For a few hours Libor Veselský from Břeclav transformed into a frog and swam under the Iron Curtain. Thus, he ended up at liberty, in Austria. Czechoslovak border guards have known the underwater "frog" way since the formation of the Iron Curtain. Therefore, shooting was taking place at the border river the moment a few bubbles appeared on the surface.

At midnight in June 1987 Veselský got dressed into a diving suit. At the edge of the border Břeclav he crept up to the Thaya River – as a Frogman. No one was allowed to see him. He had a complete diving suit, a bottle of compressed air and fear. He was very scared. He would swim about four kilometres in cold water and it would take him approximately three hours. And eventually he would swim under the „bridge of death", where the water surface was patrolled by border guards with machine guns.

Libor Veselský, who was a professional driver, prepared for the escape really carefully. He was thirty-one years old back then and he set up a tree trunk, which he hollowed out. He hid into the hollow. The Thaya River bore tree trunks of alluvial forests, the guards had to count with that. He was lucky in one aspect - his house in Břeclav was located right next to the river.

When he sank into the thirteen degrees cold water, the worst part was not yet to come. That emerged once he got into the border zone. There he had to merge with the tree trunk and even disconnect the device for a while so that no bubbles would appear on the surface.

He managed to sail under the bridge guarded by border guards. About a kilometre further he climbed out and set out to the Austrian bank. When he arrived in the first village, he found out that he succeeded; he was in Austria.

Photo gallery

Libor Veselský
Libor Veselský

Photos of the Escape reconstruction
Photos of the Escape reconstruction Photos of the Escape reconstruction Photos of the Escape reconstruction

The Thaya river
The Thaya river

Walking route suggestion

  1. Břeclav, family house of Veselský by the river
  2. Břeclav, the river where Veselský was swimming
  3. Břeclav, the bridge in front of state border where border guard patrolled
  4. Austrian territory by the Thaya River