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The Polish People's Republic
Republic
(Polish: Polska Rzeczpospolita
Rzeczpospolita
Ludowa, PRL) covers the history of contemporary Poland
Poland
between 1952 and 1990 under the Soviet-backed communist regime imposed after World War II. The name People's Republic
Republic
was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952 which was based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution. Following the Red Army
Red Army
release of Polish territory from German occupation, the name of the Polish state between 1947 and 1952 was the Republic
Republic
of Poland
Poland
( Rzeczpospolita
Rzeczpospolita
Polska) in accordance with the temporary Constitution of 1947.[1] Since 1952 the Sejm
Sejm
exercised no real power,[2] and Poland
Poland
was regarded as a puppet entity set up and controlled by the Soviet Union.[3] With time, Poland
Poland
developed into a satellite state of the Soviet Union.[4] The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had much influence over both internal and external affairs, and Red Army
Red Army
forces were stationed in Poland
Poland
(1945: 500,000; until 1955: 120,000 to 150,000; until 1989: 40,000).[4] In 1945, Soviet generals and advisors formed 80% of the officer cadre of the Polish People's Army. The Polish United Workers' Party
Polish United Workers' Party
became the dominant political party, officially making the country a "socialist republic"; democracy was restored in late 1989.

Contents

1 History

1.1 1970s and 1980s

2 Government and politics

2.1 Foreign relations

3 Economy

3.1 Early years 3.2 Later years

4 Culture 5 Religion 6 Demographics 7 Military 8 Geography

8.1 Administration

9 See also 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1945–89) At the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his western allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland. His armed forces were in occupation of the country, and his agents, the communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR
USSR
was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland
Poland
which it had occupied between 1939 and 1941. In compensation, the USSR
USSR
awarded Poland
Poland
German territories in Pomerania, Silesia, and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia. These awards were confirmed at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, otherwise known as the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. Stalin was determined that Poland's new government would become his tool towards making Poland
Poland
a Soviet puppet state controlled by the communists. He had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The communists held a majority of key posts in this new government, and with Soviet support they soon gained almost total control of the country, rigging all elections. In June 1946 the "Three Times Yes" referendum was held on a number of issues—abolition of the Senate of Poland, land reform, and making the Oder–Neisse line
Oder–Neisse line
Poland's western border. The communist-controlled Interior Ministry issued results showing that all three questions passed overwhelmingly. Years later, however, evidence was uncovered showing that the referendum had been tainted by massive fraud, and only the third question actually passed.[5] Władysław Gomułka then took advantage of a split in the Polish Socialist Party. One faction, which included Prime Minister Edward Osóbka-Morawski, wanted to join forces with the Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, and Stanisław Mikołajczyk would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists. The Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister. Between the referendum and the January 1947 general elections, the opposition was subjected to persecution. Only the candidates of the pro-government "Democratic Bloc" (the PPR, Cyrankiewicz' faction of the PPS, and the Democratic Party) were allowed to campaign completely unmolested. Meanwhile, several opposition candidates were prevented from campaigning at all. Mikołajczyk's Polish People's Party (PSL) in particular suffered persecution; it had opposed the abolition of the Senate as a test of strength against the government. Although it supported the other two questions, the Communist-dominated government branded the PSL "traitors". This massive oppression was overseen by Gomułka and the provisional president, Bolesław Bierut. The official results of the election showed the Democratic Bloc with 80.1 percent of the vote. The Democratic Bloc was awarded 394 seats to only 28 for the PSL. Mikołajczyk immediately resigned to protest this implausible result, and fled to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in April rather than face arrest. Later, historians confirmed that the official results were only obtained through massive fraud. Government officials didn't even count the real votes in many areas, and simply filled in the relevant documents in accordance with instructions from the Communists. In other areas, the ballot boxes were either destroyed or replaced with boxes containing prefilled ballots.

Draft of Constitution of the Polish People's Republic
Republic
(in Russian) with Stalin remarks, 1952

The 1947 election marked the beginning of undisguised Communist
Communist
rule in Poland, though it was not officially transformed into the Polish People's Republic
Republic
until the adoption of the 1952 Constitution. However, Gomułka never supported Stalin's control over the Polish Communists, and was soon replaced as party leader by the more pliable Bierut. In 1948, the Communists consolidated their power, merging with Cyrankiewicz' faction of the PPS to form the Polish United Workers' Party (known in Poland
Poland
as 'the Party'), which would monopolise political power in Poland
Poland
until 1989. In 1949, Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky
Konstantin Rokossovsky
became Polish Minister of National Defence, with the additional title Marshal of Poland, and in 1952 he became Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers (deputy premier). Over the coming years, private industry was nationalised, the land seized from the pre-war landowners and redistributed to the peasants, and millions of Poles
Poles
were transferred from the lost eastern territories to the lands acquired from Germany. Poland
Poland
was now to be brought into line with the Soviet model of a "people's democracy" and a centrally planned socialist economy. The government also embarked on the collectivisation of agriculture, although the pace was slower than in other satellites: Poland
Poland
remained the only Soviet bloc country where individual peasants dominated agriculture. Through a careful balance of agreement, compromise and resistance — and having signed an agreement of coexistence with the communist regime — cardinal primate Stefan Wyszyński
Stefan Wyszyński
maintained and even strengthened the Polish church through a series of failed government leaders. He was put under house arrest from 1953 to 1956 for failing to punish priests who participated in anti-government activity.[6][7][8] Bierut died in March 1956, and was replaced with Edward Ochab, who held the position for seven months. In June, workers in the industrial city of Poznań
Poznań
went on strike, in what became known as Poznań
Poznań
1956 protests. Voices began to be raised in the Party and among the intellectuals calling for wider reforms of the Stalinist system. Eventually, power shifted towards Gomułka, who replaced Ochab as party leader. Hardline Stalinists were removed from power and many Soviet officers serving in the Polish Army
Polish Army
were dismissed. This marked the end of the Stalinist era. 1970s and 1980s[edit] In 1970, Gomułka's government had decided to adopt massive increases in the prices of basic foodstuffs. The resulting widespread violent protests in December that same year resulted in a number of deaths. They also forced another major change in the government, as Gomułka was replaced by Edward Gierek
Edward Gierek
as the new First Secretary. Gierek's plan for recovery was centered on massive borrowing, mainly from the United States
United States
and West Germany, to re-equip and modernize Polish industry, and to import consumer goods to give the workers some incentive to work. While it boosted the Polish economy, and is still remembered as the "Golden Age" of socialist Poland, it left the country vulnerable to global economic fluctuations and western undermining, and the repercussions in the form of massive debt is still felt in Poland
Poland
even today. This Golden Age came to an end after the 1973 energy crisis. The failure of the Gierek government, both economically and politically, soon led to the creation of opposition in the form of trade unions, student groups, clandestine newspapers and publishers, imported books and newspapers, and even a "flying university."

Queue waiting to enter a state-run store, typical sight in Poland
Poland
in the 1950s and 1980s

On 16 October 1978 the Archbishop of Kraków, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, was elected Pope, taking the name John Paul II. The election of a Polish Pope had an electrifying effect on what had been, even under Communist
Communist
rule, one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in Europe. Gierek is alleged to have said to his cabinet, "O God, what are we going to do now?" or, as occasionally reported, "Jesus and Mary, this is the end". When John Paul II made his first papal tour of Poland
Poland
in June 1979, half a million people heard him speak in Warsaw; he did not call for rebellion, instead encouraged the creation of an "alternative Poland" of social institutions independent of the government, so that when the next crisis came, the nation would present a united front. A new wave of strikes undermined Gierek's government, and in September Gierek, who was in poor health, was finally removed from office and replaced as Party leader by Stanisław Kania. However, Kania was unable to find an answer for the fast-eroding support of communism in Poland. Labour turmoil led to the formation of the independent trade union Solidarity (Solidarność) in September 1980, originally led by Lech Wałęsa. In fact, Solidarity became a broad anti-communist social movement ranging from people associated with the Roman Catholic Church, to members of the anti-stalinist left. By the end of 1981, Solidarity had nine million members—a quarter of Poland's population and three times as many as the PUWP had. Kania resigned under Soviet pressure in October and was succeeded by Wojciech Jaruzelski, who had been Defence minister since 1968 and Premier since February. On 13 December 1981, Jaruzelski proclaimed martial law, suspended Solidarity, and temporarily imprisoned most of its leaders. This sudden crackdown on Solidarity was reportedly out of fear of Soviet intervention (see Soviet reaction to the Polish crisis of 1980–81). The government then banned Solidarity on October 8, 1982. Martial law was formally lifted in July 1983, though many heightened controls on civil liberties and political life, as well as food rationing, remained in place through the mid-to-late-1980s. Jaruzelski stepped down as prime minister in 1985 and became president (chairman of the Council of State). This did not prevent Solidarity from gaining more support and power. Eventually it eroded the dominance of the PUWP, which in 1981 lost approximately 85,000 of its 3 million members. Throughout the mid-1980s, Solidarity persisted solely as an underground organization, but by the late 1980s was sufficiently strong to frustrate Jaruzelski's attempts at reform, and nationwide strikes in 1988 were one of the factors that forced the government to open a dialogue with Solidarity. From 6 February 6 to 15 April 1989, talks of 13 working groups in 94 sessions, which became known as the "Roundtable Talks" (Rozmowy Okrągłego Stołu) saw the PUWP abandon power and radically altered the shape of the country. In June, shortly after the Tiananmen Square protests in China, the 1989 Polish legislative election took place, Poland's first partially-free election in eight decades. Much to its own surprise, Solidarity took all contested (35%) seats in the Sejm, the Parliament's lower house, and all but one seat in the fully free elected Senate. Solidarity persuaded the Communists' longtime satellite parties, the United People's Party and Democratic Party, to throw their support to Solidarity. This all but forced Jaruzelski, who had been named president in July, to appoint a Solidarity member as prime minister. Finally, he appointed a Solidarity-led coalition government with Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Tadeusz Mazowiecki
as the country's first non- Communist
Communist
prime minister since 1948. On 10 December 1989, the statue of Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
was removed in Warsaw
Warsaw
by the PRL authorities.[9] The Parliament amended the Constitution on 29 December 1989 to formally restore democracy, the rule of law and civil liberties. This began the Third Polish Republic, and served as a prelude to the fully democratic elections of 1991—only the third free election ever held in Poland. The PZPR was finally disbanded on January 30, 1990, even if Wałęsa could be elected as President only eleven months after. The Warsaw Pact was soon followed on 1 July 1991 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
ceased to exist in December 1991. On 27 October 1991, the first entirely free Polish parliamentary elections since the 1920s took place. This completed Poland's transition from a communist party rule to a Western-style liberal democratic political system. The last post-Soviet troops troops left Poland
Poland
on 18 September 1993. After ten years of democratic consolidation, Poland
Poland
joined OECD in 1996, NATO
NATO
in 1999 and the European Union
European Union
in 2004. Government and politics[edit] See also: Politics of Poland

PZPR logo

The government and politics of the Polish People's Republic
Republic
were dominated by the Polish United Workers' Party
Polish United Workers' Party
(Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR). Despite the presence of two minor parties, the United People's Party and the Democratic Party, the country was generally reckoned as a one-party state because these two parties were completely subservient to the Communists and had to accept the PZPR's "leading role" as a condition of their existence. It was dependent on the USSR
USSR
to the extent of being its satellite state. From 1952 the PRP's highest law was the Constitution of the Polish People's Republic, and the Polish Council of State
Polish Council of State
replaced the presidency of Poland. Elections were held on the single lists of the Front of National Unity. Foreign relations[edit] See also: Foreign relations of Poland During the PRL's existence, it maintained relations not only with the Soviet Union, but several communist states around the world. It also had friendly relations with the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Western Bloc
Western Bloc
as well as the People's Republic
Republic
of China. PRL's relations with Israel
Israel
were on a fair level following the aftermath of the Holocaust. In 1947, the PRL voted in favor of the United Nations
United Nations
Partition Plan for Palestine, which lead to Israel's recognition by the PRL on 19 May 1948. However, by the Six-Day War, it severed diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
in June 1967 and supported the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
which recognized the State of Palestine on 14 December 1988. In 1989, PRL restored relations with Israel. The PRL participated as a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization, the Warsaw
Warsaw
Pact, Comecon, International Energy Agency, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Atomic Energy Agency, and Interkosmos. Economy[edit] Further information: Economy of Poland
Poland
and Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
economies Early years[edit] Poland
Poland
suffered tremendous economic losses during World War II. In 1939, Poland
Poland
had 35.1 million inhabitants, but the census of 14 February 1946 showed only 23.9 million inhabitants. (The difference was partially the result of the border revision.) The losses in national resources and infrastructure amounted to 38%. Compared to Western European nations, including Germany, Poland
Poland
was still mostly an agrarian country. The implementation of the immense tasks involved with the reconstruction of the country was intertwined with the struggle of the new government for the stabilisation of power, made even more difficult by the fact that a considerable part of society was mistrustful of the communist government. The occupation of Poland by the Red Army
Red Army
and the support the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had shown for the Polish communists was decisive in the communists gaining the upper hand in the new Polish government. Poland
Poland
was under Soviet control, both directly (Red Army, NKVD, Soviet concentration camps in Poland, deportations to the SU) and indirectly ( NKVD
NKVD
created the Polish political police UB).[citation needed] As control of the Polish territories passed from occupying forces of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
to the Red Army, and from the Red Army
Red Army
to Polish Communists, Poland's new economic system began moving towards a communist centrally planned economy. One of the first major steps in that direction involved the agricultural reform issued by the Polish Committee of National Liberation government on 6 September 1944. All estates over 0.5 km² in pre-war Polish territories and all over 1 km² in former German territories were nationalised without compensation. In total, 31,000 km² of land were nationalised in Poland
Poland
and 5 million in the former German territories, out of which 12,000 km² were redistributed to peasants and the rest remained in the hands of the government. (Most of this was eventually used in the collectivization and creation of sovkhoz-like Państwowe Gospodarstwo Rolne (PGR).) However, the collectivization of Polish farming never reached the same extent as it did in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
or other countries of the Eastern Bloc.[10] Nationalisation
Nationalisation
began in 1944, with the pro-Soviet government taking over industries in the newly acquired territories along with the rest of the country. As nationalization was unpopular, the communists delayed the nationalization reform until 1946, when after the 3xTAK referendums they were fairly certain they had total control of the state and could deal a heavy blow to eventual public protests. Some semi-official nationalisation of various private enterprises had begun also in 1944. In 1946, all enterprises with over 50 employees were nationalised, with no compensation to Polish owners.[11] The Allied punishment of Germany for the war of destruction was intended to include large-scale reparations to Poland. However, those were truncated into insignificance by the break-up of Germany into East and West and the onset of the Cold War. Poland
Poland
was then relegated to receive her share from the Soviet-controlled East Germany. However, even this was attenuated, as the Soviets pressured the Polish Government to cease receiving the reparations far ahead of schedule as a sign of 'friendship' between the two new communist neighbors and, therefore, now friends.[12][13] Thus, without the reparations and without the massive Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
implemented in the West at that time, Poland's postwar recovery was much harder than it could have been. Later years[edit] During the Gierek era, Poland
Poland
borrowed large sums of Western money. This changed in the late 1970s however, and fact that the West would no longer grant Poland
Poland
credit meant that living standards began to sharply fall again as the supply of imported goods dried up, and as Poland
Poland
was forced to export everything it could, particularly food and coal, to service its massive debt, which would reach US$23 billion by 1980. By 1978, it was therefore obvious that eventually the regime would again have to raise prices and risk another outbreak of labor unrest. During the chaotic Solidarity years and the imposition of martial law, Poland
Poland
entered a decade of economic crisis, officially acknowledged as such even by the regime. Rationing and queuing became a way of life, with ration cards (Kartki) necessary to buy even such basic consumer staples as milk and sugar.[14] Access to Western luxury goods became even more restricted, as Western governments applied economic sanctions to express their dissatisfaction with the government repression of the opposition, while at the same time the government had to use most of the foreign currency it could obtain to pay the crushing rates on its foreign debt.[15] In response to this situation, the government, which controlled all official foreign trade, continued to maintain a highly artificial exchange rate with Western currencies. The exchange rate worsened distortions in the economy at all levels, resulting in a growing black market and the development of a shortage economy.[16] The only way for an individual to buy most Western goods was to use Western currencies, notably the U.S. dollar, which in effect became a parallel currency. However, it could not simply be exchanged at the official banks for Polish złotys, since the government exchange rate undervalued the dollar and placed heavy restrictions on the amount that could be exchanged, and so the only practical way to obtain it was from remittances or work outside the country. An entire illegal industry of street-corner money changers emerged as a result. The so-called Cinkciarze gave clients far better than official exchange rate and became wealthy from their opportunism albeit at the risk of punishment, usually diminished by the wide scale bribery of Milicja (communist police).[14]

A Pewex
Pewex
shop

As Western currency came into the country from emigrant families and foreign workers, the government in turn attempted to gather it up by various means, most visibly by establishing a chain of state-run Pewex and Baltona stores in all Polish cities, where goods could only be bought with hard currency. It even introduced its own ersatz U.S. currency (bony PeKaO in Polish).[14] This paralleled the financial practices in East Germany
East Germany
running its own ration stamps at the same time.[14] The trend led to an unhealthy state of affairs where the chief determinant of economic status was access to hard currency. This situation was incompatible with any remaining ideals of socialism, which were soon completely abandoned at the community level. In this desperate situation, all development and growth in the Polish economy slowed to a crawl. Most visibly, work on most of the major investment projects that had begun in the 1970s was stopped. As a result, most Polish cities acquired at least one infamous example of a large unfinished building languishing in a state of limbo. While some of these were eventually finished decades later, most, such as the Szkieletor
Szkieletor
skyscraper in Kraków, were never finished at all, wasting the considerable resources devoted to their construction. Polish investment in economic infrastructure and technological development fell rapidly, ensuring that the country lost whatever ground it had gained relative to Western European economies in the 1970s. To escape the constant economic and political pressures during these years, and the general sense of hopelessness, many family income providers traveled for work in Western Europe, particularly West Germany
West Germany
(Wyjazd na saksy).[citation needed] During the era, hundreds of thousands of Poles
Poles
left the country permanently and settled in the West, few of them returning to Poland
Poland
even after the end of socialism in Poland. Tens of thousands of others went to work in countries that could offer them salaries in hard currency, notably Libya
Libya
and Iraq.[citation needed] After several years of the situation continuing to worsen, during which time the socialist government unsuccessfully tried various expedients to improve the performance of the economy—at one point resorting to placing military commissars to direct work in the factories — it grudgingly accepted pressures to liberalize the economy. The government introduced a series of small-scale reforms, such as allowing more small-scale private enterprises to function. However, the government also realized that it lacked the legitimacy to carry out any large-scale reforms, which would inevitably cause large-scale social dislocation and economic difficulties for most of the population, accustomed to the limited social safety net that the socialist system had provided. For example, when the government proposed to close the Gdańsk Shipyard, a decision in some ways justifiable from an economic point of view but also largely political, there was a wave of public outrage and the government was forced to back down. The only way to carry out such changes without social upheaval would be to acquire at least some support from the opposition side. The government accepted the idea that some kind of a deal with the opposition would be necessary, and repeatedly attempted to find common ground throughout the 1980s. However, at this point the communists generally still believed that they should retain the reins of power for the near future, and only allowed the opposition limited, advisory participation in the running of the country. They believed that this would be essential to pacifying the Soviet Union, which they felt was not yet ready to accept a non- Communist
Communist
Poland. In 1981 Poland
Poland
notified Club de Paris
Club de Paris
(a group of Western-European central banks) about its insolvency and a number of negotiations of repaying its foreign debt were completed between 1989-1991.[17] Culture[edit]

The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw
Warsaw
was built under Stalin's supervision and resembles the Seven Sister Towers in Moscow

Main articles: Culture in the Polish People's Republic
Republic
and Education in the Polish People's Republic

TV series

Czterej Pancerni i Pies Stawka Większa niż Życie (Kapitan Kloss) Alternatywy 4 Zmiennicy Czterdziestolatek The Moomins

Movies

A Generation Ashes and Diamonds Nights and Days Colonel Wołodyjowski The Deluge Knights of the Teutonic Order The Quack The Doll Countess Cosel Salt of the Black Earth Westerplatte Hubal Death of a President The Soldier of Victory The Coup d'Etat Jarosław Dąbrowski The Cruise Sexmission Teddy Bear How I Unleashed World War II

Religion[edit] Main article: Polish anti-religious campaign (1945–1990) The experiences in and after World War II, wherein the large Jewish minority was annihilated by the Nazis, the large German minority was forcibly expelled from the country at the end of the war, along with the loss of the eastern territories which had a significant population of Eastern Orthodox Belarusians and Ukrainians, led to Poland
Poland
becoming more homogeneously Catholic than it had been.[18] The Polish Anti-Religious Campaign was initiated by the communist government in Poland
Poland
which, under the doctrine of Marxism, actively advocated for the disenfranchisement of religion and planned atheisation.[19][20] The Catholic Church, as the religion of most Poles, was seen as a rival competing for the citizens' allegiance by the government, which attempted to suppress it.[21] To this effect the communist state conducted anti-religious propaganda and persecution of clergymen and monasteries.[20] As in most other Communist
Communist
countries, religion was not outlawed as such (an exception being Albania) and was permitted by the constitution, but the state attempted to achieve an atheistic society. The Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in Poland
Poland
provided strong resistance to Communist rule and Poland
Poland
itself had a long history of dissent to foreign rule.[22] The Polish nation rallied to the Church, as had occurred in neighbouring Lithuania, which made it more difficult for the government to impose its antireligious policies as it had in the USSR, where the populace did not hold mass solidarity with the Russian Orthodox Church. It became the strongest anti-communist body during the epoch of Communism
Communism
in Poland, and provided a more successful resistance than had religious bodies in most other Communist states.[21] The Catholic Church
Catholic Church
unequivocally condemned communist ideology.[23] This led to the antireligious activity in Poland
Poland
being compelled to take a more cautious and conciliatory line than in other Communist countries, largely failing in their attempt to control or suppress the Polish Church.[22] The state attempted to take control of the Polish Orthodox Church (with a membership of about half a million) in order to use it as a weapon against the anti-communist efforts of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, and it attempted to control the person who was named as Metropolitan for the Polish Orthodox Church; Metropolitan Dionizy (the post-war head of the POC) was arrested and retired from service after his release.[24] Following with the forcible conversion of Eastern Catholics in the USSR
USSR
to Orthodoxy, the Polish government called on the Orthodox church in Poland
Poland
to assume 'pastoral care' of the eastern Catholics in Poland. After the removal of Metropolitan Dionizy from leadership of the Polish Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Macarius was placed in charge. He was from western Ukraine (previously eastern Poland) and who had been instrumental in the compulsory conversion of eastern Catholics to orthodoxy there. Polish security forces assisted him in suppressing resistance in his taking control of Eastern Catholic parishes.[24] Many eastern Catholics who remained in Poland
Poland
after the postwar border adjustments were resettled in Western Poland
Poland
in the newly acquired territories from Germany. The state in Poland
Poland
gave the POC a greater number of privileges than the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in Poland; the state even gave money to this Church, although it often defaulted on promised payments, leading to a perpetual financial crisis for the POC. See also: Religion in Poland Demographics[edit]

Demographics of Poland
Poland
after World War II

Military[edit] Main article: Polish People's Army Geography[edit]

Polish voivodeships after 1957.

Polish voivodeships after 1975.

Administrative divisions of the Polish People's Republic

Poland's old and new borders, 1945

Geographically, the Polish People's Republic
Republic
bordered the Baltic Sea to the North; the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(Russian (Kaliningrad Oblast), Lithuanian, Byelorussian and Ukrainian SSRs) to the east; Czechoslovakia to the south and the German Democratic Republic
Republic
(East Germany) to the west. After World War II, Poland's borders were redrawn, following the decision taken at the Teheran Conference
Teheran Conference
of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. Poland
Poland
lost 77,000 km² of territory in its eastern regions (Kresy), gaining instead the smaller but much more industrialized (however ruined) so-called "Regained Territories" east of the Oder-Neisse line. Administration[edit] Main article: Voivodeships of Poland The Polish People's Republic
Republic
was divided into several voivodeships (the Polish unit of administrative division). After World War II, the new administrative divisions were based on the pre-war ones. The areas in the East that were not annexed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had their borders left almost unchanged. Newly acquired territories in the west and north were organised into the voivodeships of Szczecin, Wrocław, Olsztyn and partially joined to Gdańsk, Katowice and Poznań voivodeships. Two cities were granted voivodeship status: Warsaw
Warsaw
and Łódź. In 1950 new voivodeships were created: Koszalin - previously part of Szczecin, Opole - previously part of Katowice, and Zielona Góra - previously part of Poznań, Wrocław
Wrocław
and Szczecin voivodeships. In addition, three other cities were granted the voivodeship status: Wrocław, Kraków
Kraków
and Poznań. In 1973, Poland
Poland
voivodeships were changed again. This reorganization of administrative division of Poland
Poland
was mainly a result of local government reform acts of 1973 to 1975. In place of three level administrative division (voivodeship, county, commune), new two-level administrative division was introduced (49 small voidships and communes). The three smallest voivodeships: Warsaw, Kraków
Kraków
and Łódź
Łódź
had a special status of municipal voivodeship; the city president (mayor) was also province governor.

See also[edit]

Poland
Poland
portal Soviet Union
Soviet Union
portal Communism
Communism
portal

History of Poland
Poland
(1945-89) Soviet Union

References[edit]

^ Internetowy System Aktow Prawnych (2013). "Small Constitution of 1947" [Mała Konstytucja z 1947] (PDF direct download). Original text at the Sejm
Sejm
website. Kancelaria Sejmu RP. Retrieved 21 February 2015.  ^ Rozmaryn, Stefan (1959). "Parliamentary Control of Administrative Activities in the Polish People's Republic". Political Studies. Vol. 7 (1): 70–85. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.1959.tb00893.x.  ^ Marek, Krystyna (1954). Identity and Continuity of States in Public International Law. Librairie Droz. p. 475. ISBN 9782600040440.  ^ a b Rao, B. V. (2006), History of Modern Europe Ad 1789-2002: A.D. 1789-2002, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ^ Czesław Osękowski Referendum
Referendum
30 czerwca 1946 roku w Polsce, Wydawnictwo Sejmowe, 2000, ISBN 83-7059-459-X ^ Britannica (10 April 2013), Stefan Wyszyński, (1901–1981). Encyclopædia Britannica. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (29 May 1981). "Wyszynski Fortified Church Under Communist
Communist
Rule". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2017.  ^ Curtis, Glenn E., ed. (1992). "The Society: The Polish Catholic Church and the State". Poland: A Country
Country
Study. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. Retrieved 10 December 2017 – via Country
Country
Studies US.  ^ Reuters (December 11, 1989). "Upheaval in the East; Lenin Statue in Mothballs". New York Times.  ^ Wojciech Roszkowski, Reforma Rolna Encyklopedia.PWN.pl (Internet Archive) ^ Zbigniew Landau, Nacjonalizacja w Polsce Encyklopedia.PWN.pl (Internet Archive) ^ Billstein, Reinhold; Fings, Karola; Kugler, Anita; Levis, Billstein (October 2004). "Working for the enemy: Ford, General Motors, and forced labor in Germany during the Second World War". ISBN 978-1-84545-013-7.  ^ Hofhansel, Claus (2005). "Multilateralism, German foreign policy and Central Europe" (Google Books, no preview). ISBN 978-0-415-36406-5.  [page needed] ^ a b c d Karolina Szamańska (2008). "Sklepy w czasach PRL" (PDF file, direct download). Portal
Portal
Naukowy Wiedza i Edukacja. pp. 13, 22–23 / 25. Retrieved 15 October 2014.  ^ Neier, Aryeh (2003). Taking Liberties: Four Decades in the Struggle for Rights. Public Affairs. pp. p. 251. ISBN 1-891620-82-7.  ^ Jackson, John E.; Jacek Klich; Krystyna Poznanska (2005). The Political Economy of Poland's Transition: New Firms and Reform Governments. Cambridge University Press. pp. 21–. ISBN 0-521-83895-9.  ^ "Agreements concluded with Paris Club Club de Paris". www.clubdeparis.org. Retrieved 2017-12-12.  ^ Cieplak, Tadeusz N. (1969). "Church and State in People's Poland". Polish American Studies. 26 (2): 15–30. JSTOR 20147803.  ^ Zdzislawa Walaszek. An Open Issue of Legitimacy: The State and the Church in Poland. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 483, Religion and the State: The Struggle for Legitimacy and Power (Jan., 1986), pp. 118-134 ^ a b Mirek, Agata (2014). "Law as an Instrument of the Communist Authorities in the Fight against Orders in Poland". OL PAN. Teka Komisji Prawniczej: 64–72. Planned atheisation afflicted all areas of activity of monastic communities [...] To victimise clergymen and consecrated people not only provisions of the criminal procedure were used, often violating not only the right for defence, but also basic human rights, allowing to use tortures in order to extort desired testimonies; also an entire system of legal norms, regulating the organisation and functioning of bodies of the judiciary, was used for victimising. Nuns also stood trials in communist courts, becoming victims of the fight of the atheist state against the Catholic Church. The majority of trials from the first decade of the Polish People's Republic
Republic
in which nuns were in the dock had a political character. A mass propaganda campaign, saturated with hate, led in the press and on the radio, measured up against defendants, was their distinctive feature.  ^ a b Dinka, Frank (1966). "Sources of Conflict between Church and State in Poland". The Review of Politics. 28 (3): 332–349. doi:10.1017/S0034670500007130.  ^ a b Ediger, Ruth M. (2005). "History of an institution as a factor for predicting church institutional behavior: the cases of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in Poland, the Orthodox Church in Romania, and the Protestant churches in East Germany". East European Quarterly. 39 (3).  ^ Clark, Joanna Rostropowicz (2010). "The Church and the Communist Power". Sarmatian Review. 30 (2).  ^ a b Wynot, Edward D., Jr. (2002). "Captive faith: the Polish Orthodox Church, 1945–1989". East European Quarterly. 36 (3). 

Bibliography[edit]

Ekiert, Grzegorz (March 1997). "Rebellious Poles: Political Crises and Popular Protest Under State Socialism, 1945-89". East European Politics and Societies. American Council of Learned Societies. 11 (2): 299–338. doi:10.1177/0888325497011002006.  Kuroń, Jacek; Żakowski, Jacek (1995). PRL dla początkujących (in Polish). Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie. pp. 348 pages. ISBN 83-7023-461-5. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polish People's Republic.

PRL at Czas-PRL.pl (in Polish) Internetowe Muzeum Polski Ludowej at PolskaLudowa.com (in Polish) Muzeum PRL at MuzeumPRL.com (in Polish) Komunizm, socjalizm i czasy PRL-u at Komunizm.eu (in Polish) Propaganda komunistyczna (in Polish) PRL Tube, a categorized collection of videos from the Polish Communist period (in Polish)

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History of the Polish People's Republic

1945–48 Early post-war

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Republic
of Poland Polish Committee of National Liberation Provisional Government of National Unity Trial of the Sixteen Cursed soldiers Augustów roundup Polish people's referendum, 1946 Polish legislative election, 1947 Small Constitution of 1947 Amnesty of 1947 Battle for trade Three-Year Plan

1948–56 Sovietisation under Bierut's rule

Polish United Workers' Party Six-Year Plan Collectivization Socialist realism in Poland 1951 Mokotów Prison execution 1952 Constitution Stalinist show trial of the Kraków
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1956 protests Polish October
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1956–70 Gomułka's autarchic communism

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1970–80 Gierek's international opening

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Łódź
strikes Letter of 59 June 1976 protests Workers' Defence Committee Flying University Lublin 1980 strikes Gdańsk Agreement Jastrzębie-Zdrój 1980 strikes Solidarity (Polish trade union) Independent Students' Union Rural Solidarity Bydgoszcz events 1981 warning strike in Poland Summer 1981 hunger demonstrations in Poland

1981–89 Jaruzelski's autocratic rule and demise

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1939

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1940

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1942

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1943

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1944

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1945

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Bibliography Category Portal

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Countries of Eastern and Central Europe during their Communist
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period

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Soviet Russia / Soviet Union: 1917–27 1927–53 1953–64 1964–82 1982–91

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Eastern Bloc

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Formation

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Annexed as, or into, SSRs

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Satellite states

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Republic
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of Albania
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(to 1961) People's Republic
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of Yugoslavia (to 1948)

Annexing SSRs

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Organizations

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(WFDY)

Revolts and opposition

Welles Declaration Goryani
Goryani
Movement Forest Brothers Ukrainian Insurgent Army Operation Jungle Baltic state continuity Baltic Legations (1940–1991) Cursed soldiers Rebellion of Cazin 1950 1953 uprising in Plzeň 1953 East German uprising 1956 Georgian demonstrations 1956 Poznań
Poznań
protests 1956 Hungarian Revolution Novocherkassk massacre 1965 Yerevan demonstrations Prague Spring
Prague Spring
/ Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia Brezhnev Doctrine 1968 Red Square demonstration 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade 1968 protests in Kosovo 1970 Polish protests Croatian Spring 1972 unrest in Lithuania
Lithuania
SSR June 1976 protests Solidarity / Soviet reaction / Martial law 1981 protests in Kosovo Reagan Doctrine Jeltoqsan Karabakh movement April 9 tragedy Romanian Revolution Black January

Cold War
Cold War
events

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Berlin Wall
crisis

Conditions

Emigration and defection (list of defectors) Sovietization of the Baltic states Information dissemination Politics Economies Telephone tapping

Decline

Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall Romanian Revolution Fall of communism in Albania Singing Revolution Collapse of the Soviet Union Dissolution of Czechoslovakia January 1991 events in Lithuania January 1991 events in Latvia

Post- Cold War
Cold War
topics

Baltic Assembly Collective Security Treaty Organization Commonwealth of Independent States Craiova Group European Union European migrant crisis Eurasian Economic Union NATO Post-Soviet states Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Visegrad Group

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Socialism
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by country

By country

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Europe

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Short-lived

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History of socialism

Coordinates: 52°13′N 21°02′E / 52.217°N 21.033°E / 52

.