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91

All Aboard for Freedom

Everyone wants freedom, but few know how to vote for it.

Five young, Czech orphans attempt a daring escape by train to avoid a future under Communist tyranny.

Full Review

In 1951 a small group of brave Czechs (Millie Novak and five war orphans) escaped Communism by driving a train right out of Communist territory. Marie McSwigan recreates the events. She explains how one of the boys came up with an idea for their escape and enlisted the help of both a train engineer and dispatcher. They keep their plan a secret, even from relatives, knowing that even a hint of their plan to the wrong people would mean a life of hardship or worse.

All involved in the planning have their own reasons for assuming such risk. The boy, Fran wants to keep his family of war orphans together and to avoid Communist education centres. The train dispatcher and the engineer are both family men who have already experienced the threat of a purge (a job ‘reassignment’ to a ‘work centre’) and want to save their families from Communist tyranny.

After careful planning, the day arrives to board the train and execute their plan. The adventure of the ride builds tension to an exciting climax.