FREEDOM
By

EVA STRAUSS BORGESON

Recently I was asked to write an essay about what is presently the most important issue on people’s minds.
I thought about it, talked to poeple and then came to the conclusion that whatever is prevelant in one’s life, it is in the end freedom that links more to our daily issues than anything else.

We all take it so very much for granted and yet don’t think about how fragile and easily lost it is.
Especially for the past years I have had plenty of opportunity to observe and study political events and it appears that precious freedom, sets USA apart from many other countries is in jeopardy.

I was born in a walled (medieval) small town Schmoelln- in the province of Thueringen When the SOVIETS occupied my part of Germany I was only ten years old then and yet I remember the day SOVIET Forces marched in. Little did I know that it would change the course of my life completly.
My parents, my sister and I lived in a comfortable villa next to one of my families factories. My father was head of the family’s business. One of the factories was founded by my grandfather1900 and a second one by my father in the late 20s.

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Shortly after the SOVIETS settled in town, they occupied their choice of the houses. My family’s factories were put under sequester, all bank accounts were frozen, and it became quite evident that there was enough reason and threats for my father to decide for us to escape from the newly established Socialist/Communist government and its Volk’s police force.
The very morning we, my father, mother, my sister and I were ready to leave, my father was called to City hall were he was arrested along with other men and women and transported to Buchenwald After a short stay there he was taken to Siberia where my father spent almost nine years along with thousandsof prisoners in Iterncamps They lived underground and worked Siberian mines. My father was released and returned home a sick man. He never really recovered, not physically nor psychologically, or emotionally.

Only a few days after my father was taken away my mother was given a few hours to vacate the villa that had been our home so that the new Police Commissioner could live there in style. We lived in one room, my grandfather’s library: bathed there in an old zinc tub, that was thought to be for ‘sitting’ baths only, cooked there using a hotplate, slept there. We had to literally climb over the heavy library furniture, there was no other way to accommodate any piece of mom’s furniture, in fact she had to distribute them among friends’ and family member’s houses. She also had to bribe the officials with an expensive carpet so that they would not put us in the least desirable slum of the town.
We had nothing to eat with the exception of local basic vegetables. Bread was as good as inferior, there was no butter, no milk until we had rations that allowed us some margarine and ‘blue’ milk.
Meat was not available, but once a month we had the treat of a chicken or a rabbit that we shared with my grandmother. Of course, there were no candy and cookies, and Oranges and Bananas were something we knew from pictures only.I had my first Banana when I was 16 years old and had for the first time escaped from East Germany I had to return to my home town because the government retaliated if a parent or guardian ‘allowed’ a minor to leave East Germany and my mother did let me go because I was terrriby undernurished and ill due to lack of medicine. We could not chose our own physician, not even a specialist. Something that to this day carries consequences for me.
br> It was forbidden to leave town in East Germany without a special permit, something that was very hard to get and parents and guardians were responsible for their children. The government would retaliate when they were gone without permit. And so the wall was erected.
The stores were literally empty and what concerned clothing, there was NONE. My skirts and dresses were made from bed sheets, my dad’s tuxedo, grandpa’s morning suit and even old flags. Shoes were handed down.
The school teachers were different and expertly taught Socialism, Communism Marx, Engles and their famous White Book, the bible of Communism.
While it was not forbidden to attend church, it was frowned upon and not many citizens dared to go to church. In fact in the latter years students were openly told in school that there is no God.

It did not take long before people lost their properties to the Socialist Communist government that did with it what they liked to in so many cases—“sold” it to somebody else but officially made it PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE.

I lost everything that I had inherited from my grandfather when I was only eight years old because I escaped to West Germany. The property was given to other people who used it to build private beautiful homes. My entire family lost all their business and private property and to this day this issue has not been brought to conclusion.

It was terrible in winter because there was no heating material. So many times we sat in class rooms with our coats and mittens, hungry, of course and waiting for a handout slice of bread that was given by the government to ‘fatten’ us up. The bread was just that, dry and plain like lead in the stomach.

The so called ‘rebels’, people who objected to government were readily punished in ways that would be against the constitution under a normal government.

Elections were done as expected in open booths, to go behind the curtain to vote would cause someting like a stir among those who watched.

To live under communism is nothing that is told easily.

The strong desire to be free gave me the strength and the courage to escape.
Now I live in the USA a beautiful country HOPING THAT IT NEVER WILL FALL IN COMMUNIST HANDS.
It is up to the people to educate themselves and to know what to do in order to keep their freedom. Guard your freedom and let FREEDOM RING for ever. Return to main page