A trip to freedom
Before 1989, the border crossing in Hatě was among the busiest road crossings on the Czech- Austrian border. When Jiří Henych was passing it in 1966 on a trip with other tourists, he was experiencing moments of intense anxiety and tense anticipation as for him – contrary to the other passengers – the trip was a one-way journey only. His intention was to no longer return to Czechoslovakia. He had been planning and waiting for this moment for a long time. After completing his military service, he tried hard to go for an organized trip into the “capitalist.” However, he was unsuccessful as his applications were steadily denied. In order to boost his chances, he would even work in manual professions – despite his education. He was a worker in the Liaz factory, where he finally managed to go on a three-day trip to Vienna, from which he would not return. At the Hatě border crossing, he said goodbye to his homeland for the past 23 years.