5th World Festival of Youth and Students

The 5th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held from 31 July to 15 August 1955 in Warsaw, capital city of the then Polish People's Republic.[1]

5th World Festival of Youth and Students
Host country Polish People's Republic
Dates31 July - 15 August 1955
MottoFor Peace and Friendship – Against the Aggressive Imperialist Pacts
Participants30,000+ people from 114 countries
Follows6th World Festival of Youth and Students
Precedes4th World Festival of Youth and Students

The World Federation of Democratic Youth organized this festival during the rise of the peaceful coexistence concept introduced by Nikita Khrushchev among the socialist bloc. At the end of the 1950s, the colonialism was in its last years, and in the same year, the Bandung Conference was held. The conference strongly criticized the western powers for keeping their colonial possessions. The need for a struggle against the danger of nuclear annihilation and for the end of colonialism dominated the festival.

More than 30,000 young people from 114 countries participated in this edition of the festival.

The motto of the festival was For Peace and Friendship – Against the Aggressive Imperialist Pacts.

The festival's sports programme featured an athletics competition.[2] The Arsenał art exhibition opened at the festival, featuring striking works by young Polish painters. This exhibition was the subject of debate among art critics over its use of expressionist styles.[3]

Influence edit

Designed to be a vast propaganda exercise, a meeting place for Eastern European communists and their comrades from Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. This event brought hundred of thousands of Polish spectators to Warsaw for the five days, watching dancing, theater and other attractions. However, the real attractions for the Polish people were the foreigners, of whom many were from Western Europe and contrasted starkly with local Poles because they shared similar culture but were much richer and more open. Deeply stricken, many Poles realized that a decades' worth of anti-Western rhetoric was false. Poles, Germans, Hungarians, Czechs and others from the Communist bloc actively socialized with one another. With the more exotic visitors, Poles also socialized in private apartments all around the city. College students even held debate meetings with foreigners, many of whom turned out not to be communists.[4]

The event may be viewed as a precursor of Polish October.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ "Chronology of World Festivals of Youth and Students". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  2. ^ World Student Games (UIE). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-12-09.
  3. ^ Balisz, Justyna (2020). "Foreign Relatives: How German is Polish Post-War Expressionism". In Stolarska-Fronia, Małgorzata (ed.). Polish avant-garde in Berlin. pp. 233–262. ISBN 3631780532.
  4. ^ a b Applebaum, Anne (2012). Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956. New York USA: Doubleday. pp. 446–448. ISBN 9780385515696.