My wife and children were waiting for me.
They looked at the parcel in my hands and instruments and it was clear that they wanted to open parcels immediately and to find out what was in it.
However, I suggested that we needed to warm ourselves first. So we had a morning run and a good workout, then we ate hot breakfast. After it we were ready.
It took considerable efforts to open six parcels. Then we saw that there was a mixture of brown and white in all of them.
My wife cautiously took several white crystals and licked them. She said: “It’s sugar”. Next she took out several brown kernels and said: “Buckwheat!” Then she took out many pieces of brown paper and started to cry.
Children and I looked at her with alarm. What was going on? Why was she crying?
A couple of minutes passed. Then my wife stopped crying and explained: “In last letter I wrote that I could not find buckwheat here. Apparently, mothers decided that we had nothing to eat. They bought buckwheat and sugar and put paper packs with them in parcels. People in the USSR pierced each pack many times. Now we’ll have to find a way to separate sugar and buckwheat.”
We stayed in Lido di Ostia two more months. Each day we spent some time separating sugar and buckwheat.
I remembered at that time that my wife did not know her father. He was arrested and shot without trial when she was three months old. 30 years later her mother received a letter from a government that he was innocent.
I remembered that my grandfather was arrested, tortured and then released because he did not do anything wrong. However, he died in three months after his release.
I remembered that after we applied for a permission to leave the USSR we were treated as enemies of the state. We were lucky to get the permission but authorities forced us to pay substantial sum for every member of the family and then allowed to take with us only $400. We left behind our savings for many years of hard work.
I thought how lucky we were to escape from the Soviet Union whose government managed to murder 30 millions of its own people.
We were lucky to leave robbers of dignity, freedom and happiness behind.
I never expected that we would find people in America who would think that socialism could be good.
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”
― Winston S. Churchill
I was born here in the US and I too never thought I would see the day where socialist was elected to power.
Oh, come now, Jeffrey: you must know that you’re going to find people who believe that just about everything | anything is good, wherever you are. That’s PEOPLE. Some are mad: some are wicked: some are just silly: the bulk are good.
How many thousands are dead or displaced recently? People should be
educated but not by liberals who never knew realities of socialism or
want to hide them.
Do you honestly believe that the other party ever does anything but go to war ? – but liberalise gun use ?
If you want to talk dead or displaced, it is they you need to be discussing.
I believe that there were great leaders in many countries who had
competence and guts to do what was necessary when it was necessary.
FDR and Churchill were such leaders. BTW, FDR was a democrat.
So there you go. 🙂
I’m glad you got out. There are everywhere, people with idealist views who don’t know better.
Unfortunately, many people are ignorant or refuse to accept the truth.
First year in America I met a wonderful old man who escaped the Soviet Union
in 1918. He had books about Stalag but did not believe them.
I totally agree with Curchill’s statement on socialism. I hope your story enlightens and wakes up romantic people. Although Yugoslavia wasn’t as bad as the Soviet Union, I made the big escape in 1962 with my husband and 3-year-old son.
I’m sure it was not easy for you. Best to you!
It’s the small stories that paint the big picture. It is so good to hear your personal stories. Thank you for sharing another one. This has more impact for me than history books.
I am very glad! I met many people who believe that socialism will bring
happiness. History books often distort the truth because their authors
are for socialism or paid to distort facts.
I loved this series of stories – very personal and very emotive.
Is it important to distinguish between socialism the ‘theory’ or ‘ideal’ and socialism the ‘reality’?
The same for democracy, the ‘theory’ or ‘ideal’ of democracy seems far from the ‘reality’ (as practiced currently in australia anyway)…?
I don’t think that even in theory socialism is good. Promises can’t feed anyone.
Democracy is only an ideal, it has never worked.
Ah, so now I know what was in the packages…buckwheat and sugar. It must have been very difficult for the family to send that to you. I wouldn’t want socialism as you experienced it. We have had Labour ( left wing, social democrats) Governments in New Zealand and they have been fine. Right now we have a centre right wing conservative Government. It’s not my favourite but it’s okay.
Socialism is a dictatorship. During the WW2 Stalin gave an order to be
in Berlin before allies. Several tank divisions were stopped by mine fields.
Marshall Zhukov sent infantry ahead of tanks. Many people lost lives there
and my uncle lost his leg.
A great sadness. Both our families have suffered loss because of war. In my case, it was Churchill and friends who thought Gallipoli was a sensible strategy. The mindset of politicians and generals that allowed the slaughter of WW1 is hard to imagine.
In the USSR more people were killed before war by their own government
than during wars by enemies. Gallipoli was a mistake, Lenin and Stalin’s
actions were a long-term policy of dictatorship. The same was in China
and on Cuba.
That is true. Ugly, harsh truths.
For some reason, I never read part 3. I am glad you re-blog this. I am glad that you are here in U.S. God bless you and your family! Helen
Thank you, Helen! By the way, I found God here! Best to you!
Great story ~ and must have been some adventure for you to make it out, and then to have done so well here in the States, a tribute to the strengths of America. However, you are so correct and to see socialism take such a grip in parts of the USA is disheartening…it has to change.
Cheers to the good though, the home you have create and made here among all us immigrants 🙂
I pray for good changes. We had too many bad changes lately.