Worker's First Stand
In 1956, Poznan was the home of anti-Communist riots, the first-ever show of resistance in Poland against the Communist authorities. Tens of thousands of workers took to the streets to demand better working conditions and higher pay. The strikes turned violent, and the government responded by deploying soldiers and tanks. In all, some 76 civilians and eight soldiers died in the fighting. The unrest was a major embarrassment throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and pierced the veil of Communist Poland as a workers' state. The June 1956 Monument (pl. Mickiewicza), comprising of two towering metal crosses, was unveiled in 1981 to commemorate the uprising.