The small concert hall was packed. People were sitting in the aisles and on the floor in front of the stage. A beautiful girl was singing, her pure voice sounded like something from a past that was now lost and forever out of reach.

It seemed that everything was over,
That we had long since lost the war,
Yet our hearts beat as strong as ever—
We have a goal worth fighting for.

A storm of applause swept through the auditorium. People sprang to their feet in a standing ovation. She smiled, blushing, unsure how to react to this sudden outburst of rapture.

“Bravo!” cried my boss, Khitruk, pulling my sleeve.
“What about that, eh? What do you say to that?”

“It’s beautiful,” I said.

It took some time for the audience to calm down, and the concert-goers only began to disperse when the lights were dimmed. But as they made their way down the marble staircase in the semi-darkness, a voice began to sing, “It seemed that everything was over,” and soon, the whole crowd joined in. The chorus of voices rang out deep and rich beneath the painted ceiling.

“We’re not finished yet,” said Khitruk, deeply moved.

“See? The Bolsheviks can deprive us of many things, but they can’t take away our spirit.”

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