"Walls of San Quentin Prison" by Donn Juan, June 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: The Communists have never aimed at the conversion of great masses of people to Communism. Their whole concept is that of a small party, compact, mobile, disciplined and dedicated, consisting largely of an intellectual elite.
Walls of San Quentin Prison
Sitting on a wide terrace while wind tossed palm leaves above him, Lloyd George was holding a drink in one hand and tapping with his fingers on hand rail with the other. Anthony Eden was seated comfortably in other recliner chair, enjoying late afternoon, seagulls and sound of waves breaking on the rocks underneath.
"Did you know that president Harry Truman ordered a program of psychological warfare, covert operations, and intelligence gathering aimed at the USSR and its satellites that began as early as 1945 and significantly accelerated in the years that followed?" Lloyd looked at Anthony and noticed he wasn't much interested in his topic. He sipped some of his drink, smacked with his lips and then waited for house servant to pour more drinks to both his and Anthony's glass. He thanked him and then continued. "Recently declassified records make clear that by 1948 Truman had approved claimed to have large networks of sympathizers behind Soviet lines."
"Why are you … telling me all this?" Anthony noticed a low flying airplane on the horizon and became suspicious.
"Why?" Lloyd chuckled in some low monotone. "In 1947 the communist party is outlawed in Greece." He glanced quickly at Anthony, then continued. "Napoleon Zervas, founder of EDES …"
"And that would be? …"
"National Republican Greek League? I am surprised you haven't heard of them?" He sipped his drink and Anthony made some hesitant head move.
"All right. Go on …" He realized he as a bit rough to his host after all …
"Zervas became the minister for public order and promptly arrested some 3,000 Communists and condemned a number to death as well." Another lo chuckle that drived Anthony nuts. Airplane could be seen no more. "That same year …", Lloyd played with ice cubes in his glass, "… the British, … losing influence in the Middle East and realizing that they have made a mess of things in Greece …", one lonely albatross closed towards the shore, "… announced they were no longer able to support the government they have put in power. They step aside to let the Americans take over." He threw one longer glance at Anthony and then stood up, pacing lightly around. Anthony knew he was going to ask him something.
"Now … how did you come to get mixed up in this?" he asked. Anthony looked at him and loosened his collar a bit.
"I didn't sign that the sentence be changed," he replied, "but only that it be reviewed."
There as a pause. Rustling of palm trees and insects wwhirrs filled the background noise.
"No you didn't, …" Lloyd said, and he kneww that Anthony read him the letter to which his signature was attached. "How did you become involved in it? Be honest ..." Anthony chuckled this time.
"All right. A man said to me that here we had an example of cruelty and barbarity, and that as the Christian ministry was the servant of the forgiving and loving Christ, and that surely it was their duty to protest against the cruel, barbarous treatment of this … man." He measured Lloyd sideways as he was gazing at some fishing boats n the distance. "If they did not protest, who would?" Anthony's chair creaked as he moved. "He gave me the names of other ministers who were associated with this protest, and I thought it would not do any harm if I let my name go in too."
"And … if you don't mind me asking … what was the man's name?"
Gardener smiled as he appeared around the mansion's corner. He as wwatering some imported plants.
"I … he didn't tell me his name," was the reply.
"All right … Then …" Lloyd kneww that Anthony as hiding something from him. "What did he look like?"
"I didn't see him." Lloyd almost laughed aloud.
"How did he get in touch with you?" He monitored the gardener in secret.
"He called me on the phone." Lloyd realized by long shadows that the day was about to "close for the day".
"Do you mean to tell me," he said, "that a man called you on the phone, and, without knowing who he was or what he represented, you allowed your name to go into an organization of … this nature?" Anthony began to showw some signs of irritation. "Do you know what will happen? The Attorney General's Department, the House Un-American Activities Committee, or some official investigative agency will classify this movement as a … Communist Front." Anthony bit his lip and then got up from his chair. Gardener pretended he was startled a bit. "Somebody will then observe your name and you will be classified as a supporter of Communist Fronts. What is more …", he checked on gardener and he removed quietly, pulling gardening hose alongside, "... the truth is that you are supporting a Communist Front. You did not do so willingly, but you have been … outsmarted." Anthony as lifting himself on his heels now. Lloyd continued. "They have exploited your basic Christian compassion for their purpose."
Anthony approached Lloyd and he backed off slightly, not expecting such a rash move. He looked in all direction, then began to whisper through his clenched teeth, his eyes shining with some unusual effloresces.
"The recruits to the Foreign Legions did not receive the type of training that standard German Wehrmacht recruits received." He turned back, then exhaled slowly, continuing. "Training tended to last two weeks … possibly three. The whole idea behind these divisions was to get them to the front line as soon as was possible." He checked on Lloyd as closed towards the edge. Foam from crushed waves had some fable-like mist around it. "While it is a generalization …", he sipped and shook a bit since he overdosed his gulp, "… the standard rule of thumb was that the Wehrmacht received German-made weapons while the Foreign Legions used captured weapons." Anthony approached small table and poured some water in it. He drank, still avoiding Lloyd's direct stare. "Whereas Wehrmacht infantry were taught the skills required by an infantryman, … foreign members of the Waffen-SS were taught quickly and briefly a multitude of skills …" he continued to drink wwater.
"You mean like artillery, radio operator etc.?"
"That's right." Anthony sat back in his chair. Sun's last rays burst through scarce foliage to their left. "So that they could be sent wherever they were needed and to whatever unit required them." He wwhistled some tune and Lloyd chuckled silently. "The lack of anything but basic military skills in the field might explain the huge casualty rates that these foreign Waffen-SS units experienced."
"So … what happened to those that wished to produce some kind of an official report on recruits from … the communist countries? ..." Lloyd also sat back. "I mean … the others …" His eyes glistened for a moment and Anthony tilted his chin up a bit.
"Others were killed less systematically elsewhere, or died of starvation and disease while working as slave laborers."
"My God! Despite the fact that they ere in uniforms … couriers …?"
"Yes." Came the cold reply. "As well as Jews, communists, gays, Protestants …", he paused a bit as if mocking Lloyd, "… Roma, the physically handicapped, the mentally retarded, Soviet prisoners of war …", he paused, eyeing Lloyd in some important way, "… the Polish intelligentsia, Jehovah's Witnesses, anti-Nazi clergy, trade unionists, and …", Lloyd's daughter's voice came from behind the house, "… psychiatric patients were also targeted."
Lloyd finished his drink and then exhaled deeply. Smell of iodine, algae and some "fishy" smell from the sea water filled his nostrils.
"Oh well … you can't beat them all, can you?" His rasping chuckle met a brick wall since Anthony kept his mouth tight almost as if he had a canary inside it.