12502--Though the Soviet Union's domination of "People's Poland" has been widely discussed, few primary sources will rival "They" in richness. An oral history, the book includes extended interviews with several key figures in Poland's early Communist party, including former First Secretary Edward Ochab, journalist Stefan Staszewski, and notorious ex-security chief Jakub Berman. A pro-Solidarity journalist, Toranska tends to provoke bitter responses from her subjects. The interviews with Staszews
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish
Lies, equivocation, cant and "doublespeak" come to the fore as proSolidarity journalist Toranska interviews five ex-party bosses or ideological hacks who held top positions in Poland's postWW II Communist Party. In one interview, Jakub Berman, former head of the Polish secret police, admits that Stalin was pathological, then goes on to condone the mass purges of the 1930s as a "tragic web of circumstances" that drew victims into its vortex. Soviet-sponsored executions of Polish dissidents, deportations to Siberia, antiSemitic campaigns, jailings based on false testimony and torture of prisoners are some of the grisly events recounted. These recollections belie the popular image of Gomulka as a "good man" persecuted by Stalinists. Toranska's openly combative stance toward her interviewees makes the sparks fly. This expose was originally circulated underground in Poland.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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