Boleslaw Bierut (Bolesław Biernacki) was a hard-line communist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country at the end of the Second World War.
Bierut served as President from 1947 to 1952 and then Prime Minister until his death. He was also the first Secretary General of the ruling Polish United Workers Party. He died under mysterious circumstances on a visit to Moscow in 1956 and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Józef Cyrankiewicz.
Here’s a short film made at Bierut’s funeral in Warsaw. It includes his body on display and mourners paying their respect. Simply click on the arrow to watch the video.
Three random facts about Bolesław Bierut:
- He was born on the 18th April 1892 in Rury Jezuickie, Lublin.
- He was imprisoned in Poland between 1933 and 1938 for anti-state activities.
- He adopted the surname Bierut by combining the first syllables of both his parents’ surnames. His father’s name and his original name is Biernacki.