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Information Text: Krakow – Communism 1945-1956 - Literary Krakow

Tenement house in Krupnicza Street, 2008, Photo: Beata Poręba

On January 25, 1945 the Communist Party writers from Lublin, with the leading figures of Julian Przyboś and Adam Ważyk, brought into being the Association of Polish Writers headed by Kazimierz Czachowski. The Party influenced the Association authorities and had its own informers within the Kraków literary section. Literary life was organized by the communist government urging the writers to disseminate Stalin’s and Gorki’s ideals. Social realism beliefs and attitudes were present in short stories, novelettes and reportages. Authors’ private lives, their political engagement and attitudes towards religion were controlled by the Party.

The political authorities set up a centralized office called the Main Office for Control of the Press, Publications and Public Performances  (Delegatura Głównego Komitetu Kontroli Prasy, Publikacji i Widowisk). This was a regulatory body responsible for censorship, without whose permission no book could be published or theatre performance staged. Until the political events of 1989, the artistic and literary life in the People’s Republic of Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa) was stifled by stringent censorship.

In 1945, Jan Karol Wende handed over the tenement house in Krupnicza Street 22 to the writers. In this way one of the most important cultural centres came into existence. In the years 1945 – 1957, 66 writers lived there. The most prominent tenant was Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński.

socio-realism/social realism: an epoch and ideological-artistic movement

censorship: the practice or system of examining books, films, letters, etc. to remove anything that is considered offensive, morally harmful or politically dangerous