Summer Vacation in the People’s Republic of Poland
Vacationing in the People’s Republic of Poland mostly took place within the nation’s borders. Until the 1980s obtaining a passport was a difficult task, so most people simply traveled to different areas of Poland. Once passports were easier to access people mainly traveled within the Eastern Bloc to places such as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, or Bulgaria, and combined rest time with making a little bit of money by selling goods abroad. In theory, vacations were supposed to be an organized mass endeavor, however in reality things didn’t always work this way. Following the war Fundusz Wczasów Pracowniczych (Foundation for the Worker’s Vacation) was established. Its main source were buildings confiscated from private owners and redesigned into lodging facilities. Aside from the FWP houses there were institutions owned by individual places of employment (also belonging to the government). The ruling elite had access to much better accommodations, and the most luxurious ones were built in Łańsk i Arłamowo. In the 1960s city dwellers begin to escape to the countryside and were hosted by villagers in their homes. Kids were sent to summer camps, although those residing in rural areas almost always stayed at home to help with the harvest season. The few who could afford it built or bought summer homes. (source)
At the beach in Sopot, 1965.
Camping ground in Sopot, 1980.
At the beach.
"Warszawianka" pool, Warsaw, 1976.
Suwalszczyzna, 1972, tourists marching down a country road.
Bełchatowo, 1982, a family on a “recreational plot” (small section of land bought by city inhabitants where they could garden or vacation). In the background an old train car used as a vacation home.
Fishing in Mikołajki, 1967.
Kids during summer camp, 1982.
Parents wave goodbye to their children going away to camp, Warsaw, 1960.