A twelve-year-old offender committed suicide in front of a border guard
In early May 1967 close to Bystřice near Pec pod Čerchovem in the Domažlice District, twelve-year-old schoolboy František Mühlbauer shot himself after he and his friend were detained by a border guard when trying to cross the border into Bavaria. The tragedy could have been prevented by the guardsman on duty if he had kept to the regulations, awaited backup and carried out a body search of those detained. Mühlbauer wanted to flee to West Germany together with his classmate Karel Vobořil. Both boys were struggling with their marks at school and were also under the influence of their somewhat naïve ideas of a trouble-free life in Bavaria, where Mühlbauer had relatives. The boys were equipped with pistols belonging to Mühlbauer’s deceased father. After fleeing their native Tachov they spent the night in Pec pod Čerchovem in the former flat of Mühlbauer’s grandmother. By the time they left the flat on the morning of 5 May, a search had already been launched for them. Although the boys proceeded with caution, they were finally detained at Lookout Tower Zlom by Corporal Josef Gašparovič; while being escorted back to the tower Mühlbauer shot himself. Although the surgeon on duty in the Domažlice hospital cast doubt on suicide being the cause, the possibility of another cause was ruled out, mainly because of the testimony of Vobořil, who the contemporary documents cite as saying: “And then we also had the pistols so we could, if we couldn’t get over the border no more, so we could shoot ourselves with them.” Vobořil also confirmed that after being detained, both the boys gave each other the “signal to carry out the shooting of ourselves”. For this reason the case was also dropped by the Czech Office for the Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism without investigation
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