A small Communist story

I was tag surfing when I stumbled upon this blog entry and it made me recall a story my hubby told me that he saw and heard about as a kid. I think as Americans we understand little of the brutality of Communism, we only know of the USSR and that in Communist Russia everyone is the same.
Other countries were invaded by Russian influence and suffered greatly under their hand, this included Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia). I asked my hubby what it was like living in that kind of enviornment and either he blocked it out, honestly doesn’t remember, or doesn’t want to tell me, so I got very little info out of him.
He did share the story of the Mercedes man:

Apparently there was a man who was visiting West Germany and purchased a practically brand new Mercedes. He wasn’t a Communist official or anyone high ranking in the military, I’m guessing he was just a guy who had enough money to buy (lease?) a Mercedes. He was allowed in the country with it, but not without complete disregard.
The police followed him everywhere he went.. just waiting for him to make a mistake. One day he finally did, he forgot his turn signal as he was making a turn. The police pulled him over, confiscated the car, and threw him in jail. Hubby said he doesn’t know what happened to the guy after that.. how long he stayed in jail or any other details.

In the movie Kolya there’s a scene in a train station where Zdenek is calling out to little Kolya who has ran away. He yells “KOLYA!!!” and every one in the train station stops, looks at the man, and has a frozen expression on their face. I couldn’t understand this scene. What’s so important about this? Hubby then told me that during those times you never, never, never draw attention to yourself. You have to be a lemming. Driving a nice shiny Mercedes draws too much attention to oneself.

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6 thoughts on “A small Communist story

  1. Thank the Lord I’m an American!

    I was born in Germany. My mother used to tell me stuff about her shopping trips to East Germany. Never anything like that, though.

    I just remember praying that she’d come back, LOL. This was obviously pre-puberty. Had I been 13 I would have prayed they kept her over there.

  2. Well, the story is probably not true, although it cannot be completely excluded ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Vaclav Havel, which was enemy no.1 to communists had Mercedes, cos he had royalties income for his plays performed abroad. He would be the first one to have the car confiscated…

    It reminded me of one funny story: One of Havel’s friends had VW Golf (all people had mostly Czech or Russian cars in those times). The secret police once came for him to testify. He said he will go by his car and one of the agents asked him whether he could try to drive the Golf ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, maybe I could start a blog about memories of living in communism. Can you imagine you could not buy bananas anytime you wanted? They were very rare, you always had to stand a very long queue and then you got just 4 pieces or so ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Relying off my hubby’s memory is always 50/50. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I would be really interested in reading memories of living in Communism because we just didn’t hear stories about that. We got the logistics of it but not how people were affected. I wish he would tell me more, but I really believe he doesn’t remember.

  4. Hi, I am an Australian currently living in Poland and I have Polish parents and I have heard MANY stories about those times and how people were affected and i’ll tell you now – some of it is just unbelieveable and some of the older folk still act like its the communist times again. I’m gathering all the information I can to write a book about it cos its going to drop jaws in Australia and other free countries. The story about the Merc Im sure is very true. Some people just dont know how it was in those times.

  5. I grow up in Eastern Europe and police there does not work the same way like it does here – they can stop you at any time for any excuse. Also, the list of things that might be wrong with your car is endless, even if you have a brand new car, there is always something they can find if they want.

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