In June 1956 Poznan and the Wielkopolska region became the arena of public unrest against the “handicapped” social conditions, resulting from low salaries, unjust taxation and poor local governance. Workers from the Cegielski locomotive factory marched in protest of the economic conditions. Social slogans: “We want bread,” quickly became political: “Down with the Red Bourgeoisie,” “We want free elections.” The upheaval reached a new dimension as protestors seized a radio transmission van and broadcast the demonstration live. Overcome by the momentum of the movement, workers stormed the Communist Party headquarters and besieged the Public Security building. The riot was put down by open fire against the demonstrators. Mass arrests and public trials followed.

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