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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Refugees moving westwards in 1945. Courtesy of the German Federal Archives (Deutsches Bundesarchiv).

Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)

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During the later stages of World War II and the post-war period, Germans and Volksdeutsche fled and were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries, including Czechoslovakia, and the former German provinces of Silesia, Pomerania, and East Prussia, which were annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union.

During the later stages of World War II and the post-war period, Germans and Volksdeutsche fled and were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries, including Czechoslovakia, and the former German provinces of Silesia, Pomerania, and East Prussia, which were annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union.

Refugees moving westwards in 1945. Courtesy of the German Federal Archives (Deutsches Bundesarchiv).
Europe before and after the First World War.
Karl Hermann Frank, Secretary of State and Higher SS and Police Leader in Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (right) was born in Carlsbad, Austria-Hungary (present-day Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic).
Adolf Hitler being welcomed by a crowd in Sudetenland, where the pro-Nazi Sudeten German Party gained 88% of ethnic-German votes in May 1938.
The Curzon Line
Votes for the Nazi Party in the March 1933 elections
Polish teachers from Bydgoszcz guarded by members of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz before execution
Massacred German civilians in Nemmersdorf, East Prussia. News of Soviet atrocities, spread and exaggerated by Nazi propaganda, hastened the flight of ethnic Germans from much of Eastern Europe.
Evacuation from Pillau, 26 January 1945
Refugee camp in Aabenraa (Apenrade) in Denmark, February 1945
Potsdam Conference: Joseph Stalin (second from left), Harry Truman (center), Winston Churchill (right)
German expellees, 1946
Czech territories with 50% (red) or more German population in 1935
Retreating Wehrmacht, Hungary, March 1945
Monument to the expelled Germans in Elek, Hungary
German refugees from East Prussia, 1945
Polish boundary post at the Oder–Neisse line in 1945
August 1948, German children deported from the eastern areas taken over by Poland arrive in West Germany.
Evacuation of German civilians and troops in Ventspils, October 1944
A refugee trek of Black Sea Germans during the Second World War in Hungary, July 1944
Refugee treks, Curonian Lagoon, northern East Prussia, March 1945
Push-cart used by German refugees with some items they were able to take with them
Former camp for expellees in Eckernförde, picture taken in 1951
Refugees in Berlin, 27 June 1945
Refugee settlement in Espelkamp, about 1945 to 1949
Refugee settlement in Bleidenstadt, 1952
Expellee organisations demonstrate in Bonn, capital of West Germany, in 1951
A road sign indicating former German cities
Parade of German expellees in October 1959 in Espelkamp, North Rhine-Westphalia
A stamp issued in West Germany ten years after expulsions began

The largest numbers came from former eastern territories of Germany ceded to the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union (about seven million), and from Czechoslovakia (about three million).

The greatest extent of the Soviet Empire, the territory which the Soviet Union politically, economically and militarily dominated as of 1959–1960, after the Cuban Revolution but before the official 1961 Sino-Soviet split (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)

Soviet Empire

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Political term used in Sovietology to describe the actions and power of the Soviet Union before 1989, with an emphasis on its dominant role in other countries.

Political term used in Sovietology to describe the actions and power of the Soviet Union before 1989, with an emphasis on its dominant role in other countries.

The greatest extent of the Soviet Empire, the territory which the Soviet Union politically, economically and militarily dominated as of 1959–1960, after the Cuban Revolution but before the official 1961 Sino-Soviet split (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)
Flag of the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union is seen in red while states in light pink were satellites. Yugoslavia, a Soviet ally from 1945 to 1948 and non-aligned state thereafter, is marked in purple. Albania, a state which ceased being allied to the Soviet Union in the 1960s after the Sino-Soviet split, is marked in orange.
States that had communist governments in red, states that the Soviet Union believed at one point to be moving toward socialism in orange and other socialist states in yellow (not all of the bright red states remained Soviet allies)
Communist state alignments in 1980: pro-Soviet (red); pro-Chinese (yellow); and the non-aligned North Korea and Yugoslavia (black); Somalia had been pro-Soviet until 1977; and Cambodia (Kampuchea) had been pro-China until 1979

🇵🇱 Polish People's Republic (1947–1989)

Patch of the Citizens' Milita (MO) and ZOMO

ZOMO

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Patch of the Citizens' Milita (MO) and ZOMO
ZOMO in action during the martial law in Poland, 1981 or 1982.
"ZOMO arrived for an action", a political caricature from the 1980s showing ZOMO squads forming the word "Gestapo"

The ZOMO (Zmotoryzowane Odwody Milicji Obywatelskiej), known in English as Motorized Reserves of the Citizens' Militia, were paramilitary-police formations during the communist era in Poland.

The labeling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan.

Marshall Plan

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American initiative enacted in 1948 to provide foreign aid to Western Europe.

American initiative enacted in 1948 to provide foreign aid to Western Europe.

The labeling used on aid packages created and sent under the Marshall Plan.
General George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State
European Recovery Program expenditures by country
The hunger-winter of 1947, thousands protest in West Germany against the disastrous food situation (March 31, 1947). The sign says: We want coal, we want bread
First page of the Marshall Plan
Construction in West Berlin with the help of the Marshall Plan after 1948. The plaque reads: "Emergency Program Berlin – with the help of the Marshall Plan"
US aid to Greece under the Marshall Plan
1960 West German stamp honoring George Marshall
One of the numerous posters created to promote the Marshall Plan in Europe. Note the pivotal position of the American flag. The blue and white flag between those of Germany and Italy is a version of the Trieste flag with the UN blue rather than the traditional red.
German sign indicating "agriculture counseling supported by the overseas aid program of the U.S.A."

Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Romania and Poland.

Eastern Bloc

Soviet reaction to the Polish crisis of 1980–1981

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Eastern Bloc
Andropov and Jaruzelski

The Polish crisis of 1980–1981, associated with the emergence of the Solidarity mass movement in the Polish People's Republic, challenged the rule of the Polish United Workers' Party and Poland's alignment with the Soviet Union.

The "Big Three": Attlee, Truman, Stalin

Potsdam Agreement

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The August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II: the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

The August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II: the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

The "Big Three": Attlee, Truman, Stalin

1) Poland

United People's Party (Poland)

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The United People's Party (Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe, ZSL) was an agrarian socialist political party in the People's Republic of Poland.

Alliance of Democrats (Poland)

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Polish centrist party.

Polish centrist party.

Headquarters of the SD, in Warsaw

In the People's Republic of Poland SD became a "satellite" party of the communist Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) regime (similar parties existed in East Germany and Czechoslovakia).

Dziennik logo (1980s)

Dziennik Telewizyjny

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Dziennik Telewizyjny (Television Journal; DT), commonly simplified to Dziennik (lit.

Dziennik Telewizyjny (Television Journal; DT), commonly simplified to Dziennik (lit.

Dziennik logo (1980s)
Telewizja Polska logo, 1952–1992
Poland's first satellite ground station in Psary-Kąty, 1975
The studio in the 1960s

Journal), was the chief news program of Telewizja Polska between 1958 and 1989, in the Polish People's Republic.

Temporary borders created by advancing German and Soviet troops. The border was soon readjusted following diplomatic agreements.

Territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union

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Seventeen days after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, which marked the beginning of the Second World War, the Soviet Union entered the eastern regions of Poland (known as the Kresy) and annexed territories totalling 20,1015 km2 with a population of 13,299,000.

Seventeen days after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, which marked the beginning of the Second World War, the Soviet Union entered the eastern regions of Poland (known as the Kresy) and annexed territories totalling 20,1015 km2 with a population of 13,299,000.

Temporary borders created by advancing German and Soviet troops. The border was soon readjusted following diplomatic agreements.
Planned and actual divisions of Europe, according to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, with later adjustments
Soviet annexation of territory of eastern Poland ceded to Ukrainian SSR (yellow), 1940
Soviet map of the newly expanded Byelorussian SSR (yellow), 1940. Parts of prewar Poland invaded by the Nazis labeled area of state interests of Germany
See map
Sectors of prewar Poland under the Nazi German occupational authority
Curzon-Namier Line's variants. Tehran, 1943

The Polish People's Republic regime described the territories as the "Recovered Territories".