Sejmik records: transcripts of political life

One of the tasks of historians (at least those who have learned the principles of modern scientific techniques) is to search for sources, and to subject those already found to critical appraisal. However, won’t the resources of unknown documents be exhausted one day? Fortunately, not only is the number of documents increasing (and archives make…


Stanisław Konarski: a reformer in a greasy headscarf

While writing rhetoric textbooks, he illustrated a critique of macaronic, heavily latinized language with excerpts from his own youthful works. Acting as if he was a political scientist avant la lettre, he created the first systematic critique of the liberum veto system, advocating the introduction of the principle of majority voting in parliament of the…


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

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…


Jadwiga Smosarska: a celluloid star

50 years ago, on 1 November 1971, the brightest star of pre-war Polish cinema – Jadwiga Smosarska – died in a hospital in Warsaw. by Wiesław Chełminiak   A life in 26 frames By the 20th century, the mystique surrounding kings and emperors had disappeared. The authority of the church and synagogue had weakened. Politicians…


Ambassador Józef Lipski visiting Hitler on 20 September 1938

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…


The Soviet authorities policy towards the Belarusian population in the north-eastern territories of the Second Polish Republic (Western Belarus) in 1939–1941

The popular image of the ‘liberation of Western Belarus by the Red Army in September 1939’ was almost completely shaped by Soviet propaganda. Its core element was the image of the unreservedly grateful Belarusian peasants who, owing to the tanks crossing the border, experienced a triple liberation: social, political, and economic. The reality, however, was…


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