Practical entry support
Since the late 1960s, Gerhard Hoch had worked as a police officer at the border crossing Furth im Wald. There he witnessed the occasional brutality of the border controls. The Czechoslovak officials would keep people waiting for hours in the heat only to be denied entry to the FRG in the end. A reason for denial was, for example, a mismatch between the photographs on the visa and in the passport. The picture on the visa depicted the bearer with a beard while the picture in the passport showed the same person without a beard. In such cases, the Bavarian officials would help in very elementary and practical ways: “we’d shave the beard using our office equipment – an old office scissors. We cut away the beard so that he could visit his old aunt”.