Before 1989 we were taught in school about how the incredibly cruel bourgeois landowners had enslaved and tortured the peasants.
I knew that in the old times grandma had owned some land and a horse. It was therefore hard to imagine the most sweet-natured person I knew mistreat any living being, let alone another fellow human.
After the revolution I learned that grandma had been a lawyer in her youth. A city gal through and through, but in love with nature and horseback riding, she had taken up a credit for a few hectares of land close to Bucharest, bought the aforementioned horse and a pair of oxen and had spent most of her free time riding through the fields.
In January 1948 the bar associations were dismantled and lawyers banned from practicing law under the new regime.
In March 1949 the collectivization of agriculture began: everything was confiscated, nationalized; the animals were put into a collective farm. The horse refused any food and dropped dead after a week.
Until this day I have never met anyone more sweet-natured and serene than my grandma.
Like a snake sheds its skin, I shed my white shirts while writing a series of memories – to be found in this link.