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Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt beginnt mit der Aufklärung der Tötungen deutscher Bürger am Eisernen Vorhang in der ehemaligen Tschechoslowakei

News | Pressemitteilung | vom 13.12.2017
Logo der Platform of European Memory and Conscience
Logo der Platform of European Memory and Conscience

Prag, 13.12.2017. The Bavarian state criminal investigation office Munich
(LKA München) is starting the investigation of the killings of German citizens on the Iron
Curtain in former Czechoslovakia. The respective criminal complaint was filed by the
Platform of European Memory and Conscience in August 2016 with the German Federal
Prosecutor General. The responsible persons include the last living members of the
politburo of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia Milouš Jakeš, Lubomír Štrougal and
Peter Colotka. The victims include eighteen-year-old Hartmut Tautz who was killed
outside Bratislava in August 1986. This is the first time that Germany is investigating the
killings of its citizens abroad during Communism, as well as the first time that highranking
Communist officials are being investigated by a third country.

In August 2016, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience filed a criminal complaint with
the Federal Prosecutor General in five signal cases of kilings of German citizens on the borders of
Czechoslovakia with the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria during Communism. The
German Federal Court has since decided that the cases will be handled by the authorities of
Bavaria. In the latest development, the Bavarian state criminal investigation office in Munich
(Landeskriminalamt in München) will lead the investigations.

The Platform had researched at least 67 persons responsible for the deaths of the refugees who
might still be alive. On the top of the chain of command are the last living members of the
politburo of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia Milouš Jakeš, Lubomír Štrougal and Peter
Colotka. One of the cases is that of eighteen-year-old Hartmut Tautz who was mauled by Border
guard dogs on the border with Austria and left to die without medical help in August 1986.

“We are excited that the Platform is writing legal history”, says Dr. Neela Winkelmann, Managing
Director of the Platform. “Since 1989, Germany has never investigated the killings of GDR-refugees
on the Iron Curtain in the Eastern bloc. Equally, no country has ever prosecuted Communist
perpetrators from another country. This means that finally, the invisible borders of the former
Eastern bloc are being torn down and justice is becoming more and more a universal value.”