Category Archives: Narratives of the past – the story so far…

The posts below have been written by people who live in and around Bristol and describe their firsthand experiences and memories of living under state socialism in Eastern Europe. It would be great to hear what you think, so feel free to comment and share your views!

Gallery

‘I don’t know if these changes were good or bad’

This is the second part of the story. What happened with us and the country after 1989? Before, I wrote some things about why was Hungary a special place during the state socialism era in the Eastern Bloc. It was … Continue reading

Gallery

‘It was another world’

I lived for 12 years under state socialism. I was only child, and I have only my own memories at the end of this era. I remember the second half of the 80s. These were the last years of the … Continue reading

Gallery

Growing up in Hungary

I was born 1978. I grew up in a small miner town in the county of Baranya. The name of the town is Komló. (South-west Hungary near to the Croatian border, http://g.co/maps/9cqhb) This town was a special place in Hungary during … Continue reading

Gallery

I miss the sense of community

I had a great childhood. I felt protected, my parents didn’t have to worry about their jobs and my grandparents were looked after by the state. OK, we didn’t have bananas, oranges or Barbie, but I didn’t need them to … Continue reading

Gallery

‘The Stasi knew everything about her’

I want to tell a story that I remember very well, even though I was only five years old at the time (1971). We had just moved to a big house in Leipzig when my mother’s best friend from school … Continue reading

Gallery

Food Rationing

I remember the way food was rationed during communist years. As I recall there was one bread for every adult and half a bread for every child. I remember the empty grocery stores. The butcher only had pork legs for … Continue reading

Gallery

Peppers, tomatoes and cartoons

I remember that my grandfather worked in one of the cooperative’s greenhouses and he would come home in the evening with peppers and tomatoes in his pockets. He used to steal them from the greenhouse and bring them home. I … Continue reading

Gallery

Orange Juice and Other Exotic Things

When I was a little boy, the war had ended over 20 years ago, rationing had stopped and basic food supply was stable. You did not have to starve, even if you had very little money. To this day, people … Continue reading

Gallery

Childhood: Our ‘Pionierhaus’

Dear reader, This postcard doesn’t really come from the past of course. This is because the present doesn’t usually seem worth documenting. So this comes from my memory: When I was a school child in the GDR, there was a … Continue reading

Gallery

Your dictator and you

Under the fresh impression of recent events in Libya (the fall of Gaddafi in October 2011), I would like to offer some general thoughts on “Living under a Dictatorship”: Living under a dictator or a self-styled elite has obvious disadvantages … Continue reading