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In Memoriam

Polish Revolutionary Socialist Dies;
Refused to Bow to Stalin

(14 November 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 46, 14 November 1949, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

One of the most prominent leaders of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) in Cracow, Zygmunt Zulawski, has died after a long illness.

From his early youth Zulawski was active in the Polish workers’ movement as a member of the PPS. In 1918 he was a member of the liquidating commission of Galicia, which was in charge of incorporating Southern Poland, then part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, into the new independent Polish republic.

For many years he was one of the leaders of the trade unions and a deputy in the Polish Diet. He distinguished himself in the struggle against the dictatorship of Pilsudski and his heirs, the “Colonels.”

In the period of anti-Nazi resistance, he was a vice-premier of the underground government. Always considered a leader of the left wing of the PPS, he was repeatedly “invited’’ by Stalin to consult with him on the formation of the new Stalinist government. However, he rejected all of the Kremlin’s offers.

For some time he tried to from an underground workers’ movement, and succeeded in forming the PPSD, an independent organization in opposition to the regime. His requests for permission to from an independent party were denied by the puppet president, Bierut, who declared that the Poles already had “too many parties.”

Then Zulowski entered the tamed PPS, but did not stay there very long. Although he was unable to form an independent workers’ party, he declared his opposition to the Stalinist government and won his place in the Warsaw Diet, in spite of and against the GPU.

His courageous declarations in the tamed Diet were canceled out by censorship and his life threatened. Only his sickness and his enormous popularity among the workers saved him from the clutches of the GPU.

His death brings sorrow not only to his party, but to the entire Polish working class, including the old revolutionary workers sector, which has been silenced by the GPU.

His courageous attitude with regard to the Stalinist regime and his rebellious spirit will have an enormous importance in awakening the revolutionary opposition of the workers to the reactionary bureaucracy.

“May the martyred Polish earth rest lightly on his breast.”

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