Spring in October: the Story of the Polish Revolution, 1956

Spring in October: the Story of the Polish Revolution, 1956

Spring in October: the Story of the Polish Revolution, 1956

Spring in October: the Story of the Polish Revolution, 1956

Excerpt

This book tells the story of the Polish revolution of 1956, which was overshadowed by the tragic failure of the simultaneous uprising in Hungary. It is a story, but not a history, for it is too soon to see the recent events in full perspective. Some of the pieces of the jigsaw are still missing (and perhaps will never be found), but enough is known already to weave the dramatic events into a coherent narrative and to set them against the relevant background.

The first chapter is in the nature of a historical introduction. Those readers who are fully familiar with Polish history between the years 1939 and 1953 may prefer to begin with the second chapter: this describes the first links in the chain of events that culminated in the dramatic days of October 1956. The story ends with an account of the General Election in January 1957; it has been impossible to include any material that came to light after the end of March 1957.

The reader will find a good many quotations from Polish newspaper articles, poems and speeches, most of them not available elsewhere in English translation, and also a very full account of the proceedings of the VIII Plenum of the Central Committee of the PZPR, a remarkable document, which has not been published outside Poland.

Whenever possible the sources have been indicated, but this book is based not only on published material but also on many conversations with people who have been to Poland recently and with Polish visitors to Britain who must remain anonymous. I have also used my own knowledge of the country and the people and my acquaintance with some of the more important dramatis personae.

I have tried throughout to make a clear distinction between . . .

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