Bolesław Bierut


Bolesław Bierut

Infobox Officeholder
name = Bolesław Bierut


imagesize =
small

caption =
order = President of the Republic of Poland
1st President of the Communist Poland
term_start = February 5, 1947
term_end = November 21, 1952
vicepresident =
viceprimeminister =
deputy =
president =
primeminister = Edward Osóbka-Morawski, Józef Cyrankiewicz
predecessor = Władysław Kowalski
(Acting President of the State National Council)
successor = Aleksander Zawadzki
Council of State Chairman
Wojciech Jaruzelski
(next President in 1989)
order2 = President of the State National Council
term_start2 = January 1, 1944
term_end2 = February 4, 1947
vicepresident2 =
viceprimeminister2 =
deputy2 =
president2 =
primeminister2 = Edward Osóbka-Morawski
predecessor2 = Władysław Raczkiewicz
(President in Exile)
successor2 = Franciszek Trąbalski
(Acting President)
order3 = Secretary General of the Central Committee of the PUWP
term_start3 = December 22, 1948
term_end3 = March 12, 1956
vicepresident3 =
viceprimeminister3 =
deputy3 =
president3 =
primeminister3 =
predecessor3 = None (PPR)
successor3 = Edward Ochab
(First Secretary)
order4 = 1st Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Poland
term_start4 = November 21, 1952
term_end4 = March 12, 1956
vicepresident4 =
viceprimeminister4 =
deputy4 =
president4 =
primeminister4 =
predecessor4 = Józef Cyrankiewicz
successor4 = Józef Cyrankiewicz
birth_date = birth date|1892|4|18|mf=y
birth_place = Rury Jezuickie, then Russian Empire, now Poland
death_date = death date and age|1956|3|12|1892|4|18|mf=y
death_place = Moscow, Soviet Union
constituency =
party = Communist Party of Poland
Polish Worker's Party
Polish United Workers' Party
spouse = Wanda Górska
profession =
religion = Atheist


footnotes =

Bolesław Bierut (real name "Bolesław Biernacki", April 18, 1892 - March 12, 1956) was a Polish Communist leader, a Stalinist who became President of Poland after the Soviet occupation of the country in the aftermath of World War II.

Life

Bierut was born near Lublin, the son of a village teacher Henryk Rutkowski and his wife Barbara (hence his later adopted name "Bie(r)-rut"). In 1925 he went to Moscow to be trained at the school of the Communist International.

Beginning in 1933 he was a secret agent of Soviet military intelligence, the GRU. When the Communist Party of Poland was dissolved by Joseph Stalin in 1938, he was lucky in that he had been sentenced to 10 years in a Polish prison for his antistate political activity, and therefore could not travel to the Soviet Union (USSR), and undergo the Great Purge, which included the execution of most of the leaders of the Communist Party of Poland. After an amnesty from the Polish government in 1938 he settled down in Warsaw and worked as a bookkeeper in a cooperative.

After the outbreak of World War II Bierut fled to Eastern Poland (soon occupied by the Red Army) in order to avoid military service. Bierut would spend most of the war in the USSR, and was recalled to head the new Polish Workers' Party in 1943. He functioned as head of the Polish provisional quasi-parliament (State National Council, "Krajowa Rada Narodowa"), created by Soviet adherents, from 1944 to 1947.

Bierut was instrumental in the Soviet takeover of Poland and the installation of a Stalinist regime. From 1947 to 1952, he served in the People's Republic of Poland as President and then (after the abolition of the Presidency) Prime Minister. He was also the first Secretary General of the ruling Polish United Workers Party from 1948 to 1956.

Bierut oversaw the trials of Polish military leaders such as General Stanisław Tatar, along with 40 members of the Wolność i Niezawisłość (Freedom and Independence) organisation, and various church officials. Many more opponents of the new regime, such as "the hero of Auschwitz", Witold Pilecki, were sentenced to death in secret trials. Bierut signed many of Stalinist Poland's death sentences.

A prominent Polish historian and professor, Paweł Wieczorkiewicz, argued in recent times that it is not out of question that there could have been two persons claiming to be Bolesław Bierut. One of them, either the real person or his alias, was shot by an unidentified gunman in the French Hotel in Kraków, Poland in April 1945 or in 1947. According to this theory, the assassination was kept under secrecy by the authorities and the dead "Bierut" was replaced by his double within an hour.

Death

Bolesław Bierut died under mysterious circumstances in Moscow in 1956 during a political visit to the Soviet Union, shortly after attending the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during which Nikita Khrushchev denounced the personality cult and dictatorship of Stalin.

Bierut's death, which was speculated to be a poisoning or a suicide, symbolically marked the end of the era of Stalinism in Poland.

See also

* History of Poland (1945-1989)

External links

* [http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boles%C5%82aw_Bierut Polish Wikipedia article]
* [http://www.dziennik.pl/opinie/article49445/Pawel_Wieczorkiewicz_Mimo_wszystko_Stalin_nas_szanowal.html]


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