The desertion of Private Alois Bodor
On April 18, 1953, Private Alois Bodor deserted the 10th company of the border guard in Nový Žďár. His desertion appears to have been carefully planned. The outwardly zealous communist had the absolute confidence of his superiors. Company commander Leopold Tuček recalls: “He was an ardent party member, chairman of the youth union, a barber who shaved and cut our hair. He could go anywhere he wanted in the barracks - everyone believed him because he was a 100% comrade. And the way he would speak at the meetings...” One evening, Bodor waited until the company commander and the other soldiers left for a dancing party in Aš. He went to the commander’s office to see how the patrols were positioned and walked to the factory for processing kaolin, which stood near the border. “There was a gate at the factory large enough for a truck and a small gate for pedestrians. The soldiers would then lock the gate behind them and rake the strip of arable land,” says Leopold Tuček. Alois Bodor apparently opened that gate with a key that he had stolen in the commander’s office. Bodor’s escape caused a huge stir and led to an investigation. Company commander Tuček, the battalion commander in Aš and several other members of the regional military leadership were reprimanded. Among those who were disciplined was private Kadlec, who allegedly helped Bodor to escape by distracting the patrol with a volley from his machine gun. After his arrival on the other side of the border, private Bodor talked about the details of his military service on the “seditious” Radio Free Europe. Leopold Tuček was told about it by his superiors: “Did you hear Bodor speaking on Radio Free Europe? He said where you are from, that you’re not a member of the party, what you’re like, how much you drink...” Alois Bodor was then recruited by the Americans and trained by the counterintelligence service. He was sent back to Czechoslovakia as an agent and died when crossing the border near Bratislava. He allegedly drowned as a “frogman,” entangled in the barbed-wire placed at the bottom of the Danube River.