Blood on the pavement. Grodno 1939
83st anniversary of the Soviet aggression against Poland

On 17 September 1939, the Soviets attacked Poland and reached Grodno on September 20. Grodno, a city in pre-war, eastern Poland (now in Belarus) fought for three days in September 1939 with the Soviet army. Seeing no chance for further defense, on 22 September the Polish forces withdrew towards the Lithuanian border. Several hundred Polish...

The Workers’ Defence Committee as a phenomenon of the Polish opposition
an anniversary of the creation of the Workers’ Defence Committee

This September marks the forty-sixth anniversary of the creation of the Workers’ Defence Committee, the first open opposition organisation in communist-ruled Poland since the post-war era. by Jan Olaszek   The Workers’ Defence Committee (Polish acronym ‘KOR’) was founded in September 1976 but, in order to tell its story, we need to go back a...

Appeal of the Workers’ Defense Committee to Society and the Authorities of the PRL
the beginnings of the democratic opposition in Poland

In the communist People’s Republic of Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL) the authorities had full control of the economy. They decided about the production volume, distribution manner, and retail prices. The December 1970 increase in food prices sparked social unrest. Even though it was forcedly suppressed by the government (a few dozen people were shot)...

Marek Wierzbicki: Soviet aggression against Poland was a blow, the effects of which we can still feel today
83rd anniversary of the Soviet aggression on Poland

On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union, without declaring war and breaking the provisions of the non-aggression pact, entered the eastern territories of the Republic of Poland. As a result, Poland became the only country that had to face two invaders during the Second World War. What were the consequences of Soviet aggression? Could it...

Żwirko and Wigura, or a catastrophe in the skies
90th anniversary of plane crash

Pilot Franciszek Żwirko and designer Stanisław Wigura won Challenge 1932 in Berlin, the world’s most important sports aviation competition and became national heroes. Then, just a dozen days after their success, they both died in a plane crash on 11 September 1932. by Piotr Bejrowski   Franciszek Żwirko, the oldest of the pair, was born...

Rudolf Weigl. The man who defeated typhus
The phenomenon of Rudolf Weigl’s invention

He was not born Polish, but became a Pole by choice. Rudolf Weigl was a pioneer in using lice to breed typhus germs and the creator of the first effective vaccine against this terrible disease. by Piotr Abryszeński   Rudolf Weigl was born in Moravia to an Austrian family on 2 September 1883. After his...

Sebastian Pawlina: Poland is still paying for the Second World War
83rd anniversary of the outbreak of the World War II

Although more than seventy years have passed since the end of the Second World War, this topic is still very relevant. Today it comes up, for example, due to the report prepared by Polish authorities on the consequences of the conflict for Poland. What losses did Poland suffer as a result of the war and...

Birth of Independent Free-governing Trade Union 'Solidarity': Behind the Scenes
42 years of the Solidarity movement

31 August is considered the holiday of Solidarity (NSZZ Solidarność) and the Gdańsk Accord signed on that day its founding act. However, the shape of the union was being ‘forged’ throughout the following several days. In August, there was no talk of a Polish nationwide organisation and a path towards it turned out a winding...

Max Factor and the art of makeup
A man who popularized the term "make-up"

Today, his name is associated with high-quality cosmetics and the art of makeup. His real name was Maksymilian Faktorowicz, and the name which is known today he received, by mistake, from an American immigration official. by Piotr Bejrowski   He was born on 8 February 1872 in Zduńska Wola, a Polish town then under Russian...

Jan Kochanowski, Kalliope’s mountaineer

While writing biographies of great writers, we, often unconsciously, look for something unique, or characteristic about the individual path they pursued in their lives. This is probably due to a legacy of romanticism that we are not aware of. Thus we are facing some troubles looking at Jan Kochanowski in a different way. by Wojciech...

The MS Piłsudski - "The Polish Titanic"
What happened with the pride of the Polish navy?

The MS Piłsudski, a luxury Polish passenger ship during the interwar period, was widely considered a symbol of the newly independent Poland’s access to the sea. That is, until it sunk mysteriously in 1939, earning the nickname “the Polish Titanic.” by Anna Zhou   Modern, sleek, luxurious, the MS Piłsudski was the pride of the...

Ambassador Józef Lipski visiting Hitler on 20 September 1938
The lie vs. the reality

There is no point in discussing Poland’s responsibility for the outbreak of World War II. Those who make this claim are fully aware of the fact that it in no way corresponds with reality. Unfortunately, this is because a lie has long served as a tool of Russian historical policy. by Marek Kornat   Insulting...

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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...