During much of the Cold War, physical escape from countries in the East Bloc was a near impossible act. There remained, however, possibilities for other socialist escapes, particularly time away from party ideology and the mundane routines of everyday life. The essays in this volume examine sites of socialist escapes, such as beaches, camp sites, nightclubs, concerts, castles, cars, and soccer matches. The chapters explore the effectiveness of state efforts to engineer society through leisure, entertainment, and related forms of cultural programming and consumption, as it was in leisure and tourism that the party's intentions encountered Eigen-Sinn, the pursuit of individual interests. This volume leads to a deeper understanding of state - society relations in the East Bloc, where the state did not simply "dictate from above" and inhabitants had some opportunities to shape solidarities, identities, and meaning.
Cathleen M. Giustino is Professor of History at Auburn University where she teaches courses on modern Central and Eastern European history. Catherine J. Plum is Associate Professor of History at Western New England University where she teaches courses on modern European and German history. Alexander Vari is Associate Professor of Modern European History at Marywood University.
Preface with Acknowledgments List of Figures INTRODUCTION Chapter 1. Escaping the Monotony of Everyday Life under Socialism Alexander Vari CONCERT HALLS AND ESTATE MUSEUMS Chapter 2. Instrumentalizing Entertainment and Education: Early Cold War Music Festivals in East Germany and Poland David Tompkins Chapter 3. Open Gates and Wandering Minds: Codes, Castles, and Chateaux in Socialist Czechoslovakia before 1960 Cathleen M. Giustino CABINS IN THE WOODS Chapter 4. Encountering Poland's "Wild West": Tourism in the Bieszczady Mountains under Socialism Patrice M. Dabrowski Chapter 5. Summer Camp for Socialists: Conformity and Escapism at Camp Mitschurin in East Germany Catherine J. Plum BEACH PARTIES Chapter 6. From the Party to the Beach Party: Nudism and Artistic Expression in the People's Republic of Romania Irina Costache Chapter 7. Smoke and Beers: Touristic Escapes and Places to Party in Socialist Bulgaria, 1956-1976 Mary Neuburger ROADSIDE ADVENTURES AND BRIGHT CITY LIGHTS Chapter 8. Hitchhikers' Paradise: The Intersection of Mass Mobility, Consumer Demand, and Ideology in the People's Republic of Poland Mark Keck-Szajbel Chapter 9. Nocturnal Entertainments, Five-Star Hotels, and Youth Counterculture: Re-Inventing Budapest's Nightlife under Socialism Alexander Vari SPORTS AND STADIA Chapter 10. Getting off Track in East Germany: Adolescent Motorcycle Fans and Honecker's Consumer Socialism Caroline Fricke Chapter 11. Power at Play: Soccer Stadiums and Popular Culture in 1980s Romania Florin Poenaru CONCLUSION Chapter 12. Escapes and Other Border Crossings in Socialist Eastern Europe Cathleen M. Giustino Selected Bibliography Notes on Contributors Index