Victims of Communism Day

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961



Today I think of the silent victors over Communism, many of them filling mass graves.  We stand on the shoulders of giants, most of them known but to God.  By their lives and sacrifices they proved the essential truth of Man that a thirst for freedom is put in the soul of each of us by God.  Governments can tyrannize over the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve for a time, but they can never destroy that thirst.


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  1. We fight for freedom every day whether we realize or not. By what we do, say, read, buy, vote, accept, reject, how we fulfill our responsibilities, how we make our decisions, take care of our families, etc. Freedom is a way of life. We must be aware that what we do adds to or detracts from freedom.

  2. In October 1985, my father and I did a month-long “Historical WWII Tour” in Europe. Because the tour company was Canadian (as was most of my father’s family) the second two weeks’ itinerary included Prague, Terezin (which was closed), Dresden and “Hauptstadt Berlin” as it was then called. I saw the wall from both sides.

    While in Prague, I visited the Old Jewish Cemetery, which was at the time a museum dedicated to the “Socialist Victory Over Fascism,” just one of the many contradictions and absurdities we saw while behind the Iron Curtain. Dad had caught a cold (Pilsner Urquell to the rescue!) so I was on my own that day.

    Wandering through the laughable museum exhibits, I fell in with a small group of Brits. They were on their way to meet their tour guide for the official propaganda dissemination. The guide met us at the assigned spot and time; her name was “Ludmilla,” a winsome blonde whose almond-shaped eyes and high cheekbones were of standard issue Eastern European where-Mongols-met-Vikings ancestry.

    Nobody in our group spoke Czech, and her English was just as nonexistent. However, at the time, my German was better than passable, so I asked if she sprecht Deutsch, which many western Czechs did, and lo, it was so.

    I became the ad hoc interpreter; the descriptions I gave of things shown the group were probably a little different from hers, but that’s beside the point. What did transpire was an unmistakable ice-breaking between a 26-year-old single American guy and a mysterious Eastern European beauty – real bodice-ripper stuff, at least to me.

    The tour ended in a courtyard just off the cemetery (side note: if you’ve never seen this place it’s a bucket list item of the first degree. Perhaps a post about it someday may be in order.) After the group filtered away, I stepped up and asked if she’d enjoyed our time and whether she’d like to go find a cafe, grab a glass of wine and so forth.

    At first she smiled. Then she looked over my shoulder and frowned. Right before she slapped me so hard it actually spun me 180 degrees. She then stormed by me, fuming into a small portico at the wall of the synagogue (museum), the door to which was then slammed shut by the most severe-looking woman I’d ever seen; short, scowling, gray hair in a bun so tight you could see yourself in it, clad in the full spectrum of tweed and wool from charcoal to dirt brown and shoes most likely reclaimed from surplus Red Army boots.

    After a few moments of trying to collect my thoughts, I wandered back to our hotel a few blocks away, nursing my cheek and my pride. There, the West German guide who worked for the tour company and was with us the whole month, sat at the hotel bar. I sat down and ordered a beer. He took a look at me and asked if I’d gotten the number of the bus that had run over me. I related the situation and he started laughing.

    He then explained: “She liked you. But she’s also an employee of the Czech government. She hit you like that when she saw her minder, in order to communicate that you had asked her something rude and that she was vehemently not interested.”

    “But I didn’t . . .”

    “We know that, but if there were any suspicion of you being anything other than an American jerk, she could be arrested and you might be in a Prague jail cell awaiting who knows what. This is still a Communist country, and she probably saved your butt.”

    That day I became a to-the-core Reagan Republican. And, while I would not even begin to dream of entertaining the notion of being called a Victim of Communism, one might say I did suffer at its hand.

    And no, I haven’t been back, but it’s on the list.

  3. Here’s hoping you’ll find a better way to honor the victims of communism, and to illustrate the depravity of communist countries, than to point out the absence of light pollution.

  4. He then explained: “She liked you. But she’s also an employee of the Czech government. She hit you like that when she saw her minder, in order to communicate that you had asked her something rude and that she was vehemently not interested.”

    Communist states were and are vast prisons. Sometimes the prisoners were given a few more privileges by their jailers, and other times a more stringent regime was imposed, but prisons they always were, and their subjects were always prisoners until the regimes fell.

  5. Simon James-
    if you choose to sit in the cold and dark, without food, that is your personal foolishness; if your response to seeing an entire country enslaved and locked in cold darkness without food is to take delight in the lack of “light pollution,” that is flat inhumanity.

    Anyone treating a rat the way the NorK population is treated would, rightly, be arrested.

  6. The following is Atkinson’s third WWII ETO book. It seems to sum up the totalitarian mindset. Nazi Propaganda posted on a wreck of a wall in bombed-out Aachen, October 1944: Hitler: “Give Me Five Years And You Will Not Recognize Germany Again.” “For This We Thank Our Fuhrer.” “You Are Nothing, The State Is All.”

    Bolshevist, nazi, liberal – all the same.

  7. FOX,
    If protecting the night sky necessitated enslaving and starving people, you might have a point.

  8. Simon James-
    You are the one who decided to elevate your personal desire for a darker night sky over an entire country locked into cold, hungry darkness.
    If it is “necessary” or not, you chose that priority.

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