Notes from a Hungarian diary, May 18, 1950

EDAC’s Hungarian member Gergely Kunt sent us this fragment from a diary written in May 1950. The author is Gyula Császár, who was a medical student then and whose father was a shopkeeper. Below is a translation in English.

1950. május 18. csütörtök
Az üzlet fenntartása már csak ezért is nehézségekbe ütközik, mivel nem kapni, húst, krumplit, tejet, kávét, vajat stb. de mindenesetre sorba kell állni érte, és az ki legyen? Egyszóval lehetetlenség üzletet vezetni, meg van bénítva a kiskereskedelem, így a kisipar sem funkcionálhat. Mindent monopolizál a Közért, válogatás lehetősége nélkül tömegek állnak emiatt sorba, s amellett az ellátás is igen kevés és rossz, mivel mindent meg kell venni. Nagy hiányosságok vannak élelmiszerellátás terén, de a gazdasági életünkben is. A gyárak nem prosperálnak, nincs nyersanyag, munkaversenyekbe hajszolják, ingyen dolgoztatják a munkásokat. Újabban sokat írnak a bércsaládokról; a panamázás, anyagi kártevés a vállalatvezetők révén mindennapi stb… Sokat lehetne erről írni, de nem érdemes. Hazugság most az egész élet. Kész cirkusz, amit csinálnak. Legújabb volt a békealáírások gyűjtése. Jómagam kétszer, mások jóval többször is aláírták az íveket. Mindezt azzal a felkiáltással, hogy így hozzájárulunk a béke megvédéshez. Ha az így igaz, akkor mindig béke lesz!

Translation:

May 18, 1950. Thursday
Maintaining our business is rather difficult as it is, since we cannot get any meat, potatoes, milk, coffee, butter, etc. At any rate, we would have to stand in line for these, but who should be the one to do that? In other words, it is impossible to run a business. Retail trade has been crippled, which means that the small-scale industries cannot function, either. Everything is being monopolized by the Municipal Food Trade Company, which leaves the masses with no choice but to stand in line, while the provisions themselves are rather scarce and of bad quality, since we have to buy everything. There are great deficiencies in food supplies, but also in our economic lives. Factories do not prosper when there is a lack of raw materials, while workers are forced into workplace competitions and unpaid labor. Recently, a lot has been written about wage fraud, or how racketeering and material injury are commonplace among company directors. One could write a lot more about this, but it is not worth writing about. Our entire life is a lie right now. The things people do these days are utterly ridiculous. Most recently, there was the collection of peace signatures. I myself have signed these petitions twice, while others did so several times more, claiming that by doing this, we contributed to the defense of the peace. If this were true, there would always be peace!


Why did we choose extracts from the middle of the year 1950?

In May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made a programmatic statement concerning the pooling of French and German coal and steel production. The so-called Schuman Plan proved to be the most important basis for the process of European integration, which enables us today to quite naturally work together on a European level.

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