The National Institute of Remembrance (IPN) is currently conducting an investigation into Czechoslovakian border guards who are accused of killing Poles fleeing communism in order to bring the murderers to justice.
The investigation is being carried out by IPN commission for pursuing crimes against the Polish nation in Kraków.
According to a statement by IPN, the investigation has revealed the shocking circumstances of the deaths of those Poles who tried to cross the Czechoslovakian-Austrian and Czechoslovakian-German borders.
“The still-living escapees who had been trapped on barbed wire electrified fences which the Czechoslovakian border guard fences installed,” the IPN prosecutors wrote in the statement.
IPN prosecutors managed to establish that the border guard had put up three rows of barbed wire fences on the border.
The middle row had been connected to electricity of voltage between 4,000 to 5,000 volts, and the fence did not have any warnings concerning the risk of being electrocuted. The IPN states this was a heinous and murderous trap, as after overcoming the first row of fencing, the fugitives would be confident in their ability to pass the remaining two.
Instead, they were electrocuted on the second one.
“The border also had other deadly security measures, such as ploughed land filled with minefields, specially trained hounds and armed guards,” the prosecutors explained.
The investigation was initiated on May 17, 2016, and now the commission believes it has enough evidence on file to begin pursuing prosecutions. The main goal is to prosecute those responsible for setting up and conducting such border security. Another aim is to create a complete list of Poles who had died while trying to pass the border.
So far, 31 dead Polish citizens have been confirmed. Their remains are still being searched for.
A complete evidence file has been collected and the investigation has entered the phase of researching the possibility of prosecuting the persons responsible for murdering Polish citizens.
Lubomir Strougal, the former minister of the interior of the former Czechoslovakia, is assuredly one of the persons responsible for the crime, as he oversaw the workings of the border guard, claims the IPN.