85. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State1

167. Embtel 157.2 Restoration party rights Gomulka may have multiple purposes:

Give added credibility genuiness democratization here;
Further attempt convince non-bloc communists (including Yugoslavs) and socialist parties, and world opinion “separate roads to socialism” really possible, as witness return nationalist communist Gomulka;
Attempt increase unity party and national front.

Embassy emphasizes Gomulka thus far only restored party rights and even if subsequently given important party and/or government post, such as Deputy-Premiership, this could be merely window dressing to serve above purpose. Embassy inclined doubt “democratization” party line has yet proceeded to point where “rehabilitated” communist will be allowed freedom action party circles. Seems particularly unlikely in case Gomulka whose policies castigated publicly by party leaders Morawski 26 March (Weeka 13)3 and Ochab April 6 (Weeka 15).4 Moreover, in face stated party disapproval Gomulkaism, former Gomulka adherents likely cautious re supporting him. Possibility cannot be excluded that Gomulka will be able exploit to his personal advantage reported indecision and factions within PZPR which accentuated by de-Stalinization and other implications for Poland of 20th Congress CPSU, and need resolve situation causing Poznan riots.

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Well-known stubbornness Gomulka presents possibility he refused return party ranks unless PZPR conceded somewhat his views and promised substantive position. In any event, he has not recanted publicly.

Believe developments to date justify little, if any, optimism re potential contribution Gomulkaism to cleavage Poland–USSR. Moreover, particularly important recall that, although castigated by regime, Gomulka was and probably is ruthless, hard-core, anti-US communist.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 748.00/8–956. Confidential. Repeated to Moscow and Belgrade.
  2. Telegram 157 from Warsaw, August 6, reported the restoration of full party rights to Gomulka, Spychalski, and Kliszko and speculation that Gomulka might receive an important government post. (Ibid., 748.00/8–656)
  3. Joint Weeka 13, telegrams 690 and 691 from Warsaw, both March 30. (Ibid., 748.00(W)/3–3056)
  4. Joint Weeka 15, telegrams 730 and 731 from Warsaw, both April 13. (Ibid., 748.00(W)/4–1356)