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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 28, 2006

Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Poznan Uprising in Poland

Soviet Premier Khrushchev's famous 1956 denunciation of Josef Stalin triggered open protests by the captive peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, quickly followed by their brutal suppression. Though the Hungarian Revolution of October 1956 has come to symbolize for many the revolts and protests of 1956, we also remember the brave acts of dissent and revolt elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain, particularly in Poznan, Poland.

Fifty years ago today, on June 28, 1956, a simmering dispute between Polish workers and their government exploded onto the streets of Poznan as more than 100,000 Poles joined striking factory workers. The protesters believed and hoped that Khrushchev's opening might foreshadow a renewed chance for freedom. They occupied government and party buildings, and later stormed a prison, to make known their desire for freedom to a government that did not listen to its people. That evening, Polish army tanks moved on the city, and by the next morning, an estimated 60 people had been killed and hundreds injured.

As peoples around the world today continue to struggle for their liberty and for democracy, we pause to remember those battles lost along the way, and to reaffirm that while liberty can be delayed, it cannot be denied. Today, we resolve that when people stand up for their freedom, America will stand with them. We are proud to celebrate with our Polish friends the war that we won together.

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