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A. Rudzienski

Mikolajczyk Makes New Appearance

Three Parties Join in Pact to Form New Polish Opposition Center

(3 January 1949)


From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 1, 3 January 1949, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).



After his sensational flight from Poland, the former chief of the Polish London government and ex-prime minister of the Stalinist government in Warsaw, took refuge in the United States, seeking support among Polish-Americans against both his Stalinist ex-colleagues and his former collaborators in the Polish government-in-exile in London.

Mikolajczyk met with strong resistance in the Polish emigration against his policy of collaboration with Moscow, particularly his acceptance of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements,

which divided Poland and handed it over to Stalin’s Russia. He was also reproached with having delivered up the Polish underground resistance movement to the GPU and having helped to liquidate and disarm it; of having weakened the Polish resistance in exile; and of having abandoned the Polish government-in-exile in order to join the Stalinist government in Warsaw.

Although these criticisms contain a great deal of truth in accusing Mikolajczyk of having betrayed the policy of Poland’s national independence, surrendering it at one point to the Anglo-Americans and at another point to the Russians – their political basis is rooted in the desire of the Nationalist right for revenge against the peasant leader whom it had to support for quite a period of time.

The rightist circles in the Polish emigration carried out a palace revolution, refusing to recognize the Socialist, Thomas Arciszewski, as president – a thing agreed upon by the big parties – and named as the president of Poland-in-exile, Zaleski, a “man of confidence” of the rightists and the army of General Anders. The Socialists have left the government-in-exile, which is limited to the Nationalist Party and the military circles. At its recent congress in Belgium, the Socialists called for an agreement among the democratic forces and the creation of a political body to represent it.
 

Form New Movement

A congress has just taken place in Paris including representatives of Mikolajczyk’s Populist Party, of the Polish Socialist Party (the authentic PPS) in exile, and the Labor Party (Christian Democrats). A pact among these democratic parties was agreed upon, and a representative organization set up, “A Committee of the Democratic Parties.” Thus, after a period of isolation, Mikolajczyk has succeeded in breaking through the ostracism and becoming part of an organization representative of Polish political tendencies outside the Russian orbit.

In opposition both to the Polish government-in-exile dominated by the rightists, and the puppet Warsaw government, an organization of the militant petty-bourgeois democracy has been formed, linked with the anti-Stalinist workers’ movement, a fact that will have its repercussions in Poland as well as internationally.

This fact acquires even more importance, inasmuch as in Poland itself, under the heel of the MVD (GPU), the “unification” of the “workers’ parties,” PPR (Stalinist) and PPS (reformist-pro-Stalinist) into a single monolithic party has just taken place and underscores the perspective of the direct incorporation of Poland into Stalinist Russia. The “unification” was dutifully prepared for by great purges which swept up more than 5,000 militants of the pseudo-PPS, among them almost all the old leaders such as Drobner, Schwalbe, Rusinek, etc. Purges of a similar nature have wreaked havoc in the Populist Party and the “Democratic Party,” a shadow-party led by Rzymowski.
 

Adopt Cautious Policy

Confronting the Stalinist government in Warsaw and the exiled government of the right in London, the new committee (supported by Socialists, Populists and Christian-Laborites) represents perhaps the living forces of the peasant, working-class and middle-class opposition against Stalinism in Poland. However, this organization has its dark side in the political history of Mikolajczyk.

Poland was the first to struggle against Nazism and was cynically betrayed. It has lost a third of its population, half of its territories and suffered incalculable economic losses. In spite of its hatred for the invader, the Polish nation has lost confidence in its “generous democratic allies” and has no desire to throw itself into an unequal struggle against Stalinism.

Consequently, the opposition political circles in the country have adopted a policy of caution and of “saving Polish blood.” I believe that this attitude is in accordance with popular aspirations. The worker and peasant masses of Poland demand a true policy of national independence and socialist democracy; a policy of the independent socialist front, free of capitulations or surrender.


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