Poland: The Evasion of Freedom

Poland: The Evasion of Freedom

“What has changed in Poland since October? Gomulka has changed.” This joke, circulating in Warsaw a year and a half after the Polish “spring in October,” is characteristic of the current mood of disenchantment.

Polish intellectuals who were in the forefront of the revolt are now subject to censorship and administrative pressure. The pattern is familiar. In France the Revolution devoured its children, in Soviet Russia the children of the Revolution devoured their parents, and in Poland the old apparatchihi are regaining lost ground from the young intellectuals who formed the vanguard of rebellion against their rule.

What did happen in Poland in October 1956? A revolution or a revolt?

A week after the upheaval, writing in the courageous student Po Prostu, which became the intellectual spearhead of the “revisionist” democrats and quickly attained a circulation of 150,000 copies, E. Lasota and R. Turski answered the question: “What has happened in our country? It must be stated in plain and simple language that a revolution has occurred.”

A year later, on October 2, 1957 Po Prostu was closed down and two weeks after that, Laso...

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