The half a million-strong Polish community living in France after the second world war became an arena of fierce competition for political impact, involving the communist authorities at home and the divided émigré groups and authorities. The character and number of Polish émigrés were the reason why the Polish-language press became an essential element in the rivalry. According to estimates made by the author upon the basis of data obtained from the National Library, in 1944-1950 Polish-language dailies issued in France totalled 131. After the end of the war, two newspapers were available: the anti-communist 'Narodowiec' and 'Gazeta Polska', published by the Polish communist authorities. In the autumn of 1952 the French authorities put an end to 'Gazeta Polska', which at the time was experiencing considerable financial-staff problems. Having discovered numerous irregularities and chiefly due to the fact that the daily was financed to a great measure by the Embassy of People's Poland, the French Ministry of the Interior closed the publication. For the next four years the communist authorities in Poland issued new dailies addressed to émigrés in France. For all practical purposes, these newspapers were immediately liquidated by the French authorities. Consequently, in 1953-1956 some 13 new titles appeared in France. The consistency with which they were established testifies to the enormous determination of the Polish communist authorities interested in indoctrinating the émigrés, while the persistence of the French officials reflects their wish to oppose such initiatives.
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