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§ 22. Poland (textbook)

§22. Poland


1. Installationcommunist (totalitarian) regime.

            Poland was the first victimNazi aggression in World War II and suffered all the sufferingsoccupation regime. Killed 6 million people.

            As a result, Poland has experienced warsignificant territorial changes. Its composition includes German lands until theOder-Neisse line and part of East Prussia. Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia,Vilna region, which until 1939 were part of Poland were givenUSSR.

            After the mass migration  German  population, "Operation Vistula"  (1947) in Ukrainian eviction from their lands, resulting indestruction during the war and the loss of Polish Jews in Western Ukraine, Belarus,Vilensky region, Poland became odnonatsionalnoyu state.

            Control of Poland, Stalin believednecessary part of postwar world. But the solution to thisproblems had great difficulties. Polish Communist Party was dissolved in1939, and a significant number of Polish Communist repression. Polesviewed the USSR as a member of another "partition of Poland, after which in Siberia andKazakhstan deported two million Poles and 15 thousand officers were shot inKatyn forest. Anti-Soviet and anti-communist sentiment dominated thePolish population (especially they who established after the Soviet Union did not provideassistance to the insurgent Warsaw (1944). The same sentiment prevailed andemigre government, which is housed in London. Poland had two armies, onefought alongside the Western Allies in Africa and Western Europe, the second - nextwith the Soviet army on the eastern front. In addition, the Poles remained jealousCatholics. All of these factors, and hampered the installation of the communistregime, moreover, Stalin was forced to agree to inclusion in the governmentGovernment representatives of immigrant Stanislaus Mikolaychik.

            The impetus for the Communists togovernment's statement was the U.S. secretary of state James Birnsa in September1946, in which he stated that on the western border of Polandremains open. As a result, the impact of pro-Western forces in Poland fellCommunists did to wrest power. In September 1946 initiatedNational Council communists Alki (Parliament) decided to move onregular farming. In November 1946 Communists (PolishWorkers' Party) and socialists (Polish Socialist Party) have signed atogether. In January 1947 they won the elections in the Diet (parliament).In February, 1947 President of Poland became the leader of the NRP B. take. S. Mikolaychikwas forced to emigrate. In December 1948 PRP and PSP merged intoPolish United Workers' Party (PORP), which became the ruling almost 40years. Along with PORP created Peasant and Democratic Party, which haddo multi-store visibility and bring in the socialistconstruction of the broad masses of the population. For greater control of the MoscowPolish Defence Minister was appointed Soviet MarshalK. Rokossovsky.


Establishment of the Communist regime in Poland

Factors that contributed to the establishment of the communist regime

Factors that hindered the installation of the communist  regime

·         Participation  Soviet and Polish forces in liberating the country.

·         The presence of Soviet  troops in the country. Pressure on the Soviet leadership, the Polish government.

·         Nonrecognition countries  West's western borders of Poland.

·         Social and  economic reforms initiated by the communists.

·         Readiness of  West cede its influence in Poland.

·         Otochenist territory  Poland's pro-Soviet governments of countries, sharing borders with the USSR.

·         Participation in the division of the USSR  Poland with Germany in 1939

·         Persistent anti-Russian and  anti-communist sentiment in the country.

·         Polish Communist Party  was dissolved in 1939, and a significant number of Polish Communists  repressed.

·         The existence of the Polish  emigre government figures which were set up anti-Soviet.

·         The existence of the Army  Anders that fought on the side of the western allies.

·         Accusations of the USSR that  He did not give aid the Warsaw uprising of 1944

·         Most Poles were  jealous Catholics.


2. DevelopmentPoland 50-80-XX century.

            Tied so PolandStalinist model of socialism (industrialization, cooperation, repression) was fromoutset doomed to failure. The death of Stalin and his cult of personality criticismgave rise to massive population performances. In 1956, Poznanbegan mass opposition to Stalinism, which spread across the country. Governmentapplied forces. Only in 1974 death toll was 300 menarrested.

            In October, 1956 to powerPoland have new leadership, headed by Vladislav Homulkoyu, which wasreleased from prison and rehabilitated. Homulko proposed a programreforms, which were made only cosmetic measures. Was terminatedcooperative agriculture and forced industrialization, weakenedrepression. Likvidovuvavsya Committee of State Security. The enterprises createdWorkers' council  who controlledthe administration. Restored the legal status of artisans and smallowners. In connection with the Polish diaspora give the company"Poleniya.

            Past events for some timestabilized the situation in the country. In addition, the total revival of economicdevelopment for some time pushing back the crisis of the communist regime. Late 60'sbegan years of economic hardship, causing higher prices. This resultedlate 60 - early 70's mass performances of students and workers underimpact of events in Western Europe and Czechoslovakia. Events 60-70'sled to changes in the Polish leadership. The leader was PORP E. Gierek.


I wonder

            In 1968, conflict betweenPORP and Polish intelligentsia. Intelligentsia appealed to the governmentplatform that became known as "Letter 34" and "Open Letter toParty members. "These documents put forward demands to abolish censorship andradically change government policy on culture. In response beganprosecution of the authors' letter, arrests.  This provoked appearances, covering higherschool in Poland. Got involved in the movement of students who in their actions to reachcapture facilities,  entered intostruggle with the police.  In March, the movementpoured out on the street.  Began massiveparades. Extremist students' actions were not supported by their parents.  (Similar events took place in France) thatenabled the government for a short time to suppress the student movement. Persecutionculture coincided with the spread of anti-Semitism, especially after the war in the MiddleEast in 1967  leading  to the mass exodus of Polish Jews from the country.

            Before Christmas in 1970 tomass movements and joined the workers, angered by rising prices. The strike movementwas particularly strong in coastal cities that were also suppressed by force. (Forofficial data of 1944 men killed, 1000 wounded).

            The new leadership sought to resolveeconomic problems due to foreign loans, which envisagedused to upgrade the industry to produce competitiveproducts on world markets. But the new strategy failed (fundamentallyproduction reform failed, the West set all sorts of obstaclesexports from Eastern Europe), it is only at certain times vidtyahnula crisissocialism in general. The main cause of the crisis was that socialism in generalnot reform, any reform or lead to the establishmentcapitalism or Stalinism. Besides the economic crisis, the 70's(Especially fuel) has hit hard the economies of Eastern European countriesevolved by extensive way of development. Exit this crisis could be atdue to transition to new technology and existing public bureaucratic system does notable to do so.  Chronic crisisAgriculture further aggravated the situation.

            Frommid 70's in Poland every year louder labor movement. Beganof alternative labor organizations. A rise in1980 caused a storm of protest that this time has wornorganized nature. Began massive strike which was led by trade unionSolidarity, led by shipyard electrician from Gdansk LechWalesa.

            Under the direction ofSolidarity in Gdansk, Szczecin, striking almost Elbronh200 thous. Until shipbuilders joined miners. The government has embarked on negotiations andAugust 1981 the agreement, which increased wagesetc.

            Increasing wages withoutsupport productivity growth triggered a significant monetarysupply, inflation jumped sharply. The country was on the verge of economic collapse.

            In September-October 1981 inGdansk was the first congress of trade union Solidarity, whichdecided to start a power struggle. In first place wereExisting policy  slogans. (At the timeSolidarity united nine million people.). Before the economic crisis in the countryadded and the political. Poland appeared before the Soviet interventionto restore order. Polish leaders to avoid interventionand civil war and under pressure  Soviet leadership under Article 33 of the Constitution of Poland,declared martial law throughout the country. On the night of 12 at 13 December1981 established national rescue council of war  led by Wojciech Jaruzelski.




I wonder

            An important symbol of Events 1981was that at this time in Polish cinemas movie coming "Apocalypse". InPolish society formed in analogy with the name of the movie.

            Such measures, as well as significantSoviet financial and food aid for some time dragged deathsocialism in Poland. At this time the West did everything to tearPoland from the "socialist camp". Against it were introducedeconomic sanctions as a result of which Poland suffered a loss of $ 15 billiondollars. Increased ideological pressure. Significant role played in the Vatican andin particular, Pope John Paul II.

            Jaruzelski government has failedfind a way out of crisis. Perestroika in the Soviet Union brought the Polish leadership tofind other ways out of crisis.


3. Fallcommunism

            In 1988 PORP announcedbeginning of economic reforms. Restrictions were removed from the privatebusinesses, liberalized foreign currency exchange, public enterprises werehousehold autonomy.

            In February, 1989 startedthe round table with participation of all opposition forces, including"Solidarity", which discussed the prospects for political reform.PORP challenge was to legalize the opposition, but remainleadership.

            The first attempt to become special forcesthe June 1989 election to Parliament which won a convincing victory"Solidarity" (yes, in the Upper House in 1999 with 100 seats in the lower 261 of467). After the parliamentary elections, was elected president. NationalPoland meeting joint meeting  Diet andSenate July 19, 1989 one-vote majority in the elected presidentW. Jaruzelski.

            The most challenging was the processgovernment formation, which finally managed to form in September 1989.Prime Minister T. Mazowiecki became (Editor  Magazine   Solidarity).

            Ministerial portfolios weredistributed as follows: "Solidarity" -12, PORP-4, OSP-4, JP-3.

            Mazowiecki government inheritedeconomy in total collapse. Inflation in 1989 was 2000%continued decline in output, foreign debt amounted to 40 billion dollars.; rapidlyfalling standard of living and more.

            Elections, a government clearlyshowed that Poland was the evolutionary path of transition from totalitarianism todemocracy. December 31, 1989 adopted a new constitution thatresumed its previous name of the state - the Republic of Poland.

            The Government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki was the first inEastern Europe made a so-called "shock therapy" - a sharp transitioneconomy (according to plan finance minister Balcerowicz L.).


Method "shock  therapy (a quick transition to a market economy)

The simultaneous introduction  free trade and the abolition of price controls


Price increases,  a sharp decline in living standards, reduce production, inflation


Inclusion  market economy mechanisms


Begin Privatization  public sector, promotion of private entrepreneurship


Growth  production. Begin to raise living standards

U1993, Poland  emerged from the crisis

            Against the background of reforms passedtransformation of political life. In January 1990 PORP samorozpustylas(2 million people.) And transformed into social-democratic party. In July 1990, with the government were seized by PORP. In December 1990 onfirst  general  elections, was elected president of Poland LechWalesa.

            Reorientation occurred and foreignPolicy of Poland. She withdrew from the CEA and ATS. One of the first to support newestablished state after the Soviet collapse. Since the country withdrew Soviet(Russian) troops. Actively began to fight for Poland's accession to NATO and evenagreed to place on its territory of nuclear weapons.

            Poland's jump to a marketeconomy led to changes in social status of most citizens, which wasfavorable foundation for the revival of the left forces in parliamentary elections1993 gained the majority. The government formed a leftist W. Pawlak.The presence of left premier, parliament and the president's right led to a sharpconfrontation between branches of government. The society and government structures openedheated debate about further development. 1995 was a turning point.Head of Government was Alex Yu. The country started large-scale privatization. Polandrapidly gaining pace of development (1995 - 6,5%), generally managed to overcomeinflation.


Factorscontributed to the success of Polish reforms:

-       relatively small scale of economy;

-       previous high level of market relations and private property;

-       lack of resistance by the public market reforms, the rule insociety a positive attitude to private property and business;

-       significant external assistance, especially the Polish diaspora;

-       cohesion of society;

-       purposeful activity in government reform;

-       significant foreign investment, especially German;

-       existence of significant market for Polish goods, which opened onSoviet collapse.


4. In Polandpresent stage

            In November 1995 werePresidential elections that were characterized by a sharp struggle. After winningin the second round took Aleksander Kwasniewski (51,7%), representative of leftists.Changing presidents in the country accompanied by a series of serious political scandalsand the escalation of political struggle. One of the victims of this struggle was the primeJ. Alex, accused of espionage in favor of the KGB, andthen the Russian FSB. He was forced to resign. The new head of government wasSocial Democrat Mr. Cimoszewicz. In general tenure of L. Walesa and hissupporters, as well as a series of scandals connected with former KGB informantsand Polish spetsorhaniv led to radical changes in the Polish politicalelite that got rid of the burden of the past and lost a close relationship withpast. Polish leftists call into question the European idea, principlesdemocracy and the inviolability of private property.

            The new government continued Cimoszewiczprevious reformist course, but with an emphasis on social reform. In1996-1997 estimates political life unfolding around two keyissues: the liberalization of laws on abortion (Catholic church, which hasunshakable authority in the country, spoke strongly against) and the adoption of newconstitution. The new Constitution which came into force on September 1, 1997 somethingrestricted the powers of the president. Poland's economic system characterized init as a social market, founded on freedom of entrepreneurship, privateownership and solidarity, dialogue and cooperation of social partners.

            Acuityimpact on the political fight elections on 21 September 1997, at whichwinner-block "Election Action Solidarity (FAA). New governmentheaded by the economic program of Solidarity, Jerzy Buzek, professor of chemistry,Finance Minister L. Balcerowicz became again. The new government considered its maintask to prepare the country for EU and NATO. To this end, predictedcomplete the process of privatization, de-monopolization, an educational andadministrative reforms; complete military reform. In this way the government has reachedconsiderable success. The country's economy continued to show positive results.In 1999 country became a NATO member. Despite the progress the government has notenjoyed special support. All the successes attributed to Kwasniewski,which won a convincing victory in the next presidential election2000

            The main direction of its foreign policyPoland after the fall of the communist regime was directed to the West:establishment of allied relations with U.S., NATO membershipstructures. In this way Poland has achieved significant results: in 1999country became a NATO member, and 2004 - Member. Seeking to playgreater role in world politics, Poland took part in the war against Iraqwhich led overthrow of Saddam Hussein (2003). The EU aspires toplace leading the country, strongly defending its national interests.

            Poland became the first country in the worldwhich is December 2, 1991 recognized the independence of Ukraine. Between Poland and Ukrainethe relations which are characterized as strategic. Poland activelyrepresents the relations of Ukraine in the European structures, is a supporterspeedy integration of Ukraine into NATO and the EU. In addition to political relations betweenUkraine and Poland and is actively developing economic cooperation.

            At present the most importantthe issues of Ukraine-Polish relations is to achieve a historic reconciliation betweentwo nations. This requires the solution of jazaty number of issues between the twonations mutually to repent of those injustices that occurred in the past.



            After World War II Polandhad significant territorial changes which resulted in major transformationscountry mononatsionalnu state. Once in the Soviet zone of influence, Polandfollowed by developing countries of eastern Europe. There vstanovyvsyacommunist regime. But the communist regime in the country is marked bystability. His time in the crisis with oppressed (1956, 1970,1980-1981 biennium). Finally in the country in late 80's came the forces thaton the way to build a democratic society, market economy andintegration into European structures. As a result of reforms 90 years Polandreached the goal.



1.    What territorial changes Poland has undergone since the Second World War?

2.    When and how the Communist regime was installed in Poland? What difficultiesfaced the Polish Communists in the struggle for power?

3.    What contributed to the establishment of the communist regime? Which factor wasdeterminant?

4.    Describe features of communism in Poland.

Fill in the table: "The crises of the communist regime in Poland"




1980-1981 he













5.    Why the transition to democracy in Poland took place peacefully?

6.    Who is L. Walesa? What is its role in the modern history of Poland?

7.    What is Round Table? What is its role in the overthrow of communist regimesPoland?

8.    What are the results of "shock therapy" for Poland? Who was the author of Polisheconomic reforms beginning 90 years?

9.    What is the role of Poland in Europe today?