Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

I was married in a Bohemian Castle

Richard Slater.

Richard Slater.

Part 3 (of 8) Behind the Iron Curtain

St Peter’s Road resident and technical author Richard Slater recounts his days in Bohemia. [Bohemia is the southern province of the Czech Republic; the northern one is Moravia].  In this third part, Richard describes his first trip behind the Iron Curtain. 
The year 1965 was an interesting one. First I took a [computer] system to the 800th Leipzig Fair – my first trip into Eastern Europe and the only time I crossed the border by road. It was quite depressing at the checkpoint; the real Iron Curtain stretched away across the countryside as far as the eye could see on both sides of the road – the barbed-wire fences, minefield, track for the attack dogs, ploughed strip, searchlights and watchtowers. You realised that this barrier, in one form or another, ran all the way from the Baltic coast to the Yugoslav border.
 My second installation that year took me even further east – to Moscow. Gosplan was the central economic planning agency of the Russian Federal Republic (each of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union did its own planning). The computer had been in a warehouse all winter, and it took me five weeks to get the customer to accept it. It seemed like a very long time, but at least I did get to watch both the Bolshoi Ballet and the May Day parade in Red Square. And to meet the KGB!
[To be continued …]

Karlstejn Castle in Bohemia where Richard was married

Karlstejn Castle in Bohemia where Richard was married

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