Peeling back the Iron Curtain: Rare glimpse into the former Soviet Union's Communist regime reveals how leaders enjoyed a life of luxury as workers toiled for a pittance

Mail Online | 2/24/2018 | Danny Buckland For The Daily Mail
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A rare glimpse into the dark heart of the former Soviet Union's Communist regime has revealed how party leaders enjoyed luxury conditions while the workers toiled for a pittance.

The two administration blocks of the giant Nowa Huta steelworks have been frozen in time from an era where Cold War paranoia gripped the Soviet bloc and inequality raged behind closed doors.

Vladimir - Lenin - Workers - Tonnes - Steel

At it's peak, the former Vladimir Lenin works employed 40,000 faithful workers and produced 6.7 billion tonnes of steel a year to propel the East's arms and space race with the West.

The site, which measures 15 square kilometres and once had five blast furnaces thundering in union, was built next to a Socialist dream suburb in Krakow, Poland, which was then under the iron grip of the Kremlin.

Decades - Secrecy - Opening - Steelworks - Redundant

But, after decades of secrecy, the recent opening of the steelworks' redundant offices has laid bare the false premise of utilitarian communism and how their social experiment failed as the people of Krakow rebelled against their leaders.

Blocks Z and S, which stand guard are at the entrance to the sprawling works – which is still functioning with one furnace producing industrial rather than military supplies – look identical but the Daily Mail was granted an exclusive tour to witness the sharp contrast between the workers and their leaders.

Workers - Block - Level - Officials - Administration

While the workers' block, for low level officials and administration, is dour and functional, Block Z – the initial of the Polish word for management – is an ostentatious temple to power.

A three-metre long chandelier, complete with 120 light bulbs, hangs decadently from an art deco ceiling in the main conference room which has enough leather backed chairs for up to 100 delegates.

Floor - Ceiling - Windows - Gaze - Gardens

The seven-metre floor to ceiling windows afford a gaze of ornamental gardens and the wood panelled walls are hand-crafted and burnished to an elegant finish....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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