Story List and Biography
For John Gomperz

Recollections
The Symphony Of War
The Cruel Mountain

My native land at time of my birth was a monarchy, except we had no King. The Head of State was an Admiral, but the country had no Oceans. The Admiral then became the Regent. His title was Governor. By the time I reached adulthood the Nazis took over and eliminated the monarchy.

After the end of WWII we had about 18 political parties represented in our parliament. They all had great ideas about how to create a free democracy. After two years of haggling, the communists, with less than 10% of the votes, took over. They eliminated most of the other party officials--some of them by hanging, their favorite practice. After that they purged their own party, getting rid off all party members who had ideas other than Stalinism. By now I had an excellent political education. Lesson learned: stay out of it.

In 1956 I had a chance to pack up my family and leave. I emigrated to the United States and caught the tail end of Capitalism. Those were happy years. Then, for some unexplained reason, the Republic started to turn toward Socialism. I watched in horror as citizens gave away their two centuries of freedom, piece by piece--doing it voluntarily, doing away with ideas that had made this land the greatest country on earth.

Now as I reach my waning years, I can only hope that our politicians read history. If not, we may face the same fate as the monarchists, nazis, and communists in the recent past.

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