Pic shows: A doll found in the attics.
This is the moment an elderly man was temporarily reunited with family property that had been hidden when he was a 13-years-old and his family were evicted in one of largest mass expulsions the world has ever seen.
Rudi Schlattner was forced to flee the family home that had been built by his merchant father after the end of World War II as part of a mass expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II.
The destruction of World War II had caused enormous hatred in Czechoslovakia of its ethnic German population, and the government under Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes ordered the “final solution of the German question” by evicting all ethnic Germans from the country.
Thousands died during the forced expulsions of 1.6 million ethnic Germans their homes and into the American zone West Germany. These were the fortunate ones, and a further 800,000 were sent to the Soviet zone.
Rudi and his family were among those that ended up in the American zone, and before they left they had time to hide their property in the attic of the family home.
He said “We thought we would one day return, and that would find a property there.”
Now in his 80s, he realised that this would now never happen and has now returned to make sure that even if he is not allowed to have the family property back, at least it will not be forgotten and wanted to make sure people understood who it once belonged to and why it was there.
He contacted municipal officials in the village of Libouch in north-western Czech Republic who used the family home now as a kindergarten, and where it was a revelation that the items had been hidden in the roof of the refurbishments carried out including the roof.
But Rudi’s father had done such a good job of hiding it, that nobody had discovered them.
He said: “My father built the villa in 1928 and 1929. He always thought that one day we would return and get it back.”
He was accompanied on the visit to the buildi