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Recollections of Ill. Christian Weger, 33

For six years, life under the Nazis was hard, bloody, and oppressive.

Under the Communists, executions, arrests, detentions with or without trials were likewise common, be it for political or class reasons. Together, the persecution lasted for 41 years. Both the regimes relied on the evil side of the character of some individuals who, for monetary or career reasons, undermined the moral foundation of civilized society.

The moral devastation resulting from the Communist rule is far greater since it prevailed for more than a generation. The KGB, the Soviet Secret Police, placed advisors into each government ministry. Instead of providing expertise, the main job of these men appeared to be to issue directives on how to fight so-called class enemies, that is, all who were not members of the party or not of working class background.

Decisions made by the KGB agents let to political and class trials which, based on fabricated evidence, resulted in long-term imprisonment, loss of property and, at times, death sentences. The victims were any persons in opposition to or disagreement with the regime, especially those whose background was of the upper or middle class. One shocking trial resulted in a death sentence of Prague attorney Mrs. Milada Horakova (below), the first woman to be executed for political reasons in Czechoslovakia.

Forcible removal from their homes, loss of position, demotions in employment, and allocation to degrading jobs were the fate of those who found themselves in the artificially created category of "class enemy."

To teach white-collar professionals to better understand the "working class," 77,000 selected people, judged to belong to the middle class, were dismissed from their positions and put to labor in factories.

The rationale for these moves was to demean those seen as intellectuals. Communist parents of students applying for admission to universities were given priority, while children of middle-class parents were denied the chance of studies, and, if in schools, they often were expelled.

Many of my friends were victims of the "Action 77,000" program. Freemasons and their families were victimized. Being part of the intelligencia which stood against the precepts of Communism, they were on the liquidation lists of the Communist Party politburo. In fear for their lives, many Brethren elected to emigrate abroad.

My father was sentenced to 10 1/2 years for "treason" while my mother and brother each received sentences of 2 1/2 years for incitement and were evicted from our family home. I was expelled from the universities I was attending.

It is from such personal experience that I am able to testify giving witness to what had happened to us during those unhappy years.

For translating these articles, we thank Bro. Peter Henman-Laufer, a founding member of Aviation Lodge No. 8471, E.C. (South Africa) and Past Master of Witwatersrand Lodge No. 3745, E.C. (South Africa). He recently joined Lodge Dilo (Czech Republic).