Iron courtain in Czechoslovakia

08.05.13

Iron Curtain on the western border of the Czech began to create virtually since 1948, he's really become impassable during the years 1952 and 1953 in response to the sustained escapes some people across the border. In the German Democratic Republic was building the Iron Curtain, a little later, the last phase was the construction of the Berlin Wall that divided the city of Berlin into two parts.

I was created in Czechoslovakia border zone, in which he was allowed only on special pass. Border zone width was 4-10 km and this part of the country has become prohibitive for the average person (it was about 1.5% of the state). Most villages in the border zone was gradually displaced, their remains were in the years 1953 to 1959 gradually destroyed the standing abandoned buildings could not refugees across the border to provide shelter. The border was closely guarded by border guards.
Fences were actually three - the first, which was about two meters high, formed a tangle of barbed wire. Another fence height 2.5 meters since 1953 charged high voltage of 3 000-6 000 Volt. Last fence barrier serve as beasts of the direction of the border could not penetrate to the charged fence. Under the fences were located plowed band width of about 20 m, where they can easily find clues and therefore where the potential intruder broke a fence.

The system of fences stood right on the border, but away from it (about 2 km) to even surpass the border guards managed to catch intruders before they get to the border. Around the entire border have led to some kilometers away asphalt roads that border guards facilitating approximation to the location.

Beyond it is officially not intervene because it was a violation territory of a foreign state. Unofficially, however, are often intervention is because the guards were motivated by fall if an intruder may be rewarded with a holiday promotion or award order. Conversely, if it did not work out it could have on their future career fatal consequences. International issues arising from incidents associated with operations outside the national territory (see the case of Johanna Dick) Czechoslovakia led to their gradual ban.

International complaints led to the fact that in 1965 the high voltage of the fence removed. (It was one of the consequences of the "Khrushchev thaw".) Furthermore, in 1968 there was a large release of borders. Virtually open borders shortly after that facilitated the second wave of postwar emigration after the Warsaw Pact invasion 21st August 1968 (see August 1968). In the following three years left Czechoslovakia about 74,000 refugees.

This release, however, the border was short - back in 1970, before a system of three fences built signal line, which responded to the touch so that it may warn border guards much earlier. In addition, further expanded the network of observation towers (there were 314) and after the incident, the driver of a crane truck broke tariff barrier in the Czech Velenice and got to Austria, has been significantly strengthened and border barriers.

The fall of the Iron Curtain, made possible by the continuing collapse of the Soviet Union, was initiated by releasing the border in Hungary in the summer of 1989 (many people to holiday at Lake Balaton that year did not come back). The Berlin Wall came down 9th November 1989, the Czechoslovak iron curtain gradually followed in December of the same year.

Today it just reminds that once regularly Oraný belt with occasional remnants of stakes or wires - thanks to the use of herbicides prevent weed growth and soil stripping is the succession of these bands are often slow and even after 15 years, no trees grow - "death zone" today only for plants .
Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain during the years 1948-1989 had a number of casualties. Civilians were 450, [1] not always that was a intruder (eg Johann Dick was a tourist) or accidental. Pohraničníků died while on duty a total of 654, of which most accidents, suicide or shooting colleague. In a shootout with refugees killed 10 of them.

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