Mikulov, Czech - Austrian border
Kleinschweinbarth 146, 2165 Kleinschweinbarth, Austria
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A Polish resistance fighter killed on the Czech border

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In late August 1956, a border patrol in the Mikulov area found the dead body of Polish citizen Alojzy Mieczyław Drażkowiak, electrocuted by the border fence. That was the tragic end to what was the 27-year-old Pole's second attempt to cross the Czechoslovak state border to Austria. A locksmith by trade, the Polish-born man had been imprisoned in his own country for his armed resistance activities, and he had decided to emigrate for purely political reasons. Already a year before his death, Drażkowiak had attempted to cross the Czechoslovak border in approximately the same location. He had been caught, however, and when questioned had admitted trying to “get to Vienna and thence to Italy, France or Australia, anywhere so long as it wasn't Poland or another people’s democracy:” he had then been repatriated. In his homeland he had previously organized a paramilitary Scout resistance group that contemporary documents claim “was actively directed against the people’s democratic country of Poland.” Drażkowiak had been in prison since 1948 for taking part in the underground Conspiracy Polish Army. Before his first attempt at crossing the Czechoslovak border, the indomitable resistance fighter had escaped from the Chornik labor camp and had crossed the whole of Moravia from north to south on foot and without money. We do not know much of the second, fatal attempt, but presumably it took a similar course. As a purported agent and terrorist, Drażkowiak was buried in Mikulov and only has a symbolic grave in his home town.

Mikulov, Czech - Austrian border

Available in: English | Česky

Mikulov is located in the immediate vicinity of the Austrian border so it isn't surprising that it has been connected with this country for centuries by numerous cultural, economic and social ties. These ties suffered a severe blow in 1945, when the original German-speaking population of the city was displaced. In 1950, Mikulov was in close proximity to the border zone and its inhabitants could thus look on to the construction of the engineering barriers that would make it impossible for anyone to leave Czechoslovakia. The company that was garrisoned in Mikulov belonged to the 4th border-guard brigade based in Znojmo. In the period 1948-1989, at least thirty people were killed while trying to cross the border in the border section assigned to the company in Mikulov.

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