From the Vaults: National Review, August 6, 1990

When Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, there was much cause for some celebratory gloating in the free world.  As well as this gloating, even those on the conservative right recalled that Communism had brought suffering and death to millions. In the National Review, Christie Davies noted that the jokes of those who suffered are “a testimony to the strength of the human spirit and a witness to the evils of Communist rule.” I copy below a few of the jokes that the magazine published.



National Review, August 6, 1990, p.32.

…. A man was reading a motoring magazine in a café in Prague.  Another man sat next to him and noticed that on the page he was reading there was a picture of a Rolls Royce and another of a Soviet Lada automobile.

“Which of those do you think is the better?” he asked the reader.”

“Oh, the Lada every time.”

“You can’t know much .about cars.”

“I know all about cars,” replied the reader. “But I know nothing about you.”


Three men in a Soviet labor camp were discussing why they were there.

“I got to work ten minutes late,” said the first, “so I was accused of sabotage.”

“I got to work ten minutes early,” said the second, “so I was accused of being a foreign spy.”

“I got to work exactly on time,” said the third, “so I was accused of buying a Swiss watch on the black market.”


A visiting lecturer was telling the students at a school what a kind man Lenin had been. “One day,” he said, “Lenin was shaving with an old fashioned razor out in the open air in his garden when a little boy came past and asked him what he was doing.

“‘Can’t you see little boy?’ said Lenin. ‘I’m shaving myself.’ Now doesn’t that show what a kind man Lenin was?”

One of the students was puzzled. “I can’t understand why that story shows that Lenin was a kind man,” he said.

“Don’t be so obtuse,” said the lecturer. “Lenin had a razor in his hand and could have cut the little boy’s throat. But he didn’t, so that shows what a kind man he was.”


A Soviet planner was boasting to a visiting businessman of the achievements of the Soviet economy. “By the year 2000,” he bragged, “half the people of Moscow will have their own private airplanes.”

“But,” queried the visitor, “why should anyone need one?”

“It’s simple,” retorted the planner. “Supposing your neighbor tells you that potatoes are on sale in Leningrad. You’ll be able to get there before anyone else does.”