Escape from Russia: A True Story
By Henry Labor
Obtained by William Pickelhaupt from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Port Huron, Michigan
There are many persons who are helping the communists gain a foothold in this country. Whether they are doing this for their own personal gain or because they think our people as a whole would profit by this, I do not know. However, I do know that our country and its people are far better off under the democratic form of government. I know this because I lived under the communists in Russia right after the Bolshevik Revolution, and I know the communist methods have not changed since those days, except possibly to become worse.
I have lived in America for 27 years and have been a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1934. I have had my share of troubles just like any other American, but this wonderful country has been good to me. It has permitted my wife and I [sic] to raise our family in an atmosphere of freedom.
We believe in God. We believe in the dignity of an individual. We cherish the right to vote, the right to assemble, the right to speak our minds in public, and the right to be heard through the public press. These God-given rights are the heritage of all Americans. They do not have counterparts in Russia. There the people are slaves. Nothing they have may they truly call their own.
I know these things because as a boy and a young man, I survived experiences so horrible I do not wish to think about them. They are nightmares of reality. No, I do not wish to think about them, but because I believe it is my duty to tell my fellow Americans, I shall relieve [sic] them for awhile. By doing this, perhaps I might change the minds of some people in this country who believe our democracy should be replaced by the “red government” of Russia.
During the reign of Catherine the Great, a band of Germans came to Russia and settled in an area along the Volga River. Although a wilderness, this land was very rich. Here my ancestors were able to make a living by farming. Although they had to live under the Czarist Government, they remained banded together and did not mix much with the Russians—nor was [sic] there any inter-marriages. That is not to say there was open hostility between the two groups; my own family had some Russian friends who were good people at heart.
Although our form of government before the communists was not such as it is in America, we did have the opportunity of self-expression inasmuch as we did elect our own village officials. I’m quite sure the regulations were similar in all of Russia, but I’m not positive. I’m merely telling you of my surroundings and my own experiences.
When I was a child, about five years of age, there was a war between Japan and Russia. My uncle fought in this war and when he returned home he told us of his experiences. I just remember vaguely, but later I was told that after his homecoming the “Reds” tried to overthrow the Russian Government. They failed at this time because they were not strong enough.
Several years later, there was a poor harvest in Russia. The government helped the farmers, including my family. So, actually the government helped the farms, including my family. So, actually the government of the Czars did think of the people and did some things for them. It was hard, however, for an individual to advance himself and it was difficult for families to achieve much in the way of comforts and luxuries.
When I was a small boy, my family was very poor. At that time there were eight children, none of an age to be of much help to our parents on the farm. There were times when there was not enough profit from the crops to pay our community expenses. As the other boys and I grew older, we were able to help our parents more and things began to look better. After a succession of good harvests we were able to pay our debts and have enough to buy better land and animals. We lived comfortably and there were no worries about food and clothing and other necessities. We were not wealthy, but we were reasonably happy and well off.
When I was 12, I with my two brothers, 14 and 16, would get up at midnight and plow in our fields with the camels, working until six o’clock in the morning. We would then rest until noon while the camels grazed in the pasture. From noon to dusk we would work again and then rest until midnight when we started over again. While we worked at that hard routine, my father and older brothers used the horses to do the harvesting and heavier labor. On a lot of nights it was very cold and dark working, but our father would encourage us by telling us we were getting ahead and accomplishing much toward a better living.
(I think it is important to describe our working schedule, not to impress the reader with our difficult routine, but to point out that there was some point in laboring as we did. We owned our home, our land, our tools and our animals. By working hard we were able to accumulate more for our personal comfort. We also had the opportunity of improving our education.)
We went to school in the winter months. The schoolmaster was very strict, but he was a good teacher. In addition to instructing us in the usual subjects, he taught religion in the school.
In 1913, one of my brothers went to America. He had heard much of this land across the sea. My parents protested because they didn’t want him to leave the family circle. He was only 19 years of age but he was determined to go and, indeed, it was a blessing to us that he did go as he later paved the way for us to come. Without his help it is doubtful that we would have escaped the horrors in store for the people living in Russia.
Shortly after my brother left for America, at the time World War I broke out in Europe, I was confirmed in the church. The pastor said to us young boys in the confirmation class, “Boys, a great war is about to set the world aflame, but I am afraid this is not all. A dark period is coming for all of us.”
The pastor was a very learned and highly respected man. Evidently he could foresee the coming of the communists.
Two of my brothers were drafted into the Russian army. One of our horses was drafted too, although we were well paid for it. The government paid a fine price for grain also. Both of my brothers were fortunate enough to come back alive, though one was wounded. At about the time of their return, a meeting was held in the village hall and my father was elected mayor.
During the war (WWI), the Czarist Government had been over-thrown and Kerensky had come into power. In our village we were told that Kerensky had come into power with the idea of establishing a power like that in America. It was said that he also wanted to keep Russia in the war against Germany.
Meanwhile, the communists wanted to make peace with Germany. They moved along the battlefronts and told the Russian soldiers they could go home and that they need not fight any longer. Many men obeyed them and returned to their homes, carrying their weapons with them. Then the communist succeeded in making peace with Germany and to all intents, Russia’s role in World War I was over.
A war far more horrible and far-reaching was being waged within Russia. The “White Russians”, headed by Kerensky, and the “Reds”, led by Lenin and Trotsky, were fighting to gain control of the country. In all the confusion my father no longer wanted to serve as mayor of the village and consequently he resigned.
One day an old friend of my father’s who had joined the communists and who had gained a fairly high rank in the party, came to visit us in our home. He said to my father, “Now we have what we want. Now the poor people will be helped and Russia will progress in the world.”
I remember my father’s reply. “No!” he said to his former friend. “It will not be better. It will be worse.”
I still remember very vividly the day two communist officials came riding into our village on horseback. They ordered the heads of all families in the village to assemble at the village hall. The young boys were very excited and thrilled; they all rushed to the Bolsheviks, about whom they heard so much. Later the boys got to know these men very well for their brutality.
Our Bolshevik visitors made some very fine speeches and elaborate promises. They said there would be no more war, declaring there had been enough bloodshed already. No longer would the young men be drafted into the army. However, they added that those who wanted to join the army could go freely. They said that all weapons that had been carried home from the battlefronts must be relinquished. They warned us that anyone who was found to possess a weapon would be shot.
I shall not forget that day; for that was the day freedom departed from our village. From that day on, the village was never to be free of the communists. Before we had only heard of the brutality of these men; now they actually were among us. There were however, some trusting people in the village who actually thought the communists would help us. Events were to prove how terribly wrong they were.
The first step was to levy a large amount of taxes to be paid by our village to the Bolsheviks. It was within a few pennies of all the money there was in the entire village. The mayor divided the burden among the people as evenly as possible but there were many who could not pay their share. They were taken away and were never seen again.
During this period, my father’s friend, who had visited us earlier to plead the cause of the communists, returned to our home. He admitted that what my father had told him was true. He said he had joined the party in good faith, thinking he could truly help his people. But now, he said, he had discovered what the Bolsheviks really were like and had learned they could bring only suffering and sorrow. Tears streamed from his eyes as he said he wanted to resign from the party but could not do so else he would be killed. There were others in the same predicament.
Despite their promises, the Bolsheviks started to draft soldiers for the army. One of my brothers had to go. He was treated roughly because he would not sign papers committing him to membership in the party. A young man who was known to all of us was also drafted. Later his father heard his son was ill in a nearby camp so he decided to visit him. When he got there he found that, indeed, his son was very ill. Though still alive, he had been placed with the dead bodies. The father risked his life to take his son home, where he died shortly afterward.
Two of my cousins were drafted into this army of which the Bolsheviks had spoken so proudly. We never heard from them again. God alone knows what happened to them.
Many young men, like my brother, refused to join the party, though they had to serve in the army. Many of them escaped and returned to their homes saying, “If we must die, we would rather die in our own homes.”
My brother also escaped and returned home. We were afraid for his safety and we did all we could to protect him. Then one night, about two o’clock in the morning, there was a pounding at the door. Before we could get there, a part of communist soldiers had broken in and had seized my brother. One of the soldiers clubbed him on the head with a gun and knocked him out. My mother, who was not well, heard the noise and came running into the kitchen screaming, “Dear God, help us!”
He cursed and threatened my frightened mother. My other brothers and I did not dare to do anything for fear of being shot. They shook my brother into consciousness and took him to the village hall, which was their headquarters. None of us slept anymore that night.
The next day my father told me to harness our one good horse to our carriage and drive to the village hall to take my brother back to camp. I was waiting in front of the building when two Bolsheviks came out, jumped into the carriage and told me to start. I protested and said that I would not take them. “This is my carriage, and I am waiting for my brother,” I said fearfully.
They pressed their guns in my back. “Do not say that anything is yours,” one of them warned. “Nothing is yours. Everything is now ours.”
(You will notice that these men always had their guns ready to shoot down anyone who dared cross them. They were worse than the cruelest gangsters. These were the men who had told us there would be no more bloodshed.)
With the guns at my back, I had to take the men where they wanted to go. After we had traveled some distance, one of the Bolsheviks ordered me to turn back, saying he had forgotten to pick up a pair of boots from a repair shop. I drove to the shop and the man dismounted and entered the place.
The soldier roughly ordered the shoemaker to give him his boots and left without offering to pay for the repair work. The shoemaker argued, but the Bolshevik got back into the carriage. I took him and his companion where they wanted to go and finally was allowed to go home. I don’t know what happened to my brother.
The communists always used force and brutality. They did not know the meaning of fair play. For two cows they gave us enough to buy only two pounds of wagon grease. They seized one of our horses but it escaped from them within a few months and returned to our farm, which was now falling into neglect because we could not care for it properly. The poor animal’s hide was scarred where it had been whipped. Of course, we returned the horse to them, as otherwise we would have been accused of stealing it.
One day, my father called us to the window. Outside we saw to our horror, a sight I shall long remember. Two burly communists were beating our neighbor. We later learned the cause of this brutality. Our neighbor had protested when they put their worn-out horses in his barn and took his horses in exchange. I also remember seeing a man tied to a horse. The communists made the horse go fast enough so that the man would have to run. They were taking him to their headquarters.
A box had been placed at the village hall and if anyone overheard anyone else say anything against the government it was their duty to place the statement and the person’s name in this box. Naturally, if your name was placed in the box you would be severely punished and perhaps ever killed.
In 1919 our section of the country had a wonderful harvest. Our barns were filled and overflowing. Then, the government stepped in. They had us take our crops to the docks and load it on ships to be sold to foreign countries. They did not pay us enough for the seed much less for the amount of time and effort spent in growing them. Little by little they kept taking everything we had and paid us poorly for it.
In 1920 my girl, whom I had courted for three years, and I decided to be married. We went to the headquarters and asked for a marriage license. They asked for how long we wanted to be married. We could be married for six months, one year, or as long as we wanted to be. I said, “What do you mean, can’t we get a license to be married for life?”
He said that too could be arranged; they still have life time marriage licenses. They said that the license was all that was necessary to wed us and that it was not necessary to see a pastor. Our pastor could not hold office with a church because of the communists’ idea on the matter of God, so we went to his home and had a wedding ceremony there, necessary or not.
In 1920 the harvest was poor and in 1921 there was almost nothing. What little there was, was eaten by the grasshoppers.
At this time our pastor was no longer with us. We do not know what happened to him. We do know however, that a lot of pastors were sent away to Siberia. An assistant pastor was now holding service for our people in the school house. One of his songs sung in the service went like this:
“Like copper, iron, stone, & sand,
Is now our whole land;
And what we had is now gone,
And many people now must die.”
Everyone in the congregation began crying when they heard these words. This was the last time I ever remember attending a church service in Russia or that I ever heard of any being held. Some people never appreciated a church or its services, but now that the opportunity for it was gone, they wished they could of had it.
The bad crops had left us with no food whatsoever and the communists had taken away all our livestock. The people began eating anything they could find. They began cooking the old hides which were being saved with the intention of making jackets from them. Old corn husks were now being boiled. People went through all the fields looking for potatoes from previous harvests. Many people died right there in the fields.
The wailing of the children could always be heard. Nothing but food could stop their crying and there was none to give them. When they were too weak from starvation to cry any longer, they sat huddled in a corner until they died. A few people hid some food in 1919 when there was a good harvest, so by using it sparingly they still had enough to keep them alive now. Of course, if the Bolsheviks ever found this out, that they had hidden the food, they would have been severely punished and perhaps killed.
I noticed that more men died then women; mainly because they needed more food to sustain life. The food was divided equally so no one had more than anyone else in the family. Some families even went as far as to measure each person’s portion of a meal on a scale so that each got an equal share and none would feel slighted.
My wife and I went down to Rosendum [?] where we worked and made just enough to live on. The only reason they still had a little food left was because they weren’t near any large cities and the communists had not bothered them too much as yet. We weren’t there too long when we learned that the “Red” and the “Whites” were fighting not too far away. My wife and I decided that this was no longer a safe place to stay and that we would probably be much safer back home.
We went back home and things were worse than they had ever been. There was absolutely nothing to eat and people were killing the cats and dogs and eating them. I took the best clothing we had and went west to a city in the mountains were I traded them for rice and any other food I could get. It took me three weeks to make this trip and I was worried because I didn’t know whether my wife would still be alive when I returned.
I was very happy to learn that everything was still all right when I got back and my family was overjoyed at my good luck in obtaining food. For approximately six months we lived on nothing but rice and corn shucks. The reason the rice lasted so long was because we put only one cup into a large kettle of water and that was all we had all day. We hadn’t had meat or bread in such a long time we had almost forgotten how it tasted.
In the daytime we were in constant fear of the Bolsheviks and at night we were so hungry we could not sleep. In the daytime we would wish night would come and when night came, we wished the day would come.
We ran out of food again and I had to go out and look for more. I went to Saratoff, a town not far from us. There lived an old friend of the family with whom I stayed. He was glad to have me and shared what little food he had. He said I was welcome to stay there for a while to look for a job.
Shortly after I arrived, I met a girl from our village. She was also looking for work. She said she could get a job keeping house for some of the Bolshevik officials if she wanted to, but I believe you can read between the lines what they really wanted here. She said to me, “Mister, I have made an honest, clean living and if this is the only way I can make a living now, I would rather starve.”
I finally found a job, but had worked only one day when they read some papers to me which were in Russian. They said that I must say that I no longer believed in God and that I would serve as a Communist the rest of my life. I was brought up in a Christian home and could not find it in me to forsake God, whom had taken care of me and my family so well up to now; therefore, I would not sign. The merchant said that he was sorry but if I did not sign he could not keep me. He gave me a pound loaf of black bread in payment for the day I had worked. I returned to my friend’s home and told him there was work to be had but not for me. I thanked him for letting me stay with him and said good-bye.
I started back down the Volga River to my home. I got a ride part of the way with some Bolsheviks who were headed my way. When they had to turn off the road and go in a different direction, I got off, thanked them, and went on my way, again on foot. Soon they came rushing up to me and accused me of stealing something from their wagon. I was very, very frightened and said they could search me because I did not steal anything from them. They searched me and found nothing. They said that if they had found something they would have shot me.
Many people had lost their minds from being so hungry. Most of the people were walking around in rags because they had traded all their good clothes for food.
One day a man came and told our family and a few others that he thought he could help free us from Russia. As he directed, we went to Sarotoff. In Sarotoff, 45 of us got into one cattle car. It was so small that we had to build a floor horizontally across the middle and thereby forming two floors. This was on January 25, 1922.
We had no more than started on our way when the train was stopped. The Bolsheviks came aboard and asked us where we were going. We could not tell them we were trying to get out of Russia so we told them we were going to look for work. They let us go but we were soon stopped again and put on a side track where we had to stay for several days. It was cold, we did not have much to eat and many were sick. One old man’s wife died in the car. We did not know what to do. We could not report it, as there would have been too many questions asked; but still, we could not keep a dead body in the car with us. We went to the man in charge of the railroad station and told him our problem. He could have reported us if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He told us to lay the body in an empty car and he would see that she was properly buried. The old man went to look at her again before we left and he found that someone had stolen most of her clothes.
We finally started out again and arrived in a city called Smalionski. We were again pushed on a side track. We were told that people who had tried to escape earlier had been stopped in this same city. Many had died before they could move on. Naturally, we were happy when eight days later they let us start out again and soon made it to our destination, Minski. It had taken a month to make this trip. Ordinarily it would only take one day.
In Minski, they put us all in a big apartment building in which there were already many people. The place was inhabited with lice, rats and bed bugs. My wife and I were lucky enough to find jobs right away.
Many people in the building were sick with an illness something like scarlet fever and many died. They put all the dead in a shed in the back of the house. Each day some men would come in a big wagon drawn by horses. They would pile all the dead into the wagon and drive them out of the city a little way where they would dump them in a huge hole and cover them up.
A woman once came to me while I was standing on a corner and was crying hysterically. I asked her what the trouble was. She replied, “My whole family was ill, along with myself. I ahd a case of temporary insanity and when I recovered I found that my entire family was gone. I looked everywhere but they were not to be found. I don’t even know whether they are dead or alive!”
A doctor came to visit us once. He was from Germany and had been sent by the Red Cross. He examined us and told us that he would see that we got help. We thought of this man as an angel from heaven. He gave us a little food and medicine. The people said, “This is not what we want. We want to get out of this country.”
The doctor went back to Germany and talked to the government. When he returned again he told us that Germany was willing to take care of us but he did not know if he could get us out of Russia. He bargained with some of the top officials on the border patrol and they agreed to let us cross if we could pay ten rubles gold for each person. We all worked hard and tried to save enough. I had finally gotten my twenty rubles gold together and we were to cross within one week when my wife became sick. We were terribly afraid that she would not be able to travel, but God was with us and she became well enough just in time.
We walked to the train. I had my sick child in my arms and my sick wife at my side. There were about one thousand people on the train. When we got to the border, the train was stopped. We were carefully examined to see that we carried no revealing papers or documents with us and were carefully counted to see that no more than the allotted number got across. We finally went on, crossed the border, and went to the city of Beronawick in Poland. Then in Beronawick, we had to go to a lot of doctors to have a check-up so as not to carry any diseases into Germany. I passed through without any trouble at all but my wife wasn’t well and only through the grace of God she got through. Another lady was not quite as fortunate and was left behind.
While our party was being delayed for the check-up, the Red Cross took care of us in every way; food, clothes, shelter, etc. which we shall always be grateful for. After our party was checked, we continued to Germany by train. At dawn we arrived in Frankfurt, on the Oder River. Hindenburg was ruler of Germany at the time.
As we arrived, a mass of people welcomed us heartily carrying torches and shouting. Some were as we were, escaping from Russia and were happy for us. We were then taken to a building where we were bathed, our clothes were decontaminated of lice, and for the first time in years we were free of famine, bedbugs, etc., which are the only things that have paradise in the “land of paradise”, which is supposedly Russia.
We were then taken to some barracks that the soldiers used in World War I. There were tables full of food and beds that were all neatly made. We were all so overjoyed; some cried, some yelled, and some even prayed. It was in December, 1922, at these army barracks that we all had our first peaceful night’s rest. Free of bedbugs, lice, hunger, and the fear of Bolshevik soldiers since 1917.
We were here until spring before we could get a job; taken care of by the Red Cross again. As we waited the people conversed with each other, knowing they were now safe, about some of the horrible experiences they had with the Bolsheviks. One of the experiences I was told about from a fellow man was about the “Red” and “White” conflict in his village. They were shooting and killing each other in any way they could. Eventually the “Reds” (communists), got the better of the “Whites”. The “Whites” hid out in a large tobacco drying shed. The “Reds” discovered this and shot into the shed without mercy until all were dead and the blood was oozing out of the door and out of the cracks in the shed.
Another man’s experience, as told to me, was where one man in his village was thrown into a cellar partially full of ice for believing in God. The communists told him if he would stop believing in God and tell everybody that religion was for fools and that all which he had stood for before was all wrong, he could go free. But he refused to revoke God, so he was shot thought he neck in front of his eight children and wife.
Still another man told of how hostages were taken from his village and ordered to be shot. They all had to dig their own graves and then strip themselves of all clothing except under garments. They stood in front of their graves and were then shot and fell into the grave which they had dug. One of the hostages was missed but fell anyway. She was shot again and then pushed over into her grave also. The children that were in our group that were left parentless from the epidemic in Minski, were sent to Batel and put in an orphanage where they were given the opportunity for schooling.
Being free mostly all other grief, our child died. She had a very nice burial. A pastor gave a sermon and my brother from America had sent us some money which we used to buy a lovely casket and memorial monument.
Our job that spring was on a farm. The owner had come to the camp to hire some help. He picked my wife as one, but she would not go unless he could use both of us. He thought for a while and then decided in our favor. My wife worked in the house with his wife and I worked in the fields. Our pay was small but at the time we through we were very fortunate. We received our meals, lodging and a little money for clothes.
After working on the farm for about six months, my brother sent us more money and papers for the American Council guaranteeing that we would be properly received and taken care of so that we could get our Visa for America.
The farmer we were working for discovered we were going to America and hastily tried to discourage us. He offered us more pay and better conditions and promised we could be well to do in Germany. We refused and went back to the camp and waited for the Council to get our Visa.
During the time we were in Germany, there was an inflation but everyone remained calm. As a whole, I found the German people always in a hurry but very orderly. They were good, hard industrious working people. They planted fruit trees along the highways. They were very strict about the railroad and anyone caught walking along there was fined.
We went to Berlin and then to the Council to get our passports. We got on a train in Berlin and went to Beremen where we took our ship, “Seydlitz” on October 20, 1923. We left port and on the first two days the ocean was very calm, the winds were still and the sun shined. Our one and only goal was to reach America.
After two days at sea, the ocean was very rough and the men said it was the worst they’ve seen in 20 years. All people on deck had to go to the bottom of the ship. A friend and myself were on deck watching them close the latches when they sent us down too. We all soon became sea sick. My wife and I were quite ill. Our motto was ‘God has taken us out of Russia and if it be his will he will see us across the ocean and we will be able to trod on American soil’. We had our minds set to live our lives for God and America and forever be thankful.
Our destination was to be New York, but due to some circumstances, the orders were changed for Portland, Maine. We arrived there on November 2, 1923. We were all examined, including our papers. We were taken from room to room. A man finally came and asked in our language if we wanted to send a telegram and I asked, “Are we ready to leave?”
The man spoke, which seemed like words from heaven, “All is O.K. and you are ready to go.” We were so happy it was unspeakable. We couldn’t understand the American language but just being in their environment and seeing their friendly ways was confident; this land being of no comparison to Russia.
On November 5, 1923 we arrived in a small city in Colorado where my brother awaited us at the depot with his car. He took us home where my wife and I again saw my mother and youngest brother, who left Russia with us, but arrived sooner. The following morning we got up early and worked beets. During this first year in America, doing different jobs we paid for our fare, which was over five hundred dollars.
In March of 1924 our second daughter was born. We left Colorado and arrived in Michigan on May 10, 1925 by train. We had four daughters and three sons born here which we are all proud of because all our children, living, were American.
As soon as my wife and I learned the English language, we took out our citizen papers. At first, while in Michigan, I worked at a factory and always made enough to support my family and not be in want. During this time we bought our home. Due to the after effects of starvation we endured in Russia, my health kept failing and I no longer could keep up to factory work. It wasn’t the work so much as the odors, as my ailment was stomach trouble. By the doctor’s orders, I quit my job. My wife was ill too and unable to help. The depression came at this time and we lost our home. I later found a different job and was able to purchase a new home, which I now have over half paid.
Since I’ve been in America, I’ve always been sending help to my two brothers still in Russia. At first they received the letters and packages as I sent them, but later things were taken out and replaced with stones to make up the weight. After a while they even had to pay just to receive the packages. When I sent cash, I’d receive my receipt as them getting it but my brothers actually never seen it.
I still received mail from my brothers telling me of the circumstances, how people tried to leave the village in the same way as we, but died in the attempt. One man from the village was elected mayor. He was a Bolshevik. Two others came to make a speech and he arose and said that the community has been in the dark under the old government and now everything will be in the light. It wasn’t light very long for him because someone else was elected soon after and he was left to starve. (This proves people are used as tools, when not needed you are thrown away.)
Communism is so in the dark and devilish it is hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it. Some people, unless they’ve lived under this ruling, can’t believe it or even grasp it.
In 1930 a big business man in Russia, after suffering a great deal in this period, was sentenced to death for his belief in God and because of his profession. He was able to escape and came to America. He was in my very own home and told of his experiences. He said he had a friend who later became a communist. He asked him why they couldn’t make a go of this government; it was costing so many lives. The communist answered him by saying they weren’t interested in these people, they wanted a new generation to bring up in their ways. The communist told him that, as for love, we don’t need any love for ourselves, but for the people and for our profit and gain.
Now this is my thought. Stalin is slow, not like Hitler. For instance, if you get sick, you go to a doctor, then you get help. Everybody saw Hitler’s way of trying to dominate the world and they stepped in and he was soon taken care of. I truly believe communism is a slower disease, like cancer. It works into each nation slowly and when people realize what happened, it’s too late to do anything about it. That’s why you see one nation and then another slowly taken over by this communism.
America, the land of freedom, which I’ve lived in for 26 years, took me out of Russia like wood out of a burning fire. Will this land I love always be as it is today, or will we slowly be diseased and taken over by this dreadful communism and forever regret it for not keeping our eyes open and trusting in God.
O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
When I think back to Russia, which at one time was free like this country, and then heard that my two brothers were sent out of Russia to Siberia, I have to say with:
Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughters of my people.
So I believe the outcome of Stalin will be as that of Nebuchadnezzar:
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and none hindereth.
Thy pump is brought down to the grave, and the noise of violas; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee, saying, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
Though shall not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people; the seed of evildoers shall never be around.
This true story of my experiences is not by my will alone but by the help of God, for I was awakened some nights feeling it only right to take this duty upon myself. If felt that I should tell the people the symptoms and signs of communism. For I would not like this dreadful thing to take America as it did Russia.
Obtained by William Pickelhaupt from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Port Huron, Michigan