Poland under Communism: A Cold War History

Poland under Communism: A Cold War History

A. Kemp-Welch

Language: English

Pages: 457


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book was the first English-language history of Poland from the Second World War until the fall of Communism. Using a wide range of Polish archives and unpublished sources in Moscow and Washington, Tony Kemp-Welch integrates the Cold War history of diplomacy and inter-state relations with the study of domestic opposition and social movements. His key themes encompass political, social and economic history; the Communist movement and its relations with the Soviet Union; and the broader East-West context with particular attention to US policies. The book concludes with a first-hand account of how Solidarity formed the world's first post-Communist government in 1989 as the Polish people demonstrated what can be achieved by civic courage against apparently insuperable geo-strategic obstacles. This compelling new account will be essential reading for anyone interested in Polish history, the Communist movement and the course of the Cold War.

Trotsky for Beginners















and west’. This would be finalised at a later peace conference. The future of formerly Nazi-occupied areas, and above all the shape of the government of Poland, proved more contentious. Underlying discussion was the fact of the Red Army’s presence in both the Balkans and substantial areas of Eastern and Central Europe. The conference began with Soviet armies seventy miles from Berlin. Given that Sovietisation was also being imposed in these areas, to question their future governance seemed

special features because of these mistakes.’ Such misunderstandings and estrangement had led to the Yugoslav situation of 1948–9 and the recent happenings in Poland and Hungary. The demands from these two countries for democracy, independence and equality were ‘completely proper’.75 This appeared to be an explicit endorsement of polycentrism. However, in conversation afterwards, Mao drew a clear distinction between the Polish and Hungarian uprisings: ‘The Party led in Poland. In Hungary, the goal

Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all the famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high, and in some cases, increasing, measure of control from Moscow.30 The old doctrine of the balance of power was thus unsound. Not only were communist parties and their lackeys imposing their regimes across

1956 (11–12). C. Bobrowski, Jugosławia socjalistyczna (Warsaw, 1957); W. Brus and S. Jakubowicz, System jugosłowian´ski z bliska (Warsaw, 1957). I. Deutscher, ‘Post-Stalin Ferment of Ideas’ in Heretics and Renegades (London, 1955), p. 211. Stagnation 135 During October 1956, new options had indeed opened up. The choices were put with great clarity in Kołakowski’s article ‘Intellectuals and the Communist Movement’, published in the Party monthly. It appeared to herald a new dawn. Communism had

violations of socialist legality that took place in the past.’ They had no objection to a more rational economy or to improved relations between Czechs and Slovaks. However, ‘we cannot agree to hostile forces pushing 89 90 91 Literarni listy, 27 June 1968. Navra´til (ed.), The Prague Spring 1968, pp. 194–8 (4 July 1968). Garlicki and Paczkowski (eds.), Zaciskanie pe˛tli, pp. 120–7. 92 Ibid. pp. 132–7. 168 Poland under Communism your country from the socialist path and threatening to tear

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