Border crossing Finsterau/Bučina
St2127, 94078 Mauther Forst, Germany
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First encounter with border officials

Available in: English | Deutsch

Helmut Haselberger grew up in the immediate vicinity of the Iron Curtain. With his friends, he would make many trips to the forests immediately surrounding the border crossing Finsterau/Bučina. One day he accompanied his uncle, who went fishing, to a local creek at the German-Czechoslovak border. Crossing this border creek was considered to be illegal. Suddenly, Czechoslovak border guards appeared out of nowhere which frightened Helmut. Thankfully, they started conversing with his uncle and they amicably exchanged some cigarettes with him.

Helmut Haselberger

Helmut Haselberger

Helmut Haselberger was born in 1942 in Finsterau where he still lives today. Helmut Haselberger’s paternal family originates in Hüttl/Chalupky on the Bohemian side of the border just a few kilometers away. His father married into a Finsterau family just before the end of the war. For Helmut, Finsterau was the end of the world in the era of the Cold War. From there you could only go in one direction - to the West.

Border crossing Finsterau/Bučina

Available in: English | Deutsch

Finsterau is a small village in the Bavarian Forest in the district of Mauth. Bučina is located five kilometers away on the Czech side of the border. Before 1946, the place was inhabited by Germans and is now deserted; the buildings were demolished because of the construction of the border zone in 1956. The border is marked by a stream at this point. The border crossing Finsterau/Bučina is a "green" border crossing which may only be crossed by pedestrians and cyclists.

Border crossing Finsterau/Bučina

On this place

A beer from Bohemia

A beer from Bohemia

Helmut Haselberger
Crossing the border became the test of courage

Crossing the border became the test of courage

Helmut Haselberger
First encounter with border officials

First encounter with border officials

Helmut Haselberger
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