Pomezí nad Ohří, Horní Hraničná
The former garrison of a border-guard company · Pomezí nad Ohří 16, 350 02 Pomezí nad Ohří, Czech Republic
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The disappearance of a border guard

Available in: English | Česky

“If I had to enroll in the army once more and had the choice, I would go there again. The environment there was nice and we had a good team spirit in our unit,” says Josef Kadlčík, who joined the border guard in the late 1950s. He was a member of the border guard company in Horní Hraničná nearby Cheb. He depicts his service as a quiet time with only a small number of incidents, like, for example, the disappearance of private Resutík. One evening, Resutík took advantage of an opportunity, being the commander of a patrol of two soldiers on a watch tower called “Špačkárna.” He was guarding a designated stretch of the border with a new recruit, “freshman” Kříž. Under the pretext of taking a drink and going to the toilet in a nearby latrine, he climbed down from the watch tower, went through a passage underneath the border barricades and walked away to Germany under the veil of darkness. The inexperienced novice Kříž didn’t know the terrain well. He even didn’t know exactly which way the border was running and thus the departure of his superior didn’t strike him as suspicious. He waited for Resutík for over an hour. After the arrival of a patrol that was taking care of the wire entanglements, it was already clear what had happened. Private Resutík fled with full gear and arms to Germany. When the newbie Kříž realized what had happened, he was paralyzed by the shock and had to be carried down from the tower. Josef Kadlčík today sees the incident in the following way: “We uniformly hated Resutík when he did that. At that time, if we had caught him, we’d give him a terrible beating just because of that poor newbie.”

Josef Kadlčík

Josef Kadlčík

Josef Kadlčík was born in 1939 in Brno. With his parents and eight siblings, he lived in Ratíškovice. The agricultural collectivization in the 1950s affected the family badly. His brothers were threatened to be fired from work, his mother finally joined the collective farm (“agricultural cooperative”), but she was deprived of her pension due to fraudulent machinations of the management of the cooperative. Josef was trained as a plumber and in 1958 he joined the army. He was assigned to the border guard. After a three-month training in Aš, he was assigned to service with the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Cheb Brigade of the 17th Company based in Horní Hraničná. This border-guard company was garrisoned in an originally gothic-style fortress that was rebuilt in Renaissance fashion and in the adjacent farm buildings, which were the only remnants of a demolished village once called Ober Kunreuth. The border-guard company, in addition to guarding the border, also ran a small farm with six horses, the same number of pigs, and two cows. The service on the border, according to Mr. Kadlčík, was quiet with only a small number of incidents. Josef Kadlčík spent a part of his service as a handyman. His experiences from his service at the border guard are rather positive and he frequently tells funny stories from service. After his military service, he married and since then has lived in Dolní Bojanovice.

Pomezí nad Ohří, Horní Hraničná

Available in: English | Česky

Horní Hraničná is situated about 5 km away from Cheb. The first written reference to the village dates back to the year 1249. The census of 1920 registered 111 inhabitants living in 21 houses of the village, that was by then still called “Ober Kunreuth.” After WWII, the majority of the village population was deported to Germany, but even the new settlers could not stay for long. In the early 1950s, the village which found itself lying in the newly established border zone was completely demolished. The only structure left standing was the Gothic fortress that had been rebuilt in Renaissance style in the 16th century. The fortress became the headquarters of a company of the border guard. In 1971, this building was demolished and the a new military facility was built for the border guard. Since the departure of the border guards in the early 1990s, the building has been in decay, only a small portion of being used as a shelter for dogs.

Pomezí nad Ohří, Horní Hraničná

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The disappearance of a border guard

The disappearance of a border guard

Josef Kadlčík
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