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Transitional Economic Systems: The Polish-Czech Example

By Dorothy W. Douglas | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
EARLY RECONSTRUCTION

I. POLITICAL BEGINNINGS

A pparently the early days of reconstruction in Poland saw a strange mixture of elements of civil war, continuing on a considerable basis down to the beginning of 1948, and a strong upsurge of support for the actual work of reconstruction engaged in by the new Government. It was in an appeal to all Poles to unite to rebuild their country as a new and better one that Poland's Left parties had put forth their slogans.

The alignment of political forces showed a great preponderance in the Government and in mass organizations of almost equally balanced Socialists and Communists (P.P.S. and P.P.R.) working closely together. They operated on an ideological and programme- making level normally associated with a Socialist rather than a Communist position. They differed sharply from Right-wing Socialist parties in approving of the Soviet Union. But for themselves, their own conditions were to make things very different. They were building a social system which had 'no historical precedent'. The idea was even expressed that there were three brands of Socialism: Soviet Socialism, Western (Social Democratic) Socialism, and Polish Socialism. The Polish type might serve as an ideological bridge between the other two. In any case, ultimates were to be definitely de-emphasized.

The existing Government of Poland had been an outgrowth of the Committee of National Liberation, composed predominantly of a coalition of Communists and Left Socialists, and itself an outgrowth of the Union of Polish Patriots formed by pro-Soviet Poles within the Soviet Union during the war. Once the Germans had been driven across the Bug, the Polish Committee of National Liberation established itself at Lublin and proceeded to operate as a de facto government, taking over the administration of territory as rapidly as it was liberated.

The representatives of the pre-war Government of Poland mean--

-44-

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