Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present by Norman Davies

By Norman Davies

A twin of Poland has once more been inspired on ecu cognizance. Norman Davies offers a key to realizing the fashionable Polish situation during this lucid and authoritative description of the nation's background. starting with the interval when you consider that 1945, he travels again in time to spotlight the long term subject matters and traditions that have motivated current attitudes. His evocative account finds Poland because the center of Europe in additional than the geographical experience. it's a nation the place Europe's ideological conflicts are performed out of their such a lot acute shape: as fresh occasions have emphasised, Poland's destiny is of significant obstacle to eu civilization as an entire. This revised and up to date version tackles and analyses the problems bobbing up from the autumn of the japanese Bloc, and appears at Poland's destiny inside a political weather of democracy and loose industry.

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Additional info for Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present

Sample text

The imitation Soviet Poland had received its imitation Stalin. The new Poland had created its New Order.       Polish Stalinism, December  to October  Just as the Stalinist Revolution of  initiated the formative period in the creation of the modern Soviet Union, so Poland’s specially close association with the USSR in the final years of the Stalin Era left lasting marks on the Polish People’s Republic. And just as the Soviet Union, whilst condemning a careful selection of Stalin’s crimes against the Party, never attempted to reform or replace the main institutions of Stalin’s Russia, so the greatest part of the Stalinist innovations in Poland remained intact until .

The Polish People’s Republic ceased to be a puppet state, and became a client state. As a result of his understanding with the Soviets—sealed during his visit to Moscow in November —Gomułka was empowered to make a series of strategic concessions to popular demands and to permit the three specific features of the Polish order—an independent Catholic Church, a free peasantry, and a curious brand of bogus political pluralism. In retrospect, one can see that these concessions were intended as      provisional measures which were to be withdrawn as soon as the PZPR felt strong enough to progress towards the more orthodox model of socialist society.

In December, most internees, though not political prisoners, were released. By this time Government spokesmen had begun to talk disparagingly of  members as ‘criminals’, and to brag that ‘the Spring, too, will be ours’. Step by step, as the communists took stock of their miraculous escape, they tried to re-establish control over the organizations which had earlier repudiated them. Their main target, to begin with, was the intelligentsia, that incurable source, from their point of view, of festering dissent.

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