March 1981: “Solidarity” at the height of its power

On 27 March 1981, “Solidarity” organized a protest in response to the beating of union members by the militia. Their strike, with at least 2 and a half million participants, is also remembered as their largest protest. by Tomasz Kozłowski   In February 1981, General Wojciech Jaruzelski became Poland’s prime minister. For over a decade,…



The March Constitution of 1921. Compromise and modernity

Poland reborn after the First World War faced a host of challenges. In particular, the issue of the nature of the constitution provoked a heated debate in the country. The overriding aim of the Act was not only to consolidate the state after the years of partition, but also to create a solid foundation for…


The start of a common fight: Czechs and Slovaks at the Polish Army’s side in September 1939

On the morning of 15 March 1939, German troops entered the western parts of Czecho-Slovakia, beginning the country’ s occupation. The next day, Hitler arrived in Prague and announced the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia “under the protection” of the Third Reich. As a result of German pressure, Slovakia declared state sovereignty…


'We Demand the Truth about Katyn!'

Recalling the Katyn Massacre was an important aspect of the activities of the democratic opposition in the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), one of the reasons being the subject’s high importance for society back then. This is best exemplified by the fact that a booklet by Ryszard Zieliński entitled ‘Katyń’ was the most-published material outside of…


Elżbieta Sieniawska – A woman not even afraid of the devil

Frederick Augustus, the Duke of Saxony, calculated that Warsaw was well worth the price of a mass and converted to Catholicism in 1697. His wife, an ardent Lutheran, felt no temptation to put the Jagiellonian crown on her head and refused. The lonely nights of Duke Frederick Augustus on the Vistula River were made pleasant…


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