Radar towers

Three radar towers for Guglwald

Sunny summers prompted many East German “Republic refugees” to book a holiday at the CSSR border in southern Bohemia. They all intended to use the state border in the Mühlviertel to escape to freedom. Before their holiday in the border area, the East Germans agreed on the pick-up day and probably also the price of this elaborate escape. On the agreed pick-up day, they went to a certain area, hid there and waited for the helicopter to arrive. The wait is said to have lasted many hours, sometimes even days, before the expected helicopter landed. After landing, the refugees often walked long distances from their hiding place to the landing site. Nevertheless, it was possible to pick up refugees and fly them out. Even if a border guard noticed the landing, they allegedly did not realise that the helicopters were not their own.

The end of the escape attempts

One day, however, the alien helicopter was transferred: The border guards identified the helicopter as an enemy aircraft and fired on it. The helicopter quickly had to take off and did not take any more refugees with it. This happened in the summer of 1976. In the neighbourhood of Guglwald, namely in the former Untermoldau, Kapellen and St. Thoma, the border guards erected radar towers to monitor every movement in the hidden valley of the Steinerne Mühl. This ended the possibility of escape. These surveillance towers were the undoing of a school headmaster from the Rohrbach district: the pilot borrowed a small plane in the Innviertel and offered sightseeing flights over the Mühlviertel. During one of these flights he got too deep into Czech territory near Guglwald, was picked up by radar and had to land at the military airfield in Budweis accompanied by Czech interceptors.