Edward Gierek

Edward Gierek

Polish politician
Date of Birth: 06.01.1913
Country: Poland

Content:
  1. Biography of Edward Gerek
  2. Early Life and Emigration
  3. Resistance during World War II
  4. Return to Poland and Political Career
  5. Political Leadership and Retirement

Biography of Edward Gerek

Edward Gerek was a Polish political figure and the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP) from 1970 to 1980. He was born into a working-class family with his father being a miner. Gerek obtained a degree in mining engineering.

Early Life and Emigration

In 1923, Gerek emigrated to France with his mother, and from 1926 to 1934, he worked in coal mines there. In 1931, he joined the French Communist Party. However, in 1934, Gerek was arrested and deported to Poland for his participation in a miners' strike. He was soon conscripted into the army. In 1937, he emigrated to Belgium and worked as a miner in a coal mine. That same year, Gerek joined the Communist Party of Belgium.

Resistance during World War II

During the German occupation of Belgium from 1940 to 1944, Gerek actively participated in the Resistance Movement. He was responsible for the production of underground Polish publications. After the end of World War II, Gerek played a crucial role in the establishment of the Polish Workers' Party (PPR) and the Union of Polish Patriots in Belgium in 1945. He served as the chairman of the National Council of Poles in Belgium for over two years.

Return to Poland and Political Career

In 1948, Gerek returned to Poland and worked in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the PPR. From 1949 to 1954, he was involved in party work in Silesia and served as the secretary of the Katowice Voivodeship Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP) from 1951 to 1954. Gerek was elected a member of the Central Committee of the PUWP at the 2nd Congress in 1954 and was appointed as the head of the heavy industry department in the Central Committee.

Political Leadership and Retirement

Gerek held various positions of leadership within the PUWP. He was a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee from July to October 1956 and from March 1959. From 1956 to 1964, he served as the secretary of the Central Committee of the PUWP, and from 1957 to 1970, he was the first secretary of the Katowice Voivodeship Committee. Gerek became the first secretary of the Central Committee of the PUWP in 1970 and held this position until 1980.

In 1980, following a series of nationwide strikes against food price increases, Gerek was forced to resign. He was placed under house arrest during the tenure of Wojciech Jaruzelski. After stepping away from political life, Gerek lived in the province and focused on writing memoirs. He served as a member of the Sejm (Polish parliament) from 1952 to 1980.

Gerek was honored with the Order of the Builders of People's Poland, the Order of the Badge of Honor (1st degree), and other prestigious orders for his contributions to the country.

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