5 Vacatio Politics, Vacatio Freedom
The article analyses the leisure time in the People’s Republic of Poland as the expression of egalitarising politics of the authorities, and the worker’s vacation as place for systemic solutions and area of propaganda operations. It shows how the manner of holidaying was changing from the collective one in the 1940s and 50s, through the more active individual tourism of the 1960s, all the way to the camp sites crowded with tents and trailers in the 1970s and 80s. Leisure as a form of subordination to the totalitarian politics of the authorities, and with time, the pursuit of independence and personal freedom. The text also describes the most popular products of tourist industry of the People’s Republic of Poland: the “Maratony” shoes of the innovative Podhale manufacturer, iconic “Mikro 2” tent of the Technical and Tourist Equipment Plants in Legionowo, as well as the immortal, still produced, Niewiadów N-126 trailer, designed by Janusz Zygadlewicz.
In the People’s Republic of Poland, tourism and leisure were centrally-planned and rationalised by the state. The citizen’s working time and free time were under control: vacation, but worker’s, travels, but organised. Even such products as bicycles, backpacks, tents, kayaks, skis – tourist equipment – were accredited by assortment commissions and entered into production based on political decisions.
Keywords: tourism of People’s Republic of Poland, organisation of tourism in People’s Republic of Poland, tourist equipment, leisure and propaganda, organised vacations