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Life in Pre and Post Communist Poland


Ranj 21 | 948  
17 Feb 2007 /  #1
For all of you who have lived during both eras---what are the differences or simularities in daily living for the average Pole. If you had a choice, would you prefer the communist way of life compared to your life today.....let me rephrase.....are there parts of each system you would combine to obtain an optimal living situation? Does this make sense?
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
17 Feb 2007 /  #2
The main difference between Poland then and now is that during the miserable real-socialism era people had money, but couldn't buy anything because shop shelves were empty (the symbol of downfall of communism are mustard and vinegard as the only 'shelf fillers') and now they can buy whatewer they want, but many can't afford it.

Living during communist era very often was everyday struggle to get the most basic food products, which you had to queue for for a very long time, and often you were buying products not because you wanted them, but just because they were available (like my parents did with, let's say it, not of the prime beauty pink tiles :) Fortunately, they're still laying somewhere in the loft of our house). You couldn't buy a car or flat like you can today - you had to apply for them and wait even for decades, only if you knew or were a relative of 'the right people' (the best choice were party officials - but that could earn you envy of your acquaintances). The phone line was often beyond reach of an ordinary man - I won't forget the times when people were coming to us to use our phone (and since they often phoned their family members abroad, it provided us with a constant stream of German chocolate and coffee :)). To cut the whole story short - I wouldn't import any features of socialist country into modern, capitalistic society.
mlody  
26 Mar 2007 /  #3
I miss the communist area sometimes (at least when I'm not hungry :). But currently I like it better (even though it's not as safe as it used to be and some people cannot use the freedom they have in a good way).
nat123  
25 Sep 2008 /  #4
if anyone has any useful first time info about this topic can you plase email me on natashat_91@live.co.uk please. i am conducting research and it would be very much appreciated
Del boy 20 | 254  
25 Sep 2008 /  #5
Difference was/is simple
Good houses, expensive toys, access to good humanistic education ( not technical, that one was available for all ) were available only to party members and whole bunch of engineers of souls ( literates, journalists alike 1984 Orwell's type)

Now ordinary people by hard work can reach these assets as well.
short and simplified
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098  
25 Sep 2008 /  #6
what are the differences

Plenty of parking places but no cars. Now we have a huge amount of cars but no parking places ;) Traffic jams. Stresful speed cameras. No joy driving a car. Despite that die communism nightmare die ;) Never come back.
beckyinjozefow 1 | 27  
28 Sep 2008 /  #7
The main difference between Poland then and now is that during the miserable real-socialism era people had money, but couldn't buy anything because shop shelves were empty (the symbol of downfall of communism are mustard and vinegard as the only 'shelf fillers') and now they can buy whatewer they want, but many can't afford it.

Everyone would have money now as well if there was nothing to buy. It's called "forced savings".

All their pent up wants/needs released...is it no wonder there is no money?

I saw 40-year-olds squealing around in sports cars like a 20 year olds...(1994)...
markcooper 4 | 80  
27 Aug 2009 /  #8
Were you aloud to leave Poland in the Soviet Union days ? or baiscally held prisoner of your own country like the former East Germany / GDR ?
Otis Tarda  
28 Aug 2009 /  #9
It depends. Going to other communist states was quite easy, although still it wasn't "automatic" to get the passport that let you to do so.

Obtaining passport to "capitalist" state was another matter. If, for some reason, authorities decided that you shouldn't get one, you wouldn't. And in most cases they decided that you shouldn't. Of course, there were possibilities - say for sportsmen, scientists and so on, but, even then any "suspicious" person wouldn't get the one.

Moreover, you could not held your passport freely, even if you had one. After to weeks since getting back to Poland, you were obliged to return your passport to the nearest police station.
markcooper 4 | 80  
28 Aug 2009 /  #10
I like the way you use the term " capitalsit" when describing all countires other than those within the Soviet regime and behind the iron curtain.

I remember these days very well when living in London and also West Berlin. Many of the products on sale in shops were marked with " made in USSR" " made in Czech Rep" " made in Poland". Thier export market was huge.

These were just as much capitlaist countries . The difference being the benefits and profits when to the central government and not the people.
birski10 1 | 2  
31 Aug 2009 /  #11
trust me life in poland sucks but for vacation its the best most of life in europe sucks
ShawnH 8 | 1,507  
31 Aug 2009 /  #12
And you are an expert on which subject?

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