Nýrsko, Railway Station
Nádražní 602, 340 22 Nýrsko, Czech Republic
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The First Time across the Iron Curtain

Available in: English | Česky

The people who helped others to get across the Iron Curtain usually came from the border area and were very well familiar with it. František Wiendl who came from Klatovy was an exception to this rule. In the spring of 1949, his father František Wiendl senior was held prisoner for his anti-communist activities. Yet certain Mr. Schneider, who was sought after by the police and who needed to flee across the border, came looking for him in Klatovy and searching his help. František junior therefore decided to help him: “I was stuck with Schneider. So I took a map, identified a suitable route, and decided that I would take him across the border myself. And that was the beginning of my smuggling activities. I found a route I could use even at night. I had never been there before and I did not know the area. So I learned the terrain from the map, valleys and so on. I did not use the road; instead I walked through forests. The crossing was successful and I left Mr. Schneider in the German village of Jägershof.” The starting point of the route was the railway station in Nýrsko; then they walked through the forest by Chudenín and through the valley between villages Liščí and Červené Dřevo.

František Wiendl

František Wiendl

František Wiendl was born on December 31, 1923, in Klatovy. His father, František Wiendl senior, was a carpenter. He was imprisoned by the Russians in the time of the First World War and he witnessed the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia. This first-hand experience deeply influenced the stance of the family towards Communism. During WWII, the father and the son got involved in the resistance activities against the Nazi occupants. The father of František was a member of the resistance organization ÚVOD. Unlike his friends, he was lucky and wasn't revealed and arrested by the Germans. After the Germans burned down the village of Lidice, he founded his own resistance organization and named it Lidice to honor the memory of the village. His son was also involved in the organization. The bulk of the activities of the organization consisted of financial contributions to the families of those who had been arrested by the Nazis. They also distributed leaflets and gathered weapons and material that they wanted to use in the event of an uprising. The group later joined the greater organization Niva that received its instructions from the oversea Council of the tree - a channel to maintain contact with the abroad. The uprising broke out by the very end of the war in May 1945. The resistance fighters disarmed the German soldiers in the city even before the advent of the American army. Mr. Wiendl became a mason and he studied the technical college of construction in the time of the Protectorate. After the war (1945-1947), he did his basic military service and he attended a school for reserve officers. The rise of the Communists to power and the death of Jan Masaryk led the Wiendl family and their friends from the war to join the so-called "third resistance" against the Communists. At first, they focused mainly on writing anti-Communist slogans and distributing leaflets. Since April 1949, they were also guiding fugitives across the border and they were in touch with agent-walker Alois Suttý. The group was broken up in successive steps. At first, František Wiendl and a fellow associate were betrayed and arrested in November 1949. The rest of the group, including František Wiendl senior and agent Suttý, was arrested in the spring of 1950. The trial was held in December 1950. Agent Suttý was sentenced to death and executed, Mr. Wiendl senior was sentenced to 25 years in prison and Mr. Wiendl junior to 18 years in prison for treason. František Wiendl junior was imprisoned in the Jáchymov region, (Eliáš, Nikolaj, "L" in Vykmanov, Rovnost, camp "C"), and since 1956 in the Pankrác prison, where he worked in the project design department, drawing up proposals of state construction projects. He continued in this profession even after he was released in 1960 and he stack with this job till his retirement. In the present day, he is active in the Sokol and in the Confederation of political prisoners. He is the president of the Confederation in Klatovy.

Nýrsko, Railway Station

Available in: English | Česky

The first train arrived to Nýrsko in 1876 from Plzeň. A year later, a mountain line connecting two Czech towns - Nýrsko and Železná Ruda - and the Bavarian town of Plattlingem was opened. Since 1948 the area around the state border was placed under a special order and the town of Nýrsko was all of a sudden adjacent to the border area. This meant that for example a special permission was needed in order to able to travel from Nýrsko to Železná Ruda. People who wanted to flee across the border would usually therefore get off in Nýrsko. Courier František Wiendl also used Nýrsko as his starting point, at least in the beginning. However, soon it became too risky because of heavy controls form the Border Guard and watchfulness of its local collaborators. František Wiendl then used the help of his friend who would drive him by car or by motorbike from Chudenín.

Nýrsko, Railway Station

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The First Time across the Iron Curtain

The First Time across the Iron Curtain

František Wiendl
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