At a congress in Wroclaw (once Breslau), Poland's Socialist Party heard a fateful summons last week. Poland's Communist Party Secretary General and Vice Premier, Wladyslaw Gomulka, told them: "Conditions make it imperative that a common front must lead to one party." What Gomulka meant was that the time had come for the Socialists to let themselves be swallowed by the smaller Communist Party.

Every Communist and most Socialists knew that it was the logical sequence to the Communists' successful subjugation of Stanislaw Mikolajczyk's majority Peasant Party. Though the Socialists had applauded as the Communist-dominated state police decimated the Peasant Party and...

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