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Lost and Found: Communism Nostalgia and Communist Chic Among Poland’s Old and Young Generations

How do Poles remember communism? The year 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the demise of the Polish People’s Republic, and memories of the PRL can be found in the museums dedicating exhibits to the Solidarity Movement and displaying the wretchedness of life under the Soviet Union’s iron talons. Memories of communism can also be found in the temporary exhibits swallowing the city sidewalks that display the stories of Solidarity leaders, the free elections of 1989, and the triumph of the Catholic Church against the red enemy.  They show memories of standing in long lines to buy milk, toilet paper chained to the walls, extreme censorship, secret police, a lack of goods, and death.  This is how communism is officially remembered. Yet, scattered about the psyches of Polish citizens, there appears to be a strange trend—a nostalgia for the way things had been before the transformation to capitalism and democracy.  Communism nostalgia is a widespread phenomenon, that one can find all over the former Soviet Bloc.  It can manifest itself as an elderly person’s collection of objects from communist times, in the soaring ratings of an old communist television show rerun, in the PRL-themed discos and pubs, and in the hammer-and-sickle baby pajamas sold online.  These manifestations of communism nostalgia are as varied as the types of people who express them.  While it is impossible to fully and precisely explain the nostalgia of an entire social group—as each individual’s nostalgia is one’s own, and nostalgia is constantly changing, just as society changes—a clear and obvious distinction can be made between the expression of and reasons for such nostalgia among Poland’s older generation (sixty years or older), and younger generation (thirty years or younger).  In general, the older generation feels that it has lost its identity and been left behind in the transformation to capitalism, while the younger generation discovers a unique identity in Poland’s communist past, manifesting this fascination with PRL times through fashion trends.  

Many Poles over the age of sixty, regardless of political affiliation, are lost in their nostalgia for the times of communism.  This attitude appears in many ways. For example, the 1960s television series, “Czterej pancerni i pies” or “Four Tank Drives and a Dog,” has re-aired six times since 2001.  With each rerun, over a million viewers watch as Polish infantrymen battle alongside the Red Army and victoriously ride towards Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in their T-34 tank, Rudy.  This film and several others like it have achieved cult status in Poland (Kraske and Puhl, 2005).  Seniors also recapture snippets of their past by continuing to use items and services from the communist era.  Thanks to the older generation’s brand loyalty to vintage products like Ludwik dishwashing and laundry soap, Inka coffee substitute, and SDM butter, the producers of these products continue to stay afloat amidst an incursion of local and international competitors.  In 2005, at the request of women between the ages of fifty and sixty, grocery stores reintroduced processed meats with tastes loyal to original 1970s recipes.  These products, distributed by Stół Polski, sold like hotcakes under the label, “Wędliny jak za Gierka,” or “Sausages like they were under Gierek.” The slogan sports the name of Edward Gierek, the Polish Communist Party’s First Secretary in the 1970s.  Natalia Lewicka, Stół Polski’s marketing and advertisement specialist, explains that the company’s aim was to “recapture that bygone flavour, one resembling the ones made in the ‘better days’ that are so close to the heart of our parents” (Kutor, 2008).  A small number of milk bars have also withstood the test of intense competition and federal subsidy cuts, due to the loyal patronage of those who insist on returning to the milk bars’ familiar old economy atmosphere and bargain prices (Kutor, 2008).  Other senior citizens collect or display trinkets saved from the communist era in their homes.  The DDR Studio is a store in Warsaw that sells many antiques from the Soviet Bloc. Aleksandra Schwarz, a worker at the DDR Studio, says that while older clients often wonder why anyone would want to spend so much money on junk stored away in someone’s basement, many others come into the store, pick up old telephones, toys, or figurines and “smile at them, remembering” (Schwarz, 2009).  It is clear that many people over the age of sixty in Poland yearn for some sort of connection to and remembrance of their lives during communist times. This generation faces patronizing attitudes, as analysis and popular thought explain away their nostalgia as a simple yearning to be young again. In actuality, the issues underlying this attitude are far more profound and varied than that. 

Many elderly Poles feel left behind and discriminated against in the transition to capitalism.  In general, the transformation has not worked to their advantage, and they have slipped through the cracks. Anna J. Kutor of the United Kingdom’s Discover Poland Magazine claims, “For them, the 'bad old days' of oppression and fear have become the 'good old days' when they had steady jobs and free medical care” (Kutor, 2008).  Zofia Niczke, founder and director of the Emeryt’s Foundation, an organization that improves the lives of Warsaw’s elderly citizens, goes even further: “Retired people are the minority most discriminated against in Poland,” she claims (Niczke, 2009). While a transformation away from the PRL economy and politics was necessary, Niczke believes that the way in which this was carried out has resulted in an unfair and sordid lot for the nation’s elderly.  She looks back wistfully to a time when she and her loved ones did not face this ostracism, marginalization, and lack of security.  Firstly, Niczke points out, she and those in her situation were in many ways more financially secure under communism. Before the reforms of 1993, pensions were seven percent higher.  Under the PRL, medicines and health care were more affordable and accessible.  It was easier to enter a sanitarium.  The government used to take care of all its weakest citizens, but now old people who need a wheelchair must either pay an obscene amount of money, or ask organizations like the Emeryt Foundation to provide one so that they can remain mobile.  The economic exclusion of Poland’s retired population bars them from fully participating in society, and leading a rich and full life.  Niczke does not suffer from “selective amnesia” or delude herself into believing that life under communism was utopian.  She admits, “Things weren’t great under socialism, but things have gone from bad to worse.” She remembers making many things by hand, standing in long lines for basic necessities, and there being a lack of variety in products available.  She recognizes that capitalism has improved the diversity and abundance of those products; however, because her generation has been left behind economically, she dolefully reports, “Now, I am only able look at those products through the shop window” (Niczke, 2009).  The economic downturn for Poland’s retired citizens has created nostalgia for their socialist past.

Poland’s elderly population also feels nostalgic for the culture of equality experienced under communism.  Capitalism promises equality of opportunity, but in the fight for prosperity, it is the wealthy, young and educated men who always come out on top, leaving the weakest to fall. Tadeusz Puczkowski, an elderly Emeryt Foundation employee, elaborates on this idea, claiming, “It was bad, but it was bad for everybody” (Puczkowski, 2009).  Although no one could become rich and successful, everyone had enough to survive.  For example, Niczke laments how the transformation has changed accessibility to education.  Her family, which was not overly well off, was able to send six of its seven children to good schools under the PRL.  Today, she claims, a poor family is lucky if they are able to send more than one of their children to receive a good education (Niczke, 2009).  Meanwhile, without an education, these children cannot climb the social ladder, and remain poor.  Niczke also laments that after her generation eliminated illiteracy, expanded the availability of electricity, and manufactured products intended for all Polish people, the transition took everything away and gave it to the young and rich.  “The transformation made about one percent of the population rich,” she asserts. This redistribution of wealth in the aftermath of communism was “unfair” (Niczke, 2009).  She is not sentimental about the old system. Rather, she feels betrayed, remorseful, and melancholy, because she spent fifty years of her life producing goods for everyone, only then to watch as just the rich benefited from the hard work of her and her fellow workers.  She misses the time when people banded together, suffered together, and were poor together in order to serve the entire country, not just get their “own snout in the trough” (Grodsk, 2006).   

Elderly Poles that reflect positively upon the PRL in any way experience an intensified nostalgia, due to a special sense of ostracism they face today.  Most Poles associate the PRL with long lines, political prisoners, censorship, poverty, martial law, cruelty, absurdity, and misery; accordingly, the media and public scorn nostalgic attitudes.  Many elderly Poles censor themselves, fearful to give a biographical account that does not correlate with popular negative opinion (Wieliczko and Zuk, 2003).  Not only are they scorned for reflecting positively upon as many as forty-four years of their life, they feel that their entire generation is being blamed, and therefore stigmatized, for communism.  Niczke says, “People think if the times were bad, the people living then were also bad” (Niczke, 2009).  People who simply tried to live their lives are stigmatized for having lived under the tyrannical system.  Even though she never worked as a spy, politician, or police officer, Niczke believes she is considered just as guilty as those who maintained the system with a cruel iron grip.  This mentality makes it easy, even morally acceptable, for politicians to discriminate against the retired community.  In Niczke’s opinion, the State used to be responsible for the well-being of all its citizens, but now it reserves that responsibility for the “blameless.”

Some elderly Poles recognize the cruelty and misery of the PRL, but still reserve a place in their hearts for those times because they cannot let themselves believe that their entire lives up until 1989 had been completely meaningless. In her article, Art of Nostalgia, Katarzyna Pabijanek explains that collecting toys, knickknacks, art, film, food, and music from the time of communism “does not simply indulge in melancholia for an idealized communist or welfare state of the past. Rather, it heightens the awareness that something is missing from the present” (Pabijanek, 2007). The forty-four years of Polish history under communism has been simplified – reduced to a bleak caricature of absurdity and wretchedness, sprinkled with the excitement and heroism of Solidarity.  It is as if their personal narratives have been erased and replaced with a dark collective memory.  Those who grew up in the PRL played with friends, fell in love, went to school, worked, cooked dinner every night, and participated in the creation of a modern industrial society.  In the average country, people’s biographies are continuous.  In Poland’s case, however, there has been a “severance of continuity in one’s own biography” (Swida-Ziemba, 1990).  Creating myths or looking back wistfully into one’s past—a past that has been suddenly invalidated by society—is a way of reclaiming one’s own lost life and identity.  Public reaction to the demolition of the Supersam grocery store in 2006 illustrates this phenomenon. The Supersam building was the most advanced structure of Polish commercial architecture during the 1960s. As the first self-service store in the Eastern Bloc, the building broke architectural ground for the place and time.  Its destruction touched a painful nerve; the landscape of the area would be forever changed.  Artists Marcin Chomicki and Justyna Wencel proposed building a bus stop using the Supersam’s trademark low, bent steel roof in order to create a “lingering effect” from the old building (Pabijanek, 2007).  The bus stop would act as a memorial, commemorating what used to be there and those who used to shop there every day. The Supersam ordeal reflected the larger struggle over the erasure of Poland’s past. Katarzyna Pabijanek, author of the article “Art of Nostalgia”, believes, “Without this symbolic formalization, without collective memory, the subject cannot accept the object’s loss” (Pabijanek, 2007).  Projects such as these may help Poland’s elderly population remember their lives under the PRL, mourn for the past, and then move on.

Even people who actively opposed the communist regime in Poland feel some nostalgia for the 1970s and 1980s under the PRL.  Sebastian Duda, a prominent philosopher, theologian, and journalist in Poland, gives the example of nostalgia in the Catholic Church.  Under communism, the Church became the center of Polish culture and social gathering, and for the vast majority of Polish citizens stood as the main source of opposition to the Communist Party.  Even though the Church was attacked by the government and suffered accordingly, it enjoyed a great deal of power and sway over the hearts and minds of the Polish people.  Over time, it became an authority for moral rectitude and Polish identity, even to those who were not deeply religious (Duda, 2009).  But today, although Poland remains a Catholic country, the Church has lost a great amount of influence and power now that the evil “other” of communism is dead.  

Many people who opposed the system formed profound friendships, achieved moral clarity, and found a life purpose in their struggle for freedom.  Sociologist Joanna Wawrzyniak explains that while no one will say it directly, she senses that many older Poles who opposed communism miss fighting for “values that were pure,” and that “after ’89, they didn’t have that anymore” (Wawrzyniak, 2009).  Being a part of an independent civil society which bands together to fight oppression is not a comfortable or fun struggle, but it certainly has a more empowering, heroic, and exciting quality than today’s method of being politically active, by working with professionals to apply political change through large, impersonal structures or parties (Geremek, 1998). Bronislaw Geremek, author of the article “Civil Society and the Present Age,” adds, “When Solidarity spoke, therefore, it could do so in the name of ‘We, the People’” (Geremek, 1998).  There was a profound sense of Poles fighting and suffering together for a common, moral cause. Thus, although none of those who opposed Communism wish to return to those times, it is easy for them to miss the moral conviction, pride, and brotherhood that is lacking in today’s complex, globalized, and increasingly individualistic reality.  

Beyond the excitement, comradeship, and fight for “pure values” that calls people back to the 1970s and 1980s, there is also the nostalgia for dreaming of a better future.  Geremek writes, “After two years of reform, in Poland as in postcommunist countries generally, frustration and dejection are on the rise, and patience and hope are in short supply" (Geremek, 1998).  Oppression breeds hope, fantasies, and an “if only…” attitude.  Often this presents a boundless future that is much more satisfying than the actual effort to turn it into reality.  Such a reality falls short for the limitless human imagination, and so disillusionment is the result.  Poland today is still in transition: the future is cloudy and many people feel insecure, even disappointed. Karolina Slovenko, author of the article “Post-communism nostalgia in Poland. Nostalgia for Polish People's Republic,” claims that post-communism nostalgia serves as proof that Poland’s process of transformation is unfinished. The country still straddles the line between socialism and capitalism, improving at a slower pace than people hoped, and falling far behind its Western neighbors.  Poland, along with other newly liberated countries, is growing more and more nostalgic as a result of a multitude of unfulfilled expectations (Slovenko, 2007). Wieliczko and Zuk note in their article “Post Communist Mentality” that it is inevitable for Poland’s march to democracy and capitalism to be clumsy, bumpy, and slow.  The transition to capitalism in Western Europe was a natural and gradual process, taking hundreds of years. In contrast, the transformation from socialist to capitalist over but a few decades is “completely different in nature” (Wieliczko and Zuk, 2003).  Post-communistic countries are groping in the dark and unsure of the future, creating a “sense of personal and social threat” (Wieliczko and Zuk, 2003).  Very few elderly folks yearn to relive their days under communism, but many, on some level, are nostalgic for a time when it felt as if Poland’s future would be limitless; if only it were freed from communism.  Poland’s failure to match Western Europe in its level of prosperity and democracy after twenty years of liberation creates nostalgia among those who fought for Poland’s glorious future, only to realize that the process would be longer and more difficult than they envisioned.  

It is not only the older generation of Poles who feel nostalgic about communistic times. Longing for goods that represent and even glorify the past and people’s childhoods is increasingly popular among general society, and in particular, among the younger generation that has hardly lived under communism. Martha, 23, a Warsaw University Student of Sociology, claims for example that she misses a lot of things; especially “Donald” chewing gum, chocolate bars and other sweets, as well as a certain toothpaste with flowers and an elephant on the tube which had a funny taste (Martha, 2009). Everyday items are most often mentioned when it comes to these past memories, but young people also mention other goods such as clothing, art, music, and films, which play a very special role in Polish collective memory. As only certain publications and special television programs largely aligned with communistic ideology survived the censorship of the former regime, these are now a perfect reflection of past times, giving people possibilities for indulging in reminiscences. The recently published “Polish Chronicle”, a collection of some of the most popular Polish movies from the previous era, serves as evidence. Dr. Sebastian Duda explains: “People are really interested in the pop culture and fashion of those times because they do feel nostalgic about the communistic era” (Duda, 2009).  To serve these needs, another dimension of public memory has been realized in the form of public exhibitions and museums dealing with the topic. When the Polish National Gallery organized an exhibition that depicted the PRL’s past, it became extremely popular among Polish people and surpassed all expectations of the organizers (Duda, 2009). For the purpose of reviving history and the memory of the past, characteristic apartments of the Polish intelligentsia were rebuilt and shown to the public, along with the so-called “milk bars” which had been very popular public canteens at that time. The exhibition displayed typical interior designs and the simple, traditional menu, even reproducing the latter’s unforgettable smell—which was, of course, not very good (Duda, 2009). Another example of the appreciation of communistic culture in public museums is the Museum of Dobranocek (bedtime stories), which houses a large number of the famous “Bolek and Lolek” comic figures, popular from Polish television cartoons. During the PRL, these were reproduced in numerous toys, and currently are reproduced in computer games, coloring books and games.

Museums are not the only places which freeze history into static memorials. There is also a revival of clubs and bars in major Polish cities like Warsaw and Krakow. One such bar is the “Pewex” in Warsaw’s trendy Nowy Swiat pedestrian street. The name is an abbreviation for Przedsiębiorstwo Eksportu Wewnętrznego—Internal Export Company—which was a chain of hard currency shops in communist Poland. It sold otherwise unobtainable Western goods in exchange for Western currencies (most commonly the United States Dollar and the Deutsche Mark), or Pekao bank checks. Now, the bar is a trendy and fashionable destination, designed with retro-styled wallpapers and other items reflecting the past. Young students like Marta, 23, come there because, as she claims, it is a laid-back and easygoing place  and she knows what to expect (Marta, 2009).  Her student friend Malina, 26, confirms that she feels “like in somebody’s home” and that the interior design is different than anywhere else.  She likes the old photos depicting the communist times, and associates the bar with PRL as a space for social peace, where there is time for conversations. Comparing her experience to that era, she imagines: “Just sitting in bars, drinking alcohol and talking as here in Pewex” (Malina, 2009).  Another patron, Marcin, 27, also likes the wallpaper, the 1980s Polish posters, the music and the atmosphere, but does not think of it as a typical PRL place. Instead, he imagines that in those times there would have been softer music and ruder waiters. In his opinion the place is a conscious imitation, an adaptation. He understands the two girls’ argument about feeling safe, admitting, “Nowadays everything is unclear, you can do everything and people are more lost. It is harder to find yourself” (Marcin, 2009). 

This phenomenon of retro-fashion as a manifestation of communism nostalgia among young Poles is explained by Fruzsina Müller in her text, “Retro Fashion, Nostalgia and National Consciousness”: “Rather the concepts of ‘beautiful old time,’ childhood and yearning can be connected to it. In our case it is important to know that there is not only personal nostalgia but also a collective one. By seeing images in the public sphere, it is possible for many members of society to feel nostalgia for times of which they did not have any personal experiences.” She includes a political analysis as well: “The development of collective nostalgia is very likely when personal lifelines are crossed by a large historical event or sudden change in society that evokes similar fears or answers in the people. This makes them feel nostalgic because they notice how different everything was only a few years before” (Fruzsina Müller, 2007). Nostalgia for the past does not have to be viewed in a negative light. Nicole Doerr envisions this psychological complex as a positive future trend in her text, “What can you be nostalgic for in a post-socialist world?” She argues, “If we are living in a period of transition, longing in time and space becomes equal to a resource to find models of conviviality for the future” (Nicole Doerr, 2007). 

Many Poles nowadays collect items, art and furniture from the communist past. They find them in shops such as the “DDR Studio” in downtown Warsaw, which sells goods from all over the communist bloc. Walking around in these shops, people indulge in history as they see all these items that they can connect to their personal lives. As Dr. Duda explains, “You’ve forgotten about that for many years, and if you come across these things in the shop now, sure you’ll like it” (Duda, 2009). When it comes to purchasing, they consciously select very special items and are ready to pay a higher price in order to value its timeless charm, high quality of design, and unique character compared to the flood of mass production coming from Western markets, thus resisting the Western model of mass consumption. 

The hip dimension of communism as a means of pure fashion and business has been around for a long time. For many years, there have been various ways of making money out of Poland’s socialist past, whether in the clothes market, food sector, or even tourism. Websites sell fashionable t-shirts, and even baby clothes imprinted with socialist symbols such as the hammer and sickle.  “Clearly, communism is now in vogue!” comments Kutor in Discover Poland Magazine. She argues, “The prints are seen as forms of self-expression and identity validation that have popularized negative imagery. The hammer and sickle, the five-pointed red star and the Soviet Union’s CCCP abbreviation have all jumped on the icon-wagon, objectifying the onetime symbols of grim oppression into something purely decorative. In Poland, communism is now much more of a fashion statement than a viable political system...at least among the country's young and trendy” (Anna J. Kutor, 2008). 

No less popular are restaurants that use the symbols and features of communist times. One example is the well-known Inn under the Red Hog or Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem, in downtown Warsaw, which promotes itself by claiming to be “the last secret of PRL.” Although the place had already existed as a restaurant during communist times, it is now using the old items in a very modern and purely decorative way in order to attract customers. The staff is dressed in sexy Soviet uniforms, and dishes are named after popular communist politicians. On the whole, the place can be regarded as a big satire which portrays past ad absurdum. 

This strategy of marketing the past as “funky” pop culture is also employed by the “Crazy Guides”, an alternative tour guide company based in Krakow that offers “Communist adventures for organized groups” (Crazy Guides, 2009).  Dealing mainly with middle-aged Western tourists, the young Crazy Guides entrepreneurs are convinced that the most important thing for their business is the “good vibration” of their guides (Crazy Guides, 2009).  By creating a “crazy alternative tour where unexpected things always happen,” one can say that Crazy Guides depoliticizes the communist past to simply make money, by offering an unforgettable experience and bringing back the “good ol’ days” for the customer. The tours are led by guides who claim to be “open-minded and objective,” revealing once more how communistic ideology has come to lack a personal subjective connotation in its modern utilization. When one guide is asked about this, he answers, “Those who experienced communism and did not suffer from it like to remind themselves how it was when they were young. People always like to go back in time to they're childhood or teenagers time” (Crazy Guide, 2009). As the younger generation of Poles did not live under the communist regime for long and did not suffer from it, tending to remember their childhoods as “happy and joyful” (Duda, 2009), they are now ready to commercialize their country’s past in the form of a stylish tour, tasty meal, or fashionable product. According to the Crazy Guides, retro-fashion is not connected to nostalgia, because there is no emotion involved. Rather, they view it as a worldwide phenomenon which can be found anywhere, not only in connection to the specific Polish context. (Crazy Guides, 2009). Dr. Duda underlines this understanding of communistic chic: “For young people, I think, you cannot really call it nostalgia, because for nostalgia you have been living in the times. For me it is obvious that they do not understand anything about it” (Duda, 2009).  He also claims that “history awareness among young people becomes weaker. They don’t know history as well as we did” (Duda, 2009). It is common knowledge that Polish history or identity is not very important to the self-image and identity of young Poles, who identify much more with universal characteristics such as being a student, or expression their affiliation with a certain social group through fashion.

Nevertheless, for many in Polish society, there is definitely a deep-rooted sense of nostalgia in as a result of the dramatic changes the country has faced since 1989.  As we have seen, the sources of nostalgia are as varied as the ways in which it is manifested.  This does not simply consist of an older generation lost in memories, and a younger generation who find pride and identity in their unique communist past.  Polish nostalgia does not manifest itself as a single truth; it is multi-layered and profoundly complex.  Many elderly people feel deprived of the economic security they had enjoyed under communism. In addition, among that group there is a feeling of political stigmatization—that their generation is being held responsible for the crimes that took place under communism—making them yearn for the time when they were regarded as working for the good of their country.  Others feel a lack of common direction or comradeship within society, and reflect on those times of “equality” and “brotherhood” through the glorification of goods and items from the past which they have a personal connection to, such as chewing gum, milk, or furniture, and buildings such as the Palace of Culture or the Supersam.  These objects and buildings also serve as monuments to their lives, which have become so intensely associated with the notion that the years between 1945 and 1989 constituted a miserable stain upon the blanket of Polish history.  Meanwhile, the younger generation is distanced from communism as a political force.  Instead, they identify with items, fashions and designs from communist times, in order to identify with a unique Polish past that few other European Union countries can understand, and to oppose the mainstream.  Nostalgia can appear in various ways, and in various types of people.  Young, old, communist or anti-communist; as society continues to drastically change, there will always be people who are nostalgic for the way things were.  As genuine memories of Poland’s communist past inevitably die out with the older generation, this communism nostalgia may be replaced in the public consciousness with the newer ‘communism chic’, and its emphasis on pop culture.

References

Online Journal Articles:

Doerr, Nicole. What can you be nostalgic for in a post-socialist world? A molecular view on non-melancholic travel routes in time and space (2007).
http://www.nosztalgia.net/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=38

Geremek, Bronislaw. “Civil Society and the Present Age.” The Idea of a Civil Society. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/publications/civilsoc/geremek.htm

Müller, Fruzsina. Retro Fashion, Nostalgia and National Consciousness: Success of a Revived Shoe Brand from Socialist Hungary (2007).
http://www.nosztalgia.net/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemid=83

Pabijanek, Katarzyna. “Art of Nostalgia.” The Nosztalgia Encyclopedia. http://www.nosztalgia.net/cms/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=45

Puhl, Jan and Marion Kraske. “Products Create Market for Communist Nostalgia in Eastern Europe.” Spiegel Online International (February 2005). http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,344052,00.html

Magazine Articles:

Kutor, Anna. “Milking the Communist Cow.” Discover Poland Magazine. April 1, 2008. http://www.polishexpress.co.uk/art,milking_the_communist_cow,698.html
Personal Interviews:
Duda, Sebastian.  Publisher, Newsweek Poland. Warsaw, Poland.  June 30, 2009.

Crazy Guides, e-mail message to author.  July 1, 2009.

Malina, Sociology student. Warsaw, Poland. June 30, 2009.

Marcin. Warsaw, Poland. June 30, 2009.

Martha, Sociology student. Warsaw, Poland. June 30, 2009.

Niczke, Zofia. Founder and Director, Emeryt Foundation.  Warsaw, Poland.  June 25, 2009.

Puczkowski, Tadeusz. Information Technology Specialist, Emeryt Foundation.  Warsaw, Poland.  June 25, 2009.

Schwarz, Aleksandra.  Employee, DDR Studio.  Warsaw, Poland.  June 26, 2009.

Wawrzyniak, Joanna.  Coordinator of Remembering PRL (1956-1989), Osrodek Karta. Warsaw, Poland. June 26, 2009.

Websites:

Crazy Guides.  http://www.crazyguides.com/

Grodsk, H. “From TKN to TKM.” Our Man in Gdansk. http://www.threemonkeysonline.com/our_man_gdansk/tag/gazeta-wyborcza/page/2/

Pabijanek, Katarzyna. “Art of Nostalgia.” The N\osztalgia Encyclopedia. http://www.nosztalgia.net/cms/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=45

Slovenko, Karolina. “Post-communism Nostalgia in Poland. Nostalgia for Polish People's Republic.”  Change and Resistance. 
http://changeandresistance.blogspot.com/2006/12/post-communism-nostalgia-in-poland.html

Conference Paper:

Wieliczko, Barbara and Marcin Zuk. Post-Communist Nostalgia Among the Middle-Aged Middle-Class Poles. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 16, 2003, in Atlanta, United States of America. http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p106706_index.html

Article in Edited Volume:

Swida-Ziemba, Hanna, "The Post-Communist Mentality." In Jawlowska, Aldona & Kempny Marian, eds. Cultural Dilemmas of Post-Communist Societies.  Warsaw: IfiS Publishers, 1994.
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