Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview
Save to active project

transfer of the Polish population from the east and the expulsion of Germans from the western lands. Mikolajczyk argued that, although he was head of the government-in- exile, he had no authority to agree to any such resolution, since it would have to be approved by the postwar Polish parliament. He also pointed out that the proposed new borders would make Poland utterly dependent on the Soviet Union for its future security. However, after his visit to Moscow, Mikolajczyk became convinced that Poland had no other choice except to acquiesce in the proposal.

In April 1943, after the discovery of the graves of massacred Polish officers in the Katyn woods (see Katyn Woods Massacre), the London Poles were denounced by Joseph Stalin, and relations with the Soviet government were broken off. When three out of the four parties participating in the London-based Polish government-in-exile rejected the new borders on November 24, 1944, Mikolajczyk resigned as prime minister.

In June 1945, Mikolajczyk returned to Warsaw and was named copremier with the communist Wladislaw Gomulka (see Gomulka, Wladislaw) in the provisional Polish government, but he was soon outmaneuvered by the communists and received a barrage of false accusations. In the 1947 elections, conducted under great communist terror, the Peasant party was a loser. When the attacks on Mikolajczyk's person were renewed, he fled to the West once again.


Bibliography

Bregman Aleksander, ed. Faked Elections in Poland as Reported by Foreign Observers ( London, 1947); Bliss Lane A., I Saw Poland Betrayed ( New York, 1948); Korbonski Andrzej , "Poland 1918-1990," in Joseph Held, ed. The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century ( New York, 1992); Mikolaj-czyk Stanislaw, The Rape of Poland: Patterns of Soviet Aggression ( New York, 1948).

Military Policies in Communist Poland. Nowhere in Eastern Europe was Soviet intrusion into society as open and as brutal as it was in the Polish military establishment. Most Polish officers and noncommissioned officers remained loyal to the exiled government in London after the defeat by Germany. About 14,000 regular and reservist officers were captured by the Soviet army in 1939, and most of them were massacred in the Katyn woods in 1940 (see Katyn Woods Massacre).

In 1943, Polish communists in exile in the Soviet Union formed the Kosciuszko division and recruited former prisoners of war into the ranks. The division was eventually joined by various communist guerrilla bands who were fighting the Germans within Poland. When the war ended, Soviet officers, who commanded all the Polish forces, were recalled to the Soviet Union and were replaced by reliable communist cadres.

After the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 4, 1949, Joseph Stalin decided to strengthen his hold on the Polish armed forces. On November 6, Marshal Konstanty K. Rokossowski (see Rokossowski, Konstanty), a Soviet officer of Polish ancestry who had spent four years in the Soviet

-347-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dictionary of East European History since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 514

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?