in 1956, Moczar was appointed deputy minister of the interior. In 1964, he became the minister of the interior.
In 1967, the Jewish members of the Polish United Workers party were pleased when Israel defeated its Arab adversaries in a lightning fast war. The problem was that the Soviet Union supported the Arabs, and the Soviet leaders instructed Gomulka to dampen Jewish enthusiasm in his party. Gomulka declared that Jewish communists cannot have two homelands. He used the anti-Zionist argument, invented by the Soviet leaders, against Polish Jews. Moczar may or may not have received encouragement from the Soviet leadership, but he used the incident to challenge Gomulka. When, in 1968, students and intellectuals openly challenged the party's cultural policies, Moczar did not wait for Gomulka's approval; he stepped in and ordered the secret police to round up the discontented elements.
There were three days of demonstrations in Warsaw over the closing of a play that contained some antitsarist statements that had brought the audiences to their feet each night. Moczar ordered the mass arrest of the students and professors who had demonstrated against the closing.
Moczar was a controversial fellow. He never kept his scorn hidden about the Muscovites who had spent their time in comfortable offices in Moscow during the war. Many of these Muscovites were Jewish. Moczar, an anti-Semite, conducted a vicious anti-Semitic campaign against Jews in Polish cultural life, in the sciences, in education, and, especially, in the state and party bureaucracies. It was quite obvious that Moczar and his supporters used official anti-Semitism as a pretext to vent their personal biases, but also to challenge Gomulka's leadership in the party. Moczar wanted to show that he was tougher than Gomulka, therefore, better suited to lead Poland than his rival. Ironically, there were few Jews left in Poland by that time. The remaining ones then decided to apply for emigrants' visas, since the atmosphere in Poland was just too hostile to Jews.
However, Moczar's campaign backfired; Poles had their fill of anti-Semitism, and Moczar's support fizzled. Party members were especially appalled by the brutality with which Moczar's secret police treated Jewish students and intellectuals. Yet, Moczar survived the removal of Gomulka. However, when the time came in 1970, the party leaders, supported by their Soviet colleagues, did not choose him, but settled on Edward Gierek (see Gierek, Edward), a Silezian communist, to head the Polish United Workers party. In 1971, Moczar was finally ousted, and he retired from politics.
Blit Lucjan, Gomulka's Poland ( New York, 1968); Stehle Hans Jakob, The Independent Satellite: Society and Politics in Poland Since 1945 ( New York, 1965).
National Council of the Homeland. This organization, created by the Soviet leadership in 1944, was controlled through the Polish Workers party, organized in 1942. On July 22, 1944, the council declared itself the only Polish governing authority and,