The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 10

PRAISED BE JEUSUS CHRIST

      It was the 3rd of November when I received my release as soldier after my 3 months stay at Saratov. I was glad to leave the place and the next day I was home again amid family rejoicing. I was now 28 years old and was seriously thinking about a partner for life. My father agreed to my proposal and told me to look around for a good girl of my age in our village. The trouble however was that the girls or my age were all married. One evening I went to a friend's house to transact some business. I had often met this man in Tiflis where he had a restaurant and where I had taken many a meal. There I had also met his daughter. When I arrived there I received a hearty welcome from father and mother and daughter. The daughter was 18 years old. She told me she was engaged to be married but that her intended had met with an accident and had lost a leg so that the wedding was indefinitely postponed. I replied playfully that if she had not been engaged we could have been married. She said that that could yet take place. Her intended did not belong to the v1l1age but lived 3 miles away.  She released him and after due preparation we were married January 9, 1918. A band of 5 musicians led us to church and accompanied us home again. The wedding lasted 3 days. I must also tell you that when we arrived home my dear old grandmother told us to kneel down and blessed us with holy water and wishing us God's blessing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost amen. Likewise the parents of both parties bless the newly weds as they were kneeling there, so too friends and acquaintances that were invited. This was an old custom in our village. After 3 days or feasting were over we said that now we could live in peace and enjoy each others company. Sometime time after the wedding I received a notification from the government that I need not return but could stay at home. Can you 1magine my joy? The communists had usurped the government and made peace with Germany. The soldiers eager to get home again threw down their arms and ran away so fast that the trains could not accommodate them all. Many climbed on the top or the cars and or course many accidents occurred. Others carried their weapons with them. Everyone tried to get home first. My young wife and I lived in peace and joy together wanting nothing and entertaining the fond hope that the dear Lord would bless them with a son. Scarcely 6 months had passed when rumors or communistic activities Stirred up rebellion among the farmers and civilians. Many were killed and the rest were forced to yield to the communistic demands. If not they would lose all their property and perhaps also be shot. A little later they came to our village. The villagers were organized. Since our village was the county seat the communist had their head quarters there. Five villages belonged to this section. From here they went to the other villages and demanded a certain tax from the farmers. If the farmer said he was unable to pay so much he was struck and kicked or imprisoned. Our parish secretary was the predecessor of the communists. When they wished to eat they would go to a farmer and demand food for so many men, but they paid nothing. The dissatisfaction was increasing between the farmers and the commies. The most of the solders who had fought in the war sided with the farmers. When the communists saw that, they grew furious and listed 60 men as having conspired against the government. Conspirators were shot. Such was communist law. When the farmers and the soldiers who had been in war heard this they organized 7 or 8 villages to fight the communists because they said they would shoot God out of the church. The communists began to draft the younger boys about July 1918. As these didn't want to go they were imprisoned. This was the firebrand for the insurrection. They had said no mobilizing. Now the 8 villages formed a compact that at a designated time every farmer and soldier would come to Leichtling where the Communists had their head quarters. This happened. Armed with guns, spades, and pitchforks they entered our village.

Michael Lang



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