Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: In early 1968 the University of Warsaw came alive with protests. Discontent had been simmering among the intellectuals and students, many of whom were Jews. The government’s anti-Semitic policies along with the repression of personal freedoms intensified long-term Polish disillusionment with Communism.

In January, the government banned a play by Polish patriot and poet - Adam Mickiewicz, called Dziady, meaning “Forefathers.” Mickiewicz was a proponent of Polish national freedom and the play had a nationalist message. The director of the play was expelled from the Communist party and fired. After the last performance on January 30th, there was a march and demonstration against the ban, and in the days that followed letters of protest and petitions, including one with three thousand signatures, were presented to government officials. In early March a writer’s union and actor’s union condemned the ban, and two student leaders were expelled from the university.

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