A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (2023)

"Do you know what a Polish sandwich looks like? Two slices of bread and a ration card for the meat in between.” That's what Hungarians used to joke in the 1980s. However, the Poles did not feel like laughing at the time. In order to buy sugar, cigarettes, shoes, petrol and many other goods, they needed not only money, but also special coupons. Rationing [was such a ubiquitous aspect of life back then] has become one of the symbols of the inefficient Polish economy of the communist era.

von Andrzej Zawistowski

Rationing of food and essential goods was neither a Polish nor a communist invention. It has almost always accompanied societies in emergency situations. As the bureaucratic state apparatus expanded, ration cards for bread, sugar, flour, kerosene and petrol were often distributed to citizens in armed conflicts. In this way they were protected from speculation and starvation and at the same time the army could continue to be fed.

There were many ways of rationing. Sometimes you had to have a special token, sometimes it was a document certifying that the person lived near the point of sale. Buying scarce goods most often required special coupons, which became known as "cards". Each customer received such a document from the authorities. While shopping, in addition to cash, the seller received a coupon indicating the type of ration available (by weight or by number of items), or—in more technically advanced cases—cut off part of the coupon certifying purchase of one of several rationed goods .

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (1)

The sales rationing system introduced by the authorities may be total or partial. With full rationing, it was not possible to buy anything without the coupon (unless it was on the black market). Partial rationing (the so-called mixed system) meant that the cardholder could buy rationed goods at a government-guaranteed price. However, if they wanted to shop without a coupon or buy more goods, they had to pay the market price. In this way, the authorities solved the basic supply problem and at the same time limited the black market. However, the mixed system was rarely introduced.

Rationing continued to be used after hostilities ended - it served as a surefire tool to gradually recover the economy from the war. It didn't matter whether the country was involved in military operations or neutral. In 1945 there was no country in Europe without rationing. Food stamps (and not just food stamps) worked in France, Great Britain and the USSR as well as in Sweden and Switzerland. US and Canadian citizens also carried corresponding coupons in their wallets.

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The first Polish experience

For many years, the history of “cards” in Poland was not so different from that in other countries. The inhabitants of the Polish lands came into contact with rationing during the First World War. It consisted mainly of staple foods: bread, flour, sugar and potatoes. However, only a small part of society was entitled to these goods - mainly the inhabitants of the cities. It was believed that the land dwellers were able to support themselves at least on a basic level. The maps were issued by city authorities, and the more prosperous the community, the more elaborate their graphic form.

The date - November 11, 1918 - when Poland regained its independence is largely symbolic. The Poles still had to fight to shape the borders of the reborn state. The economy was still primarily focused on the needs of the army, and so rationing continued. Food stamps were not abolished until 1921, after the war against Bolshevik Russia ended. Only fuel cards remained valid for a few months later.

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (2)

The second World War

Maps appeared for the second time in the life of Poles during World War II. The rationing introduced at that time was not just a simple solution typical of modern wartime. In the areas occupied by the Germans, it became a political tool, allowing for discrimination against Poles and Jews. In 1944 a Polish miner in Upper Silesia received only the third part of the meat ration to which a German miner was entitled. In the early years of the German occupation, ration cards for Germans were four times higher than for Poles and even nine times higher than for Jews. Cards could be used to buy sugar, brown bread, flour, jam, muesli coffee, potatoes and fat, among other things. The sale of meat was officially banned. The population in the cities could only survive thanks to the highly developed black market and their own inventiveness.

post war period

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In post-war Poland, as in many other countries, these cards did not immediately disappear from shops and customers' wallets. After taking control of the country, the communist authorities organized their own rationing system. Sometimes German solutions were adopted locally and later gradually replaced. This led to enormous chaos.

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (3)

However, over time a relatively coherent (albeit mixed) system has formed. The cards even became a substitute for part of the salary, which significantly increased their value. In June 1945 the price of a bread ration card rose from 0.75 to 1.5 zlotys, while on the "free market" it cost 45-50 zlotys. Between 1944 and 1948 the following were rationed: bread, flour, groats, potatoes, vegetables, vinegar, petroleum, matches, meat, butter, fats, sugar, sweets, milk, coffee, tea, salt and fuel. The rations were based on the occupation and place of residence of the entitled person. And again, as in previous years, the pawns were stripped of their cards. The country was left to itself.

The rationing of clothing was also very interesting, since a point system was used here. Once a year, the beneficiaries received cards with vouchers for different points (a total of 128 points). One point was enough to buy a handkerchief, gloves or suspenders. You had to “pay” 30 points for shoes and 56 points for a cotton coat.

The dissolution of post-war rationing in Poland was gradual. First, match cards were abandoned in 1946. The rationing system officially ended on January 1, 1949. In some cases, however, it was a sham business, as fat and milk coupons were introduced in some cities at the same time. They were not abandoned until late 1950 and early 1951. So why did they announce the end of maps in late 1948? The reason was quite profane. At that time, the Polish Workers' Party and the Polish Socialist Party merged into one entity: the Polish United Workers' Party. The abolition of the war regulations was intended to underscore the success of the communist governments after 1945. Poland was the third country, after the USSR and Switzerland, to decide on such consolidation and the end of the rationing program.

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (4)

However, in August 1951 it was decided to reintroduce meat rationing. At that time, only employees at 1363 jobs were entitled to claim. The lack of egalitarianism in the distribution of the cards led to animosity towards those who received them. Strikes ensued, with the main demand being equal opportunities for 'tickets' or 'vouchers'. Over time, the list of rationed goods expanded: butter and vegetable fats were added in December 1951; in April 1952 soap, detergent and sugar; and in May 1952 Candy. However, social tensions caused by restricted access to cards led to the authorities pulling out of the card system on January 1, 1953.

A successful end result?

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In 1970 Edward Gierek became head of communist Poland. As First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, Gierek made propaganda one of the most important tools of his politics. Press, radio and television cried loudly about Poland's successes under Gierek's rule. According to the propaganda, Poland's economy was among the "top ten" fastest developing economies in the world.

The truth, however, was brutal. The economy of communist Poland, far from an open market solution, was on the brink of collapse. Artificially set prices, arbitrarily regulated wages and development based solely on Western credit had brought the country to the brink of collapse. From the mid-1970s, the lines in front of the shops got longer and the goods on the shelves got smaller and smaller. When the authorities wanted to raise prices in June 1976, people first protested and then went shopping. The race began - winners were not only those who could buy something at the current price, but also those who still found what they were looking for on the almost empty store shelves.

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (5)

Sugar was particularly popular. Massively used in the kitchen, it could also be stored for a long time. Unable to control the purchase, the authorities decided to take an unprecedented step - regulated sale of this product. It wasn't just a reaction to the lack of sugar. They were also concerned about the possible falling revenue of the state alcohol monopoly. After vodka suffered a price surge, the sugar-based moonshine business became very profitable.

Cards for sugar were introduced in mid-August 1976. However, authorities feared the negative connotation of the word "cards" as it was associated with war and economic troubles. Instead of "sugar cards" the Poles received "goods notes". Also, Poles were told that cards were necessary because of the economic success of the People's Republic of Poland and the enrichment of its citizens.

Card holders had the right to buy a maximum of 2 kg of sugar at a special price (10.50 PLN per kg), the remaining sugar was sold at a higher price (26 PLN per kg). This decision by the authorities reassured the market and sugar returned to stores. Over the next 13 years, however, paper rationing became an integral part of Polish economic life.

A bag of cards

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Large-scale ticket sales began in the 1980s. In the summer of 1980, waves of strikes swept through Poland. The demonstrators made not only political, but above all economic demands. On the night of August 16-17, 1980, the striking workers at the Lenin Shipyard in Danzig published a list of demands that eventually took the form of the 21 Demands of the Inter-Plant Strike Committee. In point 11 it says: "Introduce cards - food vouchers for meat and canned goods (regulated until the market situation)".

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (6)

The presence of this demand on the list of strikers came about for two reasons. The first was pretty ordinary. Meat shops in Poland have been empty for months. You had to queue for hours to buy meat and sausage. However, the authorities falsely excused themselves by saying that there was enough meat on the market and that the shortage was due to speculators. The strikers' second reason was pragmatic. If there was enough meat - according to the authorities - then it should be rationed with cards so that everyone gets a fair ration. Sugar cards served as an example and encouraged such a solution. The thing was that there was a shortage of meat, as well as many other commodities. In the end, the government had no choice and agreed to meat rationing.

On April 1, 1981, a regulated sale of meat and meat products was introduced. This complicated rationing system took into account not only the eligible person's job, but also their age, where they lived, and sometimes their health or beliefs. The introduction of meat rationing opened a “whole new can” as rumors circulated that more cards were being introduced for other commodities. Hence, people started rushing to stores to buy other types of goods and this prompted the government to introduce regulated sales. In the weeks that followed, cards were introduced for many goods, including butter, wheat flour, groats, cereal, rice, washing powder, baby items, candy, chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, soap, cotton pads, 3.2% fat milk and lard. Oil, shoes, carpets, citrus fruits and school supplies (notebooks, drawing pads, crayons, exercise books, cutting books, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, plasticine, watercolor paints, brushes) were also sold on a regional or temporary basis. In early 1982, nearly 60 percent of grocery store merchandise was sold on cards. The "culmination" of these decisions was the introduction of "cards on cards" - a special form on which the dealt cards were recorded. It was an attempt to control their spontaneous distribution and the multiple rations used by scammers.


The fuel ration was only officially introduced relatively late in June 1982. In practice, petrol rationing had been practiced before, but it had taken different forms. For some time, purchase was limited to a key based on the car's license plate number and calendar. So, cars with the 1 suffix could refuel only on the 1st, 11th and 21st day of the month, those with 2 on the 2nd, 12th and 22nd day, etc. The system changed over time – one owner of the vehicle could fill up every day, but no more than three times a month. These times would be marked with a stamp on a special form. When it turned out that the stamp could easily be removed thanks to a bribe, the authorities decided to introduce typical cards. This only happened in 1984.

A ration card for survival - Rationing in communist Poland - Polish history (7)

near the end

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Card regulation was gradually liquidated in the People's Republic of Poland: in February 1983 rationing of washing powder and soap was abolished, in April - cigarettes and alcohol, followed by sweets. In March 1985, the rationing of flour, grain and cotton pads ended. In June 1985 the rationing of butter and animal and vegetable fats was ended. Sugar rationing was abandoned in November 1985. On June 1, 1986, semolina was removed from the list of rationed goods, on March 1, 1988, rationing of chocolate products was ended, and finally, on January 1, 1989, fuel cards disappeared for good. At this point, only meat cards were in circulation.

Meat rationing lasted until June 1989, in what is widely seen as a symbolic end of communist Poland. At that time, Solidarność won the parliamentary elections. Meat cards were abolished after the market opened less than two months later. Along with the communist era, they became important symbols of Polish history.

Author: Andrzej Zawistowski
Translation: Alice Rose & Jessica Sirotin


What were the rations in Polish communism? ›

Between 1944-1948, the goods that were rationed included: bread, flour, groats, potatoes, vegetables, vinegar, kerosene, matches, meat, butter, fats, sugar, sweets, milk, coffee, tea, salt, and fuel. The rations depended on the profession and place of residence of the entitled person.

What were Polish rations in the 80s? ›

A food rationing system was used in Poland in the 70s and 80s to keep prices under control and fight speculation with food and goods that were difficult to get hold of. Regulation: The Coupons Game was introduced by the state-run National Remembrance Institute (IPN), which documents and teaches about Polish history.

How did ration stamps work? ›

Two ration books were distributed to "every eligible man, woman, child, and baby in the United States." One contained blue coupons for processed goods while the other contained red coupons for meat, fish and dairy products. Each person started with 48 blue points and 64 red points each month.

What are ration cards ww1? ›

A ration stamp, ration coupon, or ration card is a stamp or card issued by a government to allow the holder to obtain food or other commodities that are in short supply during wartime or in other emergency situations when rationing is in force.

What did communism do to Polish food? ›

The 40 years of communism Poland endured battered its food. Communism did to the national cuisine what it did to so much else and reduced it to the lowest common denominator: uniform and bland stodge characterised by poor ingredients, low standards and low expectations.

What was Poland called when it was communist? ›

1952. The constitution adopted by the communists introduces a new name for the Polish state, the Polish People's Republic (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL), which replaces the previously used Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita Polska).

What food was invented in Poland? ›

Culinary inventions from the heart of Poland
  • foods.
  • Kraków.
  • dumplings.
  • mushrooms.
  • journalist.
  • egg paste.
  • Robert Makłowicz.
  • Bieszczady.
Sep 5, 2014

What was the Polish resistance called in ww2? ›

The Warsaw Uprising, which started on August 1, 1944, and lasted until October 2, 1944, was a major military endeavor of the Polish resistance movement during World War II.

How did the Soviets treat the Polish? ›

Soviet soldiers often engaged in plunder, rape and other crimes against the Poles, causing the population to fear and hate the regime. 50,000 members of the Polish Underground State were deported to Siberia and various other Soviet Labour camps.

How did the ration cards work? ›

Every American was issued a series of ration books during the war. The ration books contained removable stamps good for certain rationed items, like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the right ration stamp.

What is the meaning of ration card? ›

(ˈræʃən kɑːd ) a card showing an individual's entitlement to certain rationed goods. They have begun to issue ration cards for basic necessities such as rice and flour.

Are war ration stamps valuable? ›

Ration books generally sell in the $5 to $25 range, but unlike savings bonds, you can't cash them in as you wish.

What was a ration in the Civil War? ›

During the Civil War, the Union Army had two types of rations: "marching rations" and "camp rations." Marching rations consisted of sixteen ounces of hard bread, also known as "hardtack"; twelve ounces of salt pork or twenty ounces of fresh meat; and sugar, coffee, and salt.

What and why did people ration during ww1? ›

In order to provide U.S. troops and allies with the sustenance required to maintain their strength and vitality, posters urging citizens to reduce their personal consumption of meat, wheat, fats and sugar were plastered throughout communities.

How was rationing used during World War I? ›

During the war everything seemed to be rationed or in short supply: gasoline and fuel oil and rubber; bobby pins and zippers and tin foil; shoes and whiskey and chewing gum; butter and coffee and nylons and tomato ketchup and sugar; canned goods and cigarettes and the matches needed to light them.

What did Polish Peasants eat? ›

The pillars of their diet included floury dishes, groats, cereals, potatoes, and milk. Even in the early post-war years, peasant cuisine was still mainly vegetable-based, with just a few animal products.

Who brought communism to Poland? ›

In the Soviet Union, Stalin and Wanda Wasilewska created the Union of Polish Patriots as a communist organization under Soviet control.

How did Poland get rid of communism? ›

On 27 October 1991, the 1991 Polish parliamentary election, the first democratic election since the 1920s. This completed Poland's transition from a communist party rule to a Western-style liberal democratic political system. The last post-Soviet troops left Poland on 18 September 1993.

What was life like in Poland during communism? ›

Everyday life in communist Poland was very difficult. Everything was regulated and controlled by the government - prices, shops, companies, restaurants, hotels. Almost nothing was free. There were no businessmen in Poland, there were only officials controlling sugar or potato prices, setting shop opening hours, etc.

When did Poland stop being communist? ›

The 1989 Round Table Talks led to Solidarity's participation in the 1989 election. Its candidates' striking victory gave rise to the first of the succession of transitions from communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe.

What is the origin of Polish people? ›

Ethnic Poles are considered to be the descendants of the ancient West Slavic Lechites and other tribes that inhabited the Polish territories during the late antiquity period.

What is the most eaten meat in Poland? ›

The favourite meats of Poland

Beef and lamb are eaten throughout Poland, but consumption volumes are significantly lower than either chicken or pork products.

What is the most famous Polish dish? ›

Pierogi is undoubtedly Poland's most famous and simple comfort food. But after tasting one of these delicious filled dumplings, you're likely to find yourself craving more. Perogis can be cooked or fried; stuffed with meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit, chocolate; accompanied by a sour cream topping or just butter.

What animal represents Poland? ›

The white eagle – from legend to national emblem

The most recognisable symbol of Poland is undoubtedly the eagle. The white bird adorns the nation's crest, is found on its currency, adorns the uniforms of its football stars, and gives its name to the highest honour bestowed by the state – the Order of the White Eagle.

Who were the famous Polish resistance fighters? ›

Four Poles, Eugeniusz Bendera, Kazimierz Piechowski, Stanisław Gustaw Jaster and Józef Lempart made a daring escape.

Who betrayed Poland in ww2? ›

In 1939, both the British and the French betrayed Poland, but their actions and motives differed slightly. The British did not intend to actively, militarily help Poland against Germany. They hoped that the paper tiger that was their alliance with Poland, was enough to stop Hitler's intentions.

What are the Polish special forces called? ›

Operational-Maneuver Response Group
BranchSpecial Troops Command
TypeSpecial forces
RoleSpecial operations Counter-terrorism
17 more rows

How do the Polish feel about Russia? ›

In response to these events, Poland has been a staunch supporter of tougher sanctions against Russia by the EU. Poland's continued support of the new Ukrainian government and its criticism of Russian interference in the new Ukrainian government's affairs has angered Russia and increased tensions between both countries.

Did the USSR save Poland? ›

On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, 16 days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west.
Soviet invasion of Poland.
Date17 September – 6 October 1939
ResultSoviet victory
Territorial changesTerritory of Eastern Poland (Kresy) annexed by the Soviet Union
1 more row

Why did USSR want Poland? ›

The “reason” given was that Russia had to come to the aid of its “blood brothers,” the Ukrainians and Byelorussians, who were trapped in territory that had been illegally annexed by Poland. Now Poland was squeezed from West and East—trapped between two behemoths.

How did citizens receive rationing points? ›

These points came in the form of stamps that were distributed to citizens in books throughout the war. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) was in charge of this program, but it relied heavily on volunteers to hand out the ration books and explain the system to consumers and merchants.

What was the last thing to come off ration? ›

Meat was the last item to be de-rationed and food rationing ended completely in 1954. One way to get rationed items without coupons, usually at greatly inflated prices, was on the black market.

Who started the ration system? ›

Public distribution system in India-evolution, efficacy and need for reforms. Evolution of public distribution of grains in India had its origin in the 'rationing' system introduced by the British during the World War II.

What are the two types of ration cards? ›

BPL (Below Poverty Line) ration card - This card was issued to households living below the poverty line. Annapoorna Yojana (AY) ration card - This card was given to older people who are poor and above 65 years.

What is the importance of ration card? ›

Ration cards are an official document issued by state governments in India to households that are eligible to purchase subsidised food grain from the Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). They also serve as a common form of identification for many Indians.

What does ration mean in simple terms? ›

ra·​tion ˈra-shən ˈrā- Synonyms of ration. : a food allowance for one day. rations plural : food, provisions. : a share especially as determined by supply.

How do you know if a stamp is valuable? ›

How to Determine a Stamp's Value
  1. The color: The color of the stamp should be bright. ...
  2. The cancellation: For a used stamp, the lighter the cancellation, the better. ...
  3. Centering: Is the stamp centered inside the white perforation border? ...
  4. The paper: The stamp should not be torn or damaged.

Why are old stamps worth money? ›

It contains a rare error: When a mistake has been made on a stamp design, such as a missing colour or feature because of a printing or production error, these stamps becomes highly collectible and are often worth significantly more than a 'normal' issue.

How much are ration coins worth? ›

As mentioned earlier, rationing stamps were worth ten points, so OPA tokens would be used to make change, which is why they're worth one point. Nowadays they are worth fifty cents on average. Dealers at coin shows and coin shops have bins of them for 50 cents a piece or even less.

Why did people ration during the war? ›

Supplies such as gasoline, butter, sugar and canned milk were rationed because they needed to be diverted to the war effort. War also disrupted trade, limiting the availability of some goods.

What are war rations called? ›

In 1958, C-Rations were replaced by "Meal, Combat, Individual" rations. The contents were almost identical to C-Rations, so they continued to be called C-Rats until the early 1980s, when "Meal, Ready-to-Eat" replaced them. MREs came in packages instead of cans, so they were much lighter than C-Rations.

What was rationing and why did it happen? ›

Rationing was a means of ensuring the fair distribution of food and commodities when they were scarce. It began after the start of WW2 with petrol and later included other goods such as butter, sugar and bacon. Eventually, most foods were covered by the rationing system with the exception of fruit and vegetables.

What did ww1 rations look like? ›

By the First World War (1914-18), Army food was basic, but filling. Each soldier could expect around 4,000 calories a day, with tinned rations and hard biscuits staples once again. But their diet also included vegetables, bread and jam, and boiled plum puddings. This was all washed down by copious amounts of tea.

What did soldiers eat for breakfast in ww1? ›

A typical day, writes Murlin, might include breakfast of oatmeal, pork sausages, fried potatoes, bread and butter and coffee; lunch of roast beef, baked potatoes, bread and butter, cornstarch pudding and coffee; and dinner of beef stew, corn bread, Karo syrup, prunes, and tea.

How did people at home ration food during World War 1? ›

Everyone was provided with a ration book that showed how much food they were allowed to buy, including sugar, meat, flour, butter, margarine and milk. Even King George and Queen Mary had rationbooks!

What was the goal of rationing during the war? ›

The government introduced rationing because certain things were in short supply during the war, and rationing was the only way to make sure everyone got their fair share. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dramatically ended the debate over America's entrance into the war that raged around the world.

How did rationing affect people's lives in ww2? ›

Rationing helped to change attitudes - the fact that everyone was restricted to buying a certain amount of goods, created a sense of sharing and cooperation in Britain. It was accepted that the Government was more involved in people's health and food intake.

What did Polish people eat during ww2? ›

Things like roasted peacock, crayfish pudding, turtle soup were commonplace. WWII and the Communist time that followed meant Poles had to be creative, to create mock versions of their favorites, a bean cake, or substituting potatoes for wheat flour in recipes.

What was Poland like during communism? ›

Poland experienced hyperinflation during the communism era - it caused money to totally lose value. More than that, land was taken from wealthy people and given to shared land pool. There were barely any private companies, as initially every enterprise with 50+ people was nationalized.

What were the rations in the war? ›

Gasoline was rationed starting in May of that year, and by the summer even bicycle purchases were restricted. The government began rationing certain foods in May 1942, starting with sugar. Coffee was added to the list that November, followed by meats, fats, canned fish, cheese, and canned milk the following March.

What is a Polish breakfast like? ›

8:30 – 'Śniadanie' (breakfast)

Poles often start the day with meat or eggs. They commonly have what they call 'a sandwich', meaning a slice of bread topped with cold cuts or kiełbasa, or scrambled eggs. There can also be a side of dairy – either kefir, or quark cheese mixed with radishes.

What is the Polish national dish? ›

Bigos stew is the national dish of Poland. It can be made with any kind of meat from pork to rabbit or venison, but should always have spicy Polish sausage.

What was the historical Polish diet? ›

Polish cuisine in the Middle Ages was based on dishes made of agricultural produce and cereal crops (millet, rye, wheat), meats of wild and farm animals, fruits, forest berries and game, honey, herbs, and local spices.

What food did Poland invent? ›

Pierogi (Dumplings)

The most iconic Polish food of all time, pierogi needs little introduction. Polish dumplings are made of thinly rolled-out dough filled with endless varieties of fillings, both savoury and sweet, including: meat, sauerkraut, wild mushrooms, cheese, bilberries, blueberries or strawberries.

What food is Poland famous for? ›

Pierogi is undoubtedly Poland's most famous and simple comfort food. But after tasting one of these delicious filled dumplings, you're likely to find yourself craving more. Perogis can be cooked or fried; stuffed with meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit, chocolate; accompanied by a sour cream topping or just butter.

Why is Polish food so good? ›

Polish food is a darling to many, outdoing the longstanding favorites like Italian and French due to its wide range of startling tastes. The sharp mustard plant pungency, enlivening fermentation, and profuse savoriness are just a few of the pleasant tastes to encounter when exploring traditional polish foods.

When was Poland last communist? ›

Establishment of communist-ruled Poland (1944–1948)

How many people died in communism in Poland? ›

In the aforementioned time period, about 3,500 death sentences were imposed for political reasons, of which over 2,500 were carried out. On top of that, over 20,000 inmates died in prisons and labour camps. The overall number of victims of the 1944-1956 period is estimated at around 50,000.

Are war rations worth anything? ›

A: Millions of ration books were issued during World War II. They were intended to prevent the hoarding of such goods as coffee, sugar, meat and other items in short supply due to the war. Ration books generally sell in the $5 to $25 range, but unlike savings bonds, you can't cash them in as you wish.

How long did rationing last for? ›

The end of the war saw additional cuts. Bread, which was never rationed during wartime, was put on the ration in July 1946. It was not until the early 1950s that most commodities came 'off the ration'. Meat was the last item to be de-rationed and food rationing ended completely in 1954.


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