[Under the same title this piece by Ms Annamaria Sauer was published in the 8oct16 edition of The Union. Ms Sauer emailed the article and at her request it is happily posted here as received. The Sauers are friends, and as an ethnic Estonian I share an ancient relationship with Annamaria the ethnic Hungarian for we are both Finno-Ugrics (more here). Our common ancestors migrated to eastern Europe from northern China and Mongolia more than 10,000 years ago. I share much of Annamaria’s pre- and post-immigration experiences which are described in a series of autobiographical sketches found in the My Story category of RR, and best read by posted date. gjr]
I was born in 1943 in Budapest Hungary during WWII. Due to new US immigration laws I did not inherit my mother's US citizenship although she was born in Chicago Ill.
Post war Hungary was ravaged by war. Life was hard. I grew up during the darkest, most brutal days of the Soviet socialist oppression led by a Moscow-trained communist regime. All gun ownership became illegal. Private property ceased to exist. People deemed class enemies were deported from their homes, without notice or simply disappeared. Factories, farms, and government was in the hands of inexperienced, incompetent bureaucrats, who were good party members. There were critical housing shortages. Endless lines for the most important food necessities and essentials like toilet paper were the norm. Coal and wood for heating were hard to come by. When available we were limited to one cube of butter, small rations of flour, sugar, and one or two eggs at a time.
In the fall of 1956 there was something in the air. Revolution! On the afternoon ofOctober 23 as our last class was dismissed early, we heard whispers about demonstrations by students in the city. My friends and I decided to join them in the morning.