Saturday, 12 December 2015

Martial law in 1981 - my childhood memories

12th December 2015

Tomorrow is 34th anniversary when the Martial War was announced in Poland. 34 years ago it was Sunday, too. December 1981 was snowy and frosty. I remember I woke up on Sunday and as usual and I  switched on TV set but it didn't work so as a child I was really disappointed because at 9.00 it  was programme for children instead leader Jaruzelski appeared on TV and announced Martial War. I was at home with my mum and younger brother. My father started his job at 6 a.m. 

13 Decemberr 1981

Firstly my mum was terrified. Secondly it turned out the telephone doesn't work
Thirdly our life was limited we couldn't leave our flats before 6.am. and after 10 p.m.

But the positive aspects was the schools were closed since 13th December to 2nd January 1982. 
I remember 14th December 1981 it was Monday -  Why ? Because on that  day my mum and me went to the shop and we bought the first colourful TV set for our family. I was scared when I saw tanks and soldiiers in front of my primary school. I think I remember this event to the end of my life..

As a child I remember that local shops were empty. There were only vinegar, margarine and bread available. I don't know how we survived. But definitely we weren't hungry Fruit and vegetables were available.. There were long lines to buy meat or cold meat. Items were limited . What is more soap and washing powder too. Because my family was fors generations an immigrant family ( my parents are the firsat genration who were born in Poland  since 17th century ) so we have relatives scattered around the world who helped us to survive in communist country so it was definitely easier. 


Local park today!!

Luckily now we live in the independent countries with big shopping malls where all items are available as long as you have some money.


10 comments:

  1. amazing that was not very long ago...

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    1. Yes it was not long ago ... but we should remember it

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  2. Many thanks Gosia for these Polish photos of the introduction of Martial Law. General W. Jaruzeiski really meant business as he at that time was a dedicated follower of the Warsaw Pact Alliance.
    Are they Polish army tanks in that square or are they tanks of the Warsaw Pact ie: possibly Soviet??
    I must refresh my memory of events and do some research.

    On a slightly different note, I wonder who General Jaruzeiski
    reminds viewers of in appearance - thankfully not quite so vile in nature? Clue: Israel - "The Man in the Glass Booth".
    Cheers from thankfully a still cool Brisbane:
    Sunday 13th.7.15 am.
    Colin

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    1. Just looked up some history - 1981 Martial Law was a Polish Internal matter - re: the rise of the Solidarity
      business. Thus those tanks are manned by Polish military.
      The Russians were not involved but had been notified.
      Colin

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    2. Colin definitely only Polish tanks were involved in the Martial Law. But Polish soldierds killed about 100 people during Martial Law - it was terrible situation.

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  3. It's very interesting to read your personal memories of historical events. To see tanks on the street would be very scary for a child. I'm glad your family was able to obtain food and other necessities through the Communist years.

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    1. Cynthia a lot of people who lived in big cities suffer a lot. But luckily now it is the past

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  4. I don't recall that dreadful time for you all.
    Thanks for the information I shall read more on it.

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    1. Margaret now relax on your wonderful beach..

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  5. It's hard to imagine what it was like to live through that. A blessing for your family that you had family in other parts of the world that could help you through it.

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