Cover: The Polish Riots and Gomulka's Fall.

The Polish Riots and Gomulka's Fall.

Published 1971

by A. Ross Johnson

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback26 pages $20.00

A discussion of the Polish Communist Party shakeup triggered by the December 1970 riots. The riots expressed long-standing grievances and a stagnating economy, widely attributed to the government's inability to address real economic problems. Gomulka and his associates became the shakeup's primary victims. Although the new government initiated reforms--reappraising economic development strategy, improving relations with Poland's Catholic Church by reinstating church lands, and providing an outlet for workers' views--worker discontent continued to pressure the new government. The new party head, Gierek, projected a dynamic, charismatic image in open meetings with workers. He responded by providing subsidies to low-income families, more housing, and a two-year price freeze; he improved market supplies and revised the bonus system. His regime gave unprecedented publicity to its activities, scheduling regular meetings of Party Politburo and Secretariat. Yet it strove for continuity in foreign policy. In February, the new regime received a substantial long-term loan from Russia. 26 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.