Some more information about the events in Czhechia after the capitulation from memoirs of the veterans of the 20th Estonian SS-Division.
Source: Eldor Traks. Sõjakeerises ja vangilaagris. Tallinn, 1992. Pp. 58-75
Traks was a Private in 20th Division's Reserve Battalion. In the evening of 7 May, when the division got order to retreat to Czechia, the battalion was in Hirschberg (today Jelenia Gora in Poland). E. Traks was in a platoon which got separated from the battalion and joined then the 20th Division's Truck Company. The trucks had large Estonial national flags. In the morning of 8 May the Company arrived to Reichenberg (today Liberec in Czechia). In the evening the Company continued towards Mlada Boleslav. The road was full of military columns and refugees. On the road in several places Czechs tried to stop the Company but their demands were ignored. 9 May the Company arrived to Mlada Boleslav. There it was forced to stop in front of a street barricade. A short firefight developed with persons who shot from a house. Soon men in Czech officer uniform appeared with a white flag. They demanded that the Estonians should give away their weapons, after that they can continue their journey. The demand was accepted. But after the weapons were given away a larger amount of armed persons in civilian clothes appeared and ordered the Estonians to rise their hands. The commander of the Company Hauptsurmführer Metsakond was taken right there behind a corner and two shots were heard. Then Obersturmführer Varik was put against wall with the aim to shoot him but the other Estonians started to yell at Czechs and at the same time Varik was advised by other Estonians that he should throw away his shoulder straps and officer's cap. Varik did so and he was spared. After that all the Estonians threw away their shoulder straps. The prisoners were then headed towards Prague. When passing by from one house in Mlada Boleslav there were seen (the door was open) tied up Germans who sat under tap and water was dripping on their heads. Prague was reached in the evening of 10 May. During the road the prisoners recieved food and water only once. Several times the column was stopped by Soviet infantrymen who robbed watches and footwear. In one town the Czech escorters formed a row and when the prisoners passed by this row then the escorters beat them with sticks. Many were wounded, probably some were killed so. In Prag the prisoners were sent to a soccer training field where there were already thousands of German prisoners. Now there were also several hundred Estonians. 12 May the prisoners were escorted to a large stadium in the center of the city. The guards there had golden lions on their caps.
14 May behind the front gate arrived a large amount of Soviet submachine gunners who had to escort part of prisoners away from the stadium. The head of the prisoners column was formed from higher German officers. There was maybe less than thousand of them. Most of them did not have boots but only socks. Many had beaten up and wounded faces. This group was followed by a group of German officers and soldiers. Then came a column of Hitlerjugend. Then a column of Austrians. They had also their red-white-red flag. In front of their column there was a group of nurses. Behind the Austrians followed the Estonians. They were followed by many more columns. Few hundred meters away from the stadium some Soviets demanded that the prisoners must give away their boots. Many did so. The Estonians and also most of Austrians refused. When the column passed through Czech villages on Czech houses different flags were seen: Czech, American, British and Soviet. The escorters stripped the houses from the flags leaving only Soviet. During the day the Estonians passed the first dead prisoners with bloody feet. The escorters shot everyone who fell out from the column. The Estonian and nearby prisoners recieved water only at the sunset when they drank it from a muddy ditch. The weather on this and following days was very warm and sunny.
In the next morning the journey was continued. Since the escorters felt that the prisoners were forming the column too slowly they shot some prisoners so to rush up the others. At midday the Estonians passed by a pond which was full of bodies in German uniform. During the day it was seen how some men, when seeing water, rushed towards it, and were shot. In the evening the column was stopped and from the column's head noise and shooting was heard. The Austrians said to the Estonians that the Hitlerjugend column was forced to jump to a river from a high bridge. Those who refused were shot and also fire was opened towards those who jumped. After about twenty minutes the march continued. The Austrians said that Soviet tankers forced the Hitlerjugend to jump and that the same unit dragged most of the Austrian nurses from the column and gangraped and shot them. Soon also a rumour spread that the Soviets are looking for Estonians. The Austrian and Estonian columns now joined. The Estonians were to speak only in German. Those who couldn't speak it were to remain silent. Soon the Estonians passed the bridge. There were tanks, Hitlerjugend bodies and nurses' bodies. The tankers had mostly dark features and dark hair. One of them sat on a tank turret and shot passing by prisoners with single shots from his SMG. Soviet officers asked about the Estonians. The Estonians said that they are somewhere behind. Water was recieved only in the evening.
In the next morning the journey continued. Many who couldn't stay in column but staggered away from it were shot right there. The Estonians placed their staggerers inside the column and no Estonian was shot. During this day there were especially many fainted ones who were shot. The Estonians did not recieve water this day.
On the fourth day about 60-70 men from the Estonian column rushed to a potato field and grabbed potatoes from there. The escorters opened fire but like it was hoped they did not start to kill such a large amount of prisoners and shot over their heads. In the evening the column passed Aussig (today Usti nad Labem in Czechia) where many Germans lived. They threw from their houses food to the prisoners. Near Aussig the prisoners were put on a field where a temporary camp was organized. Aussig's Germans arranged the feeding of prisoners. There was no medical help and many wounded died.
In the camp the Estonians were exposed when two of them were heard speaking Estonian. A Soviet officer who "discovered" them however said that they should come away from the German group or it may happen that they are treated as Germans. 201 Estonians gave themselves up. They were released from the camp and sent on the way through Germany to Estonia. (They really ended in a prison camp, but this is another story - Reigo).
Source: Kaljo Alalküla. III eskadrill. Viimsi, 1999. Pp. 339-348.
At the beginning of May Alaküla served in the 20th Division's Reserve Battalion.
On 9 May Alaküla together with 7-8 men was heading towards West.
On 10 May in a larger town the four men from the group were prisoned by Czechs with red armbands. Since the Czechs found a pistol from Alaküla (all larger weapons were thrown away already earlier) they planned to shoot him. But Alaküla managed to explain to one of the Czechs that he is an Estonian and then this Czech managed to persuade the others to give up their plan. The Estonians were then locked up in a stable. Next morning the prisoners were fed and sent under guard to another town where there was a collecting point of prisoners (there was about 200-300 Germans and Estonians). They spent there on a field two days and then in morning all the prisoners were sent towards another town. The column included also Hitlerjugend and Volkssturm men. Some fainted and were shot by the convoy. In the evening the column arrived to a larger town and were collected to a stadium where there were already thousands of prisoners. Here they were fed first time. Next morning a column of thousands of prisoners was sent towards Prague. The sidewalks in Prague were full of people and many of them yelled and threw different objects (stones, tomatoes, eggs etc) towards prisoners. Sometimes the prisoners were ordered to run by the convoy. In the evening the prisoners arrived a large stadium. In the next morning a part of the prisoners on the stadium were given over to a Soviet convoy whch had to escorted them to Zittau (in Germany). The convoy consisted mostly of older men who showed no hostile intentions towards the prisoners. The prisoners were let to march in peaceful pace. After every couple of hours there was a short rest. In the end of the column there were carriages which picked up fainted men. However once a Soviet-made armoured vehicle with Czech national colours appeared which drove along the column and from it it was fired inside the column. A nurse was hit. Alaküla and few men lift her by the road and a couple of convoiers run with medical kits but the nurse died right there. Next day the camp in Zittau was arrived. German women had organized by the road food and water.
(Alaküla writes in memoirs also that 20th Division's officers claimed to their men that there is an agreement with the Czechs who promised to let the Estonians through to the Americans. But actually as we now know the Czechs didn't let them through. Alaküla concludes that if the division would have retreated through Germany instead of Czechia then there would have been at least the support of local people.)
Source: Ülo Lepik. Lagunevas riigis. Vanemuise Seltsi Kirjastus, 1997. Pp. 64-73.
Lepik served in 20th Division's Artillery Regiment. During the way to Czechia Lepik got separated from his regiment. 8 May he passed by Reichenberg. Armed Czechs with armbands in national colours were seen. The roads near Reichenberg were completely full of retreating columns. He joined there one 20th Division's column. Soon the column stopped and rumours spread that enemy has cut the road in front of the column (later it appeared that this was just a rumour). This created panic and the vehicles were abandoned and destroied. The men run to the nearby woods. Later Lepik together with some men decided to continue. They were joined by an Estonian officer. They met about twenty armed Czechs with Red armbands but no clash followed. Soon they reached a larger Estonian group. They were from the Artillery Regiment and had a large national flag with them. In one village armed Czechs demanded the surrender of weapons. It was explained to them that the goal of the Estonians is to reach the American front and the weapons are needed for self-defence. The Czechs then agreed and the journey was continued with weapons. But after a couple of kilometers they were again stopped by Czechs who had striped clothes (probably they had been in a concentation camp). These accepted no explanations and the Estonians decided to surrender weapons. Then the Czechs robbed them from personal belongings. After that they were allowed to continue. Then Liebenau was arrived. From there it was decided to head towards South to Prague (according to rumours there were Americans in Prague). A 20th Division's Assault Gun with some tracked vehicles full of men joined the column. In the evening news spread that the road in front of the column is blocked. The assault gun was blown up by its crew. It was decided to continue through woods towards Prague. Men removed their insignia. But as it later appeared the road was not blocked and again the column moved to the road. Turnov was passed through and near Mnichovo Hradištce armed Czechs were met. These escorted them to Mnichovo Hradištce. Near the town at an anti-tank ditch there were seen naked men in the ditch. Some of them were beaten with rubber sticks by Czechs. One Czech officer asked from the Estonians if there is SS-men amongst them. Nobody answered. The prisoners were then collected to a sporting ground. Alltogether there was more than thousand men.
In the morning a large amount of heavily armed Czechs appeared to the prisoners. SS-men were searched. The Estonians explained that they weren't members of SS but subordinated to it. Blood group tattoo was searched but from under the wrong arm. Eventually only a couple of Estonians were taken away as SS-men. The other prisoners were organized into groups of hundred men. Lepik was in a group which was headed towards Bela. The escorters were two Czechs but during the journey they dissappeared. The prisoners under the leadership of a German Lieutenant however continued to advance to Bela. The Czech commandant in Bela directed the column to Kurivody (about 20 km NW from Bela). It seemed that the Czhechs directed them towards Germany. When the group arrived to Kurivody at the same time also the Soviet troops entered the town. They were hailed as liberators by the locals. Soviet officers ordered the prisoners to Melnik which was 40 km North of Prague. The Germans however did not want to go there and the column made a circle around Kurivody and entered the town from another direction and reported at the Czech commandant. There it was said that they are free to go to Germany and a written permission for journey to Dresden was given by the Czechs. The group spent the night in a nearby woods and continued in the morning of 10 May. Often Soviet troops were passed by. They were actually mostly quite friendly yelling for example "Krieg aus! Voina kaput! Nach Hause!" Although some of them also approached for booty. But when the column arrived to Mimon the Soviets collected all the prisoners there - about 500 men - and sent them under guard back to Bela. But in Kurivody a higher Soviet officer ordered the prisoners to be sent to Zittau. The camp there was arrived 12 May. On the road in one of the estates the head of the escorters - a Russian Lieutenant - arranged potatoes for the prisoners and also ordered to kill a cow for them. In Zittau by the streets there were many crying German women watching the prisoners.
Source: Mikrofoniga Teises maailmasõjas.//Kirjutamata memuaare. Tallinn, 1990. Pp. 174-177.
This is an interview with Boris Keltjärv who served as a war correspondent in the German army and in May 1945 was together with the 20th Divison.
Keltjärv headed towards American front in a larger group. The Czechs demanded to surrender weapons after which they were allowed to continue. But about after 30 km they were prisoned by Czechs. About 2000 soldiers and refugees were collected on a field. Then they were forced to march through a village and around the village and then again through the village. Later the prisoners were divided into groups and sent to different prisons. The group together with Keltjärv was sent to the prison in Semily. There the Czhechs shot SS-men in prison yard. The Estonians were spared when it was explained to the Czechs who they were. Germans who served in the 20th Division were also "made" to Estonians. However 12 Germans still gave themselves up as Germans and were shot right there.
If I have time I will provide some more accounts.