The Peculiar Autumn of 1978: The Election of John Paul II
42nd anniversary of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła election for Pope

On the occasion of subsequent papal conclaves, photo agencies would compete to catch cardinals electing the successor of Saint Peter. Even after the reforms of Vatican II, the garments of Church dignitaries and the ceremonies accompanying the new pope’s assumption of office remain baroque in style. In 1978, however, greatest interest was generated by quite...

The Central Industrial District – the industrial heart of the Second Polish Republic

“A great thing is being created right before our eyes. Thousands of people sacrifice the work of their minds and muscles for the greatness of their homeland. We must not remain indifferent. And we also have to contribute to the Central Industrial District with our heart and our generosity” – thus stated the authors of...

Vilnius like Fiume? On border changes in Eastern Europe after the First World War
The 100th anniversary of the "Żeligowski's Mutiny"

The military operation after which Vilnius came under Polish control in October 1920 was relatively small and almost bloodless. However, it cast a large shadow over Polish-Lithuanian relations in the interwar period to such an extent that it is remembered, especially in Vilnius, to this day. The military actions themselves, undertaken a hundred years ago...

The newspaper doesn't write about you anymore…
Hungarian underground art and Polish Solidarity

Persons from various social strata in Hungary were very responsive to the events taking place in Poland between 1980-81. Many from the underground music and art scenes, among others, declared solidarity with Poles, regardless of the campaign against them launched by the Hungarian state media. by Gábor Danyi For the leaders of Communist countries, the...

The Solidarity Revolution from the point of view of the KGB
General Stepan Mucha's report for the Soviet secret police

General Mucha’s report of 23 August 1980 is the first known document of this status describing the KGB’s reaction to the events in Poland. The strikes are presented as a counter-revolution and it suggests that Poles should be given “brotherly help”. by Andrzej Grajewski The addressee of the report is the First Secretary of the...

A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland
review of the book by Seth G. Jones

After the introduction of martial law, the CIA launched a program to support the underground movement “Solidarity” with a budget of approximately $20 million. Throughout 1983-1990, money and specialized equipment flowed into Poland. In his book, Seth G. Jones pulls back the curtain on these sensational maneuvers. by Tomasz Kozłowski   The emergence of “Solidarity”...

Tommaso Dolabella. The Venetian paints the Sarmatians
exhibition in the Royal Castle in Warsaw

Moving from little Belluno to Venice – was this a necessity for an ambitious painter of the Baroque era? Especially if we take into account the fact that his father was a local painter who used to paint the folds of cloaks worn by saints. Dolabella ended up in the workshop of Antonio Vassilacchi and...

Stanisław Żółkiewski: Between Military Service and Private Interests
The 400th anniversary of Stanisław Żółkiewski’s heroic death

On the night from 6 to 7 October 1620, a seventy-three-year-old Crown Grand Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski perished on the battlefield in the last act of a drama that had begun a month prior. At the beginning of September, amid growing political tensions between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire, the Hetman entered Moldavia –...

Inspired to follow Poland’s example
Hungarian democratic opposition in the early 1980s

After 1976, Hungarian dissidents paid special attention to the situation in Poland and how it developed. Many of them even visited Poland to see it with their own eyes. The idea of “Solidarity” found fertile soil in Hungary, where, under Polish influence, the democratic opposition solidified significantly and expanded its reach. by Gábor Danyi  ...

The roads to (an independent) Belarus

Without the Belarusian People’s Republic and several military formations established at the end of the First World War and several months after its end, there would be neither the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic nor the present-day Republic of Belarus on the territory between the Bug and Berezina rivers. by Wojciech Stanisławski   For many reasons,...

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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...