Sunday, October 23, 2011

Living in Poland during Communism

Everyone of us remembers a particular historical event that happened during our life and that we will never forget. Today we are going to discover the historical event that left a mark on Magdalena Seget’s life. She is a Polish girl of 26 who lives in Italy since 2003.

Maria: Hello Magdalena, which is the historical event you remember more clearly up to now?
Magdalena: I don’t remember a specific historical event during my life, but I will never forget my mother’s account about Communism in Poland.

Maria: You were too little to remember life during Communism, but why do you consider it an historical event in your life?
Magdalena: I consider Communism an important  historical event in my life because my mother’s account left a strong impression on me. I was a child of 4 when Communism finished.

Maria: Well, could you tell me about your mother’s account?
Magdalena: Yes, she told me about the different aspects of living in Poland during Communism. There was everything for everyone, there were no riches or poor, all people had the same things. It was forbidden to move from one city to another, so many people couldn’t see their relatives. To get a piece of bread people waited many hours because of the long lines. Bread, such as other goods, was strictly measured. And of course there wasn’t freedom of the press.

Maria: Which was your mother’s mood during her account?
Magdalena: She was very upset, but her mood was a mix of positive and negative remembrances.

Maria: And which was your mood?
Magdalena: I was curious and very interested in her account, because I didn’t know that recent past.

Maria: Which aspect of her account left a strong impression on you?
Magdalena: All her account made me thoughtful, but especially the fact that people couldn’t see often their relatives.

Maria: Do you think there was something positive during Communism?
Magdalena: I think that perhaps the only positive thing was the absence of differences between rich and poor. Everybody had the same things.

Maria: Do you think that Polish people would like to return to Communism?
Magdalena: Some of them, especially the poor ones, would like to go back to that period because there wasn’t the actual deep division between poor and rich. Of course the opinion of rich people is different.

Maria: Do you think the actual situation of your country is better or worse than the past?
Magdalena: I think that it is better for the simple fact that now people can choose freely which kind of newspaper to read or in which kind of shop enter to buy things.

Maria: After your mother’s account, what is your personal idea of Communism?
Magdalena: I think that life during Communism was, from one point of view, positive because everybody had the same things without differences, but from the other point of view, it was a period of conditioning in talking, thinking and expressing ideas. And I think the loss of personal freedom is the most terrible thing.

Although Magdalena was too little to remember life during Communism, she considers it an important event in her life. Considering her words, it’s easy to understand that Polish people haven’t a completely negative vision of Communism. It was surely a period of limitations and restrictions, but on the other hand, it was a period of equality, and perhaps people had values that today have disappeared, such as respect, cooperativeness, fraternity and education.   
Maria Rosaria Torre

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