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Bolesław Bierut
Bolesław Bierut
([bɔˈlɛswaf ˈbjɛrut] ( listen); 18 April 1892 – 12 March 1956) was a Polish Communist
Communist
leader, NKVD agent,[1] and a hard-line Stalinist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country in the aftermath of World War II.

Contents

1 Life 2 Death 3 Speculations about identity 4 See also 5 References

Life[edit]

Partly damaged old monument to Bierut formerly in Lublin, now in Kozłówka museum, 2007

Polish authorities isuued an order to Germans to force them to immediately leave Poland
Poland
after the Second World War.

1951 East German stamp commemorative of the Treaty of Zgorzelec establishing the Oder-Neisse line
Oder-Neisse line
as a “border of peace”, featuring the presidents Wilhelm Pieck
Wilhelm Pieck
(GDR) and Bolesław Bierut shaking hands over the new border

Bierut was born in Rury, now a part of Lublin, to Wojciech Bierut, a village teacher, and his wife Maria (née Biernacka). In 1918 he took courses at the Warsaw
Warsaw
School of Economics. From 1924–30, he was in Moscow
Moscow
for training at the school of the Communist
Communist
International. In 1930–31, he was sent by the Comintern
Comintern
to Austria, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. In 1933, he became an agent of Soviet military intelligence, the GRU, and was subsequently sentenced in Poland
Poland
to 10 years in prison for "anti-state activities" (incarcerated between 1933–1938). The pro-Soviet Communist Party of Poland
Communist Party of Poland
was dissolved by Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
in 1938. Bierut avoided being caught in the Great Purge, which led to the execution of many leaders of the Communist Party of Poland
Poland
in the USSR. After an amnesty from the Polish government in 1938, Bierut settled in Warsaw
Warsaw
and worked as a bookkeeper in a cooperative.[citation needed] After the outbreak of World War II, Bierut left Warsaw
Warsaw
and via Lublin went to eastern Poland, which was soon occupied by the Red Army. Bierut spent part of the war in the Soviet Union, but was sent to Poland
Poland
to join the leadership of the new Polish Workers' Party
Polish Workers' Party
(PPR) in 1943. He headed the State National Council
State National Council
(Krajowa Rada Narodowa), a communist quasi-parliament established by Władysław Gomułka
Władysław Gomułka
and the PPR, from 1944 to 1947. With Gomułka and others, Bierut played a leading role in the establishment of communist Poland.[2] From 1947 to 1952, he served as President and then (after the abolition of the Presidency with the creation of the People's Republic of Poland) Prime Minister. He was also the first Secretary General of the ruling Polish United Workers Party
Polish United Workers Party
from 1948 to 1956. Death[edit]

Bierut's grave in Powązki Military Cemetery, 2004

Bierut died under mysterious circumstances in Moscow
Moscow
on 12 March 1956 during a visit to the Soviet Union, shortly after attending the 20th Congress of the Communist
Communist
Party of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
during which Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
delivered his "Secret Speech", denouncing Stalin's cult of personality. His death gave rise to speculation about poisoning or suicide.[citation needed] Speculations about identity[edit] Polish historian Paweł Wieczorkiewicz posited that Bierut might have had a Soviet double (an NKVD
NKVD
agent) posing as Bierut from 1943 onwards with his full knowledge. Wieczorkiewicz referred to an account by Piotr Jaroszewicz
Piotr Jaroszewicz
made soon before his death, and published by Bohdan Roliński. The Polish President's double was supposedly shot dead by an unidentified assassin – likely another agent wearing an NKVD uniform and killed at the scene – at the Hotel Francuski in Kraków, Poland
Poland
in 1947. The real "Bierut" showed up half an hour later and calmed the security according to a statement made by one of them. The assassination attempt was kept secret by the authorities. Wieczorkiewicz himself referred to this theory as an urban legend.[3] See also[edit]

Bierut Decrees

References[edit]

^ Błażyński, Zbigniew (2003). Mówi Józef Światło. Za kulisami bezpieki i partii, 1940-1955. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo LTW. pp. 20–21, 27. ISBN 83-88736-34-5.  ^ Jerzy Eisler, Siedmiu wspaniałych. Poczet pierwszych sekretarzy KC PZPR [The Magnificent Seven: first secretaries of the PZPR], Wydawnictwo Czerwone i Czarne, Warszawa 2014, ISBN 978-83-7700-042-7, pp. 48–82 ^ "Wieczorkiewicz: Mimo wszystko Stalin nas szanował." Interview with prof. Paweł Wieczorkiewicz by Robert Mazurek, Dziennik.pl, 5 November 2007. (in Polish)

Political offices

Preceded by Władysław Raczkiewicz (President of the Polish Republic in Exile) Chairman of the State National Council 31 December 1944–4 February 1947 Succeeded by Himself as President

Preceded by Himself as Chairman President of Poland 5 February 1947–21 November 1952 Succeeded by Aleksander Zawadzki (Chairman of the Council of State)

Preceded by Józef Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister of Poland 20 November 1952–18 March 1954 Succeeded by Józef Cyrankiewicz

Party political offices

Preceded by Władysław Gomułka (as general secretary of the Polish Workers' Party) General Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party 22 December 1948–12 March 1956 Succeeded by Edward Ochab

v t e

Chairmen of the Polish Council of State

Bolesław Bierut Aleksander Zawadzki Edward Ochab Marian Spychalski Józef Cyrankiewicz Henryk Jabłoński Wojciech Jaruzelski

v t e

First Secretaries of the Central Committee of the PZPR

Bolesław Bierut Edward Ochab Władysław Gomułka Edward Gierek Stanisław Kania Wojciech Jaruzelski Mieczysław Rakowski

v t e

Heads of state of Poland

Kingdom of Poland
Poland
(1916–1918)

Provisional Council Regency Council

Republic of Poland (1918–1939)

Józef Piłsudski Gabriel Narutowicz Maciej Rataj
Maciej Rataj
(Acting) Stanisław Wojciechowski Maciej Rataj
Maciej Rataj
(Acting) Ignacy Mościcki

Polish government-in-exile (1939–1990)

Władysław Raczkiewicz August Zaleski Stanisław Ostrowski Edward Raczyński Kazimierz Sabbat Ryszard Kaczorowski

People's Republic of Poland (1944–1989)

Bolesław Bierut Aleksander Zawadzki Edward Ochab Marian Spychalski Józef Cyrankiewicz Henryk Jabłoński Wojciech Jaruzelski

Republic of Poland (1990–present)

Wojciech Jaruzelski Lech Wałęsa Aleksander Kwaśniewski Lech Kaczyński Bronisław Komorowski
Bronisław Komorowski
(Acting) Bogdan Borusewicz
Bogdan Borusewicz
(Acting) Grzegorz Schetyna
Grzegorz Schetyna
(Acting) Bronisław Komorowski Andrzej Duda

v t e

Prime Minister of Poland

Duchy of Warsaw
Warsaw
(1807–1813)

Stanisław Małachowski Ludwik Szymon Gutakowski Józef Poniatowski
Józef Poniatowski
(acting) Stanisław Kostka Potocki

Kingdom of Poland
Poland
(1917–1918)

Kucharzewski Ponikowski Kanty Steczkowski Świeżyński Wróblewski

Second Polish Republic (1918–1939)

Daszyński Moraczewski Paderewski Skulski Grabski Witos Ponikowski Śliwiński Nowak Sikorski Witos Grabski Skrzyński Witos Bartel Piłsudski Bartel Świtalski Bartel Sławek Piłsudski Sławek Prystor Jędrzejewicz Kozłowski Sławek Zyndram-Kościałkowski Składkowski

Polish government-in-exile (1939–1990)

Sikorski Mikołajczyk Arciszewski Bór-Komorowski Tomaszewski Odzierzyński Hryniewski Mackiewicz Hanke Pająk Zawisza Muchniewski Urbański Sabbat Szczepanik

Polish People's Republic (1944–1989)

Osóbka-Morawski Cyrankiewicz Bierut Cyrankiewicz Jaroszewicz Babiuch Pińkowski Jaruzelski Messner Rakowski Kiszczak Mazowiecki

Third Polish Republic (1989–present)

Mazowiecki Bielecki Olszewski Pawlak Suchocka Pawlak Oleksy Cimoszewicz Buzek Miller Belka Marcinkiewicz Kaczyński Tusk Kopacz Szydło Morawiecki

v t e

History of the Polish People's Republic

1945–48 Early post-war

Recovered Territories Polish population transfers (1944–46) Expulsion of Germans Operation Vistula Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland Polish Committee of National Liberation Provisional Government of National Unity Trial of the Sixteen Cursed soldiers Augustów roundup Polish people's referendum, 1946 Polish legislative election, 1947 Small Constitution of 1947 Amnesty of 1947 Battle for trade Three-Year Plan

1948–56 Sovietisation under Bierut's rule

Polish United Workers' Party Six-Year Plan Collectivization Socialist realism in Poland 1951 Mokotów Prison execution 1952 Constitution Stalinist show trial of the Kraków
Kraków
Curia PAX Association Poznań 1956 protests Polish October
Polish October
(1956)

1956–70 Gomułka's autarchic communism

Polish legislative election, 1957 Bishops' Letter of Reconciliation 1968 Polish political crisis Warschauer Kniefall 1970 Polish protests

1970–80 Gierek's international opening

1971 Łódź strikes Letter of 59 June 1976 protests Workers' Defence Committee Flying University Lublin
Lublin
1980 strikes Gdańsk Agreement Jastrzębie-Zdrój 1980 strikes Solidarity (Polish trade union) Independent Students' Union Rural Solidarity Bydgoszcz events 1981 warning strike in Poland Summer 1981 hunger demonstrations in Poland

1981–89 Jaruzelski's autocratic rule and demise

Martial law in Poland Military Council of National Salvation Pacification of Wujek 1982 demonstrations Fighting Solidarity Federation of Fighting Youth Orange Alternative Polish political and economic reforms referendum, 1987 1988 Polish strikes Polish Round Table Agreement

v t e

Leaders of the ruling Communist
Communist
parties of the Eastern Bloc

Communist
Communist
Party of the Soviet Union

Vladimir Lenin Joseph Stalin Georgy Malenkov Nikita Khrushchev Leonid Brezhnev Yuri Andropov Konstantin Chernenko Mikhail Gorbachev

Party of Labour of Albania

Enver Hoxha Ramiz Alia

Bulgarian Communist
Communist
Party

Georgi Dimitrov Valko Chervenkov Todor Zhivkov Petar Mladenov

Communist
Communist
Party of Czechoslovakia

Klement Gottwald Antonín Novotný Alexander Dubček Gustáv Husák Miloš Jakeš Karel Urbánek

Socialist Unity Party of Germany

Wilhelm Pieck Walter Ulbricht Erich Honecker Egon Krenz

Hungarian Working People's Party Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party

Mátyás Rákosi Ernő Gerő János Kádár Károly Grósz

Polish Workers' Party Polish United Workers' Party

Bolesław Bierut Edward Ochab Władysław Gomułka Edward Gierek Stanisław Kania Wojciech Jaruzelski Mieczysław Rakowski

Romanian Communist
Communist
Party

Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej Gheorghe Apostol Nicolae Ceaușescu

League of Communists of Yugoslavia

Josip Broz Tito (1980–1990, rotating leadership)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 47559141 LCCN: n88018609 ISNI: 0000 0000 8224 7488 GND: 118851500 SUDOC: 067215726 BNF: cb12888716q (data) BIBSYS: 5021599 NLA: 35712034 NKC: jx20040720157 SN

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