The Blue Dark Robe

Fragment from “My Autobiography – Behind the Iron Curtain”

“When I finished high school, I didn’t want to continue my education. The experience with the communist activists had been pretty rough and I was thinking that whatever I would start to do, the communists would not let me finish. That was what they promised to do to me in the Principal’s office in my junior year.

So, I went to work in a plant for making engines.

In the beginning of the orientation, the man in charge drew a horizontal line on the blackboard. He pointed the area above the line and said: “Here is where the human beings are. I’m one of them.” Then he pointed the area under the line and, looking at us, the future workers in the plant, he continued. “And here is where you are, sub humans. You have no value.”

I was shocked. We were about six young people who got a job there and we were considered nothing. My heart was racing from indignation, but I kept my mouth shut. Adi, my friend from high school, looked at me and sighed; there were tough days ahead.

They split us and I was given a dark blue robe to put on and was assigned to work in the big engines area.

My foreman was a tall man, always with a nasty smelling cigarette in the corner of his mouth. I knew he was wondering why I was there because there were not so many people with high school diploma among his subordinates. Puling wires through the body of the engines and making them suitable in the small gashes wasn’t easy. The wires were leaving deep marks into my skin, bruises covered in thin film of blood.”workers