Poland remembers Poznan 56

Celebrating a remembrance mass for the victims of the Poznan worker protests in June 1956, Archbishop Marian Przykucki stated that Catholic Poland today "can be a light enlightening other European nations."

Radio Polonia reports that the worker rising in June 1956 in the mid-western city of Poznan marked the beginning of the end of the totalitarian system in Poland, said Archbishop Przykucki.

The mass was celebrated in the chapel at Poznan hospital, where workers wounded by the security police and troops were brought. "We had communism then, now we have liberalism and moral relativism", the archbishop said of Europe, calling for Poland be a light for other countries.

The protests, which came to be known as "Poznan June 56", were started by workers from the city's big engineering plant, then bearing the name of Stalin.

The workers declared a general strike and organised a mass street demonstration, shouting "We want bread and freedom", "Down with the Bolsheviks", "We want free elections under UN auspices."

According to the latest study by the Institute of National Remembrance, almost 60 people were killed and around 600 were wounded, when the communist authorities cracked down on the protesters. The youngest victim was a 13-year-old boy.

Poznam 56 remembered (Radio Polonia 25/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Reasons for the outbreak (City of Poznam website)

Lech Walesa credits pope for communism's downfall (CathNews, 14/5/01)
Pope contact with Reagan helped end Cold War (CathNews, 19/11/2004)

26 Jun 2006