7 things that betrayed wealthy people in the USSR

  • Sep 08, 2022
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7 things that betrayed wealthy people in the USSR

It is difficult for today's youth to imagine that there were times when there was a meager assortment in stores. products, many goods were in short supply, and you had to get the desired thing through friends or speculators. However, there were people who could afford to live in grand style. Novate.ru tells by what things it was possible to determine that a wealthy person is standing in front of you.

1. Scarce products

Huge queues lined up for sausages. Photo: newsland.com
Huge queues lined up for sausages. / Photo: newsland.com
Huge queues lined up for sausages. / Photo: newsland.com

In the Soviet Union, the status of a person and his position in society could be judged not so much by salary, but by scarce products. Few could afford good sausage, cheese, expensive alcohol or sweets. Usually the category of lucky ones included the military, scientists, diplomats, party workers, etc. They bought those goods that were not available to ordinary Soviet citizens. So, for example, if the products could not be bought in a store, party workers used special catalogs. They contained everything from caviar to expensive fish. At times, such products were even used as bribes. Another proof of this is the events shown in the TV series "Patient Zero". One of the heroes of the picture, Moscow journalist Igor, takes scarce goods with him to the children's hospital in order to “appease” his interlocutors if necessary. And for a few packs of tights, he even gets a hotel room. Out of turn.

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2. Apartments and cottages

An example of a typical Soviet Khrushchev. / Photo: popcornnews.ru
An example of a typical Soviet Khrushchev. / Photo: popcornnews.ru

Another measure of a successful and rich life was their own apartments. You can say that the state gave them away for free, and this is true. It's just that not everyone was in line. People could wait years for their housing, and end up with nothing. But who definitely did not threaten to remain homeless was party workers. They were given apartments in Stalinist houses, and some even had luxurious dachas, in which, if desired, one could live all year round. This is what the classic representatives of the Soviet elite looked like.

3. Life

The furniture wall was filled with the most valuable things. / Photo: tempusliberum.ru
The furniture wall was filled with the most valuable things. / Photo: tempusliberum.ru

Diverse and high-quality furniture, as well as a color TV in the living room, immediately indicated the privileged position of the owner of the apartment. It was customary to go to visit to see your favorite picture together. Since the inhabitants of the USSR were used to watching black and white films, films in color made an indelible impression on them. So it turns out that the Horizont TV became a symbol of the prosperity of the 80s of the last century.

Also, the dream of many Soviet people was a colorful woolen carpet on the floor and a crystal service in a sideboard, on which it was impossible to even breathe, let alone use. And given that it was not easy to get them (most often expensive things were received “by pull”), they were inherited. Another desirable thing is a furniture wall. Soviet people did not gravitate toward minimalism, associating it with poverty, so a massive wall with a bookcase, a bar, a set of glass fish in a sideboard and other "goodies" came in handy, being a symbol of prosperity and well-being. I was not even scared by the fact that when moving to disassemble and assemble the wall, it took at least a few hours, and a maximum of the whole day.

Interesting fact: Another nuance by which it was possible to determine that a person occupies not the last place in society is the presence of nannies, housekeepers and cooks. Usually people for housework were hired by artists, officials and professors.

4. Trendy clothes and shoes

Fashion clothes on the shop window. / Photo: marieclaire.ru
Fashion clothes on the shop window. / Photo: marieclaire.ru

It was also possible to determine the solvency of a person by his clothes. In the aforementioned series "Patient Zero" there was an illustrative scene related to the fact that they are "meet by clothes." Looking at the main character of the picture, the two girls discussed what his status is. One said that the man was a "scoop", the other said that he was a "firm". And the second girl turned out to be right - loafers and a raincoat, which the main character was wearing, betrayed him with a head of fashion. But only wealthy residents of the Soviet Union or foreign tourists could afford to wear such clothes, which were radically different from the wardrobe of the average person.

In Soviet times, however, as now, clothing was a field for self-expression. Take at least good jeans - they could only be obtained through speculators at a very high price. But no one spared money, because the purchased thing allowed them to stand out from the crowd and loudly declare their status. For the Soviet youth it was very important. The details of the image were no less appreciated. We are talking not only about various accessories, such as jewelry, but also lighters and good foreign filter cigarettes. It was possible to buy them only abroad, but the way there was far from open for everyone.

5. Appliances

Popular washing machine "Vyatka". / Photo: wfido.ru
Popular washing machine "Vyatka". / Photo: wfido.ru

Previously, our mothers and grandmothers used a special corrugated board for washing clothes. It is clear that everything had to be done manually, and the process itself was long, difficult and painful. Therefore, when the first washing machines appeared, every housewife dreamed of getting it for her use. And those who did not have enough connections to purchase household appliances were terribly envious of those who were lucky enough to become owners of a washing machine. The most popular was the Vyatka model. In the 80s, it was considered scarce and was given only to the “chosen ones”.

Another thing, for which, in the truest sense of the word, you had to stand in line, is a landline phone. Even in the 80s, not everyone had the device, because the queue had an unpleasant property to last several years. But if a person had the necessary connections, then the process could be accelerated. This is how, by the presence of a telephone, it was determined that people belong to a privileged stratum of society.

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6. Vacation abroad or in a sanatorium

In the USSR, one could get a ticket to a sanatorium. / Photo: etoretro.ru
In the USSR, one could get a ticket to a sanatorium. / Photo: etoretro.ru

Now it costs nothing to order a ticket and go for a week or two to Turkey, Egypt or any other foreign country. But in Soviet times, it was almost impossible to spend a vacation abroad. Business trips were the only way to see the world, and scientists, athletes, actors, engineers, business leaders and other highly qualified specialists usually went there. People did not waste time in vain, and on trips they usually bought various imported goods. Returning to their homeland, they either kept them (to demonstrate high status), or sold them at exorbitant prices, or used them as a valuable gift.

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7. Automobile

The ultimate dream of Soviet citizens was the Volga. / Photo: automanezh.ru
The ultimate dream of Soviet citizens was the Volga. / Photo: automanezh.ru

Another sign of luxury is your own vehicle. At one time, the VAZ-2101 was considered the coolest car, but the Volga was the pinnacle of wealth. If an apartment could be obtained from the state, then it took many years to save up for a car. The lineup was very limited, the prices were biting, and no one canceled the queue. Therefore, the car demonstrated either the presence of money and connections, or the titanic perseverance of its owner.

And read the article about
5 closed cities of the Soviet Union, and what they produced there
Source:
https://novate.ru/blogs/160622/63255/