Rebellious Satellite: Poland 1956 offers a social history of the mass movements that prompted political change and altered Polish-Soviet relations in 1956 but avoided a Soviet armed response. Paweł Machcewicz focuses on the people’s expression of grievances, and even riots—as opposed to “top-level” activities such as internal Communist Party struggles. He carefully depicts the protests that took place in Poznan in June 1956 and across Poland the following October and November.
The manuscript is based largely on new archival materials (mainly Party and security apparatus documents) that were originally prepared to provide detailed information to the Party leadership about what was happening on the ground. The book includes a selection of photographs from Poznan in June 1956 taken secretly by the police.
Paweł Machcewicz is currently with the Institute of Political Studies in Warsaw. He was a Cold War International History Project Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in both 1994 and 2007 and has contributed to CWIHP Bulletin 11 and Bulletin 12/13. He was recently named the Polish Prime Minister’s personal representative for the creation of a new World War II Museum in Gdansk.