Poznań 1956: a revolt that shook the system
65th anniversary of Poznań protests of 1956

The strike started by workers at Poznań’s largest factory, the Joseph Stalin Metal Works, spread to the entire city, and became an anti-communist revolt. For the Stalinist regime, this was an earthquake. by Paweł Sasanka At 6 am on 28 June 1956, when the workers of the W-3 division came to work, none of them...

Manifesto of the Council of National Unity to the Polish and Allied Nations

The Manifesto to the Polish and Allied Nations, concluding with ‘The Testament of Fighting Poland’, was announced by the Council of National Unity at its last session, held on July 1, 1945. The Council of National Unity was a clandestine political body operating within the structures of the Polish Underground State. Participating within the Council...

The Long Road to Lublin
Interview with professor Robert I. Frost

The Union of Lublin created a Republic, formed by two states and two nations. The creation of one political community was a radical step. Nothing like it existed in contemporary European political thought. polishhistory: The Union of Lublin, was signed more than 450 years ago, on 1 July 1569. Is it worth celebrating? Robert I....

Marie Leszczyńska: a Polish noblewoman and Queen of France
Polish princess and a competition for the Queen of France

It was a type of competition, not to say casting, for a wife for the King of France. The list consisted of one hundred princesses. Brief comments on age, religion and origin were written next to each of the candidates. by Maciej Forycki   In 1725 Marie Leszczyńska, hailing from a Polish noble family, became...

Henryk Dobrzański: A Crazy Major
The first partisan of World War II

Henryk Dobrzański lived and served in the Polish army according to the motto: “I will not lay down my arms, I will not take off my uniform. So help me God.” Henryk Dobrzański, aka Major Hubal, was taken by surprise and killed by the Germans on 30 April 1940. by Piotr Bejrowski He was born...

Adam Zagajewski (1945-2021): Canvass that Turned into a Shroud
In memoriam of Adam Zagajewski

On Sunday, 21 March 2021, the great Polish poet Adam Zagajewski passed away. In his poetic heyday, he would write poems critics called ‘classicising’, showing the world’s hidden beauty as well as emphasising the mysteriousness and uniqueness of human fate. And still, for a poet who defended the categories of beauty, mindfulness and detail, he...

Palmiry and the destruction of the Polish elite
One of the most notorious places of mass executions in Nazi German occupied Poland

It is worthwhile noting the above mentioned group – the Polish leadership elite – as its fate reveals the objectives of Nazi-Germany’s occupation policy in Poland. Before the outbreak of war, the German authorities began to plan the extermination of a broadly defined Polish leadership elite. Although generally referred to as the intelligentsia, with education...

An image of genocide
An interview with Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz, head of the Research Center of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

14 June 1940 the first mass transport to the German Concentration Camp in Auschwitz took place. The vast majority of the 728 men were Polish political prisoners. Overall, the group consisted of members of the resistance movement; social and political activists arrested under AB Aktion, Catholic clergy, and a small group of Jews. Every one...

Jan Szczepanik, a genius from Galicia

Teacher and inventor Jan Szczepanik is also known, in what is perhaps a slight exaggeration, as the “Polish Edison” or the “Galician Leonardo da Vinci”. Although he was self-taught and had no technical background, he created several hundred inventions and technical solutions that contributed to the development of television, photography, film and the textile industry....

Versailles à la polonaise. French inspirations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Sun King and the Sarmatians

The universal tendency to reproduce the model created by the Sun King – also discernible in seats of democratic power, the palaces of the mighty, or the individual microcosms imitating the Bourbon inheritance – cannot obscure the long-standing fascination of the Sarmatian world with Versailles. In many cases, we are dealing with the comprehensive assimilation...

Stanisław Moniuszko: founder of the Polish national opera

Stanisław Moniuszko, one of Poland’s greatest composers, was born on 5 May 1819 in Ubiel in the Minsk province (currently Belarus). As a composer, he was well-known for incorporating elements of folklore and the works of national poets into his musical compositions. During his career, he wrote several hundred songs and church songs as well...

“Genocide as a Crime under International Law”
77th anniversary of the article by Raphael Lemkin

Rafał Lemkin (1900–59) was an outstanding criminal law expert of Polonised-Jewish descent. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the John Casimir University (Uniwersytet Jana Kazimierza) in Lwów. He contributed to the codification of the Polish penal law, and analysed criminal legislations of the totalitarian regimes of Italy and Soviet Russia. In 1933, he...

Sławomir Mrożek: Cowboy and Dadaist
Portrait of a writer

His prose was more difficult to translate than the poetry of the most hermetic poets, because he referred to the fabric of wit, of local absurdities and peculiarities. Despite this, he hit the stages around the world, becoming one of the most famous Polish writers of the 20th century. Bitter, ironic, and ruthless to himself...

Two Thousand Words
The Crucial Manifesto of the "Prague Spring"

“Prague Spring” is a journalistic description of the events in Czechoslovakia in 1968 when the communist party made an independent attempt at reform. They sought to modernize the party and make it more efficient, as well as liberalize its policy. They also wanted to democratize the country, although the word itself – at least in...

short news_

MEETINGS

About

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...