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Wladyslaw Gomulka

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Władysław Gomułka on the cover of Time Magazine

Władysław Gomułka (February 6, 1905, KrosnoSeptember 1, 1982) was a Polish communist leader. He was a member of the Communist Party of Poland starting in 1926. In the years 1951-1954 he was imprisoned and removed from the Polish United Workers' Party (post-war communists). In 1956 he was rehabilitated and chosen the leader of the party. Initially very popular for his reforms and seeking a "Polish way to socialism", he gradually softened his opposition to Soviet pressures.

In the 1960s he supported the struggle against the church and some party intellectuals (e.g., Kołakowski). He supported Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968. At that time he was also responsible for persecution of students and intelligentsia as well as toughening censorship of the media. In 1968 he incited, however he later claimed not deliberately, the anti-Semitic propaganda campaign that was one of the outcomes of the Soviet bloc stand in aftermath of the Six-Day War.

In December 1970, a bloody clash with shipyard workers in which several dozen workers were shot to death forced his resignation. A dynamic younger man, Edward Gierek, took over the party leadership. Gomułka was forced to retire. After his death in 1982, his negative image in the communist propaganda was modified and some of his constructive contributions were recognized. His memoirs were first published in 1994.

See also

Template:First Secretary of the Central Committee of KC PZPRpl:Władysław Gomułka de:Władysław Gomułka

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