1985); Zinner Paul E., National Communism and Popular Revolt in Eastern Europe: A Selection of Documents on Events in Poland and Hungary ( New York, 1956).
Geremek, Bronislaw (1932- ). A young intellectual who had received his doctorate from Warsaw University, Geremek studied History and was employed as a researcher at the Historical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He joined the intellectuals who founded the Committee for the Defense of Workers (KOR) (see Committee for the Defense of Workers), and in 1981, he became an advisor to Lech Walesa (see Walesa, Lech) and the Solidarity trade Union movement (see Solidarity Trade Union of Poland). When the communist government, headed by General Wojciech Jaruzelski (see Jaruzelski, Wijciech), declared martial law in December 1981, Geremek was arrested together with other members and leaders of Solidarity. He spent years in jail. Upon his release in 1985, he continued his oppositional activities. He remained an important member of the advisory group around Lech Walesa until the elections that brought Solidarity into the government.
Perski Stanislaw, and Flam H., eds. The Solidarity Sourcebook ( Vancouver, 1982); Rosenbrink John, Poland Challenges a Divided World ( Baton Rouge, LA, 1988).
Gierek, Edward (1913- ). Gierek began his career as a minor apparatchik in Silezia. By 1970, he had moved up the ladder of the nomenklatura and was appointed party leader of the region. He drew attention to himself by his relentless energy and organizational activity.
In 1970, he was chosen to replace Wladislaw Gomulka (see Gomulka, Wladislaw) as secretary general of the Polish United Workers party. Gierek's elevation was a maneuver on the part of the party leadership to appease a restive population, angered over sudden price increases. Gierek immediately rescinded the price increases and made other concessions. He crisscrossed the country, listening to complaints by the population and showing respect for simple people. He succeeded in calming down the people. Gierek reshuffled the communist leadership, enlarged the Central Committee of the Communist party and changed the personnel of the party secretariat and the Politburo.
The essential elements of communist dictatorship, however, remained unchanged. Central planning of the economy continued; the party's monopoly of political power remained intact, and intellectual life remained in bondage to Marxism-Leninism. The concept of class-struggle was not abandoned, but it was somewhat toned down. The party had made an effort to improve living standards without instituting major reforms in the economy but this just did not work. Gierek was intent on tightening discipline in the communist party. In the name of efficiency, some bureaucrats were removed from their posts. Higher industrial wages were introduced, food prices were lowered, and the compulsory delivery of foodstuffs was reduced to a minimum. Gierek also attempted to reach a modus vivendi with the Polish Catholic church. But