A report on Polish People's Republic

The Polish People's Republic in 1989
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Lech Wałęsa co-founded and headed the Solidarity movement which toppled Communism. He later became the President of Poland.
The 1980 Gdańsk Shipyard Strike and subsequent Summer 1981 Hunger Demonstrations were instrumental in strengthening the Solidarity movement's influence.
Logo of the Polish United Workers' Party
Władysław Gomułka and Leonid Brezhnev in East Berlin, 1967
An abandoned State Agricultural Farm in south-eastern Poland. State farms were a form of collective farming created in 1949.
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.
Female textile workers in a state-run factory, Łódź, 1950s
Supersam Warsaw, the first self-serve shopping centre in Poland, 1969
Pewex, a chain of hard currency stores which sold unobtainable Western goods and items
Ration cards for sugar, 1977
Bar mleczny, a former milk bar in Gdynia. These canteens offered value meals to citizens throughout Communist Poland.
Trybuna Ludu (People's Tribune) was a government-sponsored newspaper and propaganda outlet
Andrzej Wajda was a key figure in Polish cinematography during and after the fall of communism
Allegory of communist censorship, Poland, 1989. Newspapers visible are from all Eastern Bloc countries including East Germany, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia
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
Smyk Department Store, 1960s
Polish university students during lecture, 1964
One of many schools constructed in central Warsaw in the 1960s
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.
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

Country in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989 as the predecessor of the modern Republic of Poland.

- Polish People's Republic

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Poland's old and new borders, 1945

History of Poland (1945–1989)

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Poland's old and new borders, 1945
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
Destroyed Warsaw, January 1945
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.
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
ORMO paramilitary police unit during street parade at the Victory Square, 9 June 1946, Warsaw
Logo of the Polish United Workers' Party
The show trial of Captain Witold Pilecki, sentenced to death and executed May 1948
The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, initially called the Stalin's Palace, was a controversial gift from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
Avenue of the Roses, Nowa Huta
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)
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Primate of Poland
Władysław Gomułka
The Fourth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party, held in 1963
The Polski Fiat 125p, produced in Poland from the late 1960s, was based on technology purchased from Fiat
Standard-bearers of the 27 Tank Regiment, mid-1960s
Dziady, a theatrical event that spawned nationwide protests
Demonstrators in Gdynia carry the body of Zbigniew Godlewski, who was shot and killed during the protests of 1970
Edward Gierek
Queue line, a frequent scene at times of shortages of consumer goods in the 1970s and 1980s
Millions cheer Pope John Paul II in his first visit to Poland as pontiff in 1979
Lech Wałęsa speaks during the strike at the Gdańsk Shipyard, August 1980
25th anniversary of Solidarity, summer 2005 in Gdańsk
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
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.
Adam Michnik, an influential leader in the transformation of Poland

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

Polish United Workers' Party

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Statute of the Polish United Workers' Party, 1956 edition
Władysław Gomułka, at the height of his popularity, on 24 October 1956, addressing hundreds of thousands of people in Warsaw, asked for an end to demonstrations and a return to work. "United with the working class and the nation", he concluded, "the Party will lead Poland along a new way of socialism".
First Secretary of PZPR Edward Gierek (left) with Speaker of the House of Representatives Carl Albert (right), Washington D.C., 1974
PZPR's newspaper "Trybuna Ludu" issue 13 December 1981 reports martial law in Poland.
Dom Partii building in Warsaw, former headquarters of PZPR

The Polish United Workers' Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza; ), commonly abbreviated to PZPR, was the communist party which ruled the Polish People's Republic as a one-party state from 1948 to 1989.

Poland

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Country in Central Europe.

Country in Central Europe.

A reconstruction of a Bronze Age, Lusatian culture settlement in Biskupin, 8th century BC
Poland under the rule of Mieszko I, whose acceptance of Christianity under the auspices of the Latin Church and the Baptism of Poland marked the beginning of statehood in 966.
Casimir III the Great is the only Polish king to receive the title of Great. He built extensively during his reign, and reformed the Polish army along with the country's legal code, 1333–70.
The Battle of Grunwald was fought against the German Order of Teutonic Knights, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Kingdom of Poland, 15 July 1410.
Wawel Castle in Kraków, seat of Polish kings from 1038 until the capital was moved to Warsaw in 1596.
King John III Sobieski defeated the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Vienna on 12 September 1683.
Stanisław II Augustus, the last King of Poland, reigned from 1764 until his abdication on 25 November 1795.
The partitions of Poland, carried out by the Kingdom of Prussia (blue), the Russian Empire (brown), and the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy (green) in 1772, 1793 and 1795.
Chief of State Marshal Józef Piłsudski was a hero of the Polish independence campaign and the nation's premiere statesman from 1918 until his death on 12 May 1935.
Polish Army 7TP tanks on military manoeuvres shortly before the invasion of Poland in 1939
Pilots of the 303 Polish Fighter Squadron during the Battle of Britain, October 1940
Map of the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland with deportation routes and massacre sites. Major ghettos are marked with yellow stars. Nazi extermination camps are marked with white skulls in black squares. The border in 1941 between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union is marked in red.
At High Noon, 4 June 1989 — political poster featuring Gary Cooper to encourage votes for the Solidarity party in the 1989 elections
Flowers in front of the Presidential Palace following the death of Poland's top government officials in a plane crash on 10 April 2010
Topographic map of Poland
Morskie Oko alpine lake in the Tatra Mountains. Poland has one of the highest densities of lakes in the world.
The wisent, one of Poland's national animals, is commonly found at the ancient and UNESCO-protected Białowieża Forest.
The Sejm is the lower house of the parliament of Poland.
The Constitution of 3 May adopted in 1791 was the first modern constitution in Europe.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, located in Warsaw
Polish Air Force F-16s, a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft
A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter patrol van belonging to the Polish State Police Service (Policja)
The Old City of Zamość is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
PKP Intercity Pendolino at the Wrocław railway station
Physicist and chemist Maria Skłodowska-Curie was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.
Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th century Polish astronomer who formulated the heliocentric model of the solar system.
Population of Poland from 1900 to 2010 in millions of inhabitants
Dolina Jadwigi — a bilingual Polish-Kashubian road sign with the village name
John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyła, held the papacy between 1978-2005 and was the first Pole to become a Roman Catholic Pope.
Jagiellonian University in Kraków
The Polish White Eagle is Poland's enduring national and cultural symbol
All Saints' Day on 1 November is one of the most important public holidays in Poland.
Lady with an Ermine (1490) by Leonardo da Vinci. It symbolises Poland's cultural heritage and identity.
Selection of hearty traditional comfort food from Poland, including bigos, gołąbki, żurek, pierogi, placki ziemniaczane, and rye bread.
Traditional polonaise dresses, 1780–1785.
Andrzej Wajda, the recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion and Golden Bear Awards.
Headquarters of the publicly funded national television network TVP in Warsaw
The Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, home of the national football team, and one of the host stadiums of Euro 2012.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at its greatest extent in 1619

As a member of the Eastern Bloc in the global Cold War, the Polish People's Republic was a founding signatory of the Warsaw Pact.

Communist states in Europe before the Tito–Stalin split of 1948

Eastern Bloc

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The group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America under the influence of the Soviet Union that existed during the Cold War .

The group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America under the influence of the Soviet Union that existed during the Cold War .

Communist states in Europe before the Tito–Stalin split of 1948
Soviet Union stamp of 1950, depicting the flags and peoples of the Eastern Bloc.
The Big Three (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Premier of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin) at the Yalta Conference, February 1945
World War II Polish Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk fled Poland in 1947 after facing arrest and persecution
Political situation in Europe during the Cold War
Germans watching Western supply planes at Berlin Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin Airlift
Countries which once had overtly Marxist–Leninist governments in bright red and countries the USSR considered at one point to be "moving toward socialism" in dark red
Communist countries and Soviet republics in Europe with their representative flags (1950s)
Trybuna Ludu 14 December 1981 reports martial law in Poland
Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, once the most dominant landmark in Baku, was demolished in the 1930s under Stalin
Berlin Wall in 1975
Prominent examples of urban design included Marszałkowska Housing Estate (MDM) in Warsaw
During World War II, 85% of buildings in Warsaw were destroyed by German troops
A line for the distribution of cooking oil in Bucharest, Romania in May 1986
Reconstruction of a typical working class flat interior of the khrushchyovka
Propaganda poster showing increased agricultural production from 1981 to 1983 and 1986 in East Germany
A Robotron KC 87 home computer made in East Germany between 1987 and 1989
Per capita GDP in the Eastern Bloc from 1950 to 2003 (1990 base Geary-Khamis dollars) according to Angus Maddison
GDP per capita of the Eastern Bloc in relations with GDPpc of United States during 1900–2010
East German Plattenbau apartment blocks
Czechoslovaks carry their national flag past a burning Soviet tank in Prague
The Cold War in 1980 before the Iran–Iraq War
Otto von Habsburg, who played a leading role in opening the Iron Curtain
Erich Honecker
Changes in national boundaries after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc
European countries by total wealth (billions USD), Credit Suisse, 2018
A map of communist states (1993–present)
The "three worlds" of the Cold War era between April–August 1975:
1st World: Western Bloc led by the United States and its allies
2nd World: Eastern Bloc led by the Soviet Union, China and their allies
3rd World: Non-Aligned and neutral countries

In Western Europe, the term Eastern Bloc generally referred to the USSR and its satellite states and puppet states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, People's Republic of Bulgaria, People's Republic of Quandale, and Albania).

Soviet Union

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Transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

Transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

The Soviet Union after World War II
Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution
The Soviet Union after World War II
The Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.
Construction of the bridge through the Kolyma (part of the Road of Bones from Magadan to Jakutsk) by the workers of Dalstroy.
Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky were executed.
The Battle of Stalingrad, considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.
From left to right, the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer in Tehran, 1943.
Map showing greatest territorial extent of the Soviet Union and the states that it dominated politically, economically and militarily in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961 (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961.
Nikolai Podgorny visiting Tampere, Finland on 16 October 1969
Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan
The Pan-European Picnic took place in August 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border.
T-80 tank on Red Square during the August Coup
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993
Country emblems of the Soviet Republics before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (note that the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (fifth in the second row) no longer exists as a political entity of any kind and the emblem is unofficial)
Sukarno and Voroshilov in a state meeting on 1958.
1960s Cuba-Soviet friendship poster with Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet stamp 1974 for friendship between USSR and India as both nations shared strong ties, although India was a prominent member of Non-Aligned Movement
Gerald Ford, Andrei Gromyko, Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger speaking informally at the Vladivostok Summit in 1974
Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signing bilateral documents during Gorbachev's official visit to the United States in 1990
1987 Soviet stamp
Military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, 7 November 1964
The Grand Kremlin Palace, the seat of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, 1982
Nationalist anti-government riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1990
A medium-range SS-20 non-ICBM ballistic missile, the deployment of which in the late 1970s launched a new arms race in Europe in which NATO deployed Pershing II missiles in West Germany, among other things
From left to right: Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, Valentina Tereshkova and Nikita Khrushchev at the Lenin's Mausoleum in 1963
Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
The DneproGES, one of many hydroelectric power stations in the Soviet Union
Picking cotton in Armenia in the 1930s
Workers of the Salihorsk potash plant, Belarus, 1968
Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod (VAZ) in 1969
Soviet stamp depicting the 30th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency, published in 1987, a year following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Soviet stamp showing the orbit of Sputnik 1
Aeroflot's flag during the Soviet era
Population of the Soviet Union (red) and the post-Soviet states (blue) from 1961 to 2009 as well as projection (dotted blue) from 2010 to 2100
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, visiting the Lviv confectionery, Ukrainian SSR, 1967
Young Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR
People in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR, 1981
Svaneti man in Mestia, Georgian SSR, 1929
An early Soviet-era poster discouraging unsafe abortion practices
Cover of Bezbozhnik in 1929, magazine of the Society of the Godless. The first five-year plan of the Soviet Union is shown crushing the gods of the Abrahamic religions.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow during its demolition in 1931
A paranja burning ceremony in the Uzbek SSR as part of Soviet Hujum policies
World War II military deaths in Europe by theater and by year. Nazi Germany suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.
2001 stamp of Moldova shows Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space
People in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, 9 May 2018
Soviet singer-songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky in 1979
Valeri Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 Ice Hockey World Championships, winning eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze
One of the many impacts of the approach to the environment in the USSR is the Aral Sea (see status in 1989 and 2014)
Landscape near Karabash, Chelyabinsk Oblast, an area that was previously covered with forests until acid rainfall from a nearby copper smelter killed all vegetation
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1970

The country bordered (from 1945 to 1991): Norway, Finland, the Baltic Sea, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea.

Solidarity logo

Solidarity (Polish trade union)

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Polish trade union founded in August 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland.

Polish trade union founded in August 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland.

Solidarity logo
30th anniversary mural depicting the murdered priest Jerzy Popiełuszko who publicly supported Solidarity during the 1980s
The logo of Solidarność painted on an overturned Soviet era T-55 in Prague in 1990
Students in Scotland collect signatures for a petition in support of Solidarity in 1981
Solidarity, ETUC Demonstration—Budapest 2011

The survival of Solidarity was an unprecedented event not only in Poland, a satellite state of the USSR ruled in practice by a one-party Communist state, but the whole of the Eastern bloc.

Warsaw Pact

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The Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, where the Warsaw Pact was established and signed on 14 May 1955
The Iron Curtain (black line)
A "Soviet Big Seven" threats poster, displaying the equipment of the militaries of the Warsaw Pact
A typical Soviet military jeep UAZ-469, used by most countries of the Warsaw Pact
Meeting of the seven representatives of the Warsaw Pact countries in East Berlin in May 1987. From left to right: Gustáv Husák, Todor Zhivkov, Erich Honecker, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Wojciech Jaruzelski, and János Kádár
Soviet tanks, marked with white crosses to distinguish them from Czechoslovak tanks, on the streets of Prague during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, 1968
Protest in Amsterdam against the nuclear arms race between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, 1981
The Pan-European Picnic took place on the Hungarian-Austrian border in 1989.
The Warsaw Pact before its 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, showing the Soviet Union and its satellites (red) and the two independent non-Soviet members: Romania and Albania (pink)
A Romanian TR-85 tank in December 1989 (Romania's TR-85 and TR-580 tanks were the only non-Soviet tanks in the Warsaw Pact on which restrictions were placed under the 1990 CFE Treaty )
The Romanian IAR-93 Vultur was the only combat jet designed and built by a non-Soviet member of the Warsaw Pact.
Expansion of NATO before and after the collapse of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe

The Warsaw Pact (WP) or Treaty of Warsaw, formally the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland, between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics of Central and Eastern Europe in May 1955, during the Cold War.

Wałęsa in October 2019

Lech Wałęsa

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Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the President of Poland between 1990 and 1995.

Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the President of Poland between 1990 and 1995.

Wałęsa in October 2019
Wałęsa during the strike at the Lenin Shipyard, August 1980
Wałęsa signs autographs during the strike in August 1980
President Bush meets privately with Wałęsa, November 1989
Wałęsa speaks at a tourism trade fair in Berlin, 2011
Wałęsa speaks on VIII European Economic Forum, 2015
Signature Lech Wałęsa-Bolek on the collaboration agreement with Security Service from the Kiszczak archives
Wałęsa receiving the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, 2011
Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport
Shooting of Walesa. Man of Hope on the Solidarity Square in Gdańsk
Premiere of Walesa. Man of Hope in Warsaw, 2013

A shipyard electrician by trade, Wałęsa became the leader of the Solidarity movement, and led a successful pro-democratic effort which in 1989 ended the Communist rule in Poland and ushered in the end of the Cold War.

Władysław Gomułka

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Polish communist politician.

Polish communist politician.

Gomułka in recaptured Warsaw, 1945
Gomułka's speech on 24 October 1956 in Warsaw
Gomułka (left) greeted by members of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation in East Germany.
Gomułka's now abandoned retirement home in Konstancin-Jeziorna
Gomułka's grave in Powązki Military Cemetery
Gomułka (left) greeted by members of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation in East Germany.

He was the de facto leader of post-war Poland from 1947 until 1948.

Polish T-55 tanks enter the town of Zbąszyń while moving east towards Poznań, 13 December 1981

Martial law in Poland

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Martial law in Poland (Stan wojenny w Polsce) existed between 13 December 1981 and 22 July 1983.

Martial law in Poland (Stan wojenny w Polsce) existed between 13 December 1981 and 22 July 1983.

Polish T-55 tanks enter the town of Zbąszyń while moving east towards Poznań, 13 December 1981
Polish T-55 tanks enter the town of Zbąszyń while moving east towards Poznań, 13 December 1981
Gierek in the White House with President Gerald Ford, 1974
A ration card for sugar, 1976
Edward Gierek (right) with President Jimmy Carter (left) during his state visit to Warsaw, 1977. The loans and Solidarity were among the chief topics discussed
General Jaruzelski was determined to suppress any opposition along with the Solidarity Movement
A censored regional newspaper that reported about the Bydgoszcz events, in which the militia abused Solidarity members. The censorship was to prevent the slander of state services
The Military Council of National Salvation (WRON), which was founded on 13 December and presided over the military junta. Its Polish abbreviation "WRONa" means a crow bird, and members of the council were known to the opposition as evil "Crows"
ZOMO squads with police batons preparing to disperse and beat protesters. The sarcastic caption reads "outstretched hands of understanding" or "outstretched hands for agreement", with batons ironically symbolizing hands
The former PZPR headquarters in Gdańsk (right). ZOMO machine-gunned demonstrators from the rooftop
An intercity travel pass, 1981
A censored telegram, 1982
Food, alcohol, and cigarettes rationing card
Students in Edinburgh, Scotland collecting signatures for a petition in support of Solidarity in 1981
Jaruzelski in a TV studio announcing the introduction of martial law
Units of the Citizens' Militia and ZOMO race to disperse crowds of protesters

The government of the Polish People's Republic drastically restricted everyday life by introducing martial law and a military junta in an attempt to counter political opposition, in particular the Solidarity movement.