To the gingerbread house
In early summer 1949, Anna Šrotýřová, with her two young daughters, illegally crossed the border of Communist Czechoslovakia somewhere in the area of the former border crossing Modrý sloup. Six months earlier, her husband had escaped to Bavaria and in July 1949, Anna Šrotýřová was supposed to be moved out of the border zone with her whole family as she was regarded as an “unreliable person.” She didn't lose her heart, but instead started to plot an escape under the smokescreen of sophisticated measures taking the form of withdrawing from the supply system and a pretended move to Prague. On the last day of school she took her two daughters, they dressed festively and went to school, taking part in an exhibition on the occasion of the end of the school year. From there, however, they didn't go home, but to the border: “We went into the forest under the pretense that we’d be collecting mushrooms. I took some story books and dolls into my bags and I took slippers for the girls, because they were wearing rubber boots, and we went into the forest to collect mushrooms. The border is only about ten kilometers away. The man who was supposed to accompany us didn't come. The girls wanted to return. They said that I wasn't collecting mushrooms anyway. So I told them that we will have a nice gingerbread house there. Eventually I managed to persuade them to keep walking. We came to such a strip and I said: “Alright kids, let’s go to Germany.” But they didn't want to go to Germany, they wanted to go to grandma. So I took them by the hand and we ran across the border strip. My husband and I had agreed in advance that he’d be waiting for us at the border. I put my daughters on such a large, uprooted tree and told them to wait there, that I'd go and see where daddy was. They were still crying. I saw my husband coming between the trees. When they saw him, it was over with crying – everything was good again. He came in a U.S. army jeep - American soldiers brought him to the border. So they put us in the car and covered us with canvas so that nobody could see us and they drove through Finsterau to Zwiesel."