Rozvadov (Roßhaupt), border checkpoint
605, 348 06 Rozvadov, Czech Republic
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Romance at the border between Bohemia and Germany

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Jiří Tuček, a Czech, met his future wife Iris Smíchek during a trip to London. They fell in love and started dating, even though they were separated by the German-Czechoslovak border for two years, (1970 – 1972). The border checkpoint in Rozvadov symbolically represents their separation, but also their reunion. His girlfriend would come to see him to Czechoslovakia by car. Jiří Tuček would always drive to the last settlement before the border and then he kept walking down the road until they met at some point. "There was a bit of romance in this. We would meet and then we’d drive by car to Prague. And when she had to depart again, we drove together to the last settlement where we parted. Later I used to accompany her farther down the road, all the way up to the point where I could no longer go beyond. Then we said goodbye, embraced each other for a long, long time and then she would disappear in Germany,” he remembered. Their rendezvous attracted the suspicion of the border guards. They were subjected to a number of searches and interrogations. Finally, Jiří Tuček emigrated to Germany in 1972.

Jiří Tuček

Jiří Tuček

Jiří Tuček was born on April 21, 1944, in Prague, the son of a trader. He has no siblings. He went school and completed an apprenticeship and his studies in Prague. He witnessed the end of WWII, the beginnings of the Communist regime and the Prague Spring in 1968. He gained his first experience with the West when he travelled to London via Germany after he had completed his studies. In London, he got to know a German woman, fell in love with her and they started dating across the German-Czechoslovak border. For two years, his girlfriend kept coming to Czechoslovakia by car from Mannheim. The couple is frequently subjected to various border checks, searches, and interrogations. They also filed a number of applications and requests and had to endure endless hours of waiting at the border. Finally, Jiří Tuček decided to leave Czechoslovakia and emigrate to Germany. After their wedding in May 1972, in Czechoslovakia, he filed an application for emigration and after a few months, his application was approved. The couple moved to Karlsruhe in West Germany. The decision to leave the country wasn’t an easy one for Tuček, since he was deeply rooted in Czechoslovakia and had to leave behind his family as well as his friends. The Tuček spouses have two daughters and they continue to come back to Bohemia several times a year.

Rozvadov (Roßhaupt), border checkpoint

Available in: English | Česky | Deutsch

Rozvadov, (in German: Roßhaupt), today, (as of January 2013), counts nearly 800 inhabitants. The border town was an important border crossing in the era of the Cold War, leading to the neighboring German village Waidhaus, which is 6 kilometers away. Waidhaus/Rozvadov is one of the most notorious border crossings between East and West. On the Czechoslovak side of the border, fortifications were built as soon as 1949 and border guards found a new home in the barracks built for this purpose. In 1952, customs controls were introduced on the German side. Until 1954, Waidhaus remained the only border checkpoint into Czechoslovakia. The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and the end to separation was finally represented on a symbolical level by a meeting in Rozvadov by the foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hans Dietrich Genscher, and his Czechoslovak counterpart Jiři Dienstbier.

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