We Will Bury You

“You do not have the funding required to produce such an automobile.” The sentence echoed between my ears. We had worked on a modern design for quite a while now, only to be shot down. We even had working prototypes driving around Mlada Boleslav. The Skoda 120 was to be our first modern car since the occupation began. It would have shown the world what Czechoslovakia was made of. I started to think about the factory. I have friends who are foremen there. In fact, I’ve been there many times. We have the capacity, I know it. Our workforce is among the most highly skilled in all of the Socialist Republics. The Skoda 110 has been highly successful. We’ve turned a profit for as long as I can remember. We've done internal research to ensure that we can mass produce a front wheel drive car.

You know what, it isn’t about the company. It’s about power. The revolution scared them. Dubcek scared them. Now Moscow knows what we’re capable of. We aren’t like the other socialist republics. We have capabilities that they don’t. We were industrialized before the war. They don’t like that we aren’t the others, who depend on the Soviets for resources and money. We could easily sustain ourselves without them. Everyone in this country knows it, but the Soviet implementation of fear keeps us from talking.

They don't care about us. They want us to wish we were them, but we're better. We fought with peace, they brought it to violence. They're no better than schoolyard bullies. We will need to beat them with industry. Violence would bring us down to their level, which is just what they want. If the car is built, we will have a world class small car that we can make large amounts of money exporting to the West. However, doing this is nearly impossible without going through Soviet hurdles. Since they already don't like us, the chances of the idea being approved or funded are infinitesimal. If we don't build it, the Soviets will know we are willing to lay down and take punishment until we are just like the others. Despite the potential issues with that, there's still a positive side. By accepting our punishment without retaliation, people like me will not need to fear imprisonment or death.

There's no way just accepting their decision is the better option. I would disappoint my entire research and development team. All the work we did would have been for nothing. All the 15 hour workdays and all the company's money, for nothing. The designers even already have a body built for it. I can't let them down. We have to build the car.

Flash forward, 1983: I regret what I said. I have been reformed. There is no reason to improve something that isn’t broken. The Gulag system has shown me the truth. I thank the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for re-educating me. I should not have doubted them.

Comments (2)

Ali Driggers (Student 2017)
Ali Driggers

This is a really good monologue. I enjoyed the story, and how the man did not give up. Then later, he finds out he was wrong all along. That was an unexpected ending, but a good one. Good job.