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Page 93

PART I - IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH
CHAPTER 11 - IN THE ENGINEERING SECTION

was to be enlarged considerably, and might even be moved to more spacious quarters.
Soon we were told that our tasks and projects were to assume increased importance, and that we were about to move into a new compound named "The Little Hotel." We were even promised salaries. Most of us felt rather pessimistic and worried about the forthcoming change. In prison, the human animal has a tendency to get used to the status quo, and any change is feared and suspected. But when we were taken to the small building in the other wing which was to be our new office, I had the greatest surprise in my prison life. There were red carpets on the floors, and it looked like a third-rate hotel in a provincial town, the kind where couples are not asked for their marriage license.
The whole place was freshly painted and cleaned. There was running water in each room, and toilets with doors! This was the height of luxury, by prison standards.
New guards appeared, and when one of them said in a rather friendly, almost courteous, manner, "Please, Mr. Engineer, don't be so loud," we were ready to faint.
" Believe it or not," my friend, the physicist, whispered in my ear, "this man has forgotten how to swear!" Some of us tried to explain all this by claiming that the U.S. Army had occupied Budapest and had forgotten us in prison. But the greatest opportunist in our section, a member of the Communist aristocracy, had a different theory.
" Officer," he said to the guard, "this is really wonderful. This is really a socialist prison. Only a Communist state, where the power belongs to the workers, could create something like this."
" You're a damn fool," the guard said, looking at him in a sarcastic manner.
Soon the translators brought us some interesting outside news. According to rumors, vital struggles were taking place

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