Photographer's Note

For those who, in contrast to me, do not find this building beautiful:
It is an abandoned barrack of the Hungarian Border Guard, deep in the forest (click on the map left side), some hundred meters only from the Austrian frontier. The goal of placing a military object here was obvious: to station a force big enough for succesful hunting after people who tried to escape from the communist part of Europe. The "iron curtain" that split the continent was in fact (at least in Hungary) from 1949 till 1957 a minefield, since 1957 a huge alarm system. When somebody entered the border zone without special permission (and attendance of the border guard) the recruited soldiers stationed in barracks like this one ran out and tried to stop the fugitive by means of call - or by shot. Nobody knows how many people, Hungarians, Germans, Poles and others, were killed or injured along the Hungarian/Austrian frontier. Certainly less than on the German/German borders. But sure, even one victim is more than acceptable. And they were much, much more than one ...

In 1990 the alarm system and the wire entanglement were removed and since 1997 the Hungarian Border Guard employs no more recruited soldiers. And now the best part of the story: in one hour the guarding of the Hungarian/Austrian border will be stopped since together with several other countries Hungary will be part of the Schengen Zone that permits its citizens to pass the inner borders without any permission and control.

The Hungarian Border Guard will be dissolved and from 01.01.2008 the eastern and southern borders of Hungary will be protected by policemen - who are allowed to use their weapons in case of life-danger only.

No guarded border more between Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Slovakia - almost incredible!
Take my picture as a small contribution to the great event.

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Additional Photos by Laszlo Koenig (Jakab) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 449 W: 213 N: 1282] (3867)
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