Katyń – the place where the Polish elite met its end

polishhistory: In the spring of 1940, the Soviet secret police committed an unprecedented crime by secretly murdering nearly 22,000 Polish citizens. What place does this tragedy occupy in Polish national memory? Professor Tadeusz Wolsza: The Katyń massacre permanently, painfully, and deeply entered into our national history. Each subsequent anniversary is accompanied by new editions of…


The letters of a lonely man, or what Cat-Mackiewicz wrote about when he was not writing for his readers

We talk to Professor Rafał Habielski about the recently published correspondence of Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz, the difficulties and challenges he encountered as a journalist and what makes his letters unprecedented in the history of Polish literature.   “Cat’s Versions” are a record of the obstacles Cat-Mackiewicz encountered in his private life as well as his reflections…


Dialectical Emancipation

  My book deals primarily with the continuity of social relations. The most striking thing about this ‘long duration’ turns out to be the fact that the mechanisms of domination and the relations of subordination of ‘the people’ to the ‘elite’ are more durable than even the most revolutionary and drastic changes. You can change…


March Constitution of 1921: The Crowning of Reborn Poland’s Ambitions

The March Constitution was the crowning of an important stage in the building of the Second Republic. It proved the maturity of the young state and strengthened Poland’s authority in the international arena. Its articles indicate a tendency to use solutions adopted in Western democracies as well as to draw on the legal traditions of…


The Establishment of the Bar Confederation

Ewa Zientara: Why was the Bar Confederation formed? Dorota Dukwicz: This question is only seemingly easy. In 1767 the Radom Confederates hoped that Russia would help them depose the hated King Stanisław II Augustus and move away the spectre of the demands made by the non-Catholic nobility, that is, dissenters, or dissidents, as they were…


Biskupin – A discovery that shocked archeology

At a time when, according to Livy, Romulus was being founded in Rome, an impressive castle was also being built far in the north, testifying to the high level of development of the people living in the area. The discovery of a settlement in Biskupin turned out to be one of the most important events…


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