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Dr Paweł Wawryszuk
Institute of History and International Relations, Kazimierz Wielki University
Bydgoszcz, Republic of Poland

 

NORMALIZATION OF POLISH-YUGOSLAV RELATIONS AFTER WLADYSŁAW GOMULKA’S RETURN TO POWER (1956-1958)

God. XXXVI, 2/2018, pp. 139–154
https://doi.org/10.29362/ist20veka.2018.2.waw.139-154

 

ABSTRACT/RESUME:

Although a slow process of normalization of Polish-Yugoslav relations started after the death of Stalin in 1953, only the 1956 changes in the Eastern Bloc allowed for full normalization. It was manifested in all fields, especially political ones. A number of governmental and party delegations were exchanged with the visit of Władysław Gomułka in September 1957 in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia engaged in an implicit mediation in negotiations between Poland and West Germany, although it still refused to formally recognize the Polish western borders for fear of undermining economic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. In that field Yugoslav policy was careful.

In the first half of 1958, despite small misunderstandings, the ideological conflict was not visible in mutual relations. However, Yugoslavia opposed Moscow to improve relations with the entire socialist camp and this led to a re-cooling of Polish-Yugoslav relations. The expectations of the Yugoslav leadership, including even a favorably neutral position of the Polish United Workers’ Party against the arrangements of the planned 7th Congress of the League of Communist of Yugoslavia, proved to be wrong. Gomułka failed the hopes the Yugoslav government had. However, the geopolitical context of the situation of both countries must not be forgotten. There was a number of Soviet troops in Poland, Eastern Germany was a neighbor country, where as well those army was present. Until now it is not clear whether the relatively special position of the Polish government, as well as party, in relations with the Yugoslav, was caused by the decision of Kremlin. To answer that question needed is a research in Russian archives.

 

KEYWORDS: Polish-Yugoslav relations, Władysław Gomułka, People’s Republic of Poland, Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia

 

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