My knowledge is very small on this. Boleslaw Bierut was a Polish Communist leader who became the President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country, in the aftermath of WW2 as Wikipedia says. From a family member, I came to hear that after the Second World War, men with families that refused to join the Polish United Workers' Party were murdered along with their families.

I could not find more on this subject, however my curiosity increased ever since. What was the reason behind this?

  • 4
    The obvious reason is to motivate people to join the party.
    – MCW
    Mar 22, 2016 at 14:03
  • @MarkC.Wallace That reason works against sheep only. These ones were not sheep. Why they joined the party instead of struggle against him? 3 years ago they all struggled against Nazism.
    – Gangnus
    Mar 22, 2016 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Polish United Workers' Party appeared in 1948 as a join of Polish Work Party and Polish Socialist Party. All members of both ancestors automatically became members of the Polish United Workers' Party. So, the reason of the personal terror couldn't be the struggle for individual members.

Communists simply wanted socialists leaders to agree with that join. Here the terror was useful. That terror for Socialist Party was named "The Cleaning". What is funny, they were not communists who did the dirty work, but the socialist themselves. Communists proposed to socialists the power, socialists fell apart in two factions, one for join with Peasant Party, and the other, under the lead of Cyrankiewicz, for join with Communists. Cyrankiewicz was paid by the post of prime minister and having the power, prosecuted his own ex-comrades. He became a very strict communist. Bierut got the power in 1952, much later.

It was the well known tactics of communists - salami tactics = old good "divide and conquer".

And that method of taking families for hostages is also old and well known tactics of communists. They used it in the civil war in Russia in 1918-21 years massively. All officers in Red Army had their families taken as hostages.

As for Russia, they had more fine tactics there: who did not help them was proclaimed for a non-working person and automatically didn't get any food. What meant a death, with families, too.

  • 1
    The last paragraph could really use a reference. Mar 22, 2016 at 16:19
  • For what? All food was distributed by the state. The state was mastered by communists. Any trade was forbidden. What fact of these need reference for you?
    – Gangnus
    Mar 22, 2016 at 16:23
  • Any reference for your interesting story? (I mean Poland, not for Soviet Union, what happened in Soviet Union in 1918-21 is well known).
    – Alex
    Mar 22, 2016 at 20:03
  • @Alex there are two references in the text. Google is enough.
    – Gangnus
    Mar 22, 2016 at 20:46
  • @Gangnus Well, not really. Food was not distributed by the state directly (stamps at some periods excepted) but rather bought by people in shops. Like in other, normal and sane countries. Mar 23, 2016 at 7:37

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