Bierut in 1950
Poland's old and new borders, 1945
Bierut in around 1927
The Polish People's Republic in 1989
Map showing the different borders and territories of Poland and Germany during the 20th century, with the current areas of Germany and Poland in dark gray
Bolesław Bierut in 1933, after his arrest by Polish Police
Poland's fate was heavily discussed at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. Joseph Stalin, whose Red Army occupied the entire country, presented several alternatives which granted Poland industrialized territories in the west whilst the Red Army simultaneously permanently annexed Polish territories in the east, resulting in Poland losing over 20% of its pre-war borders - areas primarily inhabited by ethnic Belarusians or Ukrainians. Soviet-backed Polish communists came to power and oversaw the country's entry into the Warsaw Pact in 1955.
Destroyed Warsaw, January 1945
After World War II, based in part on the Potsdam Conference Allied determinations, the Polish authorities ordered the remaining Germans to leave Poland.
Border changes of Poland after World War II. The eastern territories (Kresy) were annexed by the Soviets. The western territories, referred to as the "Recovered Territories", were granted as war reparations. Despite the western lands being more industrialized, Poland lost 77,035 km2 (29,743 sq mi) and major cities like Lviv and Vilnius.
The PKWN Manifesto, officially issued on 22 July 1944. In reality it was not finished until mid-August, after the Polish communist Moscow group was joined by the late-arriving Warsaw group, led by Gomułka and Bierut.
Bolesław Bierut inspecting members of the Union of Polish Youth, 1946
The 1970 Polish protests were put down by the Communist authorities and Citizens' Militia. The riots resulted in the deaths of 42 people and over 1,000 injured.
Postwar Polish communist propaganda poster depicting "The giant and the putrid reactionary midget", meaning the communist People's Army soldier and the pro-Western Home Army soldier, respectively
Bierut decorating the most productive workers on the rebuilt Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw, 1946
Queues waiting to enter grocery stores in Warsaw and other Polish cities and towns were typical in the late 1980s. The availability of food and goods varied at times, and the most sought after basic item was toilet paper.
ORMO paramilitary police unit during street parade at the Victory Square, 9 June 1946, Warsaw
Bierut in 1948
The new Warszawa Centralna railway station in Warsaw had automatic doors and escalators. It was a flagship project during the 1970s economic boom and was dubbed the most modern station in Europe at the time of its completion in 1975.
Logo of the Polish United Workers' Party
Bolesław Bierut, President of Poland and General Secretary of the PZPR
Lech Wałęsa co-founded and headed the Solidarity movement which toppled Communism. He later became the President of Poland.
The show trial of Captain Witold Pilecki, sentenced to death and executed May 1948
1951 East German stamp commemorative of the Treaty of Zgorzelec, which established the Oder–Neisse line as a "border of peace"; presidents Wilhelm Pieck (GDR) and Bolesław Bierut are featured shaking hands over the border
The 1980 Gdańsk Shipyard Strike and subsequent Summer 1981 Hunger Demonstrations were instrumental in strengthening the Solidarity movement's influence.
The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, initially called the Stalin's Palace, was a controversial gift from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
Bierut was often photographed with children, which was meant to contribute to his cult of personality
Logo of the Polish United Workers' Party
Avenue of the Roses, Nowa Huta
Bierut reading Trybuna Ludu ('The People's Tribune'), the official newspaper of the Polish United Workers' Party
Władysław Gomułka and Leonid Brezhnev in East Berlin, 1967
1951 East German stamp commemorative of the Treaty of Zgorzelec establishing the Oder–Neisse line as a "border of peace", featuring the presidents Wilhelm Pieck (GDR) and Bolesław Bierut (Poland)
Bierut's funeral bier attended by Józef Cyrankiewicz, Edward Ochab and Aleksander Zawadzki
An abandoned State Agricultural Farm in south-eastern Poland. State farms were a form of collective farming created in 1949.
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Primate of Poland
Bierut's tomb at Powązki Military Cemetery
Łódź was Poland's largest city after the destruction of Warsaw during World War II. It was also a major industrial centre in Europe and served as the temporary capital due to its economic significance in the 1940s.
Władysław Gomułka
Bolesław Bierut and Józef Cyrankiewicz during the opening of the Warsaw W-Z Route, 2 July 1949
Female textile workers in a state-run factory, Łódź, 1950s
The Fourth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party, held in 1963
Supersam Warsaw, the first self-serve shopping centre in Poland, 1969
The Polski Fiat 125p, produced in Poland from the late 1960s, was based on technology purchased from Fiat
Pewex, a chain of hard currency stores which sold unobtainable Western goods and items
Standard-bearers of the 27 Tank Regiment, mid-1960s
Ration cards for sugar, 1977
Dziady, a theatrical event that spawned nationwide protests
Bar mleczny, a former milk bar in Gdynia. These canteens offered value meals to citizens throughout Communist Poland.
Demonstrators in Gdynia carry the body of Zbigniew Godlewski, who was shot and killed during the protests of 1970
Trybuna Ludu (People's Tribune) was a government-sponsored newspaper and propaganda outlet
Edward Gierek
Andrzej Wajda was a key figure in Polish cinematography during and after the fall of communism
Queue line, a frequent scene at times of shortages of consumer goods in the 1970s and 1980s
Allegory of communist censorship, Poland, 1989. Newspapers visible are from all Eastern Bloc countries including East Germany, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia
Millions cheer Pope John Paul II in his first visit to Poland as pontiff in 1979
The 237-meter Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, constructed in 1955. At the time of its completion it was one of the tallest buildings in Europe
Lech Wałęsa speaks during the strike at the Gdańsk Shipyard, August 1980
Smyk Department Store, 1960s
25th anniversary of Solidarity, summer 2005 in Gdańsk
Polish university students during lecture, 1964
General Wojciech Jaruzelski led the People's Republic during its final decade and became one of the key players in the systemic transition of 1989–90
One of many schools constructed in central Warsaw in the 1960s
Apartment block residences built in People's Poland loom over the urban landscape of the entire country. In the past administratively distributed for permanent use, after 1989 most were sold to residents at discounted prices.
Jerzy Popiełuszko was a Roman Catholic priest who supported the anti-communist opposition. He was murdered by the Security Services "SB" of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Adam Michnik, an influential leader in the transformation of Poland
A demographics graph illustrating population growth between 1900 and 2010. The highest birth rate was during the Second Polish Republic and consequently under the Polish People's Republic.
A typical socialist apartment building in Warsaw representing the style of functionalism, built due to the ever-growing population and high birth rate at the time
Konstantin Rokossovsky, pictured in a Polish uniform, was Marshal of the Soviet Union and Marshal of Poland until being deposed during the Polish October in 1956.
Poland's old and new borders, 1945

Bolesław Bierut (18 April 1892 – 12 March 1956) was a Polish communist activist and politician, leader of the Polish People's Republic from 1947 until 1956.

- Bolesław Bierut

The history of Poland from 1945 to 1989 spans the period of communist rule imposed over Poland after the end of World War II.

- History of Poland (1945–1989)

The new government solidified its political power, while the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) under Bolesław Bierut gained firm control over the country, which would remain an independent state within the Soviet sphere of influence.

- History of Poland (1945–1989)

This massive oppression was overseen by Gomułka and the provisional president, Bolesław Bierut.

- Polish People's Republic

Starting with the KRN post, with Gomułka and others, Bierut would play a leading role in the establishment of communist Poland.

- Bolesław Bierut

During the Gierek era, Poland borrowed large sums from Western creditors in exchange for promise of social and economic reforms.

- Polish People's Republic
Bierut in 1950

4 related topics with Alpha


Edward Ochab

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Polish communist politician and top leader of Poland between March and October 1956.

Polish communist politician and top leader of Poland between March and October 1956.

Grave of Edward Ochab and wife Rozalia at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw

In Stalinist Poland he was responsible for enlisting the so-called enemies of the people to forced labour in the mines of southern Poland.

After Bolesław Bierut's death, Ochab became First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party and served in that capacity between 20 March and 21 October 1956.

Gierek in 1980

Edward Gierek

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Polish Communist politician and de facto leader of Poland between 1970 and 1980.

Polish Communist politician and de facto leader of Poland between 1970 and 1980.

Gierek in 1980
Gierek and wife contribute on Party Volunteer Labor Day
First Secretary Edward Gierek (second from left)
Gierek participated in hundreds of field trips and visitations, meeting ordinary people and seeking their feedback
Katowice Steelworks, Gierek's major industrial project
1973 Polish Fiat 126p, nicknamed maluch (tiny)
Edward Gierek personally made the official opening of the new Warszawa Centralna railway station on 5 December 1975.
Gierek with President Jimmy Carter
1976 food ration card
Gierek with East German leader Erich Honecker
Grave of Edward and Stanisława Gierek in Sosnowiec

Gierek replaced Władysław Gomułka as First Secretary of the ruling Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) in the Polish People's Republic in 1970.

In 1954, he became part of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) under Bolesław Bierut as a representative of the Silesian region.

According to sociologist and left-wing politician Maciej Gdula, the social and cultural transformation that took place in Poland in the 1970s was even more fundamental than the one which occurred in the 1990s, following the Hpolitical transition.

Citroën Traction Avant, a car commonly used by the UB

Ministry of Public Security (Poland)

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Citroën Traction Avant, a car commonly used by the UB
The PKWN Manifesto, issued on 22 July 1944
Jakub Berman
Józef Światło, born Izaak Fleischfarb, defected to the West and spoke publicly of UB's brutal actions
Ministry office in Warsaw (current Ministry of Justice)
Office of Public Security regional location in Szczecin, Poland
Ministry of Public Security organization for 1953, (Organizacja Ministerstwa Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego na rok 1953, M Malinowski)
Ministry of Public Security field organization, 1953
Stamp of the Committee for Public Security, 1954–1956

The Ministry of Public Security (Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego), commonly known as UB or later SB, was the secret police, intelligence and counter-espionage agency operating in the Polish People's Republic.

The SB functioned as the chief secret service until the fall of Communism in Poland in 1989 and was disbanded in 1990.

In November 1953, First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party, Bolesław Bierut, asked Politburo member Jakub Berman to send MBP Lieutenant Colonel Józef Światło on an important mission to East Berlin.

Draft of the Polish constitution, with revisions and annotations hand-written by Bolesław Bierut

Constitution of the Polish People's Republic

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Draft of the Polish constitution, with revisions and annotations hand-written by Bolesław Bierut
A meeting of the Polish Council of State during the 1960s

The Constitution of the Polish People's Republic (also known as the July Constitution or the Constitution of 1952) was a supreme law passed in communist-ruled Poland on 22 July 1952.

The 1952 constitution introduced a new name for the Polish state, the Polish People's Republic (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL), replacing the previously used Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita Polska).

The 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union was an exemplar act and the Russian translation of the draft text of the 1952 Constitution was personally reviewed and corrected by Joseph Stalin; his modifications were inserted into the Polish text by Bolesław Bierut.