I married a Communist!

by Corinne Pschierer
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Disclaimer: The article is a fictional piece based on the 1950s Red Scare and does not reflect the values of the 'Rewind the Fifties' website.

There is nothing like being awoken in middle of the night to a loud pounding on your doors. Especially when you open up and find the police standing there looking exceptionally serious. Your mind flashes quickly to what could be wrong. You know your kids are in bed, you put them there yourself, you wife was asleep next to you, so what could it be? Another relative or friend that is hurt, in trouble or worse? Either way your stomach clenches and you are overcome with worry.

Worry turns to confusion when the officers push in your door and start demanding where your wife is. Men swarm through the house quicker than you can think and you can vaguely hear your wife let out a scream, hear your kids wailing in terror but can't think past the officers holding you downstairs yelling for you to get down on the floor. Panic sets in when your wife is dragged into the room cuffed and your children are being ushered in by other strangers.

You barely notice that your own wrists are being handcuffed behind you. You are pulled to your feet and your whole family is pulled outside to be put into different vehicles. One for your wife and you, another for your children. All of this happens in a matter of minutes and the terror is overwhelming.

You may ask how I know this and the answer is simple, this is my story and the memory and feelings of that traumatizing night is still crystal clear in my memory to this day. Another moment branded into my mind is when I found out why we were dragged to the police station that night. That night I found out my wife was a communist and as her husband I was a suspected one as well.

The hours blurred by and my emotions with them. Confusion turned anger on behalf of my family. My wife, a communist? Get real. She was the perfect housewife. Dinner was always ready, the kids were always groomed well and polite. The house was spotless and she would always make sure that I was comfortable at the end of a long day. Sure, she sometimes asked questions and voiced her opinions about hot button issues that I didn't exactly agree with but I never paid her any attention.

After being held for two days, never seeing my wife but being asked questions about her over and over again, they finally released me. I could see the hatred in their eyes when they let me go, but thankfully they had nothing to hold me on. I suppose I shouldn't have worried, I mean I knew I wasn't a communist and was positive my wife wasn't one either. It was just one big misunderstanding that's all. I gathered my kids, took them home and waited...and waited but she never came home. Even to this day I still find a part of me waiting for her, for the wife I knew to come home to me.

But apparently she was never really the wife, the person I thought she was. It all came out eventually. My wife was a registered communist, for as long as she could vote. Her daddy before her was one as well. One could infer that she was brought up this way and wanted to please her father except for the other evidence brought in. It turns out my perfect housewife spent a certain amount of her free time protesting labor strikes and supporting anti-capitalism changes. She had apparently been under surveillance for several months, something I think that saved me from going down with her. I was ignorant of what was going on and was never seen attending these events with my wife.

The things that bother me most is how I could have not known that the woman I married was a communist and how it left my children and I in a spot to be ridiculed and shunned. We eventually had to move somewhere else to make a fresh start. Somewhere where no one knew us and especially my wife. Beyond the anger and embarrassment there was hatred. I was and always will be a true American and am disgusted to have ever been associated with a filthy communist. I never saw her again and pushed through a divorce as fast as I could. I know that later in life my children visited their mother in prison but I had no interest in the details. She betrayed us. She betrayed me. She betrayed America and there is no forgiveness for that.

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