Dyjákovičky
A south-Moravian village near to the Austrian border · Dyjákovičky, Czech Republic
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He crept for water behind the backs of the border guards

Available in: English | Česky

On their attempt to escape to Austria, Robert Ospald and his friend Zdeněk Pohl hid for three days in the fields at the border. Camouflaged by the bushy growth, the two fugitives slept under a canvas for three days and nights while they waited for the right time to cross. Soon enough, they ran out of canned meat and drinking water. The stream was muddy and so the water from it was not ingestable. “It was no fun at that point. We ran out of everything we had. A few cans and some lemonade quickly disappeared and then we had to get water. Zdeněk was morose and said that he’d prefer to stay without water, so I had to go for it myself. In order to reach it, I had to traverse the trail where it is crossed by the high-voltage line," he recalled. Each trip for water turned into an adventurous undertaking due to the ubiquitous patrols: “I would lie down on the ground, look around and when I saw that the border guard was looking the other way, I ran to the other side. There was an alley with trees and next to it were lining rings and some irrigation. That’s where I was took the water from. It was very risky because there was nothing but a meadow where you had no cover at all there was one watchtower of the border guards on that meadow. So we had to wait till they were facing in the other direction. I collected some water and quickly disappeared.”

Robert Ospald

Robert Ospald

Robert Ospald was born on July 2, 1951, in Libina. His father was a Sudeten German, his mother was Czech. At the age of three, Robert Ospald was passed into the care of foster parents, three years later, he returned to his mother, who then raised him alone. After completing elementary school, he briefly attended a vocational school, then left it, stole his grandfather's savings and was subsequently sentenced for the theft. He spent nine months in a prison for juvenile delinquents in Bratislava and was released prematurely because of an amnesty. Subsequently, he found himself in prison two more times, each time for petty theft. In 1985, he made his first attempt to leave communist Czechoslovakia via the Hungarian border. This attempt, however, failed but he would try again and again to get across the electrically charged barbed-wire entanglements. He finally succeeded on July 19, 1986. Together with Zdeněk Pohl, he crossed the border to Austria. Today, he lives in Vienna and he wrote his second book about escaping from Czechoslovakia.

Dyjákovičky

Available in: English | Česky

This ancient village lies in the district of Znojmo, situated directly behind the Iron Curtain. A part of its population cultivated fields which were situated just outside the barbed-wire entanglements. A small exposition about the history of the border fortresses (řopíky) built in southern Moravia is located in the building of the municipal office. This small museum was built by fans of military history from Brno - members of the Military History Club ROTO Chvalovice.

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