Ziggi witnessed Soviet' occupation during Cold War
I purchased the book “Slaying the Soviet Beast..” expecting, that I will find in it the stories similar to those I personally experienced in the east communist system, and I was not disappointed. I would like to add, that I was faced myself with the odd stories, as if taken from criminal.
A good friend of my was a farmer. It took him a few years to create a big farm producing pigs for meat. He developed his pig farm gradually, step by step. At certain time moment the communist authorities obligated him to produce for the government and imposed the upper limit on his manufacturing power. He could not produce more than predicted in the contract. As soon a I remember, the contract amounted to 1000 pigs a year, but the farmer manufactured 2500 pigs! Unfortunately, the communist government did not want to buy the excess 1500 pigs. The farmer had two options: to kill most sows or sell his pigs to private dealers. He chose the second, and everything would be fine if not the tax office asking him for tax from all pigs he sold. Unfortunately, the farmer could not document his production in excess of the contract, required by law, so, the bureaucrats imposed on him the surtax. The surtax amounted to ten times the contract value and was so high, that his farm bankrupted. The farmer never managed to rebuilt his farm. He lost his health and after three years of heavy depression got cancer and passed away.
Curiosity of the situation relied on the fact, that at that time meat was rationed in Poland, because the communist government was not able to produce meat for the market demand.
Communist central planning, described in the book, does not work to satisfy the hunger of citizens, but to control people by keeping them hungry and making communists necessary to ration food.
Officially, the communism in Poland ended in 1990s. Early years 2000s come and my distant cousin become a President of a small company trading coal. The owner was a man knowing the market well, so that the company was developing fast gaining new clients, including sales to countries located south. Everything was coming well, good contracts, reliable buyers, big turnovers.
One day, however, my cousin come to work and noticed the owner accompanying by four other man. This would not look strange if my cousin did not notice pistols sticking from under the jackets of the strangers. The scene appeared not a regular crime attack, but a visit by special government forces. The officers did not have specific charges, but wanted to check whether the company operates legally. For that purpose, they took all computers, company documents, contracts, invoices, and arrested the owner for thorough interrogations- as they declared- to acquire testimonies.
After a month the owner the owner was released, the President was not interrogated. In the prison the owner learned, that he was selling coal on the territory of one of big generals of special secret forces. General’s companies also operated there. General used special government forces for his private advantage, what was feasible thanks to the fact that special communist forces were never dissolved. Only the appearances changed.
As I learned, the owner was released after the communist general took from him all profitable contracts. This way the bloodless transition of Poland into capitalism took place, described in the book.