This paper analyzes the participation of the vocational school graduates in further education in five former socialist countries between 1948 and 1989. The students in the vocational secondary schools were not acquiring complete secondary education equivalent to that offered in the academic and professional high schools. Previous analyses have shown that many apprentices re-entered the system of secondary education and had a chance to attain a secondary-school leaving examination. The principal question is in this text: who were the apprentices who re-entered school after completing their vocational training? Using event history analysis of a large survey data file (N=6010) the author shows that school re-entry played a dual role in educational stratification during socialism. It was a vehicle to educate the communist cadres and, at the same time, it served as a second chance for the members of the politically persecuted families.