Editorial of the Polish Newspaper Trybuna Ludu on the Events of 1956 in Poland, October 25, 1956
In these exciting and uncommon times the Polish working class has clearly made its voice heard. This class leads the nation not by someone's appointment or decree, but by virtue of its position in society. In these exciting and unusual days, it is evident that the leading role of the Party has been tangibly confirmed. The Party has been united as never before with the class which gave it birth, with the peasant masses, with the student youth, with the progressive intelligentsia, and with the Polish People's Army. The Party is united with the nation.
We perceive the strength of this bond, bearing with deep emotion the clear and wise voice of our working class, our people, and our soldiers.
This voice supports the leadership of the Party elected in accordance with the will of the people. It supports the correction of abuses, further democratization, and the strengthening of the alliance and friendship with the Soviet Union and all people of the great socialist family on the basis of the Leninist foundation of equality and mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of each country.
Love for the fatherland and the cause of socialism have burst forth in Poland with a bright flame. The political maturity and discipline of the working class arouse admiration.
But, as in the time of any great mass movement, evidences of irrcsponsibility and thoughtlessness, diverging from the current of reform, are revealed in a few places.
It would be naive to think that the forces which have been attempting to poison this great, renovating, and pure current with the poison of anti-Sovict demagogy have capitulated.
Utilizing the understandable agitation in society, reactionary scum have tried to come to the surface of this life-giving wave of exalted reform, in order to sow anti-Soviet sentiments. The majority of these who let themselves temporarily be infected by nationalistic demagogy, as was the case in Wroclaw, certainly are unaware of the motives which guide the Polish and foreign reactionaries, motives which are directed against the national interests of Poland and against the cause of socialism in Poland. But the triumph of this hostile propaganda is short-lived.
Our Party and our working classes desire a strengthening of the alliance and friendship with the land of the Soviets, and it is for this reason that they want to cleanse that friendship of everything which weakened its strength. Therefore, we desire a strengthening of this alliance through the observance of the principles of equality and mutual recognition of independence.
Even within a family, misunderstandings and groundless suspicions sometimes arise. Is not the same thing true in the case of states? But between socialist states misunderstandings can, should, and will be eliminated.
In these critical davs, we are aware that a considerqble number of prejudices concerning the Soviet Union are concealed in Poland behind the official facade which has existed until this moment. Everything that was half-true or even false nourished these prejudices. This was a vestige of a bygone era against which the Twentieth Congress of the C.P.S.U. directed its struggle to eliminate lack of respect for the equality, sovereigntv, and indcpendence of socialist Poland.
We desire friendship between Poland and the Sovict Union, a living, complete, and thus dependable friendship based on the Leninist norms of equality and built on a clear understanding of the Polish nation.
At this moment, all necessan, conditions exist to finally free Polish-Soviet relations and Polish-Sovict friendship from everything which, until now (to the delight of the enemies of socialism and peace), has harmed these relations and this friendship.
To irresponsibility, and especially to the reactionary work of their eneinies, the Polish working class, the Polish toilers, and the Polish students will counterpose their militant revolutionary vigilance and their political sagacity.
The Polish working class, defending the program which it has so vigorously formulated during the past few days, will suppress all statements incompatible with this program.
If anyone thinks that in Poland it is possible to arouse anti-Soviet sentiments, be is sadly mistaken. We sball not permit anyone to harm the vital interests of the Polish state and the cause of building socialism in Poland.
These words of Comrade Wladyslaw [Gomulka] show all of us, young and old, Party members and non-Partv members, what needs to be done in these times of great reform.
Trybuna Ludu: Clear Current and Scum, 1956, from a reprint of this editorial which appeared in Pravda October 25, 1956.
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© Paul Halsall, November 1998