Polish Workers Party

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Polish Workers’ Party

 

(PWP; Polska Partia Robot-nicza), a Marxist-Leninist party of the Polish working class. Founded on Jan. 5, 1942, in fascist-occupied Warsaw, the party included various antifascist organizations and groups founded by Communists between 1939 and 1941. The PWP inherited and carried on the revolutionary traditions of the Polish working class, the traditions of Proletariat-I, the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, the Polish Socialist Party-Left Wing, and the Polish Communist Party. The work of the PWP was directed by the Central Committee, whose secretaries at various times were M. Nowotko, P. Finder, W. Gomułka, and B. Bierut.

In January 1942 the PWP issued a programmatic proclamation calling for the formation of a broad national front to fight against the fascist occupation forces and to struggle for independence, democracy, and social progress. In the spring of 1942 the PWP created the military organization called Gwardia Ludowa (People’s Guard), and during that year regional and district party committees were formed almost everywhere in occupied Poland. The PWP had 4,000 members in mid-1942, 8,000 members in early 1943, and about 20,000 members in mid-1944. Between 1942 and 1945 it published about 100 underground party newspapers and other publications. In November 1943 the PWP issued its main ideological document of the occupation period, the declaration “What Are We Fighting For?”

The PWP’s program—a creative application of the principles of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete situation in Poland at that time—organically combined the struggle for Poland’s national liberation with the struggle for the country’s social liberation, the creation of an independent people’s state. On the basis of this program the PWP launched a large-scale armed struggle against the occupation forces. The struggle was carried out by the Armia Ludowa (People’s Army), numbering about 60,000 soldiers. The PWP was instrumental in founding the Krajowa Rada Naro-dowa (National Council of the Homeland) and the Polish Committee of National Liberation, which became a provisional people’s government.

After Poland’s liberation the PWP was transformed from a cadre party into a mass party uniting workers, peasants, and members of the intelligentsia. (The party grew from some 235,000 members in December 1945 to more than 1 million members in December 1948.) The First Congress of the PWP, held in December 1945, outlined the directives for the further development of the people’s state and adopted the party rules, based on Leninist organizational norms and principles. In accordance with its program, the PWP led the working masses in the struggle to establish and consolidate people’s rule, to rebuild the country, and to carry out social and economic changes. These changes became the basis for building socialism in Poland and for strengthening cooperation and friendship with the USSR, the people’s democracies, the international workers’ movement, and all progressive and democratic forces in the world.

Between mid-1944 and the end of 1947 the PWP struggled against the reactionaries in the armed underground and the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe), headed by S. Mikołajczyk, which opposed the socialist reorganization of the country. Some 16,000 members of the PWP and other democratic parties died in the struggle. During the struggle against the reactionary forces and in the course of joint work to restore and develop the country, cooperation between the PWP and the revived Polish Socialist Party (PSP) increased steadily. The Second Congress of the PWP, held in Warsaw in December 1948, adopted a resolution to merge with the PSP on a Marxist-Leninist platform, thereby forming the Polish United Workers’ Party.

REFERENCE

Historia polskiego ruchu robotniczego, 1864–1964, vol. 2. Warsaw, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, the PPR (Polska Partia Robotnicza, Polish Workers' Party, 194-248) and after it PZPR (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, Polish United Workers Party) while they made half-hearted efforts at directing writers throughout the post-war period, in general had no intention of arresting them, imprisoning them or killing them.
There is a tendency to think of the PZPR as a unified, monolithic Stalinist entity when in fact it was riven by factions and irreconcilable ambitions: it comprised terrified survivors from the pre-war Communist Party of Poland (KPP) and the members of the liberal Polish Socialist Party (PPS) which had been forcibly amalgamated into the tiny Polish Workers' Party (PPR) to form the PZPR after 1945.
As part of that activities, it was increased the impact of the most important journals of the Polish Socialist Party (Polish: Polska Partia Socjalistyczna--PPS) 'The Worker' (Polish: Robotnik) and the Polish Workers' Party (Polish: Polska Partia Robotnicza--PPR) 'The Voice of the People' (Polish: Glos Ludu) (Lojek & Myslinski & Wladyka, 1988: 90).
He spent the first three years of the war in the USSR where he worked for the Comintern, and parachuted into Poland to help organize the Polish Workers' Party in 1943.
2) The Soviet leadership was especially concerned that the radicalism of the Polish Communist underground was "conveying the false impression that the Polish Workers' Party is pursuing a course towards the sovietization of Poland which it is in fact not doing and should not do.
After the war he joined the Polish Workers' Party and was a prominent activist in state and party affairs.

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