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The Polish workers' party and the opposition to communist power in Poland, 1944-47

Reynolds, Jaime (1984) The Polish workers' party and the opposition to communist power in Poland, 1944-47. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines the development of the internal political situation in Poland from the formation of the Polish Committee of National Liberation in mid-l944 to the consolidation of communist power at the turn of 1946/47. It concentrates in particular on the way the organisations and political strategies of the Polish Workers' Party and the main non-communist forces: the Polish Peasant Party, the Polish Socialist Party , the Catholic political movement and the anti-communist underground evolved during these years. Chapter .One describes the re-establishment of the Polish communist movement from 1941 and the shaping of its strategy of the national front during the period until the Soviet liberation of eastern Poland in 1944. Chapter Two examines the relationship between the communist-led 'Lublin Committee' and the underground movement loyal to the Government-in-Exile in London. It identifies the hardening of the Polish communists' stance towards the underground from October 1944. Chapter Three looks at the political and economic situation in Poland following the liberation of the country in early 1945. It examines the factors which caused the communists to moderate their line in May 1945. Chapter Four considers the impact of the legal opposition movement which arose around the Polish Peasant Party following the formation of the Provisional Government of National Unity in June 1945. Chapter Five describes the increasing polarisation between the communists and the opposition in the first half of 1946 and examines the unsuccessful efforts of the Polish Socialist Party to restore national unity. The political offensive launched by the Polish Workers' Party and its allies against the opposition at the time of the elections in late 1946 and early 1947, and the consolidation of the communists ' hold on power are described in Chapter Six. The thesis argues that the national front strategy which the communists followed between 1942 and 1948 underwent a series of major modifications. These modifications were in response not only to external pressures, but to a very considerable degree to developments in the internal situation in Poland. Ultimately the communists were able to achieve the objectives of the national front strategy only to a very limited extent. In particular, they were unable to achieve a broad base of popular support for their vision of Poland's future and had instead to rest it on force and the state-Party apparatus.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1984 Jaime Christopher Jeremy Reynolds
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Blit, Lucjan and Schopflin, George

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