The long December night

Forty years ago, on the night of 12 to 13 December 1981, martial law was imposed in Poland. General Wojciech Jaruzelski – simultaneously Chairman of the Communist party, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence – established a military dictatorship and entered the final confrontation with the ten-million-strong trade union, ‘Solidarity’. by Tomasz Kozłowski   Preparations…



The Katyn Massacre: Its Chronology, Scale, Victims and Unpunished Perpetrators

The ordeal of Polish Army officers, policemen, prison and forest guards, intelligence and counter-intelligence agents as well as Polish administrative staff in the Easter Borderlands began on 17 September 1939. It was then that the Red Army invaded Poland, belatedly implementing the arrangements of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August 1939. Soviet captivity awaited around…


The Familia: the troubled Commonwealth’s last chance

Three hundred years ago, a new political era began in Poland. A party was formed whose aim, apart from gaining and maintaining power, was to westernise the state. The Czartoryski family and its allies wanted to transform the consciousness of their compatriots, make radical changes in education, the judiciary, finance and the military, as well…


The November Uprising: More Than a Romantic Rebellion

One of the several classic ‘Polish insurgences’: armed, bloody and lost. Apart from the romantic legend around it, it is distinguished by the fact that the episode lasting a year was unusually effective in unsettling things as they were. After the lost uprising, two paths of development, possible before, were not available to the Poles…


Much Ado About a Poem

Sometimes literature sets up things for a revolution, although it usually takes some time until it actually breaks out. A generation needs time to read Rousseau’s Meditations, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Marx’s Capital, or The Catcher in the Rye. One can count on the fingers of one hand the literary works that directly triggered…


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