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Cover of print edition of The Independent Press in Poland, 1976-1990

The Independent Press in Poland, 1976-1990

Compiled by
Zbigniew Kantorosinski, 1991

Updated by
Wiesława Kostrzewa-Zorbas, 1995
Ronald D. Bachman, 1996
Agnes T. Rzeszotarski, 1997
Ronald D. Bachman, 2000
Walter R. Iwaskiw, 2001
Ronald D. Bachman, 2005

Index:   Foreword/Introduction  List of Abbreviations   Part I: Serials
Part II: Monographs  Part III: Miscellaneous


Since the appearance of this publication in 1991, the European Division has continued to build its collection of Polish independent press materials through exchanges with libraries in Poland. Rather than reprinting the guide, we periodically update this electronic version. We wish to thank Stephen C. Cranton for uploading this guide onto the World Wide Web and especially thank Zbigniew Kantorosinski, the author of The Independent Press in Poland, 1976-1990, for supporting the concept of an updated electronic version of his 1991 publication. We acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of our Division webmaster, Kenneth Nyirady, who has enhanced the online version by restoring the original Polish diacritics, and Regina Frackowiak, reference librarian in the European Division, who meticulously reviewed the Polish spellings.

Although the European Division is not primarily a custodial element of the Library, for the foreseeable future we will have responsibility for housing and serving through our reading room all the materials listed in this guide. Researchers are advised that in addition to the collection described below, the Library holds the important IDC microfiche collection Polish Independent Publications 1976+. A finding aid is available in the Microform Reading Room, which has custody of the collection; the microfiche number is (o)86/12(H).

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Independent publications -- books, journals, newspapers, bulletins, declarations, and leaflets in which a people spoke out against their government -- proliferated during the two decades before the fall of communism in Poland in 1989. These publications were "independent" in the sense that they were not published or distributed by licensed organizations. They were "uncensored" in that they were distributed illegally and thus bypassed government censorship. They were "unofficial" in that they ignored and often defied the official "truths" of the government. In some instances they were distributed free of charge with such slogans as Nie niszcz! Nie gub! Podaj drugiemu! [Do not destroy! Do not lose! Pass it on to others!].

The generation of these documents began with the founding of the Workers' Defense Committee (KOR) in 1976. In that year sharp food price increases brought on a wave of strikes in Radom and Ursus that ended with the dismissal of some 2,000 workers from their jobs. KOR was formed by a group of fourteen dissident intellectuals to provide legal, financial, and medical assistance to these strikers. It began clandestine publication of the BIULETYN INFORMACYJNY, which was devoted to reports about reprisals, trials, and judicial irregularities and included the names and addresses of KOR members to whom political prisoners and their families could turn for help.

The independent press continued to grow in the 1980s as Solidarity emerged from a second wave of strikes and absorbed KOR. The Solidarity movement was so well organized that the government was forced to accept the twenty-one demands contained in the Gdańsk Agreement of 1980. Point Three guaranteed freedom of speech, press, and publication. During the sixteen months in which Solidarity was legal, this agreement fostered publication at the individual factory, shipyard, and university levels as well as on the national and regional levels. It also strengthened existing independent publishing houses such as the Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza (NOWA). All of this publishing activity continued after the imposition of martial law in December 1981, but it again went underground.

Although the preponderance of publications originated with workers' rights groups such as KOR and Solidarity, many other organizations were involved as well, including human rights groups such as the Movement for the Defense of Human and Civil Rights (ROPCiO) and Freedom and Peace (WIP); student and youth groups and organizations concerned with education, such as the Independent Students' Union (NZS) and the Society for Academic Courses (TKN); social, scientific, and cultural groups, such as the Center for Documentation and Analysis (CDiA) and the Social Committee for Science (SKN); farmers' organizations like Solidarność Wiejska and the All-Poland Farmers' Resistance Committee (OKOR); and political groups and other organizations concerned with national self-determination, such as the Confederation for an Independent Poland (KPN) and the Committee for National Self-Determination (KPSN). By speaking out through clandestine publications, all of these groups contributed to the growing democratic movement.

The European Division of the Library of Congress houses a significant collection of these publications. The collection began with original copies as well as photocopies donated by individuals. In 1991 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty presented the Division with additional materials largely published between 1988 and 1990. Since 1991, the Library has continued to acquire independent press publications through exchanges with several libraries in Poland.

For purposes of this listing, the collection has been divided into three categories: serials, monographs, and miscellaneous items. The serial titles include one-page bulletins as well as newspapers and sophisticated journals. The title of the serial is followed by the place of publication, the year the serial began publication, and frequency (when known). The division's holdings of individual issues follows each entry.

The monographs are listed alphabetically by author or editor or, if neither is evident, by title. This section includes writings by Polish authors, translations of Western works, and works by Polish emigres. Some materials were intended for self-education, others filled the "blank spots" in Polish history that the official press ignored, some voiced political opinions, and others, such as a collection of reprinted photographs, documented police brutality.

The miscellaneous items listed in Part Three demonstrate the resourcefulness of the opposition. This section includes the declarations, open letters, appeals, bulletins, telegrams, posters, leaflets, and cartoons they created to express dissent. These entries are listed by author when known or by title, issuing organization, or genre.

All of these materials were first and foremost a means of expressing dissent against the government. As they were distributed and read they became, as Adam Michnik said, "the living symbol of the opposition's survival." But they also embodied the convictions of the opposition. As such, these publications are documents of lasting value for all readers concerned with the rebirth of liberty in Eastern Europe.

Many thanks go to Stephen Cranton for his technical assistance in the preparation of this list, to Daniel and Bianka Kortlan for their proofreading and suggestions, and to David H. Kraus, Chief of the European Division, for his moral and administrative support.

Zbigniew Kantorosinski, 1991.

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List of Abbreviations

BL - Biblioteka Latająca/"Flying Library"

CDiA - Centrum Dokumentacji i Analiz/Center for Documentation and Analysis

ChSS - Chrześcijańskie Stowarzyszenie Społeczne/Christian Social Association

CRZZ - Centralna Rada Związków Zawodowych/Central Trade Union Council

DiP - Konserwatorium " Doświadczenie i Przyszłość"/"Experience and the Future" Discussion Club

FJN - Front Jedności Narodu/Front of National Unity

FMW - Federacja Młodzież Walcząca/National Federation of Fighting Youth

FON - Fundusz Oświaty Niezależnej/Independent Education Fund

GUKPPiW - Główny Urząd Kontroli Prasy, Publikacji i Widowisk/Main Office for the Control of the Press, Publications, and Public Performances

KIiP - Komisja Interwencji i Praworządności/Commission for Intervention and Legality

KK - Komisja Krajowa/National Commission

KKN - Komitet Kultury Niezależnej/Committee for Independent Culture

KKP - Krajowa Komisja Porozumiewawcza/National Coordinating Commission

KKS - Krajowa Komisja Strajkowa/National Strike Committee

KKW - Krajowa Komisja Wykonawcza/National Executive Committee

KOISRC - Komitet Obrony Interesów Społeczeństwa Regionu Częstochowskiego/Committee in Defense of Social Rights of the Częstochowa Region

KON - Koła Oświaty Niezależnej/Independent Education Circles

KOP - Komitet Obrony Praworządności/Committee in Defense of the Rule of Law

KOPC - Komitet Obrony Praw Człowieka/Committee in Defense of Human Rights

KOPP - Komitety Obywatelskie Przeciw Przemocy/Citizens' Committees Against Violence

KOR - Komitet Obrony Robotników/Workers' Defense Committee

KOS - Komitet Oporu Społecznego/Committee for Social Resistance

KPN - Konfederacja Polski Niepodległej/Confederation for an Independent Poland

KPSN - Komitet Porozumienia na Rzecz Samostanowienia Narodu/Committee for National Self-Determination

KSS "KOR" - Komitet Samoobrony Społecznej "KOR"/Committee for Social Self-Defense "KOR"

KWK - Kopalnia Węgla Koksowego/Coke Mine

KZ WZZ - Komitety Założycielskie WZZ/Founding Committees of the Free Trade Unions

LDP "N" - Liberalno-Demokratyczna Partia "Niepodległość"/Liberal- Democratic "Independent" Party

LO - Liceum Ogólnokształcące /Secondary School

LWP - Ludowe Wojsko Polskie/Polish People's Army

MKK - 1.) Międzyzakładowa Komisja Koordynacyjna/Inter-Factory Coordinating Commission 2.) Międzyzakładowy Komitet Koordynacyjny/Inter-Factory Coordinating Committee

MKO - Międzyszkolny Komitet Obrony/Inter-School Resistance Committee

MKO "S" - Międzyregionalny Komitet Obrony "Solidarność"/Inter- Regional Commission for the Defense of Solidarity

MKR - Międzyzakładowa Komisja Regionalna/Inter-Factory Regional Commission

MKS - Międzyzakładowy Komitet Strajkowy/Inter-Factory Strike Committee

MKWP - Małopolski Komitet Walki o Praworządność/Małopolski Committee of the Struggle for Legality

MO - Milicja Obywatelska/Citizens Militia

MKZ - Międzyzakładowy Komitet Założycielski /Inter-Factory Founding Committee

NIK - Najwyższa Izba Kontroli/Supreme Chamber for Inspection

NOWA - Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza/Independent Publishing House

NSZZ "S" - Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność"/Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity"

NZS - Niezależne Zrzeszenie Studentów/Independent Students' Union

NZWN - Niezależny Zespół Współpracy Naukowej/Independent Group for Scholarly Cooperation

NZZR - Niezależny Związek Zawodowy Rolników/Independent Farmers' Trade Union

OIOPC "PP" - Obywatelska Inicjatywa w Obronie Praw Człowieka "Przeciw Przemocy"/Citizens' Initiative in Defense of Human Rights "Against Violence"

OIOPP - Obywatelska Inicjatywa w Obronie Prawa i Prawdy/Citizens' Initiative in Defense of Law and Truth

OKO - National Solidarity Resistance Committee

OKOR - Ogólnopolski Komitet Oporu Rolników/All-Poland Farmers' Resistance Committee

ORMO - Ochotnicza Rezerwa Milicji Obywatelskiej/Voluntary Civil Militia Reserve

PAN - Polska Akademia Nauk/Polish Academy of Sciences

PAP - Polska Agencja Prasowa/Polish News Agency

Pax - Progovernment Catholic Organization

PFN - Polski Front Narodowy/Polish National Front

PKOZRiN - Polski Komitet Obrony Życia, Rodziny i Narodu/Polish Committee for the Defense of Life, Family, and the Nation

PKWN - Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego/Polish Committee for National Independence

PPN - 1.) Polska Partia Niepodległościowa/Polish Independent Party 2.) Polskie Porozumienie Niepodległościowe/Polish League for Independence

PPS - Polska Partia Socjalistyczna/Polish Socialist Party

PPS-RD - Polska Partia Socjalistyczna-Rewolucja Demokratyczna/Polish Socialist Part-Democratic Revolution

PRW NiD - Polski Ruch Wolnościowy "Niepodległość i Demokracja"/Polish Independence Movement "Independence and Democracy"

PSL - Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe/Polish Peasants' Party

PZPR - Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza/Polish United Workers' Party

REN - Rada Edukacji Narodowej/Council for National Education

RK - Regionalny Komitet/Regional Committee

RKK - Regionalna Komisja Koordynacyjna/Regional Coordinating Commission

RKO - 1.) Regionalny Komitet Obywatelski/Regional Citizens' Committee 2.) Regionalny Komitet Organizacyjny/Regional Organizational Committee

RKS - Regionalny Komitet Strajkowy/Regional Strike Committee

RKW - 1.) Regionalna Komisja Wspólrzędna/Regional Coordinating Commission 2.) Regionalna Komisja Wykonawcza/Regional Executive Commission

RMP - Ruch Młodej Polski/Young Poland Movement

RMN - Ruch Młodzieży Niezależnej/Independent Youth Movement

ROPCiO - Ruch Obrony Praw Człowieka i Obywatela/Movement for the Defense of Human and Civil Rights

RSA - Ruch Społeczeństwa Alternatywnego/Alternative Society Movement (Anarchists)

RSOKOP - Regionalny Społeczny Obywatelski Komitet Obrony Praworządności/Regional Social Citizens'Committee in Defense of the Rule of Law

RWD - Ruch Wolnych Demokratów /Movement of Free Democrats

"S" - "Solidarność"/"Solidarity"

SB - Służba Bezpieczeństwa/Internal Security Service

SGPiS - Szkoła Główna Planowania i Statystyki

SKN - Społeczny Komitet Nauki/Social Committee for Science

SKR - Spółdzielcze Kółko Rolnicze/Cooperative Farmers' Circles

SKS - Studencki Komitet Solidarności/Student Solidarity Committee

SKZ - Społeczna Komisja Zdrowia/Social Commission of Health

SL - Stronnictwo Ludowe/Peasant Party

SSOPC - Społeczne Stowarzyszenie Obrony Praw Człowieka/Social Association in Defense of Human Rights

SW - Solidarność Walcząca/Fighting Solidarity

SZSP - Socjalistyczny Związek Studentów Polskich/Socialist Union of Polish Students

TKK - Tymczasowa Komisja Koordynacyjna/Interim Coordinating Commission

TKN - Towarzystwo Kursów Naukowych/Society for Academic Courses

TKO - Terytorialna Komisja Obrony/Territorial Committee of Resistance

TKZ - Tymczasowa Komisja Zakładowa/Temporary Factory Commission

TZR - Tymczasowy Zarząd Regionu/Interim Regional Administration

UL - Uniwersytet Ludowy/People's University

UT - Uniwersytet Latający/"Flying University"

WiP - Wolność i Pokój/Freedom and Peace [Movement]

WSN - Wolność-Sprawiedliwość-Niepodległość/Freedom-Justice- Independence

WZZ - Wolne Związki Zawodowe/Free Trade Unions

ZEN - Zeszyty Edukacji Narodowej/National Education Books

ZLP - Związek Literatów Polskich/Union of Polish Writers

ZLS - Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe/United Peasant Party

ZOMO - Zmotoryzowane Oddziały Milicji Obywatelskiej/Motorized Units of Civil Militia

ZON - Zespół Oświaty Niezależnej/Independent Education Board

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