American Vice-President, Richard Nixon, was given a heart-warming, almost ecstatic welcome, by huge Polish crowds August 2 when he arrived in Warsaw.
American Vice-President, Richard Nixon, was given a heart-warming, almost ecstatic welcome, by huge Polish crowds August 2 when he arrived in Warsaw. His four-day official visit to Poland follows a tour of Soviet Union. The day after his arrival in the Polish capital came the heartening news that President Eisenhower and Russian Premier Khrushchev are to exchange visits in the autumn.
The drama of Nixon's tour in Russia and Poland, and the announcement of Eisenhower's and Khrushchev's forthcoming visits, followed 12 weeks of disappointing negotiations at the Geneva Foreign Ministers' Conference.
As he was driven from the airport into Warsaw, Nixon stood up in his open car, visibly moved by the warm greetings of the crowds, and several times reached out to catch bunches of flowers thrown towards him. In the centre of Warsaw, the crowds were so dense, his car was repeatedly brought to a halt. The welcome given to him was reported to be far more enthusiastic and spontaneous than the greeting received by Khrushchev on his recent visit to Warsaw.
On his second day (Aug 3) in the Polish capital, Nixon was engaged in unexpectedly long private talks with Communist Party secretary, Wladyslaw Gomulka and other leaders. Their talks, lasting five hours, forced Nixon to cancel a sightseeing tour in the afternoon. He did however, have time to lay a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Solder in Victory Square. A crowd of 2,000 who heard of the ceremony by word of mouth, lined the sides of the square. Once the solemn ceremony was over - they pushed past the militia to shout pro-American greetings. Security officers formed a ring round the Vice-President, but the people still surged forward to seize his hand. The demonstration moved several women to tears an Nixon drove away from the square.
Speaking at the airport, Mr. Nixon said Poland have always occupied a special place in the hearts of Americans, and mentioned some famous Polish-Americans, including Admiral Rickover, "father" of the nuclear submarine, who was revisiting the land of his birth as a member of the Vice-President's Party.