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CIA debunks myth of Soviet ‘Colonialism’ in Poland





Anglo-American imperialist media propagates that the USSR ‘exploited’ Polish resources, particularly coal. Actually, as confirmed by the US intelligence, Poland was merely paying in kind, using coal, for the USSR’s exports of high-quality industrial and agricultural materials.



The History of the USSR & the Peoples’ Democracies

Chapter 1, Section 5, Subsection 2 (C13S5.2) 


Saed T.


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The USSR had a major role in assisting Poland in the latter’s People’s Democratic development. The CIA-MI6 propaganda bullhorns trumpet the narrative that Poland, an alleged ‘colony’ of the USSR, was tasked by its ‘colonizer-in-chief’ Stalin to supply the USSR with the coal that the Soviets ‘needed’, and that the USSR ‘forced’ Poland to reorient its trade towards the Eastern bloc. The reality, as acknowledged by the CIA’s Intelligence Memorandum is that the Polish provision of coal to the USSR was just part of the normal trade between the two countries, in which the strategically generous USSR provided emergency shipments of grain to the much-impoverished post-war Poland, as well as funds for Poland with which to purchase capital goods from the West, a fact which debunks the myth that USSR was ‘forcing’ Polish trade to be oriented away from the West to the East. The Intelligence Memorandum reported:

During the period 1947-48, Poland received from the USSR a loan of $28 million in gold and a commodity credit valued at $36 million. The gold loan was to be used by Poland to import raw materials and capital goods from the West and was to be repaid in Polish raw materials, mainly coal. The commodity credited provided, in part, for emergency shipments of 800,000 tons of gain, which was to be repaid over a period of years in Polish commodities (such as coal and agricultural products) and by adjustment of transit charges owed by the USSR to Poland. (‘SOVIET ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO THE SINO-SOVIET BLOC: LOANS, CREDITS, AND GRANTS’, Intelligence Memorandum, CIA, August 20, 1956, p. 14) (IMG)

Undoubtedly, it was strategically necessary for Poland to shift its trade away from the West and reorient to the USSR and the Peoples’ Democracies so to minimize the economic leverage of Anglo-American finance capital in Poland, hence to minimize the lobbying power of the CIA-MI6 agents in Poland. The Soviet-backed communists in Poland did pursue the plan to reorient Polish trade towards the USSR and other Peoples’ Democracies, but the Soviet state did not ‘colonially’ ‘impose’ such a reorientation.

The CIA reaffirmed that Poland’s provision of coal to the USSR was in exchange for the large-scale amounts of Soviet economic aid in the form of machinery, credits, and equipment for promoting Poland’s industrialization. Under the heading ‘Loans and Credits for Economic Development’, the CIA’s Intelligence Memorandum stated:

The first and most important credits issued to Poland for economic development was extended in 1948 in the amount of $450 million for Soviet machinery and materials to be delivered during the execution of Polish Six Year Plan (1950-55). This large credit was extended for Soviet deliveries of equipment for a new iron and steel mill, power plants, and chemical and cement plants. The agreement stipulated that payment for this equipment was to be made by Poland over a period of 9 years beginning at the date of delivery of the given item, and room the output obtained from these installations. In 1950 this credit was increased to $550 million, and the period for deliveries was extended to 1958. Repayment was to be made in coal and textile deliveries in installments over a 10-year period with the first payment on each loan to be made at the time of the first delivery.

In recent years the USSR has provided equipment for more than 40 Polish factories, plants, mines, and electrostations. A major investment in Poland during its Six Year Plan was the $200-million Lenin Metallurgical Plant near Krakow, for which the USSR may have supplied as much as 85 percent of the machines and installations.


The ’Problems of Communism’, which was the publication of the US government’s ‘US Information Agency’ (USIA), also reported:

Polish coal deliveries to the USSR in “exchange” for Soviet shipments of German reparations to Poland constituted the most prominent example of what may be called political exports – that is, exchange of economic considerations for political favors or advantages. (Problems of Communism, No. 1, Vol. VI, January-February 1957, p. 17) (IMG)

The USSR is often criticized by the Anglo-American press, as it is said that Moscow took Polish coal for cheap and then distributed it to its other Eastern European allies. However, the CIA reported:

In 1946, Poland exported to the USSR, beside the regular delivery, 5,700,00 tons of coal, plus 2,300,000 tons [of] which went on the USSR’ account to other countries of the Eastern bloc, including East Germany. In each of the years 1947-1950 there was to be delivered, in the same manner, 13 million tons of coal (in 1947 changed to 6,500,000 tons annually), and thereafter 12 million tons (probably also changed) annually so long as East Germany remained occupied by the USSR.

These deliveries, which took place at very low prices, were to be regarded as a kind of payment for the turning over by the USSR to Poland of the entire Upper Silesian industrial region.


Thus, according to the CIA, a large part of the deliveries of cheap coal to the USSR were in return for the fact that the USSR turned over the entire Upper Silesian industrial region. Since Germany was directly occupied by the Soviet and Anglo-American militaries until 1946, the USSR was obviously in charge of providing the coal deliveries to Eastern Zone of Germany until 1946. Note also that the Soviet access to German machinery was due to the agreement on reparations payments to the USSR.


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