Penicillin behind the Iron Curtain, 1945-1954
Publisher: Warsaw: Aspra JR 2020
PL / ENG
The “Welfare Factory” recounts the story of what was most probably the most significant relief operation provided by UNRRA to European countries ravaged by WWII. Six of them, including Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia, each received one fully equipped penicillin factory. The donated factories were outdated by the time assembly was completed because equipment deliveries were delayed. Due to eroding international relations on the brink of the Cold War, efforts by countries behind the Iron Curtain to acquire newer equipment fell through. The World Health Organization’s intervention was similarly fruitless, so Poland and other communist states left its ranks. This story is presented from the perspectives of both the givers, i.e. international organizations and the nations that supported them, and the beneficiaries, i.e. the governments and societies of the countries receiving aid. It also offers a voice to intermediaries: foreign experts and local specialists who collaborate with them. The integration of these three views is essential not just for a more accurate reconstruction and a more thorough understanding of events. It also offers a chance to acquire a better understanding of the mechanisms that continue to hinder international aid delivery, particularly when sophisticated medical, scientific, and technological expertise is involved.
Paperbacks and ebooks can be purchased from various online bookstores, including https://bonito.pl/produkt/fabryka-z-darow
Łotysz, Sławomir. Fabryka z darów. Penicylina za żelazną kurtyną 1945-1954. Warsaw: Aspra JR, 2020.
This research was funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, under grant number 2014/13/B/HS3/04951 [read more].