In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2016. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 181–194.
Unlike in Hungary or Czechoslovakia, there was no show trial of a general secretary or any other leading party members in Poland. However, similar events were stages, bringing people from the most different milieus into the spotlight. Stalin’s party men, who defined Polish politics between 1948 and 1956, not only justified the Moscow Trials of the 1930s, but also justified their own show trials. What was their motivation? Was it only tactical interests in order to secure their political domination or did they believe in the master narrative as staged in the courtroom? Which traditions and attitudes, which experiences were responsible for the decisions the political leadership took during the Cold War? What made them propagate such dramatic conspiracy theories aimed at scandalising the populace? This article seeks to answer these questions with regard to the show trial of General Tatar and other Army officers before the Supreme Military Tribunal in summer 1951. The “Trial of the Generals” came to be a central judicial-media event in Stalinist Poland. Focusing on Bolesław Bierut, Jakub Berman and Roman Werfel, this article focuses on the role of three leading representatives of the regime.