Food Rationing

Food Ration Cards (chicken)

Here is a quote about rationing in Timisoara from The Washington Post by writer Mary Battiata titled “How Romania’s Bloody Revolution got its Start in Timisoara” 12/31/1989

“Until recently the city had a slightly higher standard of living than the rest of the country. For years, a citizen here could get a pound more meat a month than Romanians elsewhere. That changed in October, when for the first time in Banat (the state) meat, eggs and salami were rationed, along with the already restricted supplies of butter and flour. That was bad enough, people said, but the cards were no guarantee that people would get food. People began to stand in lines from 5 to fifteen hours to collect their allotments of meat, only to find there was none. But people here knew the region was producing enough to feed them. on the outskirts of Timisoara is the largest pork processing plant in Central Europe. There are large bread bakeries and other food plants. Workers handle these foods bound for export, all day long. Then they return home to find the shops empty and nothing to eat.

Besides food, electricity and gas were also rationed. Ceausescu’s goal in this was to pay down the $11 billion dollar debt by exporting goods. The full repayment was accomplished shortly before his death. The palace cost 3.4 billion dollars alone while it is thought 10,000 children died of malnutrition during this harsh austerity begun in 1981.

Published by Eric Sorlien

I am 51 and live in Philadelphia USA. I traveled to Romania about 30 years ago and I remember it still.

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