Poland Under Communism



Oh here in the Tatra mountains of Poland the Peterik family have worked the land for generations the hillside farm is small the farming equipment primitive but the land is good land they work it hard and Joseph petard hopes to pass his land on to his children his children may or may not own this farm someday Poland is ruled by a communist government thus the future for most farm families is uncertain until perhaps next year perhaps not for five years the family lives and works together just as they have for many generations the children must help the old people must help for these Mountain farms are small and produce local food the Tariq family is more fortunate than most poles two terrible wars which destroyed so many polish towns and cities past their isolated village by evening is homework time respect for education is traditional in Poland pania a good student may someday go to a university completely at government expense joseph potox farm produces little cash income to earn extra money he decorates climbing hatchets which he sells to vacationers who come to the Tatra mountains day is Saturday but in Poland Saturday's our school day is to Andrew and Anja go to school in the nearby village Bukovina every morning they walk more than a mile down through the meadows to the village on the way they passed one of the religious shrines which are to be found everywhere although the communist government discourages religion most polls are devout Catholics the cross is everywhere and Poland is the only communist country where for the time being at least religious teaching is allowed in the state schools aside from religious education however the education of police children is strictly supervised by the state today the class is studying geography an important factor in Poland's troubled history the teacher has asked Anya to point out Poland's neighbor to the south Czechoslovakia to the south Czechoslovakia Hungary Romania and Bulgaria all communist-ruled countries on the East the Soviet Union and on the west eastern Germany also become in a state Pollan after world war ii found itself surrounded by communists or communist dominated nations : most poles themselves say had no choice circumstances made it part of that group of nations whose leader was the Soviet Union it was a victim once again of its geographic position which for centuries past had made it a battleground holy cities were often besieged and were originally built as fortresses like the ancient city of Krakow in the heart of krokov is the castle called the Bevelle here lived the kings who reigned during the 16th century Poland's Golden Age Poland's greatest king was Stefan barter II who defeated the armies of the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible in this painting he proudly accepts the Russian surrender during Stefan's reign Pullen was one of the great powers of the world poles do not forget this their patriotism their pride in Poland as a nation is intense and bound up with centuries of tradition reminders of history are to be found everywhere in Krakov in the street lived a man remembered by both poles and Americans today is couscous Co one of Washington's generals and a fighter for Polish independence for centuries now krokov has been a busy manufacturing center here a Polish export has made Christmas tree ornaments like many other polish exports Christmas tree ornaments require little machinery and raw materials but much skill and a great deal of hand labor these women are state employees in Poland as in other communist-ruled countries private ownership of factories is not allowed communists believe that all industry should be government owned and operated but and Pollin for the time being at least there is some small-scale private enterprise however the future for skilled craftsmen like these men is very uncertain the communist government considers the work they do economically unimportant most poles now work in mills and factories which are state owned and managed here near krokov is Poland's largest steel works named after Vladimir Lenin a hero of the Russian Revolution built by the Russians with Polish labor most of the finished steel from this mill is an inner most poles admit that like it or not their economic life is dependent on the Soviet Union their giant neighbor to the east – how's the steelworkers a new city was built 25 thousand men with their families live here among them the family of Steel worker Kazimierz Levitsky mrs. Levitz Kerr sitting at the nearby state-run food store the food chopped workers wives do not have refrigerators so they must shop everyday prices are high the slow vet skis must spend nearly half their income on food alone steel workers however are more highly paid than most other workers in Poland and the rents which they pay in this new steel town are very low however they get very little space for the rent they do pay the slow vet skis for example share a kitchen with two other families and have in addition to small rooms but they consider themselves lucky most polish families must live in one room the newspaper which casimir reads is state control geniux Levitsky is a student at the superior school where his subjects are largely math and the sciences hopes to be an engineer but now he has other things on his mind translated the Lenin house of culture Lenin is a hero to Russian children and the Russians hope to polish children as well but tonight zenyk and his friends have other heroes they have come to this communist youth center to see a puppet show on television Sylas iya is Poland's leading industrial area here are its large factories chemical plants and it's zinc in coal mines upper silesia with its mines and factories was once German part of it became polish after World War one and the rest after World War two it's modern coal mines like this one contribute to Poland's industrial might however the West German government does not recognize polish rights to this rich industrial area and if you were to ask these Polish miners they would probably say that Poland has one guarantee that the area will remain polish that guarantee Poland's military alliance with the Soviet Union Cole is an important Polish export and most of it goes to the Soviet Union from Silesia it moves by rail to the major Baltic Sea ports Gdansk and Gdynia the new port of Gdynia is as modern as any to be seen in America conveyors transfer the coal from railroad cars directly into the ship's hold in exchange for coal the Swedish ship brings iron or iron ore for the open heart furnaces of the great steel town Nova hooter since the war Poland's economy has been geared to the production of exports since the war to Poland has concentrated on heavy industry steel machinery industrial installations as a result it has produced few consumer goods few things which pose themselves can buy or use there are shortages of everything in Poland yet Poland tries each year to increase her exports still her imports far outweigh her exports besides iron or she must buy machinery chemicals wool and cotton and even foodstuffs : once one of Europe's major granaries as a serious farm problem one of its problems is lack of machinery and modern farming methods over half of Poland's population live and work on farms and yet it cannot grow enough food to feed the other half in spite of long hours of strenuous labor the communist government is to long-range farm programs state farms and collective farms on state bonds the land is owned by the state and farm workers work for wages like factory workers on collective farms the farmers pool their resources land farm machinery labor the system is based on the Russian collective farm but so far it has not worked well in Poland in spite of all efforts of government representatives to persuade farmers to form collectives the average Polish farmer wants to own and work his own land in other things to the Polish peasant has clung to the old traditional ways before the war farm villages of Western Poland were bright and cheerful today in many villages the colors are returning to the homes of the small farmers from western Poland the flat country stretches unbroken past Warsaw on to the very different-looking villages along the borders of the Soviet Union the eastern border of Poland has swung back and forth in the course of history hardly a generation has passed but the people of this village have not known the tragedy of war in their own backyards the men of the village worked in the nearby forests once this forest was the property of a Polish nobleman and these villages worked on the nobleman's estate now they do the same work but they are state employees Warsaw the capital has long been called the Paris of the east and even today it is closer in many ways to the west than to Russia officially American jazz is frowned on in communist ruled nations it is very popular with the young people of Poland visitors to Poland report that polish students are curious about everything American our music our homes and cities our poets and novelists they were born during the war oh yeah some of them have had their families lost their homes destroyed perhaps no city in history was more thoroughly destroyed than Warsaw in the last war much of it is still in ruins housing is still tragically inadequate yet here from a newsreel shot is what happened immediately after the war living in cellars and tents the people of Warsaw rebuilt first of all the old city the centuries-old buildings exactly as they were before the Nazi invasion to the people of Poland young and old alike reconstructed Warsaw is a source of great national pride by such means as this police children are made to feel proud of their national heritage and yet at the same time these children are growing up in the country dominated by communism Glenn hoped to train them to believe in communism just as they hoped to convince the young people at Poland's universities the University of Warsaw is one of the best in Central Europe at the present time according to reports students and they more or less what they believe as one observer puts it there is freedom of conversation in Poland but not freedom of speech or freedom of the press come student is the future Pollan as a communist nation the scars of the past will visible in them and the future of Poland is uncertain it faces great and perplexing problems what the people of Poland will do about their problems just everywhere in our changing world you




Comments
  1. Hello! I'd really like to use this movie for a documentary film I am putting together, but I'm not sure how the copyright would work. Please contact me ASAP! Thanks so much.

  2. Thank you for this film. It's really sad how depressing the life under communism is. And it's disappointing how people of the World diminish the role of the Church in defeating communism.

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