Day 1

3 Jul

Today I learned about communism in Poland, not through any museum, but through first hand recollections. Our guides for Auschwitz both had memories of the Soviet regime.

An old door in Krakow

The driver did not reveal he spoke near perfect English until our return journey, when he told us of a childhood memory. When he was three years old his father held him up to the wondow to watch Polish soldiers passing by. He said to his son, ‘This is a very important moment for Poland, which you must always remember.’

His family took part in the Polish solidarity movement during communist times.

The woman who told me her name was ‘Bo’ (a shortform of her real name) remembered her father having to emigrate to America after losing his job for being a member of this movement.

We pass a supermarket, which Bo tells me was the only supermarket in the entire city of Krakow during the soviet regime.

‘Can you imagine having to cue just to buy a loaf of bread she says,” telling me the cues were longer than I could imagine.

No, I say, I can’t.

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