Pelplin w działalności Powiatowego Urzędu Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego w Tczewie w latach 1949-1951. Zarys problematyki
An Overview of the Activities of the Tczew District of the Public Security Bureau in Pelplin in the Period between 1949 and 1951
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The history of the communist political police activities in Pelplin in the years 1949-1951 is the main subject of the article. In addition to the most well-known repressive campaign in February 1950, when a raid was conducted on the Diocesan Curia in Pelplin and Bishop K. Kowalski was placed under house arrest, the paper discusses a number of other issues. The main structure of the communist repression in this period was characterized, including the Provincial Public Security Office in Gdańsk and the District Public Security Bureau in Tczew, which launched a local Public Security Institution in Pelplin in 1950. The fact that both clergy and lay people were kept under constant surveillance is also discussed. Public Security reports recorded very carefully every activity. The majority of the data was obtained from informants who were forced to co-operate mostly by blackmail. These were residents of Pelplin as well as inhabitants of the surrounding areas visiting the town on business or at their leisure. Among about two hundred Public Security informants throughout the district, at least a dozen were strongly associated with the surveillance of Pelplin. “Ubowcy” – Public Security officials – wanted to know about the city as much as possible. Anything was important for them – from the functioning of local shops to the situation in the immediate vicinity of the bishop of Chelmno. The article also highlights the largescale support for the Church and the condemnation of the Public Security Bureau and its actions. There was even a possibility of organising strikes in the sugar factory and in the school. The failure of communist propaganda activities in the city was a manifestation of the local moods. People’s reluctance to the communist ideology led to a variety of harassment and repressions. In addition to the massive surveillance the Public Security also applied intimidation, causing difficulties at work and sometimes imprisonment. This paper presents a group of several dozens of people who were the objects of the interest for Public Security authorities. Apart from all the clergymen there were people holding important positions, local officials including the mayor and the local village authorities. Among those kept under surveillance there were managers of state and private institutions as well as many ordinary citizens. In order to be an object of such measures it was enough to express a critical statements about the People’s Republic of Poland or the Soviet Union and, in the case of some elderly people, any form of a political or social activity in the past, before the war, during the occupation, and even after the war, such as a membership in the Polish Peasant Party or the Polish Socialist Party. The paper also discusses some issues related to the economy of the city, including the functioning of the large sugar factory, and the economic situation of the rural municipality of Pelplin undergoing the initial phase of collectivization in which the Public Safety Authority played a very important role.
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