“Ashes, ashes we all fall down”. A history of epidemics in Poland

Over the course of history, societies have experienced ongoing waves of epidemics and pandemics of infectious diseases. Poland has not been excluded in this. These bouts of sickness did not only impact history but also the development of medicine, the functioning of state institutions and the nation’s way of life. by Michał Szukała   Throughout…


The Battle of Racławice: How did Kościuszko defeat the Russians?

On 4 April 1794, the Polish army defeated the Russians in the Battle of Racławice. The victory primarily had a symbolic dimension and showed the strength and unity of the nation. It enabled the Kosciuszko Uprising to spread to other regions and became indelibly inscribed in the collective memory of Poles. by Piotr Bejrowski  …


Sigismund I the Old: A good, thrifty king

Military victories will always hold a prominent place in the collective memory. This in part is due to their nature. When an enemy invades our country, the efforts the political community is forced to take is an existential challenge. The alternative, a defeat, would mean the deaths of many people and the country’s loss of…


Penderecki: an avant-garde man with a passion for music and trees

“I am mostly scared of the moment when I feel that I have planted all the trees or I have written all the pieces, but I am far from this – I still have plans,” he stated on his 80th birthday. Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world’s greatest contemporary composers, died on 29 March at…


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…


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,…


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