"Because we love you [President Gottwald], because we love the great Generalissimo Stalin, and because we know you are leading us to a happy future." This was the reason, according to official Czech propaganda, why 77 involuntary passengers on the famed Freedom Train to Germany (TIME, Sept. 24) returned voluntarily to Czechoslovakia.

Pink-cheeked, 16-year-old Zdenka Hyblova had another and more valid reason: she loved her boyfriend Pavel. Zdenka, Pavel and Zdenka's girl friend Alena had long dreamed of escaping. A year ago, all three had made a pact to flee their Communist land together. Then on a day that seemed at...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!