The last Czech victim of the Iron Curtain
In 1985, close to Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou in the Znojmo District, a few hundred meters from the much desired Austrian border, Ladislav Malina committed suicide surrounded by border guards. With this tragic act the trained car mechanic from Kutná Hora became the last Czechoslovak citizen to lose his life while attempting to illegally cross the borders to the West. Paradoxically this did not take place until several hours after he and his friend, police 2nd Lt Richard Dastych, had overcome the border barrier, which contemporary documents state they “partially dug under, partially cut through, succeeding in crawling over to the other side. On their way they tried to avoid touching the signal wires in front of the barrier, which they stepped over carefully. When they got past the wires they fled over the open ground and hid in the bushes.” Although both men were well-prepared for crossing the border, in the last phase they lost their way in the marshy terrain and did not know exactly in which direction the Austrian border lay. They tarried helplessly until the following day, when they were discovered by a Border Guard patrol. When it became clear that their attempt to emigrate had failed, 29-year-old Ladislav Malina decided to end his life with a bullet from Dastych’s pistol to the temple, as he had already had some experience with imprisonment and he did not want it repeated.