Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
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Hugo Gellert: Comrade Gulliver

A New World


Dear Mr. Keen:

The workers of our factory, the Moscow Ball-Bearing Cormbinat, held a reception for me upon my return, at which I made a report upon my American travels.

My words had a very peculiar effect. I had spoken, as I thought, in a serious vein, but at the most unexpected places laughter would break out. Several times the merriment was so overwhelming that the chairman had to restore order before I could proceed. Several times exclamations of indignation reached my ears.

I had no sooner concluded than a comrade who had been sitting in the front row demanded the floor. He said that my American experiences were certain to have a lasting effect upon my state of mind. Therefore, he proposed that instead of permitting me to return to work I should be sent to a sanitarium in Crimea to recuperate from the effects of my trip.

I am writing this letter sitting on the lawn before a former summer palace of the Czar, which is now a sanitarium for workers.

To make everything perfect, like the happy endings of your Hollywood movies, my vacation turned out to be my honeymoon as well. My lovely American girl traveled on a fast steamer and got here during the first week of my vacation. As you would say, "she made a great hit with everybody."

In true American style she obtained a position as teacher in a Moscow school for the children of American technicians and she had only been in Moscow two days! All the time she has been here she has been practicing on me, to my great enjoyment. She has copied out some words from your Declaration of Independence which she says every school child should learn by heart. I will set them down for you, because, she says, so many Americans have forgotten them: "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive . . . it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it . . . it is the right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new safeguards for their future security."

What a paradise America will then turn out to be!

We in the Soviet Union had to make super-human sacrifices in order to overcome the backwardness of our country. In America everything is ready. All you have to do is open the full warehouse and feed and clothe everybody! Open the vacant apartments and dwellings and house everybody! Open the factories! Set the farm machines humming! There are jobs for all!

Let me thank you once more for letting me see the many strange marvels of your country. I hope that when we next meet I shall greet a Comrade Keen.