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Władysław Gomułka

Gomułka, Władysław (vwädĭsˈwäf gəmŏˈkə) [key], 1905–82, Polish Communist leader. Long a Communist, he helped establish the Polish Workers' party and was (1943–49) secretary of its central committee. After World War II, he served (1945–49) as deputy premier of Poland. A Polish nationalist, he was purged in 1949 for alleged sympathy with the Yugoslav Communist leader, Josip Broz Tito, and was arrested in 1951. Freed in 1954, he was readmitted (1956) to the United Workers' (Communist) party. In Oct., 1956, on the wave of Polish resentment of USSR domination, Gomułka became first secretary of the party despite Soviet pressures. From this post he dominated the Polish government, continuing close ties with the USSR but establishing greater freedom of action for Poland and bringing some social and economic liberalization. He was replaced as first secretary by Edward Gierek in Dec., 1970, following widespread rioting by Polish workers in protest against food price increases announced by the government. In 1971 he was suspended from the party's central committee and removed from the council of state.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Polish History: Biographies


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