The Price
Chapter 9

Russia and Russians

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Every day for four years we'd heard "skoro domoi" ("You're going home soon") and I'd learned not to get my hopes up, but this time it was true.
Summary
The men in the camp suffered from choleric diarrhea, carbuncles, lice, and bedbugs. A German doctor was sent from another POW camp to assist the Russian doctor at their camp, who was a pretty young woman in her early to mid-twenties.

They had to drive about four hundred miles away to pick up medical supplies every three or four months, and this Russian doctor asked Karl-Heinz several times to go with her. When they got out of sight of the camp, she got in the back of the truck to sit with him, and they practiced their German and Russian with each other. She surprised him by confessing that she believed in God, since she was also a Russian officer. She didn't believe him, however, when he said he wasn't a Nazi.

They became good friends, sitting together during variety shows they started holding at the camp, and on one of their trips to get supplies they stopped by a river and went swimming in their underwear. He ended up getting bit by mosquitoes and getting a malaria-like disease, so the doctor sent him to stay in a collective farm, or kolkhoz, to recuperate during the day.

They would sometimes get year-old newspapers from Germany, and one contained an article about their little team of resistance fighters. There was a picture of Karl-Heinz, Rudi, and Helmuth. This convinced the doctor that he wasn't a Nazi.

They got Sundays off for the last two years or so that they were in the camp. The Russians would hold "antifascist indoctrination lectures," which the POWs could attend. Some of them were converted to Marxist-Leninists and got sent to Moscow for further schooling before being returned to Germany to "help further the cause."

Karl-Heinz was later moved to another camp near the Volga river, along with both of the doctors. The job of the prisoners was to help the Volga loggers pull their logs out of the river and up to a sawmill. Then they are made to build a town for oil workers.

They use something like a stretcher to carry materials, and one day he is carrying the back end and stumbles over something, which causes him to trade places with the man in the front. Shortly thereafter, the man falls down. Karl-Heinz thought he was exhausted, but ti turns out that a Mongolian guard had shot the man through the neck for no reason. "After this incident," says Karl-Heinz, "I began to feel as though someone was watching over me."

This incident caused him to become very religious, and he took to praying often, expressing gratitude for each day of life, and for the two doctors, who he says saved his life multiple times. On one occasion, he was in the infirmary with malaria. The German doctor came over and asked him what he wanted, but Karl-Heinz had not called him. The doctor swore he had called his name. While he was there, he checked Karl-Heinz and realized that he needed immediate attention. Had this not happened, he would have died.

There were over one million deaths in these camps, Karl-Heinz informs us. Many of them were avoidable and came about because prisoners would deliberately eat too much salt so that they could get sick enough to get sent home. This caused swelling which led to congestive heart failure. While he was recovering from malaria, Karl-Heinz had to help bury these men.

In the Fall, the men had to go help the collective farms with their harvest. The Russians only cared about meeting their quota, so they allowed the POWs to glean the remaining potatoes. When they saw how many they had dug up, they came and took them from them.

On one trip out to a farm, a fuel tank sprang a leak and caused one of the men to get severe blisters, the size of eggs, on his buttocks. An old Russian woman crafted some natural remedy from rotting wood and cured him quickly. When Karl-Heinz got diarrhea, she used another folk cure to heal him, as well. He says, "I have never since scoffed at folk cures."

The Russians there did not brush their teeth–and were amazed to see the Germans doing it–but they had very healthy, white teeth. Karl-Heinz attributed this to the lack of sugar in their diet.

The Russians in this area "were good-hearted people," Karl-Heinz says. Often the old women would cry when they saw them, because they knew how much their mothers must miss them. These people wore "shoes of woven tree bark" and "rags wrapped around their legs."

The men were sent to another are to help unload coal from train cars. Then they unloaded flour, and then heavy machinery.

Here, the author describes a "protection racket" that was run by their German camp commander. He took anything valuable the men might have hung onto, and traded it for vodka. This man got a local girl pregnant, and he was forced to marry her, never to return home.

As Karl-Heinz got even weaker, the German doctor assigned him to work in the bakery, because he could eat as much as he wanted to. When he put his hands into the dough, however, he was too weak to pull them out. He got caught throwing bread into a confinement cell to a friend, and was sent back down to haul logs.

On a trip for medical supplies, he is almost killed by a Russian who think he must have been a Russian traitor who served the Nazis, because his Russian is too good. Then, while waiting at a train stop, he experiences the goodness of the ordinary people, who–knowing him to be a German POW–offer him food and play folk music as they wait.

Karl-Heinz eventually began to suffer from vitamin deficiency. The medical commission decided that he'd entirely lost his buttocks, as well, so they decided to send him home.
Analysis
It is interesting that the Communist Russians held what they termed "antifascist indoctrination lectures." The dictionary says, "Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach." This is, of course, entirely different from Communism (sarcasm intended). In America, we have seen the rise of a group calling themselves Antifa, who also just so happen to be "useful idiots" for Communism. [1]

The instance where the Russians only want to dig enough potatoes to fill their quota demonstrates one of the fatal results of Communist ideology. Famously, when the Pilgrims first arrived in America, they were forced to practice Communism in this way, everyone pooling the results of their labor and dividing it equally. This has the natural effect of dulling any incentive a man might have to work harder, since he knows he will get some of everyone else's product regardless. They nearly died of starvation, and they finally decided to switch to what amounts to capitalism, where each man kept the fruits of his own labors, and was able to direct their use. This led to prosperity. [2]

Likewise, this chapter also informs us that the Russians "were not allowed to  keep cows and chickens, or, if they were, the state took most of the milk, butter, and eggs." Again, this completely removes any incentive for personal effort.

Karl-Heinz' experiences with learning firsthand the efficacy of "folk cures" is actually quite important, as we attempt to remove the shackles of our own miseducation. Humanity kept itself for millennia prior to the advent of so-called "modern medicine," and many people today still use things like herbalism to heal themselves. Even Hippocrates famously said, "Let thy food by thy medicine and thy medicine thy food." In modern times, we have been deliberately raised to believe that all healing must take place at the hands of medical doctors, and that you cannot cure yourself, especially not with inexpensive natural means. No, you must rely on drugs alone for your salvation.

We, however, wish to strongly impress upon you the reality of natural cures. When you learn this skill, you will have taken an important step towards freedom and self-reliance.


References:

[1] Yuri Bezmenov on the Useful Idiots (AKA the left) (YouTube) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFW_i9NtP4I, accessed 2021-02-10.>

[2]
How Communism Almost Ruined The First Thanksgiving (fee.org) <https://fee.org/articles/how-communism-almost-ruined-the-first-thanksgiving/, accessed 2021-02-10.>
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