Andrzej Rudzienski Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

A. Rudzienski

Portrait of a “Country on Wheels”

The Polish Resistance Against Stalinist Rule

(26 August 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 34, 26 August 1946, p. 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Quisling government of Warsaw was implanted in Poland after the bloody “liquidation” of the Warsaw insurrection in which the Nazis had the collaboration of the Stalinist armies. The Lublin government was not made up of the prominent leaders of the old Communist Party (KPP), nor of the Socialist Party. The former were liquidated in bloody purges in Russia, the latter are either in the Russian prisons (Puzak, general secretary of the PPS – Polish Socialist Party – and vice-premier of the underground government of Poland; Paydak assassinated by the GPU, etc.), or in emigration (Kwapinski, Ciokosz, Prager, etc.). The leadership of the government belongs to the ex-agents and officials of the GPU; Bierut-Bienkowski-Rutkowski, “president” of Poland; Radkiewicz, White Russian GPU official, now “minister” of interior; Gomulka, vice-premier and secretary-general of the Polish Workers Party (Stalinist), a little-known leader of the KPP.

The PPS is represented by Osubka-Morawski, an obscure individual without a political past, appointed by Stalin as leader of the PPS; Szwalbe, known before the war as an adherent of Pilsudski; Rusinek, an obscure union bureaucrat of no importance, etc. Aside from the popular party of Mikolajczyk, there are in the government reactionaries of the stripe of Rzymowski, Chancellor, ex-adherent of Pilsudski, defender of the “pogrom” against the democratic opposition in 1930 in Brest-Litovsk; in the national council, St. Grabski, old leader of the National Democratic Party, the most right-wing in Poland, former servant of the Russian Czar; Kwiatkowski, Strasburger, Kirtiklis, Zeligowski, high dignitaries around the government, ex-leaders of the “Saneaja” of Pilsudski.

The Polish people supported the government of national resistance, the government of the Warsaw insurrection, in spite of all its faults. When, through the machinations of Big Three imperialism, the government of Stalinist police puppets, accompanied by the old reactionaries, was imposed, a wave of violent indignation ran through the country. The new Stalinist government began its activities with the cruel persecution of the underground resistance and the remains of the Warsaw insurrection.

Neither the nationalization of industry nor the agrarian reform could calm this opposition, because the new government obeyed the interests of Russian imperialism and not the interests of the Polish people. Stalinist imperialism destroys the remainder of the bourgeoisie and the Polish latifundists, but not in the interest of the workers and peasants of Poland, but in the interest of the Russian bureaucracy. The “socialist” reforms of Stalin are transformed into imperialist instruments for the exploitation, expropriation and colonial exploitation of the Polish people. The political terror and cruel persecution of all the oppositionists is only the consequence of this, imperialist politics.

Hence, because the Lublin-Warsaw government governs Poland by means of Stalinist bayonets, two years passed without elections of any kind. Hence, before holding the elections, they proceeded to the grandiose fraud of the “popular referendum” in Poland.

The referendum was supposed to answer three questions: (1) in favor of or against a unicameral parliament (abolition of the Senate); (2) in favor of or against the “nationalization” of industries and the “democratic agrarian reform”; (3) in favor of or against the new western frontier of Poland. Already, the most superficial analysis of the formulas of the plebiscite will show us the gigantic Thermidorian fraud.

The traditional position of the proletarian and peasant left wing in Poland was for the abolition of the Senate. But, in the conditions of the Stalinist dictatorship in Poland, the abolition of the Senate would tend to introduce a police-totalitarian dictatorship without any restraints or control. The national council of Poland is composed of figureheads appointed by the GPU who guard Russia’s imperialist interests in Poland. The fraudulent plebiscite is to legalize this crime against the Polish people.

The socialization of industry and the agrarian reform was in the program of the leftists and the anti-Nazi national resistance. But, the same reforms in the hands of the Stalinist bandits are converted into a reactionary imperialist instrument and serve to reduce the country to the status of a colony of “Holy Russia.” The popular plebiscite can only legalize the robbery of the national Polish landed property, approve the slave status of the Polish peasant workers.

The Border Crimes

The Curzon line, which is identified with the Molotov-Ribbentrop line, constitutes an international crime, a new partition of Poland once more perpetrated by Russian and German imperialism. The Oder line is a crime not only against Europe, but it makes of Poland a country on wheels, pushed from east to west and back again. Approving the Oder line, the “silent plebiscite” must not only approve the partition of Poland but the division of Europe into two imperialist spheres, thus rendering to international reaction incalculable services.

Under Catherine, Peter and Alexander, Poland knew “silent parliaments,” which under the bayonets of the “soldateska” approved the partitions of Poland. Under Stalin, not only deputies, but the whole people must approve not only the partition, but must declare agreement with the STATUS ESCLAVORUM and the robbery of the national land; under Stalin, the “silent parliament” is not enough – it is necessary to have a “silent referendum.”

According to official data, 68 per cent of the voters voted the first question affirmatively, that is, in favor of the government; 32 per cent against the government. The entire international press openly doubted these results. To better illustrate the fraud of electoral arithmetic, we record the figures of the Polish Diet:






Right (National Democrats and satellites)





Bourgeois Center (Christian Democrats and satellites)





Peasant Parties





“Sanacja” of Pilsudski





Socialists (1919)










* The Polish Worker – F. Gross, p. 134. Roy Publ., N.Y.

Electoral Abuses

The opposition to the Stalinist regime of Poland embraced not only the traditional rightists and peasant parties, but also a large part of the worker and peasant left. It suffices to analyze the figures cited to understand the Stalinist fraud. The “socialist” reforms and the partition of the country could not in any case conquer the majority for Russian imperialism.

This majority is explained not only by the barbarous, totalitarian terror but by arithmetical juggling. According to the declarations of Mikolajczyk, thousands of leaders and activists of his parties had been seized, their meetings banned, their delegates expelled from the electoral colleges, their press censored.

The electoral abuses in the departments of Cracow, Pulawy, Silesia, Pomerania and Lublin, according to the same declaration, ARE ENOUGH TO SHOW THE OPPOSITION WAS IN THE MAJORITY. According to reports in the Polish press in America, in Warsaw, Cracow, etc., mountains of burned ballots were found; the government was not anxious enough to hide them. In some districts, according to Homer Biggart and English correspondents, the presidents of the electoral commissions threw out the ballots of the opposition, filling the urns with blank ballots, which, according to the rules of the referendum, were considered as affirmative votes.

Furthermore, “anyone who wished” could vote “publicly.” Of course, all the public employees, who now constitute the majority of the voters in the city, voted thus. The “secret” voters were led to a special compartment. Of course, the “Bezpieka” (GPU of Radkiewicz) surely got hold of these surnames. In Praga the school children found mountains of torn ballots.

The objections of Mikolajczyk have not been heeded and the referendum will not be repeated in any province. The Stalinist dictatorship needs the legalization of the “silent referendum” and cannot permit itself the luxury of repeating it.

Who Is The Opposition

In spite of all frauds and all pressure, terror and “electoral arithmetic,” the quislings have to admit the considerable opposition of 32 per cent, whose existence is a defeat for the Stalinists. In Poland, since they cannot accomplish “unanimous” elections as in Russia, it is necessary to admit the opposition even if reduced by GPU arithmetic.

Now the GPU is contriving documents in order to accuse the whole Polish opposition of “Nazism” which is supposed to be headed by the Nazis of Gdansk (Danzig), and also by General Anders and the London government. A series of trumped-up lawsuits will prepare the way to declare the opposition and the peasant party of Mikolajczyk “Nazi” and to eliminate it from the elections, already postponed more than two years. The anti-Semitic pogroms, tolerated by the government and organized by its agents, also serve this purpose.

In reality, the opposition in Poland is composed of. all political colors from the traditional right and “Sanacja” of Pilsudski, through the Peasant Party, down to the peasant and proletarian left. The strikes in Silesia and Pomerania, the cynical resolutions of the “unions” criticizing the workers’ strikes, the resistance of the peasants against the requisitioning of grain, by the government, constitute the major proof of our affirmation. It may be added that the reactionary circles, ex-bourgeois and agrarian, try to find employment in the new privileged caste and to reconcile themselves to the Stalinist bureaucracy (Prince Radziwill as chief of protocol in the “Communist” government of Warsaw and tens of thousands of other reactionaries).

The Trotskyist and socialist proletarian opposition which, cruelly persecuted, fights underground, the democratic opposition of the peasants, the elementary and organized opposition of the resistance, deserve the full support of the international proletariat in its fight for the socialist revolution of Poland, which at the same time will be national liberation for the Polish people.

Andrzej Rudzienski Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 3 April 2020