Eastern Europe

Miłka Tyszkiewicz needs help!

Author: 

Marek Krukowski and Jόzef Pinior
Appeal for help for the Polish socialist Milka Tyszkiewicz, now very ill.

Some comrades will remember Miłka Tyszkiewicz speaking at meetings in the UK in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The appeal below on her behalf is from Marek Krukowski and Jόzef Pinior.

Marek is a Director of the Warsaw based Foundation for Freedom and Peace. The legendary socialist Solidarity underground leader, Jόzef Pinior, later served terms as a Member of the European Parliament and the Polish Senate, elected on different party lists, but retaining his independent left status.

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Polish women’s movement grows

Author: 

Anastazja Oppenheim

Polish abortion laws are some of the most restrictive in Europe. Abortion is completely banned apart from in a few exceptional circumstances. It is allowed on grounds of rape, incest, if there is a severe health risk to the pregnant woman, or if the foetus is severely deformed and has no chance of survival.

Anastazja Oppenheim, a student activist and member of the Polish left party Razem, explains the background to the recent women’s strike for abortion rights.

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Rezso Kasztner and Zionism

Author: 

Dale Street

Was Rezso Kasztner, leader of the Budapest-based Jewish Relief and Rescue Committee during the Nazi occupation of Hungary, a hero who saved the lives of tens or even hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust? Or was he a collaborator who knowingly played an indispensable role in assisting the Nazis in the deportation and murder of nearly 500,000 Hungarian Jews in a matter of weeks?

A review of Kasztner’s Crime by Paul Bogdanor (Transaction Publishers 2016).

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Clampdown in Hungary

Author: 

Hannah Webb

On Sunday 2 October, Hungarians voted in a referendum over whether to accept their EU migrant quota of 1,294 refugees.

The referendum posed the question “Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the approval of the National Assembly?”. It was itself part of a long running campaign by Viktor Orbán and his government to retain popular support by positioning as the “defenders” of Hungary against foreign interference.

Hungarians vote No in referendum on whether to accept their EU migrant quota of refugees.

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Polish women take to streets to protest against anti-abortion law

Mags, a Birmingham-based activist with the left-wing Polish group Razem, spoke to Solidarity about the Polish women's strike against restrictions on abortion rights.


In April this year a legal institute in Poland called Ordo Iuris put forward draft legislation for a ban on abortion.

Mags, a Birmingham-based activist with the left-wing Polish group Razem, spoke to us about the Polish women's strike against restrictions on abortion rights.

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Letter: No socialist content in Hungary

Author: 

John Cunningham

Gemma Short is quite right in her comments on Steve Bloom’s review of The Two Trotskyisms (Solidarity 402): the nationalisations in Eastern Europe had no socialist content.

I lived in Hungary from 1991 to 2000 and in this time became acquainted with the giant Ózd steelworks complex near the border with Slovakia. I hasten to add that I never, unfortunately, visited the steelworks, but I knew a documentary filmmaker, Tamás Almási, who made a series of films on the workers there and their experience of going through privatisation and finally the closure of the works.

The nationalisations in Eastern Europe had no socialist content.

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Gove’s Albania model

Author: 

Colin Foster

Economic issues if Britain quits the EU? No problem, says the anti-EU Tory Michael Gove. We could be just like Albania.

Bosnia, Albania, and Ukraine, as Gove said, have free trade with the EU without having to comply with EU rules. The Albanian trade unions, who in their May Day message ask the Albanian government for measures “in terms of rights and freedoms of association, labour relations and labour legislation, closer to that of the European Union”, have difficulty getting traction with the demand. Gove wants British unions to face the same prospect.

Gove’s “Albania” speech is significant not because it is realistic, but because it shows us his model for Britain: a low-wage, low-rights offshore production site for global capital, with workers cajoled into submission by promises to keep out migrants.

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A Europe of borders and resistance

Author: 

Theodora Polenta
For as long as the war in Syria lasts and chaos prevails, refugees will try by every means possible to get to a place that is safer, however many summits the governments call and however many fences and borders they erect.

Here’s what the “Fortress EU” of ever increasing land, air and sea fences and more actual and conceptual borders says to us all, and not only to the refugees of Syria’s war: There is no place for you to live, because I want to grab your resources and check your routes. There is no other place for you to go to breathe. There is no way to walk. The only option to endure, to endure, to adapt, to live with the annihilation of any planning for a better future. And, to a large extent, those messages represent the broader social, economic, and cultural values of today’s capitalism.

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The rise and fall of Polish Stalinism

Author: 

John O'Mahony

In Poland a coalition government is being formed in which the Stalinist organisation, the so-called Communist Party, will, for the first time in over 40 years, have only a minority of ministers.

The main other force in the government will be Solidarnosc, the political organisation based on the working class which has its origin in the great strike movement of August 1980 and the ten million strong free trade union which grew up between August 1980 and its suppression under martial law in December 1981.

Our comment on the entry of Solidarnosc into Poland's government, 1989.

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