A Promise Fulfilled: Escaping Communism

I have been promising a lot of people for a few months now that I would put this book out there for people to read, and it is finally happening.  I sat down and wrote a book about people trying to get away from Communism in Romania called Escaping Communism.  These are real stories.  Some of them happened before the revolution; some of the happened after the revolution.  I was eye witness to many of the stories, and the others were told to me by people it happened to.  People put themselves in danger, but they felt compelled to get away.  It all came to a head when the revolution came to Romania in 1989.

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However, just because they had a revolution didn’t mean their troubles were over.  There was a whole different set of problems trying to get past Communism.  They didn’t even have a politician who hadn’t been Communist and had to deal with it.  The man who became president after Ceasescu (the president they killed), Illiescu, had been Ceasescu’s right hand man, and some suspected him of orchestrating the revolution because he had risen as high as he could rise without being able to get to the top. The only way for him to get to the top was to remove Ceasescu, but no one had proof, and he became the president right after the revolution.  No one knew for sure they could trust him, but they felt they had no choice.  They told me that no one else knew anything about government, so they had to put the ones in office who knew what they were doing even if they had been Communist.

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After they threw Communism out, the effects were still there. Communism had caused jealousy among the people.  Still, if one person got something the others didn’t have, they were jealous because they weren’t used to people having things they didn’t have.  I was coming from the market one day, and an old woman I didn’t know grabbed my shopping bag opening it up saying, “Where did you get this?” I didn’t know her from Adam, but she thought it was her business to know what I had bought.  At first, there was nothing in the shops like when they were under Communism, but slowly, things came.  However, the imports were too expensive for the people to buy, so they were still raising pigs, raising gardens, and foraging for berries and mushrooms in the mountains.

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People were put out of their homes because all of a sudden the government was no longer responsible to provide them with a place to live. Everyone was allowed to buy the place they were living in, but not all had the money, so they were put out into the street with no where to go.  I saw people living on furniture in front of apartment buildings, and on the news, they showed it was happening all over the country.

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All of a sudden, people who under Communism went to work in the morning, left to go downtown and get a cup of coffee, stayed all day in town, and then checked back into work just before it was time to go home had to work or they didn’t get paid. They had no food in the stores even though they had money in their pockets under Communism. Immediately after the revolution, they had to learn to work for the money they got.

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In the time of Communism, they couldn’t get out of the country and were put in prison or shot if they tried, and after the revolution, they could all go, but no one had the money.  Eventually, many found their way out.  We began to feel like so many people were leaving that we were going to be the only people left in Romania.  There are Romanians everywhere now, and many have made money and gone back to try to help their country.

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Right after the revolution, there were news shows on television about lessons in Democracy. People from the west came in and bought factories. If the people didn’t work, the people from the west didn’t put up with it, they fired the people who didn’t work!  The Romanians were having to learn some terrible lessons trying to change over from Communism to Democracy.  They began to call themselves “the sacrifice generation.”

Everything was broken because of Communism, but they had a new government after the revolution. There was either no food in the stores or it was imported and so expensive they couldn’t buy it.  The Romanians have come out of it, and they have the fastest growing economy outside of the Orient now, but Communism was really hard on them, and trying to get away from Communism was terrible too.

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Most didn’t have cars or had old broken cars they had saved their whole lives to buy.  They had trouble even taking a bus across town because even the buses were broken.  Sibiu, where I lived, went to Yugoslavia and bought second hand buses thinking they would be better than the broken down buses left from Communism, but the second hand buses from Yugoslavia were just as bad.  You couldn’t count on them to show up on time to take you to work because they were probably broken down somewhere, so people were walking clear across town to go to work, and I was among them.  We went to the zoo once, and on the bus, the bus began falling apart around our heads. The inside of the bus, the walls and everything connected to the walls began falling off, and we had to dodge the falling debris.

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I could just continue. However, the Romanians were adamant about making a better life for themselves. Some of them got out of the country, and some didn’t get out, but they were forced to find a way to survive, and they did.  One said to me when I was having trouble opening a can once to give it to them and let them open it because Romanians never let anything stop them from eating. My Romanian friend here in Korea always said when the news worried about North Korea invading South Korea that the North Koreans were hungry, and because they were hungry, they would be a hard force to deal with.  She knew because she saw the hunger in the Romanians before and after the revolution.  Romanians are a resilient people!  They escaped, but it took a real toll on many of them.  I have written a book with real stories you can get on Amazon about Romanians escaping Communism or the effects thereof.

If you are interested in this book, go to this link:  https://swww.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/BO7NJ2ZJGK?ref+aw_sitb_digital-text

The publisher put the book there on February 8, 2019, and she says it wouldn’t be available the day she put it there, but it will be available within 72 hours after she put it there.  For those who have wanted this book, I have fulfilled my promise.

The publisher said she also put it on Kindle for those of you who have a subscription to read books through Kindle.

The name of my book is Escaping Communism.  I am the author, Ronda Everson.  The publisher is Oms Publishing, a Korean publishing Company.

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