František Gajda from Lanžhot belonged to the important smugglers across the Iron Curtain. He used his perfect knowledge of local alluvial forests, through which his paths led. In Lanžhot and its surroundings they were called "Gajda`s sidewalk”.
Like Josef Hasil was called the legendary King of Šumava, František Gajda could be spoken of as "the king of alluvial forests”. After the communist coup in February 1948 he became an elusive smuggler, who transferred hundreds of refugees over the Thaya River and adjacent alluvial forests. He worked in the service of the American CIC. Unlike Hasil, however, he was not lucky; the border guard waited for him and shot him dead during his last tour.
František Gajda was born on 30 November 1913 in Lanžhot. He also worked there. He lived in Pastvisko Street, worked as a haulage contractor and had five children with his wife Maria. The youngest daughter Maria was hit and killed by a drunken Russian soldier when her mother was carrying the stroller. It happened in Kostické váhy between Lanžhot and Břeclav. In fact, not far from where her father František Gajda later died.
Within his smuggling activities Gajda collaborated with Ludvík Holobrádek. Among others who crossed the border under Gajda`s leadership were for example the Fojtíkovi brothers. Antonín Švirga and Jan Kořínek worked as a liaison. Gajda`s close friend was Pavel Uher called Pavlík. Some transitions were mediated by Holobrádek`s sister-in-law Marie Ciprysová.
On 20 May 1950 František Gajda transferred his entire family behind the Iron Curtain and from now on he only set out to Czechoslovakia by himself. On 6 October 1950 around 11 pm he was shot dead. He is buried at the cemetery in Lanžhot.
Walking route suggestion
- Gajda`s house
- Bridge on the way to Pohansko
- The old gravel-pit
- The Thaya River
- The house of Mrs. Ciprysová
- The cemetery and original place of Gajda`s grave
- Kostická váha