We are happy to share with you unique stories and experiences from the Mühlviertel and along the Czech border during the time of the Iron Curtain. Some of our members experienced both the founding and the fall of the Iron Curtain at first hand. Learn more about everyday life on a closed border and the historical political events of this era. Dive into our memories and discover what it meant to live with this border.

Passing the border

Alfred Fiedler tells us here how difficult and unimaginable it was to cross the border into the Czech Republic in the days of the Iron Curtain.

During the Cold War and the Iron Curtain, Austrian citizens generally had more opportunities to cross the border into Czechoslovakia than Czech citizens. Due to geographical location and political relations, Austrians often had easier access to visit and travel to Czechoslovakia, while Czech citizens had severe restrictions to cross the border. These differences were part of the political reality and the restrictions imposed by the Iron Curtain.

A. Fiedler
Short story

Three radar towers for Guglwald

Cross-border holidays, secret hideouts and daring escape plans – Professor Fritz Winkler tells how East German “Republic refugees” used sunny summers in southern Bohemia to gain their freedom. But when the border guards uncovered an enemy helicopter, the cat-and-mouse game ended abruptly. Read more

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Demonstration in Budweis

Here, Roland Spitzlinger recounts his experience in Budweis at a demonstration marking the change of power in the communist regime.

The Velvet Revolution was a peaceful political movement at the end of 1989 in Czechoslovakia. People from different sectors of society demanded political reforms, democracy and freedom of expression. The protests led to the resignation of the communist government and laid the foundation for the transition to democracy. It is considered a symbolic milestone in the history of Czechoslovakia and inspired similar movements in other countries of Eastern Europe.

Short story

A memorial to oppression

Near the Hotel Guglwald there is a memorial to the displaced persons of the post-war period, while in the immediate vicinity the memorial on the Nordwaldkammweg commemorates the Iron Curtain and the division of Europe to preserve the forgotten traces of communist oppression and to honour the struggle of the Eastern Bloc countries for democracy and against extremism. Read more

Lack of exchange of peoples after the fall

Reinhold Mitterlehner, former Vice-Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, shares here his personal and political feelings about the opening of the border and reflects on how life changed or did not change afterwards.

Reinhold Mitterlehner is an Austrian politician who was Vice-Chancellor and Federal Party Chairman of the Austrian People’s Party from 2014 to 2017. He campaigned for reforms in economic and education policy.

R. Mitterlehner
Short story

Escaped from the Czech border troops...

A farmer in the municipality of Schönegg found a sheepdog in his barn in May. After it became known that this dog was probably a guard dog of the border police, the police were called. Read more

B. Mayr

The border in the minds

Alfred Mayr tells us from his point of view as mayor of Sankt Stefan am Walde how difficult it was and still is to promote exchange between the communities on both sides of the border.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, there was initially limited exchange and cooperation in the border areas between Austria and the Czech Republic. Although the situation has improved over time, exchange is still comparatively slow today due to persistent challenges such as different economic structures and cultural differences between the two countries.