|Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin |
(At 8th Congress of the Communist Party—March 1919)
Early in 1921, the Red government of the Crimea declared a “week of poverty.” Soldiers went to every home in the town, and if anyone owned “too much,” the excess was taken from him to be given to the town’s poorer population. Some people were left with only the clothes on their backs. When the soldiers burst into the Rosenbaum home, they took the family’s one priceless luxury, saved from Fronz Rosenbaum’s chemist shop: a few bars of soap. During that week, the father of a girl in Alice’s class—a former industrialist who had owned a small industry under the White regime—was arrested and shot; his body was found on the seashore. From the loot the soldiers had taken, each school class was sent a single used dress; the girls were to draw lots to determine which one of them would receive the tattered dress. “I can’t tell you the horror I felt,” Alice later said, “when my class received a dress that had belonged to the daughter of the murdered man. That poor girl just sat humbly at her desk, watching silently as her dress was presented to the group. None of the girls wanted it; they refused to draw lots. But one ‘socially minded girl’ declared that she wanted it, she had a right to it, she was poor and her clothes were ragged—and she took it.”
In the above account, the young girl Alice is Alice Rosenbaum who later became famous as Ayn Rand. Fronz Rosenbaum is her father.
(Source: The Passion of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden)