Religion: Cross and Commissar

The name of the factory suburb on the outskirts of Cracow is as drab and anonymous as the upright slabs of apartments that crowd its barren hills: Nowa Huta—New Foundry. Conceived by the Polish Communist state as a counterweight to "reactionary" central Cracow, Nowa Huta is home to the giant, 35,000-employee Lenin Steelworks, one of the largest in Europe. As originally planned, the town was to have schools, shops, theaters, recreation halls and a hospital—but no church. The workers wanted one. After the anti-regime riots of 1956, they won grudging permission from the...

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