Editors: Krzysztof Ruchniewicz, Tadeusz Szumowski, cooperation: Piotr Długołęcki
pages: XLII + 904
This successive volume in the series Polish Diplomatic Documents contains 283 documents about Poland’s foreign policy in 1957. The primary sources are documents created at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and kept at the MFA Archives, and materials of the Cabinet Presidium and of the Communist Party’s (PZPR’s) Politburo, Secretariat and other units, from the Central Archives of Modern Records.
The bulk of the sources (mostly confidential) have not been printed before.
The documents are presented in chronological order. The volume contains a name index with information and an extended subject index. Annexes present the organizational structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1957 and include a list of major international agreements concluded by socialist Poland in that year.
The key part of Polish foreign policy in 1957 were relations with the U.S.S.R., where efforts were continued (from the previous year) to regulate the contentious issues such as settlements for war reparations and coal exports, return to Poland by Poles from the U.S.S.R. and the stationing of Soviet troops in the country.
The Eastern bloc liberalization offered Warsaw a bit greater room for maneuver in matters of foreign policy. A weakening of submission resulted in a measure of opening up to the West, where economic considerations were also among the motives. Various economic agreements were negotiated, especially with the United States and Great Britain.
In 1957 Poland was active in a number of foreign policy areas, the most spectacular move being the announcement of a proposal to form a nuclear-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe (the so-called Rapacki Plan).
The year 1957 marked Poland’s admission to international organizations and establishment of diplomatic relations (e.g. with Japan). Key events included the visit in January of a delegation from the People’s Republic of China, led by Prime Minister Zhou Enlai; an Asian tour by Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz (March and April)), talks with the Soviet leadership (May), and a visit of the Polish party and government delegation to Belgrade.