The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 12


      After the communists victory in our village the people were distressed because so many joined the communists thus increasing their strength. Many of the prisoners of war from Germany and Austria were set free. Owning to the lack of accommodations in the railroads many of them could not get home as quickly as they wished, so they joined the communists and as was rumored became officers. Still the dissatisfaction of the farmers continued. Of course they always lost and the coms. levied heavier taxes on them. Wheat and rye were demanded in exact quantities.

      The latter part of October (Date forgotten) our wish for a son was granted. He was called Peter. But our joy was short lived. For on the third day he joined the holy innocents. Our great consolation was the Lord gave him and the Lord took him away. Oh Lord, Thy Will be Done”!

      The wives of the killed communists began to make inquiries as to who had done the deed and who was witness. If one was found he was shot. This state of affa1rs lasted till Feb. 1919. Then a commissary came to our tillage with his secretary and went to the courthouse. He had a list or 24 men of which I was one. Their names had been forwarded by the friends of the deceased communists. One night the watchman wrapped at my window and said I was to come to the office. Rumors had spread of what was happening. Thus prepared I donned my best clothes and went to the office. Commissary. "Your name is Michael Lang?”, Yes I answered. Commissary, “You shot a man” (A red). No, I answered I did not do that. Since I had not laid hands on any one he told me to go to the granary where most of the others were. A Red unlocked the door and lock it after me. No one could leave the place not even in case of necessity. It was very cold in winter. That same evening my father when he had learned what had happened, and 2 other men the county clerk's son and a teacher, rode to another commissary about 7 miles from our village. The county clerk was in the granary with us. This commissary was Borger. This man had some altercation with the man in our village. My father and the other men told him of the doings in our village. He said he would go home and tomorrow morning he would find out who was the culprit. And really the next morning he was in our village but could not achieve much. But he assured my father that he would find out the writer and his companion who were the cause of all this trouble because they didn’t obey orders of the communists. So our people had taken us to the county courthouse 35 miles away and there we were jailed and a guard set so that no one could escape. If one of the commissaries came in he would yell “You all must be shot". Can you imagine how we felt? My heart pounded as though it would break through my ribs. Just one hope remained, our dear Lord and His Blessed Mother. The next day we were allowed to go to the court. You should have heard how we sang “Holy God we praise Thy Name, and we love thee O Mary”. Nearly all the people in the village heard us. The commissaries forbade the outdoor singing but we continued to keep our spirits and our trust in God. My wife came to see me and we could sit together at the door and converse with each other. Oh these were the sad hours in our life and yet we did not despair for the proverb reads, “Trust in God is well founded in heaven and on earth”. The cornmissaite were assembled and were debating the fate of the prisoners. Most of them agreed to have us shot. But Commissary Borger our representative who was present at the meeting and who had come to Leichting that early morning said that we were not guilty of the riot. But the village communists who had not obeyed orders and so the whole riot occurred. If we shoot theses men after 3 weeks we'll receive another list of names more than these and so on. The commissaries agreed and they sent 3 or their number, to Leichting to hear the report of the people. Nearly all said it was not our fault but that of the communist leaders who did not obey the laws. After a few days the three men returned and reported the true state of affairs. They decided to free us and after about 5 weeks in prison we received notice that we might return home. What a great joy it was to ride home with your mother who had come to get me. Such great happiness as never before for both of us. When we arrived home our friends and acquaintances greeted us and expressed their joy in seeing us alive again. More over they all rejoiced that now the trouble was over again.

Greetings to all Mary and Anna from your father and mother and family. May the dear Lord Bless you all in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost

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