“Frenzy and Ferocity”: The Stalinist Judicial System in Poland, 1944–47, and the Search for Redress

John S. Micgiel



May and June 1992, the Polish political elite, deeply divided and mired in fractional struggle, devoured itself in the lustracja, a resolution passed by the Polish parliament to root out alleged Communist agents and collaborators then in state service. This spectacle hastened the downfall of the Center-Right government of Prime Minister Jan Olszewski, whose parliamentary supponers organized this political witch hunt. Completely dominating the political arena in Poland, it overshadowed other resolutions aimed at, broadly speaking, historical justice. Legislation aimed at reducing the retirement pensions of persons who had been employed in repressive state institutions, upgrading the retirement benefits of victims of state repression, and revising the statute of limitations on crimes committed during the Stalinist period, that is, between 1944 and 1956, languished. The unifying theme in these projects was redress for wrongs committed during the process of sovietization after World War Two. 




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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cbp.1994.58


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