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The Polish Socialist Party (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna, PPS) was one of the most important Polish left-wing political parties from its inception in 1892 until 1948.

Józef Piłsudski, founder of the resurrected Polish state, was a member and later leader of the PPS during early 20th century.



The PPS was founded in Paris in 1892 (see the Great Emigration). In 1893 the Party called Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, (SDKPiL), emerged from the PPS, with the PPS being more nationalistic and pro-Polish independence oriented, and the SDKPiL being more pro-revolutionary and communistic. A similar split occurred in 1906, with the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna - Frakcja Rewolucyjna following Józef Piłsudski, who supported the nationalist and independence ideals, and the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna - Lewica which allied itself with the SDKPiL. Soon however, the PPS-FR regained its dominance and renamed itself back again to the PPS, while the PPS-L was eclipsed, and in 1918 merged with SDKPiL forming the Communist Party of Poland.

During the Second Polish Republic the PPS at first supported Józef Piłsudski, including his May Coup, but later moved into the opposition.

The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923 and 1940.[1]

The party supported the Polish resistance during World War II as the underground Polish Socialist Party - Freedom, Equality, Independence (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna - Wolność, Równość, Niepodległość). In 1948 it suffered a fatal split, as the communists applied the salami tactics to dismember any opposition. One faction, which included Edward Osóbka-Morawski wanted to join forces with the Polish Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, and Stanisław Mikołajczyk, leader of the Peasant Party, would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists. The Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister.

Timeline of Polish socialist/social democratic parties after 1986
Polish Socialist Party (1987 - )
• Polish Social Democratic Union (1990 - 1992)
Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland (1990 - 1999)
• Democratic-Social Movement (1991 - 1993)
Labour Union (1992 - )
Democratic Left Alliance (1999 - )
Social Democratic Party of Poland (2004 - )
• Union of the Left (2004 - )

In 1948, the Communists and Cyrankiewicz's faction of Socialists merged with the communist Polish Workers' Party (PPR) to form the Polish United Workers' Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza; PZPR), the ruling party in the People's Republic of Poland; remnants of the other faction survived on emigration in the Polish government in exile.

A new party of the same name, which seeks to carry on the tradition of the original PPS, was established by left-wing opposition figures such as Jan Józef Lipski in 1987. However, the new PPS remains a marginal group within the political landscape of the Third Republic.

Its main propaganda outlet was the Robotnik ('The Worker') newspaper.

Notable people who were members or were associated with PPS


Presidents and heads of state

Prime Ministers

Other figures


  1. ^ Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 - 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 316

See also

External links


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