I had a fine conversation with a Polish émigré in town today. She spoke vividly of fleeing Poland as a dissident college student in 1988, the year before the Berlin Wall fell. A compatriot gave up every name he could think of, without being tortured, after getting caught by the State authorities.
“What kind of person does that?” she wistfully asked. She quickly added, “But I understand better now, and have forgiven him, though I had to flee to Spain.” We didn’t get into the details of how she ended up in this comfortable, Central Valley of California college town studying ecology as a 50-something returning student.
We did touch on the question of freedom however. “I felt more free in Poland under Communism than I do here,” she said surprisingly. There was sadness in her voice, as well as the trace of the vitality in her youth of standing against the totalitarian state. There was also the telltale sign of the cultural depressiveness that infects everyone in America now to some degree.
She spoke of a good friend of hers who was also arrested, a young woman more active politically than she was in the last years of Communism’s rule in Poland. … continue reading
Via:: Costa Rican Times