Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on June 27, 1968 · Page 18
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 18

Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 27, 1968
Page 18
Start Free Trial

Page 18 article text (OCR)

J«K» as At.TOtf BVENWG TELEGftAttt THURSDAY, JUNE 27, Fugitive Now Lives Normal if BUffltfiLt M. As*«ettttf Press Writer CfflCAOO (Af) - German- bora .Bans Bfibienek is living proof that walls and barbed wife are no obstacles to A man who wants to be free, Babienek, 20, escaped from Communist East Berlin Aug. 21, s, by climbing six walls and series of barbed wire bar fiers, braving machine gun fire and swimming a canal to reach freedom in the Western Sector, the 20-minute escape eventually brought Babienek to Chicago where he is now a newlywed and Is brushing up on his En- glish. He has little hope of ever seeing his parents again. "I would not do it again," he said in pn interview. "It is too dangerous, tt was Just good luck that I made it." •i THE SHOE SAVINGS YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! For Women AIR STEP LIFE STRIDE SMARTAIRE Were $9.99 to $16.99 NOW $ A 99 ^M 1 TO $10,99 •MM For Children Were $9.99 to $9.99 BUSTER BROWN NOW $ <* 99 ROBIN HOOD 3 TO. H.»» For Men ROBLEE PEDWIN Were $12.99 lo $19.99 "° W $O99 TO $12.99 Woman and Children SANDALS, CANVAS SHOES SUMMERETTES KEDS WERE $4.50 TO $6.99 NOW $ 2 99 TO $3.M CLEMMttE SALE FAMOUS BRAND SHOES FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY OUR JULY CLEARANCE SALE IS JUST BEGINNING—BUY NOW AND GET BIG SAVINGS ON FAMOUS BRAND NAMES PAUL'S SHOES 121 WEST THIRD ST., ALTON, ILL. "1 left because 1 wanted to live ff§f,» he said. "I Mt I could not live where you cannot speak, where you cannot have a good job." Speaking in halting English, Babienek said the lack of free" dom also affects the schools In East Germany, and added: "there is too much polities. Then after school 1 could not get a good job." Kid urge to be free led Sable nek to make an unsuccessful at tempt to escape in 1M4, He anc another youth tried to go over the mountains Into more llbera Czechoslovakia, but were caugh and returned. "There was much trouble, North Carolina * > Police Break Up Crowd of Negroes DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Police used tear gas to break up a crowd of more than 100 Negroes early today following a three- hour meeting between the group and the Durham Housing Authority. Six firebombings were reported, but police said no one was injured. The meeting had been called Wednesday night to air grievances of the 'Negro tenants. "The grievances were mostly small things," said Police Chief W, W. Pleasants. "Things like chipped sinks, a child falling off a broken step and hurting himself, things like that." The meeting developed into a shouting match as members of the predominantly Negro audi- ence peppered the housing offl cials with jeers, catcalls and profanity. The authority adjourned the meeting but the crowd of 300 re fused to disperse. Police called for reinforcements, and officers with tear gas were brought in. The crowd broke up Into smaller groups without incident The smaller groups began roaming the streets and scat tered incidents of rock throwing and bottle throwing were report ed. Police said damage was mi nor and no arrests were made. When police and firemen ar rived at one of the fires a group of between 100 and 150 Negroes refused to disperse and tear gas was used, police said. " SPECIAL OFFER! SAVE *82 95 When You Buy Both General Electric Washer and Dryer Pair General Electric Automatic Washer Has All-Purpose Flexible Wash Cycle Buy thte General Electric Automatic Washer... It's one of the finest you can buy at this low price! Takes » big family-size wash feed and with toe flexible washing cycle, you can tailor your wash toany wash toad, Washes everything from socks to sheets.,*from dellcates to heavy work domes. 2 special fresh water rinses. General Electric Matching Hi-Speed Flexible Controlled Electric Dryer Buy thte matching Electric Dryer and have a matched pair In efficiency and dependability! Don't worry about the weather, you can cjry your wash any time of day or night! Large drying drum takes a full wash load and with variable time control you can dry every type of fabric. No-heat fluff cycle for pillows and other special items, •••^•w ^ai^|iiiiii| BROADWAY and PIASA ALTON, ILLINOIS OPEN EVERY EVENING TILL 9 P.M. he said "But f told the police t was not trying to escape, that 1 just Wanted to visit the wonderful dty of fttgn§, w The failure did not stop the young man team trying again, but the next time he planned more carefully."I had a girl friend who lived near the wall (separating East and west Berlin)," he said. "Prom her apartment 1 watched the soldiers at the border, I studied when they changed the guard anu where they patroled." The obstacles to freedom included six walls topped with barbed wire, closely spaced guard towers with machine guns, and guards patroling with dogs, the young German said. But he was determined to, escape and on a dark, rainy night he saw hjs chance. "I saw that a soldier in one of the guard shacks was playing cards," Babienek said. Wearing gloves to protect his hands from the barbed wire, and dark clothing, the slim youth started across the row of barriers. He apparently hit a trip flare for the area suddenly was flooded with light, -he said. The Communist border guard saw him and'opened fire with machine guns, but it was too late. "I dove into the canal and swam to the other side," Babienek said. "I could not believe that I finally was in West Berlin, t Was so nervous and e& cited i could do nothing, t wfts very tacky to make it," Although he was free, life still was not easy for the 1?< year-old refugee. "I had only the dothes 1 was wearing and my passport," he said. "It was very hard." Babienek stayed for a tune with his older sister who lived in West Berlin, but he said the money the government gave him was not enough live on and his sister could not support him. He took a series of jobs Including ones as a magician's helper, a waiter in a restaurant and then in a bar. He said he held two jobs for awhile and made good money. He braved the border obstacles again, however, to return to East Berlin in October to bring his girl friend to freedom. "She would not come with me," he said. "Her mother wouldn't let her go. I had cut the wires to get in and had to get back before the soldiers found the cuts. I said good bye to her and never saw her again." . Babienek also never saw his mother and father after his escape. They remained in the Communist sector. "The government gave my mother a lot of trouble because I escaped," he said. "They blamed her for not teaching me communism and thought that she ftad helped me «1 wrote a ietteft l was swy that 1-tartleMBM her so much frouW' to Mid, His mother took ate letta to the authorities to show them that she had not known he was going to escape, Bablenek swd, and she was not bothered after that. • '«.'«. "Late? I thought 1 would like to see the world," he Said, "In May 196? I went to Hamburg and got a job as a steward on a ship." : - •""-'' He said he taught himself English with a dictionary and books after work "when I was not too tired. It was hard. There is not much free time on a ship on the Atlantic," he said. The job brought Babienek to the United States and to Chicago where in June he met Barbara Hess, a secretary in Chicago's Loop business district. The friendship blossomed into romance during later visits and in December he came to Chicago to live. On April 26 they Were Babtenric plans to start night school classes to improve his English this summer, then go on for more education. "I hope to get a good Job," the transplanted young German said. "I like America and hope to stay. I have found America a very free country and the people very friendly. I hope soon to be a citizen." THURSI FRII SAT I n summER BLRST OF souna 1BT LOW DISCOUNT PRICES! PORTABLE FM/AM RADIO ModelFA15 Solid state.AFC for drift freo FM, telescoping antenna. Batteries, earphone. PORTABLE CASETTE TAPE RECORDER Plays ft records on Phillips-type catiettel 5 pus* • ftS?? «P B »tion, volume & record controls, battery liftl indicator, dynamic mike. . . • AM/POLICE BAND RADIO] 88 Model MP60/147 Have the excitement of receiving police calls! With battery, earphone ft carry strap. * WEST SAINTiOUIS AVENUE nttr EAST BROADWAY .MQ«aMp,ni, , - ' ''> '. ' ;

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page