Úvaly, Czech - Austrian border
Steinebrunn 139, 2165 Steinebrunn, Austria
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A young woman fell victim to a land mine

Available in: English | Česky

Twenty-three-year-old Olga Fictumová attempted to cross the border to Austria close to Úvaly near Mikulov; she died after having stepped on one of the anti-infantry mines installed along the border barrier shortly after midnight on 3 June 1953. This brutal method of protecting the state border was only temporarily in use during the 1950s – it was removed after the mines also took their toll on a number of border guards. The worker Fictumová, née Pokrupová, came from Český Brod. Together with her second husband Miloslav Fictum, who was repeatedly in trouble with the law, they moved to Mariánské Lázně. When Fictum was found guilty of theft, the married couple decided to leave Czechoslovakia. After failing to cross the border near Bratislava, they decided to cross over in the Mikulov area. They were not adequately equipped for the ordeal, the probably did not expect to run into three layers of wire fencing, nor into elements of military engineering. While attempting to cross the border, Fictumová stepped on a mine. The explosion alerted a border patrol, which came upon the scene of a heavily wounded woman, her lightly injured husband, and shreds of women’s clothing and shoes. Despite the efforts of doctors, Fictumová succumbed to her wounds a few hours later; she was buried secretly in a grave in Valtice and her husband was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The case was documented by the Czech Office for the Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism. No one was prosecuted for the inhumane placement of land mines in the vicinity of the state borders.

Úvaly, Czech - Austrian border

Available in: English | Česky

Since 1964, Úvaly, (Garschöntal in German), has been a part of the town of Valtice in Břeclavsko, lying 4 km westwards from the town center. Formerly a separate village and historically a part of Lower Austria, Úvaly and Valtice were connected to Czechoslovakia in 1920, despite the opposition of the local population. About 700 indigenous inhabitants of Úvaly were displaced to Austria after 1945 and the village was resettled only partially. Due to its location in the border zone, there were even plans to demolish it altogether. The village was known for its extensive wine cellars; most of which were, however, filled after 1968 in order to prevent runaways using them to escape to Austria. The border-guard company Valtice-Rajsna was a part of the Břeclav battalion of the 4th brigade based in Znojmo.

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