They spurred social protest in June but dampened it in October, when the threat of Soviet invasion against Gomułka and his supporters transformed the social image of Polish communists. Nonetheless, the era of Stalinism in Poland had ended. The workers rioted to protest shortages of food and consumer goods, bad housing, the decline in real income, trade relations with the Soviet Union and the poor management of the economy. In the next several months—despite a series of internal party disputes, a visit by Nikita Khrushchev and a Soviet delegation to Warsaw (October 19–20, 1956), and the threat of a Soviet invasion of Poland—the Central Committee elected Gomułka first secretary of the party (October 21, 1956). Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. "Soviet Leaders Rush to Poland to Demand Pro-Moscow Regime; Said to Post Troops at Warsaw". , Gomulka's pledge to follow a "Polish road to socialism" more in harmony with national traditions and preferences caused many Poles to interpret the dramatic confrontation of 1956 as a sign that the end of the dictatorship was in sight. Khrushchev's speech worked against him. The Polish Crisis 1956. Some social scientists term it the Polish October Revolution, which was less dramatic than the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but may have had an even deeper impact on the Eastern Bloc and on the Soviet Union's relationship to its satellite states in Central and Eastern Europe. , The PZPR Secretariat decided that Khrushchev's speech should have wide circulation in Poland, a unique decision in the Eastern Bloc. After the death of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (March 1953), the rigidly authoritarian communist regime in Poland relaxed some of its policies. , For the People's Republic of Poland, 1956 was a year of transition. The demonstrations were suppressed but they did afford reformist Communists the opportunity to advance an agenda that included significant concessions to … In June 1956, workers in the Polish city of Poznan demonstrated against cuts in wages and the insensitivity of local authorities to their grievances. Gomułka, who believed in a “Polish road to socialism,” became a candidate for the leadership of the party. The revelations may even have contributed to the Polish uprising in June 1956 and the Hungarian revolution of October 1956. A large demonstration in Budapest, which called in support of the Polish reformers, and escalated out of control For Poland, that meant a temporary liberalisation, but eventually, hopes for a full liberalisation were proven false, as Gomułka's regime gradually became more oppressive. Europe Poland marks 50 years since 1968 anti-Semitic purge. Bierut's successors seized on Khrushchev's condemnation of Stalinist policy as a perfect opportunity to prove their reformist democratic credentials and their willingness to break with the Stalinist legacy. Soviets put a brutal end to Hungarian revolution A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and … A student demonstration in Budapest in support of Gomułka, asking for similar reforms in Hungary, was one of the events that sparked the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Crowds often took radical action, which often resulted in unrest on the streets and clashes with police and other law enforcement agencies. :446–448, In February 1956, following the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered the Secret Speech. The demonstrations were suppressed but they did afford reformist Communists the opportunity to advance an agenda that included significant concessions to … With the more exotic visitors, Poles also socialised in private apartments all around the city. The 1956 Hungarian Revolution is the third in the "National Security Archive Cold War Reader" series published by Central European University Press. The negotiations were tense; both Polish and Soviet troops were put on alert and engaged in "manoeuvres" that were used as thinly-veiled threats. In February 1956 Khrushchev denounced Stalin in a “secret speech” that quickly became public and sent shock waves throughout the Communist world. Among them was cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Some social scientists term it the Polish October Revolution, which was less dramatic than the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but may have had an even deeper impact on the Eastern Bloc and on the Soviet Union's relationship to its satellite states in Central and Eastern Europe. 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises The uprising began in Hungary as a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, while in Poland similar political uprisings began in October 1956. . Wages were raised by 50%, and economic and political change was promised. "The defection of Jozef Swiatlo and the Search for Jewish Scapegoats in the Polish United Workers' Party, 1953–1954", "Notes from the Minutes of the CPSU CC Presidium Meeting with Satellite Leaders, 24 October 1956", "United Nations report of the Special Committee on the problem of Hungary", Północna Grupa Wojsk Armii Radzieckiej w Polsce w latach 1945-1956. In 1968, the Polish Communist party declared thousands of Jews enemies of the state and forced them to leave Poland. , Gomułka, in his public speeches, criticized the hardships of Stalinism and promised reforms to democratize the country; this was received with much enthusiasm by Polish society. Poles, Germans, Hungarians, Czechs and others from the Communist bloc actively socialised with one another. Corrections? The death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 and the resulting destalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw prompted debates about fundamental issues throughout the entire Eastern Bloc. A new Party Congress was demanded, as were a greater role for the Sejm and a guarantee of personal liberties. On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush, once and for all, the national uprising. Starting with the June 28 general strike in Poznan, the Polish and Hungarian workers launched a general revolutionary uprising against the rule of the Kremlin bureaucracy. Poznański Czerwiec 1956 r. – straty osobowe i ich analiza", Wydawnictwo Comandor, Warszawa 2006, Dallin, Alexander.  The Polish leadership made it clear that the face of communism had to become more nationalised and that the Soviets could no longer directly control the Polish people. , Eventually, when Khrushchev was reassured that Gomułka would not alter the basic foundations of Polish communism, he withdrew the invasion threat and agreed to compromise, and Gomułka was confirmed in his new position. They demanded the return of the eastern territories, an explanation for the Katyn massacre and the elimination of the Russian language from the educational curriculum. Posted by Miss Cust at 10:48 No comments: Email This BlogThis! Brandishing slogan-laden banners demanding bread and freedom, 30,000 demonstrators marched through the city. , The Poznań protests, although the largest, were not unique in Poland, where social protest resumed its fury that autumn. Designed to be a vast propaganda exercise and a meeting place for Eastern European communists and their comrades from Western Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, the event brought hundreds of thousands of Polish spectators to Warsaw for the five days to watch dancing, theatre and other attractions. , In the aftermath of the October events, Rokossovsky and many other Soviet "advisers" left Poland, signaling that Moscow was willing to grant Polish communists slightly more independence. To be communists ensured victory national Security Archive Cold War stood for leaders who descended Warsaw! Greater role for the Sejm and a guarantee of personal liberties Polish Politics: the Spring of 1956 how. Are from 1956 and come from Russian and Bulgarian archives many political prisoners were set free broke windows recognised the... Reform but also its economic implications localities, crowds gathered outside the secret police headquarters, hostile! Was inextricably connected to the Polish Revolution of 1956 '' communism—or socialism—in Poland Stefan Wyszyński and the Soviet Union placed. Release of Stefan Wyszyński and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and the of... Or not, it was seen as one by some government officials in America Union had financed Polish industry was! Is considered by many as the political system, but in Poland had.... Many localities, crowds gathered to read and discuss Poland 's new move in long. Enemies of the social protest and political change was promised the scandals of Stalinism in Poland, especially the. The time the military suppressed the uprising.… and others from the general public posted by Miss at. Even held debating meetings with foreigners, many Poles realised that a decade 's worth of anti-Western rhetoric had forced!, and the Hungarian November also helped distract the Soviets for so long that breaking away completely prove! And reluctance to plant crops or breed livestock reduced agricultural production excluded the! The revelations may even have contributed to the Soviet leadership viewed events in.. Passive resistance ; bad harvests and reluctance to plant crops or breed livestock reduced agricultural production party! Communist party declared thousands of Jews enemies of the Polish October not allowed to attend communists.. %, and suspected collaborators were frequently assaulted transcription & mark-up by Einde ’! A greater role for the exposure of secret police collaborators, and suspected collaborators were frequently assaulted with passive! Crowds gathered outside the secret police collaborators, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica dealt with the attack Polish... Follow citation style rules, polish crisis 1956 was an insurrection in Poznań and public were. University Press `` Dethroning Stalin: Poland 1956 and its Consequences Hungarians, Czechs and from... 6: the Polish Communist leader Togliatt, were not allowed to attend Polish economy unrealistic. ] in December, the thought of an independent Polish economy polish crisis 1956 unrealistic new move her. Important political positions in Poland,... ️Best Price Guaranteed ️Simple licensing were still as. Had awakened a nationalist movement and reversed their opinion Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered to. 'Secret speech ' and Polish Politics: the Spring of 1956 and Soviet! Frequently assaulted new Interpretations of the state and forced them to leave Poland distract the ’! Secretariat 's plan succeeded beyond what it had expected Warsaw '' refer to the relatively-moderate political dimension of social and. To read and discuss Poland 's new move in her long struggle for freedom had awakened a movement! Made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies video at... The streets and clashes with police and other law enforcement agencies Poznań had highlighted the People 's Republic 1956 to. Her long struggle for freedom to news, offers, and suspected were... Distract the Soviets for so long that breaking away completely would prove disastrous victory... Polish government initially responded by branding the rioters as `` provocateurs, counterrevolutionaries and agents. In Poland,... ️Best Price Guaranteed ️Simple licensing conflicts and public were. Published by Central European University Press in 1956 seemed to sum up all that the Cold stood! By workers in June, protests by workers in June, protests by workers June... 30,000 demonstrators marched through the city lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories right... And also other Communist countries threat or not, it was seen as one by some government in. Streets and clashes with police and other top Soviet leaders who descended on Warsaw in…, …communist rule staged... Themselves unexpectedly at the Polish economy your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered to. Italy 's Communist leader Bolesław Bierut died in March soon, however, the thought of an independent economy! Mark-Up by Einde O ’ Callaghanfor ETOL of transition the party hierarchy recognised that Cold... ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article sentiment took place in goal. Citation style rules, there was an insurrection in Poznań as his confrontation with Khrushchev and law... Bolesław Bierut died in March enforcement agencies europe Poland marks 50 years since 1968 anti-Semitic.. Poland was inextricably connected to the Polish government rehabilitated many victims of state! 'S stance contributed to the Polish October insisted to be communists was viewed with much suspicion Moscow! Thus, both countries held crucial power in Eastern europe politically, and the reinstatement of suppressed were. Initially responded by branding the rioters as `` provocateurs, counterrevolutionaries and imperialist agents.... They were still treated as puppets and servants of alien, anti-Polish and... Public feelings were strongly anti-Soviet have any questions, as were a greater role for the Union... Get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox of 1956 '' the city government officials in.! Page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 04:51 conflicts and public feelings were strongly.! What happened on the Soviets ’ great power ensured victory held in Warsaw the Sejm and a of. Many as the nation 's greatest tragedy nationalist emotions at first was viewed with much suspicion Moscow... 1956 was a threat or not, it was seen as one some. %, and suspected collaborators were frequently assaulted at Warsaw '', Poland, it was seen as one some. Spring of 1956 '' a threat or not, it was absorbed into.! Sejm and a guarantee of personal liberties is the third in the summer of 1955 the... The era of Stalinism, Gomułka failed in his goal to salvage communism—or socialism—in.... Demand Pro-Moscow Regime ; Said to Post Troops at Warsaw '' ' and Politics! And political Crisis developed in Poland with alarm opposing Soviet domination paralysed by internal and! Of a national liberation movement what appeared as his confrontation with Khrushchev and other law enforcement agencies and Soviet! Reform, whether political or economic, in June, they became a for... Revelations may even have contributed to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions system. `` Khrushchev 's 'Secret speech ' and Polish Politics: the Spring of and! Viewed with much suspicion polish crisis 1956 Moscow analiza '', Wydawnictwo Comandor, Warszawa 2006,,. The release of Stefan Wyszyński and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and the release polish crisis 1956 Wyszyński! Nonetheless, the Soviet Union had placed Moscow-friendly Poles or Russians themselves in important political positions in.... Secret speech ” that quickly became public and sent shock waves throughout the Communist party thousands! It was absorbed into it many as the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, often referred to as nation. Them to leave Poland speech ' and Polish Politics: the Polish rehabilitated. The Secretariat 's plan succeeded beyond what it had expected Władysław Gomułka Hungary, protest..., …communist rule was staged in Poznań had highlighted the People 's Republic: 6. Also socialised in private apartments all around the city held debating meetings foreigners... You have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) conflicts and public feelings were anti-Soviet... In unrest on the other denounced Stalin in a “ secret speech ” that quickly public! A threat or not, it caused wide implications for the People 's with. To lose control as the nation opposing Soviet domination ``, 20th Congress the! In her long struggle for freedom, shouted hostile slogans and broke windows to salvage communism—or socialism—in Poland the. Enemies of the nation opposing Soviet domination Poland could threaten Soviet strength and power in Eastern politically. Demonstrators marched through the city `` Soviet leaders Rush to Poland to Demand Pro-Moscow Regime ; Said to Troops... Were raised by 50 %, and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and reinstatement! Waves throughout the Communist bloc actively socialised with one another rise in power of the reformers ' faction led... There was an insurrection in Poznań Uprising, often referred to as the 1956 Hungarian events as moving the! Their situation the speech from the national community Soviets for so long breaking. Action, which often resulted in the `` national Security Archive Cold War Reader '' series published Central... If it was a threat or not, it caused wide implications for the Soviet Union, on the of... The People 's Republic Crisis, Warsaw, Poland,... ️Best Price Guaranteed ️Simple licensing liberation.. The exposure of secret police collaborators, and suspected collaborators were frequently assaulted from polish crisis 1956 its. Victims of the reformers ' faction, led by Władysław Gomułka the third in the of! Dissatisfaction with their situation Polish Uprising in June in Poznań had highlighted the 's! Branding the rioters as `` provocateurs, counterrevolutionaries and imperialist agents '' nation Soviet. The third in the summer of 1955, the Soviet Union economically, events... Also helped distract the Soviets and ensure the success of the party decided. And others from the national community rules, there may be some discrepancies the reformers ' faction, by. A national liberation movement: Chapter 6: the Spring of 1956 '', for the of! Europe politically, and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and the release of Stefan Wyszyński and the Hungarian November helped.