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A. Rudzienski

GPU Kills Another Polish Socialist

GPU Bans News on Assassination of Janina Pajdak,
Wife of Prominent Militant

(26 April 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 17, 26 April 1948, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Following the assassination of Zdanowski, secretary-general of the Polish trade unions in the pre-war period, the terrible news has arrived of the death of Janina Pajdak in the jail of the GPU in Cracow, Poland.

Janina Pajdak was the wife of Antoni Pajdak, railroad worker, leader of the Cracovian proletariat, and leader of the PPS (Polish Socialist Party). In 1930 Pajdak belonged to the leading group which organized the famous Left-Center Congress directed against the Pilsudski dictatorship. Deputy to the Polish Diet (parliament), he represented in the PPS the proletarian element, inclined toward the left.

During the period of Nazi occupation, he belonged to the leadership of the WRN Group (Freedom, Equality and Independence), hated by Stalinism. As the representative of the underground PPS, he was a minister in the underground government which led the armed insurrection.

When the Russians occupied Poland and imposed their puppet-government, the government of national resistance continued its work. Stalin invited the 16 members of this government, through the intermediary of one of his generals “to negotiate” the formation of a “new Polish Government” together with the Stalinists. The invitation was guaranteed with the “word of honor of the Soviet general” and the “guarantees” of Roosevelt and Churchill, given to the Poles.

When the leaders of the resistance emerged from illegality in order to participate in the conference with the Stalinists, they were carried off to the prison of the GPU in Moscow, AND TRIED BY A RUSSIAN TRIBUNAL FOR THEIR ACTS AGAINST THE USSR. Among the 16 abducted was Antoni Pajdak, the railroad worker of Cracow, an authentic proletarian. He did not appear with the others at the trial, since his “treatment” during the investigation was so “scientific” that until now he continues sick in the Russian prison.

His wife, Janina, was a brave leader of the PPS under the German occupation. She distinguished herself, among other things, by her activity in aiding and hiding the Jewish victims of the ghetto.

She was arrested last year together with her daughter. After several months, Radkiewicz’ hangmen were forced to admit her death, refusing, however, to yield up her mortal remains, and forbidding publication of news of her death. Nevertheless, the news has been gotten out of Poland.

Together with the pressure for the unity of the pro-Stalinist PPS (Polish Socialist Party) with the Stalinist PPR (Polish Workers Party), the GPU proceeds to the assassination of the most prominent Social-Democrats opposed to Stalinism. The assassination of Janina Pajdak is the first murder of a woman Socialist in Poland.

However, the political assassinations reveal the political tension against the regime and the conscious and stubborn opposition of the working class to the Stalinists. In Poland, we are at the beginning of that stage which corresponds to the Stalinist offensive against the Communist opposition in Russia in the years 1928–1938.

Then, the Social-Democrats like everybody else abandoned the Russian Left Opposition to the tender mercies of the assassin, Stalin. But now, it is different. Now we, the revolutionary Socialists, shall not abandon our comrades-in-struggle, although they are Social-Democrats, to the hangman of the proletariat, but shall strive to succour them with international solidarity.

The revolutionary left of the United States must take the initiative in starting broad international action in defense of the Socialists of Poland.

Death to the hangmen of the Stalinist GPU.

Eternal glory to their victims, Janina Pajdak, Zdanowski, Bryja, and thousands of unknown others.

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Last updated: 3 March 2018