Poland: A Symptom

The heavy-set man in a neatly pressed blue suit and beret stepped out of War saw's shabby district court at 127 General Swierczewski Street into a welcoming crowd of 300, mostly writers and students. They surrounded the old man and patted him on the back. Two girls embraced him and handed him red roses. Said he: "All the nice people seem to be here." Melchior Wankowicz, 72, one of Poland's most popular novelists, had just been convicted by the not-so-nice people in courtroom No. 16 of "slandering the People's Republic of Poland."...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!