Deutschkreutz
Deutschkreutz, Austria
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A warm welcome in the West

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

During a summer holiday in Hungary in 1989, Christian Weiss fled with his family across the Hungarian border to Austria at the age of 13. Having arrived on the other side of the border, the first thing the family saw was vineyards. They walked on until they felt safe and finally stopped a man in a campervan to ask him to inform their Austrian friends about their safe arrival in Austria. They then stopped another car, a woman traveling with her son, who took them to the neighboring village, Deutschkreuz (Sopronkeresztúr). “I asked her why her son was sitting in the car in his pajamas and she replied that it was because he couldn’t sleep and asked her to drive him around the area. I’ll never forget that moment because at that point, I said to myself: ‘So this is the West where the parents have to do what the kids say’,” he recalled. In Deutschkreuz, Christian and his family was taken care of by the workers of the Red Cross. They were received very cordially and supplied with everything they needed: “Well, I had the feeling as if they had been waiting only for us. And in a way it was true. It was absolutely great.” At the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Christian and his family once again visited the inn in Deutschkreuz where they had been so warmly received. In the breakfast book from that time, he could read what he had written as a child. “They had a book where the fugitives could put down how many persons they were and what they wanted for breakfast. They showed me that book when I was there a few years ago and I recognized my writing from the time when I was a child. I had noted how many people we were and how many bagels we wanted for dinner. It was all in there.”

Christian Weiss

Christian Weiss

Christian Weiss was born in Erfurt in 1976. In the summer of 1989, during a holiday in Hungary, (shortly after the “Pan-European Picnic”), he fled with his family across the Hungarian border to Austria at the age of 13 . While on the run, they were stopped by two border guards, with whom Christian shook hands and said a friendly “have a nice evening,” before the eyes of his terrified parents. The border guards, apparently touched by the trust of the child, showed the family the border fence and left them alone to dig their way to freedom with their bare hands.

Deutschkreutz

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Deutschkreutz is a small Austrian town in Burgenland. It belonged to the territory of Hungary until the peace treaty of Trianon in 1920, which ended WWI for them. Its Hungarian name is Sopronkeresztúr. The town is near the southern part of Lake Neusiedl, so the lands north to Deutschkreutz are cut by brooks and small channels and are part of the lakeside Hanság. The Hungarian border line is north and east of the town. At its nearest point it is two kilometers away from the Austrian municipality. After the Hungarian revolution of 1956, the illuminated church tower of the Deutschkreutz served as a lighthouse for those Hungarians who tried to flee their country in the night. Despite Deutschkreutz and the Hungarian Kópháza being very near one another, during the era of the Iron Curtain there was no traffic or contact between the two places. Both the road and the checkpoint were built as late as 1989 at this part of the frontier. The checkpoint was active until 2007 when the Republic of Hungary joined the Schengen Zone and the borders of the European Union were moved to the southern and eastern frontiers of Hungary.

Deutschkreutz

Na tomto místě

A warm welcome in the West

A warm welcome in the West

Christian Weiss
Towards the tower resolutely

Towards the tower resolutely

Katalin Mester
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