Platform has located graves of six of the thirteen electrocuted Polish victims for whose death Lubomír Štrougal is responsible

July 27, 2017
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Praha/Bratislava, 27 July 2017. Researchers of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience have found the graves of six of thirteen identified Polish victims who were killed by electrocution on the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain. The responsibility for their deaths lies primarily with former Minister of Interior, later member of the Politburo and Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance, which initiated criminal proceedings in the cases based on the findings of the Platform this February, announced last month that they were interested in exhuming the remains of the Polish citizens.

Based on a submission by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, prosecutors of the Main Commission for the Prosecution of the Crimes against the Polish Nation, which is a division of the Institute of National Remembrance, initiated criminal proceedings this February in cases of killings of Polish citizens on the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain in the years 1961-1965, when Lubomír Štrougal (*1924) was Minister of Interior.

The Platform research team has identified altogether thirteen Polish victims who died by electric shock from high voltage electricity in the wire barriers on the border of Czechoslovakia with Austria at the time when Štrougal was Minister. Further work aimed at determining the fate of the bodies of the killed persons led to the finding of so far six unmarked graves in which the remains are most probably resting until today.

According to the Communist regulations the bodies of those who were killed on the Iron Curtain were to be buried in unmarked graves levelled with the terrain. None of the relatives or close persons were to be informed about the burial.

The Platform is forwarding the information to the Polish prosecutors who are interested in exhuming the remains.

Press release PEMC 27.7.2017 

Tiskova zprava PEMC 27.7.2017


ATTACHMENT:
Photographs of seven of the thirteen Polish victims of Lubomír Štrougal.

Seven of the thirteen identified Polish citizens who perished on the Czechoslovak electrified Iron Curtain in the years 1961-1965, when Lubomír Štrougal was Minister of Interior. Photos: Security Services Archive of the Czech Republic and Archive of the Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute.

Disclaimer: We decided to publish these photographs for several reasons:
1) according to our knowledge, the stories of these victims of the Iron Curtain have never been published and these men would probably be completely forgotten;

2) unfortunately, but for Mr Holota, we do not have pictures of these men from the time when they were alive;
3) in the past, we have decided to publish similar depictions of another dead victim of the Iron Curtain, 18-year-old East German refugee Hartmut Tautz who was killed by the Czechoslovak border guard in 1986. As a result of the international publicity, within two years, a memorial was built for him and a court decided on his full rehabilitation and a compensation for the family.
We believe that the publication of the photographs of these victims will be a contribution toward finding worldly justice for their death.

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