Dziewanowski M. K., The Communist Party of Poland ( Cambridge, MA, 1976).
Kuron, Jacek (1936- ). Kuron was the son of an intellectual. He attended Warsaw University and was one of the organizers of the student revolt of 1968. Together with Adam Michnik (see Michnik, Adam), Kuron headed the group calling itself the Young Commandoes, a youth organization that included many members whose parents were active in the Polish United Workers party. Kuron was one of the founders of the Committee for the Defense of Workers (KOR) (see Committee for Defense of Workers) and, as such, was one of the young rebels watched by the Polish secret police.
In 1976, Kuron and Karol Modzelewski wrote "An Open Letter to the Party," in which they demanded democratization and reform of the economy. Both of them were jailed for their courageous action. When the strike of the Gdansk shipyards began in 1980, Kuron was already advising Lech Walesa (see Walesa, Lech) and became, with Tadeusz Mazowyeczki and Bronislaw Geremek (see Geremek, Bronislaw), the principal adviser to the Solidarity trade union (see Solidarity Trade Union of Poland). In September 1980, following the Gdansk agreement between Solidarity and the government, he declared:
"Something extraordinary happened in the life of the nation. Now we have an organized society within a communist regime."
When martial law was declared in December 1981, Kuron, together with other opposition and trade union leaders, was arrested. He was kept in jail until 1983. Nevertheless, he continued to be an active dissenter after his release and greatly contributed to the organization of the Roundtable talks between the government and Solidarity, which brought an end to communism in Poland.
Craig Mary, Lech Walesa and His Poland ( New York, 1987); Taylor John, Five Months with Solidarity ( New York, 1981); Tischner Jozef, The Spirit of Solidarity ( New York, 1982).
Michnik, Adam (1946- ). Michnik's father was a pre-World War II communist militant. He raised his son in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism, and Adam was, indeed, a zealous Marxist in his early youth. During his university studies, however, the young communist discovered great discrepancies between life in contemporary Poland and Marxist theories. As a student at Warsaw University, Michnik became more and more outspoken about social injustice perpetrated by the communist nomenklatura. At fifteen years of age, Michnik established a club for his peers called Seekers of Contradictions, known by their friends as the Revisionist Toddlers' Club. At the age of eighteen, he was arrested for the first time for disseminating "An Open Letter to the Party," written by Jacek Kuron (see Kuron, Jacek) and Karol Modzelewski, which was critical of the regime and demanded democratic reforms.