The Sikorski-Maisky Agreement: a tactical success but a strategic defeat
The 79th anniversary of treaty between the Soviet Union and Poland

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...

A ration card for survival - rationing in Communist Poland

“Do you know what a Polish sandwich looks like? Two slices of bread and a ration card for the meat in between.” That was how Hungarians used to joke around in the 1980s. However, Poles did not feel like laughing at the time. To buy sugar, cigarettes, shoes, petrol and many other goods they needed...

Stanisław August Poniatowski, the King Who Wanted to Repair the Commonwealth
An interview with Professor Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski

[Poland’s] final royal election took place on 7 September 1764 in the village of Wola near Warsaw. In the presence of the Russian military, noblemen convened in the village elected Stanisław Poniatowski to be Poland’s new monarch. Prof. Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski talks to the Polish History Museum about what happened behind the scenes of the election,...

Robert Kostro: Why couldn’t Jan Karski stop the Holocaust?
The 20th anniversary of Jan Karski’s death

In May 1943, a moving scene took place at the Polish embassy in Washington. A 29-year-old man, speaking English with a strong accent and recently arrived in the West from occupied Poland, was meeting with 61-year-old Felix Frankfurter, an American Jew and a US Supreme Court judge, in the company of Ambassador Jan Ciechanowski. The...

Paweł Włodkowic's address at the Council of Constance
the history of the doctrine of just war

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...

Three Presidents of the Second Polish Republic
Polish presidential elections in the historical perspective

There were three presidents-in-office in the Second Republic yet there were more presidential elections, one of the paradoxes related to the history of the office in interwar Poland, just like there were more persons carrying the duties of the head of state. by Wojciech Stanisławski The discussion concerning the shape of the independent Polish state’s...

Welcome: this is where international meetings take place
An interview with Director Robert Kostro of the Polish History Museum

The idea of creating the web portal polishhistory has been part of the Polish History Museum and was established to create a broader view of the museum. Why is a website like polishhistory so needed? Robert Kostro: I believe that we are participating today – and this is a global phenomenon – in many important...

Tadeusz Rejtan, Polish voice of objection
The 240th anniversary of Tadeusz Rejtan’s death

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...

Sojusz Piłsudski – Petlura. Dokumenty i materiały [Alliance of Pilsudski – Petlura. Documents and Archive Materials]
review of the book ed. by Jan Pisuliński, Witalij Skalski

Many new studies on the political circumstances of the Polish-Bolshevik war have been published on the anniversary of that conflict. Usually, a hundred years will suffice to find and declassify most of the source documents that deserve publication (well, unless we’re dealing with Russian archives). And yet, Sojusz Piłsudski – Petlura. Dokumenty i materiały (Alliance...

Józef Piłsudski’s address to troops of the Riflemen’s Association and the Polish Rifle Squads
107th anniversary

The Republic of Poland lost its independence in the 18th century as a result of 3 partitions of its territory conducted by its neighbors — Russia, Prussia, and Austria — in 1772, 1792 (only Russia and Prussia), and 1795. The 3rd partition whiped Poland off the map. Throughout the 19th century Poles made numerous attempts...

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If God will allow for the resurrection. The fates of those sent to the USSR in 1944-1958

15 July 2020
If God will allow for the resurrection. The fates of those sent to the USSR in 1944-1958



Polishhistory is an online project of the Polish History Museum in Warsaw. It is primarily addressed to all those interested in Polish and Central European history. Our aim is to build a community consisting of those professionally involved in research and of those interested in the outcomes of research, essentially, all lovers of history. The...