Tadeusz Rejtan, Polish voice of objection

Becoming a national hero because one decided to obey the rules of parliamentary procedure? Being shown on innumerable stamps and posters, and what is more – becoming a part of a proverb? (“Kłaść się Rejtanem” means literally “to lie down like Rejtan”, but metaphorically – “to oppose something strongly”). Indeed this is what happened to…



The Sikorski-Maisky Agreement: a tactical success but a strategic defeat

The Sikorski-Maisky Agreement, concluded at the end of July 1941 between the USSR ambassador and the Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-Exile, provided an opportunity to free hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens from labor camps and prisons, enabled the establishment of Polish armed forces in the USSR, and strengthened the anti-Hitler coalition. At the…


Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s victorious campaign against Prussia and Russia in 1806-1807 ended with the Treaties of Tilsit, which laid the foundations for the revival of the Polish state as a rump Duchy of Warsaw, ruled by Saxon king Fryderyk August (Frederick August I), grandson of the Polish king August III and a descendant of Jan…


Paweł Włodkowic's address at the Council of Constance

The Union of Krewo that took place in 1385 and the following Christianization of Lithuania were a true political catastrophe for the Teutonic Order. Firstly, the knights lost their previous excuse for their Christianization expeditions to the east. Secondly, their military strength was shaken, which was eventually proven by the defeat of the Teutonic Knights…


The Security Service’s Last Task

The June 1989 elections and the formation of the Solidarity government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki were earthshaking events in Poland’s recent history. Even though the communist authorities knew their power was slipping away, at the beginning of 1990 the secret police (Służba Bezpieczeństwa Security Service) was still firmly under their control. Up until the…


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