Związki między polityką i sportem w Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej

Tadeusz Wolsza



Links between Politics and Sport in the People’s Republic of PolandSport wyczynowy w polityce państwa 1944–1989 (Kraków 2012), a book by Artur Pasko, is the first successful Polish attempt at an examination of sport and politics in post-war Poland to 1989. The author referred to all-sided sources of assorted origin, with pride of place given to archival research and oral history sources. The publication is composed of six chapters, whose inner caesurae are political and sports events: 1946, 1949, 1956, 1970 and 1980. The years 1956 and 1980 refer to important political and sports episodes (Polish October ’56, the Olympic Games in Melbourne, the political crisis of 1980 and the Olympic Games in Moscow). In turn, the 1946 and 1949 caesurae denote essential moments in the history of sport, or rather the administration of physical culture, tourism, and military training. During this period, activists of the Polish Workers’ Party and, subsequently, the Polish United Workers’ Party devised a model of total control over competitive sport in Poland by entrusting it to trustworthy people with a communist lineage. The author discussed comprehensively a number of important motifs: the organisational structure and activists of such central institutions as the Polish Olympic Committee, the State Office of Physical Education and Military Defence, the Central Committee for Physical Culture, the Central Committee for Physical Culture and Sport, the Central Committee for Physical Culture and Tourism, the Polish Sport Federation and the Committee of Youth and Physical Culture; sport in the propaganda of People’s Poland; relations between the Polish Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee; amateur and professional sport in countries beyond the Iron Curtain, and the invigilation of sportsmen and activists by the special services of People’s Poland.

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