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    Polish Presidents series: The fourth President of the Republic of Poland, Bolesław Bierut

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Bolesław Bierut was the fourth, and at the same time, the first post-war President of Poland. In 1952, the new Constitution of the Polish People’s Republic (until then known as the Republic of Poland) abolished the position of president and a Marxist–Leninist government was officially imposed.

    Bolesław Bierut was a Polish politician who served as the fourth President of the Republic of Poland from 1947 until his death in 1956. He played a significant role in the post-World War II reconstruction of Poland and the establishment of a communist government in the country.

    Born in 1892 in the town of Rury Jezuickie in what is now Belarus, Bierut studied philosophy and political science at the University of Moscow. He was an active participant in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and later joined the Communist Party of Poland.

    In the 1920s and 1930s, Bierut was involved in various communist organizations and publications, and was arrested multiple times by the Polish authorities for his activities. He spent much of World War II in the Soviet Union, where he served as the leader of the Polish Workers’ Party.

    After the war, Bierut returned to Poland and played a key role in the establishment of a communist government in the country. He was appointed as the President of the Republic of Poland in 1947, and also served as the Chairman of the Council of State and the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party.

    As President, Bierut oversaw the nationalization of industry and the collectivization of agriculture, as well as the implementation of Soviet-style economic planning. He also presided over the establishment of a one-party state and the suppression of political opposition.

    Despite his achievements in rebuilding Poland after the war, Bierut’s legacy is controversial due to his association with the communist regime and the authoritarian policies that were implemented under his leadership. His death in 1956, which occurred during a period of political upheaval in Poland, is widely believed to have been caused by a heart attack, but some conspiracy theories suggest that he may have been assassinated.

    In recent years, there has been a renewed debate in Poland about Bierut’s role in the country’s history, with some arguing that he should be remembered as a patriot who fought for Polish independence and social justice, while others view him as a symbol of the repressive and undemocratic policies of the communist era.

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