An easy escape
September the 6th will always remain a holiday for Pavel Schnabel. In 1968, he began a new life on this day after he had crossed the Czechoslovak-German border – but not in Rozvadov! After witnessing the events of the so-called “Prague Spring” as a student, he went to his parents’ house in Liberec in order to prepare for his escape from Czechoslovakia from there. Despite the tanks and the armed soldiers on the streets of Prague, he had already made up his mind to get out of the country. He realized that after the Prague Spring events, he could no longer imagine a future in Czechoslovakia. In the morning of September 6, he set out on the journey and took quite a lot of baggage on the way. Even though he didn’t have any official permission to leave the country, he hoped that in the light of the political atmosphere of those days and a telegram that his father had sent him from Germany, the border guards in Rozvadov might let him cross the border. However, his plans were thwarted at the border. Although he wasn’t directly threatened by them, they sent him away. However, this did not deter Pavel Schnabel from his plan. He crossed a distance of about 60 kilometers and tried to cross the border again nearby Domažlice. This time, he made it surprisingly easily into the Federal Republic. Although he was in the end a little bit disappointed about the fact that his escape was so easy, the important thing was that he achieved his goal. Pavel Schnabel turned out to be a talented cameraperson and director and achieved a remarkable career in Germany, winning numerous awards, including an Oscar. His first-hand experience from his flight from Czechoslovakia and crossing the border has always proven to be helpful in the advancement of his career.