Jindřich Červený

* 1948

  • "I received information about the cutting first from a German colleague than from the Czech side, I must say. It was organized by the Pilsen Region, which had the main say. But we from Rozvadov and Waidhau from the German side helped to organize it. I don't think the county office has ever prepared anything like this before, and it had to be prepared together somehow. Locally, we knew it, both Rozvadov and Waidhaus – where it will be organized, etc. We participated in this with the regional authority, there was also a set program that was consulted with the region. The wire cuttings were done by citizens and people from all over the county and region, as well as people from Waidhaus and the surrounding area. There were a lot of people there. Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher arrived at the scene by marching with German citizens. From our side, Mr. Jiří Dienstbier came with Czechs from the surrounding area. They met at the border, there were short speeches, and it all got into cars and buses. We went to the edges, about two miles away. There she was walking right across the border, and there were the original wires. There it was cut by both foreign ministers, there was a big ovation and cheer, and then both delegations, including me, were invited from the Waidhaus for a joint lunch and celebration. Both Mr Gentcher and Mr Dienstbier thanked us for the way it was all well prepared. And Mayor Reichenberger and I got a little gold-plated alarm clock on a base with Minister Gentscher's signature on it. It was a memento, and I still have it on display in my living room." - "There are stories about the fate of the scissors that were cut back then. What's your take? Where did the scissors end up?" - "The scissors we were looking for, but they weren't really anywhere. Someone said Mr. Dienstbier kept them, some said he didn't. So we didn't finish anything. And the fact is, I met with him several times, but I never remembered asking him that. And before Christmas 2019, when it was cutting again, they asked Dienstbier Jr., but he said he didn't know dad had them. But it's possible dad had them, but he doesn't know where they are now."

  • "That Mr. Reichenberger, he already died, he was locked up here. Because he was transporting a GDR citizen to Germany. It was before 1983, before I became mayor, and before he became mayor of Waidhaus. He got, I think, three years. He did a year and a half, and then he was released. He knew the conditions well here. But he acknowledged it. He said it was his own fault, he was young and stupid. He always told it in this way."

  • "You were talking about the filing cabinet at the border. Did every border crossing have this database?" The cards were divided by color. Maybe the undesirables were green or blue-green. That's how it came to be known. These were people who might have done something here or didn't suit anyone here. They just didn’t want to let them into Czechoslovakia, so they just wouldn't let them in." - "Some other card colors, do you remember?" - "There was also yellow and red. That meant maybe the guy would be smuggling something. Or smuggling something out. That was recorded on the card, then the name, surname, date of birth, and of course what the man should have on him. The cards were for a one-time purpose, and when nothing was found, the man was let go, it was reported to Prague and the card was cancelled." - "What happened to the person who was on the blue-green card and came to the border crossing?" - "Well, that's how it explained to him. But he already knew, de facto, because it used to be a court decision that said he might not be let into Czechoslovakia for two years. But some of them tried anyway and came to the border crossing, so it would be found on the card, they could tell him, so the guy just turned around and had to go back."

  • Full recordings
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    Plzeň, 13.07.2020

    duration: 50:12
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
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No one knows where the pliers ended up

Jindřich Červený was born on October 26, 1948 in Blatna, Northern Bohemia. His father was a miner in a surface mine in Most, later working on the track. His mother was a baker. Jindřich is one of three children, his brother and sister live with their families in Most. He went through high school and studied law at university, but he did not finish. He served basic military service from 1968 to 1970 as a driver in Rozvadov. He married in the village near the West German border and stayed there, working at the border crossing in the passport control department from 1970 to 1983. In 1983 he became chairman of the local national committee in Rozvadov, requested by the District Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He remained at the head of the municipality until 2011, he is a member of the council to this day.