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    Remembering the Poznań June 1956 Uprising

    On June 28, 1956, Poznań, Poland, became the flashpoint for a pivotal moment in history—the first general strike and street demonstrations in the Polish People’s Republic (PRL). Known as the Poznań June, the uprising saw workers and citizens rally against oppressive government policies and harsh working conditions. The protests were met with a severe military and police crackdown, etching this event deeply into the nation’s collective memory. Despite efforts by PRL propaganda to obscure the uprising, it is now honoured by historians and veterans as the Poznań revolt, rebellion, or Uprising.

    Commemorating a Historic Struggle

    To mark the 50th anniversary of the Poznań June 1956, the Polish government established the National Day of Remembrance for the Poznań June on June 21, 2006. The inaugural celebrations took place a week later, on June 28, 2006, in Poznań. This significant event drew the participation of five presidents: Lech Kaczyński of Poland, Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, Horst Köhler of Germany, Ivan Gašparovič of Slovakia, and László Sólyom of Hungary, underscoring the international importance of this historic protest.

    A Symbolic Tribute

    On June 28, 2016, the 60th anniversary of the Poznań June and the 10th anniversary of the National Day of Remembrance were commemorated with a solemn ceremony in Poznań’s Jeżyce district. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the Headquarters of the Provincial Police Command. Designed by Robert Sobociński and initiated by Zbigniew Hoffmann, the Voivode of Greater Poland, the plaque features a striking image of a bullet-riddled jacket. It also bears a poignant excerpt from the speech of Stanisław Hejmowski, a defender of the workers, which reads: “And those shots were no longer fired into the air but into people…”

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