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Czech Republic (1995)
Communism, Escape, Cold War, Borders, Czechia, 20th Century
: The excerpt comes from the chapter (Period of Normalisation) and covers the years following the Prague Spring and the military intervention by the Soviet Union in Czechoslovakia. The author addresses the travel restrictions and the reasons for them. The socialist regime wanted to prevent its citizens comparing their standard of living with that of the West and subsequently exposing the false state propaganda. In addition many Czechoslovakians had used foreign trips to emigrate. Some people were not permitted to travel for political reasons; some of them tried therefore, illegally to cross the border into the West, risking their lives and freedom.
: A cartoon depicts the escape attempt by a young man, Milan Pernický, to the FRG. He travels by bus to the Bohemian forest and attempts to secretly cross the ‘green border’ into West Germany. He is discovered by border guards. They injure him on the upper arm and arrest him. The last picture shows the young man in court with a bandaged arm.