The blog that could not be written                      Imbez, 19 years

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 28.06.1956 Black Thursday

Yesterday it was such a fantastic evening, partying the whole night at Marek's parents' holiday home. A magical June's night. We all completed the first year's final exams. We, young economists of our country, with a great future at our feet. The night-long talks about the best economics solution, how to best work for others and our country; especially now 11 years after the war, which we all remembered in childhood nightmares, overwhelming fear, paralysing ever body cell and muscle. Terror of the situation in which no one can help. Magda told me, when she took me from my mum's dead arms, I did not move for three days, and later I was very quiet. I had not spoken at all or only whispers. My dad was killed much earlier, in 1939. It was so far away in the past. Today I was so happy, laughed in Jacek's arms. Feeling so loved and so in love. After a sleepless night and unforgettable discussion about Platon's ideas, what exist and what does not. We were waiting at the train station, warming ourselves in the rising sun's rays, breathing the June air with the scent of lilac and acacia of the summer forest. We were so happy. Fulfilled with joy, in love - with the future in our hands. The train had not arrived, it was still early morning, warming up. We had felt no disturbance or uneasiness.   

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Trains to Poznań from the suburban stops and form any others did not come. The fragrance of our bodies mixed with the summer smell of the train station suddenly disappeared from our memory. In its place the overwhelming fear returned.

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We did not freeze, for many hours we marched and later run to Poznań. Dodging shooting soldiers on the city streets. Jumping over barricades. Running through hospital rooms, looking for family and friends, taking with us everyone who could move - because behind us was armed militia. Magda, we founded in one of the hospital rooms. She could not walk with her wounds. We had to carry her to our friends. Jacek's dad had never returned.

 

In his speech on 14.02.1956, Nikita Khrushchev's criticized the personality Cult of Stalin and spoke about the possibility of achieving socialism in each country's own way. In Poland a group of opposition leaders and writers founded in 1955 the Klub Krzywego Koła  (the Club of the crooked Circle). It promoted discussion about Polish independence. In Poznań tension was growing since the autumn of 1955. The workers of the Cegielski factory were complaining about the imposition on them of higher taxes. Finally a delegation of 27 workers was sent to Warsaw. They returned to Poznań, confident their demands were met, but the Minister of Machine Industry withdrew several of the agreed promises. A strike in the Cegielski factory started at 6:00 am, about 80% of the workers took to the streets. Others joined the march. Between 09:00 and 11:00 am about 100,000 people gathered on the Adam Mickiewicz Square. Initially the army was barred from being used to quell the demonstration, but later Rokossowski (the Minister of National Defence) gave an order for soldiers to shoot to people. The number of casualties is disputed and varies from 57 to 75 with the youngest victim being Romek Strzałkowski aged 13 years. There were about 600 wounded, including 8 on the government's side. Hundreds  got arrested and were victimised for years.

 

 
 
 
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