Andrews Nicholas G., Poland 1980-1981: Solidarity Versus the Party ( Washington, DC, 1985); Bromke Adam, Poland's Politics: Idealism vs Realism ( Cambridge, MA, 1967): Dziewanowski M. K., The Communist Party of Poland ( Cambridge, MA, 1976), 2nd ed.; Jan T. Gross , "Poland: from Civil Society to Political Nation," in Ivo Banac, ed. Eastern Europe in Revolution ( Ithaca, NY, 1992), pp. 57-71; Korbonski Andrzej, "Poland 1918-1990," in Joseph Held , ed. The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century ( New York, 1992); Stehle Hans Jakob, The Independent Satellite: Society and Politics in Poland Since 1945 ( New York, 1965); Syrop Konrad, Spring in October: The Story of the Polish Revolution of 1956 ( London, 1958); Woodall Jean, Politics and Policy in Contemporary Poland ( London, 1982).
Communist Seizure of Power in Poland. When the Soviet Red Army crossed the Bug river (better known as the Curzon-line) in January 1944, Moscow introduced a so-called Polish Committee of National Liberation, made up mostly of formerly underground communist leaders. The committee also included members of the Union of Polish Patriots, as well as individual members of the Socialist and Peasant parties who were willing to cooperate with the communists. On January 1, 1945, the Committee declared itself the provisional government of Poland. At the same time, resistance leaders loyal to the Polish government in exile in London were arrested or were drafted into the Kosciuszko division of the Soviet-led Polish army in the eastern front.
At the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, Poland's eastern borders were modified according to Joseph Stalin's wishes. Poland was "compensated" for the losses by receiving German lands up to the Oder-Neisse rivers and the southern parts of East Prussia, the northern part of which was absorbed into the Soviet Union. The German population of the western territories was expelled and deported to defeated Germany. The same thing happened to the Polish population that came into Soviet hands.
The provisional government was accepted as the legal government of Poland after some hesitation by the Western Allies. Their objections were alleviated by the addition of some members of the exile government in London, including Stanislaw Mikolajczyk (see Mikolajczyk, Stanislaw). The Peasant party, led by Mikolajczyk, had 600,000 members by 1945, more than the Communist party. Nevertheless, the communists, who controlled only six of the cabinet posts, dominated the other sixteen through communist under secretaries and the secret and not-so-secret collaborators from other parties, including those from the Peasant party. They were also able to create an atmosphere of terror and intimidation with the help of the occupying Red Army and the ever-present Soviet KGB.
In 1944, the Polish Workers party, the communists, had only about 20,000 duespaying members. This was mainly the result of their identification with Poland's traditional enemy, the successor to the empire of the tsars, the Soviet Union. However, this was mitigated to some extent by the fact that the Soviet Union unconditionally guaranteed Poland's new borders in the west, gaining some support for the communists among the population. The traditional opponents of communism, the prewar