HOF, WEST GERMANY
Cheering and weeping with joy, the first of more than 4,000 East German refugees who holed up in West German embassies in Czechoslovakia and Poland arrived in the West on Sunday. East Germany on Saturday agreed to the exodus after an accord between Soviet bloc and NATO nations ended a deadlock that forced many of the refugees to spend weeks camping outside the embassies.
The first train carrying about 780 East Germans who had sought refuge in the West German Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia, arrived in the Bavarian city of Hof early Sunday morning.
The agreement announced Saturday covered nearly 4,000 East Germans who began crowding into the embassy in Prague several weeks ago and more than 800 East Germans at the embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
Czechoslovak police sealed off Bonn's embassy in Prague Sunday after the initial exodus of refugees. About 50 new would-be refugees were barred from the embassy: They had arrived too late to take advantage of special transport to the West arranged after talks between the East and West German foreign ministers at the United Nations last week.
In Poland 809 refugees boarded an East German train before dawn Sunday, headed for the West German border city of Helmstedt.
East Germany, a hard-line Communist nation that had harshly criticized Warsaw Pact ally Hungary for allowing a similar refugee exodus earlier last month, said it was granting the transfer as a ``humanitarian act.''