Bolesław Bierut

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Bolesław Bierut ([bɔˈlɛswaf ˈbjɛrut] ( listen); born Bolesław Biernacki April 18, 1892 – March 12, 1956), also known under assumed names Jerzy Bolesław Bielak and Bolesław Birkowski,[1] was a Polish Communist leader, NKVD agent,[2] and a hard Stalinist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country in the aftermath of World War II.



Bierut was born in Rury Jezuickie,[1] now a part of Lublin, as the son of Henryk Rutkowski, a village teacher, and his wife Barbara Biernacka (Wojciech and Maria, according to IPN source).[1] He later adopted the surname "Bierut" combining the first syllables of his parents' surnames. In 1918 he took courses at the Warsaw School of Economics, and in 1924–1930 went to Moscow, to be trained at the school of the Communist International.[1]

In 1930–1931 Bierut was sent by the Komintern to Austria, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.[1] In 1933 he became an agent of Soviet military intelligence, the GRU, and subsequently, was sentenced in Poland to 10 years in prison for his anti-state activities (incarcerated between 1933–1938).[1] The pro-Soviet Communist Party of Poland was dissolved by Joseph Stalin in 1938. Bierut was fortunate to avoid being caught in the Great Purge, which led to the execution of most of the leaders of the Communist Party of Poland in the USSR. After an amnesty from the Polish government in 1938 Bierut settled down in Warsaw and worked as a bookkeeper in a cooperative.

After the outbreak of World War II, Bierut fled to Eastern Poland (soon occupied by the Red Army) in order to avoid military service. Bierut would spend part of the war in the USSR and was sent to head the new Polish Workers' Party in 1943. He functioned as head of the Provisional National Council, a quasi-parliament (Krajowa Rada Narodowa), created by the pro-Soviet and Moscow-based Union of Polish Patriots, from 1944 to 1947.

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