What IS it with Commies and their hatred for children, anyway?
This past christmas day was the 30th anniversary of the public execution by firing squad of Romania’s last Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, who’d ruled for 24 years. In 1990, the outside world discovered his network of “child gulags,” in which an estimated 170,000 abandoned infants, children, and teens were being raised. Believing that a larger population would beef up Romania’s economy, Ceaușescu had curtailed contraception and abortion, imposed tax penalties on people who were childless, and celebrated as “heroine mothers” women who gave birth to 10 or more. Parents who couldn’t possibly handle another baby might call their new arrival “Ceauşescu’s child,” as in “Let him raise it.”
To house a generation of unwanted or unaffordable children, Ceauşescu ordered the construction or conversion of hundreds of structures around the country. Signs displayed the slogan: the state can take better care of your child than you can.
At age 3, abandoned children were sorted. Future workers would get clothes, shoes, food, and some schooling in Case de copii—“children’s homes”—while “deficient” children wouldn’t get much of anything in their Cămine Spitale. The Soviet “science of defectology” viewed disabilities in infants as intrinsic and uncurable. Even children with treatable issues—perhaps they were cross-eyed or anemic, or had a cleft lip—were classified as “unsalvageable.”
After the Romanian revolution, children in unspeakable conditions—skeletal, splashing in urine on the floor, caked with feces—were discovered and filmed by foreign news programs, including ABC’s 20/20, which broadcast “Shame of a Nation” in 1990. Like the liberators of Auschwitz 45 years before, early visitors to the institutions have been haunted all their lives by what they saw. “We flew in by helicopter over the snow to Siret, landing after midnight, subzero weather, accompanied by Romanian bodyguards carrying Uzis,” Jane Aronson tells me. A Manhattan-based pediatrician and adoption-medicine specialist, she was part of one of the first pediatric teams summoned to Romania by the new government. “We walk into a pitch-black, freezing-cold building and discover there are youngsters lurking about—they’re tiny, but older, something weird, like trolls, filthy, stinking. They’re chanting in a dronelike way, gibberish. We open a door and find a population of ‘cretins’—now it’s known as congenital iodine deficiency syndrome; untreated hypothyroidism stunts growth and brain development. I don’t know how old they were, three feet tall, could have been in their 20s. In other rooms we see teenagers the size of 6- and 7-year-olds, with no secondary sexual characteristics. There were children with underlying genetic disorders lying in cages. You start almost to disassociate.”
“I walked into an institution in Bucharest one afternoon, and there was a small child standing there sobbing,” recalls Charles A. Nelson III, a professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. “He was heartbroken and had wet his pants. I asked, ‘What’s going on with that child?’ A worker said, ‘Well, his mother abandoned him this morning and he’s been like that all day.’ That was it. No one comforted the little boy or picked him up. That was my introduction.”
Monstrous, simply monstrous. It’s difficult to get one’s head around such mind-boggling, inhuman brutality as this. But then, as someone who lives in the nation which spawned the world’s foremost promoter and practitioner of eugenics, maybe I should just sit back and keep my fat yap shut. But similar horrors, and even more grotesque ones, aren’t the result of some failure to correctly implement or interpret Marxist ideology. They’re innate to it, baked right into the Commie cake: not an aberration, but an indivisible component of it. They crop up sooner or later in every nation-state that foolishly allows itself to be seduced by it—as if extreme abomination and atrocity were some kind of Frankenstein’s monster that, instead of electric current, require Communism to bring them fully to life. And as with Frankenstein’s misbegotten creation, there’s only one way to put an end to Communism’s deadly rampage once the monster has been reanimated and unchained to wreak its destructive havoc.