Liston M. Oak - Free and unfettered

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Liston M. Oak, a prominent Socialist writer and Managing Editor of the New York weekly, The New Leader, which is devoted to Social Democracy, went to Poland to observe and to report on the elect~onswhich took place on January 19th, 1947. His observa'tions appeared in a series of articles in the American New Leader of February 15th and 22nd, 1947. In order to acquaint Socialist readers and students of international affairs in this country with these important articles, Democratic Press and Liberty Publications have undertaken to reprint them in full. They have also reproduced the editorial of The New Leader of February 15th, 1947, which introduced the series. It seemed to the Publishers that the full text of two speeches delivered in the newly-elected Polish P.arliament by M. Zygmunt Zulawski, whom Liston M. Oak calls " one of the truly great figures of European Socialism," may constitute a valuable supplement to Mr. Oak's articles. The Publishers wish to express their gratitude- to Mr. J. S. Middleton, former Secretary of the British Labour Party, who has kindly agreed to introduce this pamphlet to the British Labour Public. May they now form their own judgment. Biblioteca Gino Bianco THE PUBLISHERS. Fondazione Alfred Lewift Biblioteca Gino Bianco -------·.·-·•· B.. •A~co Fondo Gino u:uJ; =

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I FOREWORD. East is East, and West is West, And never the twain shall meet. )This seeming truism was penned by Rudyard Kipling, when viewing India and the Indians with the eyes and mind and tradition of ar Anglo-Saxon. It has been accepted as an eternal verity, with a profound ignorance of Kipling's further reflection : I \ But there is neither East nor West, Nor border, nor breed, nor birth, When two strong men standface to face Though thry comefrom the ends of the earth. I seems long ages ago since two seeming strong men stood face to face-Hitler and Stalin-each fearsome of the other and finessif g for vantage, and came to agreement avoiding war. Hbw much blood has flowed since the Nazi attack on Poland led Great Britain to strike in defence of her guarantees for Polish independence l This culmination of aggression, first against democratic right in Germany itself, then in Austria, then in Czecho-Slovakia -at last awakened Democracy's defenders in the West. Then came the black days, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France-all fell. Poland divided between the Soviet power and Hitler's hosts, lay far from the shores of England. Dunkirk followed and the immortal Battle of Britain, when Polish airmen shared the perils, the losses and our final gain; and Russia waited-and all the world waited, and waited, and waited ... Then Hitler tore up his Soviet agreement-flimsy as all his other pacts-assailed Russia and prow:iked the Russian Campaign. Soon Japan struck and America's economic aid was succeeded by American arms. Almost the whole wide world was again at war. The carnage ~wayed East and West and over all the Seven Seas. Finally, Peace came and found Poland, cockpit of ancient, deadly rivalries from the Old Partition, again torn asunder. Like her neighbouring States in North and South, Poland becomes a Russian. bastion against another day of bloody strife. B1bliotecaGino Bianco

The world's economy is sorely stricken. Hunger and more moderate need prevails in lands where neither had been known for many years. Nevertheless, the peoples of the world are more conscious of their interdependence, and where the old League of Nations failed, hope again springs eternal as the United Nations Organisation ffa:kers into a fitful flame ofliberty, and seeks to organize the world's primary ~~- 1 Over all, however, there persists the clash of ideologies; pnd Poland is a centre of the conflict. The political struggle in \the States where Communist influence is powerful concerns fundame1tals as far as Democracy is affected. The " Four Freedoms " and the Atlantic Charter to which the Soviet signature is attached are rot phantom spirits, insubstantial, evanescent. Freedom to write to speak, to reverence, to organise and act politically, are all essen ·als to a Democratic State. The Report which follows demonstrates clearly how far remJ,ed is present-day Poland from the exercise of the "Four Freedofns." Was it to inherit perpetual Soviet ownership and influence that1 the defenders of Warsaw fell? Or was it in the confident belief that the Polish people should again be free to work out their own salltion in full accord with the principles of the Charter that the azis were so gallantly defied ? The betrayal of Russia by the Nazi hierarchy with who her statesmen had compounded, is not likely to be forgotten eit er by those of the Soviet State who survived the epic struggle froni Leningrad along all the Russian border, or by the nations who, amid their own life struggles, watched it all and wondered; who mourned with Soviet sorrow over the good blood spilt and rejoiced at Soviet success when the triumph came. Now Russia binds up her wounds, as do we all, and seeks to rebuild the ruins and restore her great economy. Like the rest of the nations, the Russian people must be contemplating the coming of the Atomic Age and the uselessness of land frontiers in possible future wars. Like the rest of us, too, they must ponder whether existing ideologies--either bond or free-will serve to stay the devastation of the coming powers that science is secretly preparing or survive the widespread wildernesses they are being devised to create. There is little hope for humanity unless the game of War is renounced for good and all and honest human politics are given frea play for the progress of mankind. Socialists who remembered the Russia of the Czars wete elated with their final overthrow in 1917.' Thirty years after Socialists hail the Russian advance in economic and social life. We await political development consonant with that advance. We ask that in her 2 B1bliotecaGino Bianco

\ neighbouring States,'the old evils that characterized the old imperialisms shall not bind good European Democrats as they have bound the supjects of the older conquests. ~ussians must come from behind their sheltered Communist exiince to a greater degree than has been allowed hitherto. They mu learn to mix more freely with the workers of the West. Statesme can no longer-or not very much longer-" sit on bayonets " ; mu h less the Atom Bomb ! The great intangibles of our common life no claim our first, our immediate efforts. Men and women of all the nations have a world in common. We have many lessons to lear from each other. Russia can teach and learn as well, like every oth r people. There are great deeds to do for Freedom yet, both Ea and West. The Rights of Man-elemental inheritances of all of s-must be won for all of us. No more striking token of Soviet intention to take a leading par in this great task could be given than a declaration that so far as land is concerned, her people shall be really free to determine thei own government and way of life. Success here will inspire the 's confidence. Failure will deepen world suspicion ~nd despair. ommon justice, in the long run, will always outbid manoeuvre, how er skilful. For freedom is, an eternal principle and most of the p ople of the world now know it. ]. S. MIDDLETON. Londo, May Day, 1947. 3 Bibliote a Gino Bianco

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POLAND-WHAT CAN WE DO ? IT ais seldom that American public opinion is confronted with perfect international test-case. The Polish election crisis, which came to a head last Sunday,1 was precisely that rare thing-a touchstone for judging how serious we are about political rights, civil liberties, a free world, our whole democratic faith. The issues were 4,000 miles away, but the American Press gave it banner headlines. The problem was thick with foreign intrigue and special European complications, but there was no turning away from American responsibility. Poland was the first battleground of World War II, and Americans wanted to know how far along the road the Poles had come after years of violence and destruction. Were they free ? Could they speak their minds openly ? Could they go to the polls and vote in or vote out whomever they pleased ? Or was totalitarianism still in the saddle ? The story of that awkward imitation of an election is told on another page by Liston M. Oak. It proves all over again what we have often said about the way things are done in countries controlled by Soviet Russia. But the reporting of this revelation of oppression and discussion of it in the American Press prove a great deal. They show, above all, that we have in this country a solid basis for honest and critical thought. The democratic way is not among us something for parliamentarians and students of political science. It is a vigorous weapon for the reconstruction of a war-ravaged world. Outside of the newspaper PM, whose correspondent, Ralph Ingersoll, gave a really nauseating exhibition of misrepresentation, our correspondents gave an excellent account of themselves. The suppression of opposition papers and meetings 1 the use 1 January19th,1947, 5 BibliotecaGino Bianco

of troops and police, the murder and imprisonment of candidates, the denial of the right of putting up candidates, the threatening of voters-the whole rotten business was exposed in detailed despatches. And, except for PM, there was no hypocritical pretense that this sort of thing is good enough for the people of Eastern Europe. The Poles were pictured as they really are-as eager for the rights of democracy, suffering for lack of them and willing to sacrifice safety and life in order to secure them. What has happened in Poland presents a tough problem to the American Government. There is no question about public opinion in this country. There is only one criterion for a free world-and that is freedom. Where it flourishes, there we wish to be its defenders. Where it is crushed-as it is in Poland-we remain uncompromising critics. This in itself is far from futile. Even in a world divided by an iron curtain, public opinion will in the end have its effect. But the editorials published far and wide during the past few days show how hard we are put to it to suggest any practical action calculated to influence the course of events in Poland and other lands within the Soviet orbit. Many editors content themselves with vigor- . ous expression of disapproval. Others, under the .compulsion to suggest action, urge the withdrawal of our embassy or the denial of loans. Both these suggestions are much to the point. 1 Another would be that the American delegation force the whole matter to the attention of the United Nations. Such a move would bring no immediate practical results, but it would keep the subject on the agenda of world discussion. It would force the Soviet Government and its satellites to face up to their misdeeds. It would consolidate the democratic forces on a world basis. And such a consolidation would, eventually, force the issue in the direction of a solution. The New Leader. 1 The reader is referred to the opinion expressed on the subject by Mr. Zygmunt Zulawski in his interview with Mr. Liston Oak, The publishers §hare M, Zulaw&ki's opinion, 6 BibliotecaGino Bianco

·WHATNEXT-IN POLAND? By LISTON M. OAK. AFTER THE FRAUDULENT ELECTION. WHAT CAN BE DONE BY THE U.S.A. AND BRITAIN? Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, leader of Poland's Peasant Party, who represents the best hope of the people of this country for independence and democracy, gave me an exclusive three-hour interview on the eve of my departure. He recapitulated the facts about his continuing fight to prevent the domination of Poland by a tiny minority of Communists acting as agents of a foreign power. I have also had the great privilege of spending an afternoon LISTON M. OAK. in Cracow with Zygmunt Zulawski, the grand old man of Polish social democracy. He is one of the truly great figures of European Socialism-the sort of person who restores one's dwindling faith, one's hope that all is not yet lost. From his sickbed Zulawski continues to challenge the forces of totalitarianism. " I have only a few more years of life," he told me, with fire in his eyes, " and it is too late for me to become a careerist or a coward. I will never capitulate, for without freedom life is not worth the living." The only " crime " these two champions of liberty have committed is their stubborn, persistent opposition to both the Nazi and the Bolshevik invasion, their insistence that without freedom Socialism means slavery. But for this H crime " both 7 Biblioteca Gino Bianco

will probably be arrested ultimately if not soon, as " traitors " linked with the illegal underground (officially estimated at 10,000 armed lJ}en) and with "Anglo-American imperialism." Both men have chosen the hard way-to struggle for democracy within Poland. But they honour and respect the Poles in London and New York who cannot return and who carry on the battle from abroad. To all such Poles the easy cynicism that argues that Poles are not ready for democracy, that they must accept Russian domination, is an insult and a lie. I also interviewed other PSL leaders and independent Socialists, as well as Cardinal Hlond, Cardinal Sapieha, the editors of Poland's most influential Catholic weeklies, and dozens of ordinary unknown Poles, and found a surprising identity of attitudes between Socialists, Peasant Party members, and Catholic liberals, on basic ideals-the independence of their nation, the value of democracy, the supreme importance of human dignity and the liberties that are trampled under the iron heel of every variety of totalitarianism. It is utterly ridiculous to accuse Cardinals Hlond and Sapieha or even the Church hierarchy generally of being anti-Semitic or Fascist. Those to whom I talked range from conservative to radical. Many subscribe to the idea that nationalization of basic industries is a step necessary to the national W<!lfare. I am convinced that the Communists will never succeed in making the Church in Poland the kind of agency of the State which the Eastern Church in Russia and Yugoslavia has become. It will be the main obstacle to Communism if and when the Peasant Party (PSL)1 is liquidated. (A concordat between the Kremlin and the Vatican is improbable.) Within the Church here, as in America, there are Communist and Fascist sympathizers 1 ABBREVIATIONS USED ; PSL ... the real Peasant Party lead by Mikolaczyk-it has been the only legal opposition permitted by the dictatorship. SL ... the fake peasant party controlled by Communists, whose purpose is to split the peasant forces. PPR ... the Polish Workers (Communist) Party; a tiny minority, it dominates the Polish political scene by coe.rcive measures. PPS ... the official Socialist Party which is part of the Government Bloc and paralyzed by its pact with the PPR. The independent Socialists were twice refused permission to function as a legal party and hence joined force~ with the PSL, , 8 BibliotecaGino Bianco

among the clergy, but they are not excommunicated for their political views ; nor are the socialists. The clerical Fascists play a role hardly more important than the role of Father Coughlin in America; nor are the fellow-travellers among the priests much more influential here than their opposite numbers in the U.S.A., Father Orlemanski, for instance. I am a skeptic who has always opposed the Church on such issues as birth control, divorce, state subsidies for parochial schools, but these are abnormal times when such issues would be subordinated to the big issue-totalitarianism versus democracy. And I am sure that the Church in Poland will not follow the example of the Church in Austria or Spain in supporting a Schuschnigg or a Franco. At least not unless that is the only alternative to Communism. For here as elsewhere, one extreme breeds the other. From these and other widely varying sources, including foreign correspondents, I have gleamed the information and the opinions expressed in this series of articles. Nothing I write is to be attributed to any individual except as I give a direct quotation ; this is a composite picture of Poland to which even Socialists in the Government have contributed, and many interpretations are my own. If Mikolajczyk, Zulawski and the Catholic hierarchy are "disloyal," so are many members of the PPS ( the official Socialist Party) who occupy high governmental positions, and who share the universal Polish opposition to Communist domination. With most Poles, patriotism comes first, political convictions second. Poles are strange people-they seem to think that despite the geographical location of their unfortunate country, they still have a right to independence. They have fought through centuries for freedom, and I predict that they will not surrender now. RETREAT TO LUBLIN. The story of the Polish election on Jan. 19 has been fully told by two-score of top-flight correspondents from countries where a free Press still exists. These reporters unanimously 9 BibliotecaGino Bianco

agree with the verdict of more than fifty observers from the staffs of the American and British Embassies-that the election was fraudulent and accompanied by intimidation, a complete violation of the Yalta promise. (This verdict was unanimous, that is, except for correspondents of the Soviet Press agency TASS, from the Communist Press, the Federated Press, the Overseas News Agency, and, of course, Ralph Ingersoll of PM). Now there should remain no slightest doubt in the minds of even the pseudo-liberals who always seek to find excuses for Soviet imperialism, as to exactly what the Communists mean by "democracy." Added to the evidence of elections in other Soviet-dominated countries, the proof is overwhelming that in any truly free election in any nation occupied by the Red Army the Communists can obtain only a small minority of the votes. The Soviet Press unanimously hailed the election as a model of democratic procedure, and said that in view of Mikolajczyk's link with the underground bandits and foreign imperialists, permitting the PSL to run at all was almost unwarranted magnanimity (Pravda, Jan. 2.0). While the Polish Communists do not dare go so far as to say that the PSL and the bandits actually work closely together-they only charge collaboration on the fringe of the PSL and underground-the Moscow papers directly accuse the entire party with identifying itself with the bandits, and hold Mikolajczyk responsible for all the murders and thefts committed by the criminal elements of the underground. Pravda's Warsaw correspondent Polevoi also confirms the fact that balloting was not secret ; he boasted that workers from factories voted en masse displaying their ballots marked number 3. Marguerite Higgins of the New York Herald-Tribune, Sidney Gruson of the NY Times, Robert Conway of the Chicago Tribune, Christopher Buckley of the London Telegraph, Toni Howard of Newsweek, G. E. R. Gedye of the London Herald, William Forrest of the London News Chronicle, the AP and UP and many others have described in detail how the electoral campaign was run and how the voting was rigged to ensure a Government Bloc victory. These reports have been confirmed 10 BibliotecaGino Bianco

by Ambassadors Arthur Bliss Lane and Victor CavendishBentinck. Repetition is like flogging a dead horse, but I want to add a few details to the picture they have painted. Some of the following incidents I witnessed, others were seen by persons in whom I have confidence, but whose names cannot be cited for obvious reasons. For the election period, orders went out to the ubiquituous UB, the Security Police (estimated strength, II8,ooo, according to Berman), to ignore the electoral law and permit foreign correspondents to enter polling places. Only a few of us experienced any interference with our freedom of movement. The whole campaign followed faithfully the familiar pattern \ of Communist " democracy "-a united front was formed under i) terms dictated by the Communists ; the opposition was split \ by organising fake Socialist, Peasant and Christian Labour parties; those who refused to surrender were branded as traitors, Fascists, anti-Semites, in league with the underground and with im- \ perialist warmongers abroad. Oppositionists were daily castigated in the Press, over the radio, at meetings, and in posters plastered on every wall. Any means is justified against individuals and parties so characterized-everyone who blocks the revolutioriary road must be ruthlessly removed. So I was told by Cyrankiewicz, and so other PPS and PPR leaders stated in forthright terms. Nothing was permissible which threatened to defeat the regime in power. Cyrankiewicz, Bierut, Osubka-Morawski, Gomulka and other leaders of the Government Bloc frankly justified the drastic measures taken to ensure victory for " democracy " as they conceive it-to prevent "the unpleasant fantasy," as Osubka put it, of a PSL triumph.· The official attitude was that in the midst of a revolution we cannot stop to argue interminably, we cannot afford the luxury of " soft " democratic procedure as practiced in Britain and America. Anyone who stands in our way must be removed. Those who are not with us are against us. Russia is our only trusted friend, the protector of our Western frontiers. Geography and ideology dictate an Eastern orientation. The industrial workers, who are a minority in this agricultural land, are our main support, and more weight must 11 BibliotecaGino Bianco H'or riazione Alfred Le" u Jlioteca Gino Bianee

be given to their votes than to those of the reactionary peasants. We cannot afford the luxury of slow and easy evolution, and we cannot give the peasants control of the government even if they are in a majority. Hence the PPR-PPS Bloc must win by any methods that may be necessary. It is certainly true that because the PSL was the only legal opposition, it was supported for tactical reasons by many reactionaries, including Fascists, of whom Poland has more than her share, though Mikolajczyk repudiates them. The ultra-reaction- ; aries had no other way of expressing their hatred of Russia. I was reminded of the support given Republican and Democratic candidates by the Communists in the U.S.A., whether they I wanted that support or not. But of the 700,000 dues-paying members of the PSL only a minority are tinged with Fascism or anti-Semitism, and no Fascists or anti-Semites have any ( influence within the party. It is also true that many peasants, fleeing to the forests in dread of murder by the secret police, ; join the bands of desperate Poles who wage guerrilla warfare against the Government and the alien society it seeks to impose upon them. Many, possibly most, of these men are bandits in the criminal sense, without much political ideology. The real bandits among them are the fruit of five years of' war and of the Nazi-Communist occupations. Even Jacob Berman, Undersecretary of State and the power behind the throne, discriminates between the two tendencies in the underground, which, he stated, killed more than 15,000 Government adherents (mostly Security Policemen) since the war's end. But Mikolajczyk repudiates vehemently any connection between the PSL and the underground-or with foreign imperialism. He has urged those of his followers who have fled in fear -to the protection of the forest bands to return to normal life and abandon their futile civil war, which gives the regime a pretext for political murders. Typical Communist double-talk is exemplified by the postelection manifesto promising an amnesty to opponents who repent and guarantees in the new constitution of civil liberties. In this same manifesto the PSL is declared to be " outside sound social forces and has eliminated itself from the democratic 12 BibliotecaGino Bianco

'I forces which •Will. ·decid~-·Poland's future." The Government has p'romi~ed amnesties before-only to arrest·those who ~ame out of '4i4ing. 'Np body, believes· in its· pr?mises any more, especially '.after the terror in this " free and unfettered " election. It is certain that if the Government were a democratic and representative one, enjoying the confidence of the people and independent of Russian domination, most Poles abroad would return, and anti-Semitism and other manifestations of reaction could be wiped out, banditry would disappear, and Poland could take the road to drastic but sound social reform. But in Poland as elsewhere, the stronger the Communists become the greater the growth of Fascism. In addition to intimidation, dishonest counting of ballots, political assassinations, suppression of all civil liberties, the methods used to ensure in advance a PPR-PPS victory included voting en masse in an ostentatious, demonstrative manner, pressuring people to sign a pledge that they would vote for list number 3 (the Government Bloc), open rather than secfet voting, the use of the Army and Security Police in the campaign and in supervising the balloting so that citizens literally voted with a gun at their backs, locating election booths in places difficult for peasants to reach, and sundry other tricks unknown even to the worst machine politicians in America, which contributed to the mood of confusion, futility and fatalism which prevailed. One of the striking facts about the new Poland is the omnipresence of soldiers and policemen. Walking 12 blocks from the Hotel Polonia to the American Embassy, I counted all the males on the sidewalk between the ages of 15 and 50; 30 out of every hundted were in uniform. During the election they were everywhere ; in one polling place I counted 26 soldiers , , • with sub-machine guns slung on their backs, herding the dejected, unenthusiast(c voters along, scrutinizing every vote casfthere were no. screeri.s·behind which the citizen q:mld retire to place his ballot in the envelope. It was easy to tell hqw each person voted-if his ballot was folded so that the number on jt was not visible, it meant an anti-Government vote: · ·· In Cracow, 1 5,ooo PSL members were ane~ted on Ja~. 13 BibliotecaGino Bianco

18; released on the late afternoon of Jan. 19, they rushed to their polling places and stood in line, but few of them got inside before the polls were closed at 7 p.m. In Kieke, 1,000 PSL members were in jail on Jan. 19. One polling place in Cracow was closed early because the UB discovered that everyone was voting for the PSL-list number 4. In another place there was a block-long queue ; an official shouted that those who wanted to vote for list 3 could form a separate queue and would get preference. Only a half-dozen moved. Also in Cracow, it is estimated that prior to election day about 60,000 names were stricken off the registration list of eligible voters. This included, a priest told me, most of the Catholic clergy as well as known followers of Zygmunt Zulawski, independent Socialist who, refused a license to form a party, ran as a candidate of the PSL. In the Radzyn district the inhabitants of 96 villages were all refused the right to vote on the charge that these villages were controlled by the underground bandits. In a village near Zywiec the Security Police seized the peasants' livestock and they were warned that if Mikolajczyk won, they would never see their cows and horses again. The news of this was spread throughout that district to frighten the peasants. Perhaps the most effective device of all was to compel all workers of a factory or institution to gather early on Jan. 19, listen to a harangue, and then march, accompanied by soldiers, with banners flying but heads hanging, to martial music, to the polls, where they were given their number 3 ballots and rushed through the miserable farce. At Torun the PPS paper RobotnikPomorski printed the names of 30 prominent persons who had not been politically active as sponsors of the Government Bloc number 3. The list included the Dean of the Cathedral and 1 8 other clergymen. Enquiries brought forth the fact that a week earlier the Mayor had called a meeting of these 30, urged them to support the Bloc; as soon as he had finished his speech, a stooge arose and said of course everyone present was a patriotic Pole who would vote for democracy and list 3. The meeting was then immediately adjourned before anyone could protest, l4 BibliotecaGino Bianco

Antoni Zdanowski, colleague of Zulawski and famous trade union leader, was also a candidate on the PSL list number 4. His name was taken off because he was accused of being a leader of the WRN (" Freedom, Equality, Independence") resistance to the Nazis. The irony is that he was not-but his accusers, including Cyrankiewicz, were WRN leaders, who have since become " Government Socialists " and dropped their opposition to Communism. In a village near Warsaw there were 2,073 on the registration books as eligible voters after all "unreliables " had been crossed off. Of these, 1,640 actually voted, II 5 of them for the PPRPPS Bloc, the others for the PSL. This was one of the few districts where the PSL had watchers, and in addition there happened to be an honest PPS member on the board. They report that they received written instructions as to what the final count should be. The PSL in this case was to be allowed 750 votes. But the UB overruled the instructions and told the board to allot only 17 votes to the PSL, and 2,000 to the PPRPPS coalition-more than the total of ballots cast. A gigantic red and white sign spanned the main street of many villages, reading : " Vote for the Democratic Bloc number 3 or Mikolajczyk will take away your land and your cow." Another slogan was : " A vote for the PSL is a vote for the Anglo-Saxon rearmament of Germany." Another "Mikolajczyk and the Anglo-American warmongers want to rob us of our reconquered Western territories." The Jan. 18 issue of Mikolajczyk's paper, Gaz.eta Ludowa, would have carried the following headline, if the censor had permitted: "Go and vote secretly. Listen only to your own conscience. The Constitution guarantees secrecy." But this counsel was deleted. Editors of PSL and Catholic publications told me that during the campaign from 50 to 75 per cent of what they wanted to print was cancelled by the censor. Also, they could get only a small fraction of the newsprint allotted to the PPR and PPS papers. Similarly, PPR and PPS posters were everywhere, but no PSL posters could be found It seems that even the Virgin Mary has become a fellowtraveller riding the wave of the future, In Lodz, a four-page 15 BibliotecaGino Bianco

leaflet displayed on page one a woodcut of the Holy Virgin of Czestochowa ; the other pages explained why every Christian should vote for the Communist-Socialist Bloc. This was a bit too much for the local PPS chairman, Henryk Wachowicz, who stated that it had been printed without his knowledge. If everything else had failed, the fact that the Army and Security Police voted separately would have been sufficient to enable the Government to stuff the ballot boxes with as many ballots as necessary, for there were no watchers except officers. In the few districts where the PSL did succeed in having watchers, the following results were disdosed: in seven Warsaw polling places which were PPR strongholds, the PSL got 6,526, the Block 7,509; in Zgierz, the PSL got 825, the Bloc 295 ; in three places in Czestochowa, PSL 3,207, Bloc 1,489; in ·ten booths in Poznan, PSL u,931, Bloc 5,344; in five places in Leszno, PSL 3,215, Bloc 192; nine polling places· in Gniezno, PSL 7,397, Bloc 4,325. Thus in 35 polling places where an honest count was made the PSL got 33,669 votes against 20,809 for the PPR-PPS Bloc. And these were not the places where the PSL was strongest. There were PSL watchers in about three per cent of the election districts-in 296 precincts out of 6,726. And remember that of 864 PSL candidates, only 428 were allowed to run ; Mikolajczyk estimated that over 100,000 of his people were arrested (a government spokesman, Roman Romkowski, said 2, 110 as of Jan. 10) ; about 2,000,000 citizens were disfranchised. THE SHOWDOWN. The official election returns are fantastically ludicrous. They give the PPR-PPS Bloc 382 of the 444 seats in the Sejm, Polish Parliament ( 119 each to the PPR and PPS, 106 to the fake Peasant Party) and only 28 to the PSL, as compared with 53 previously. Even after the campaign of terror and all the rest of it, the PSL would surely have won a majority had there been an honest count-Mikolajczyk thinks 70 per cent.; my own estima,te is apol,lt 60 per cent. For there ;i,realways many 16 Biblioteca Gino Bianco

in any nation who can be terrorized; James Byrnes' Stuttgart speech indubitably injured the PSL ; and Poles long for national unity and peace. · The most effective propaganda broadcast by the Government Bloc was to the effect that a PSL victory would mean (1) a return to the prewar reactionary dictatorship, and ( 2) loss of the "reconquered Western territories" to Germany, and (3) anotlier direct invasion by the Re.clArmy. In so far as the PSL lost strength; it was due as much to these arguments as to terror. · Greatly though Poles hate Communism, they prefer Polish· to Russian Communists, and almost to a man they are determined to keep the Western territories and not to go back to the status q1;10 -ante bellum. And contributing heavily to the decrease in the number of PSL votes was the refusal of the Church to issue a pastoral letter supporting the PSL. The official-and of course distorted-returns gave the PSL 4,000,000 votes in the July referendum out of I 2,000,000, and only 1,100,000 in the January 19 elections. The election in Poland demonstrates once again that Communists, in power, will no longer cooperate with liberals or democratic Socialists. It proved that Communists believe in freedom only for themselves, and that they believe in democracy only as a weapon to destroy democracy. It showed again that Communism is an international conspiracy. How will the 'Moscow-Warsaw axis exploit its victory? A PRISONER GF THE KREMLIN. "As a prewar Socialist leader, Jozef Cyi;ankiewicz espoused democratic ideals, attacked Communism, rejected totalitarianism. During the war he was a leader of the famous WRN ("Freedom, ·:, Equality and Independence") which resisted the Nazis heroically, and which participated in the Warsa~ Uprising. · He was a . : fOmrade of Zygmunt Zulawski, now an ino/.'pendent Socialist .. ,, ppposed to the Government bloc, and of such Polish Socialists , ! ; ,abroad as Tomasz Arciszewski. I predict that at some future ''] . 17 ;;/; I . i. I'. BibliotecaGino Bianco

purge trial, in the Moscow style, these " crimes " will arise to damn him. Cyrankiewicz told me that the PPS (official Socialist Party) remains independent despite its pact with the Communist P~R, and that no government is possible in Poland without the Communists. He asserted that the Communists desire a coalition government rather than a one-party dictatorship. " The united front in Central Europe is an absolute necessity and has special significance here " he said, " because without it the Fascists would return to power eventually." "A realistic policy is obligatory for Poland," Cyrankiewcz went on. " An expression of this realism is the united front pact. This agreement gives us Socialists complete independence in an equal partnership. The Peasant Party could participate in the Government on the same terms, but Mikolajczyk refused, against the advice of many PSL leaders. It is likewise essential for us to collaborate closely with Soviet Russia." If humanistic, democratic Socialism as represented by Zulawski and Zdanowski within Poland and by Arciszewski and his many friends in London and New York is against the united front and against Soviet Russia, he declared, they will only help to create a Western Bloc, and thus increase the danger of World War III. He denied the existence of an Eastern Bloc. He maintained that Polish Socialism, born under conditions clifferent than Russian Communism or German Social Democracy, will be as humanistic as circumstances permit, and not identical with Sovietism. But he admitted that the PPS and PPR will let nothing stand in the way of the revolution ; they will not give up power even if the majority is against them. The PPS is well aware of all the difficulties involved in a united front with the PPR, Cyrankiewicz stated. " If we cannot solve these problems we will suffer the same fate as the Communists and Social Democrats met in Germany in 1933. The Fascists will win. Stimulated by reactionary circles abroad, the Polish Fascists place their hope in a war between the USA and the USSR, though they hate both Socialism and western democracy." " The Polish Socialists in exile can write beautiful books about social democracy," he continued, "but they cannot affect 18 BibliotecaGino Bianco

l political trends unless they return and accept the inevitable necessity to work with the PPR and the USSR. Their abstract ideals cannot now be applied in Poland. Zulawski's concept of integral democracy would mean that if the reactionaries grow strong enough they could win power legally as Hitler did in Germany. Such intellectuals cannot govern, cannot make a revolution. They would only slow up the wheels of progress, and that cannot be permitted." I asked him about the Russian officers in the Polish army. He answered that just as French officers were engaged as instructors of the Polish army after World War I, so Russian officers are now teaching the Polish soldiers, but they are only technical instructors who will soon leave. All my observations in Poland contradict Cyrankiewicz' statements. In fact, I doubt that he believes half of them himself. I am convinced that he does not relish his task, even if he is an unconscionable careerist. He dislikes the role of a Jewish policeman in a ghetto, spying upon and denouncing his comrades. He knows that he and his party are prisoners of the Kremlin and of its agent-the Polish PPR. He knows that the PPR has less than half of its claimed 600,000 members. He knows that a united front, not with the PPR but with the PSL and other democratic forces could easily defeat all forms of reaction including Fascism and anti-Semitism, and wipe out banditry. He knows that an Eastern Bloc does in fact exist and that the potential formation of a Western Bloc is only a reaction to this fact. He knows that the trend in Poland is toward a totalitarian, one-party dictatorship. He is far too intelligent not to know these things. Cyrankiewicz also knows that critics of the present regime, could safely return only if they agreed to be silent-to become as he is, apologists for totalitarianism. Polish democratic Socialists in London expressed the opinion that Cyrankiewicz was profoundly affected by his concentration camp experience in Mauthausen. He witnessed Nazi atrocities and suffered them himself. He lost his respect for human dignity. War and revolution make life cheap. He became 19 BibliotecaGino Bianco

I cynical. ;H~·. 'value~ . power above idealism. Faced with a ./1· choice· ·of becoming an emigre pr following the example of Zulawski · a~d Mikolajczy~, ~hich -n:ieant ~ven~_al.i~oladon a,nd · ~rustration~ or .accepting the te~ms o[ the p~ct.w~~h~htCo~un1sts, h~ cho_se,~o play a ,¥ach1avel11a?,,r_ol~:y. .B.1;1th,t.r:~ _ls, lit:le doubt mind that the ,new :Premier .qf Po1:rµd:,desp1sessuch men as Jan ~tanczyk whose. capi'tdlatt~;;:-,hi~ i·~;t9 co~plete; he made a deal, but he will fight to• maintain for, his I party a degree of independence~ hopirlg. for 'a more favourcabk relationship of forces at somt; futu.re1time,. for ~n opportunity to regain full independence. · · · THE UNITED FRONT. The first agreement· reached with th~ · Soviet Government by the Polish Governm~nt, .'-'of. National Unity, " was negotiated under conditions of :extr,eme difficulty',: fo. .J~ne, 1945, when the 16 Poles who led the anti-Nazi re'sista~ce Were on trial · in Moscow. They had come out of hidi.r;i.g'at the iO:vitation of the Russians to participate in the formiltipn' '.:of'a .pro~isional government. Their trial was a, 'demonstration;, a warping to 1 other Poles like Cyrankiewicz, that opposition to' Soviet control / would be swiftly punished. . · · · The capitulation to Stalin's demand~ by .J~n Stanczyk and others made the task of Mikolajczyk and C)frankiewicz almost impossible. But some concessions were graciQ?us'lygiven by the Kremlin, and after the signing of the agree~ent and after the Potsdam pact, the Government, which Mikolajczyk had entered, with the aid of the PSL and PPS was able to check the looting of Poland, at least partly and temporarily. Russia gave up the demand for 50-50 trusts, and 51 per cent. of the industrial equipment of the " reconquered territories " as reparations from Germany. But the Communist PPR violated the pact made with Mikolajczyk and he was compelled to break away from the government bloc in August and form an independent Peasant 20 BibliotecaGino Bianco

Party, which rapidiy became the largest political organization. In November, 1945, the SL or pseudo-Peasant Party, within the government bloc, and led by fellow-travellers, rejected Mikolajczyk's offer of a merger. The Communists had been able to infiltrate the Peasant Party sufficiently to cause a split, as they did with other parties. But the PSL continued to grow and the SL has not succeeded in gaining the support of more than five per cent. of the peasants. But a minority government can govern only by coercion, and in the first months of 1946 the Security Police (UB-Urzad Bezpieczenstwa), alarmed by the growth of the PSL, launched a new campaign of terror. Hence when the Communists offered Mikolajczyk's party 2 5 per cent. of the posts in the Government if he would rejoin the government bloc and agree to a single list of candidates for the promised elections, his first condition was the dissolution of the secret police. Mikolajczyk argued that it was not a question of how many government jobs the PSL might be given, or representation in Parliament ; the real issue was whether Poland was to have a constitutional democracy or a police state. The tremendous majority given the PSL in the June, 1946 referendum, and the insignificant number of votes cast for the PPS-PPR bloc, caused panic among the Communists. Their propaganda and terror. had failed. In many cities and villages the PSL got as high as 98 per cent. of the ballots. But only in Cracow, due to an accident, was there an honest count, giving the PSL, officially 84 per cent. of the votes. More drastic tactics became necessary for the unpopular PPR. MASQUERADE OF DEMOCRACY. On August 20, 1946, Cyrankiewicz flew to Moscow with other Socialist leaders to complain to Stalin about the fight being waged by the secret police against the PPS as well as the PSL. They were bluntly informed that while their right to maintain 21 BibliotecaGino Bianco

organizational autonomy was recognized by the Kremlin, they must reach an agreement with the PPR and not with the PSL. The Communist puppets were summoned to Moscow and ori August 27 formulated the terms of the PPR-PPS pact. The Socialists knew very well how strong was the opposition of the rank-and-file members of the PPS to the united front pact and to entrance into the government bloc which means one list of candidates, and on Stalin's advice they ousted the outstanding leaders of this opposition within the PPS. All Socialists who had been loyal to the great traditions of social democracy lost their governmental posts except those who, like Cyrankiewicz, capitulated. Again the PPR-PPS block offered the PSL 25 per cent. of the representation in the Government-but not the key posts of Minister of the Interior, of Foreign Affairs, of the Army, of the Economy-if Mikolajczyk would agree to a single list of candidates in a prearranged " election." His answer was that he realized the necessity, under the circumstances, of giving the PPR far more authority than they could possibly win in a free election, and the necessity of friendly relations with Soviet Russia. But he insisted that any pact that he would sign must guarantee the independence of not only the PSL, but of the PPS and Christian Labour Party as well. The agreement must provide for the honest fulfilment of the Yalta pledge of free elections and the legal functioning of all anti-Nazi, democratic parties-even the conservative National Democratic Party which heroically and loyally participated in the five-year battle against the Nazi invasion. By refusing the offer of the government bloc, OsubkaMorawski said on January 17, 1947, Mikolajczyk sealed the political doom of the PSL. Meantime the legitimate leader of the Catholic, liberal Labour Party, Karol Popiel, had been forced to resign from his I party in July, 1946, and it was transformed into an organization that the Catholic hierarchy denounces as spurious. An atheist, Dr. Feliks Widy-Wirski (now Acting Minister of Propaganda)1 was duly installed as leader of the Christian Labour Party l 1 The Ministry of Propaganda has since been abolished and its agendas transferred to an office, headed by the Communist leader, Jacob Be~ma11, BibliotecaGino Bianco

Stalin bluntly told Mikolajczyk and Cyrankiewicz that the PSL and PPS together could not be given 5 I per cent. of the effective control of the Government being formed ; they could have only 45 per cent. regardless of any election results. The Soviet Government would regard any Polish regime as intolerable in which the Communists did not have a majority of the key posts, Stalin declared. Negotiations between the PPS and PPR within Poland failed to produce a satisfactory pact; and so on Nov. 3, 1946, their leaders flew again· to Moscow where the terms of the agreement signed on November 28 were outlined to them. The chastened PPS was compelled to capitulate and agree to three disastrous conditions of the united front : they had to declare that " there are no ideological differences between the Communists and the Socialists " ; the youth organizations of both are to work toward a merger ; and the PPS leaders pledged themselves to purge their party of those who adhered to the principles of pre-war social democracy. The Socialists who proved "disloyal" to the terms of this pact of capitulation were to be denounced by their own comrades. Thus PPS leaders who oppose totalitarianism, have been arrested and have even confessed in trials reminiscent of the infamous Moscow purge trials that they have collaborated with the underground-notably Wasik, Galaj and Szturm de Sztrem. Mierzwa of the PSL likewise confessed. Equally Obarski, one of the pre-war staff of the Socialist Robotnik, is now in jail, as well as Felix Misiorowski and many others, who are held incommunicado. I could not see them, and neither can their relatives. A further humiliating condition of the PPR-PPS pact is that the Socialists are obliged to fight the PSL as the agent of AngloAmerican imperialism and the legal superstructure of the underground. Wladyslaw Gomulka, who with Jacob Berman and Hilary Mine, forms the all-powerful triumvirate behind the facade of the "Democratic Bloc," hailed the pact as a legal rn.arriage of the two parties of the working class ; but certainly the children of this marriage will not be Socialists, but Communists, 23 Biblioteca Gino Bianco

When Cyrankiewicz took the first disastrous step down the steep slippery slope that ends in Bolshevism, he made himself so dependent upon Soviet Russia that he cannot avoid subsequent steps downward. He is already an unwilling prisoner of the Kremlin, and it seems unlikely that circumstances will give him a chance to escape. Like the Russian Mensheviks who similarly took the first step-Maiski, Vishinsky, etc.-he will take the final step into the Communist trap. But for those who would understand the nuances of Polish politics, it must be made clear that there is a difference between Cyrankiewicz, Premier and leader of the official Socialist Party, and Jacob Berman, Communist Under-Secretary of State, and between Rusinek, Socialist secretary of the Polish trade unions and Minister of Labour, and Hilary Mine, Minister of Industry. Certainly the PPS hopes for withdrawal of the Red Army at an early date. Few Poles, except Moscow-trained Communists, are happy under Russian control. And even the Communists desire at least a degree of autonomy. The Socialists really want independence and. will make a feeble and probably futile effort to resist complete Sovietization. In writing this I am revealing no secret unknown to the Polish Communists. I suspect that the shrewd, crafty Bolsheviks, Berman and Mine and Gomulka, regard Cyrankiewicz as a more difficult opponent than Mikolajczyk, for he operates in Machiavellian ways familiar to them, and does not place his trust in the Western democratic powers which have betrayed Mikolajczyk,· and Poland. The capitulation of Cyrankiewicz to terms dictated by Stalin was due largely to the ugly fact that he was smart enough to know that the United States and Britain would not give effective support to Mikolajczyk such as Russia gave to the Communists. Hard-boiled realist, Cyrankiewicz drew the logical conclusions and made a deal. If he is a traitor to social democratic ideals, our policy of appeasement has made him play that role, just as our policy has made martyrs of Mikolajczyk and · Z'ulawski; though they are not yet jailed or shot. If you were a· Pole, ·lpved your country and desired neithe; to be a martyr or·an emigre, what course would you chose? 24 BibliotecaGino Bianco

MILITANT SOCIAL DEMOCRAT. Zygmunt Zulawski impressed me more than any man I met in the "reborn " Poland. From his sickbed this 67-year-old democratic Socialist thundered his denunciation and scorn of Communists and craven Socialists who are trying to impose an alien culture upon his country. The thing which irritates him most, perhaps, and of which he spoke first, is that he is silenced by the censor. He still writes, but his articles are cut to pieces, the heart taken out of them. Under the semi-dictatorships of Pilsudski and Colonel Beck, Zulawski managed to publish articles and books on Socialism, denouncing the regime. But after the " revolution triumphant " he cannot even answer the vicious attacks made upon his character and program. Born in 1880 in the mountains of Galicia, then under Austrian rule, Zulawski studied zoology at Cracow University but gave up a promising scientific career to devote himself to social problems. As a Socialist he was refused a governmental post. He went to work in the mines of Boryslaw as a common labourer. He became a trade union organizer and rose to the secretaryship of the Miners' Unions and later became secretary of the Trade Union Federation of all Galicia. During the war, while wounded and 'in hospital, he was accused of high treason by the Austrian Government for his part in a demonstration. He went into hiding until the end of World War I. Then· he joined with Witos, Tertil and Daszynski in working for the independence of Poland. In 1919 he was elected as a deputy of the Polish Socialist Party to the Sejm or Parliament from the District of Chrzanow and subsequently from Cracow. He simultaneously became general secretary of the Trade Union Organisation and was one of its foremost leaders for the next two decades, until the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. Zulawski was a member of the executive committee of the International Federation of Trade Unions and of th·e international Labour Office in Geneva. He was elected president of the Social 25 BibliotecaGino Bianco