SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES   Leave a comment

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I have covered the circumstances of my granduncle Marek Korowicz’s escape from the Polish Delegation to the United Nations in 1953 in this previous post. Below Marek tells the story in his own words. He was called to give testimony before a specially-convened sub-committee of the Committee on Un-American Activities,  a week after his arrival in New York to take up the position of President of the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the United Nations General Assembly. Of course, he never occupied that post, denouncing his credentials and condemning the Polish and Soviet governments.

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 the last chief of the Polish Underground at the Radio Free Europe press conference regarding Marek's seeking political asylum in the US. (Photo by Peter Stackpole//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

19th September 1953 Dr. Marek Stanislaw Korowicz (R) talking to Stefan Korboński (the last chief of the Polish Underground) before the press conference announcing his appeal for political asylum in the US. (Photo by Peter Stackpole//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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The content and format of Marek’s testimony are very much a reflection of the heightened tensions, mutual mistrust, and fatalism which characterized the Cold War. This is only six months after Joesph Stalin’s death. The Soviet Union, enigmatic, despotic and a recent ally, is  the subject of foreboding speculation on the part of the US government. Marek is quizzed on topical matters behind the Iron Curtain. What has happened to Beria, who seemed poised to replace Stalin but now has disappeared? What is the state of the USSR’s atomic programme? Do they have a hydrogen bomb? The questions and answers in a general sense would not be out of place in a Hollywood screenplay, a familiarity which in retrospect downplays the high stakes of the era. Marek had certainly placed himself in considerable danger. His protection was precisely the public fora in which he told his story, not just here at US Federal buildings, but in the press conferences and radio broadcasts he gave throughout this period. The fact that he was a professor of international law and had worked extensively as a diplomat before the second world war, lent his testimony greater impact. The details he employs to compare the standard of living and civil freedoms between East and West – the number of cars, television sets, the presence of Soviet military garrisons throughout the satellite states, the role of the Catholic Church, and the propaganda battle between state broadcasters and the Voice of America- are born out of the experiences of an inveterate opponent of foreign control (he was among other things a veteran of the 1920 Polish-Soviet War) and are conveyed with professorial exactness.

The benefit of hindsight may soften somewhat the atmosphere of impending doom which no doubt percolated the era, when it was considered not only conceivable but even logical to destroy the world in order to save it from itself. And yet there is still something haunting in the attribution of the Katyń massacres to Nazi Germany by the House Un-American Activities Committee Chairman Harold Velde in the following exchange:

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Dr. KOROWICZ. It must be well understood that the Polish people keep in their minds today a vivid memory of all the Hitlerite atrocities committed by these Germans. Six million Poles were savagely butchered. But in spite of this the Polish people would like to live in peace and in definite peace with their neighbouring German populations.

Mr. VELDE. You are referring to the butchering of the Poles by the Hitlerites. I wonder if you are referring there to the Katyń Forest massacre?

Dr. KOROWICZ. With respect to Katyń, Mr. Chairman, the opinion in Poland is almost unanimous that the assassination and murder of so many Polish officers was a guilty deed performed by the Russians and not by the Germans.

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Of course, the families of the 22,000 Polish prisoners, executed in 1940 on the orders of Stalin and the Politburo, would have to wait until 1990 when Gorbachev admitted the coverup. There was a grotesque Orwellian pantomime in the methods used by the Soviet Union to turn their own self-documented crime into that of the Germans, from the ludicrous “Special Commission for Determination and Investigation of the Shooting of Polish Prisoners of War by German-Fascist Invaders in Katyn Forest” via the Nuremberg Trials right down to today when many of the copious volumes of files about Katyń in the Russian archives still remain sealed. It would indeed be strange that Chairman Velde would categorize in error  Katyń as a Nazi crime when only the previous year the Congressional Investigation known as the Madden Committee concluded that Soviets were indeed the culprits. It is for rhetorical effect, and moreover, to have the Polish defector make the accusation himself.

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Anyway, over to Marek and the Committee members, and some old-fashioned Cold War drama:

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Marek Committee UAA

Marek as star witness before Special House Committee on Communist Aggression

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1953

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UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE

ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES,

Washington, D.C.

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PUBLIC HEARING

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The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to call, at 10.40 a.m. in the caucus room, 362 Old House Office Building, Hon. Harold H. Velde (chairman) presiding.

Committee members present: Representatives Harold H. Velde (chairman), Gordon H. Scherer, and James B. Frazier, Jr.

Staff members present: Robert L. Kunzig, counsel; Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Louis J. Russell {trivia: who may later have been the sixth Watergate burglar}, chief investigator; Raphael I. Nixon, director of research; George E. Cooper, investigator.

Mr. VELDE. Will the witness please rise. Dr. Korowicz, in the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee of the House of Representatives, do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes. I do.

Mr. VELDE. Proceed, Mr. Counsel.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, would you describe to the committee what event transpired on September 1 of this year, just a few weeks ago?

Dr. KOROWICZ. To my great surprise, on the 1st of last September I received a letter from the director of the University of Krakow invit­ing me, at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to proceed to Warsaw.

Mr. KUNZIG. When you say Minister of Foreign Affairs, to make it clear to all of us, I presume you mean what we in this country call the Secretary of State?

Dr. KOROWICZ. That is correct.

Mr. KUNZIG. Thank you.

Dr. KOROWICZ. The following day I had a meeting with the said Minister of Foreign Affairs, who told me of his decision, that it had been decided to send, me to the United Nations as a Polish delegate.

Mr. KUNZIG. Was this the first time that this idea was ever broached to you?

Dr. KOROWICZ. In 1947, 1948, 1949, offers had been made to me to go, the first time, to Prague, the second time to The Hague, and the third time to Paris to be Polish representative at meetings and con­ferences of international law organizations.

Mr. KUNZIG. Did you go?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Each time, all three times at the very last minute the State Security Police refused to give me my passport.

This time I was very surprised, and my first feelings were that I should refuse, but obviously in Poland nobody refuses a request from the Government.

I made several formal objections to the Minister, based upon my state of health and other matters, but I suddenly realized that this was the opportunity I had been waiting for for 7 years. This was the op­portunity of escaping.

So the 5th of September we took a train via Paris, and after spending 24 hours in that city, we sailed on the steamship Liberté to New York.

Mr. KUNZIG. Could you tell us briefly, but giving the exact example of what you said to the Minister, the objections you raised to the Minister?

Dr. KOROWICZ. My health was slightly affected. His answer was that “You will find the best medicines in the world in the United States.”

I also told him that I drank no vodka and that I had always heard that when you were with Russians a man who doesn’t drink is considered a very suspicious character. But he persuaded me that it might be quite sufficient to pretend I was drinking. Finally I underlined strongly that I spoke not one word of Russian. But he said that would be no obstacle; “You will always have a Russian translator near you.” And finally and quite seriously he said that he attached great importance to having an expert qualified jurist in the field of public international law as a member of the Polish delegation.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, what exactly was your title as a member of the delegation when you got here to New York?

Dr. KOROWICZ. First substitute, or alternate delegate, but since at the time the presidency of the Sixth Committee of the Assembly of the United Nations…

Mr. KUNZIG. That is the International Law Committee, a subcommittee; is that correct?

Dr. KOROWICZ. It is not a subcommittee. It is one of the principal committees of the United Nations. It is called the Sixth Commission of Jurists, or Committee of Jurists. According to the arrangements that had been made among the members of the United Nations, this was the time for the presidency of this important committee to fall to a Pole, and I was designated to become the president of this committee.

After my escape and the very next day the same decision that had previously been taken as to Polish presidency was maintained, and Mr. Katz-Suchy, another member of the Polish delegation, was made president of the Sixth Committee.

Mr. KUNZIG. Let me understand this correctly. Mr. Katz-Suchy, then, has just been within the last few days elected president of this very important International Law Committee or Commission of the United Nations; is that correct?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes, sir

Mr. KUNZIG. May I ask you, sir, does this Mr. Katz-Suchy have any qualifications for this position?

Dr. KOROWICZ. To the best of my knowledge and to the knowledge of most of my friends who know Mr. Katz-Suchy’s past very well, he did in fact complete 1 year’s study of law at the University of Krakow. That is the extent of his qualifications.

Mr. VELDE. Well, Dr. Korowicz, is he, to your knowledge, a member of the Communist Party of Poland?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes, certainly, he is a violent Communist.

Mr. VELDE. Well, Doctor, have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of Poland?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Not only have I never been a member of the Com­munist Party of Poland, but I have never been a member of any Communist Party anywhere; but, singularly, no one ever invited me to be a member of the Communist Party. Ninety-six percent of the professors in Poland belong to no party.

Mr. KUNZIG In other words, Dr. Korowicz, what you have just told us at this hearing before a committee of the Congress of the United States, and through the members of the committee and the gentlemen of the press today, is that you are telling all the United Nations that the man who heads this important committee to study International law throughout the world has no qualifications what­soever for that position?

Mr. VELDE. Except that I may add, Mr. Counsel, he is a very violent Communist, as Dr. Korowicz told us.

Mr. KUNZIG. Which qualifies him, of course, for the position.

Dr. KOROWICZ. Unhappily, your statements are true.

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Katz-Suchy and Malik

Juliusz Katz-Suchy, Head of Polish Delegation, breaks news of Marek’s defection to unamused Soviet Head of Delegation Malik (Life Photo)

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Mr. KUNZIG. Do you have the feeling, Doctor, that you were chosen as a member of the delegation and to be head of this commit­tee because of your great experience and ability in international law ~ is that why they sent you?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Most decidedly that is correct. The Minister of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw himself told me before I left Poland that the purpose of my inclusion in the delegation was to serve as presi­dent of this Committee of Jurists.

I immediately objected that I had never had the opportunity of working in the United Nations or with any of the people in the United Nations, but his answer was that in view of my past experience I would have no difficulty there.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, Could you describe to the committee exactly what steps you took after you arrived in New York to leave the Polish delegation and come to the side of freedom?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I had already reached a decision in the course of my conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw that I would stay in the United States, if possible.

I spoke to no-one in Poland of my intentions. In Paris I thought that it might be easier for me to escape from the Polish delegation, but I decided not to make this movement at that time for the following reasons:   I knew that it was only in the United States that I could serve to the fullest extent the interests of the freedom of Poland. Besides, if I had made the gesture in Paris my escape might not have been publi­cized because in Paris I was little more than a traveller through that city, whereas in the United States I had become an official member of the Polish delegation to the United Nations.

Mr. KUNZIG. How did you become an official member? What did you do to make sure that you were an official member?

Dr. KOROWICZ. In addition to my diplomatic passport describing my functions, upon my arrival in New York I received an identity card, official identity card as an alternate delegate from Poland to the United Nations. ‘

Mr. KUNZIG. That is the card which is already marked “Exhibit No.3” for this record?

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IMG

Exhibit No.3

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Dr. KOROWICZ. That is correct. The day after my arrival I im­mediately attempted to get in touch with certain of my compatriots.

I got in touch with my old friend, Mr. Korboński, who today is serving as my Polish interpreter.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, would you tell us for the record just who Mr. Korboński, who is sitting at your left side, is?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Mr. Korboński was a deputy to the Polish Diet, which corresponds to the Congress of Poland, in 1947, but it was not that which authorized me to turn to him. It was that he, Mr. Korboński, was the last chief of the Polish underground resistance movement.

Mr. KUNZIG. Is Mr. Korboński well known throughout the Polish nation?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Mr. Korboński is very popularly known to the Polish people. Mr. Korboński’s escape in 1947 was one of the elements which enhanced his popularity and was a subject of many stories throughout Poland, which are still repeated to this day.

Mr. VELDE. You have stated that Mr. Korboński is very popular among the Polish people. I presume it is somewhat different with the Polish Communists; is that correct?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The extent of Mr. Korboński’s popularity can be measured by the fact that there are so few Communists in Poland. I will be able, perhaps, Mr. Chairman, later to explain that it is my opinion that there are not more than 6 to 7 percent of the Polish population who are Communists. It is with the others that Mr. Korboński is popular.

Mr. VELDE. Thank you.

Mr. KUNZIG. After you contacted Mr. Korboński what was your next step?

Dr. KOROWICZ. After 2 days’ silence, we got in touch through Mr. Korboński with Mr. Yarrow, one of the directors of the National Committee for a Free Europe. Mr. Yarrow cordially received me and immediately introduced me to the persons who are now well known.

Mr. KUNZIG. How did you get out of the Hotel Chatham where I understand the Polish delegation is staying?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I made careful plans to do this, this kind of an escape, and at quarter to 6 in the morning last Wednesday, the 16th of this month, I went down the stairs, the fire escape, three floors, to avoid an unhappy or unfortunate meeting with other members of my delegation, and then I took a car.

Mr. KUNZIG. Did anyone ask you as you went through the hotel lobby at that odd hour of the morning where you were going?

Dr. KOROWICZ. As I turned my key in at the desk…

Mr. KUNZIG. You mean you went right up to the desk and turned your key in?

Dr. KOROWICZ. As I went up to the desk and turned my key in I explained that I would be back in two days and that I was keeping the room.

Mr. KUNZIG. But you didn’t come back in 2 days?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I had no intention of doing so.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, would you tell this committee, and I think this is very important, to the best of your knowledge, what instructions were given the Polish delegation with regard to their activity here in this country?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The Polish delegation – I agree, Mr. Counsellor, that this is a very important matter. The Polish delegation and its members were instructed on all occasions to cooperate closely with the Soviet Russian delegation, and I underline and emphasize this point, to receive orders from the Russian delegation. The Soviet delegation was about to unleash a peace offensive in which the Polish delegation was to play the role of substantial second. Every step, in fact, big or small, of the Polish delegation is made following instructions re­ceived from the Soviet Russia.

The Polish delegation – and I wish to emphasize this point – is nothing but an extension of the Russian delegation. It is an absolute fiction that there is any independence whatsoever of this delegation ­since Poland at the present time is entirely dependent upon U. S. S. R.

Mr. SCHERER. The same condition would exist if China were admitted to the United Nations, would it not?

Dr. KOROWICZ. At the beginning probably the same state of affairs would prevail. That is my opinion.. But it is stressed in thousands upon thousands of articles in Poland in the past years, in the speeches. of Polish statesmen and politicians, that the first effect of the admis­sion to the United Nations of Communist China would be in the­ Security Council, which is the most important part of the United Nations where the five permanent delegates of the great powers have the preponderant votes. The Soviet representative would no longer be isolated but he could be accompanied by the delegate of China, so that the Communists would have 2 of the 5 permanent votes instead of one.

Mr. SCHERER. In other words, the Chinese delegation would be no freer to act independently than is the Polish delegation today?

Dr. KOROWICZ. That is absolutely my opinion; at least at the beginning, in the first years.

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Marek Newspaper

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Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, did the members of your delegation with whom you were associated just a few days ago, did they have any real respect for the United Nations, or from your conversations with them did they feel that it should be merely used as a propaganda purpose for Poland and Russia?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The organization of the United Nations is considered as one of the most important platforms for Soviet propaganda in the world. I wish to underline the following comment. Not only Russia but its satellites attach a primary importance that the members of their bloc of satellite powers maintain their relations with the western world. It is emphasized at all times that the acts of real democracy, socialist democracy, that they should seek a direct channel over the heads of their governments to the great popular masses of the United States and the other western countries, and the United Nations organization offers a parliamentary platform to the Soviet politicians and from this platform they may preach to the populations of the entire world and do their subversive propaganda.

Mr. KUNZIG. In other words, sir, there is no real desire to work with one another and make a better world but merely to use the United Nations as a propaganda device to further communism?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes, that is quite correct. ‘That is my view.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr Korowicz, were you given any instructions as to your behaviour or relations with American people and other people in New York City after you got here?

Dr. KOROWICZ. When we arrived here, as well as when I left Warsaw, I received instructions, strictest instructions from not only the Minister in Warsaw but Mr. Naszkowski, the chief of the delegation, to enter into no private relations with anyone, to approach no one, to speak with no one, and always when I went out to be accompanied by another member of the delegation because at each moment and everywhere we would be surrounded by the agents of the American Intelligence Service, even in the elevator, in the halls of the hotel, on the streets, in the restaurants, cafes, and everywhere.

Mr. KUNZIG. What are the relations, Doctor, if they are different, to the contrary, between the Polish delegation and the Russian delegation?

Dr. KOROWICZ. These relations are obviously of the most intimate sort. I have just been shown a copy of an American publication. I know the American magazines very well. If the chairman will permit, I would like to show him something, this striking photograph which appears in the current issue of Life. Here before you [indicating] is the Russian delegation. There is Mr. Malik, the Soviet chief delegate, and behind him is Mr. Katz-Suchy of the Polish delegation, sitting on one of the seats of the Soviet delegation, and he is whispering something in the ear.

Mr. VELDE. I am sure a copy of this publication is available to all members of the committee.

Mr. SCHERER. I might make this observation. This committee is tremendously pleased that the witness saw fit to violate these instructions not to talk to anyone. Through the medium of the radio, television, and the press, Dr. Korowicz has the opportunity to tell his story not only to this committee but to the entire American people.

Dr. KOROWICZ. We are very happy that Mr. Scherer has made this statement, very flattered at his understanding of the motives that prompted my decision.

Mr. VELDE. Dr. Korowicz, I concur with the statement of my distinguished friend from Ohio regarding your appearance here and the great good that you have done for the preservation of our Republic and for your assistance to free Poland. I would like to ask this: What do the Communist Party leaders in Poland tell the masses generally, masses of Poland, the people of Poland, regarding the standard of living there as compared to the standard of living here in the United States of America?

Dr. KOROWICZ. There is a real brain-stuffing operation conducted in Poland, not only in the schools but among workmen and in all the newspapers, describing the standard of living in Russia as being the highest in the entire world; that in 10 or 20 years it is promised to the Poles that their standard of living will rise to the same level as that which prevails in Soviet Russia. But for the time being I am able to say that the standard of living in my dear homeland is at least 20 times below that of the United States. To give you an example, one example only, if I may, there are in Poland approximately about 50,000 automobiles.

Mr. KUNZIG. How many people are there in Poland altogether?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Twenty-six million people. I have just learned that there are over 40 million private automobiles in the United States. The proportions are, of course not as striking in many other fields, but I would like to reiterate my opinion that the proportion s are properly 1 to 20, and we believe from what we hear in Poland that the situation in Soviet Russia is no better than it is in Poland. 

Mr. KUNZIG. Do the Communist leaders of Poland tell the Polish people, for example, in describing America, the number of television sets, the homes of the American people, automobiles, refrigerators, and that sort of thing? Is that known to the Polish people?

Dr KOROWICZ. That is never mentioned to the Polish people. You see we have no television in Poland. We have seen in the movies a large factory in Leningrad where we are told they are manufacturing television sets.

On the economic development of the United States only the most defamatory news is spread, underlining the gaping chasm that lies between the rich in America and the terribly poor.

Recently it was announced throughout Poland that there were 4 mil­lion unemployed in the United States who, in the final analysis, would have nothing else to do with their lives but to lie starving on the steps of millionaires’ houses.

Mr. VELDE. Now, Dr. Korowicz, you say that the newspapers preach this sort of thing to the Polish people. Are the newspapers in Poland free, as we certainly feel they are here in America, or are they sup­pressed and censored?

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Dr. KOROWICZ. I am very happy that you asked me this question because it enables me to underline the complete subservience of thought in Poland of journalism, of science and everything else. Everything that is written in the papers is. officially dictated or inspired, censored several times. It is not a real information service.

Mr. VELDE. I just want to ask you one further question before the recess. Does the same thing apply to the radio and television facilities in Poland?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Unfortunately, there is no television, Mr. Chairman, but radio. The radio is nothing other than a propaganda service of the Communist Party.

I can console you gentlemen that only a half of 1 percent of the Polish people having radios listen to the Polish broadcasts. The only thing that anyone listens to on the radio is daily news about daily events and information of a general nature.

Mr. FRAZIER. Mr. Chairman.

Mr. VELDE. Mr. Frazier

Mr. FRAZIER. I would like to ask the doctor, is the Voice of America heard in Poland over the radio? I mean is it received there, allowed to be broadcast?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Both Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America are heard by millions upon millions of Poles. It is a real sanctuary for the oppressed peoples and the news broadcasts by this radio service goes from one ear to the other in the shortest time, goes from mouth to mouth, so that even those people who do not have radio-receiving stations in a few hours learn the latest news received over the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe transmitters.

I would like to underline this fact· with the greatest gratitude.

Mr. VELDE. At this point the committee will be in recess for 15 minutes, at which time we will return.

(Thereupon a short recess was taken, after which the proceedings were resumed as follows:)

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Harold Velde (Left), Chairman House Un-American Activities Committee (Photo)

Harold Velde (Left), Chairman House Un-American Activities Committee (Photo)

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(At the hour of 11.45 a.m., of the same day, the proceedings were resumed, the same parties being present.)

Mr. VELDE. Will the committee be in order, please. May we have order, please.

Proceed, Mr. Counsel.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, before the recess you were discussing Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. Do the people in Poland behind the iron Curtain listen to these broadcasts?

Dr. KOROWICZ. To answer this question I might best do so by quoting to you a slogan which is throughout my country: “There are only two moral sanctuaries for the oppressed people of my country – the church and the American broadcasts.”

Mr. KUNZIG. In your opinion, then, as certainly an expert witness on this subject, would you say that the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe should not only be continued, but be expanded in their activities to bring the truth behind the Iron Curtain?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, even though we read and hear many times in thi9s country about the conditions behind the Iron Curtain it is always of great and enormous interest to the American people, and particularly to this committee, to hear from someone in your own position – someone who up to just a few days ago has had such a close relationship with Poland. Can you tell us what the actual conditions today are in the very wonderful country as we have known it in the past?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The general conditions of life are very deplorable, both in the moral and material side. It is very difficult for me to answer in detail to such a broad question, but I will be very happy to give any answers I can on specific points.

Mr. KUNZIG. Could you give us some descriptions of living conditions? Dwelling houses, for example?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The situation is tragic as far as dwelling houses are concerned. There have been brought to the cities to work there over 4 million peasants who had previously been living on farms. But houses are not built to accommodate this population. It is for this reason 4 years ago already a law was passed according to which a certain vital space was given to each individual.

Mr. KUNZIG. How much space does each individual have?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The maximum amount of space allowed in Krakow and Warsaw for 1 person who works is 9 square meters – approximately 27 square feet. The members of the family of the worker, each additional member is allocated 6 additional square meters or approximately 18 square feet.

In the smaller towns the space allocated is set at a maximum of 11 square meters and 8 square meters for the dependent. So for this reason in Warsaw and Krakow a father and mother and 1 child only have the right to 21 square metres – a room of less than average size.

Mr. KUNZIG. Does this mean that sometimes several families are forced to live together in one room?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I personally know several apartment houses in War­saw and in Krakow and Katowice, the name of which city has been changed to Stalinogrod, where in a 3-room·small apartment, there are from 9 to 13 people, and among these 5, 7, and even 8 families. All of these families and all of these people have at their disposal only one very small and inadequate kitchen. . .

Life under such conditions, you will understand, is a real inferno.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, may I ask whether the Communist rulers and masters of Poland live within these same restrictions?

Dr. KOROWICZ. No. I should say that the masters of Communist Poland live in luxurious conditions. And without any doubt there is a much bigger difference between the standards of living of a member of, the government, or a high political personage in Poland, and a Polish workman, than between one of the greatest of the American millionaires and the poorest American worker.

Mr. VELDE. Doctor, the Communist, or at least the Marxist doctrine, preaches generally a division of the wealth among all classes of the particular society. Would you say, therefore, that the Communists are not practicing what they preach?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I would certainly say so and be fully in agreement with that. It is very obvious on all sides that they do not practice what they preach.

Mr. KUNZIG. Could you give us a few brief references to the food situation in Poland today?

Dr. KOROWICZ. We may say that there is plenty of food in Poland. The deliveries are somewhat irregular and this depends on the volume of exports from Poland to Russia and to the other; satellite countries of Russia, and to the Eastern Zone of Germany. But in general it will be noted that those who have enough money can eat very well indeed. But it is also equally to be noticed that 60 percent of the population is undernourished.

Mr. VELDE. Doctor, I am sure the committee and the people of this country will be interested if you could describe for us fairly briefly the condition of labor and whether they have the right to organize, and who controls the unions in Poland, and so forth.

Dr. KOROWICZ. As would be expected, there are organizations which are called trade unions in Poland. The membership in these trade unions is a matter of fact obligatory, but the words “trade union” or the term “trade union” means something entirely different from what it means in the Western World, because these trade unions, instead of protecting the rights of the workers and the rights of their mem­bers are used as instruments of oppression exercised by the Communist Party, by the authorities over the workers, so as to obtain from these workers and to extract by force from these workers the greatest possible productivity.

Mr. SCHERER. That could be an explanation, Mr. Chairman, why the Communist Party in this country has sought to infiltrate the labor unions so extensively.

Mr. VELDE. I certainly agree with you.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, are there concentration camps In Poland today?

Dr. KOROWICZ. There are camps of this nature which go by the name of forced-labor camps. The number of prisoners in these camps at the present time is approximately 300,000.

Mr. KUNZIG. Are these people put into these camps after a fair trial as we know it in this country of ours?

Dr. KOROWICZ. There are special institutions in Communist Poland called special commissions which have nothing to do with being real legal entities, or real courts. They are political institutions which exist to enforce the class-warfare precept. All students must be taught the fundamental principles concerning the interpretation of the laws. Each law must be interpreted according to the Socialist conscience of the judge.

Mr. KUNZIG. Can you give us some personal examples of actual happenings in this type of situation? How do people get into these concentration camps?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The greatest majority of the people held in these forced-labor camps consist of former small and medium capitalists – people who own businesses – small shops.

Mr. SCHERER. Pardon me. For what offenses are they sent to these forced-labor camps?

Dr. KOROWICZ. It is a subterfuge to destroy the private business. All these are pretexts to destroy private business.

Mr. SCHERER. I understand that, but for what excuse are they sent to these forced-labor camps?

Dr. KOROWICZ. There are trumped-up technical violations of unheard-of laws – fiscal laws particularly; evasion of certain financial requirements which are not generally known, and another general category of offenses affecting what is referred to as public order. All of these are nothing but subterfuges, of course, to be able to confiscate the businesses and the stocks of such enterprises; and to justify it they are sent to the forced-labor camp for periods up to 2 years.

Mr. KUNZIG. Where are the people today who used to own little shops, or who used to employ 1 or 2 people in little stores? Do they still have those stores and do they still employ the people?

Dr. KOROWICZ. There are still a few hundred small shops where the shop owner employs no one, but does the work himself. There are also the shops of manual workers, artisans. But the greatest anti-Communist force in Poland is the peasant class. In spite of the efforts intensively made there are no more than several hundred agricultural cooperatives in the country, which are really nothing other than the Russian kolkhoz.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, is any criticism of the current regime in Poland permitted today?

Dr. KOROWICZ. No criticism is permitted. The only criticism that is allowed is to criticize, depending on the person, of course, who does the criticizing, that the person criticized has transgressed from the doctrines of the great ideologies of Marx and Lenin.

Mr. KUNZIG. In other words the only criticism that is permitted is criticism in the form of denunciation of somebody that the regime wants of get rid of. Is that it?

Dr. KOROWICZ. As not having been a good enough Marxist or Leninist.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, we always hear so much about Communist preachings that it allows great freedom for all sorts of people. What is the general attitude of the government and the Communists in Poland toward the church and toward the religion of the church?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The church in Poland is a great power in the country. Never in my life have I seen masses of people as great, as power­ful as those which now go to the churches from early in the morning until late at night, because now Masses take place all day long and even late in the evening.

Mr. KUNZIG. But what is the attitude of the Communist Party toward the church?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The Communists do everything they can to perse­cute the church, and they have chosen as their means to arrest priests, to organize public trials, as was recently the case of Bishop Kacz­marek, who has just been imprisoned for 12 years.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, is there any prospect or possibility to­day of a workers’ revolt in Poland similar to that which occurred on June 17 of this year in East. Germany?

Dr. KOROWICZ. In my opinion, no. The means does not exist be­cause such a revolt would be immediately drowned in the blood of Polish patriots.

Mr. KUNZIG. Are the Russian troops actually and physically, in Poland today?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes. There, are Russian troops in Poland. There is even in one town I know, in Silesia, of my own personal knowledge, in Lignica, a general staff center for these Russian troops.

Mr. KUNZIG. Could you give some specific examples of the troops and where they might be situated, and so forth?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I have personally seen a considerable number of Soviet soldiers in a town of upper Silesia by the name of Opole and In Lignica in Silesia itself. There are special quarters of these towns reserved for the Russian soldiers and officers and their families. They have Russian theaters and Russian movies reserved for the use of the Russian troops.

Mr. KUNZIG. Is it well understood among the Polish people if there was any uprising of any kind that these Russian troops would imme­diately go into action against them?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes; they do. It was felt if there was any trouble with the Polish population that the Russian troops would immediately suppress such trouble.. Not only the relatively small number of Rus­sian troops stationed in Poland, but also the Russian troops from Russia itself and those which are in Eastern Germany would all descend upon any Polish uprising.

Mr. KUNZIG. Are the officers of the Polish Army Russian or Polish?

Dr. KOROWICZ. According to the general opinion and I have personally witnessed this myself-all officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel and up are Russian nationals, even though they may have Polish names and speak some Polish.

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Polish Soviet Friendship

‘Polish-Soviet Friendship Means Peace, Independence, and a Happy Tomorrow for Our Homeland’ (Image)

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Mr. SCHERER. I would like to make this observation, Mr. Chairman: A few weeks ago we had before us Lieutenant Jarecki, the Polish flier who escaped from the Polish Air Force. I believe you were in at­tendance at that hearing also.

It is interesting to note how the testimony of this witness confirms in minute detail the testimony of the Polish flier, Lieutenant Jarecki.

I would like to ask the witness this question at this time: What effect did the escape of Lieutenant Jarecki from the Polish Air Force have on the Polish people?

Dr. KOROWICZ. All escapees from Poland are greeted by the Polish people with the greatest of joy.

Mr. SCHERER. How did the Polish people become aware of his escape?

Dr. KOROWICZ. By the American broadcasts of which we were previously speaking, and also the BBC.

Mr. SCHERER. Have they been made aware, that is, the Polish people, of Lieutenant Jarecki’s testimony before the committee and other agencies of the Government?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Relatively little was known. It was known that Jarecki had arrived here and had testified, but the exact statement made by him had not been particularly well received due to the jamming of American radio programs – the effective jamming during the past three months.

Mr. SCHERER. May I ask one more question while I have the floor, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. VELDE. Yes.

Mr. SCHERER. Are you in a position to know how the Communist Polish leaders are explaining to the Polish people the breaking by the Russians of the treaty entitled “The Definition of the Aggressor”? That treaty, I believe, was signed in 1933.

Dr. KOROWICZ. Naturally there is much talk of this matter in Poland and from my position as a professor of international law, and from the position that I occupy as such a professor, I have had to discuss this matter frequently. It was necessary to analyse this new contribution of the Soviet legal mind to the pacification of the world.

Mr. VELDE. Dr. Korowicz, are you in a position to know the general attitude of the non-Communist in Poland toward Western Germany and the people of Western Germany at the present time?

Dr. KOROWICZ. It must be well understood that the Polish people keep in their minds today a vivid memory of all the Hitlerite atrocities committed by these Germans. Six million Poles were savagely butchered. But in spite of this the Polish people would like to live in peace and in definite peace with their neighbouring German populations.

Mr. VELDE. You are referring to the butchering of the Poles by the Hitlerites. I wonder if you are referring there to the Katyń Forest massacre?

Dr. KOROWICZ. With respect to Katyń, Mr. Chairman, the opinion in Poland is almost unanimous that the assassination and murder of so many Polish officers was a guilty deed performed by the Russians and not by the Germans.

Mr. KUNZIG. And it might be considered, might it not, Doctor, not an accident that today the place of these Polish officers has been taken by Russian officers in the Polish Army?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The Russians have no confidence in the loyalty of the Polish Army, and particularly in the loyalty of the Polish soldiery. It is for this reason that it is necessary for them to keep the complete domination of the army in their own hands.

Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, there is a lot of discussion back and forth today as to whether or not Russia has or has not the atomic bomb or the H-bomb. What is your opinion on that subject as a professor in a Polish university?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I can only tell you what is believed by general public opinion. Maybe the Russians have the atomic bomb, but we believe that they may be bluffing with regard to the hydrogen bomb.

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Mr. KUNZIG. Could you, Doctor, summarize for us here now yourviewpoints on the subject you have discussed this morning and conditions in Poland, and your viewpoints toward the future?

Dr. KOROWICZ. If the chairman will be so kind as to allow me to do so, I would like to refer to some notes that I have made on this general topic. Being shorter and more precise in nature, I will therefore be able to relate more usefully and more objectively the opinions that I might give in answer to the question that the counsel has just put to me.

Mr. VELDE. Without objection, the same will be permitted.

Dr. KOROWICZ. Before wishing me farewell 3 weeks ago, Mr. Skrze­szewski, the Foreign Minister, recited to me in solemn words the secret duties of an Ambassador of the Polish People’s Republic which according to him I was about to become, among others. Now, what does it mean to become an Ambassador of the Polish People’s Repub­lic sent to a foreign country? This is what such an envoy has to keep in mind always and repeat on every occasion.

He has to assure everybody that Poland under its present rule represents the victory of social justice; that under the present regime Poland has achieved a degree of prosperity hitherto unknown in her history; that thanks to the brotherly assistance of the Soviet Union, Poland has become one of the happiest countries in the world.

Today, as one who has achieved freedom in the United States, I want to act as spokesman for the enslaved Polish nation to tell the world what the Poles really think.

The Soviet gauleiters have turned Poland into one immense totali­tarian prison camp. The Bolshevist regime has succeeded in making of Poland, which is potentially one of the richest countries in Europe, a land of misery, oppression, and exploitation of the working classes. The so called brotherly help that the U. S. S. R. boasts of giving to Poland is a gigantic lie. It is, in fact, the most cruel system of colonial administration operating for the sole benefit of Soviet Russia.

The Communists have proclaimed that in Poland there are 2 million members registered in the party, to which they add 2 million members of the Young Communist Movement. Now, these young people of approximately 14 years of age are not members of any political party. They are being indoctrinated. But the importance given to the number of Communists in Poland must be considered also as a lie. At the maximum the Communist Party only includes 6 to 7 percent of the population. In the case of a free election, unhappily impossible under present circumstances, I do not believe that the Communist votes would rep­resent more than 2 percent of the total. I am absolutely confident that I am speaking not only for myself, but for millions of my countrymen in giving to you the following thoughts: We Poles see in recent events in Russia only some tactical changes, but certainly no change in the Soviet master strategy. We Poles who live close to Russia believe that the Soviet has not made drastic and fundamental changes in its policy. They know in Mos­cow that under present circumstances war is not the best and the safest way to achieve their aims. As seen in Poland, the Soviet aim remains that of world conquest. The Soviet master plan or grand strategy looks to achieve this final aim in 1970 or 1980, and the plan is based on the progressive destruction of the cultural, economic, and political foundations of he free world.

First the Soviet Union is making a tremendous effort to achieve the integration of the numerous and diverse elements among its empire of 800 million people.

Mr. SCHERER. May I interrupt?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes.

Mr. SCHERER. In view of what the witness has just said I suppose when he testified that on the trip over the delegation was planning a new peace offensive, that peace offensive was not sincere?

Dr. KOROWICZ. You are perfectly correct. I did not believe it was sincere. What they are looking for, and what they seek here, is one military and economic entity. We hear of 5-year plans, 3-year plans, 20-year plans, 6-year plans, In Russia, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, or China. These fictitious appellations are not to be believed. They appear to be plans for the welfare of the country concerned, but they are in fact only plans for the welfare of the Soviet state. I believe there is really only one plan for the great territory ranging from the Aleutians to the Elbe River banks. You may ask me on what do I base my opinion. Well, just consider for a moment that Poland, a relatively small country, spends about 50 billion zlotys, which is $1½ billion, annually for her heavy industry. Is this the effort directed toward raising the standard of living of the Polish people? No, indeed. These expenses are made strictly according to the overall plans and requirements not of the Polish economy, but of the Russian military machine.

Secondly, the Soviet master plan exploits the poverty, the ignorance and the nationalistic feelings of the people of undeveloped countries, turning them against America by systematically teaching them that the United States has become the policeman of European colonial systems.

Third, all mistakes of the Western World are immediately exploited and with diabolical agility by the Soviet political machine.

Whenever we in Poland hear on the radio the proof that the West does realize the Communist danger in the world; when we hear about actions such as the Marshall plan; and particularly when we hear of things like President Eisenhower’s inspiring declaration of last April, our faith in a better tomorrow is revived and the forces of resistance to tyranny grow stronger.

Finally let me tell you that Poland intensely and incessantly listens to these voices in the West. With the most special interest we follow all that is being said in this great Nation of yours – the country in which we concentrate all our hopes for regaining our place in the free community of the West.

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Mr. KUNZIG. Doctor, have you ever met personally any members of the Russian Politburo?

Dr. KOROWICZ. Absolutely not.

Mr. KUNZIG. I assume then that you wouldn’t have any idea, or do you have any idea whether Beria escaped from Russia?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I can only report to you what was the common opin­ion in Poland: That at the time it was announced to the entire world that Beria had fallen from favour, Beria had already been executed.

Mr. KUNZIG. Professor, after your recent and dramatic experience, and after the great amount of thought which you must have given to the whole tremendous problem in these last years since you returned to Poland, can you tell us in your opinion how the free world can best remain free?

Dr. KOROWICZ. The free world is free and will remain free just so long as it is enabled to unmask and destroy the subversive plots that are abroad in the world. It is very necessary for all honorable men of good will to unite in this effort.

Mr. SCHERER. May I interject that that is the purpose of this committee: To acquaint the people of this country with the extent and na­ture or the Communist conspiracy.

Dr. KOROWICZ. I am fully aware of the high importance of the work of this committee and of the importance of this meeting. It is for this reason that I am so grateful to Mr. President Velde…

Mr. VELDE. Chairman Velde.

Dr. KOROWICZ. It is a European expression, to say president of a committee.

Mr. VELDE. I am sorry.

Dr. KOROWICZ. To have given reality to my desire to be called before you.

Mr. SCHERER. Let me ask one further question. Did I understand that in the latter part of the statement which you just read you said something to the effect that the people of Poland would gain heart if the free world realized fully the menace of communism? Did you say something to that effect?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I made a statement very much along those lines. I said specifically that…

Mr. SCHERER. Would you repeat that, because I think it is important. . .

Dr. KOROWICZ. Yes, Sir. Each time that we hear over the radio proofs that the Western World realizes the extent of the Communist danger in the world, and when we hear of the activities of solidarity I continued and I said that the will and faith of the Polish people would be reborn.

Mr. SCHERER. May I again repeat that it is a purpose of this com­mittee to make this country at least aware of the extent of the Com­munist conspiracy and the nature of it.

Mr. VELJDE. I might add, Mr. Scherer, that the committee has other functions as well –

Mr. SCHERER. I understand, but that is one of the functions.

Mr. VELDE. To ascertain the facts for remedial legislation.

Mr. KUNZIG. Dr. Korowicz, could you in conclusion here this morn­ing tell us of your personal hopes for the future?

Dr. KOROWICZ. It is the will not only of myself, but for my own future role in the light of the interests of my country, to spread the truth as to the exact painful and criminal nature of the Soviet regime in Poland. I have the intention to write a number of articles, to make speeches, to write a book on the Soviet regime in Poland as I have known it. After several months of this activity it is my deep desire that I would like to return to my scientific studies and publish several works on the field of international law, which works it was impossible to publish with scientific objectivity in Poland.

Mr. KUNZIG. Thank you very much, sir.

Mr. Chairman. I have no further questions.

Mr. VELDE. Mr. Frazier, do you have any questions?

Mr. FRAZIER. No questions, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. VELDE. Mr. Scherer.

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Mr. SCHERER. Yes, I have one question, Mr. Chairman. I believe you stated earlier in your testimony that Russia was using the United Nations as a forum, or sounding board, for the promulgation of the Communist conspiracy. This committee, of course, is interested in learning the nature and extent of that program in this country. Other than using the United Nations as a platform for the promulgation for its doctrines, do you know of any other methods or means by which the Soviet Union plans to promulgate the conspiracy in this country?

Dr. KOROWICZ. I can only add in emphasizing it that we were all indoctrinated strongly with the Russian master plan to reach the working masses of the various countries in the Western World over the heads of their governments. The use of their diplomatic service, consulates, and legations of the Soviet, are understood to be propaganda centers in the heart of various international organizations in which the Soviet is represented other than the United Nations. It would be the greatest defeat that the Soviets could suffer, short of war, to be forced to break off diplomatic relations with the West.

Mr. SCHERER. I have no further questions.

Mr. VELDE. Dr. Korowicz, let me say for myself, and I think probably I can speak for the other members of the committee, that it is always a privilege and an opportunity and a pleasure to hear the testimony of witnesses who have escaped from the Iron Curtain countries. In your particular case it is an especial pleasure and privilege to hear from you, as we all realize that you are a very distinguished scholar, educator, and statesman as well. I want to thank you very kindly for the service that you have performed for our committee and for the American people in telling us of the Soviet treachery in Poland and in giving us some basis on which to compare the Soviet treachery here in the United States.

I would like to thank also Mr. Thomas, who has taken the time to come down here, free of charge, and without cost to the taxpayers, to interpret the words of Dr. Korowicz. I think you have done so in very fine style.

Also I wish to thank the other interpreter, Mr. Korboński, for his attendance here today, to be with Dr. Korowicz and to assist in the translation of the various Polish names.

Unless there is something further from the members of the committee, or counsel, the committee will stand in adjournment until further call of the Chair.

(Whereupon, at 12.45 p.m., the committee adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.)

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