Poznań 1956: a revolt that shook the system

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…


Two Thousand Words

“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…


June 1976: workers’ victory at the cost of repression

A single day in June 1976 showed how fragile the public’s confidence in Gierek’s team was after almost six years in power. by Paweł Sasanka   The fourteen-year rule of Władysław Gomułka ended in the socio-political crises of March 1968 and December 1970. After the December tragedy, in which the army and police opened fire…


Marie Leszczyńska: a Polish noblewoman and 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…


Palmiry and the destruction of the Polish elite

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…


The bridge between Poland and Israel

With the end of Communism in Poland, a new era in Polish-Israeli relations began. The first element of change was seen in May 1990 with the beginning of the joint operation “Bridge” which established a humanitarian corridor for Jews emigrating from the Soviet Union. All thanks to the bold decision of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki,…


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