Polish Committee of National Liberation

Polish Committee of National Liberation
A propaganda photo of a citizen reading the PKWN Manifesto, issued on July 22, 1944

The Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polish Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego, PKWN), also known as the Lublin Committee, was a provisional government of Poland, officially proclaimed 21 July 1944 in Chełm under the direction of State National Council (Krajowa Rada Narodowa, or KRN) in opposition to the Polish government in exile. It exercised control over Polish territory re-taken from Nazi Germany and was fully sponsored and controlled by the Soviet Union.

On 22 July 1944 the Manifesto of the Polish Committee of National Liberation was published, announcing radical social, political and economic reform, continuation of the fight against Nazi Germany, nationalisation of industry and a "decent border in the West". It also proclaimed the PKWN to be "the only legitimate Polish government", thus formally rejecting the Polish government in exile. Soon afterwards, the Soviet Union started to transfer power in the Soviet-controlled areas of Lublin, Białystok, Rzeszów and Warsaw Voivodships to the PKWN. Actual control over those areas remained in the hands of the NKVD and the Red Army, however. Beginning August 1, 1944, the Committee was officially headquartered in Lublin. Nikolai Bulganin represented Soviet administration.

Among the members of the PKWN were politicians of various communist and leftist parties accepted by Soviet authorities. Its chairman was Edward Osóbka-Morawski (Polish Socialist Party, Polska Partia Socjalistyczna, or PPS). His deputies were Wanda Wasilewska (Union of Polish Patriots, Związek Patriotów Polskich, or ZPP) and Andrzej Witos (People's Political Party, SL), a younger brother of Wincenty Witos, a notable pre-war politician. Andrzej Witos was later replaced by Stanisław Janusz.

The PKWN Manifesto, issued on July 22, 1944

Other members included those from KRN, ZPP, Worker's Party of Polish Socialists (RPPS), SL, Democratic Party (SD), Polish Workers' Party (PPR) and unaffiliated. Most of these organisations and politicians were largely unknown to Polish society.

On 31 December 1944, the PKWN was joined by several members of the Polish government in exile, among them Stanisław Mikołajczyk[citation needed]. In January 1945, after the Soviet Union entered Warsaw, it was then transformed into the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rząd Tymczasowy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, RTRP) that was to govern the areas taken by the Red Army from Nazi Germany until the elections were held.

International reactions

The creation of the Polish Committee of National Liberation was part of Joseph Stalin's attempt to create a situation that could not be undone in Eastern Europe before negotiations with its allies. This heightened the tension between the Soviet Union and the other members of the United Nations which would eventually lead to the Cold War.

Similar events took place in many of the other East European states under control of the Red Army, as, for example, in Romania in March, 1945, where a Communist government was elected through a combination of vote manipulation, elimination and forced mergers of competing parties.

The future Western Bloc allies saw these events with great distress, especially because Stalin had previously accepted the Atlantic Charter in principle, signed it at the Yalta Conference, promised to hold democratic elections in the countries controlled by the Red Army and signed the "Declaration about the Liberated Europe".

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Liberation War of Macedonia — For other uses of terms redirecting here, see Macedonian struggle. National Liberation War of Macedonia Part of the Yugoslav Front of World War II …   Wikipedia

  • Polish United Workers' Party — Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza First leader Bolesław Bierut Last leader …   Wikipedia

  • Polish National Committee — ( Komitet Narodowy Polski ) can refer to several Polish organizations:;Historical: *Polish National Committee (1831–1832) in Paris *Polish National Committee (1848) during the Spring of Nations *Polish National Committee (1834–1838) in the United …   Wikipedia

  • Polish 1970 protests — in Gdynia: body of Janek Wiśniewski (real name is Zbyszek Godlewski) is carried by the demonstrators …   Wikipedia

  • Polish landed gentry — ( pl. ziemiaństwo, ziemianie, from ziemia , land ) historically was a social group of hereditary landowners who held manorial estates. Historically ziemiane consisted of hereditary nobles and landed commoners. The Constitution of 1496 restricted… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish October — Władysław Gomułka, at the height of his popularity, on 24 October 1956, addressing hundreds of thousands of people in Warsaw, asked for an end to demonstrations and a return to work. United with the working class and the nation , he concluded,… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Armed Forces — Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland Siły Zbrojne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Workers' Party — The Polish Workers Party ( Polska Partia Robotnicza , PPR) was a communist party in Poland from 1942 to 1948. It was founded as a reconstitution of the Communist Party of Poland, and merged with the Polish Socialist Party in 1948 to form the… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish Resettlement Corps — The Polish Resettlement Corps (PRC; pl. Polski Korpus Przysposobienia i Rozmieszczenia) was an organisation formed by the British Government in 1946 as a holding unit for members of the Polish Armed Forces who had been serving with the British… …   Wikipedia

  • Polish government-in-exile — The Government of the Polish Republic in Exile was the government of Poland after the country had been occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union during September–October 1939. The Polish Government in Exile commanded Polish armed forces operating… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.