Valtice, borders between Austria and Czechoslovakia
41412, 691 42 Valtice, Czech Republic
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Revealed

Available in: English | Česky

Josef Čoček, an agent-walker, used to secretly cross the border with Austria near Valtice for several times. He was an agent of an American secret service MIC. Between 1951 and 1953 he used to bring secret news and also helped to people, who were in danger of arrest in Czechoslovakia, to a free world. Since 1953 the borders in this area were much more strictly guarded and the illegal crossings were very dangerous. This is how Josef Čoček remembers the crossing in May 1953 when he had to get over a few barricades and a fence linked up to high voltage. “When somebody cut the electric wire a light near that place went on and the frontier guards knew that the border is disrupted. At first we had to connect the wire with a cable and then we could cut it. The middle fence was made from the squares twenty to twenty and we had to cut it out. The first and the second barrier were about a metre and a half high so it was not a problem to jump over it. But we had to be careful because of mine fields. We used the knives and pierced the ground in front of us not to fly into the sky.” The witness´s secret crossings were revealed because during the border crossing in 1954 a frontier guard was already waiting for him and he could not escape. Josef Čoček did not have any chance to run away and when the guards threw several grenades he almost died there. “As I was running away, I suddenly stumbled and fell down. If I kept running I would have been right in the epicentre of the explosion.” Josef Čoček had a big wound from the shrapnel above his eye and even three years later he still had problems with his eyesight. For his secret service Josef Čoček was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Valtice, borders between Austria and Czechoslovakia

Available in: English | Česky

The border zone between communist Czechoslovakia and Austria was ran through the area between Valtice and Schrattenberg. In 1951 the decision was made to hermetically seal the borders between Austria and Germany. A no-entry zone was constructed there. The physical obstructions included a more than two-metre tall barbed-wire fence, electric fences with three to six thousand volts, and in some places even land mines.

Valtice, borders between Austria and Czechoslovakia

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Revealed

Revealed

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