POLISH SOCIALIST PARTY AND THE WORKERS' UNIVERSITY ASSOCIATION IN CRACOW IN 1945-1948
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This article deals with the activities of the Polish Socialist Party (ie. that branch of the PPS which was reactivated in Poland after the war) in Cracow and in particular with the involvement of the party activists in the Workers' University Association (TUR) in 1945-1948. It is based on sources from the State Archives in Cracow, socialist press, and memoirs and reports written by (former) PPS and TUR members. In Cracow it was the Polish Socialist Party that started the TUR in March 1945. Although the majority of its participants were connected with the PPS, and a good many of those PPS members from the pre-war period, the communist Polish Workers' Party (PPR) was soon able to gain some influence in the new organization. By 1947 TUR had reached a high point of its activities: it was then running several Popular University centres and Schools of Social Work, a gymnasium (ie. a high-grade secondary school), a vocational lyceum for adults and a university-grade School of Social Sciences. TUR was also present in the world of the theatre. It helped to launch 'Teatr Kameralny', which pledged itself in return to train people who would further the arts in workers'clubs, although it had its own establishment TUR 'Popular Theatre', charged with the mission of promoting culture to the working class. The latter, like the co-operative 'Czytelnik', a publishing and bookselling company, were closely connected with both TUR and the PPS. As the PPR was tightening the squeeze on all the initiatives that sprang up spontaneously after the war, all of the TUR-sponsored institutions were either taken over by the communists or forced to close down. The merger of PPR and PPS in 1948 sealed the fate of a distinct socialist presence in education, culture and the media.
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