POLAND: Life of the Party

In the lands behind the Iron Curtain, membership in the Communist Party is meant to be a signal honor, a reward for extraordinary services on a tractor, special zeal on a lathe, or talent and diligence at street-corner rallies. But in Warsaw last week, the rulers of Communist Poland were grimly facing up to the fact that to all but a handful of their subjects party membership had come to be nothing but a chore. On a recent journey through the Polish countryside, a Western traveler found that in village after village party headquarters had vanished, closed up for...

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