My name was Czesława Kwoka

Look at the photo carefully. The face of a Polish girl dressed in the camp’s striped uniform is symbolic of Nazi policy towards children whose lives were considered unnecessary. by Piotr Abryszeński   The German Generalplan Ost was created on the basis of the assumption that  a “living space” (“Lebensraum”) in the territories of Central…


Union of Horodło (2 October 1413)

This act of union between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was concluded on October 2, 1413 in the eastern city of Horodło, as a result of the compromise achieved between the incorporative strivings of the Polish side and the separatist policies of Lithuania. The act defined the…


Privilege of Koszyce (17 September 1374)

Casimir the Great, the last Polish ruler from the Piast dynasty, died on 5 November 1370. His death and the end of the dynasty opened the possibility of starting a dynamic process which, after 16 years, finally led to the election of Władysław Jagiełło to the Polish throne. Before that, however, Louis I of Hungary,…


Inaugural address of Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki

The first free election in Poland’s post-war history was held on June 4, 1989 and brought victory to the Solidarity movement and defeat to the governing camp. In fact, the election was only partly free, as – in accordance with the Round Table agreements jointly reached earlier that year by the democratic opposition and the…


Appeal of the 1st National Congress of Delegates of Solidarity to the working people of Eastern Europe

A wave of strikes washed through Poland in the summer of 1980. Among others, their participants demanded the establishment of labour unions independent of the communist authorities. The protest, which affected thousands of work places, forced the communist party to concessions and to sign an agreement with the workers, including the strongest of their organisations,…


Demands of the striking crews of factory workers and the enterprises represented by the Inter-Factory Strike Committee

Communism, which was imposed on Poland in 1945, elicited society’s opposition and resistance. The economic crisis that was becoming increasingly severe in Poland from the mid-1970s, coupled with the growing consolidation of opposition milieux, led to an outbreak of societal discontent in the summer of 1980. Initially, the protests were characterized by uncoordinated strikes in…


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