Herta Kašparová was born June 21,
1923 in Třešť. She was a Czech citizen
who spoke both Czech and German.
She was partially disabled from birth, an
infirmity in her right leg caused her to
walk with a pronounced limp. Because
of her handicap she was tormented and
mocked by her peers as a child and
adolescent. During the war, her
bilingual skills made her an admirable
candidate to act as a translator for the
Gestapo in Třešť. She translated
documents and conversations for them
and maybe worked for them as an
'investigator', reporting on possible
dissidents in her town.
The citizens of Třešť received
information from Prague, that the war
had ended and the situation suddenly
turned against the Germans. This meant
hardship for Herta and her family. But
the informations from the Prague radio
were wrong. The situation suddenly
turned back against the Czechs in
Třešť. Germans managed to break
through to the city with military cars
and armored personnel carriers.
German soldiers ruled again over the
city and began to retaliate. Herta went
around with the SS. Intoxicated of her
power she pointed at 4 young men, and
her subsequent snapping of her fingers
was the death sentence for them. All
four were summarily executed by firing
squad on the same day.
The idea was posited by more than
one source that at least two of the
young men she had executed were
former tormenters during her youth,
among those who gave her the hardest
time about her limp.
After the war was over Herta secretly
fled to Austria. However, in 1946 she
was arrested and brought back to
Třešť. During her trial she said: “I
know that I caused the death of
several people. I acted out of
Herta was hanged on September 13,
1946 at 6:38 p.m. She was "pole
hanged" on the device pictured below.
It measured 3 meters in length, 60 cm
in width, and 5 cm in thickness.
When Herta saw the pole for the first
time, she was so terrified that her
knees gave out and she fell down; had
to be lifted by the guards. She was
wincing and visibly frightened as they
tied the ropes. She was given a leather
strap around her chest and lifted into
the air and noosed. The hangman
places his gloved hand on her face and
while his assistant releases the drop he
violently twitches her head to the sides.
|The hangman and his assistant checking Herta's pulse. Her urine has been running down her left leg.
The hangman has thrown his white gloves on the ground - an old Austrian ritual