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The City of Poznań - The legendary cradle of Poland



The monument stands in Adam Mickiewicz Square which is located in the very heart of Poznań. In the square's vicinity are the main communication arteries of the city. Around the square stand many of the most important of the city's cultural and educational institutions: the University named after Adam Mickiewicz, the Musical Academy, named after Ignacy Paderewski, the Economics Academy, the Grand Theater, named after Stanislaw Moniuszko, and the Center of Culture, once the Keiser's Palace.

June 28th '56 demonstration
Demonstrators marching under slogan "We want bread"
June 28th '56 demonstration
Demonstrator throng in Mickiewicz Square
June 29, '56 tanks in Poznań
Tanks in the street crossing Mickiewicz Square

It was principally on this square that the events of June '56 took place. The general strike and demonstrations of June 28 of that year were the first public protest that took place under the communist rule, in the period of Stalinist oppression. It was a demonstration against inhuman work norms and low wages. "We want truth, freedom and bread" was the demonstrators motto, as a throng of 100,000 of them crowded into the square. They occupied public buildings, broke into the jail and attempted to take possession of the security police offices. There, the building defenders resorted to the use of firearms, and some of the fire was returned.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party in Warsaw decided to suppress the demonstrations, the nascent uprising, by force. A 10,000 strong force of the militia, accompanied by tanks, was ordered into Poznań. The pacification lasted into the morning of June 29 by which time 70 demonstrators had been killed, several hundred were wounded and 700 were arrested.

After August 1980, with the rise of independent trade union Solidarność, the memory of these victims was revived and a committee for the erection of a monument was formed with the writer Roman Brandstaetter at its head. And on the 28th of June, 1981, the 25 anniversary of the uprising, the monument by Graczyk and Wojciechowski with the two crosses memorializing the Victims of June '56 was dedicated.

Back to main Poznań page

Links Size Comments
June Events in Poznań (1956) 345 words
one photo
Page sets out the political context of the June '56 events in Poznań. However it misstates the date once as June 18-19 rather than June 28-29 and once as 1966 rather than 1956
Poland, 1956 960 words An outline of the political developments in Poland during 1956, including the June events in Poznań
Poznański Czerwiec 1956 580 words
6 photos
  An account of the events: demonstrations and their bloody suppression.

Note: Each visual on this page is linked to the original Polish website posting it. This information may include copyrighted material and is to be used for educational and research purposes only.


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