Skip to main content

Gierek, Edward

Edward Gierek (gyĕ´rĕk), 1913–2001, Polish politician, b. Porąbka. His family emigrated to France, where he was raised. He joined the French Communist party in 1931 and was later deported to Poland for organizing a strike. He went to Belgium, joining the Communist party there. He returned to Poland in 1948 and rose through the party ranks to become by 1957 a member of the Polish parliament. In 1959 he regained the politburo seat that he had occupied briefly in 1956. As first secretary of the Katowice city party organization (1957–70), Gierek created a personal power base and became the recognized leader of the young technocrat faction of the party.

When rioting over economic conditions broke out in late 1970, Gierek replaced Władysław Gomułka as party first secretary. Gierek promised economic reform and, with the aid of foreign loans, instituted a program to modernize industry and increase the availability of consumer goods. The economy, however, began to falter during the 1973 oil crisis, and by 1976 price increases became necessary. New riots broke out, and although they were forcibly suppressed, the increases were rescinded. High foreign debts, food shortages, and an outmoded industrial base compelled a new round of economic reforms in 1980. Once again, price increases set off protests across the country, and Gierek was forced to grant legal status to Solidarity and to concede the right to strike. Shortly thereafter, he was replaced as party leader by Stanisław Kania.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gierek, Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Gierek, Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gierek-edward

"Gierek, Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gierek-edward

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.