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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951



Thomas Paulay's wife is an Austrian whom he met after he had escaped from Hungary in 1948. Their comments on Hungary were most interesting after the tale of their escape.

They made a distinction between the Nazi and Communist occupation. The Nazis were there but only in the high places so that the ordinary people felt little and knew little, but Communist domination is everywhere. "The Germans wanted food, food and more food, but the Russians want everything, food, industry and your own clothing."

In Hugary when they left there were continual rumours of war, in cafes and in street cars people whispered about armies which were about to drive out the Russians and change the Government. "Hope, hope—in days, in weeks, in months and now in years. And when we got out we found that there was nothing to hope about."

After their escape it was not easy to get out of Hungary. Until 1948 perhaps 2000 people crossed the border every week, but even then it was necessary to have a black route for sending uncensored mail to friends outside. From that time onwards the authorities began to build the border fences with barbed wire, searchlights and guard stations. Every few yards or so there are mines and now the people who cross the border number about 10 to 15 a week. There is no peace they said after so many years of war. We knew there wouldn't be as the Russians got further into Hungary.