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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 20, 1953

SPECIAL REPORT NO. 2 OF THE WUBP IN WROCLAW (POLAND), REGARDING SPILLOVER FROM EVENTS IN BERLIN

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Polish repercussions following the recent East German Uprising are reported, including hostile public opinions by “ethnic Germans” towards the GDR government and the Soviets. It is noted that hostile commentaries often cite “imperialist radio broadcasts” as a source of information.
    "Special Report No. 2 of the WUBP in Wroclaw (Poland), Regarding Spillover from Events in Berlin," June 20, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AP Wroclaw, KW PZPR, sygn. 74/VIII/26. Published in Andrzej Malkiewicz and Krzysztof Ruchniewicz, Pierwszy Znak Solidarnosci (Wroclaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza Arboretum), pp. 161-162. Translated by Jan Chowaniec. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112618
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The Voivodship Office of
State Security in Wroclaw

Wroclaw, June 20, 1953

To
The Director of Cabinet of the Minister of
State Security Section of Information in Warsaw

A Special Report No. 2
The Voivodship Office of State Security
in Wroclaw

In the clusters of the ethnic German population over the whole voivodship area we continue to see hostile pronouncements and commentaries related to the events in the GDR. In each case those making the comments are referring to imperialist radio broadcasts as a source of information.


Descriptions of events in Berlin and their linkage to event in Czechoslovakia dominate conversations. The talk is about strikes, anti-government demonstrations and bloody street incidents. The numbers of killed and injured are being cited in conversations. The commentaries are hostile and varied, e.g.:


In the ethnic circles of Dzierzoniów county, it is rumored that the Americans have handed an ultimatum to the USSR to leave GDR territory by 20 June and in many German cities, like Berlin, Halle and others, a state of emergency has been declared, and the Germans have received a grant from the Americans in the amount of $120 million for arms.

In Syców county one ethnic German woman, commenting on the events, said that the GDR population is expressing its attitude towards the GDR in the following phrase: Gibt uns Brot und wir schlagen alle Russen tot. [Give us bread and we will beat all Russians until they are dead.]


As a result of hostile propaganda by ethnic German workers in a coalmine at Nowa Ruda in Klodzko county, there is a tendency among young Germans to abandon work.


On 19 June, in Chojnowo in Zlotoryja county, there was a massive buying up of foodstuffs due to a circulating rumor about the replacement of the Polish currency by the ruble.


The Germans who are working in a Turów mine in Boleslawiec county and living on GDR territory, commenting on developments in the GDR in their conversations with the Poles were asking: “Why are the Poles sitting so quiet?”

At the same time the Poles are showing particular interest in developments in the GDR--emigrants from Westphalia are saying “if there were no Soviet occupation, there would already be a revolution in Germany.”


An employee of the Czech plant “Celwiskoza” in Jelenia Góra, was saying that in the GDR there was a general strike caused by changes in work norms and that similar events took place in Czechoslovakia, where many people were injured, killed and arrested. He added that if a similar event happened in Poland, he would be the first one to lead the people. A woman participating in the conversation, employed in the personnel division of that plant, was arguing that the Poles are unable to bring themselves to carry out such a heroic effort like the Germans or Czechs did.


Besides comments by ethnic Germans, there has been some interest in the events and some comments by Poles. There are few such cases, and they come from people who are showing hostile attitude, e.g.:


A director of a tuberculosis sanatorium in Zabkowice—Stanislaw Górski, a member of PUWP and suspected of a hostile attitude toward the People's Republic of Poland--was saying, among other things, that developments in the GDR were very serious and would certainly lead to a situation similar to that in Korea, and Poland would become a battleground for the United States.


On 19 June the editorial office of Slowo Polskie in Wroclaw received an anonymous letter stating that the editorial staff would meet the same fate as Martyka from “Wave 49”, and events similar to those in the GDR would take place in Poland, [and the same what happened to [GDR] vice-premier [Otto] Nuschke.] The letter was filled with hatred toward the people's authority and the USSR. It comments on the ongoing reforms with considerable hostility.


So far there have been no arrests, but in several cases there were precautionary hearings.

For conformity Chief of the Voivodship Office
with the original of State Security
Head of the Administrative Division in Wroclaw
of WUBP in Wroclaw /-/ Daniel Kubajewski, major
/-/ M. Ostaszewski, captain