Censorship in Poland

Censorship in the People's Republic of Poland was primarily performed by the Polish Main Office of Control of Press, Publications and Shows (Główny Urząd Kontroli Prasy, Publikacji i Widowisk), a governmental institution created in 1946 by the pro-Soviet Provisional Government of National Unity with Stalin's approval and backing, and renamed in 1981 as the Główny Urząd Kontroli Publikacji i Widowisk. The bureau was liquidated after the fall of communism in Poland, in April 1990.[1]

A list of prohibited publications and black-listed writers was created in 1950 during the darkest years of Stalinism in Poland with some 1,682 items, and subsequently modified many times by the communist authorities in the People's Republic of Poland. Some writers popular before World War II, like Wacław Kostek-Biernacki sentenced to death on fake charges as the enemy of the state in 1953, had their books not only removed from libraries, but also meticulously and deliberately destroyed.[2]


After the rise of Solidarity movement in 1980, the Polish censors were forced by the public to begin indicating clearly in text parts that were censored rather than hiding their deletions or rejecting entire work. The decades of relentless censorship gave rise to the large supply of underground press and publications in Poland (bibuła), know also as Samizdat, an activity fraught with job discrimination and punishment.

In addition to the censorship of the publications, the state also supported jamming of foreign radio and television stations, such as Radio Free Europe and Voice of America among others.

See also

Other Eastern Bloc states:

Notes and references


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