Socialist Fixtures

by Nathan Hamm on 1/5/2005 · 7 comments

You’ll recognize the above image if you’ve spent any amount of time in the former Soviet Union. Little did I know these porcelain monstrosities are present in Germany too. I guess it makes sense though. I especially would never have guessed at the reason for such hideous construction.

Click to image for details.

(h/t Screenhead)


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 7 comments }

Tatyana January 6, 2005 at 12:58 pm

Well, apparently, not ALL who lived in SU – not me, f.ex. I’ve never seen this one, thankfully.
And according to this [old] post+comments @ Samizdata, it is rather German/Dutch phenomenon than Socialist.

Nathan January 6, 2005 at 1:07 pm

Good. I can definitely blame this on Germans now.

I can’t be certain, but I think I remember this design in Yakutsk and Khabarovsk. I certainly never saw this design in Germany. Every newer toilet I’ve seen in the former USSR was of proper design.

That Japanese design reminds me of the Turkish ones, which could occasionally be found in Uzbekistan. Just a porcelain lined hole in the ground is all it is.

Tatyana January 6, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Hmm, on a second look – you might combine the too (German+ Socialist): after the War, many things in SU were designed/produced by captured Germans; f.ex, they built raw of houses in the city where my grandparents lived, in Southern Ukraine, and their fireplace design was the envy of all neighbors…

Nathan January 6, 2005 at 1:52 pm

Japanese soldiers built Hotel Tashkent, and, I’m told, many other buildings in Tashkent were built by them. German POW work-crews found time amidst their labors to plant pine trees in the shape of a swastika outside a village on the Naryn river (a few hours upstream from Naryn city) after the war.

Tatyana January 6, 2005 at 2:23 pm

For whose eyes? “Higher Justice’s”?

Nathan January 6, 2005 at 2:40 pm

Forgot to mention, it was on a hillside. I guess they considered it a time-delayed act of resistance. The Kyrgyz left it out of ambivalence (which is pretty common when it comes to all things Nazi in Central Asia, I noticed).

Mark Hamm January 8, 2005 at 12:31 pm

What a fun article! Is ‘Sitzpinkle’ a real German word? As you know I solve the problem by going outside (only pee). I’ve always wanted a high tech Japanese toilet but a German toilet with a scale would be cool.

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