95. Editorial Note

On October 20, Gomulka addressed the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party. Allen Dulles considered it “one of the most dramatic things since Khrushchev’s speech.” (Memorandum of telephone conversation by Bernau, October 23; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations) Gomulka spoke of the evils of the past and described Poznań as the workers’ response to “the distortions of the fundamental principles of socialism”. In that light, he indicated that the “clumsy attempt to present the painful Poznan tragedy as the work of imperialist agents and provocateurs was very naive politically.” “[N]ever and nowhere,” he said, “can they determine the attitude of the working class.” The causes of the upheaval and working class dissatisfaction were “to be found in ourselves, in the leadership of the Party, in the Government”. In the wake of the Twentieth Party Congress, the Polish leadership had not told the whole truth. The resolutions of the Seventh Party Plenum had not acknowledged the failures of the Six-Year Plan (1950–1955). The cult of personality and “domestic Beriaism” had afflicted Poland as well as the Soviet Union. He emphasized that “we are putting an end to it once and for all.” The party had to tell the whole truth and be “clean”. Thus he announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry to look into the errors of the past. For text of the address, see Zinner, National Communism, pages 197–238. Telegram 516 from Warsaw, October 23, dealt with the economic aspects of Gomulka’s remarks. (Department of State, Central Files, 748.00/10–2356)