Black Thursday - course of events

June 28th, Thursday
6.00 am: The staff of W-3 division of the Stalin factories (ZISPO - former Hipolit Cegielski Poznań factories) walk out of their jobs and gather in one of the halls. Staff of other divisions join them in protest.

6.35 am: ZISPO workers leave the factory and take the Dzierżyńskiego street (now 28 June 1956 street) and march towards the city centre. Workers of other plants join the procession.

9.00 - 11.00 am: About 100,000 people assemble on the square in front of the Castle, surrounded by buildings occupied by the city and party authorities and police headquarters. A delegation of protesters' representatives hold talks with the city authorities. The delegates demand direct talks with the Prime Minister and the 1st Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party. A group of demonstrators break into the Caste, the seat of city authorities. Following talks with the city authorities, the delegation enters the building of provincial authorities of the communist party.

About 10.00 am: A group of protesters enters the building occupied by the provincial committee of the communist party and takes down the red flags. Another group of demonstrators enters the police headquarters building and talks the police officers into joining the protest. A rumor spreads through the crowd about the alleged detention of the workers' delegation. The protesters decide to set the delegates free - groups of protesters head towards the prison at Młyńska street and Kochanowskiego street - to the building of the Security Office. On their way to the security office building, the protesters throw devices used for jamming Western radio programmes down from the roof of the Social Insurance Institution at Dąbrowskiego street.

About 10.15 am: Protesters gather at Kochanowskiego and Młyńska streets.

About 10.50 am: Protesters use ladders to claim the wall, then open the prison gate from the inside and let the prisoners out.

About 11.00 am: First shots are fired from the windows of the Security Office, and first wounded are transported to Pawłow hospital and Raszeja. hospital.

11.00 am - 2.00 pm: At Młyńska street, protesters enter the District Courthouse and the Prosecutor's Office, their files being thrown out into the street and burnt.

About 11.00 am: The Commander of the Officer School of Armoured and Mechanised Formations sends 16 tanks, 2 armoured personnel carriers and 30 vehicles to protect the designated buildings. Some of them are seized by protesters, their crews disarmed. Combat alert for the whole 2nd Armoured Corps quartered at the Biedrusko military training ground near Poznań. In the area of Kochanowskiego street the exchange of shots escalates around the besieged building of the Security Office. The building is shot at from more than 20 places.

About 11.30 am: Arms warehouse at the prison building is seized.

2.00 - 6.00 pm: About 2.00 pm the Deputy Minister of National Defence, general Stanisław Popławski arrives at the Ławica airport and takes over the command of city pacification. After 4.00 pm units of the 2nd Armoured Corps enter the city. At that time groups of protesters seize weapons from a few institutions. Demonstrators disarm the Civic Police stations in Junikowo and Wilda, as well as police stations in Swarzędz and Puszczykowo, in the vicinity of Poznań.
By 6.00 pm units of 19th Armoured Division of the 2nd Armoured Corps enter Poznań.

6.00 - 9.00 pm: Protesters seize weapons from the Prisoners' Camp in Mrowino, the Military School at the Poznań University of Technology and the police station in Mosina. In the evening, an attempt at disarming a police station in Czempiń ends in a shooting.
Fights with the security forces continue in Poznań, mainly around the Security Office building. At about 8.00 pm units of the 10th Armoured Division of the 2nd Armoured Corps enter the city. At 9.00 pm a police curfew is enforced in Poznań; it lasts until 4 am next day.

9.00 pm - 4.00 am: Night fights and exchange of shots in a few city areas, most of all in the area of Kochanowskiego street and the Castle. The beginning of a wave of intense detentions. The arrested are taken to the so-called filtering point at the Ławica airport, where they are subject to brutal interrogation. According to figures of the Security Office, by 8th August a total of 746 persons were detained. The arrested are very often humiliated, beaten, battered and tortured. At about 10.00 pm units of the 4th Infantry Division of the 2nd Military Corps enter Poznań.

June 29th, Friday
In the early morning, at 4.00- 5.00 am units of the 5th Infantry Division of the 2nd Military Corps enter Poznań. The units of the 4th Infantry Division are deployed around ZISPO, close to Poznań International Fair and at Dąbrowskiego street and Polna street. The remaining units protect the key points of the city, patrol the streets and do away with firing positions. Most plants in Poznań fail to commence work. In the afternoon, a few thousands of protesters try to approach the security office building. The demonstrators dispersed upon seeing the tanks. At 7.30 pm the Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz holds the famous radio speech at a Poznań radio station, in which he threatens that "he who raises their hand against people's state, shall have that hand cut off".

June 30th, Saturday
Strikes in certain plants. Sporadic shots are fired in different parts of the city. Official funeral celebrations at Cytadela attended by the Prime Minister Cyrankiewicz. The commencement of withdrawing army units from the area of Poznań.

September 27th
The beginning of the so-called "Poznań trials": the "trial of three" and "trial of nine" at the Provincial Court in Poznań. The judgment in the "trial of three" was passed on October 8th - the defendants were sentenced to 4-year and 4.5-year imprisonment. The judgment in the "trial of nine" was passed on October 12th 1956 - the 7 defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 2 to 6 years, and 2 were declared not guilty.

October 5th
The beginning of the so-called "trial of ten". The judgment has not been passed. The Provincial Court in Poznań returned the files to the Prosecutor's Office in order to complete the investigation.