381 CHRONICLESningly on turns. Driving over cobblestones,nruts, and streetcar tracks wasnlike riding a jackhammer. In the nextndays the deep bruises on my behindnand inside my thighs turned green andnorange.nWe stopped at a lake, where Muscovitesnswam in their underwear, some ofnthe ladies in bloomers. (Ustinov filmednshapely, athletic girls in string swimsuits;nthings have improved in thatnrespect.) As we sat and smoked, recoveringnfrom the ride, he abruptly said:n”You say you have been to flungary.nWho fired the first shot?” It was anremarkable question. The Soviets hadnput down the Hungarian uprisingnthree and a half years earlier, and herenwas a Russian with Hungary on hisnmind! Other Russians I had met toldnme that Hungary was a hopeless nationnof criminal fascists.n”The iWO, the Hungarian secretnpolice,” I answered. “At about 8:30 innthe evening, outside the Budapest radionstation.”nHe looked at me triumphantly. “Inknew it wasn’t a Russian!”n”Well, it was the same thing as anRussian. The JWO was trained by yournsecret police, and the JWO wouldn’tnhave existed if you were not occupyingnHungary. The Soviet troops came innimmediately.” He deflated, not disputingnme. We talked for several hours as Inhad not talked since college days, thennjolted back into Moscow on his terriblenmachine.nIn the next days we did a lot ofnwalking. He showed me the “Russiannhotel” — the railroad station filled withnwhole families camping on the floor.nWe watched police round up drunksnwith a black van. “They’re taking themnto the hayshaker,” he said. He believednthat was American slang for a soberingupnstation, citing West Side Story.n”You know, like in the song ‘OfficernKrupsky.’ They sing, ‘Take him to thenhayshaker.'”n”To the head-shrinker,” I said. “Tonthe psychiatrist.” We went throughnWest Side Story translating lyrics. AnnAmerican tourist he had met on thenstreet had sent him the record album.nWe found a local movie housenshowing Nikita Khrushchev’s trip tonParis, where he had broken up the lastnof the Big Four summits (before PresidentnKennedy made them Big Twonsummits) and sent President Eisen­nhower home empty-handed. I had coverednthe summit before taking mynvacation. In Paris, Hungarian refugeesnled by the late Bela Fabian (whomnKhrushchev called Dr. Hooligan) hadnbroken up Khrushchev’s press conference,nshouting questions from the rear,nenraging the Soviet boss. Fabiannwrecked plans for a staged propagandancircus employing four front rows reservednfor Soviet-bloc reporters. ThenSoviet film cut off at the disturbance,nand the planned propaganda coup,nintended to show Khrushchev as a heronapplauded by the world press, fell flat.nMy new friend was not a cop; henwas an internationalist. Years before, henhad been arrested for making the acquaintancenon the street of annEthiopian diplomat, fascinated by thenblack man who had been graduatednfrom Oxford and who spoke impeccablenEnglish. Ivan had spent some timenin jail, but had not been sent to thenlabor camps because his father was anCommunist Party oSicial. But he hadnbeen thrown out of engineering schoolnin his last year, and in 1960 worked asnillustrator for an engineering magazine.nI visited his cell-sized room in anwalk-up tenement, with no toilet and ancold water tap at the end of the hallway.nHis tiny, delicately built wife wasnstudying English at nights at his request.nHis only possessions were hisnmotorcycle and record collection.nBecause I lived in Bonn and hadnHungarian friends who dreamed ofnmurdering all Russians, and because Inhad covered Khrushchev’s threateningnvisit to Hungary in 1958, I felt I wasnsomething of a danger to my newnfriend. I tried to avoid him, but everynevening when I left my hotel he wasnthere. He had a profound contempt fornthe police — “You can’t believe hownstupid they are.” We had an uncannynrapport, sometimes saying the samenthing simultaneously.n”You in the West will lose, younknow,” he told me. “Everyone I usednto know is involved in developingnweapons technology, and some ofnthem are very bright. I think everyonenin the Soviet Union with any brains isnworking for your destruction.” Asnthings turned out, he was right; annenormous weapons buildup started undernKhrushchev.nLater that summer I coverednnnKhrushchev’s state visit to Austria. InnVienna, my wife found a Hungariannbottler who could make a pair of sizenfour black patent leather shoes withnstiletto heels for my friend’s tiny wife.nAn Austrian friend. Dr. Nuering, sentnthem to Moscow, because mail fromnBonn was unwelcome in the Adenauernera.nI would like to show Peter Ustinovnthe letter I got in return, sent not to menbut to Dr. Nuering in Vienna. It isncomposed in my friend’s excellent English,nbut he had someone copy it innGerman Gothic script, making it almostnindecipherable to most readers ofnEnglish and probably illegible to anyncensors.nIt was years before I went to Moscownagain, and when I looked for mynfriend’s tenement it had been tornndown. I was in Moscow a couple ofntimes in the 70’s, but I never saw himnagain.nMany things have changed in thenlast 28 years, of course. There’s a newnKhrushchev in Moscow who has madensome improvements, allowing AndreinSakharov some freedom and permittingnmore Russian emigres to returnnfor visits to their families. The Armeniansnare still grateful that the Sovietsnprotect them from the Turks, only theynare evidently less content than Ustinovnreports. Taking advantage of the thaw,nthey rioted early this year with somendeaths. The Seattle-Tashkent SisternCities Committees just met in Washington,nall good buddies.nSome changes have been for thenworse. Far from the Soviets withdrawingntroops from Hungary, they havenadded troops to Czechoslovakia, wherenI covered their invasion in 1968.nCzechs, Hungarians, Poles, and EastnGermans are not able to have Russiannfriends among the troops, because theynare there only to keep the nativesnsuppressed. Certainly the troops arennot there to keep Austria or WestnGermany from invading the SovietnUnion.nI’ll probably never see Ivan, an honestnand patriotic Russian, or his tinynwife, if they are alive. Ustinov can havenfriends there, but I can’t.nRuss Braley is the author of BadnNews: The Foreign Policy of thenNew York Times (Regnery Gateway).n