The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 14

PRAISED, BE JESUS CHRIST!

        So we rode for two days with the horses and the red solders guarded us. On the evening of the second day we reached the Volga, a great river, across which we were transported in little boats to be safe from the white soldiers who might retake us. So I lay there overnight thinking how I would get away from the troop of young men. My father in law was also with me with two horses and a wagon. In the morning when it became light we rode away without asking anyone. First my father in law then I. Some others followed us. We had gone hardly a quarter of mile when a red soldier came in pursuit and detained us. He looked at my father in law who was an old man. He said to him, “You can ride on”. Then he asked “What about the one behind you”. My father in-law answered, "Just let him go”. Many or the I others had to return and to stay with the Reds for a year and half. They also lost their horses and wagons. We, my father in law and I and others who were over 50 years of age struck our horses so as to get away sooner. But because we had the weaker horses that the communists had given us in exchange for our better ones we could not go so fast. Nevertheless with God's help we escaped. I always looked back and was afraid that they would over take us and send us back. When we at length were so far away that we could not see them any more I felt more at ease. I reached home safe with the two horses although the horses were not of much use. My wife did not care much about the horses so long as I was at home. My brothers were also at home. The white soldiers were already in our village, they had driven the coms farther North. This all took place in harvest time and the harvest was not good. Besides much had been shared or destroyed while the Coms passed through but one was glad that the White soldiers had driven the Communists away in the hopes that one could be master of his possessions, That is, what was left of them. That was only for a short time because England and America withdrew the influence and the white generals received no more help from them. They had to leave. Before long the Communists came again to our villages and were much worse than before. They began anew to take from the farmer what remained. Since our family my father, we four brothers had worked together our shaft was quite large so the Communist always demanded more from us. We came to an understanding and my father gave me my _________ so I could work with my wife naturally he also gave us a house. During this time our elderly grandmother died. O Lord grant her eternal rest. SO my wife and I kept house for ourselves. Suddenly the order came from the commissars that they wanted all the young men to enlist in the army. In 1920 they counted me as able and I together with many others young men had to go away. It was winter and so caused great anxiety, never the less with God's help all will go on. Then I received that at times I was to appear as soldier in the commissariate in the village of Balser. The village was 60 miles from our home so I said to my wife that can't be, that I leave my wife and my household in need and I become a Red Soldier, that can't be. I really went to Balser and announced myself In the commiseriate. They sent me to the barracks where other soldiers were. But I did not stay there long, already the next morning I go ready and ran home.



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