

A otro lugar.

David Boder

SÃ. A Katowice lo declar . . . lo hicieron . . . cÃmo se llama . . . Judenrein.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ.

David Boder

SÃ. Y . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Allà no habÃa judÃos.

David Boder

SÃ, no habÃa judÃos desde el advenimiento de Hitler. Bueno, ahora, los otros chilenos que tiene Ud. aquà Âquà clase de gente son, cÃmo ellos llegaron para acÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, es muy diferente. Entre ellos hay gente que vino para curarse, por ejemplo uno, que tenÃa una enfermedad terrible de sus ojos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Muchos estaban aquà para estudiar porque . . . era usual de mandar sus hijos y sus niÃos a Europa.

David Boder

ÂDe Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

De Chile, algÃn tiempo a lo menos. No todo el tiempo, sino unos dos, tres aÃos a Europa.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y otros que vinieron por acà para visitar a sus parientes.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

TenÃan padres . . . o . . .

David Boder

Um.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . abuelos aquà que querÃan visitar, aquà o en Austria y en Europa Central.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y tambiÃn gente que estaba justamente aquà por sus negocios, por ejemplo trabajando, perfeccionÃndose como ingeniero y cosa tal, para emplear lo que habÃan aprendido en su patria.

David Boder

ÂCÃmo? ÂLos forzaron de entrar al ejÃrcito? ÂEstuvo en el ejÃrcito?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

A una . . . a algunos de ellos, a algunos jÃvenes de ellos . . . seguramente los forzaron a entrar al ejÃrcito, aunque algunos podÃan evitarlo.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero pocos supieron evitarlo. Los que tenemos aquà son sobre todo . . . hay pocos jÃvenes, entre ellos muchachos, son sobre todo niÃas que tenemos aquÃ, algunos pocos jÃvenes.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Tenemos tambiÃn algunos que . . . primero estuvieron en el ejÃrcito pero lograron salir otra vez de Ãl y encontraron un empleo en el paÃs mismo.

David Boder

Um. Bueno, y . . . ellos se . . . hay algunos que son medio alemanes, medio chilenos.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Hay gente, sobre todo de seguro, es gente de descendencia alemana a lo menos.

David Boder

SÃ. ÂLos hubo mucho en Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, hay bastante gente de descendencia alemana sobre todo en el sur de Chile que fue colonizado por gente de . . .

David Boder

ÂOh!

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . de descendencia alemana. En Valdivia, Osorno, Temuco, son ciudades donde uno encuentra muchos nombres alemanes.

David Boder

Pues allà parece que estuvieron en AmÃrica del Sur ciudadanos muy buenos, muy Ãtiles.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, claro, hasta el estallido de la guerra esa gente tenÃa muy buen renombre en Chile y nunca se metià en la polÃtica chilena y . . . disturbà la polÃtica. Tampoco durante la guerra yo no he oÃdo nada de eso y, por eso, tampoco hubo grandes canjes como las hubo por ejemplo en las Americas Centrales.

David Boder

SÃ. Pues dÃgame, Ud. dice que salià de Chile Âen quà aÃo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

'28.

David Boder

'28. Bueno, entonces . . . aquel tiempo Ây vino Ud. para Alemania . . . para Silesia en este tiempo?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo vine primero a Austria en ese tiempo.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y despuÃs tuve mi domicilio en el paÃs que . . . podÃa juzgarse que era un paÃs por el cual se peleaba todo el mundo.

David Boder

ÂQuà era?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Alta Silesia.

David Boder

Alta Silesia, Âpero en aquel tiempo esto estuvo en las manos de quiÃn? ÂDe los checos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Parte pertenecÃa a los checos, parte pertenecÃa a los polacos y parte a los alemanes, y tenÃan una jurisdicciÃn especial.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Estaban . . . pertenecÃan a esos estados pero estaba restricta esa . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . soberanÃa por leyes administrativas sobre todo y leyes econÃmicas sobre todo. Por ejemplo, no necesitaba pagar impuesto para algunos productos que canjeaban . . .

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . de un lado al otro.

David Boder

DÃgame esto, Ud. es agricultor ÂcÃmo le parece a Ud. la agricultura alemana ha sufrido mucho durante la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yo conozco solamente, porque no se podÃa hacer viajes durante la guerra, la agricultura en Alta Silesia.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y esa, se puede decir està destruida.

David Boder

ÂEso por quÃ? ÂSe llevaron las mÃquinas o los animales, o quÃ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Se llevà todo lo que habÃa que se podÃa llevar, los animales y las mÃquinas y las siembras, todo lo que habÃa, se desapareciÃ.

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y las batallas no hicieron gran daÃo y tampoco los raids aÃreos hicieron allà gran daÃo porque no hubo muchos raids. Los rusos no hicieron . . .

David Boder

Raids.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Ataques aÃreos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero . . . el fin de la guerra hizo el mayor daÃo.

David Boder

Bueno, y por lo que Ud. tuvo la oportunidad, Ud. habla alemÃn, tuvo Ud. la oportunidad de hablar con los alemanes ahora, ÂcuÃl es el sentimiento? ÂQuà creen ellos que pasarà con Alemania?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, yo conozco entre los alemanes, conozco sobre todo la gente Silesiaca que fue echada afuera de Silesia. Ellos no tienen otro sentimiento que el deseo de volver a su patria nativa dÃnde estuvieron . . .

David Boder

ÂA Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

A Silesia, sÃ.

David Boder

ÂY quieren volverse a Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Quisieran volver a Silesia dÃnde . . .

David Boder

ÂY por quà no vuelven?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Porque . . . porque segÃn los tratados ahora fueron desplazados por los polacos, los echaron afuera.

David Boder

Ud. dice de la gente que se consideraba alemana.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Los polacos consideran a todos los que habitaban antes allÃ, como alemanes.

David Boder

Alemanes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Bueno, no tomaron parte en el . . .

David Boder

ÂNo pasà esto que Hitler importà a muchos alemanes a Silesia durante la guerra?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, porque Silesia estaba bastante poblada tambiÃn durante . . .

David Boder

AjÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y ya antes no habÃa lugar para importar alemanes. Los alemanes que fueron importados, fueron importados en . . . en Wartagau . . . y cÃmo se llamaba . . . en la provincia Posen y allÃ, allÃ, metieron alemanes . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Pero en Silesia no llevaron ni una persona, no habÃa ni un metro cuadrado para esta gente.

David Boder

ÂY dÃnde està ahora esa gente?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Esos estÃn sobre todo en la zona rusa, en la parte alemana de la zona rusa y en la zona britÃnica y algunos tambiÃn, quizÃs unos cien mil, estarÃn en la zona americana.

David Boder

ÂÂUnos cien mil?! ÂPues cuÃntos ellos expulsaron?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Expulsaron a ver . . . a mÃs o menos la Silesia estaba habitada por mÃs o menos siete millones de personas, todos fueron expulsados. Ahora queda solamente, mÃs o menos un millÃn pero que . . .

David Boder

Que se consideraban verdaderamente polacos.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, es que quieren expulsar todavÃa. Toda la gente fue expulsada . . .

David Boder

[Ininteligible]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Hasta el Ãltimo de Silesia, sÃ.

David Boder

ÂY quà . . . cuando los expulsan les dan algo de su propiedad, les dan algo de . . . ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Los que fueron expulsados hasta ahora, fueron expulsados como pobrecitos, sin nada.

David Boder

Pues se dice que Sudeten, por ejemplo, los expulsan a los alemanes que hay una comisiÃn que vea que les dan a cada uno cincuenta kilos tanto de . . . de su propie . . . de efectos personales y todo. ÂPero no se hizo lo mismo en Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

En Silesia, hasta el aÃo pasado o hasta este aÃo, lo que he oÃdo, lo que me contà la gente silesiaca que he hablado, no pudo llevar nada.

David Boder

Bueno, entonces, Âa quiÃn ellos culpan? ÂA Hitler o a los . . . polacos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Los sentimientos en . . . por . . .

David Boder

ÂPor los rusos?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . por los rusos y los polacos no son muy amables porque fueron tratados bastante mal por ellos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Y es claro que el que trata mal . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . tiene que pagarlo con malos sentimientos.

David Boder

SÃ, claro, pero por otro modo ellos pueden . . . podrÃan pensar o entender, si Hitler no hubiera comenzado todo . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Eso es claro, eso se dice la gente la gente que piensa, pero la mayorÃa de la gente no piensa sino sufre solamente en el momento y ve al que le hace sufrir y eso es una cosa que hace bastante daÃo. Uno puede pegar a un otro y decirle "Hitler tiene la culpa porque me pegà a mÃ," pero Ãl al que pega siempre ve solamente al que està delante de sÃ, no ve a las causas que estÃn mÃs lejanas.

David Boder

Pues esa es una observaciÃn muy interesante Don Ernesto, porque a veces nosotros pensamos si la humanidad hubiera aprendido alguna lecciÃn de toda esta catÃstrofe, Âquà piensa Ud.?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

SÃ, la lecciÃn que debiera aprender es simplemente acabar un dÃa con las hostilidades y uno tiene que empezar por acabar, porque s iempre cuando se . . . se va pagando la cuenta, eso continÃa hasta el Ãltimo juicio.

David Boder

Pues Don Ernesto, muchÃsimas gracias. Yo quisiera tener algÃn reporte, informaciÃn, de persona que estuvo en Alemania durante todo el tiempo y que podÃa observar las cosas un poco como un extranjero. Yo creo que a todos nos interesarà mucho estudiar lo que Ud. a dicho.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes Spool 135. The interviewee was Don Ernesto Moeller-Arnold, a Chilean by birth who spent during the time of the war in Germany as a manager of various etstates, agricultural properties, and had some opportunity to observer . . . had some opportunity to observeâI am mixing my Spanish with my Englishâwhat has happened. Muenchen, September the 20th, 1946. Spool 135, Illinois Institute of Technology wire recording. Thank you very much, Mr. Moeller.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

[In Spanish] No hay de quÃ, seÃor.

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] MÃnchen, September the 20th, 1946, in an UNRRA transient camp in the Funkenkasernen [former armories of the German signal corps]. The interviewee is Mr. Ernesto Moeller-Arnold, fifty-one years old, nacido en . . . [chuckle, correction] born in Chile. I am beginning to mix the languages. Also . . . ah . . .

David Boder

[in Spanish] Senor Moeller-Arnold, come, please, nearer so that . . . no [words not clear].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I am sitting quite comfortably . . .

David Boder

I wish that you speak in a normal voice . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

. . . since then the recording will come out better.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

Will you do us the favor of telling us again your name . . . what your name is, how old you are, and where you were born?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

My name is Ernesto Moeller-Arnold, and I was born in Santiago, Chile, in the year nineteen hundred . . . [correction] 1894.

David Boder

Now tell me then, where were you, Sr. Moeller-Arnold, when the war started?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

At the start of the war I had a post as manager of [farm-] estates in Upper Silesia. I was administering the estates which belonged to people who simultaneously owned estates in Polish territory, Czechoslovak territory, and in German territory. And in consequence it was very difficult to find a person to administer them who would have the confidence of all, in all these countries.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And I was such a person, as a Chilean, as a neutral person from a faraway country.

David Boder

Now, Sr. Moeller-Arnold, tell me, how did you get to Europe in the first place? When?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

When I came the first time to Europe, I came to Vienna to study in the famous Hochschule der Bodenkultur [Institute of Agriculture], because I had decided to study agronomy.

David Boder

Yes? So then you remained in Europe from that . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. I returned to Chile. I spent a considerable time in Chile, but during the world crisis in '28 [onset of the depression] which happened in those years, I did not have enough money to buy a good [farm-] estate, and since I was offered a good position in Upper Silesia, where I know some local people [whom I met] during my studies in Vienna, I accepted it.

David Boder

Well . . . well now, who were the proprietors of that estate in Upper Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There were various [ones]. There was among others the mining company Shakoch [?] in Gleiwitz, the mining company Godula in Katowice, the mining company Henkel [?] Limited in London.

David Boder

Now then . . . yes? How . . . Now were these farm-estates?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Those were estates which belonged to the companies, and which the companies maintained to feed their workers, whom they had . . .

David Boder

Oh, whom they had in their mines.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

Oh well. And so? You administered these estates. From what year?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

From the year '29 . . . '29, '30, '31, '32.

David Boder

Good. And until what time?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

To the last moment. Until January '45 when these estates were occupied by . . . by the Russian army.

David Boder

Aha. Well, now tell me, sir, where were you when the war started?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I was in Upper Silesia, exactly there where I worked.

David Boder

Yes. And what happened to you during the war?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

During the war not much happened to me. I had plenty of difficulties with the German authorities, above all with the military authorities.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The difficulties on account of the war were very great, because it came to a great need for food for the people. And for that reason, at the beginning, I was left in peace [unmolested].

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

But because I also endeavored to protect persecuted individuals, and because, above all, I endeavored to feed as well as possible the workers who were brought over as foreign prisoners, and to guarantee them better rations, I had sufficient difficulties with the types [kinds of people] who ruled in those times.

David Boder

Aha. Well tell me, in order to work at your estates, at the estates in your charge, foreign workers were brought in?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, no. The foreign workers worked in the mines.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And I had . . .

David Boder

Oh, you . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . to take charge . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . of feeding them. Not directly, but to supply them with the provisions needed for the kitchens of for the canteens which fed them.

David Boder

Now how did they live? In lagers, in barracks? How did they live?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

It was different. Part of them lived in barracks and in lagers [? sounds like lavas], and part of them lived . . . lived privately.

David Boder

. . . were billeted in private homes? Now tell me, sir, what kind of people did you have . . . did they have to work in the mines? Of what nationality, of what religion?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Oh, they had people of nearly all nationalities. They had English prisoners. They had people of all countries, but mostly there were Ukranians which they had brought from Russia.

David Boder

Ukranian people. Women, too?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Women, no. I have not seen women at that time in the mines . . .

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . there.

David Boder

Well, and indirectly you had the responsibility for their feeding. And who worked in the fields of your estate?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In the fields worked . . . the remainder, mostly the workers who worked before. They also worked in the time of war, because the major part of [field] workers in Upper Silesia are the women. The men are [working] in the mines, and the women work on the estates. So it was for a long time before the war.

David Boder

And that was a tradition. Good. And then when the Russian army arrived, then what happened?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. When the Russian army arrived, all of us who lived there were evacuated by the Germans. We were ordered to Thruingia.

David Boder

Yes. And where did you live in Thuringia? In . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I was located with my family in Thuringia. I was thrown there in a village into very bad quarters, but since I intended to negotiate with the Russians about continuing my work also with them, I returned to Silensia.

David Boder

Yes. And what happened then?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I found all the estates more or less devastated and destroyed. Moreover, all the machinery was taken away, all the horses.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And the estates proper were confiscated by the Polish authorities.

David Boder

Aha. They were confiscated in order to distribute them among the people as homesteads?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. They said that they wanted to distribute them, but I wanted somehow to negotiate the continuation of my work and met with very pleasant cooperation of the part of the Poles. I cannot complain about them. But since there were no means [facilities] whatsoever to work with, it was not possible to do anything. And to sit there only as a chief without doing any real work, I did not want to continue. To do that was just a farce.

David Boder

Where is your family now, don Ernesto?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

My family, too, is here in the camp with me.

David Boder

An UNRRA camp here. Well. Now tell me, how . . . when did you leave those estates, [and] the Russians?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The Russians told me frankly and clearly that I as a foreigner of an American [Chilean] nationality have nothing to do there but to return to my native country.

David Boder

Good.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And . . .

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They attempted at first to ship me home via Odessa, like so many other foreigners, French and Belgians, with whom I was together.

David Boder

Yes. How come you say you were together? Were you placed in a lager?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. I just lived ther. The Belgians and the French were . . . they had been locked up there in camps, but I for the short time was not in a camp. They endeavored to persuade me to go there to a camp. But since they told me that they intended to repatriate me via Odessa, that appeared to me a bit strange, and I took to the road at first on my own . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . with some Belgians who too had no faith in the repatriation through Odessa.

David Boder

Well. Your family was already in Thuringia, so that you were alone and had not much difficulty in marching through?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No.

David Boder

Now then, how did you get out of there?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I left with some Belgian prisoners.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

We marched together.

David Boder

Illegally.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Illegally, but we had no great difficulty. Even the Russians helped me . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . from time to time, and I marched with them [the Belgians] as far as Thuringia.

David Boder

Aha. Now how long did you march in this manner through Polish or Russian territory?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I do not remember well. It took at least, from Upper Silesia as far . . . as far . . . as far . . . where should I say? . . . as far as Wurzen in Saxony . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . it took me about three weeks, more or less.

David Boder

Aha. Oh . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And at times by bus, at times on foot, at times . . .

David Boder

By . . . by . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . by train, in freight cars.

David Boder

Did you have any money?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. The money was taken away from me en route by soldiers who were pillaging.

David Boder

How? Did they search you?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. There were always soldiers who were doing there business on their own.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Of all nations, that there were.

David Boder

Soldiers of all nations.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

But these, regretfully, were Russians. [Both laugh.]

David Boder

Aha. Well.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They were Russian friends [chuckle].

David Boder

And so you reached Thuringia? And how did you get here, from Thuringia to this place?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In Thuringia the Russian authorities declared again on their part that we had to leave their zone.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And I assembled my family and entered a Russian [DP] camp, and I was transported by the Russians to the Amer- . . . American Zone and handed over by the Russians themselves to the American UNRRA.

David Boder

Oh. From the Russian camp. Well. And the UNRRA brought you here.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And the UNRRA sent me here.

David Boder

And Thuringia? Is that in the Russian Zone?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Thuringia is in the Russian Zone.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

At the start it was an American region, but from the beginning of July, 1945 it has been a Russian region.

David Boder

Russian. And so you were sent over here. Well, now how much time have you already been here?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I? Nearly a year.

David Boder

And why does it take you so much time?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Because up to now they did not permit a single South American to leave officially. Only those people could leave who left on the black [illegally]. And a father of a family cannot travel on the black.

David Boder

Oh. By black is meant the illegal route.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

Well. How many people are in your family?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I have five children, all minors.

David Boder

And your wife?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And my wife. Yes.

David Boder

And your wife is a Chilean?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Of Danish descent.

David Boder

What?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Danish.

David Boder

Danish. Did you get married here in Europe?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. I married in Europe.

David Boder

Oh. Well. Tell me, you are going not to Chile? Who pays your . . . your transportation?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I could . . . could have paid for it at least twenty-fold with the money that I had at my disposal. But since part of it was lost, and the other part is worth nothing . . .

David Boder

What kind of money is it?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

It is German money, because all other money was confiscated by the Germans . . . by the Germans, [the funds] that I still had in South America, and only . . .

David Boder

[With suprise] Money that you had in South America . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

South America.

David Boder

. . . was confiscated?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

How did they do that?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

It was confiscated by the German currency control [surrender of foreign deposits].

David Boder

Now wait. You had Amer- . . . money in Chile.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I had money in Chile.

David Boder

What could the Germans have to say over your money in Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. They demanded a declaration about money kept abroadâunder oath.

David Boder

And this money . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

For this they offered in exchang . . .

David Boder

Marks?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . marks, and they took it away.

David Boder

Well. But you were a Chilean citizen.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, but that meant nothing.

David Boder

The consul could not protect you in any way?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. He could not protect me, because everybody who belonged . . . found himself here in Ger- . . . German territory was subject to the German laws, as I was notified, and I could not avoid it.

David Boder

But look here. It seems that Chile was in the war on the side of the Allies, no?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, but it declared war the twelfth of April, '45 [this appears at least approximately correct].

David Boder

Oh. That late? [Both laugh heartily.] Consequently before that they could get your power of attorney and take your money.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. From 1943 the diplomatic relations were . . .

David Boder

Interrupted.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . were interrupted.

David Boder

Now how can you say that they got hold of your money?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

But . . . Of my money? That they got hold of still before.

David Boder

Before.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

Well, does the UNRRA supply passage for people?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. I don't think that the UNRRA will supply the passage for us. We figure that our government will help us.

David Boder

Well, have you heard already anything from your government?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. I know very little, because up to now it was very difficult to establish communication with the government.

David Boder

Don't you have a Chilean consulate in Germany?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There is no Chilean consulate in Germany yet.

David Boder

Now then, the nearest consulate is where?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The nearest consulate . . . consulates are in Zurich and in Paris.

David Boder

In Paris. And what? Do they have a kind of representative who came to see you here?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, up to this timeânobody.

David Boder

And how many Chileans are there in this camp?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In this camp there are seventy-six Chileans.

David Boder

[Suprised] Seventy-six Chileans?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

That is rather a large number.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, because there are assembled here almost all [Chileans] from the American Zone.

David Boder

Now tell me something else. Since you were a person relatively free in Germany during the war, how do you appraise the whole situation? You knew Germans. You had German friends or [the like].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

What was their opinion, their attitude so to speak, to all that which took place in Germany during the war?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. I know the situation as it was understood in Upper Silesia, because I was in Upper Silesia.

David Boder

Well.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In Upper Silesia . . .

David Boder

Upper Silesia is somewhat Polish.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, Upper Silesia is something per se.

David Boder

Yes, well. Tell me.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

It cannot be considered as representative, let us say, of the total German mentality, because, let us say, they talk among themselves . . . they talk Polish.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And among them, of course, a great part of them were not very eager to participate in the war, and were hostile towards everything that was going on, towards all politics, and justifiably so, because they considered themselves in fact [?] Poles.

David Boder

Aha. Well, there was a group which considered themselves Reichsdeutsch [possible wanted to say Volksdeutsch], or something of the kind.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. Those were not many. The people who came there, first of all the engineers of the mines, had come from Westphalia. These were Catholic people who, too, were in a certain . . . certain opposition, since Upper Silesia is indeed a very Catholic country.

David Boder

Hm. And then . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They never wanted . . . did not want to work with the Prussians who were not Catholics.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And they preferred to associate [?] with people from Westphalia. And since the people from Westphalia are mining people as well, that appeared very appropriate.

David Boder

Now tell me, sir, you know the situation in which the Jewish people found themselves. Now you as a person from the side, as an observer . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Well.

David Boder

. . . what do you know about the situation, and how do you appraise it?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. The . . .

David Boder

Frankly.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The situation of the Jewish people was terrible. We had not far from there the lager Auschwitz.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Never did anything come out from there, anything about what happened there. It was indeed well isolated.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

But still it came out from there that the people are being treated very badly, and they suffered a great deal, those poor people who were transported there, and whom we saw being transported. We did not see much, because these transports passed either by night or by roads that one could not observe.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There were only rumors [?] about them, and one did not know whether they were true or were exaggerated, but we knew enough that they suffered.

David Boder

Well. Near to Auschwitz was Birkenau. Well. Go on.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, Birkenau was not far from there.

David Boder

Well.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

It is said that in Birkenau were located the crematories, and that there people were led through gas chambers and all that. Was it known by the people around there? Was it known that such things were done in Birkenau?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. In our region where I worked . . . It was more or less, let us say fifty kilometers from . . . from Auschwitz.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And there [in our region], frankly, nothing was known about those gas chambers and those crematories. It only was known that a lot of people went there, and where they remainedânothing was exactly known.

David Boder

Well, were there no people . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

We only knew that the people who worked . . . There were also Jews among the people who worked there on the roads.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And that these were treated very badly. This we know, because this we saw. This was possible to observe, while about all the other [things] one only heard now and then a rumor, and nothing else.

David Boder

Hm. Well, were there no Germans, Poles who worked in Auschwitz who had . . . who were there as soldiers, and when they returned did they not report anything about that?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. In our parts we did not meet such soldiers. Well, I don't kow whether they were impeded in establishing contact with the rest . . .

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . of the world. How that was doneâI do not remember these things. I know only that it was said that people have been taken there, and what I personally have seen is that they were people who have suffered much under conditions of monstrous work, on the roads . . .

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . on a road, precisely on a railroad, where I could observe it.

David Boder

Could you describe a bit what I . . . [correction] you have seen?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. I saw that the people worked in . . . with . . . [were] nourished very badly, and . . . that . . . what . . . most of all it could be observed . . . and they were [ditch] diggers, that they were treated rather badly.

David Boder

Diggers? Were they physically mistreated?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. This too could be observed. One saw it happen from time to time, not often, but from time to time one observed that they were mistreated.

David Boder

Well. You . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

It was enough, for a person with human sentiment, for him, it was enough.

David Boder

Hm. Was enough. You were near Katowice, Sosnowiec?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Let us say between Katowice and Gleiwitz.

David Boder

Near [?] Katowice and Gleiwitz. There is where you were approximately. Well. Did you know that in the cities like Katowice or Sosnowiec ghettos were built?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In Katowice I don't know whether there was a ghetto. There was no ghetto.in Katowice. I believe they were taken . . .

David Boder

Were taken to another . . . another place?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Another place. Yes.

David Boder

Yes. And Katowice was madeâwhat was it called?âJudenrein [literally, "clean of Jews"].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

Yes. And there were no Jews.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There were no Jews since the advent of Hitler.

David Boder

Well, [about] the other Chileans that you have here. What kind of people are they? How did they get here?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They vary a great deal. There are among them people who had come for medical treatment. For example, one . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . who had a terrible disease of his eyes . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Many were here to study [go to school], because it was customary to send their sons, their children to Europe . . .

David Boder

From Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . from Chile. For a time, at least for some time. Not for all the time, but for some two, three years, to Europe. And others have come here to visit their parents.

David Boder

Aha. They were . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They had here parents . . . parents..

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . or grandparents whom they desired to visit, here or in Austria.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And in central Europe.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There were still some who were here on their own business . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . for instance, working, perfecting themselves as engineers and similar things, in order to employ what they have learned in their own country.

David Boder

And how? Were they forced to enter the army? Were they dragged into service?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Some of them. Some . . . some of them, some young people among them, were certainly forced to join the army, although some of them could avoid it.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

But only a few knew how to avoid it. Of those that we have here, most of them . . . there are but a few young ones among them, boys and mostly girls that we have here, only a few young ones.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

We have also here a few who first were in the army, but managed to get out of it, and had found employment in the country in general.

David Boder

Hm. Well, they . . . there are some among them who are half German, half Chilean?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Oh, yes, surely. They [some of them] are first of all, at least of German descent.

David Boder

Yes. Were there many [such] in Chile?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. Oh, there are . . . are quite a few. Still there were people of German descent first of all in the south of Chile, which was colonized . . .

David Boder

Oh . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . by people of German descent. In the provinces, Osorno, Temu- . . . Temuco are cities where one finds many German names.

David Boder

But it appears that they [the Germans] were, in South America, very good and useful citizens, and . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes, certainly. Even . . . up to now, up to the war these people had in Chile a very good name, and they never interfered in Chilean politics, or disturbed the politics. Neither during the war did I hear something of that sort, and for that reason there were no great discords [?] among the people like, for example, existed in the Central Americas.

David Boder

Yes. Now tell me, you say you left Chile in what year?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

'28.

David Boder

'28. Well then, at that time . . . and you came to Germany, to Silesia, at that time?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

I came at that time first to Austria.

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And afterwards I established my home in the country which played a part . . . which was the country over which the whole world was fighting. [Laughter.]

David Boder

Which was that?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Upper Sile- . . . Upper Silesia.

David Boder

Upper Silesia. But at that time you were in whose hands? Of the Czechs?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Part belonged to the Czechs, part belonged to the Poles, and part to the Germans. And they [these regions] were of special [separate] jurisdiction.

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They were . . . they belonged to those countries, but . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . the sovereignty [of these countries] was restricted, especially by administrative laws, and especially by economic laws. For instance, they did not have to pay taxes on certain products which they transported . . .

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . from one side to the other.

David Boder

Tell me this. You are an agronomist. How does it appear to you? Has German agriculture suffered much during the war?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

[Pause.] I know onlyâbecause it was not possible to travel during the warâthe agriculture in Upper Silesia.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

And this one [agriculture] one may say is ruined.

David Boder

And that is why? Because the machinery was taken away [by the Allies, Russians], or . . . [words not clear].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Because everything was taken away that was possible to take. The animals, the machinery, the seed, everything that there was has disappeared.

David Boder

Hm.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The battles did not cause great damage, and the aerial raids did not cause great damage, because there were not many raids. The Russians did not launch . . . launch raids . . .

David Boder

Air attacks.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . by air. Yes. But the termination of the war created the greatest damage.

David Boder

Good. Well. Since you had the opportunity, you speak German, you had the opportunity to talk to the Germans now, what is the sentiment, what do they thing is going to happ- . . . happen to Germany?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. I know . . . among the Germans I know predominantly the unfortunate people who were thrown out of Silesia, They have no other sentiment than the desire to return to their native homeland where they were . . .

David Boder

To Silesia.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

[Chuckle.] To Silesia, yes.

David Boder

They desire to return to Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They desi- . . . they would like to return to silesia where . . .

David Boder

So why don't they return?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Because . . . according to present treaties they have been de-classed [deprived of status] by the Poles. They were thrown out.

David Boder

You are talking about people who [during the war] considered themselves Germans [in Polish territory].

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

The Poles considered everybody who lived there before as Germans. [Words not clear.]

David Boder

Did it not happen that Hitler imported many Germans to Silesia during the war?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No. Because Silesia was sufficiently populated already before . . .

David Boder

Aha.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There was no room for the importation of Germans. The Germans who were imported were imported to Wartagau [region of the Warta River] or what was called the Posen [Poznan] province. There . . . there Germans were pressed in, but to Silesia they did not bring a single person.

David Boder

And . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

There was not a single one of those people.

David Boder

Where [words not on wire; apparently: these Germans at present]?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They are mostly in the Russian Zone, in the German part of the Russian Zone, and in the British Zone, and some of them, possibly a hundred thousand, are in the American Zone.

David Boder

[Suprised] A hundred thousand? Well, how many did they expel?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

They expelled more or less . . . Silesia was inhabited more or less by seven million people. All were expelled. Now there are left only, more or less, one million [the numbers are apparently incorrect].

David Boder

Who were considered, in fact Polish?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

No, whom they still want to expel from there. All the people [Germans?] were expelled up to [word not clear].

David Boder

From Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

From Silesia, yes.

David Boder

And then, when they are being expelled, are they given something of their property, are they given something of . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

What they are able [to carry?] . . . Those who were expelled until now were expelled like paupers, without anything.

David Boder

Well, it is being said about the Sudeten, for instance, that in connection with the expulsion of the Germans there is a commissar . . . commission which sees to it that everybody has fifty kilos or so of his proper- . . . of his personal belongings.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes.

David Boder

But the same thing was not done in Silesia?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

In Silesia up to last year, or up to this yearâwhat I have heard, what I was told by Silesian people with whom I talkedâthey were unable to take anything.

David Boder

Well. Now who do they blame, Hitler or the . . . or the Poles?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Their sentiments in their hearts [?] are . . .

David Boder

. . . for the Russians . . . ?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

. . . for the Russians and for the Poles are not very friendly, because they were treated quite badly by them. It is clear the one who treats [people] badly much pay for it with bad sentiments [against him].

David Boder

Yes, surely. But on the other hand they could think, could understand, that if Hitler had not started all that . . .

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

That is clear. That is said by people who think, but the majority of the people do not think, but they suffer only at the moment [of misfortune] and see only the one who makes them suffer. And that is the thing that causes great harm. One may beat the other and say you are guilty because you have beaten me. But the one who is beaten sees only the one who is right in front of him [who does the beating]. He does not see the causes which are more distant.

David Boder

Now this is a very interesting observation, don Ernesto, because at times we think whether humanity would have learned a lesson from this catastrophe. What do you think?

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

Yes. The lesson that must be learned is simply that one day the hostilities [animosities] must be ended. and one has to start with ending them, because if we are to continue with the payment of accounts [retaliations] that would last until the Last Judgment [Judgment Day].

David Boder

Well, don Ernesto. Thank you so much. I wanted an informative report from a person who lived in Germany during all the time and could observe the events somewhat like a foreigner [outsider]. I believe that all of us would be very interested in studying what you have told us.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes Spool 135. The interviewee was don Ernesto Moeller-Arnold, a Chilean by birth who spent during the time . . . time of the war as manager of various estates, agricultural properties, and had some opportunity to observar . . . [chuckle and correction] to observeâI am mixing my Spanish with my Englishâwhat has happened. Muenchen, September the 20th, 1946. Spool 135, An Illinois Institute of Technology wire recording. Thank you very much Mr. Moeller.

Ernesto Moeller-Arnold

[In Spanish] Don't mention it. [He apparently understood the last sentence spoken in English.]