written 11/27/1990
Romanian Freedom Fighter

When in Vienna, Austria the fall of 1970, I lived and worked with Mark W.
in the 17th Bezirk. Our apartment was right over a sourkraut factory. Mornings
early, we could look down on the wagons coming in from Lower Austria to dump
their loads of huge cabbages down a chute under our window.
The toilet we shared with all on our floor, had no light so a candle had to be used
at night.
Mark W. and his former companion seemed to be drawn to characters of
espionage and international intrique.
So when I joined Mark, we visited some of those contacts.
One Czech was being dogged by the KGB but got a visa to Australia and
left the country.
One lady seemed to be a spy or something.
All their contacts seemed to be that way for awhile.
(We visited several elderly ladies and as all Austrians do, they served us a meal
or herb drink. 2 old ladies were surprised to see me return after poisoning my food
one evening.)
Either the area or the people attracted them(Mark W. and companion.)
One evening we met a man from Romania.
The apartment was drab, table, chairs, single bed-that’s about it.
He was very talkative and knew Mark W. from previous visits.
‘No, not interested in religion but please keep coming.’
He’d just received a letter from Bucharest: “…snow on the green leaves of September.”
It was an omen he said that Romania was soon to be free. He was working in the
“west to support the Romanian underground and he was going back to fight against
the communists.” If he wasn’t there at our next appointment, he would have
already left. He left two days later, not to return.
That was 20 years ago.
Did he make it?
Did he help in last year’s overthrow?
Or was he killed or imprisoned long ago?
I’ll never know but I know that as long as freedom means more to men than home, jobs, even
life itself, communism along with all slave regimes must eventually crumble and fall
into oblivion.

posted 9/6/2015