Page Two

Photographs Brian Rose

Oebisfelde, East/West German Border, 1987

Lindewerra, East/West German Border, 1989

Blankenberg, East/West German Border, 1987

East/West German Border, 1985

Ratzeburg, East/West German Border, 1987

West German/Czech Border, 1985

I drove along the Czech border in southern Germany (Bavaria). Because that area is largely forest and mountains, the border is accessible at relatively few spots. Only a series of white posts at twenty foot intervals mark the line. Rather old signs in English warn U.S. forces that the border is one kilometer away and one should not proceed without further orders. The border fences are typically one or two kilometers back from the borderline, and occasionally signs warn visitors that accidentally wandering across could lead to arrest by the Czech authorities.

In today's paper I read that an East German doing work on the border escaped near Hanover. And twenty-nine imprisoned spies were exchanged between the U.S. and Russia over the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.

Bayer-Eisenstein, West German/Czech Border, 1987

West German/Czech Border, 1987

Bratislava, Austrian/Czechoslovak Border, 1985

Gmünd, Austrian/Czech Border, 1987

The weather has continued to stay cold if not get colder. In this area the snow is probably two feet deep, with drifts higher. The roads are well plowed, but they are usually covered with packed snow or ice. Just a few kilometers before Gmünd is a stretch of road that parallels the Czech border and not too far away is the Czech double fence running across a field. I took one picture of this view—snow below, a thin grey line of fence, and grey sky above. Snow fell heavily. Everything was white and grey.

The Czech fences, usually kept far back from the border here must squeeze between the cities of Gmünd and Ceské Velenice. The fence appears relatively crude—wood post and barbed wire—and the guard towers are often wooden structures. But the border is clearly guarded by soldiers on foot. I saw a number of them dressed in winter white carrying rifles.

Austrian/Hungarian Border, 1987

Austrian/Yugoslav Border, 1985

The border of Yugoslavia and Austria, as well as that of Yugoslavia and Italy, is defined by a range of towering mountain peaks of up to 3,000 meters high. I followed one really beautiful roadway that required a lot of close map reading and driving around to find. It took me way up approaching the tree line of the ridge forming the border, but the best shot I found was from further down with several unusual trees breaking the horizon in front of the peaks.

The headline of the paper held by a customer in the restaurant where I am writing says that a person fleeing Czechoslovakia was found dead on the Yugoslav border within Austrian territory. On the inside of the paper I read that the fugitive was apparently already in Austria when shot.

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