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We remember March 1968

Poland continues to mark the 40th anniversary of the events of March 1968.

In January 1968 the communist authorities of Poland banned the performance of "Dziady" - a play by Adam Mickiewicz, saying that it was russophobic and anti-socialist. Intellectual and student protests followed.

On March 8th, 1968, a 1500 people strong student demonstration at the Warsaw University was attacked by the authorities, but the idea of mass protests spread, and other cities, such as Krakow, Lublin, Gliwice, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Lodz held their own rallies. The communists organized workers and militia to attack the protesters.

The communists later came up with the idea of blaming the revolt on Zionists, which led to an anti-Jewish campaign resulting in the expulsion of about 20 thousand Polish Jews, who lost their jobs and were forced to emigrate.

Celebrations of the events of March 1968 anniversary today include a debate at the Warsaw University, a special ceremony at one of Warsaw's train station to remember those Jews who were forced to emigrate from Poland 40 years ago. Polish President will visit the Warsaw University to pay tribute to participants of the demonstrations crushed by the communist militia. A number of exhibitions in the memory of March 1968 are held all over the country.

At a solemn ceremony, Polish President Lech Kaczynski granted Polish citizenship to fourteen person expelled from the country in March 1968, as a symbolic sign to those who would like to have their citizenship rights returned. According to present regulations, all they need to do is file a letter saying that they will accept the Polish citizenship.

About 20 students of physics of Warsaw University, my friends, had to leave Poland after March events.

On the photo facade of Academy of Fine Arts (opposite main University buildings) with censorship stamp. It is written in Polish:

In memory of figting for the freedom of culture during March events in 1968.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13401 W: 141 N: 34841] (157280)
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