Friday, February 17, 2006

Someone who was there

Those who disagree with the content of my earlier post - don't have to take my word- or Seumas Milne's on the successes of European communism. They can read the testimony of someone who was actually there. Here's my wife Zsuzsanna's Guardian piece on growing up under communism in Hungary in the 1970s and 80s.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,824560,00.html

7 comments:

Peter Nolan said...

What about the Ukrainian famine, the Gulag, the Chechens, the Doctors' Plot, the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, suppression of Solidarnosc, crushing of the workers' rising in Berlin, the Berlin Wall, the Hungarian uprising, the Prague Spring? Or are you not that old or well-travelled?

Peter Nolan said...

You're contemptible. You'd have sold your soul (and again this seems theoretical, you've never lived under this system) for some cheap Bulgarian runners and a Romanian Renault knockoff.

Neil Clark said...

All the atrocities you mention should be condemned. My wife is not defending the excesses of Stalinism or Maoism -merely the society she grew up in the 70s and 80s in Hungary.
As Seumas Milne pointed out yesterday, rabid anti-communists seem to make no distinction between the different periods of communism- and different countries. Life in Hungary in 1983, was very different to life in China in 1950 or life in the Soviet Union in 1932. And different to life in the DDR in 1983 too.

Neil Clark said...

Don't quite get the Bulgarian runners or Romanian Renault jibe though...?t

Steve said...

Yes but thousands of stories from those who escaped Eastern Europe,China,Cambodia etc.
As they say, there is always an exception.
North Korea awaits you.

Neil Clark said...

The piece was giving a nuanced view of life in Hungary in the 1970s and 80s- and a defence of the liberal communism that country had at that time. North Korea has nothing to do with it.

1defender said...

Having grown up in Socialist Yugoslavia I know which I would choose today. There was no begging in the streets, no homelesness. You felt safe to walk the streets, very little crime. The health service and education were second to none. You who mention Solidarnosc, the Prague Spring etc. Look at reality today. Solidarnosc is no more. The yard that Walesa worked in is closed along with more than 70% of Polish industry. Unpemployment in Poland is such that half of Poland has moved to Britain. Are the Czechs much better off? I very much doubt it. In Hundary the picture is very similar. NATO has built a big airport in Budapest but when NATO wants to use it the airport is closed for everyone else. You know, it is not a sign of progress that the shops are full of goods which are imported but the people cannot afford to buy. The imports have killed off the local economy so it's either foreign imports which are in 9 out 10 cases inferior to the local produce, or nothing.