My Escape for Freedom

May 24, 2009

George Alexandru left a life of hard work but full of love and family to escape Romania, a dangerous country subjected to communism. He was born in 1967, on a little farm near Bucharest Romania, where he grew up to love the land he worked on and his beautiful country. Because he was a member on Romania's National Rowing Team, he had the advantage of traveling to other countries which helped him escape and make his way towards America. He escaped, but it was not easy...

“Since I was born in a communist country, it was difficult being under constant government control. We didn't have the freedom that people in America take for granted. We had to wait in lines for hours just to buy little food. We had no freedom of speech or religion. While the majority of population was suffering, the people who work in government were living life of luxury. Because I was on the Rowing Team, I had the possibility of competing in other countries. In 1983, with my team, we went to Hungary for a tournament. It was then I decided I would not return back to that Totalitarian Regime. Two days after the competition, I planned to run away at night. I had to run from Yugoslavia to Italy. A little scared, because I was worried to get caught. I knew where to go because I ask people and they gave me directions to major cities. I had to walk mostly at night so I would not get caught. I was careful so I could walk a little during the day too. When I was about to cross the boarder from Hungary to Yugoslavia I almost got caught by the boarder control. Before they saw me I jumped into a ditch and stayed there for about an hour before they left. I was so scared I thought I was going to get caught. My heart was beating so hard I felt like they were going to hear it. After the troops left, I had to crawl for 500 meters out of the ditch to be sure nobody can see me. After I crossed the boarder completely I walked for about two hours and took a bus to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. I had to stay there for one day and I needed to find a ride, but I couldn't find any. So then, I took a train to Zagreb. I was on the train all night. I remember the police on the train asked for my documents, I said to them that my coach has my passport with him but he's sitting somewhere else on train. Then they left me alone and I went back to sleep. I didn't have money for food. I only had money to buy one apple for 2 days. I was able to go to houses and ask people for food, and they gave me a piece of bread. Ok, so from Zagreb I got another ride from truck driver to Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. I stayed another day there until I got a ride from someone who drop me off at gas station close to boarder of Italy, but I don't remember town name. From that gas station I jumped the fences and I ran through the forest until I crossed the boarder to Italy. It took me 3 days to get there. From there I went to the police station. They ask for all my information like my name, where I come from, and how I crossed the boarder. I told them everything and they put me in a room in the station to stay for the night. Then they took me to a refugee camp in Rome. I was very happy to arrive in Italy! I'm glad I didn't got shot or I wouldn't be here today! I was only eighteen and I made it very far and survived, I was very scared that whole time. I stayed thirteen months at the camp. I asked for political assignment to come to America. The camp was very good to me. The Immigration Agency helped me when I got my papers to come here. I came with some friends that I made at the camp. Some catholic church sponsored us. I went to Dallas for 6 months until I find job as a bus boy. I saved some money until I could buy bus ticket to go to Chicago where I had some Romanian friends. And finally in1984, I made it there where my friends helped me out and give me place to stay and work with them. Then I met your mother and then had you guys and I live a happy life now!”

George Alexandru had quite a story to tell. Even though he remembers the struggles and the physical exhaustion of walking to Italy from Hungary, he knows that it paid off and it brought him to a better country where he was granted the freedom he never had in Romania. Because of his determination to get to America, he has a wonderful family and lives happily with them.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 4 2010 at 8:42 am
Cristiana BRONZE, Alba Iulia, Other
2 articles 19 photos 6 comments
5 more years and the revolution would have come and eliberate romania from that cruel regime.. but he couldn't have known that, now could he?
I am from Romania. Interesting, my mother was born in the same year as Mr.George and she and everyone in my family have told me amazing stories about the life back then, the life that I,fortunatly, didn't get the chance to live. My great grandfather for example, was a greekcatholic priest and he was imprisoned because of that. Anyway, there are lots of new Romanian films that show how life was back then, films that have won several awards. There are quite different from the American film style, but if you are interested,I recommend you 4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile(4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days) by Cristian Mungiu and also, his more recent Povestiri din epoca de aur(Tales from the Golden Age). You can also watch Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii by Catalin Mitulescu and produced by Martin Scorsese. There are many others but they haven't crossed my mind right now.

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