By George Blazynski (Auth.)
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Cyrankiewicz and Kliszko are asked to call on Gomulka in hospital and obtain his resignation. It is given in writing and the matter is reported back to the politburo, which proceeds to reconstitute itself and the s e c r e t a r i a t . The slightly depleted seventh plenum of the CC assembles not in the Party h e a d q u a r t e r s in Warsaw but outside Warsaw in the Natolin Castle, for the first time in postwar history. The CC members are brought by planes from outside Warsaw. Gierek is elected first secretary of the CC with only a few abstentions.
They did not want to accept the reality because they lived in a ficticious atmosphere of infallibility and r i g h t e o u s n e s s . Once it had happened everything b u r s t at the seams and the chaos was complete. There would have b e e n , I was told, a genuine danger of Soviet military intervention in December if the riots had spread on a massive scale to the rest of the c o u n t r y , and if Gierek had proved unable to control t h e situation when he took o v e r . As it h a p p e n e d , the Soviet comrades were the happiest of people once they realized t h a t there would be no need for military i n t e r v e n t i o n .
12) The s t r i k e r s are accused of irresponsibility. The local Party paper states that the demonstrations are a t h o u g h t less move by only a part of the employees of the s h i p y a r d s , their reasons are political and the consequences of their action tragic for the city. The overwhelming majority of the VPC members are on s t r i k e . " (13) According to official estimates 16 people are dead and 117 seriously injured but reliable unofficial sources put the number of dead at 35. Saturday, December 19 A general strike begins in the whole city and will end on December 22.