Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Sawicki, Jakub

Jakub Sawicki, M. A.

PhD Student in East European History


Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Maria-Theresia-Straße 21
81675 München

Doctoral Project

Esskulturen im modernen Nachkriegseuropa. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Deutsche Demokratische Republik und Volksrepublik Polen 1965-1975 im Vergleich

Food Cultures in Modern Post-war Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Federal Republic of Germany, German Democratic Republic and People's Republic of Poland 1965-1975

Eating as an activity belongs to the everyday life of each human being and is, therefore, a classic topic of anthropology. Seen from the historical perspective, questions such as where, what and how was eaten develop fields of research in the historical sub-disciplines regarding everyday life, culture, consumption, transfer, migration and gender. Focusing on the three basic questions where, what and how was eaten, this Ph.D. project offers a comparative analysis of three Central European States, namely the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), German Democratic Republic (GDR) and People’s Republic of Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL) during the years 1965-1975. Questions such as “Why did the Western Germans suddenly start eating Pizza?, Was the raise of egg-consumption in the GDR motivated by politico-economic reasons? and Where and what was eaten in the PRL as a common lunch?” shall be answered with the aim of examining the daily behavior patterns of the broader levels of the population. To minimize universal typifications this study focuses on the perspective and the expectations of the contemporaries during the period 1965-1975. This enables the comparison of the socio-economic asymmetries between the rising FRG and the socialistic GDR and PRL, which were both suffering under system-based shortages, without neglecting the political and economical differences between the three states. Crossing the "iron curtain", the daily processes shall be compared and examined, asking which developments were due to system-based, civilizing or cultural-traditional effects. Despite the establishment of new and different political and social orders the FRG, GDR and PRL experienced the same changes including urbanization, industrialization of the food production and an internationalization of the food habits. The decade from 1965-1975 is special as it is not characterized, as the years before and after that, by the popular contrast of wealth and shortages. In all three states considered in this study, the first post-war generation reached adulthood during the 1960s. They were the first ones to be born and raised within the new borders and socialized in the new political systems. The food habits of this generation are an important base to examine the change and the continuity of traditional food habits in the frame of the cultural development during this time period. The following leading questions shall frame this study: To what extent were the post-war founded socio-economic structures of the three states responsible for the respective food habits? In what way did changing gender roles influence the food habits in the respective societies? How did experiences of tourism and immigration impact the food habits of FRG, GDR and PRL?

Please also see an overview of his project in the Graduate School's Newsletter Nr. 7, Wintersemester 2016/17.

Curriculum Vitae

Born 1980 in Lublin (Poland). 2004-2011 Studies of History, East European History and Political Science at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg/Germany and Adam-Mickiewicz-University Poznań/Poland. Magister-Thesis: "The Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science in the People's Republic of Poland Public View." 2011-2013, project manager, speaker, translator, interpreter and language mediator in Germany and Poland. Since January 2014 Ph.D. student at LMU Munich conducting a project on the topic: "Food Cultures in Modern Post-war Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Federal Republic of Germany, German Democratic Republic and People's Republic of Poland 1965-1975." (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Schulze Wessel). Doctoral candidate at the Graduate School and fellow of the German-Polish doctoral program "Poland and Germany in Modern Europe".

Positions, Assignments and Memberships


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Trzy biografie, jeden instytut i praktyczna nauka o żywieniu. Instytut Żywności i Żywienia w Warszawie w latach
1963–1975 na tle tendencji w RFN i NRD [Three biographies, one Institute, applied Nutrition. Food and
Nutrition Institute in Warsaw in the years 1963-1975 and the developments in the GDR and the FRG]. In:
Justyna Żychlińsk / Anetta Głowacka-Penczyńska (eds.): Apetyt na jedzenie (Apetite for food), Bydgoszcz 2018, pp. 281-298.

Der Warschauer Kultur- und Wissenschaftspalast in der polnischen Öffentlichkeit. Eine historisierende Verortung des größten Hauses Polens vor und nach 1989. In: Arnold Bartetzky / Christian Dietz /Jörg Haspe (eds.): Von der Ablehnung zur Aneignung? Das architektonische Erbe des Sozialismus in Mittel- und Osteuropa, Köln 2014, pp. 127–140.


Justyna Straczuk / Zbigniew Karpiński / Henryk Domański / Dariusz Przybysz: Wzory jedzenia a struktura społeczna, Warszawa 2016. In:, 01.02.2017. URL:

Further Publications

With Laura Hölzlwimmer: Wolhynien im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Wie der Film „Wołyń“ den polnisch-ukrainischen Erinnerungskonflikt in die breite Öffentlichkeit trug. In: Erinnerungskulturen. Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik im östlichen und südöstlichen Europa, 12.10.2018. URL:

With Clemens Villinger: Tagungsbericht: Supply in everyday life – Everyday life in supply in the 20th
Century, 16.10.2017 – 17.10.2017 Warschau. In: H-Soz-Kult, 27.03.2018. URL:

Interview für das "Arbeitsblatt 5: Ein schwieriges Verhältnis – Warschau und der Kulturpalast" für das Landeskunde-Modul "Warschau/Warszawa: Eine Stadt mit vielen Gesichtern" (2017) auf dem Portal "Polen in der Schule" des Deutschen Polen-Instituts.