Register of the Jakub Berman papers

Finding aid prepared by Hoover Institution Archives Staff
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
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© 2017

Title: Jakub Berman papers
Date (inclusive): 1941-1983
Collection Number: 2008C88
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: Polish
Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes (0.8 linear feet)
Abstract: Memoirs, other speeches and writings, notes, correspondence, and photographs relating to the Polish communist movement and to post-World War II political conditions in Poland.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Berman, Jakub, 1901-1984.


Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jakub Berman papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2008.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Related Collections

Stefan Jędrychowski papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Roman Zambrowski papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Henryk Jablonski papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Edward Osóbka-Morawski papers, Hoover Institution Archives

Biographical Note

Jakub Berman was born in 1901 in Warsaw into a Jewish middle-class family. He completed a degree in law at Warsaw University in 1925. Three years later he joined the Polish Communist Party (KPP). After the Nazi-Soviet attack and partition of Poland in September 1939, Berman moved to the Soviet side of Poland. Initially, he worked as a newspaper editor and later became an instructor in the Comintern school, which trained activists for Josef Stalin's new party for Polish communists, the Polish Workers' Party.
Stalin was favorably impressed with Berman's intellectual abilities and political commitment during meetings in the Kremlin in 1943. In the summer of 1944, as the Soviet armies were driving the Germans out of occupied Poland, Berman became a Politburo member, second only to Boleslaw Bierut, an ethnic Pole of peasant origin, chosen by Stalin to lead the new Polish state. Between 1944 and 1956, during which he was a member of the Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza Biuro Polityczne, Berman was one of the most powerful Polish communist politicians. Berman's responsibilities in the Politburo included oversight of the Security Office (UB), ideology, and propaganda. During his tenure at least 200,000 people were imprisoned for real or imagined political offenses, of whom some 6,000 were executed.
During the relative political "thaw" following the deaths of Stalin in 1953 and Bierut in 1956, Berman was forced to resign from the Politburo and the Central Committee. He was officially blamed for "Stalinist errors and deviations" but never prosecuted. His name is associated with the Sovietization of Poland following World War II and repressions against the opponents of the communist regime. Berman died in retirement in Warsaw in 1984.

Scope and Content of Collection

Memoirs, other speeches and writings, notes, correspondence, and photographs relating to the Polish communist movement and the Polish People's Republic, post-World War II political conditions in Poland, and the Sovietization of Eastern Europe.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza.
Poland--Politics and government--1945-1980.

Box/Folder 1 : 1

Biographical file, communist party identity cards



Box/Folder 1 : 2

General, 1945

Box/Folder 1 : 3

Dzierzynska (Dzherzinska), Zofia, 1942-1950

Box/Folder 1 : 4

Kasman, L. A., 1942-1943

Box/Folder 1 : 5

Schaff, Adam, 1955



Box/Folder 1 : 6

General, 1945

Box/Folder 1 : 7

Testimony for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, 1983



Box/Folder 1 : 8


Box/Folder 1 : 9



Subject File

Box/Folder 1 : 10

Centralne Biuro Komunistow Polskich (Central Bureau of the Polish Communists), 1944

Box/Folder 1 : 11

Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Information Bureau - plans to dissolve, 1956


Commintern, school of, 1942-1943

Box/Folder 1 : 12

Attendees, list of

Box/Folder 1 : 13

Cadre training

Box/Folder 1 : 14

Kosciuszko Radio Station

Box/Folder 1 : 15

Materials from Kuibyshev

Box/Folder 1 : 16


Box/Folder 1 : 17

Party strategy

Box/Folder 1 : 18

Polish communist couriers

Box/Folder 1 : 19

Political discussion

Box/Folder 1 : 20

European communist parties - conference plans, 1947

Box/Folder 1 : 21

Instytut Kształcenia Kadr Naukowych KC PZPR - theoretical conference, 1950-1952

Box/Folder 1 : 22

Komunistyczna Partia Polski (Communist Party of Poland) - release of members from prisons and rehabilitation, 1977

Box/Folder 2 : 1

Nowe Widnokregi, 1943


Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza (Polish United Workers Party)


Educational policy

Box/Folder 2 : 2

General, 1948-1953

Box/Folder 2 : 3

Conference on schoolbooks, 1953

Box/Folder 2 : 4

Membership statistics, 1949-1954

Box/Folder 2 : 5

Political Bureau, resignation from, 1955

Box/Folder 2 : 6

Polski Komitet Narodowy - resolution, 1941

Box/Folder 2 : 7

Skoniecki, Czeslaw, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 8

World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace, Wroclaw - notes, 1948


Writings and Speeches



Box/Folder 2 : 9


Box/Folder 2 : 10


Box/Folder 2 : 11


Box/Folder 2 : 12


Box/Folder 2 : 13


Box/Folder 2 : 14


Box/Folder 2 : 15

Bolshevik revolution, 1950

Box/Folder 2 : 16

European countries of people's democracy, 1951



Box/Folder 2 : 17


Box/Folder 2 : 18

Trip to China