Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posting. I was hoping that someone from the area around Steinau would come forward to assist.
From postings on other Axis Forums I have learned that there was an Unteroffiziersschule in Jauer and that students there did take part in the fighting around Steinau.
A Gerneral named von Ahlfen who commanded the Jauer cadets wrote of his experiences. (von Ahlfen, H. (1998): Der Kampf um Schlesien 1944 - 1945., 8th ed.; Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart, 1998. )
I found another officer who was an instructor at Jauer and who also participated in the defense of Steinau. The page (in German) is here: http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.d ... Alfred.htm
The account of Steinau that I am working with was made by Werner Mork, who was an eyewitness to these events. He, like his comrades, was newly arrived in Silesia and knew nothing of the area. He assumed that the military school cadets were from Glogau, or that is what he heard from others.
He also insists that many of the dead students he saw were only 12 to 15-years old. They were dressed in what the regular German soldiers mocking referred to as the “Hindenburg Memorial Uniform.” By that they meant a tunic (Waffenrock) with decorated cuffs that would probably identify the school or rank. I have not been able to find a photo of such a student uniform on the Internet and would greatly appreciate some one sharing a photo with me.
Here is an excerpt from the text about the military school cadets:
"The Russians arrived at Steinau an der Oder and immediately crossed it with a spearhead of tanks. However, since the first group was only an advance unit, they quickly fell back to the other side of the river to await the arrival of a full tank regiment.
The German service units were totally surprised by the sudden arrival of the Russians and the garrison and the commanders at Glogau were greatly alarmed. There were no combat-ready troops there, because no one had reckoned on the Russians making a push in this area. This was considered a quiet sector. That would completely change in a very few days.
In the ensuing panic the commander in Glogau mobilized the students in the military school there. He charged them with marching to Steinau to engage the Russians and to wipe them out. They were considered to already be soldiers. These ‘soldiers’ were kids aged from 12 to 15 years old! They were outfitted with captured Norwegian single-shot carbines and sent to the Oder to face the Russians on the other bank.
What happened next was murder; clear and premeditated murder of children that the German leaders must be held responsible for. They sent these children to the new front on the Oder and drove them under the guns of the enemy. They knowingly sent these youths to their deaths. The servants of the Party and the Wehrmacht are guilty of the infanticide that occurred in Steinau.
The totally untrained non-soldiers were taken from their school desks still in their school uniforms, the so-called Hindenburg Memorial Uniform, with those laughable captured carbines and they were flung at the Russian tanks which quickly shot them to pieces and totally wiped them out. Now they lay there as corpses, pointlessly cut down in the midst of their childhood along with their belief in Führer, Folk and Fatherland. They were driven to their deaths by coldhearted criminals. There is no other word for the blaggards who were responsible for this crime. They were never made to answer for this criminal act.
It was war, after all, and in war desperate situations can arise that require sacrifice, even when children are involved. Children who were in school to be modeled by the Wehrmacht to be dutiful soldiers who would follow a military career. The faculty of the school did nothing to protect the children from this insane order. As good subordinates of the Wehrmacht they helped carry out the death sentence. These were educators whom the parents entrusted with the care of their children. Indeed, to train them for a military career, but certainly not for full combat while they were still in their childhood. What kind of men were they who were responsible for these gruesome deaths? I can not understand it...not comprehend it.
The children of Steinau an der Oder with their flintlocks were not able to hold back the Russians. They now lay as corpses on the battlefield. They were not the slightest impediment to the advancing tanks, not when they were alive and not now as corpses. The war in all its fury rolled over them without mercy, without regard and without humanity. Once again young men were pointlessly marched to their death, blinded by the Nazi ideology, just as the bloom of our youth during the First World War at Langemarck were pointlessly marched to their deaths as a sacrifice for the nationalism of the “Glorious Kaiser Era.”
It is odd that in all the documentation I have read regarding these days in January 1945 and the reports of the Russian attack on Steinau I have never found any mention of the murder of these children. The Gauleiter of the Nazi party, the general of the local Wehrmacht divisions and the principals of the school all have this on their conscience. No doubt they think of it as a necessary measure that went 'unfortunately' awry."
More excerpts from Werner Mork's memoirs can be found here:
You may find the longer account of his experiences in Silesia of particular interest.