Not a Fantasy

KOLKHOZ LIFE

The Russian word for a collective farm is “Kolkhoz.” At first, the Bolsheviks disowned all the owners and coerced them into joining a collection of farms into one. Like the first Christians, they had all things in common (Ac.4: 32-37). Unlike the Christians, party members saw an opportunity to benefit financially. For instance, my father in-law was in charge of the horses, but he was not a member of the party. Some one paid the Comrade in charge of the Kolkhoz twenty-five Rubles and my father in-law disappeared and so were many others.

The Soviets took over Eastern Poland in 1939 and we became part of the Ukraine. All the German settlers were shipped back to Germany to be resettled by Hitler. The natives had to join the Kolkhoz. By now the Communistic elite had learned that the workers performed better if they have something to go home to. The people were allowed to remain in their huts and occupy the vacant German homes. They were given a plot of land, a cow, a pig and some chickens. They grew some veggies, fruit and other necessities. They had to spend eight hours in the Kolkhoz before they could tend to their little places. The Ukrainians were too independent and many were forced to starve.

The Kolkhoz in East Germany posed a problem for the Communists. The Nazis had the opposite idea of farming. They did not shrink farms but enlarged them. My family was moved to Western Poland and put in charge of four small farms. One small farm could keep us in business and the other three fed some Germans in the Reich. The Russians followed a similar idea. Only the huge farms were subdivided into smaller farms but not into a collective system. Two of my uncles settled on one of the estates. Several families lived in one large house. One uncle had the insight that the Russian occupation would end some day. He bought the farm and was given title secretly. When the Russians left and after uncle had passed on, his children learned that another party had also bought the farm. This was another way the political bosses enlarged they pocketbooks. In addition, these farmers were assigned quotas and many of them left their farms and fled to the West and so did one of my uncles.

There are lessons to be learned. People that have something to go home for become more dependable at work (Lk.16: 10-12). One of my cousins was a chauffeur for the Communist Boss of East Germany. He was allowed to own half a duplex and a garden in the city and I was amazed with what pride he cared for his place and what crops he was able to grow in his garden. In contrast, I visited people living in Government apartments in the biggest city in this country. On the outside they were new, but on the inside they were dumps. This was an American Kolkhoz. Taxpayers had paid for the building and for the occupants. This was forty years ago and every major city has such Kolkhozes. Can we imagine what this nation shall be like as a huge Kolkhoz?

The Kolkhoz collapsed in Russia. China reverted to small capitalism and small private enterprise. Even tiny Cuba cannot sustain herself without outside help. Why then do our political social bosses pushing the Kolkhoz concept? It will not cost them a dime and they will become very wealthy off the dues for the privileges we have to purchase. Just look at the billionaire political bosses of Russia. They were the ones that ran the Kolkhozes. They became a class all by themselves. It does remind us of our own politicians. My wife lived in a small Kolkhoz when her father was taken away, never to return. When the German army liberated her family, she and her sister were sent to Switzerland to recover from being undernourished. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that there were no handouts in a Kolkhoz. If one could crawl, one had to work. You were assigned a task and if you could not do it then you had to find some one to do it for you. When my mother in- law could no longer crawl, her children had to. Those among us that hope to get a chunk of some rich person’s wealth live in fantasyland. The rich are already in charge and feeding us crumbs, just enough to start the Kolkhoz.