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Escape to "Freedom in Germany"


[p. 115]

[...]

The communist regime was against travel for two reasons. Firstly they feared that people would compare the higher living standards in the West with Czechoslovakia and would recognise that they had been lied to. The state representatives alleged that workers in western countries lived in poverty.

A further reason for the totalitarian regime restricting travel was the mass emigration.

Every year thousands of Czechoslovakian citizens failed to return from trips abroad.

Some people, who were not issued with travel permits to the West for political reasons, attempted to secretly cross the state borders. In doing so they risked their lives or their freedom.

1) Milan Pernický decided to emigrate from the socialist Czechoslovakia. He had to secretly make his way over the border without the border guards seeing him. He went to the Bohemian forest, where he had spent each summer as leader of a summer camp. To a location he knew well. Does he manage to cross the border and make his way to freedom in Germany?

The pictures on page 122 illustrate his telling of the story.

[p. 116]

[cartoon: Milan Pernický waits at a bus stop at the edge of the woods, he stands in front of a sign stating that the area is a border zone; he walks through the woods; border fortifications; Pernický is startled, border guards appear behind him; he is injured on the arm and arrested; he appears in court with a bandaged arm.]

[caption:]

BUS STOP

BORDER ZONE

NO ENTRY

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