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Life in Poland before the fall of communism


p3undone 8 | 1,135
21 Jan 2012  #1
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like,and how much better it is now?
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
21 Jan 2012  #2
Use the search function with PRL as the search term. Rybnik's threads are particularly good.
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
22 Jan 2012  #3
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like,and how much better it is now?

it is MUCH worse now.

God, how I wish I could've been born immediately following the war.

and considering the amount of NON-POLES on these forums, most of the opinions expressed will mean absolute s**t pulled right from the ass.

that is all. :)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
22 Jan 2012  #4
it is MUCH worse now.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my. Oh my oh my.

hahahahahahahahaha. Are you serious?! Hahahahahaha...no..come on...seriously...hahahahahahahahaha. Mods, I'm sorry, but ...hahahahahahahahahaha. You can't be serious. Really.

God, how I wish I could've been born immediately following the war.

Why, so you'd be right in time to enjoy the birth of a Stalinist state that saw enemies everywhere? I'm sure that would be fun when your father would get pulled into prison on some spurious grounds, just to further the career of some Russian-trained politician. I'm sure it would be even more fun when they proposed to take away your families farmland and force you into collectivised farming - almost ensuring that your family would be slaves to the State.

and considering the amount of NON-POLES on these forums, most of the opinions expressed will mean absolute s**t pulled right from the ass.

Aw. Aren't you amusing today?

At least, you would be amusing if you weren't so obviously trolling.

Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like,and how much better it is now?

Read Timothy Garton-Ash's excellent "The Polish Revolution : Solidarity". It'll give you an excellent insight into life in the early 80's in Poland - characterised by severe hardships, rationing and a clearly failing state.
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
22 Jan 2012  #5
***yawn***

I didn't even bother to scroll down and read whatever BS you wrote.

It's not worth acknowledging to the slightest extent.

You, sir, should do us all a big favour and throw yourself off a bridge.

Thanks! :)
Bzibzioh
22 Jan 2012  #6
Read Timothy Garton-Ash's excellent "The Polish Revolution : Solidarity". It'll give you an excellent insight into life in the early 80's in Poland - characterised by severe hardships, rationing and a clearly failing state.

OP asked for personal experiences. Not something you can personally relate to (being British and living in the UK at the time, bravely arriving to Poland after communism fell already). But would that stop you from participating in this thread, mr expert - of course NOT.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my. Oh my oh my.

Not the brightest light bulb.
jasondmzk
22 Jan 2012  #7
God, how I wish I could've been born immediately following the war.

and considering the amount of NON-POLES on these forums, most of the opinions expressed will mean absolute s**t pulled right from the ass.

I just wanna preface by saying I'm not being facetious. I'm NOT. But. How can someone who's an immigrant be so thoroughly xenophobic? Could there possibly be another reason besides projected self-loathing? I'm not itching for a fight, this isn't me baiting you. I'm simply stymied.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
22 Jan 2012  #8
OP asked for personal experiences. Not something you can personally relate to (being British and living in the UK at the time, bravely arriving to Poland after communism fell already). But would that stop you from participating in this thread, mr expert - of course NOT.

Can't you just leave already? You're boring me.

How can someone who's an immigrant be so thoroughly xenophobic? Could there possibly be another reason besides projected self-loathing?

Course not.

He even hates his adopted homeland - so why he doesn't return, it's entirely beyond me.

As for this -

***yawn***

I didn't even bother to scroll down and read whatever BS you wrote.

It's not worth acknowledging to the slightest extent.

You, sir, should do us all a big favour and throw yourself off a bridge.

Thanks! :)

I think it's safe to say that he really is the waste product of alcohol consumption.

Arguably, life is better for around 95% of the population. It's worse for the 5% that liked having a non-job, in a non-place, living in a crap flat and having crap holidays.
kondzior 8 | 944
22 Jan 2012  #9
I'd guess that most of the unemployed would prefere communist times.
a.k.
22 Jan 2012  #10
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like

It depends on the period. A historican can discern such periods:

1947 - 1956
1956 - 1970
1970 - 1980
1980 - 1989

In each of this period life was different.
Wroclaw Boy
22 Jan 2012  #11
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my. Oh my oh my.

hahahahahahahahaha. Are you serious?! Hahahahahaha...no..come on...seriously...hahahahahahahahaha. Mods, I'm sorry, but ...hahahahahahahahahaha. You can't be serious. Really.

Its not that funny dude, judging by the above response you'd be extremely surprised at the amount of Poles who actually preferred communism.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
22 Jan 2012  #12
Well, post-communism (what we have had in Poland since +20 years) is not that better in many aspects.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
22 Jan 2012  #13
I'd guess that most of the unemployed would prefere communist times.

A small minority do - usually the ones who are utterly unemployable and who have been fired from countless jobs.

Its not that funny dude, judging by the above response you'd be extremely surprised at the amount of Poles who actually preferred communism.

About 5% at the most, although quite a few more may want a return to a similar economic system but without the oppression. Or at least, with oppression, but of PO supporters.

Well, post-communism (what we have had in Poland since +20 years) is not that better in many aspects.

I'm sure the golden days of 2005-2007 were good though, eh?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
22 Jan 2012  #14
Well, post-communism (what we have had in Poland since +20 years) is not that better in many aspects.

i can think of a few negatives since 1991 when the country was still at a time of change. however, the negatives are outweighed by the positives.
a.k.
22 Jan 2012  #15
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like

I can't answer that question because I'm too young but judging by pictures of my parents quite mundane for the oridinary people. Of course these are only pictures.

For some trivia I can tell you that I heard that they were showing Amrican westerns on tv in Sunday mornings in the 60s to make kids not to go to churches on Sunday masses. Is that true?

You can also watch some Polska Kronika Filmowa (PKF).
Wroclaw Boy
13 Jul 2012  #16
Well, post-communism (what we have had in Poland since +20 years) is not that better in many aspects.

a true realist
milky 13 | 1,657
13 Jul 2012  #17
Amrican westerns on tv in Sunday mornings in the 60s to make kids not to go to churches on Sunday masses.

That mean they were not mundane, I can't think of anything as mundane as church
rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Jul 2012  #18
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like,and how much better it is now?

that's quite a general question p3! maybe some specific questions? that is, if you still have questions :)
OP p3undone 8 | 1,135
13 Jul 2012  #19
Rybnik,how about living standards?
Wroclaw Boy
13 Jul 2012  #20
maybe some specific questions?

Ahh Rybnik yes you grew in up in the pre 1991 era didnt you?

I have a question, well two questions:

1. What was the general perception of your immediate family after Poland won independance?
2. Can you say whether they fared better or worse (life quality wise) 10 years after the fall of communism?

Thanks

My wife is old enough to tell me stories of the guards at night, and how the kids used to play tricks on them. Fascinating and at the same time - scary stuff, kids that cant go out and play after certain times etc..
rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Jul 2012  #21
Rybnik,how about living standards?

you mean consumer goods?
OP p3undone 8 | 1,135
13 Jul 2012  #22
Rybnik,that and how well fed people were.
strzyga 2 | 993
14 Jul 2012  #23
kids that cant go out and play after certain times etc..

The curfew was 10 pm, children should be in beds then anyway.

how well fed people were.

The choice vas limited, but we were not starving.
Noodles, dumplings, pancakes, pierogi, anything you could make from flour. Vegetables and fruit in the season, home made vegetable and fruit preserves. Eggs and dairy products. Potatoes and cabbage (yes!).Most people had vegetable gardens or plots (see the recent thread on these plots, dziaƂki), growing whatever possible. Most people had family or friends in the countryside so that was a way to get chicken, pork etc.Farmers' markets, the so-called "baby" (village women) selling eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and veal.

Lots of people had big freezers at home and froze season products in the summer. Or meat, if you were lucky enough to get half a hog.

Food was home-made, as processed products were not available, with the exception of some canned meat or fish.
I was a student in the eighties, the times when the shops offered just vinegar and matches. The shop near the dorm offered processed cheese and we somehow managed to live on that. Whoever went home, came back with a big bag of mummy-made pierogi and another one of preserves in glass jars.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
14 Jul 2012  #24
1. What was the general perception of your immediate family after Poland won independance? 2. Can you say whether they fared better or worse (life quality wise) 10 years after the fall of communism?

I'm sorry old boy I can't comment

Ahh Rybnik yes you grew in up in the pre 1991 era didnt you?

no WB I was merely passing through. I came to Poland for the first time in '78 and left in '85. I've only recently returned to re-connect

The choice vas limited, but we were not starving.

yes
I was always amazed how folks put food on the table. Most times it appeared there was absolutely nothing to be purchased.

Maybe we can get some folks to contribute their reflections on the underground economy that flourished during the post-Gierek period.
OP p3undone 8 | 1,135
14 Jul 2012  #25
Strzyga,Thanks for the answer.
RASTA
26 Nov 2013  #26
all about stalin are lies and propaganda payed by usa and hearst and all tha facist capitalist company and clubs of the world.
RAS
Ironside 47 | 9,554
26 Nov 2013  #27
Is there any one who can tell me what communist Poland was like,and how much better it is now?

I think that for general population is not better but different.
Wrong23
1 Dec 2013  #28
The life was very much different. Food stamps, food rations, clothing stamps, empty stores. If you weren't involved in anything related to politics you were safe, this wasn't Russia, Romania or any other totalitarian state. In the early years after the war it was more like that, your relations with people involved with the right wing or more freedom/nationalistic fighters could've land you in some hot water, however vague that relationship might have been. I grew up in the 80s, I clearly recall the martial law, the tanks and the overall atmosphere of the place. If you were a kid it was actually pretty cool. I'm not going to sit here and lie that it was all gravy, we didn't have Lego's, computers, Transformers or what not, although some did - usually sent from abroad by a family member or bought at Pewex / Baltona stores which were the only places where one was able to come across western products; yet we were very happy kids, we had "kolonie" - summer camps which were offered through our parent's work places for free. Usually lasting two weeks during the summer and taking place by some really nice places like lakes, the seaside, mountains or other places where kids spent time having fun. Some of those were spent in mix camps with kids from other Eastern block countries - East Germany, Soviet Republics, Czechoslovakia etc... in general there was a lot more things for kids to do after school... free of charge... unlike today, where everything is very expensive and not as involving. There was an overall sense of community, all neighbors knew each other and helped each other. People also respected nature - they couldn't leave their country on vacation, so they kept things clean in order to preserve it for future visits. People worked 8 - 3pm... not a minute longer, there was no OT and people worked because they had to, it really wasn't a matter of stress, just a necessity and obligation. The level of work related stress was mainly caused by miniscule things, especially that it was near impossible to get fired, you'd really have to try hard. School was tough... I remember leaving Poland for the US and realizing that I went from an slightly below average student, to someone who even without the grasp on the language was getting almost all straight As. Parents had more time for kids and family... if you were the proverbial nail, and didn't stick out, the gov't left you alone to your own devices. I know that this will be tough for some to swallow, but Polish kids during communist times, had more freedom than American children. The curfew was at 10pm for children but if you were a teen, it really didn't apply after the Martial Law [or before it either] kids were able to hang out in parks without being hassled by the authorities. It was normal for young teens, as young as 15, to go camping with their peers unsupervised by adults in the mountains, by lakes and pretty much anywhere where they found spots worthy of camping. There was no private property, so they had the entire country for themselves. It created an interesting culture of people who still, to this day travel around and spend nights in mountain "shelters/hostels", very friendly and open bunch they are. There were of course negative things as well, but being a child and a teen [as I was prior to my departure] I really had no reasons to complain. By the age of 15 I traveled all around Poland, enjoyed complete freedom when it came to being able to express myself in ANY way... adults on the other hand, well, I'm sure the grim reality of raising a happy child just to have them grow up and be a part of this gray and pointless system with no hope in sight must have been tough... but people weren't hungry or abused... again - so long as they kept being a good citizen. What's happening right now in the US in terms of Police violence against its citizens and overall paranoia and spying far surpasses anything that we had in Poland during the later states of communism.
OP p3undone 8 | 1,135
4 Dec 2013  #29
Wrong23 thank you for that summation of what it was like in Poland.And I couldn't agree with you more about what is happening in the US now.
Ironside 47 | 9,554
4 Dec 2013  #30
so long as they kept being a good citizen.

a good slave you mean.

What's happening right now in the US in terms of Police violence against its citizens and overall paranoia and spying far surpasses anything that we had in Poland during the later states of communism.

Given the fact that everything was under Soviet heel and people were compliant they didn't have to use all those measures. What you see in the USA is a process of taking freedoms away from people. So i disagree in Poland it has been worse. The USA still got a fighting chance not to go under.

By the age of 15 I traveled all around Poland, enjoyed complete freedom when it came to being able to express myself in ANY way.

Would you be able to publicly say that the government are traitorous Soviet bastards and people shouldn't listen to them, without consequences?

There was no private property, so they had the entire country for themselves.

There were private property, namely farms and land allotments and you couldn't camp everywhere,not in the national parks and like.

School was tough... I remember leaving Poland for the US and realizing that I went from an slightly below average student, to someone who even without the grasp on the language was getting almost all straight As.

Yes, schools had been demanding. Even with the amount of lies and ideological BS, but languages and Science has been really on decent level. Given the fact that only 18% of population has been enjoining higher or uni education there were kind of selection. Of course party people were been able to go on special courses and be given diplomas on an easily track.

Not to mention Fairly good vocational schools.

. Food stamps, food rations, clothing stamps, empty stores.

When? After Solidarity started not before, I think that was done on purpose to subdue population. Well after war it was the same but then most countries in Europe had that system after WWII.

There was an overall sense of community, all neighbors knew each other and helped each other.

Or hated each other guts.

If you weren't involved in anything related to politics you were safe,

if you were subdued slave.

we didn't have Lego's, computers, Transformers or what not,

Do you feel deprived? I don't, that it is commercial shyte anyway and computers without internet are useless anyway. I recall locals with a video games you paid for to play.

after the war it was more like that, your relations with people involved with the right wing or more freedom/nationalistic fighters

Or anybody who has been somebody or patriotic.

If you were a kid it was actually pretty cool.

Sure, you could get shot at, gassed. or beaten up with a rubber baton, they must have stuff end of that baton with something. Unless you mean kid like in pram or a little older.

Some of those were spent in mix camps with kids from other Eastern block countries

Cool you could mix up with Merkel. I recall West-German bunch - some lefties lead by a dude with a bushy Marxist beard, I'm sorry I do not recall his name, bunch of nasty fekkers they were, East-German kids were for the most part OK. They were not allowed to display crosses and such, they were shared shytliess if they noticed something like that on Polish kids.

When you came to think of it it wasn't that much different that PC.


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