The last off-duty pass of a Slovak reservist
In August 1961 on the Czechoslovak-Austrian state border near České Velenice, two meters from the gates of the electric wire fencing, the body of the Slovak worker František Babič (* 5. 6. 1931, † 11. 8. 1961) was found. Reserve soldier Babič was undergoing military training in the town with his sapper platoon, and the evening before his death he did not return from his time off duty. The thirty-year-old Babič was born in Richnava near Gelnice, Slovakia, but he completed his basic military service in Ostrava, and later returned to work in the New Iron Works of Klement Gottwald. In the summer of 1961 he took part in a military exercise in České Velenice. On 10 August 1961 he went on pass to the cinema together with other members of the sapper platoon. He did not return. In the early morning of the following day he crept up to the border barrier and managed to crawl under the first fence. The second fence proved lethal, however. The Slovak’s dead body was found by a patrol at four a.m. Considering the frequency of these patrols, it is likely that he died at about ten to four.