Four young men desired to reach the free land, thus they agreed to dig their way under the Iron Curtain. They succeeded and on 20th September 1985 they arrived alive and well in Austria.
With a huge portion of luck, yet close to mental and physical exhaustion. In 1985 it was not common to escape across the Iron Curtain; if one obtained the so-called clause, he would opt for more secure escape via Yugoslavia. The Iron Curtain was perfect at that time.
Václav Bařina, who planned the operation, was extremely brave. A twenty-one-year-old man did not admit the possibility of a failure. His plan was to escape via Úvaly commune that lied directly at the border area and could only be entered upon permission. He agreed with his acquaintance Miroslav Ostrčilík, who had an old grandmother in the commune. He and his friends started to visit her regularly, providing her with „assistance“. The border guard got used to them, therefore ceased to control them excessively. This way they finally got close to the Iron Curtain and utilized the situation for escape to the Austrian commune Schrattenberg.
Four young men Miroslav Matoušek, Václav Frýbert, Václav Bařina a Zdeněk Bedřich were both lucky and unlucky after all. They caused an alarm on the signal wall and became the target of furious persecution. They were nearly caught; their escape was so frantic, that they did not stop until deep in Austrian territory.
Václav Bařina, who was the head of the operation, later settled in the USA, but the memories of dramatic escape haunted him permanently.
Walking route suggestion
- Valtice – Úvaly, the place of traffic barrier at the entry to the commune
- Valtice – Úvaly, the place of escape
- State border
- Schrattenberg, they run up to there