From Germany to Germany via Czechoslovakia

Erhaltenes Warnschild im ehemaligen Sperrgebiet an der Grenze der ČSSR: Achtung! Sperrgebiet. Zutritt verboten.

From Germany to Germany via Czechoslovakia

Stories of escape from the 1970s and 1980s
18:00 - 20:00 Uhr


Film screening and panel discussion

From the founding of the GDR until its dissolution, almost 4 million people left the state. Most of them did so illegally and at great risk. Those who wanted to flee to the Federal Republic often chose the route via Czechoslovakia, since crossing the border into the Federal Republic from there seemed less risky. But this idea was deceptive.

The Czech historian Jan Blažek interviewed five contemporary witnesses. He asked them about the reasons for their escape and their experiences in pre-trial detention and in prison after their arrest. He used the interviews to produce a film, which he will present during the evening.

In the subsequent panel discussion, the historian Justus H. Ulbricht will bring Jan Blažek into conversation with Dr. Jan Kostka, research assistant in the project "Deaths of GDR citizens attempting to escape via Eastern Bloc countries 1949 to 1989" in the SED-State Research Network at the Free University of Berlin.


The event will take place as part of the Czech-German Cultural Days 2023 and is a cooperation of the Bautzner Strasse Memorial Dresden, Euroregion Elbe/Labe, Post Bellum (Prague) and Volkshochschule Dresden. The film was made in cooperation with the Bautzner Strasse Memorial Dresden and was supported by the Czech-German Future Fund.
Before the event, the memorial can be visited free of charge from 15:00.