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A. Rudzienski

GPU Agents Masquerade as
Life-Long Revolutionists

Who Heads the Stalinist
Quisling Government in Poland?

(3 March 1947)

From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 9, 3 March 1947, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Who are the people at the head of the present Stalinist puppet government in Poland? Do they have a past in the great revolutionary movement of Poland, or are they mere officials of the GPU created by Stalin?

These were the questions Labor Action addressed to its special correspondent on Polish affairs, A. Rudzienski, whose exclusive dispatches on the subject have been unrivalled in the American press for wealth of information and depth of Marxist analysis. The adjoining article is his answer to the above questions. Too long for publication in one issue, his article will be completed next week.

Stalinist propaganda is trying to present the present Warsaw government as a “democratic” and “socialist” government headed by veteran Communists and Socialists against whom the reaction fights precisely because of their political past. This affirmation is a cynical political fairy tale.

In order to arrive at the complete domination of Poland- through the Warsaw government, Stalin was compelled to annihilate three successive leaderships of the Polish Communist Party (CPP); first, the old Luxemburgists and Trotskyists; secondly, the trght wing “Majorityites” and thirdly, Stalin’s own clique imposed by him in 1930. Thus the painful labor of almost 80 years of Polish revolutionary socialism was destroyed, as were also the principal figures of the Polish labor movement, the old and experienced teachers of the Marxist movement.

However, the annihilation of the Communist Party did not suffice. There still existed an old reformist-socialist party, but with a glorious revolutionary past going back to Czarist times. Behind the cover of the Popular Front, Stalinism tried to infect and corrupt this other working class party in order to annihilate it. The Socialists showed more resistance than the Communists, since they did not share a common past with the Russian Bolsheviks and consequently had not been caught up in the process of degeneration that had taken hold of the Russian Revolution. Neither before the war nor during the period of occupation was the GPU capable of dominating the Polish labor movement, which was grouped around the Polish Socialist Party (PPS).

Resistance Movement Run by Socialists and Unions

Like the nationalist right wing, the Stalinists remained on the fringe of the resistance, whose backbone was the workers’ movement, led by the PPS and supported by the Communist oppositionists and the illegal unions. The workers, led by the Warsaw organization of the PPS and the unions, constituted the striking arm of the Warsaw uprising. This fact explains the main reason for the Stalinist hatred of the Polish underground and the Warsaw insurrection. In order to install a Stalinist puppet regime in Poland it was necessary to annihilate this insurrection.

The present regime came to power over the cadaver of the CPP and the Socialist and petty bourgeois underground; it came on the bayonets of Russian imperialism. To speak, therefore, of the socialist character of the régime is a bloody jest at the expense of the Polish and international proletariat, a jest that can be permitted only the “court jester” of Stalinism, Harold Laski.

When the first outposts of Stalin’s conquering army passed the Bug line, there had already been concocted in the provincial city of Chelm the infamous Lublin Committee, headed by Boleslaw Beirut and Osobka-Morawski. In this committee, three groups were already distinguishable: (1) the old officialdom of the GPU; (2) the “intellectuals,” petty bourgeoisie poisoned by Stalinism, without revolutionary past and theoretical background, who had fought the Russian Revolution in the days of its glory, and “discovered” it after the Stalinist purges; (3) the old reactionaries, ardent collaborators of Pilsudski and, worse still, of the colonels, hangmen of the revolutionary workers’ movement, enthusiasts of Mussolini and Hitler, nationalists and anti-Semites, organizers of pogroms against old Jews (against the robust Jewish workers of Warsaw, these gentry never dared make a move nor did they ever have the courage to penetrate the Jewish north side of Warsaw).

This, therefore, is the political and social character of the Warsaw regime; the GPU spies, Stalinist political gangsters; the naive petty bourgeois “fellow-travelers,” cowardly opportunists; and the reactionaries of "pure blood and noble coat of arms.”

Let us now examine the individuals in this government:

Boleslaw Bierut, “Puppet President” of Poland, cryptonym derived from his two police pseudonyms, Bienkowski and Rutkowski. He is the assassin of 10,000 Polish prisoners at Katyn. In his youth he belonged to the Social Democracy without playing any role. After the Russian Revolution, he passed into the service of the GPU and travelled the road of police degeneration. He became chief of the Polish GPU. When Stalin had won definitive control of the CPP he sent into it a group of GPU officials in order to “consolidate” the organization. This group was headed by Bierut. When the “consolidation” failed to satisfy Stalin, the “consolidator,” Bierut, became the hangman and assassin of his comrades. Bierut never distinguished himself by any programmatic or theoretical work; he never presented any political platform. For him, the police criterion of Beria and the other Stalinist hangmen was sufficient. Thus he won the confidence of Stalin, who named him “president“ of Poland.

Catherine II, famous for her unrestrained love affairs with the officials of the Palace guard, forced the election of her ex-lover, Poniatowski as King of Poland, “guaranteeing the golden liberties of the Polish nobility.” Stalin surpassed Catherine by naming his police agent as the president of the “democratic and independent Poland.”

Wladyslaw Gomulka, vice-premier of the cabinet, is a mediocre bureaucrat of worker origin, who began his political career as late as 1929–30 among the oil workers, who lost a strike and with it the local Communist Party and the union. In spite of this defeat and his theoretical nullity, he rose rapidly in the Stalinist hierarchy and became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Western Ukraine (KPZU). Afterward, in the period of “consolidation,” when the comrades of Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin, were isolated, slandered and assassinated, Gomulka rose to be a “leader” of the Polish proletariat by Stalin’s grace. It is he who is the author of the current “strong” course against the workers and peasants, the instigator of Stalinist totalitarianism in Poland against the opposition.

The “Gray Eminence” of Polish Stalinism

Henrykowski-Amsterdam, “gray eminence” of the regime, of whom it is whispered that he is Stalin’s direct “courier.” He hardly belongs to the old guard. He came to the Communist Party from the Jewish Poale-Zion and through his talent for intrigue converted himself into a “person of importance.” Because of his cynicism and jesuitism, he has been called the “Pope of the left.” He supported the Stalinist ultra-left turn of 1929-31, but later managed none the less to become a “consolidator.” He managed to save himself from all the purges, betraying his companions in the process. He is insolent, cynical and totally lacking in character. He is capable of committing the greatest infamies without fear or shame.

Hilary Minc, Minister of Industry, hardly represents the old stock of the CPP. He came to communism from the Jewish Bund, He belonged to the rightist “majority,” but when the latter had been defeated, adapted himself to the “consolidation” and later on to the regime of the GPU.

As his reward, he received his puppet ministry. We must recognize that he is the most honorable of the Stalinists and does what he can to reconstruct Poland. In his time he was an honorable, self-sacrificing revolutionary, although somewhat inclined toward opportunism. This was the characteristic, no doubt, which saved him from the purges.

Radkiewicz, Minister of the “Biezpieka” (Security Guard), real boss of Poland, hangman of the striking workers, the opposition Socialists and the rebellious peasants. Author of the anti-Semitic pogroms in Lodz, Krakow and Kielce. He has no past in the CPP, is a professional police agent, an official of the GPU, a White Russian who can hardly disguise himself as a Pole, a “Pop” (the name for Russians who “fulfill the duties of a Pope”).

Radkiewicz is the hangman of the Polish underground, he is the author and executor together with Bierut of the massacre of 15,000 Polish prisoners of war in Katyn and Starobielsk. He has publicly admitted the figure of 80,000 prisoners in Poland, a country of 23,000,000 inhabitants. He is the chief of the powerful army of the “Biezpieka,” which reaches the number of 300,000 men. He has the power of life and death over Poland.

At his order, the peasant politicals are assassinated. At his order, thousands of people disappear into the night, swallowed in the darkness like stones in water. At his order, the election lists of Mikolajczyk’s Peasant Party were prohibited in eight districts and thousands upon thousands of workers and peasants seized. Radkiewicz stays in the shadows, for he is the most hated figure in the Warsaw regime, “the hangman of Poland.”

These are the principal figures of the regime, the “revolutionaries” admired by the charlatan, Harold Laski.

(To be continued)

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