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A. Rudzienski

Stalin’s Grand Duke

Will History Repeat for Marshal Rokossovsky?

(28 November 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 48, 28 November 1949, pp. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by
Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The naming of the Russian marshal, Rokossovsky, as marshal of Poland and Polish minister of national defense is an event without precedent in the history of the Western civilized countries.

A Russian general, a conqueror of Poland, a hangman of Warsaw, is taken and set up between night and morning in Warsaw as minister and marshal of “an independent, democratic and powerful Poland,” according to Stalin’s statement.

Is the situation of Russian imperialism so weak and so dangerous that such illegal, extraordinary measures are necessary? Or is it so strong that it can permit itself everything, acting with an extreme kind of cynicism that is unknown in the capitalist West?

. Stalin and his politburo control Poland with a multiplicity of trustworthy strings: the “president” of Poland, Bierut, is nothing more than an employee of the GPU, one of Stalin’s police, an ex-chief of the “Polish” section of the GPU,. who had the job of liquidating and assassinating the leaders of the Polish Communist movement who were suspected of a certain political independence with regard to the Kremlin.

The minister of government, Radkiewicz, who controls the whole police apparatus, which has a scope not even known in the time of the “Colonels” (almost half a million agents and police), is a White Russian who scarcely speaks Polish and is a tested employee of the GPU.

The “adviser” and “grey eminence” of the Warsaw regime, Amsterdam-Henrykowski, one of the few ex-leaders of the CPP (old Polish Communist Party) who saved his skin by denouncing his comrades and friends, is a constant commuter between Moscow and Warsaw on Stalinist matters.

Moscow’s ambassador to the Warsaw Stalinist regime, Lebiediev, represents another string whereby the Kremlin manipulates the Warsaw puppets.

Besides these, there are many other puppets, like Berman, Zawadzki, Jozwiaks, Sokorski – bloodhounds and hangmen of the Polish people; there is, an extensive net of Russian GPU agents in Poland; there is an army of occupation; there are controls on controls and yet more controls; and all of this is not enough? A Russian marshal is necessary in order to control the Polish army? Are the Russians so badly off in Poland that the silence of this same martyrized and crushed Poland sends them into a panic?

Some History to Remember

Certain words of Lenin come to mind at this moment: “The struggle of Polish democracy against czarism had a unique, primary importance not only for Russia and all the Slav countries, but for all of European democracy.” The shadows of history pursue the assassin in the Kremlin; the blood-stained shadows of the Russian inquisitors and the Polish revolutions.

In 1815 the Congress of Vienna created the Polish Congress Kingdom under the scepter of Czar Alexander I. After a short period of coquetting with feudal Polish democracy, Czar Alexander sent the Grand Duke Constantine to govern and represent him in Warsaw. The Grand Duke, an Asiatic despot, made himself so hated that the military school under his command became the storm center of the 1830 revolution.

The hypocrite, Catherine II, forced through the election of her lover Stanislaw Poniatowski as king of Poland. Stalin has not only made his police agent president of a “free and democratic Poland” but has also “reinforced” him by a modern edition of the Grand Duke Constantine.

The “Grand Duke Constantine” Rokossovsky, the assassin of Warsaw, the conqueror of Poland, must directly control the Warsaw government, in the Stalinist Duchy of Warsaw, the “country above the Vistula.” (The czars, like Molotov, wanted to wipe the name of Poland from the map.) Should history repeat itself, it may be that lie may have to flee Warsaw “in the night and mist” as did his predecessor, Constantine Romanov, in 1830.

For should a Polish Tito emerge, whose embryo pursues Stalin before birth, a Polish rebellion at the side of Yugoslavia could endanger the entire Stalinist empire and acquire “primary importance not only for Russia but for all Europe.”

The Kremlin tyrants know this very well and are trying to prevent it by all means, no matter- how cynical they are. But if the shadows of the assassins return, there must also return the shadows of the avengers.

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