Primate Stefan Wyszyński: leader of the Church and nation (1956–1981)

Cardinal Wyszyński returned from prison to Warsaw on 28 October 1956. ‘Polish October’ was underway – a few weeks of one of the most important political shifts in Poland’s post-war history. He immediately began talks with the new authorities, which resulted in the signing of what was called a Small Agreement on the last day…


Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński: on the road to greatness (1901–1956)

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński played an extremely important role in the history of Poland. His Primate’s ministry (1948–1981) fell entirely during the period of communist dictatorship. The Primate not only secured the survival of the Church, but also contributed to the growth of its public authority, and the formation of opposition attitudes towards the undemocratic power….



August 1920: how Poland saved Europe from Bolshevism

The end of World War I was greeted with relief throughout Europe, but in most countries this was accompanied by profound disillusionment with the political and social establishment which had brought it about. Such feelings led to revolution in Russia, Germany and Austria, and violent unrest in France, Great Britain, Italy and elsewhere as many…


On the verge of an ecological catastrophe: the communist modernization of Eastern Europe

The communist modernization that began in Poland after 1945 was focused mainly on three issues: the reconstruction of the social structure, urbanization (both the expansion of old cities and the establishment of new ones), and strenuous, accelerated industrialization. This modernization would bring profound transformations in both the social and cultural spheres. Among the intended goals…


The Gdańsk Agreement as a political experiment

The nature of the August 1980 strikes was not unlike that of a social contract. Tens of thousands of individuals who took industrial action had agreed between themselves that society must be restored after years of enduring erosion and decay at the hands of the Communist regime. by Krzysztof Mazur   A political community could…


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