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Pol. Polska, officially Republic of Poland, republic (2015 est. pop. 38,265,000), 120,725 sq mi (312,677 sq km), central Europe. It borders on Germany in the west, on the Baltic Sea and the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the north, on Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in the east, and on the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south. WarsawWarsaw
, Pol. Warszawa, city (1993 est. pop. 1,655,700), capital of Poland and of Mazowieckie prov., central Poland, on both banks of the Vistula River. It is a political, cultural, and industrial center, a major transportation hub, and one of Europe's great historic
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 is the capital and largest city.

Land and People

The country is largely low-lying, except in the south, which includes the Carpathians, the Sudeten Mts., and the Małopolska Hills. The highest point is Rysy Mt. (c.8,200 ft/2,500 m), located in the High Tatra Mts. near the Slovakian border. Poland's main rivers (including the Vistula, the Oder, the Warta, and the Western Bug) are connected to the Baltic Sea and are important traffic lanes. The country has three important Baltic ports (GdańskGdańsk
, formerly Danzig
, city (1993 est. pop. 466,700), capital of Pomorskie prov., N Poland, on a branch of the Vistula and on the Gulf of Gdańsk. One of the chief Polish ports on the Baltic Sea, it is a leading industrial and communications center.
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, GdyniaGdynia
, Ger. Gdingen, city (1994 est. pop. 252,100), Pomorskie prov., N Poland, a port on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Danzig. It is the port of a larger urban area that includes Gdańsk and Sopot.
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, and SzczecinSzczecin
, Ger. Stettin, city (1994 est. pop. 414,900), capital of Zachodniopomorskie prov., NW Poland, historical capital of the Prussian province of Pomerania, on the Oder near its influx into the Zalew Szczeciński (Ger. Stettiner Haff).
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) and a dense rail network. There are many lakes, especially in the north. About 40% of Poland's land area is arable (with the best soil in the south), and about 30% is forested.

In addition to the capital and important ports, the country's major cities include BiałystokBiałystok
, city (1994 est. pop. 274,700), capital of Podlaskie prov., NE Poland. It is a leading regional manufacturing center and a railway transportation point. Noted especially for its linens, the city also has factories producing a variety of manufactured goods.
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, BydgoszczBydgoszcz
, Ger. Bromberg, city (1994 est. pop. 384,000), capital (with Toruń) of Kujawsko-Pomorskie prov., N central Poland, on the Brda River, a tributary of the Vistula.
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, BytomBytom
, Ger. Beuthen, city (1994 est. pop. 232,400), Śląskie prov., SW Poland, in the Katowice mining region. An important heavy industrial center, it has iron- and steelworks and the largest silver foundry in Poland.
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, CzęstochowaCzęstochowa
, city (1993 est. pop. 258,800), Śląskie prov., S Poland, on the Warta River. It is an important railway and industrial center, known especially for its iron and steel plant and iron-smelting works.
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, GdańskGdańsk
, formerly Danzig
, city (1993 est. pop. 466,700), capital of Pomorskie prov., N Poland, on a branch of the Vistula and on the Gulf of Gdańsk. One of the chief Polish ports on the Baltic Sea, it is a leading industrial and communications center.
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, GliwiceGliwice
, Ger. Gleiwitz, city (1993 est. pop. 216,000), Śląskie prov., SW Poland. A coal-mining and steel-making center of the Katowice region, it also produces automobiles, machinery, and chemicals.
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, KatowiceKatowice
, Ger. Kattowitz, city (1993 est. pop. 366,200), capital of Śląskie prov., S Poland. One of the chief mining and industrial centers of Poland, it has industries producing heavy machinery and chemicals; mines in the region yield coal, iron, zinc, and
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, KrakówKraków
, Ger. Krakau, city (1994 est. pop. 751,500), capital of Małopolskie prov., S Poland, on the Vistula. A river port and industrial center, it has varied manufactures including metals, machinery, textiles, and chemicals, and is also an outsourcing center.
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, ŁódźŁódź
, city (1993 est. pop. 842,300), capital of Łódzkie prov., central Poland. The second largest city of Poland and an important industrial center, Łódź was long the center of the Polish textile industry, but the industry has
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, LublinLublin
, city (1994 est. pop. 352,100), capital of Lubelskie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and industrial center. Manufactures include trucks, agricultural machinery, chemicals, and foodstuffs.
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, PoznańPoznań
, Ger. Posen , city (1994 est. pop. 589,300), capital of Weilkopolskie prov., W central Poland, port on the Warta River. It is an important industrial and railway center and is the site of a major international trade fair.
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, RadomRadom
, city (1993 est. pop. 230,500), Mazowieckie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and an industrial center. The main products are textiles, glassware, chemicals, and processed food.
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, Tarnowskie GóryTarnowskie Góry
, town (1993 est. pop. 77,700), Śląskie prov., S Poland. It is an industrial center where metal goods, mining and railway equipment, and cement are produced. Nearby are coal, zinc, and lead mines.
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, and WrocławWrocław
, Ger. Breslau, city (1993 est. pop. 644,000), capital of Dolnośląskie prov., SW Poland, on the Oder (Odra) River. A railway center and river port, the city is also an industrial center with manufactures of heavy machinery, electronics, computers,
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As a result of World War II, of the 1945 boundary treaty with the USSR, and of the emigration of most of the German-speaking population, the country has considerable ethnic homogeneity. Nearly the entire population is Polish-speaking and the vast majority of those affiliated with any creed are Roman Catholic.


Agriculture is mostly privately run and was so even during the Communist years. It accounts for 5% of the gross domestic product and occupies more than 15% of the workforce. Poland is generally self-sufficient in food; the main crops are potatoes, sugar beets, rye, wheat, and dairy products. Pigs and sheep are the main livestock. Poland is relatively rich in natural resources; the chief minerals produced are coal, sulfur, copper, silver, lead, and zinc, and there also is shale gas. There is food and beverage processing, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of automobiles, machinery, iron and steel products, chemicals, glass, appliances, and textiles. The country is also a center for companies outsourcing work.

Industry, which had been state controlled, began to be privatized in the early 1990s, although restructuring and privatization of the country's coal and other energy industries and the railroads has moved forward slowly, when it has progressed at all. Prices were freed, subsidies were reduced, and Poland's currency (the zloty) was made convertible as the country began the difficult transition to a free-market economy. Reforms initially resulted in high unemployment, hyperinflation, shortages of consumer goods, a large external debt, and a general drop in the standard of living. The situation later stabilized, however, and during the 1990s Poland's economy was the fastest growing in E Europe. Growth slowed significantly in 2001, and by 2006 Poland had the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. Growth subsequently increased, and Poland weathered the worldwide recession that began in 2008 much better than most other European Union nations. Poland exports machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, and live animals. Imports include machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, minerals, and fuels. Germany, Russia, Italy, France, and the Netherlands are important trading partners.


Poland is governed under the constitution of 1997. The president, who is the head of state, is popularly elected for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president, as is the cabinet, with the approval of the Sejm. The bicameral National Assembly consists of a 460-seat Sejm (lower house) and a 100-seat Senate (upper house). Members of both bodies are elected for four-year terms. Administratively, Poland is divided into 16 provinces.



The territorial dimensions of Poland have varied considerably during its history. In the 9th and 10th cent., the Polians [dwellers in the field] gained hegemony over the other Slavic groups that occupied what is roughly present-day Poland. Under Duke Mieszko IMieszko I
or Mieczyslaw I
, c.922–992, duke of Poland (962–92), the first important member of the Piast dynasty. The first German invasions of Poland began in 963. To avert this threat, Mieszko obtained (c.
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 (reigned 960–92) of the PiastPiast
, 1st dynasty of Polish dukes and kings. Its name was derived from that of its legendary ancestor, a simple peasant. The first historic member, Duke Mieszko I (reigned 962–92), began the unification of Poland and introduced Christianity.
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 dynasty began (966) the conversion of Poland to Christianity. Gniezno was the first capital of Poland and Poznań the first episcopal see. The Piasts expanded their domains in wars against the German emperors, Hungary, Bohemia, Pomerania, Denmark, and Kiev, and in 1025 Boleslaus IBoleslaus I
, c.966–1025, Polish ruler (992–1025), the first to call himself king; also called Boleslaus the Brave. He succeeded his father, Mieszko I, as duke of Poland, seized the territories left to his two brothers under their father's will, and set about
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 (reigned 992–1025) took the title of king.

At the death (1138) of Boleslaus IIIBoleslaus III,
1085–1138, duke of Poland (1102–38). The kingdom had been divided by his father, Ladislaus Herman, between Boleslaus and his elder brother Zbigniew, whose legitimacy was disputed.
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 the kingdom was broken up; its reunification was begun by Ladislaus ILadislaus I,
1260–1333, duke (1306–20) and later king (1320–33) of Poland; called Ladislaus the Short. He restored the Polish kingdom, which had been partitioned since 1138 (see Piast).
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, who was king from 1320 to 1333. During the period of disunity, the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
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 gained a foothold in the then pagan N Poland. Their power was only broken by their defeat at the hands of Polish-Lithuanian forces at TannenbergTannenberg
, Pol. Stębark, village, Warmińsko-Mazurskie prov., NE Poland, near Olsztyn. Formerly in East Prussia, it was transferred (1945) by the Potsdam Conference to Polish administration. Two important battles were fought there.
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 (1410); by the second treaty of Toruń (1466) they became vassals of the Polish kings. The main line of the Piast dynasty ended with the death (1370) of Casimir IIICasimir III,
1310–70, king of Poland (1333–70), son of Ladislaus I and last of the Piast dynasty. Called Casimir the Great, he brought comparative peace to Poland.
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, whose enlightened economic, administrative, and social policies included the protection of the Jews. He also completed the reunification of the kingdom. After Casimir, the crown passed to his nephew, Louis ILouis I
or Louis the Great,
1326–82, king of Hungary (1342–82) and of Poland (1370–82). He succeeded his father, Charles I, in Hungary, and his uncle, Casimir III, in Poland.
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 of Hungary (reigned 1370–82) and then to Louis' daughter, JadwigaJadwiga
, 1374–99, Polish queen (1384–99), daughter of Louis I of Hungary and Poland. To satisfy Polish demands for autonomy at Louis's death, she reigned in Poland and her sister reigned in Hungary.
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 (reigned 1384–99).

The Age of Greatness

Jadwiga married Ladislaus Jagiello, grand duke of Lithuania, who became king of Poland as Ladislaus IILadislaus II
or Ladislaus Jagiello
, 1350?–1434, king of Poland (1386–1434), grand duke of Lithuania (1378–1401), founder of the Jagiello dynasty.
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 (reigned 1386–1434). The Jagiello dynasty ruled Poland until 1572; this period—especially the 16th cent.—is considered the golden age of Poland. Although involved in frequent wars with Hungary, Moscow, Moldavia, the Tatars, and the Ottoman Turks, the closely allied Polish and Lithuanian states maintained an empire that reached from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Ladislaus IIILadislaus III,
1424–44, king of Poland (1434–44) and, as Uladislaus I, king of Hungary (1440–44), son of Ladislaus II. He led two crusades against the Ottomans; the first (1443) was highly successful, but the second ended with his defeat and death in the battle
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 (reigned 1434–44; after 1440 also king of Hungary), although routed and killed by the Ottoman Turks at the battle of Varna (1444), gave Poland the prestige of championing the Christian cause against the Muslim invaders. Casimir V (1447–92) placed Poland and Lithuania on equal terms and decisively defeated (1462) the Teutonic Knights. Under Sigismund ISigismund I,
1467–1548, king of Poland (1506–48), son of Casimir IV. Elected to succeed his brother, Alexander I, Sigismund faced the problem of consolidating his domestic power in order successfully to counter external threats to Poland.
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 (reigned 1506–48) internal power was consolidated, the economy developed, and the culture of the Renaissance was introduced. During the reign of Sigismund IISigismund II
or Sigismund Augustus,
1520–72, king of Poland (1548–72). Crowned in 1530 to assure his succession, he assumed the royal functions at the death of his father, Sigismund I.
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 (reigned 1548–72) a unified Polish-Lithuanian state was created by the Union of Lublin (1569).

The arts and sciences flourished during the Jagiello dynasty; a towering figure of the age was the astronomer CopernicusCopernicus, Nicholas
, Pol. Mikotaj Kopérnik, 1473–1543, Polish astronomer. After studying astronomy at the Univ. of Kraków, he spent a number of years in Italy studying various subjects, including medicine and canon law. He lectured c.
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. At the same time, however, the Jagiellos were forced to contend with the growing power of the gentry, who by the 15th cent. began to acquire considerable political influence. In 1505 the gentry forced King Alexander (reigned 1501–6) to recognize the legislative power of the Sejm, or diet, which comprised a senate (made up of representatives of the landed magnates and of the high clergy) and a chamber (consisting of the deputies of the nobility and of the gentry). The liberum veto, which allowed any representative to dissolve the Sejm and even to annul its previous decisions, was applied with growing recklessness in the 17th and 18th cent.

Class Divisions and Foreign Conflicts

The Polish kings had always been elective in theory, but in practice the choice had usually fallen on the incumbent representatives of the ruling dynasty. After the death (1572) of Sigismund II, last of the Jagiellos, the theory that the entire nobility could take part in the royal elections was newly guaranteed. In practice, this meant that internal factional rivalry prevented the establishment of any great Polish dynasty; contested elections and insurrections by the gentry were frequent. Although the state was weakened, the constitution of the royal republic created a certain democratic egalitarianism among the gentry and noble classes. The peasantry, however, had been reduced to serfdom, and its condition tended to worsen rather than improve. The middle class was largely Jewish or German.

There was considerable religious toleration in 16th-century Poland and the progress of Protestantism was arrested without coercion by the Jesuits, who introduced the Counter Reformation in 1565. Relations between the Roman Catholic ruling class and the followers of the Greek Orthodox Church in Belarus and Ukraine (then parts of Lithuania) were less harmonious and helped to involve Poland in several wars with Russia.

Much of the reigns of Stephen BáthoryStephen Báthory
, Pol. Stefan Batory, 1533–86, king of Poland (1575–86), prince of Transylvania (1571–75), son of Stephen Báthory (1477–1534). He was elected to succeed John II as prince of Transylvania.
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 (1575–86) and Sigismund IIISigismund III,
1566–1632, king of Poland (1587–1632) and Sweden (1592–99). The son of John III of Sweden and Catherine, sister of Sigismund II of Poland, he united the Vasa and Jagiello dynasties.
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 (1587–1632) was occupied by attempts to conquer Russia. The outstanding figure of their reigns was Jan ZamojskiZamojski or Zamoyski, Jan
, 1542–1605, Polish statesman, general, and author. He championed the rights of the lesser nobility; after the extinction (1572) of the Jagiello dynasty, he used his influence to restrict
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 (1542–1605). Sigismund III, a prince of the Swedish ruling house of VasaVasa
, Pol. Waza, royal dynasty of Sweden (1523–1654) and Poland (1587–1668). Gustavus I, founder of the dynasty in Sweden, was succeeded by his sons Eric XIV (reigned 1560–68) and John III (reigned 1568–92).
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, also became king of Sweden; after his deposition (1598) by his Swedish subjects he continued to advance his claims and started a long series of Polish-Swedish wars. In addition, Sigismund defeated an armed revolt (1606–7) by the gentry and fought the Ottoman Turks. He was succeeded by his sons Ladislaus IVLadislaus IV,
1595–1648, king of Poland (1632–48), son and successor of Sigismund III. His reign was marked by struggles with his subjects and wars with the Swedes, the Russians, and the Ottomans.
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 (1632–48) and John IIJohn II
(John Casimir), 1609–72, king of Poland (1648–68), son of Sigismund III. He was elected to succeed his brother, Ladislaus IV. The turbulent period of his reign is known in Polish history as the Deluge.
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John's reign came to be known in Polish history as the "Deluge." During his rule discontent in Ukraine flared in the rebellion of the Cossacks under Bohdan ChmielnickiChmielnicki, Khmelnytskyy or Khmelnitsky, Bohdan
, c.1595–1657, hetman (leader) of Ukraine. An educated member of the Ukrainian gentry, he early joined the Ukrainian Cossacks.
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. In 1655, Charles XCharles X,
1622–60, king of Sweden (1654–60), nephew of Gustavus II. The son of John Casimir, count palatine of Zweibrücken, he brought the house of Wittelsbach to the Swedish throne when his cousin, Queen Christina, abdicated in his favor.
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 of Sweden overran Poland, while Czar AlexisAlexis
(Aleksey Mikhailovich) , 1629–76, czar of Russia (1645–76), son and successor of Michael. His reign, marked by numerous popular outbreaks, was crucial for the later development of Russia.
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 of Russia attacked from the east. Inspired by their heroic defense of the monastery at CzęstochowaCzęstochowa
, city (1993 est. pop. 258,800), Śląskie prov., S Poland, on the Warta River. It is an important railway and industrial center, known especially for its iron and steel plant and iron-smelting works.
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, the Poles managed to regroup and to save the country from complete dismemberment. The Peace of OlivaOliva, Peace of
, 1660, treaty signed at Oliva (now a suburb of Gdańsk) by Poland and Sweden. John II of Poland renounced the theoretical claim of his line to the Swedish crown, which his father, Sigismund III, had in practice lost in 1599.
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 (1660) cost Poland considerable territory (including N Livonia), and by the Treaty of AndrusovAndrusov, Treaty of
, 1667, signed by Poland and Russia at the village of Andrusov, Russia (present-day Androsovo). It ended the war of Czar Alexis of Russia against John II of Poland.
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 (1667) E Ukraine passed to Russia. The Vasa dynasty ended with the death of John II. John III (John Sobieski; reigned 1674–96), who defended (1683) Vienna from the Ottoman Turk invaders, temporarily restored the prestige of Poland, but with his death Poland virtually ceased to be an independent country.

Partition and Regeneration

After John III, the fate of Poland was determined with increasing cynicism by its three powerful neighbors—Russia, Prussia, and Austria. In 1697 the elector of Saxony was chosen king of Poland as Augustus IIAugustus II,
1670–1733, king of Poland (1697–1733) and, as Frederick Augustus I, elector of Saxony (1694–1733). He commanded the imperial army against the Turks (1695–96), but had no success and was replaced by Prince Eugene of Savoy as soon as he
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 by a minority faction supported by Czar Peter I. Augustus allied himself with Russia and Denmark against Charles XII of Sweden. In the ensuing Northern WarNorthern War,
1700–1721, general European conflict, fought in N and E Europe at the same time that the War of the Spanish Succession was fought in the west and the south.
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 (1700–1721), during which Poland was plundered several times, Charles XII maintained Stanislaus IStanislaus I,
1677–1766, king of Poland (1704–1709, 1733–35) and duke of Lorraine (1735–66). He was born Stanislaus Leszczynski. Early in the Northern War (1700–1721), Charles XII of Sweden overran Poland and expelled King Augustus II.
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 (Stanislaus Leszczynski) as Polish king from 1704 to 1709. The War of the Polish SuccessionPolish Succession, War of the,
1733–35. On the death (1733) of Augustus II of Poland, Stanislaus I sought to reascend the Polish throne. He was supported by his son-in-law, Louis XV of France.
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 (1733–35), precipitated by Augustus's death, resulted in the final abdication of Stanislaus and the accession of Augustus III (1734–63). Under Augustus III, the Polish economy (still largely agricultural) declined and orderly politics was undermined by feuding among the great landed families, which was evident in the frequent use of the liberum veto.

As a result of the support of Catherine II of Russia and Frederick II of Prussia, Stanislaus IIStanislaus II,
1732–98, last king of Poland (1764–95). He was born Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski. His mother was a member of the powerful Czartoryski family, which furthered Stanislaus's career. He was (1756–58) Polish ambassador to St.
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 (Stanislaus Poniatowski; reigned 1764–95), a member of the powerful CzartoryskiCzartoryski
, Polish princely family. Although of ancient lineage, it rose to prominence only in the 17th cent., and in the 18th cent. during the reign of the Saxon kings of Poland it virtually ruled the country.
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 family, was elected king of Poland. Prince Nikolai Repnin, the Russian minister at Warsaw, gained much influence in Polish internal affairs. Opposition to Russian domination led to the formation (with French help) in 1768 of the Confederation of the BarBar, Confederation of,
union formed in 1768 at Bar, in Podolia (now in W Ukraine), by a number of Polish nobles to oppose the interference of Catherine II of Russia in Polish affairs.
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, which, however, was suppressed militarily by Russia in 1772. Fearing that all Poland might fall into Russian hands, Frederick II proposed (1772) a partition plan to Catherine II, which later in the same year was modified to include Austria. Three successive partitions (1772, 1793, 1795) resulted in the disappearance (1795) of Poland from the map of Europe. Russia gained the largest share.

Despite the severe losses that the country suffered, there was a renewed spirit of national revival after 1772. It manifested itself in the thorough reform (including the abolition of the liberum veto) embodied in the May Constitution (1791) for the remaining independent part of Poland and in the heroic revolt (1794) led by KosciuskoKosciusko or Kosciuszko, Thaddeus
, Pol. Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Košciuszko, 1746–1817, Polish general.
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. By the Treaty of Tilsit (1807), Napoleon I created a Polish buffer state, the grand duchy of Warsaw, under King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) established a nominally independent Polish kingdom ("Congress Poland"), in personal union with the czar of Russia. The western provinces of Poland were awarded to Prussia; GaliciaGalicia
, Pol. Galicja, Ukr. Halychyna, Rus. Galitsiya, historic region (32,332 sq mi/83,740 sq km), SE Poland and W Ukraine, covering the slopes of the N Carpathians and plains to the north and bordering on Slovakia in the south.
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 was given to Austria; and Kraków and its environs were made a separate republic.

A Polish nationalist revival led to a general insurrection in 1830 (known as the November Revolution) in Russian Poland. The Poles were at first successful, but their army was defeated (1831) at Ostrołęka, and the Russians reentered Warsaw. The Polish constitution was suspended, and the kingdom became virtually an integral part of Russia. Thousands of Poles emigrated, notably to Paris, which became the center of Polish nationalist activities. In 1846 an insurrection in Galicia by the peasantry against the gentry led to the annexation of Kraków by Austria. Rebellions broke out in 1848 in Prussian and Austrian Poland, and in 1863 the Poles in Russian Poland rose in the so-called January Revolution.

After crushing the revolt, the Russians began an intensive program of Russification. At the same time industry (especially the manufacture of textiles and iron goods) was developed and large estates were divided and given in freehold to peasants. A similar policy of Germanization in Prussian Poland was linked with Bismarck's Kulturkampf (see Ledóchowski, Count MieczisławLedóchowski, Count Mieczisław
, 1822–1902, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, b. Russian Poland. He became (1865) archbishop of Gniezno and Poznań (then in Prussian Poland).
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). Only in Austrian Galicia did the Poles enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy, but there the economy was very weak.

The Restoration of a Nation

In World War I the early efforts of the Polish nationalists were directed against Russia. Polish legions, led by Joseph PiłsudskiPiłsudski, Joseph
, Pol. Józef Piłsudski , 1867–1935, Polish general and politician. He was exiled (1887–92) to Siberia for an alleged attempt on the life of Czar Alexander III, who ruled a large section of Poland.
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, fought for two years alongside Germany and Austria. In Nov., 1916, Germany and Austria proclaimed Poland an independent kingdom, but Germany, which occupied the country, retained control over the Polish government. Piłsudski resigned and was imprisoned (July, 1917), and the independence movement from then on was centered at Paris. The defeat of the partitioning powers allowed Poland to regain its independence, which was proclaimed on Nov. 9, 1918. Piłsudski returned on Nov. 10 and was declared chief of state.

The Treaty of Versailles (1919) gave Poland access to the Baltic Sea via the Polish CorridorPolish Corridor,
strip of German territory awarded to newly independent Poland by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The strip, 20 to 70 mi (32–112 km) wide, gave Poland access to the Baltic Sea.
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 and forced Germany to return Prussian Poland to Poland. Gdańsk became a free city and parts of Silesia were awarded to Poland as a result of plebiscites. The Polish-Russian border proposed at the Paris Peace Conference (and later named after Lord CurzonCurzon of Kedleston, George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess
, 1859–1925, British statesman. A member of the minor aristocracy, he attended Eton and Oxford.
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 of Great Britain) would have awarded to Russia large parts of the former eastern provinces of Poland, inhabited mainly by Belarusians and Ukrainians. However, Poland insisted on its 1772 borders. War broke out between Poland and Russia, and in 1920 the Poles drove the Russians back from Warsaw. In the Treaty of Riga (1921), Poland secured parts of its claims.

Poland also became involved in protracted disputes over VilniusVilnius
, Rus. Vilna, Pol. Wilno, city (1993 pop. 590,100), capital of Lithuania, on the Neris River. It is a rail and highway junction, a commercial and industrial city, and a center of education and the arts.
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 with Lithuania and over TeschenTeschen
, Czech Tĕšín, Pol. Cieszyn, former principality (c.850 sq mi/2,200 sq km), now divided between the Czech Republic and Poland. Teschen was its chief town.
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 with Czechoslovakia. About one third of newly created Poland was made up of ethnic Germans, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Jews, and Lithuanians, and these minorities were generally treated inequitably. A republican constitution was adopted in 1921. Financial and agrarian reforms were undertaken and industrialization progressed, but the condition of the peasantry remained generally poor, and the landowning aristocracy retained most of its wealth.

In 1926 a parliamentary government was suspended by a military coup that made Piłsudski virtual dictator. After his death (1935), Marshall Edward Rydz-ŚmigłyRydz-Śmigły or Śmigły-Rydz, Edward
, 1886–1941, Polish politician. He served under Piłsudski in the Polish Legions (1914–17), in the war with Soviet Russia (1920), and in the coup of
..... Click the link for more information.
 assumed control, and under a new constitution (1935) parliament became a tool of the governing clique ("the colonels"). Foreign policy in the 1920s was based on alliances with France and Romania; in the 1930s, under the guidance of Col. Josef Beck, Poland attempted to steer a course among the powers of Europe (especially Germany and the USSR) by following a pragmatic policy of balance. In the economic depression of the 1930s unemployment was widespread; also, anti-Semitism became increasingly virulent.

In early 1939, after having secured guarantees against aggression from Great Britain and France, Poland rejected Germany's demand for Gdańsk. In Aug., 1939, the negotiations of Great Britain and France with the USSR for a military agreement fell through, partly because Poland would not agree to allow Soviet troops to march across Poland in case of a conflict with Germany. On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the USSR signed a nonaggression treaty, which included secret clauses providing for the partition of Poland between them. On Aug. 25, 1939, a treaty of alliance between Poland and England was concluded.

On Sept. 1, 1939, Germany, having refused further negotiations, invaded Poland and thus precipitated World War II. German columns advanced with spectacular speed. On Sept. 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east. Polish resistance was crushed, and the country was partitioned between Germany and the USSR, except for a central portion that was annexed by neither power but was placed under German rule. After the German attack (1941) on the USSR, all Poland passed under German rule.

World War

Poland suffered tremendous losses in life and property in the war. The Nazi authorities eliminated a large part of the population by massacres and starvation and in extermination camps such as the one at OświęcimOświęcim
, Ger. Auschwitz, town (1992 est. pop. 45,100), Małopolskie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and industrial center producing chemicals, leather, and agricultural implements. There are coal deposits in the vicinity.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (Auschwitz). About six million Poles were killed, and 2.5 million were deported to Germany for forced labor. Polish Jews suffered the worst fate; all but about 100,000 of the prewar Jewish population of some 3,113,900 were exterminated.

Despite German oppression, the Poles did not cease to fight for their independence. An underground resistance movement was organized, and a government in exile (led initially by General Władysław SikorskiSikorski, Władysław
, 1881–1943, Polish general and politician. He fought in World War I and later (1922–25) held various cabinet posts. Premier Piłsudski dismissed him from public service in 1928, but after the German conquest of Poland, Sikorski
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 and later by Stanislaus MikołajczykMikołajczyk, Stanislaus
, 1901–66, Polish politician and leader of the Polish Peasant party. After the German conquest of Poland, he became vice premier (1941) and premier (1943) in the Polish government in exile at London.
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) was established first in France and then in London. Polish prisoners of war in the USSR were allowed to form a corps under Wladislaw Anders and fought with distinction with the Allies; other Polish units were organized in Great Britain and Canada.

The German announcement (1943) that a mass grave of some 10,000 Polish officers, allegedly executed by the Soviets, had been discovered in the KatynKatyn
, village, W central European Russia, 12 mi (19 km) W of Smolensk. During World War II, when it was part of the USSR, it was occupied by the Germans in Aug., 1941.
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 forest led to a break between the Polish government in exile and the Soviet Union. (The Soviet Union admitted to the massacre in 1990.) The rift was widened by Soviet demands for the Curzon line as the new Polish-Soviet border. When Soviet troops entered Poland, a provisional Polish government was established (July, 1944) under Soviet auspices at Lublin. A Polish uprising (Aug.–Oct., 1944) at Warsaw, organized by the resistance movement and controlled by the Polish government in exile in London, was crushed by the Germans while Soviet forces remained inactive outside Warsaw. The last German troops were expelled from Poland in early 1945.

By an agreement at the Yalta Conference (Feb., 1945), Mikołajczyk joined the Lublin government, and this new government was subsequently recognized by Great Britain and the United States. The Polish-Soviet border was fixed by treaty slightly east of the Curzon line, and 15% of German reparation payments to the USSR was allotted to Poland. At the Potsdam Conference (July–Aug., 1945), the sections of Prussia east of the Oder and Neisse rivers, including Gdańsk and the southern part of East Prussia (altogether c.39,000 sq mi/101,010 sq km) were placed under Polish administration pending a general peace treaty. The expulsion of the German population from these territories was sanctioned.

The Communist Regime

A unicameral parliament was established (1946) after a referendum. Legal opposition was limited almost entirely to Mikołajczyk's Peasant party, but nationalists, rightists, and some other opponents operated as underground forces. The government-controlled elections of 1947 gave the government bloc an overwhelming majority; Mikołajczyk resigned and fled abroad. Bolesław Bierut, a Pole who was a Communist and a citizen of the USSR, was elected president of Poland by the parliament. The Sovietization of Poland was accelerated; in 1949, Soviet Marshall Konstantin RokossovskyRokossovsky, Konstantin
, 1896–1968, Soviet general, b. Warsaw. He entered the czarist army and in 1917 joined the Bolshevik forces in the Russian Revolution. Purged in 1937, he was rehabilitated in 1940.
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 was made minister of defense and commander in chief of the Polish army. The constitution of 1952 made Poland a people's republic on the Soviet model.

In 1949, Poland joined the Council for Mutual Economic AssistanceCouncil for Mutual Economic Assistance
(COMECON or MEA), international organization active between 1956 and 1991 for the coordination of economic policy among certain nations then under Communist domination, including Albania (which did not participate after 1961), Bulgaria,
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 (COMECON), and in 1955 it became a charter member of the Warsaw Treaty OrganizationWarsaw Treaty Organization
or Warsaw Pact,
alliance set up under a mutual defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland, in 1955 by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.
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. Polish foreign policy became identical with that of the USSR. Relations with the Vatican were severed; the church became a chief target of government persecution, which included the arrest (1953) of the primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski. Partly as a result of the more relaxed atmosphere following Stalin's death (1953), workers and students in Poznań rioted (late June, 1956) in a mass demonstration against Communist and Soviet control of Poland. Discontent soon became widespread, and the government was forced to reconsider its policies.

In Oct., 1956, Władysław GomułkaGomułka, Władysław
, 1905–82, Polish Communist leader. Long a Communist, he helped establish the Polish Workers' party and was (1943–49) secretary of its central committee. After World War II, he served (1945–49) as deputy premier of Poland.
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, purged in 1949 from the Polish Communist party as a "rightist deviationist" and imprisoned from 1951 to early 1956, was elected leader of the Polish United Workers (Communist) party (PZPR) and became the symbol of revolt against Moscow. Gomułka denounced the terror of the Stalinist period, ousted many Stalinists from the government and the party, relieved Rokossovsky of his posts, and freed Cardinal Wyszynski from detention. Collectivization of agriculture was halted, and the Poles were given far more freedom than under the previous regime. Relations with the church improved, and economic and cultural ties with the West were broadened. However, Poland retained close ties with the USSR. By the early 1960s Gomułka was tightening the party's hold on Poland; intellectual freedom was curbed, the church again was a target of government polemics, political rhetoric was infused with an anti-Semitic nationalistic fervor, and renewed attempts were made to have peasants join state groups.

In Aug., 1968, Poland joined other East European countries and the USSR in invading Czechoslovakia. In early Dec., 1970, Poland and West Germany signed a treaty (ratified in 1972) that recognized the Oder-Neisse line as Poland's western boundary (recognized in 1950 by East Germany) and provided for normal diplomatic relations. Later in the same month, rapidly increasing food prices led to riots by workers in the Baltic ports of Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Szczecin. Gomułka was ousted and replaced by Edward Gierek, who sought, with some success, to ease the living conditions of the average citizen. By the mid-1970s, however, recession necessitated price hikes that led to strikes and the arrests of hundreds of protesters. The bishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła, became Pope John Paul IIJohn Paul II, Saint
1920–2005, pope (1978–2005), a Pole (b. Wadowice) named Karol Józef Wojtyła; successor of John Paul I. He was the first non-Italian pope elected since the Dutch Adrian VI (1522–23) and the first Polish and Slavic pope.
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 in 1978, and his subsequent visit to Poland in June, 1979, drew several crowds of over a million people.

Solidarity and a Multiparty State

The continued shortage and expensiveness of food and housing led to strikes in 1980, first at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdańsk and then in other cities. The striking workers formed an illegal labor union, SolidaritySolidarity,
Polish independent trade union federation formed in Sept., 1980. Led by Lech Wałęsa, it grew rapidly in size and political power and soon posed a threat to Poland's Communist government by its sponsorship of labor strikes and other forms of public protest.
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, led by Gdańsk shipyard worker Lech WałęsaWałęsa, Lech
, 1943–, Polish labor and political leader. He worked as an electrician at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk but was dismissed in 1976 for his antigovernment protests.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Granted legal status and enormously popular, Solidarity continued to strike for higher wages, lower prices, and also for the right to strike and an end to censorship. General secretary Gierek was replaced by Stanisław Kania, who in turn was replaced by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski. Martial law was declared in Dec., 1981; Solidarity was banned in 1982, and its representatives were arrested. Martial law was lifted in 1984, Jaruzelski became president in 1985, and all imprisoned Solidarity members were released by 1986. Solidarity, still outlawed, remained a popular force as the economy failed to improve.

In 1989, Solidarity was again legalized, and it participated in the negotiation of substantial political reforms that led to free elections in the same year. Solidarity won a majority in both houses of the parliament. Tadeusz Mazowiecki was named prime minister in 1989, and in 1990 Lech Wałęsa was elected president. In 1990 the Solidarity-led government adopted a radical program for transforming Poland to a market economy, but the ensuing economic hardship led to widespread discontent and political instability.

From 1990 through 1996 Poland had eight prime ministers. Hanna Suchocka became Poland's first woman to hold the post in 1992, but she lost a no-confidence vote the next year. In new elections the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Polish Peasants' party (PSL) together won a majority. Waldemar Pawlak of the PSL became premier, but he resigned and was succeeded in Mar., 1995, by SLD leader Józef Oleksy. In Nov., 1995, Wałęsa was defeated in his presidential reelection bid by Aleksander KwaśniewskiKwaśniewski, Aleksander
, 1954–, Polish politician, president of Poland (1995–), b. Bialogard. He studied economics at the Univ. of Gdańsk, joined the Communist party at 23, and was an organizer of the Socialist Union of Polish Students during the late
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, the SLD candidate. Oleksy resigned in Jan., 1996, after being accused of having spied for Moscow when he was a senior Communist party official. (Although the charges were later dropped, he was convicted in 2002 of having lied about collaborating with Polish military intelligence in the late 1960s.) He was succeeded by Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz of the SLD.

Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), the political bloc that grew out of the labor union, won a plurality in 1997 parliamentary elections, forming a coalition government with the market-oriented Freedom Union. AWS leader Jerzy Buzek was named prime minister and pledged to speed up reform of Poland's outmoded heavy industrial base. A new constitution approved in 1997 diluted the power of the presidency and strengthened the power of the parliament. Poland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1999. The AWS-led coalition collapsed in June, 2000, but Buzek formed an AWS minority government and remained in power. President Kwaśniewski was reelected in Oct., 2000.

In parliamentary elections in Sept., 2001, the SLD, led by Leszek Miller, won a sizable plurality of the seats but not a majority. The SLD formed a coalition with the PSL and the Union of Labor, and Miller became prime minister. The AWS, with only 5.6% of the vote, failed to win any seats; it was badly hurt by growing unemployment and other economic problems, as well as charges of corruption. Economic conditions continued to worsen after 2001, with unemployment reaching 19% in 2003. In Mar., 2003, disagreements over policy led the SLD to expel the PSL from the coalition; the SLD continued in power with a minority government.

Government budget cuts prompted by Poland's approaching entry into the European Union eroded popular support for the SLD, leading Miller to resign as party leader early in 2004, but he remained prime minister until May, when Poland joined the European Union. Marek Belka, a former finance minister and technocrat, was confirmed as Miller's successor in June. Continuing high unemployment and a series of political scandals hurt the SLD in the Aug., 2005, parliamentary elections. The socially conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) and the economically conservative Civic Platform (PO) each won roughly a third of the seats in the lower house and entered into unsuccessful negotiations on forming a new government.

The strongly conservative turn in Polish politics continued in October when, after a runoff election, Lech KaczyńskiKaczyński, Lech Aleksander
, 1949–2010, Polish politician, grad. Warsaw Univ. (1971), Gdańsk Univ. (Ph.D., 1979). He and his identical twin, Jarosław Aleksander Kaczyński , 1949–, Ph.D. Warsaw Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, of the PiS, was elected president; his main opponent had been Donald TuskTusk, Donald
, 1957–, Polish political leader, prime minister of Poland (2007–14), b. Gdańsk. After studying history at Gdańsk Univ., he became active in the Solidarity movement in the 1980s.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the PO candidate. PiS subsequently formed a minority government led by Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz; the government became more stable when support from two fringe parties, one far-right, the other far-left, was secured in Feb., 2006. The three parties entered into a formal coalition in Apr.–May, 2006. There were tensions, however, between the president and prime minister, and in July, 2006, Marcinkiewicz resigned, and Jarosław KaczyńskiKaczyński, Lech Aleksander
, 1949–2010, Polish politician, grad. Warsaw Univ. (1971), Gdańsk Univ. (Ph.D., 1979). He and his identical twin, Jarosław Aleksander Kaczyński , 1949–, Ph.D. Warsaw Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the leader of PiS and the twin brother of the president, was appointed prime minister.

The coalition collapsed in September when the leader of the leftist Self Defense party (SRP) was expelled from the government for repeatedly criticizing its policies, but SRP rejoined the government in Oct., 2006, as it and the PiS sought to avoid new elections. Poland's Communist past returned to haunt the Roman Catholic church in early 2007 when Stanisław Wielgus, who had been appointed archbishop of Warsaw, resigned before he was consecrated after it was revealed the he had collaborated with the secret police under Communist rule.

Poland's support for basing U.S. antimissile facilities in its territory strained relations with Russia in early 2007 and into 2008 when a preliminary agreement was signed (August) concerning the placement of missile interceptors in N Poland. In Nov., 2008, Russia said it would station short-range missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave, neighboring N Poland, if U.S. missiles were based in Poland. A new U.S. administration, however, suspended plans for a ballistic missile defense system in E Europe in Sept., 2009, to focus on defending against shorter range missiles, and Poland agreed in principle (Oct., 2009) to host a short-range antimissile base.

Meanwhile, the governing coalition collapsed again in Aug., 2007, and in early elections in September the PO won a plurality of the seats in parliament. The PO subsequently formed a coalition with the PSL, and PO leader Donald Tusk became prime minister. In Apr., 2010, President Kaczyński, the army chief of staff, and other high-ranking government and military officials were killed when their plane crashed while landing at Smolensk, Russia. Bronisław KomorowskiKomorowski, Bronisław,
1952–, Polish political leader, grad. Warsaw Univ. (1977). In his youth he joined the prodemocracy movement and was arrested several times; he was interned briefly in the early 1980s when Poland was under martial law.
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, the marshal (speaker) of the Sejm, became acting president. In July, Komorowski was elected president, defeating Jarosław Kaczyński in a runoff. The Oct., 2011, parliamentary elections again produced a plurality for the PO and a majority for the PO-PSL coalition. In mid-2014 the release of secretly (and illegally) recorded conversations involving government officials making blunt statements and talking about political schemes caused controversy for Tusk's government, but he easily won (June) a confidence vote.

Tusk resigned in Sept., 2014, to become president of the EU's European Council; PO member Ewa KopaczKopacz, Ewa,
1956–, Polish politician. A graduate of the Medical Univ. of Lublin (1981), she worked as a pediatrician and as a health-care administrator. Kopacz was first elected to parliament as a member of the Civic Platform party, and served as minister of health
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 succeeded him as prime minister. In the 2015 presidential election Komorowski lost the office after a runoff to Andrzej DudaDuda, Andrzej Sebastian
, 1972–, Polish political leader, Ph.D. Jagiellonian Univ., Kraków, 2005. A member of the former Freedom Union party, he joined the Law and Justice party (PiS) after the 2005 parliamentary elections, becoming undersecretary of state at the
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, the PiS candidate. The subsequent parliamentary elections gave the PiS a majority, and Beata SzydłoSzydło, Beata Maria,
1963–, Polish political leader, grad. Jagiellonian Univ., 1989. A member of the conservative Law and Justice party, she was first elected to the Sejm, Poland's lower house of parliament, in 1995.
..... Click the link for more information.
 became prime minister, but former prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the PiS, was the acknowledged power behind the president and prime minister.

The new government subsequently made changes to the constitutional court, the broadcasting system, and other government offices and powers that gave it greater influence and control, sparking criticism from the European Union. Other proposed changes in late 2016—banning abortion and restricting media access in parliament—prompted public protests and were withdrawn. In July, 2017, the parliament passed three bills reorganizing the judiciary, allowing the justice minister to replace the supreme court justices, giving control to the justice minister over the reorganization of the local judiciary, and giving the parliament power over the body that selects and regulates judges. The measures were widely denounced as a means for the ruling party to control the judiciary and sparked public protests. The president signed the local judiciary bill and vetoed the others, but new versions of those were passed and signed in December.

The laws were strongly criticized by the European Union, and provoked a constitutional confrontation with the supreme court's chief justice in July, 2018. In Oct., 2018, the European Court of Justice, in an interim injunction issued as the European Commission challenged the law, ordered Poland to stop forcibly retiring supreme court justices, and Poland subsequently amended the law to reinstate the retired justices. In 2019 the Court of Justice ruled that Poland's judicial overhaul violated EU rules. Tensions between Poland and the EU concerning political control over the judicial system continued into 2020.

Meanwhile, Szydło resigned as prime minister in Dec., 2017, and was replaced by Mateusz MorawieckiMorawiecki, Mateusz Jakub,
1968–, Polish economist, banker, and political leader, b. Wrocław, grad. Univ. of Wroclaw, 1992, Wrocław Univ. of Science and Technology, 1993, M.B.A. Wrocław Univ. of Economics, 1995.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the finance minister. In the Oct., 2019, elections, the PiS increased its share of the vote nationwide but failed to increase the number of seats it held in the Sejm and narrowly lost its majority in the Senate. The Civic Coalition placed second in the voting. Duda was reelected in July, 2020, after a runoff. A government reshuffle in Sept., 2020, gave it a more conservative cast, though Morawiecki remained prime minister; Jarosław Kaczyński became a deputy prime minister, overseeing the defense, justice, and interior ministries. The following month a constitutional court ruling that further tightened Poland's strict abortion law sparked widespread protests.


See The Cambridge History of Poland, ed. by W. F. Reddaway et al. (2 vol., 1941–50, repr. 1971); H. H. Kaplan, The First Partition of Poland (1962, repr. 1972); S. Kieniewicz, The Emancipation of the Polish Peasantry (1970); L. Blit, The Origins of Polish Socialism (1971); P. W. Knoll, The Rise of the Polish Monarchy (1972); A. Polonsky, Politics in Independent Poland, 1921–29 (1972); D. S. Lane and G. Kolankiewicz, ed., Social Groups in Polish Society (1973); J. Karpinski, Countdown: The Polish Upheavals of 1956, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1980 (1982); O. Halecki, A History of Poland (1983); T. G. Ash, The Polish Revolution: Solidarity 1980–82 (1983); N. Ascherson, The Struggles for Poland (1987); N. Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland (2 vol., rev. ed. 2003); H. Kochanski, The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Polska), Polish People’s Republic, PPR (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa).

A state in Central Europe, Poland lies in the basins of the Vistula and Oder rivers, between the Baltic Sea in the north and the Carpathian and Sudetes mountains in the south. It is bounded by the German Democratic Republic on the west, by Czechoslovakia on the southwest and south, and by the USSR on the east. Area, 312,700 sq km. Population, 34 million (1975 estimate). Its capital is Warsaw. Administratively, Poland is divided into województwos (provinces); several cities also have województwo status (see Table 1). The województwos are divided into powiats, which in turn are subdivided into gminas.

Poland is a socialist state and a people’s republic whose present constitution was adopted on July 22, 1952. All power belongs to the working people of the cities and villages. The people’s rule rests on an alliance between the working class and the toiling peasantry in which the guiding role is played by the working class.

The highest organ of state power and the sole legislative body is the unicameral Sejm (parliament), composed of 460 deputies,

Table 1. Administrative divisions of Poland
WojewodztwosArea (sq km)PopulationAdministrative centers
Bialsk Podlaski ....5,400283,000Bialsk Podlaski
Białystok .......10,10061,700Białystok
Bielsko ........3,700766,000Bielsko-Biała
Bydgoszcz ......10,300928,000Bydgoszcz
Ciechanów ......6,000399,000Ciechandzw
Gdańsk ........7,4001,220,600Gdańsk
Jelenia Góra.....4,000483,400Jelenia Góra
Kalisz .........6,500640,300Kalisz
Katowice .......6,7002,832,900Katowice
Konin .........5,100423,700Konin
Krakow (city województwo) …3,2001,098,000Kraków
Krosno ........5,600418,000Krosno
Leszno ........4,200340,600Leszno
Łódź (city województwo) …1,5001,063,000Łódź
Lublin .........6,700875,000Lublin
Nowy Sącz ......5,700600,300Nowy Sącz
Olsztyn ........12,300564,000Olsztyn
Piła ..........8,200414,000Pita
Piotrków .......6,300581,900Piotrków
Płock .........5,100479,700Płock
Poznań ........8,2001,156,000Poznań
Przemyél .......4,400373,000Przemyśl
Radom ........7,600674,000Radom
Rzeszów .......4,400602,000Rzeszów
Siedlce ........8,500602,000Siedlce
Sieradz ........4,900388,000Sieradz
Skierniewice .....4,000388,000Skierniewice
Suwałki ........10,500412,700Suwałki
Szczecin .......9,900841,400Szczecin
Tarnów ........4,200573,900Tarnów
Toruń .........5,200580,500Toruń
Wałbrzych ......4,200710,000Watbrzych
Warsaw (city województwo).......3,8002,118,000Warsaw
Włocławek ......4,400402,000Włocławek
Wrocław .......6,3001,015,000Wrocław
Zielona Góra.....8,800575,000Zielona Góra

popularly elected for four-year terms on the basis of universal, direct, and equal franchise with secret balloting. All citizens who have reached the age of 18 may vote. The Sejm enacts laws, supervises the work of other agencies of state power and administration, ratifies national economic plans, and adopts the state budget. At its first session the Sejm elects from among its deputies a standing body—the State Council—whose functions include those of a head of state. The State Council announces elections to the Sejm, convenes the Sejm sessions, gives a binding interpretation of the laws, appoints and recalls Poland’s ambassadors to foreign countries, ratifies or abrogates international treaties, appoints the highest civil and military officials, and grants pardons. Between sessions of the Sejm the State Council may issue decrees having the force of law; the decrees are then presented for ratification at the next session of the Sejm.

The Supreme Control Chamber was organized in 1957 under the jurisdiction of the Sejm to supervise the economic, financial, and administrative activities of the higher and local organs of state administration and the organizations subordinate to them. The highest executive body is the government of Poland—the Council of Ministers—appointed by the Sejm. The government adopts annual plans for the national economy and is responsible for maintaining law and order and safeguarding the interests of the state and citizens’ rights. It also supervises the country’s defense and the organization of its armed forces.

The members of the local agencies of state power—the people’s councils of the województwos, powiats, cities, urban areas, and gminas—are popularly elected for four-year terms. The people’s councils determine the main direction of the economic and sociocultural development of a particular administrative unit. They form standing commissions in the various fields of their activity. The directing body of a people’s council is its presidium. The chairmen of the presidia of the local people’s councils are usually the first secretaries of the corresponding committees of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP). Executive functions are carried out by local administrative bodies, presided over by the heads of gminas and powiats, by city presidents in cities with a population of more than 100,000, or by governors of provinces, called wojewodas.

The judiciary comprises the Supreme Court, województwo, po-wiat, and municipal courts, and various special courts, for example, courts for examining labor disputes or social security questions. In courts of first instance, people’s assessors, elected by the people’s councils, participate in court hearings. The Procuracy is headed by the procurator general, appointed by the State Council. The organs of the Procuracy are subordinate to the procurator general, who appoints the local procurators.


More than 90 percent of Poland’s territory is occupied by plains; mountains are found only in the south. The Baltic coast is low and sandy, with dunes and sandbars enclosing lagoons and lakes. To the west are Pomeranian Bay and Szczecin Lagoon, and to the east lie the Gulf of Gdańsk and Vistula Lagoon.

Terrain. In the north, along the Baltic coast, stretch aggrada-tional plains composed chiefly of marine deposits and alluvium. South of the coastal plains is an upland region, known as the Baltic Ridge, with a glacial-aggradational terrain rising to 329 m at Mount Wiezyca. Central Poland is occupied by a wide belt of stratified plains—the Wielkopolska, Mazovia, and Podlasie lowlands—covered chiefly with fluvial-glacial deposits. Further south is a zone of stratified-stepped asymmetrical uplands, including cuestas, deeply dissected by rivers and ravines. Here are the Silesian, Małopolska, and Lublin uplands with elevations ranging from 300 m to 600 m. The uplands are bounded on the south by depressions with aggradational plains corresponding to the Ciscarpathian Foredeep. Stretching along Poland’s southern borders are the Sudetes Mountains in the southwest and the Carpathians in the south and southeast. Mount Rysy in the Carpathians is Poland’s highest peak (2,499 m). The mountains are folded or block massifs, deeply dissected by ravines, with glacial relief forms on the crest. The Carpathians are fringed by flysch foothills, and the Sudetes are bounded on the north by piedmont denudation plains.

Geological structure and minerals. Most of the country lies on the Eastern European Platform, whose basement descends abruptly from a depth of a few hundred meters in the east (the Byelorussian anteclise) to 3–5 km in the north (the Baltic syne-clise) and 7–12 km in the central regions (the Danish-Polish Foredeep), where it is covered by a thick mantle of sedimentary formations of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. The basement of the platform’s outer zone, encompassing the Danish-Polish Foredeep, the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, and the Świę-tokrzyskie Mountains, has been reworked by Baikalian and Caledonian movements. In the southwest are the Hercynian folded structures of the Sudetes with their intermontane depressions—the North Sudetes and Inner Sudetes depressions, forming the Lower Silesian Coal Basin. In the southeast are the alpine folded structures of the Carpathians, framed on the north by the Ciscarpathian Foredeep.

Poland’s mineral resources include coal (Upper Silesian, Lower Silesian, and Lublin basins), lignite, natural gas and petroleum (Carpathians, Ciscarpathian Foredeep), iron ores, copper ores of sedimentary origin (Lower Silesia), zinc and lead ores (Silesian-Kraków region), rock salt, potassium-magnesium salts, and native sulfur (Ciscarpathian Foredeep).

Climate. Poland’s moderate climate is intermediate between marine and continental, becoming more continental as one moves eastward. Throughout the year moist warm air flows from the west. The average January temperature is — l°C along the coast and in the west, —3°C in central Poland, and -6°C in the mountains. The average July temperature is 16°-17°C in the north, 18°–19°C in the central regions, and 10°-14°C in the mountains. The plains receive 500–600 mm of precipitation annually, the uplands 600–700 mm, the middle-elevation mountains 800–1,200 mm, and the High Tatras as much as 1,800 mm. Almost everywhere maximum precipitation occurs in summer.

Rivers and lakes. Most of the country’s rivers drain into the Baltic Sea. The largest rivers are the Vistula, more than 1,000 km long, and the Oder, flowing for more than 742 km within the borders of Poland. After rising in the Carpathians and the Sudetes, respectively, they traverse the country from south to north. The principal tributaries of the Vistula are the Dunajec, San, Wieprz, Bug (with the Narew), and Pilica, and the main affluents of the Oder are the Nysa Łuzycka and the Warta. The rivers are fed chiefly by snow and rain, with floods occurring during the autumn and spring; in the second half of the summer and during the winter the flow decreases sharply. In winter the rivers freeze over for one to four months. The flow of the largest rivers is regulated, and there is regular navigation on the Oder, Vistula, Bug, Noteć, and Warta, which are connected by ship canals.

Poland has more than 9,000 lakes, most of them located in the north in the Masurian and Pomeranian lake districts. Most of the lakes lie in depressions made by glaciers. The largest lakes are Śniardwy and Mamry. There are numerous mineral springs in the foothills of the Carpathians and the Sudetes.

Soils and flora. More than half of Poland’s territory is arable land. Forests, which once covered almost the entire country, now occupy 27 percent of its area. Coniferous species predominate—pine, spruce, and, in the mountains, fir. In the west and south grow mixed forests with beech and oak. Large forest tracts, called puszczy, have survived in the north and east; the most famous are the Białowieża and Augustów forests. Many areas were reforested after World War II. In the north and northeast large areas are occupied by heaths and peat bogs. Soddy podzolic and pale yellow podzolic soils predominate on the plains, and swampy soils are commonly found in the east and northeast. Brown forest soils occur in the foothills, chernozems on the piedmont plains, mountain brown soils in the mountains, and alluvial soils in the river valleys.

Fauna. Forest species are the most typical fauna. Among predators are wolves, lynx, foxes, and badgers; bears inhabit the Carpathians. Of the ungulates, roe deer, boar, reindeer, and sometimes elk are encountered. Bison and beavers, once almost completely exterminated, have been reacclimatized. Woodcocks, grouse, and partridges are common, and eagles are found in the mountains. Cod and herring are caught in the coastal waters, and the lakes abound in pike perch, pike, and eels.

Preserves. In 1975 there were 13 national parks, covering some 105,000 hectares. The most important are the Kampinos Park in the ancient valley of the Vistula River and the Tatra Park on the northern slopes of the Tatras. The Belovezh (Białowieża) Virgin Forest extends into Poland.

Natural regions. Poland’s natural regions include the maritime lowlands, the lake country, the central Polish lowlands, the central Polish uplands, the Ciscarpathian basins, the Carpathian foothills and the Beskids, and the Tatra and Sudetes mountains.

The maritime lowlands are hilly plains along the Baltic coast with glacial, marine, and windborne accumulation. In places there are tracts of beech, oak, and pine. The lake districts are uplands with a hilly-morainic terrain, numerous lakes, and pine and mixed forests. The central Polish lowlands consist of extensive latitudinal pradoliny (valleys formed by the flow of melt-water from ancient glaciers) and the strongly eroded hills of terminal moraines and outwash plains. Most of this lowland area has been plowed up, although mixed forests, notably the Bialowieza Forest, have survived in the west and east. The central Polish uplands are a complex combination of denudation plains, outlier ranges, and cuestas. There are also remnants of fir and beech forests. The Ciscarpathian basins are a region of alluvial plains with piedmont talus. Here the landscape has been greatly altered by man. The foothills of the Carpathians and the Beskids —strongly dissected low-and medium-elevation mountains— are composed chiefly of flysch and show altitude zonation. The Tatras and Sudetes are block crystalline massifs with mountain-glacial relief forms. They are deeply dissected by gorges and river valleys and are covered with mixed and coniferous forests. Their landscapes have a marked altitude zonation.


Lencewicz, S. Fizicheskaia geografiia Pol’shi. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from Polish.)

E. P. ROMANOVA (physical geography) and V. S. PETRENKO (geological structure and minerals)

Poles constitute more than 98 percent of the population. The rest are Ukrainians and Byelorussians, living in the east and northeast, Slovaks, concentrated in the south, and small groups of gypsies, Jews, Russians, and Lithuanians. Most believers are Catholics; Protestants are found in the north. The official calendar is the Gregorian.

Poland’s population is steadily increasing. The natural growth rate is relatively high—9.6 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1973. Poland has a large potential work force; persons between the ages of 15 and 59 constitute 62 percent of the population.

According to the 1970 census, workers and office employees made up 69.4 percent of the total population; peasants belonging to farm producers’ cooperatives, as well as cottage industry workers and artisans organized into cooperatives, 3.5 percent; peasants owning their own farms and craftsmen and artisans who were not members of cooperatives, 26.7 percent; and persons belonging to the liberal professions and other groups, 0.4 percent.

Out of a work force of 16.8 million persons in 1974, 32.7 percent (53.3 percent in 1950) were employed in agriculture (including lumbering), 30.0 percent (17.7 percent) in industry, 8.3 percent (3.9 percent) in construction, 6.0 percent (3.6 percent) in transportation and communications, 7.1 percent (4.9 percent) in trade, 5.1 percent (2.3 percent) in educational and scientific institutions, and 3.5 percent (1.3 percent) in public health.

In 1974 the average population density was 108 persons per sq km. In the densely populated south it was 217 persons per sq km, and in the northeast, 49 persons per sq km. In 1973, 54 percent of the population lived in cities. The largest cities are Warsaw, Łódź, Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznań, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Lublin, and Katowice, the center of the country’s largest metropolitan area, the Upper Silesia, or Silesia-Dąbrowska, Conurbation. Gdańsk and Gdynia have merged with Sopot to form the Trójmiasto Conurbation.

Primitive communal system (prior to the seventh century A.D.). Poland was settled in the Paleolithic. The Bronze Age is represented by the Unětice, Trzciniec, and Lusatian cultures. The use of bronze and later iron tools caused a rise in productivity, especially in agriculture, which became the chief occupation. The emergence of an aristocracy, the appearance of patriarchal slavery, military clashes among tribes, the formation of tribal military alliances, and the founding of the first fortified cities— all attested to the disintegration of the communal system among the tribes inhabiting the territory of present-day Poland. The process was accelerated by the arrival of Celts in Silesia and Małopolska in the fourth and third centuries B.C. (they were assimilated by the local population), by the establishment of economic ties with the Roman Empire in the first to fourth centuries A.D., and by the protracted struggle against the German tribes that invaded the area in the first centuries A.D. (by the middle of the third century they had been driven out of the Polish lands).

These social and economic developments were accompanied by ethnic changes. Between the seventh century B.C. and the fourth century A.D., the Slavs evolved into a distinct ethnic group.

Early feudal period (seventh to 11th centuries). Between the seventh and tenth centuries, as the primitive communal system disintegrated, feudal relations arose among the Slavic tribes on the territory of present-day Poland. A feudally dependent peasantry emerged, consisting for the most part of formerly free commune members. Gradually ex-slaves were also enserfed. (Among the Polish tribes slavery existed only in a patriarchal form—Poland never had a slave-holding system.) A service class of feudal lords was formed from among retainers and officials. The tribal principalities of the Polanie (from whom the names “Poland” and “Poles” are derived), Mazowszanie, Wislanie, and Pomeranians were the embryos of the emerging feudal state. The tribal principalities were headed by a tribal nobility and a prince, who had detached themselves from the commune.

A unified ancient Polish state was formed through the subjugation of certain tribal principalities by others and through their merger in the second half of the tenth century under the rule of one prince. During the tenth and 11th centuries the inhabitants of the Polish lands were amalgamated into one nation. Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty is the first historically known Polish prince; he ruled not only Wielkopolska but also Mazovia, Pomerania, and Silesia. Mieszko I’s conversion to Christianity according to the Latin rite in 966 paved the way for the Christianization of the Polish lands, which accelerated the process of feudalization.

The unification of the Polish lands was completed during the reign of Bolesław I the Brave (ruled 992–1025), whose wars against the Holy Roman Empire from 1003 to 1018, with interruptions, strengthened Poland’s independence. Independence was further consolidated by the creation in 1000 of a separate Polish archbishopric, with its center at Gniezno, as well as by Bolesław’s adoption of the title of king in 1025. Poland’s international position was weakened by its predatory eastern policy. Bolesław attacked Kiev and seized the towns of Czerwień in 1018, which remained under Polish rule until the 1030’s.

In 1034, after the death of Mieszko II (1025–34), the strong secular and ecclesiastical feudal aristocracy rebelled against the central authorities, resulting in the secession of Mazovia and Pomerania. In 1037–38 an antifeudal uprising broke out and engulfed a large part of Poland. The peasants also rebelled against the Christian clergy. Under Casimir (Kazimierz) I, who ruled from 1038 or 1039 to 1058, there was a temporary strengthening of central authority; Bolesław II the Bold regained the royal title in 1076 (it had been lost in 1033), but at the price of an alliance with the papacy, which considerably strengthened the Catholic Church’s position in Poland.

The period of feudal fragmentation (end of the 11th to 13th centuries). The development of feudal relations between the second half of the 11th and the 13th centuries was based on an increase in productive forces owing to internal colonization, the spread of the three-field system, and the development of crafts and trade. Most of the personally free peasants became feudally dependent. Large feudal landholding continued to develop, and many large ecclesiastical and secular landowners acquired feudal immunity. The principal strata within the feudal class evolved: the ecclesiastical feudal lords, the magnates, or aristocracy, and the knighthood (szlachta).

Many Polish cities became comparatively large trade and crafts centers, including Kraków, the capital of the Polish state from the 11th to the 16th century, Poznań, Gniezno, and Wroclaw. During the 13th century several cities were granted special municipal rights, modeled on Magdeburg Law, which was adapted to Polish conditions. The feudal lords encouraged not only Polish but also German rural and urban colonization, which led to the emergence of an economically and politically strong German patriciate in a number of cities. The growth of cities and commodity-money relations resulted in the spread of monetary feudal dues. But economic ties between the individual Polish lands were still weak.

During the 12th century the unified Polish state disintegrated into several principalities. The feudal fragmentation was sanctioned by law in 1138 in the Statute of Bolesław III Wry Mouth, who ruled as prince from 1102 to 1138. Feudally fragmented Poland could not resist the aggression of German feudal lords, who subjugated western Pomerania at the end of the 12th century. The situation worsened after the arrival of the Teutonic Order in the Baltic area in 1226. Poland was also invaded by the Tatar-Mongols in 1241, 1259, and 1287.

Developed feudalism and the creation of a unified Polish state (14th and 15th centuries). At the end of the 13th century the feudal lords of Wielkopolska, led by Prince Przemysł II, began a struggle for the unification of the Polish lands, which was successfully continued by Wladysław I the Short and Casimir III. The country’s social and economic development paved the way for its unification, a trend that was supported by various strata of the population, including the knights, who were often unable to stand up to the magnates; some of the Polish clergy, who were oppressed by the German clergy; the middle and lower strata of the urban population; and the broad peasant masses. Unification was accelerated by the presence of external enemies, primarily Brandenburg and the Teutonic Order, which in 1308–09 seized eastern Pomerania, including Gdańsk, thereby cutting Poland off from the sea. The Order also threatened other Polish lands; in 1332 it seized Kujawy and the Dobrzyń land, both of which it was forced to return in 1343.

The unification of the Polish lands was opposed by the Czech Luxemburgs, who claimed the Polish throne and extended their rule over Silesia (recognized by Poland in 1335). Nor did the “eastern” policy of the Polish feudal lords facilitate unification. Between 1349 and 1352 they seized Halicz, and later they took part of Volyn’, which had a Ukrainian population. Unification was thus not completed. In the 14th century Poland did not include Silesia and Pomerania, and Mazovia remained an independent principality until 1526.

A monarchy based on estates began to evolve in Poland. The attempt of the central authorities to overcome feudal fragmentation and standardize the laws was reflected in the Wislica-Piótrków Statutes of 1346–47, which established the privileges of the magnates, gentry, and clergy. The influence of the gentry was strengthened during the reign of Louis I of Anjou (1370–82), who promulgated the Koszyce Privilege of 1374. During the 14th century Poland’s foreign policy was aimed at containing the powerful feudal German aggressors and recovering the conquered Polish lands. Union with Hungary between 1370 and 1382 did not assure success in the struggle against the Teutonic Order. This goal was better served by the Krewo Union of 1385 between Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which also gave the Polish magnates the opportunity to exploit the Ukrainian and Byelorussian lands. Conflicts between the feudal lords of Poland and Lithuania prevented them from bringing the struggle against the Order to an end, despite their victory over the Order at the battle of Grunwald in 1410. During the reign of Władysław II Jagiełło (1386–1434), the founder of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the policies of the ecclesiastical magnates, led by Z. Olesnicki, the bishop of Kraków, undermined the plans for concluding a union with Hussite Bohemia. Casimir IV Jagiellończyk, who ruled from 1447 to 1492, succeeded in weakening the great, primarily ecclesiastical, feudal lords. As a result of the Thirteen Years’ War (1454–66) between Poland and the Teutonic Order, the latter returned eastern Pomerania to Poland and acknowledged itself Poland’s vassal. The mid-15th century saw an intensified conflict between the magnates and gentry, who received additional privileges under the Nieszawa Statutes of 1454. The creation of a unified Polish state in the 14th and 15th centuries contributed to a cultural flowering and the development of a written literature in the vernacular. The most important center of learning in Poland in the first half of the 15th century was the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, founded in 1364.

The rise, development, and disintegration of corvée serfdom; the formation and decline of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (16th to 18th centuries). In the second half of the 15th and 16th centuries Polish cities expanded. Craft guilds developed, and merchant’s workshops were also established from time to time. Among the most important cities were Warsaw, which became Poland’s capital in 1596, Wroclaw, and Gdańsk, which had been returned to Poland and now played a major role in Poland’s Baltic trade, based on grain exports. Domestic trade also increased. Under these conditions corvée serfdom developed in Poland, as in the other Eastern European countries. There was an expansion of the demesne (folwark) economy, based on corvée labor and producing grain and other agricultural products for the market. The amount of corvée demanded by the lords increased, and they extended the authority of the manorial courts and succeeded in placing limitations on the peasants’ right to leave the land. By the early 16th century the peasants were completely bound to the land. The most oppressive forms of serfdom evolved in Poland. These developments undermined the peasant economy, excluded it from the urban market, and increased the number of land-poor peasants.

The late 16th and early 17th centuries saw the decline of Polish cities as the Polish feudal lords, supported by the central government (Piotrków Statute of 1496), directly entered the foreign market, depriving the cities of their intermediary role in obtaining goods from abroad. The development of a national market was arrested for a long time.

All these factors left an imprint on the monarchy, based on estates. Not only the peasantry, but also the cities were denied participation in the Sejm, the highest representative body. Furthermore, the gentry’s political influence became especially strong. With the adoption of the Radom Constitution of 1505 the Sejm assumed its final form, and thereafter the Sejm’s Chamber of Deputies, elected by local gentry sejmiki, played an increasingly important role. The struggle between the nobility (magnates and gentry) and the Catholic Church for control of feudal rents and the conflict between the magnates and a large section of the gentry over the restoration of crown lands that had been alienated to the magnates promoted the dissemination of Reformation doctrines—Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Socinianism.

In the second half of the 16th century the focus of Poland’s foreign policy shifted eastward, toward expansion into the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and Russian lands. The Polish-Lithuanian Union, hitherto an obstacle to the German feudal “drive to the east,” facilitated the eastern expansion of the Polish feudal lords. The Polish feudal lords who sought to incorporate the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into Poland took advantage of Lithuania’s weakened condition during the Livonian War of 1558–83 to impose on it the Union of Lublin of 1589, by which Poland and Lithuania were united into one state, called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita). The union enabled the Polish feudal lords to exploit on a large scale Ukrainian and Byelorussian lands previously controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

During the interregnum that followed the extinction of the Jagiellonian dynasty (1572–73), the gentry, led by J. Zamoyski, not only won the right to participate in electing the king (the principle of “free election”) but also succeeded in electing their candidate—the French prince Henry of Valois, who ruled in 1573–74. Henry accepted special conditions, known as the Hen-rician articles, which confirmed the principle of the free election of kings and gave the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth its final constitutional form as a “gentry republic.”

During the reign of Stephen Báthory (1576–86), the Truce of Iam-Zapol’skii (1582) ended the war between the commonwealth and the Russian state. The war was part of the Livonian War, and by the truce Livonia passed to the commonwealth. In order to create a Polish-Swedish coalition against the Russian state, the Polish gentry elected to the throne the Swedish prince Sigismund III Vasa, who was king of Poland from 1587 to 1632 and king of Sweden from 1592 to 1599. The Polish and Swedish invasion of Russia in the early 17th century ended in the failure of the Polish and Lithuanian feudal lords to subjugate the Russian state. After the Russo-Polish War of 1632–34, King Wladyslaw IV (1632–48) renounced his claims to the Russian throne.

The end of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th saw a strengthening of the Counter-Reformation. The Polish feudal lords, who had already begun to reject the Reformation during the second half of the 16th century, regarded the Catholic

Church not only as a bulwark against social movements but also as an ally in their incursions into the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and Russian lands. In 1596 the Orthodox Church on the territory of the commonwealth was placed under the authority of the pope, a move that only sharpened the national and class conflicts in the Ukraine and Byelorussia. The War for the Liberation of the Ukrainian People of 1648–54, led by Bogdan Khmel’nitskii, and the Russo-Polish War of 1654–67 resulted in the reunification of a large part of the Ukraine with Russia and dealt a heavy blow to Poland’s eastward expansion. Under the influence of the liberation struggle of the Ukrainian and Byelorussian peoples, the antifeudal movement within Poland itself intensified, for example, the Kostka Napierski Rebellion of 1651 in Kraków Województwo and the peasant uprisings in Wielkopolska.

During the intensified struggle between the European powers for control over the Baltic area in the 17th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth fought a series of wars with Sweden. The Northern War of 1655–60, during which Poland almost lost its independence, ended with Poland’s cession of the eastern Baltic area (Livland with Riga), which Sweden had actually held since the 1620’s. Poland’s renunciation, during the Northern War, of its sovereign rights in East Prussia in favor of Brandenburg contributed to the strengthening of the Brandenburg-Prussian state. The commonwealth fought debilitating wars against the Ottoman Empire and its vassal, the Crimean Khanate, primarily for control over the Ukrainian lands. After the death of King Jan III Sobieski (ruled 1674–96), the elector of Saxony, August I, was elected to the Polish throne as Augustus II, largely with Russia’s support. The personal union between Saxony and the Commonwealth lasted until 1763. In the face of Swedish aggression Augustus II, in his capacity as elector of Saxony, concluded an alliance with Russia and Denmark against Sweden. Soon after the outbreak of the Northern War of 1700–21, much of Poland’s territory was occupied by Swedish troops. Under pressure from the Swedish king Charles XII, Stanisław Leszczyński, the candidate favored by the Swedes, was elected king of the commonwealth in 1704. After the defeat of the Swedes by Russia at the battle of Poltava in 1709, Augustus II regained the Polish throne with the help of Peter I.

The long devastating wars contributed to the commonwealth’s economic and political decline during the second half of the 17th and the first half of the 18th centuries. The primary cause of the country’s economic decline was the prevalence of the folwark-corvée system, whose pernicious effect was especially ruinous at a time of declining trade and crafts and sharply curtailed grain exports. Many towns reverted to a rural economy. The magnates, owners of huge estates, dominated political life. Not only the king’s power but also that of the Sejm dwindled, and feudal anarchy intensified. From the end of the 17th century to the middle of the 18th there was a cultural decline in which the Jesuits played a large role.

Neighboring countries attempted to take advantage of the decline of central authority and the weakening of Poland’s political and military strength. To assert their dominant influence in the country, they relied on the support of hostile magnate-gentry factions. The commonwealth was threatened with dismemberment and the loss of its political independence. The conflict between Augustus II, who was striving to assert absolutism, and the magnates and gentry culminated in 1717 in an agreement known as the Confederation of Tarnogród, by which Poland’s military forces were reduced to a minimum.

During the second half of the 18th century an economic revival occurred as feudal-serfowning relations disintegrated and capitalist relations emerged. Along with corvée, quitrent (czynsz) became widespread. Manufacturing enterprises—noble, bourgeois and mixed—were established, and a national market developed. Some of the magnates and gentry attempted to adapt their estates to the developing capitalist relations. Progressive circles among the ruling class sought to reform the archaic system of government and prevent Poland’s dismemberment. They were opposed by reactionary magnates and gentry, who were supported by the absolutist regimes of Russia, Prussia, and Austria. The struggle to strengthen national independence, waged by the nascent bourgeoisie, urban lower class, and en-serfed peasants, increasingly became a struggle against the feudal system as well. The aspect of Poland’s social and political life left its mark on the formation of the Polish nation.

In 1764 tsarist diplomacy succeeded in having S. A. Poniatow-ski, Catherine IPs favorite, elected king of Poland. But Ponia-towski’s efforts to strengthen the central government through such reforms as limiting the liberum veto, incurred the displeasure of Prussia and tsarist Russia and provoked the opposition of the reactionary magnates and gentry, who formed the Confederation of Bar. Striving to preserve Poland’s territorial integrity and to keep the country solely under its influence, the tsarist government initially rejected Prussia’s plans to partition Poland. But the long Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74 and the rapprochement between Prussia and Austria impelled Catherine II to agree to these plans to the detriment of Poland. In 1772 the three powers concluded an agreement concerning the partial partition of the commonwealth. They occupied the annexed territories, and the next year they compelled the Polish Sejm to recognize the country’s partial partition.

The first partition of the commonwealth and the prospect of a complete loss of statehood intensified the Polish people’s national self-awareness. The newly formed bourgeoisie became increasingly active in the country’s political life. Enlightenment ideas were widely disseminated. The leading figures of the Polish Enlightenment—S. Staszic and H. Kołłątaj—proposed a program of political and social reforms intended to strengthen the Polish state and to adapt the feudal system to the needs of capitalist development. The program was backed by the “patriotic party,” organized at the Four-year Sejm of 1788–92. The Sejm adopted a number of reforms aimed at strengthening the army and changing the state and legal system. The reforms were summed up in the “fundamental law,” as the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was called.

The reactionary magnates rejected the constitution and formed the Targowica Confederation in 1792, which invited Russia and Prussia to occupy the country. The reforms adopted by the Four-year Sejm were abolished, and a Sejm convened in Grodno in 1793 ratified the second partition of the commonwealth’s territory between Russia and Prussia. Threatened with the complete loss of their national independence, the people rebelled. The revolt, known as the Uprising of 1794, was led by T. Kościuszko. In 1795, after the suppression of the uprising, came the third and final partition of the commonwealth. By the three partitions the ethnic Polish lands were divided between Prussia and Austria. The Byelorussian and Ukrainian lands were reunited with Russia, and the Lithuanian and Latvian lands also came under its rule. The partitions resulted in the loss of Polish statehood and the cruel national oppression of the Polish people. For a long time the national liberation struggle dominated the Polish people’s political life.

Upswing in the Polish people’s struggle against national oppression (from the end of the 18th century to the J860’s). The patriotic leaders who emigrated abroad rested their hopes for the restoration of an independent Poland on Republican France. Polish legions under the command of General J. H. Dąbrowski fought on the side of France from 1797. Led by Prince A. J. Czartoryski, part of the Polish nobility turned to Alexander I, believing that the restoration of Poland as a state could be effected through union with Russia. In 1807, after defeating Prussia, Napoleon I created the Duchy of Warsaw out of part of the Polish territory seized by Prussia. The duchy was dependent on France.

At the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15, Poland was again partitioned. Tsarist Russia received most of the former Duchy of Warsaw, which was transformed into the Kingdom of Poland. Earlier, in 1807, Russia had taken the Białystok region. The rest of the former Duchy of Warsaw became the Grand Duchy of Poznań under Prussian rule. In addition, Prussia retained Pom-erania and Silesia, which it had seized earlier. Kraków and its environs were proclaimed a “free city,” called the Kraków Republic. The republic lasted until 1846, when its territory was annexed by Austria.

The 1815 borders remained virtually unchanged until the October 1917 Revolution in Russia. The “Polish question” long remained one of the knotty problems of international relations, and the Polish liberation movement became an important element in the general European revolutionary movement. After the 1815 partition of Polish territory, tsarism became the direct oppressor of the Polish people. Under these circumstances Polish-Russian revolutionary ties became an important factor in the development of the revolutionary movement in Russia and Poland.

In the Polish economy, the period between 1815 and 1830 saw the development of capitalist relations within the prevailing feudal system, largely owing to the granting of personal freedom to the serfs by the Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807. A decree issued on Dec. 21, 1807, stated that the land used by the peasants and their farm implements were the property of the landowner, and this facilitated the landowners’ seizure of the peasants’ land and pastures in the Kingdom of Poland. The agrarian reform, called a settlement, that was carried out in Prussian-held Silesia and Pomerania in 1807–11 and in the Grand Duchy of Poznań in 1823 strengthened the landlords’ manorial economy, which was becoming capitalistic, and deprived the peasant masses of land, while creating a few large peasant farms (Grossbauerri). The Prussian path of capitalist development in agriculture appeared in Poland in its classic form.

Between 1820 and 1840 the Łodź industrial region emerged as a textile center. Multifaceted, largely artisan, production arose in Warsaw. In Silesia a coal industry, ferrous metallurgy, zinc production (Upper Silesia), and a textile industry (Lower Silesia) were established in the early 19th century.

In the Kingdom of Poland the relatively liberal constitution signed by Tsar Alexander I in 1815 soon had restrictions placed upon it by the tsarist authorities. In response, a legal opposition formed in the Sejm, and secret patriotic societies arose. The centers of student opposition were the University of Wilno (Vilnius), where the Philomats were active from 1817 to 1823, and Warsaw University. W. Łukasiński, an army officer, founded a secret society called the National Freemasonry in 1819, and after it was dissolved he organized the Patriotic Society in 1821. The secret Polish organizations established contact with the Decembrists. However, the program of the Polish gentry revolutionaries was limited to nationalistic and political slogans. An important phase in the Polish people’s struggle for national independence was the Polish Uprising of 1830–31, which engulfed the areas under tsarist rule. After crushing the uprising in the Kingdom of Poland, the tsarist authorities persecuted the leaders of the liberation movement. The 1815 constitution was abrogated, the Sejm and the Polish Army were disbanded, the administrative structure was incorporated into that of the Russian empire, and the universities were closed down. In 1850 the customs barrier between the kingdom and Russia was abolished. Martial law, declared in 1833 in connection with J. Zaliwski’s attempt to begin another uprising, remained in effect until 1856.

The lessons learned from the Uprising of 1830–31 helped many of the Polish exiles overcome the limitations of the gentry revolutionary program. The democrats in the liberation movement urged not only political changes but social and economic ones as well. Their main organization was the Polish Democratic Society, founded in Paris in 1832. The first revolutionary-democratic organization, called Polish People (Lud Polski), was established in London in 1835. The democrats among the exiles were opposed by the conservative monarchical camp, led by Czartoryski. Calling for the independence of Poland, the conservatives placed their hopes on help from Western bourgeois monarchies. They regarded the Constitution of May 3, 1791, as their political ideal.

Among the revolutionary conspiratorial organizations within Poland, the largest was the Association of the Polish People, founded in 1835 through the efforts of S. Konarski. During the 1840’s revolutionary organizations were formed by E. Dembow-ski and H. Kamienski. Among other revolutionary groups were a secret peasant organization led by P. Ściegienny in the Kingdom of Poland and the Union of Plebeians, headed by W. Stef-ański, in the Grand Duchy of Poznan. The uprising that Ściegienny was preparing was foiled by the tsarist authorities in the autumn of 1844. The Polish Democratic Society had made preparations for a nationwide uprising, but as a result of measures taken by the tsarist and Prussian authorities, the uprising was confined to the Krakow Republic and nearby parts of Galicia. Simultaneously the peasant antifeudal Galician Uprising of 1846 broke out. The peasant revolt frightened the moderate gentry “fellow travelers” and drove them out of the liberation movement, but it strengthened the consistent democrats in their conviction that the antifeudal and national-liberation causes were interwoven in a democratic “agrarian” revolution. The all-European revolutionary movement of 1848 also engulfed the Polish lands, where the Poznan Uprising of 1848 broke out. The revolutionary movement in Galicia compelled the Austrian government to promulgate a peasant reform and abolish feudal obligations in April 1848. A capitalist social system was evolving in Prussian and Austrian Poland; it was burdened, however, by vestiges of feudalism.

As the revolutionary situation of 1859–61 unfolded in Russia, an alliance with the Russian revolutionaries became increasingly important for the Polish liberation movement. The close cooperation between A. I. Herzen and S. Worcell indicates that the revolutionaries in exile recognized the need for such an alliance. The objective interrelationship between the Russian revolutionary movement and the “Polish ferment” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch.,5th ed., vol. 5, p. 29), both directed against a common foe —tsarist autocracy—was reflected in the conclusion of a Russo-Polish revolutionary alliance in 1862. The alliance was worked out during talks in London and St. Petersburg between representatives of the Centralizacja (Central Board) and the editors of Kolokol, the Central Committee of Land and Liberty, and the Committee of Russian Officers in Poland.

The culmination of the revolutionary movement in Poland was the Polish Uprising of 1863–64. Although it ruthlessly suppressed the uprising, the tsarist government was obliged to promulgate a peasant reform in 1864 and essentially recognize the agrarian changes that had taken place during the uprising. Land worked by the peasants became their property, and some of the landless peasants received tiny allotments of land, for which landowners were indemnified by the state. The peasant reform in the Kingdom of Poland was more bourgeois than in most of the Russian provinces, but it also had certain characteristics of serfdom. The reform preserved manorial landholding—the source of feudal serf-owning vestiges. The development of capitalism in agriculture proceeded along Prussian lines in the Kingdom of Poland. The Uprising of 1863–64 and the Reform of 1864 became the principal milestone in the transition from a feudal social system to a capitalist one.

Premonopoly capitalism (from the 1860’s to the early 20th century). In the second half of the 19th century capitalism became well established in all parts of Poland. Most of the present railroad system was built, and large industrial regions sprang up. The proportion of the urban dwellers increased from 16 percent to 33 percent in the Kingdom of Poland, reaching 50 percent in Upper Silesia. Between the 1860’s and the 1880’s, an industrial revolution occurred in the kingdom, whose industrial expansion was stimulated by the Russian market. With the exception of Upper Silesia, industrial development on Prussian-held territory was artificially retarded. In the regions under Austrian domination, industrial development was uneven: the industry of Cieszyn Silesia developed relatively rapidly, whereas in Galicia artisans continued to be the main producers.

During the 1860’s a political compromise was reached between the Polish landlords of Galicia and the Austrian monarchy. In return for supporting the Hapsburgs, the Polish propertied classes, led by the Stańczyk Party from the late 1860’s, received wide internal autonomy in Galicia. Autonomy enabled the Stańczyks to preserve Polish as the language of public education and commerce and to oppress the Ukrainian population of eastern Galicia. However, by the late 19th century the position of the conservative landowners in Galicia was already seriously threatened by the growing workers’ and peasants’ movement and by the Ukrainian national liberation movement.

In the Kingdom of Poland, after the Uprising of 1863–64, the tsarist authorities openly pursued a policy of national oppression of the Polish people. All traces of autonomy vanished, and the Kingdom of Poland was even renamed the Vistula Territory. The russification of the schools and the judiciary was detrimental to the interests of the Polish people. After the creation of the German empire in 1871, a vigorous germanizing policy was introduced in the Polish lands during the 1870’s under the guise of the Kulturkampf. The Colonization Commission, founded in 1886, used government subsidies to settle German colonists on Polish lands. Like other Pan-German organizations, the Union of the Eastern Borderlands (Hakata), founded in 1894, conducted intensive chauvinistic propaganda wih the support of the German government.

Some of the Polish revolutionaries in exile developed a consistent revolutionary-democratic program dealing with the most important social and national problems. Their contacts with the First International were strengthened after many Polish revolutionaries, headed by J. Dabrowski and W. Wróbłewski, took part in the Paris Commune of 1871.

During the 1860’s and 1870’s the movement known as Warsaw positivism emerged in the Kingdom of Poland, proclaiming as its program “organic work”—bourgeois entrepreneurship. Affirming its loyalty to tsarism, the conservative gentry proposed a program of accommodation. A workers’ and socialist movement arose in Poland in the 1870’s. A prominent role in it was played by L. Waryński, who headed the Equality (Równość) group in Geneva, which paved the way for the founding in 1882 of the Proletariat, a workers’ party. The party’s influence and the upswing in the workers’ movement were manifested in the Żyrardów Strike of 1883—the first mass demonstration of the Polish proletariat. To replace the Proletariat, which was suppressed by the tsarist authorities, two new workers’ organizations were founded: the second Proletariat in 1888 and the Polish Workers’ Union in 1889. In 1890 the international May Day celebration was marked by political strikes. The Łódź Strike of 1892 was an important factor in the political maturation of the Polish proletariat. In 1893 the workers’ organizations united to form the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland, which in 1900 became the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPL). At the same time the nationalist-reformist current took shape as the Polish Socialist Party (PSP). The bourgeois-radical movement shifted to the right, and the National Democratic Party (NDP) was founded in 1897, becoming the most powerful Polish bourgeois nationalist party.

Initial stage in the development of monopoly capitalism (prior to 1918). The economic crisis of 1900–03 accelerated the process of industrial concentration and the growth of monopolies, especially in the Kingdom of Poland and in Silesia, the most industrially developed areas. At the same time, the capitalists in the Polish lands became increasingly dependent on Russian, German, and Austrian capital.

The early 20th century was a time of revolutionary upswing. The revolutionary trend in the Polish workers’ movement, headed in the kingdom by the SDKPL, gathered strength through the struggle against the nationalism and opportunism of the PSP and the Social-Democratic Party of Galicia and Silesia (founded in 1892 and later known as the Polish Social-Democratic Party, PSDP), as well as against the separatism of the Bund.

The Revolution of 1905–07 in the Kingdom of Poland was an integral part of the Russian Revolution. A mass antitsarist and antilandowner movement engulfed the countryside, workers went on strike, and schoolchildren and students boycotted the schools. On Apr. 30, 1905, a workers’ demonstration in Warsaw (one of whose leaders was F. Dzerzhinskii) was fired upon, and this action provoked new strikes, culminating in the Łódź Rebellion in June. In October and November 1905 the workers of the Dąbrowa Coal Basin struck, as well as workers in Warsaw and Łódź. After the tsarist authorities imposed martial law in the kingdom, the proletariat of St. Petersburg went on strike in November to show its solidarity with the Polish workers. The Polish workers in turn supported the December Armed Uprising of 1905 in Moscow by calling a number of strikes. There were more peasant outbreaks.

In April 1906 the SDKPL joined the RSDLP as an autonomous territorial organization—a sign that the Russian-Polish revolutionary alliance was growing stronger. The PSP became more revolutionary and in November 1906 expelled J. Piłsudski and his followers, who soon founded the PSP-Revolutionary Wing (from 1909 again called the PSP). The majority of the the PSP’s members gradually shifted to a revolutionary and internationalist position and became known as the PSP-Left Wing. The revolutionary outbreaks in Russia and the kingdom caused an upswing in the workers’ and democratic movement in western Galicia, Silesia, and other Polish lands. In the Polish lands under Prussian domination the struggle against the Hakata and anti-Polish legislation intensified.

The industrial expansion that took place in the kingdom after 1909 was accompanied by a revival of the strike movement, which spread under the influence of the mass demonstrations of the Russian proletariat sparked by the Lena Massacre of 1912. The leaders of the SDKPL—R. Luxemburg, J. Tyszka, and J. Marchlewski—vacillated on questions of tactics, which provoked opposition (Rozlamowcy group) and eventually led to a split within the SDKPL in December 1911. (In 1916 the party was reunited.) The Roztamowcy, led by J. Hanecki, J. Leński, and J. S. Unszlicht, cooperated closely with the Bolsheviks and with V. I. Lenin, who lived in Kraków and its environs from 1912 to 1914.

At the outbreak of World War I the Polish ruling classes in all three parts of Poland supported, respectively, the governments of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Piłsudski’s men led the Polish Legions, which they had organized, in military operations against the Russian Army. The SDKPL and the PSP-Left Wing took an internationalist position. In the summer of 1915, German and Austro-Hungarian troops occupied the entire kingdom. On Nov. 5, 1916, the occupation forces, supported by some members of the Polish bourgeoisie and Pilsudski’s followers, announced the creation of a “Polish state” on part of the kingdom’s territory, hoping thereby to strengthen their position and mobilize Polish youth. Under the influence of the February 1917 Revolution in Russia a revolutionary liberation movement unfolded in Poland.

The reestablishment of the Polish state; bourgeois-landowner Poland between 1918 and 1926. Many of the Polish workers who had been forcibly evacuated from the kingdom and resettled in Russia by the tsarist administration in 1915 joined in the struggle for a socialist revolution. The more than 40 SDKPL groups that had been founded in the industrial centers of Russia joined the Bolshevik Party and took an active part in the struggle to bring the soviets to power. Meanwhile, some Polish bourgeois circles began to seek the support of the Western Powers. Founded in Paris in August 1917, the Polish National Committee was soon recognized as the official representative body of the Polish people by the Entente powers and the USA.

Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, the struggle against the German and Austrian invaders intensified in Poland. During its negotiations with Germany and its allies in Brest, the Soviet government demanded that the Polish people be granted an opportunity to decide their destiny. On Aug. 29, 1918, the Soviet government adopted a decree, signed by V. I. Lenin, nullifying the treaties and acts concluded by the government of the former Russian Empire regarding the partitions of Poland. This decree created a firm juridical and political foundation for Poland’s independence.

After World War I, the German and Austro-Hungarian troops were withdrawn from most of the Polish lands they had occupied. From early November 1918, more than 100 soviets were founded in Poland. However, the SDKPL and the PSP-Left Wing, which merged to form the Communist Party of Poland (CPP) in December 1918, did not have any influence on the working-class masses and other toilers. Under the guise of unifying all democratic and national forces, the leaders of the PSP-Revolutionary Wing pursued a policy of cooperation with bourgeois liberal elements and the peasant parties, such as the Liberation Party (Wyzwolenie), founded in 1915. They also supported Pitsudski, to whom the Regency Council, founded in September 1917, transferred military power on Nov. 11, 1918, and civil authority three days later.

On Pilsudski’s instructions a government headed by J. Mora-czewski, one of the PSP leaders, was formed in Warsaw on Nov. 17, 1918. The government granted civil liberties, announced elections to the Sejm, and decreed an eight-hour workday. At the same time it launched a struggle against the revolutionary movement within the country and took a hostile position toward

Soviet Russia. On Jan. 2, 1919, gendarmes shot the members of a Soviet Red Cross delegation which had come to Warsaw, headed by B. Wesołowski. The CPP was persecuted, the soviets were suppressed, and the Red Guards, which had been organized in several areas, were defeated and disarmed. Having assured the preservation of the bourgeois-landowning system, the PSP and the “left-wing” parties cooperating with it yielded their power to the National Democrats and Pilsudski’s followers in January 1919 and became the opposition. (Piłsudski’s men had reached an agreement with the Polish National Committee, and a government was formed, headed by I. Paderewski.)

The ruling circles of bourgeois Poland began a war to seize the Western Ukraine. Pursuing an anti-Soviet policy, they made a number of important concessions to German imperialists. Pade-rewski’s government signed the Peace Treaty of Versailles in 1919, by which Germany retained almost all of Silesia and several other Polish lands. Under the treaty Poland obtained access to the Baltic Sea through a narrow strip of land, known as the Polish corridor, and Gdanńk (Danzig), along with its surrounding area, was declared a free city. The population of these areas continued to struggle for reunification with Poland, and uprisings broke out in Silesia in 1919, 1920, and 1921. After suppressing the strikes and dispersing the last soviets by the summer of 1919, the government cut short the growing peasant movement by adopting a land reform law on July 10, 1919. In April 1920 the rulers of Poland began the Polish-Soviet War. During the Red Army’s counteroffensive, the Polish Revolutionary Committee, the first revolutionary government of Poland’s working masses, functioned in Białystok in July and August 1920. Under the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, Poland acquired the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia, which became, as it were, internal colonies of Poland. As early as October 1920, Poland had taken the Wilno (Vilnius) region from Lithuania. By 1921 Poland was a multinational bourgeois landowners’ country, artificially shifted to the east, whereas a considerable portion of the Polish lands remained within Germany.

One of the first measures taken by the Polish ruling circles was the adoption of a constitution (on Mar. 17, 1921). The constitution established a republican form of government, provided for a bicameral parliament consisting of the Sejm and the Senate, proclaimed the equality of all citizens before the law, and guaranteed freedom of speech, press and assembly. In practice this bourgeois democracy was implemented only insofar as it did not clash with the interests of the ruling classes. The social rights of the working class were not respected. Despite their juridical equality, the national minorities, constituting more than 50 percent of Poland’s population, were discriminated against. Vestiges of feudal relations, primarily large estates, persisted in agriculture. Some 0.6 percent of the landowners owned 44.8 percent of the privately owned land. In industry foreign capital was playing an increasingly large role. The general index of industrial production in the interwar period did not exceed the index of industrial output in the Polish lands in 1913.

The intensity of the social and national conflicts was apparent from the numerous strikes, peasant movements, and guerrilla activities in Western Byelorussia and the Kraków Uprising of 1923. The Second Congress of the CPP (1923), at which the party took a firm Marxist-Leninist stand on national and peasant questions, strengthened the party and increased its influence on the working class. The Independent Peasant Party, the Byelorussian Peasants’ and Workers’ Group, and several other revolutionary organizations founded in 1924 were under the influence of the CPP and its autonomous organization—the Communist Party of the Western Ukraine, established in 1923, and the Communist Party of Western Byelorussia, formed in 1924. Poland’s international position deteriorated as a result of the Dawes Plan, aimed at restoring German imperialism’s military-industrial potential, and the Locarno Treaties of 1925, which did not guarantee the security of Poland’s western borders. The country’s unfavorable position in foreign affairs and the tense domestic political situation were used by Pilsudski’s followers as grounds for staging a coup d’etat on May 12–14, 1926, and establishing the reactionary sanacja regime.

From the establishment of the sanacja regime to the fascist German occupation (1926–39). Until May 1935, Piłsudski was de facto dictator of Poland; President I. Mościcki was the official head of state, a post he occupied until 1939. In 1927, Piłsudski’s followers destroyed the Byelorussian Peasants’ and Workers’ Group. Later, they disbanded the Independent Peasant Party and other democratic organizations and intensified their persecution of the CPP. The first signs of an economic crisis appeared in Poland in late 1929. During the world economic crisis of 1929–33, Poland’s economy was severely affected; the index of industrial production fell to 55.6 between 1929 and 1933. Unemployment increased, and mass strikes were accompanied by many temporary seizures of enterprises, the so-called Polish strikes. In the countryside the impoverished peasants rebelled against the police and tax collectors.

The sanacja regime maintained its dominant position by punitive expeditions (“pacifications”) and field courts martial. An opposition bloc, known as the Center Left (Centrolew), was formed in the Sejm. In August 1930 the Sejm was dissolved, and the leaders of the opposition to the sanacja regime were arrested. By falsifying the election results of November 1930, the sanacja regime assured itself of a majority in the new Sejm, but the remaining legal opposition—the PSP and various peasant parties —intensified its resistance to the regime. In 1931 the peasant parties merged to form the Peasant Party (Stronnictwo Ludowe). The sanacja government signed the Polish-German Agreement of 1934 and opposed the policy of collective security followed by the USSR. In April 1935 it imposed a reactionary constitution on the country.

In 1934 the CPP intensified its efforts to create a unified workers’ front, and later it sought to organize a united antifacist popular front. After the Seventh Congress of the Comintern in 1935, many local organizations of the PSP advocated a united workers’ front. The elections to the Sejm and the Senate in September 1935 were boycotted by 55.6 percent of the voters. Based on a united front, a number of large-scale demonstrations of workers, peasants, and intellectuals occurred between 1935 and 1937. At the call of the CPP about 5,000 Polish antifascists took part in the defense of Republican Spain from 1936 to 1938.

In early October 1938, while Hitler’s Germany was annexing Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, the sanacja regime seized Cieszyn Silesia from Czechoslovakia. The Hitler government soon demanded that Poland agree to Germany’s annexation of Danzig (Gdańsk) and requested the right to build an extraterritorial highway and railroad across the Polish Corridor. On Mar. 21, 1939, it presented an ultimatum to the Polish government, which the latter rejected. However, the Polish government also rejected a proposal to sign a joint declaration with Great Britain, France, and the USSR, opposing Hitler’s aggression. The governments of Great Britain and France sought to turn German aggression against the USSR, thereby safeguarding their own position in Eastern and Southwestern Europe. On March 31 the British government assured the Polish government that in the event of a threat to its independence Poland would receive assistance, a statement that was later reinforced by an Anglo-Polish treaty of alliance, concluded on Aug. 25, 1939. A similar declaration was made on Apr. 13, 1939, by France, which had entered into a military alliance with Poland as early as 1921. On Apr. 28, 1939, Germany abrogated its 1934 agreement with Poland. At this critical point the Polish government stubbornly refused to accept a Soviet proposal for political and military cooperation.

On September 1, Nazi Germany attacked Poland, thereby beginning World War II. The governments of Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, but they did not give Poland any real assistance. By September 8, the German Army was advancing on Warsaw. Although the leaders of the sanacja regime fled the country, it was not until September 28 that Hitler’s forces succeeded in capturing the capital. Despite the courageous resistance of the patriotic forces, the German-Polish War ended in defeat for Poland.

After the Polish bourgeois state collapsed, the Red Army on September 17 entered Western Byelorussia and the Western Ukraine, both part of Poland, to protect the inhabitants from fascist aggression. In accordance with the wishes of their populations, Western Byelorussia and the Western Ukraine were reunited with Soviet Byelorussia and the Soviet Ukraine, respectively. The Soviet Union transferred the Vilnius region to the Lithuanian Republic.

Poland under Nazi German occupation; the Polish people’s fight against Hitlerite oppression and their struggle for a democratic path of development (1939–44). After conquering Poland, Germany incorporated Poznań, Łódź, Upper Silesia, and other areas into the Reich. In these regions Polish property was expropriated, and most of the Polish population was expelled to the area called the Gouvernement Général, whose capital was Krakó w. Setting as their ultimate goal the annihilation of most of the Polish people and the reduction of the rest to the status of slaves of the “master race,” the Hitlerites exterminated more than 100,000 persons by the end of 1939. In 1940 mass extermination camps, of which the largest were Oświ?cim (Auschwitz) and Majdanek, were established in Poland.

Resistance to the occupation forces, initially expressed in large-scale sabotage, reduced labor productivity, and similar tactics, developed into the Liberation War of the Polish People (1939–45). In the Polish government-in-exile in London, headed initially by General W. Sikorski and from July 1943 by S. Mikołajczyk, and in the Polish underground military organizations associated with the London government, such as the Home Army, the important posts were held by members of the sanacja regime. (The government-in-exile was formed in Angier, France, in September and transferred to London in June 1940.) The turning point in the Polish people’s struggle against the Nazi occupation forces came in 1941, with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union.

In January 1942 the Polish Workers’ Party (PWP) was founded to replace the CPP, which had been dissolved without cause in May 1938 by the Executive Committee of the Comintern. (The party was falsely accused of having enemy agents among its leaders.) Through the efforts of M. Nowotko, P. Finder, M. Fornalska, and hundreds of other Communists the PWP united the antifascist underground groups that had been organized by the Communists between 1939 and 1941. The PWP sought to unite the working class, forge an alliance between workers and peasants, and consolidate all the antifascist forces into a united National Front. It organized the partisan detachments known as the People’s Guard, which in May 1942 began military operations against Hitler’s forces.

The government-in-exile and its underground organizations in Poland launched a struggle against the PWP. Contrary to the interests of the Polish people, the government-in-exile in 1942 sent to the Middle East (under the command of General W. Anders) the army that had been created in the USSR, with the consent of the Soviet government, for a joint struggle against fascism on the Soviet-German front. The government-in-exile also permitted a number of hostile actions against the USSR, and on Apr. 25, 1943, the Soviet government was obliged to break off diplomatic relations with it. The political course taken by the government-in-exile was opposed by the Polish democratic émigrés in the USSR. The Union of Polish Patriots, founded in the USSR in March 1943 by W. Wasilewska, A. Lampe, and A. Zawadzki, with the support of the Soviet government, formed the volunteer T. Kosciuszko Division. The unit underwent its baptism of fire in October 1943 in a battle against Hitler’s forces near Lenino. In March 1944 the First Polish Army was created in the USSR. As early as April 1943 an uprising had broken out in the Warsaw ghetto. It was harshly suppressed by Nazi German troops in early July.

On the night of Dec. 31, 1943, the Krajowa Rada Narodowa (National Council of the Homeland) was formed in Warsaw under the leadership of B. Bierut as the provisional democratic representative body of the government-in-exile to represent Poland, the Krajowa Rada Narodowa adopted a programmatic declaration calling for the building of a new, people’s Poland, a decree on the creation of the People’s Army, and several other resolutions aimed at defining the political and socioeconomic foundations of people’s Poland and at the recovery of the indigenous Polish lands in the west and north. People’s councils were created on the województwo and powiat level as provisional underground organs of power. On May 22, 1944, the Soviet government recognized the Krajowa Rada Narodowa as the representative body of the Polish people. The Soviet Army’s offensive on the Byelorussian front, launched in June 1944, resulted in the expulsion of the fascist invaders from Poland’s eastern territories. During the offensive in the summer of 1944, Soviet forces and the First Polish Army, operating jointly, liberated approximately 80,000 sq km of Polish territory.

The establishment of a people’s democratic system and the building of socialism (since 1944). On July 21, 1944, the Krajowa Rada Narodowa formed the Polish Committee of National Liberation (PCNL), a provisional executive body. The formation of the PCNL at a time when the fascist occupation forces were being expelled marked the political victory of the people’s democratic revolution in Poland. On July 22 the PCNL, based in Chełm, issued the Manifesto of July 1944, containing a program of radical political and socioeconomic changes. The apparatus of people’s rule—people’s councils—was established in the liberated areas. By a decree issued on July 21, 1944, the People’s Army and the First Polish Army, which had been formed in the USSR, were united to form the Polish Army, which continued to fight alongside the Soviet Army for the complete liberation of Poland.

The government-in-exile and its representatives in Poland, the high command of the Home Army, sought to take advantage of the Polish people’s struggle to throw off the oppression of the Nazi German invaders to further their own interests—to prevent the Soviet Army and the Polish Army from liberating the country and to seize power. The conflicts between the aspirations of the Polish people and the political goals of the reactionary circles became sharply apparent during the anti-Hitlerite Warsaw Uprising, which broke out on Aug. 1, 1944, and lasted for 63 days.

The strengthening of the people’s power and the implementation, under the direction of the PWP, of the democratic changes outlined by the PCNL occurred amid a sharp class struggle with domestic reactionaries. A decree adopted on Sept. 6, 1944, provided for a land reform. Industrial enterprises, means of transportation, and banks were provisionally placed under government control, thereby eliminating the economic foundations of domination by monopolies and the big bourgeoisie in all the liberated areas. On Dec. 31, 1944, the Krajowa Rada Narodowa transformed the PCNL into the Provisional Government of Poland. On July 26, 1944, the Soviet Union had recognized the PCNL, and on Jan. 5, 1945, it established diplomatic relations with the Provisional Government. The winter offensive of the Soviet Army and the Polish Army, launched on Jan. 12, 1945, resulted in the liberation of all of Poland, including the western and northern Polish lands that were part of Germany prior to 1939. Warsaw, the capital, was liberated on Jan. 17, 1945. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers perished in the battles for the liberation of the Polish lands.

At the Yalta Conference in 1945 the leaders of the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain reached an agreement on the settlement of the Polish question: in the east the Polish border was to follow the Curzon Line, diverging from it in places 5 to 8 km in Poland’s favor; in the north and west Poland was to receive the indigenous Polish lands along the Oder and the Neisse (Nysa Łużycka). Of decisive importance for consolidating the new Poland’s place in international life was the signing on Apr. 21, 1945, of a Soviet-Polish treaty of friendship, mutual assistance, and postwar cooperation.

During the Nazi occupation Poland suffered enormous losses. More than 3.5 million Polish citizens perished in death camps or at the hands of executioners. Including these who died on the battlefield, about 6 million people, or 22 percent of the population, lost their lives. The Hitlerites destroyed 38 percent of the country’s wealth, transported some 2.5 million persons to Germany for forced labor, destroyed about 70 percent of the country’s industrial enterprises, and ruined its transport and communications systems and agriculture. Heroic measures were taken to restore the economy. As a result of the agrarian reform carried out between 1944 and 1946, the landowner class was eliminated; 86.1 percent of the land suitable for agriculture was transferred to the peasants, 13 percent to state farms, and 0.9 percent to schools and research institutions.

The restoration and restructuring of the economy and culture encountered stubborn resistance from the reactionaries—Mikotajczyk, the former premier of the government-in-exile, and his followers—who had to agree to cooperate with the parties of the people’s democratic bloc (formed together with the PCNL) and to join the Provisional Government of National Unity, a coalition government formed on June 28, 1945. Bound by the resolutions of the Yalta Conference, the USA and Great Britain broke off relations with the government-in-exile and established normal diplomatic regulations with Poland. Thanks to the consistent and firm position of the USSR, the Potsdam Conference of 1945 confirmed the resolutions of the Tehran Conference (1943) and the Yalta Conference (1945) to return to Poland its original lands, and it established the western border along the Oder and the Neisse. Despite his pledges to participate in the government, Mikotajczyk formed the Polish Peasant Party (PPP, Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe), which became a political base for the reactionary activity of right-wing and nationalistic forces.

The decisions of the First Congress of the PWP, held in December 1945, were of historic importance for the political consolidation of the people’s democratic forces in the country. On Jan. 3, 1946, the Krajowa Rada Narodowa enacted a law providing for the nationalization of all large and medium-sized industrial, mining, transport, banking, insurance, and retail enterprises, thereby reinforcing the radical socio-economic changes that had been implemented earlier. Amid a sharp political struggle, preparations were made for a national referendum, to be held on June 30, 1946. The plebiscite showed that the overwhelming majority of the people supported the policies pursued by the parties of the democratic bloc and the people’s rule. The decisive victory of the democratic forces, led by the PWP, in the elections to the Legislative Sejm on Jan. 19, 1947, over the forces of internal reaction marked the beginning of the development of the revolutionary democratic rule into a dictatorship of the proletariat, which emerged in the form of a people’s democracy. (The PPP was resoundingly defeated in the elections, and Mikolajczyk fled to the West.)

The formation of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) at the unification congress of the PWP and the PSP, held in December 1948, ended more than half a century of schism in the Polish workers’ movement and consolidated it on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. The merger of the two parties also strengthened the guiding role of the working class party in the people’s life, in the people’s democratic bloc, and in all aspects of the socialist rebuilding of the country. The First Congress of the PUWP adopted the Ideological Declaration and the party rules and defined the party’s general political line. B. Bierut was elected chairman of the Central Committee of the PUWP.

In November 1949 the three-year plan (1947–49) for restoring and developing the national economy was fulfilled ahead of schedule, strengthening the socialist sector in the national economy. Heavy industry now accounted for a larger proportion of industrial production. The economic achievements stimulated a rise in the people’s material and cultural level, and the problem of employment was essentially solved. A large-scale program was initiated to eliminate illiteracy. After restoring the national economy, Poland embarked on socialist industrialization. The fraternal aid of the Soviet Union played a large role in this period. The USSR supplied Poland with about 415,000 tons of petroleum products, 2 million tons of iron ore, 569,000 tons of aluminum, 250,000 tons of manganese ore, and 155,000 tons of cotton. The first long-term Soviet-Polish trade agreement was signed in January 1948.

Between 1946 and 1949, Poland concluded treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. In January 1949, Poland became a member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). By the Zgorzelec Treaty, concluded between Poland and the German Democratic Republic on July 6, 1950, the frontier along the Oder-Neisse was recognized as final and inviolable. On July 22, 1952, the Sejm adopted the constitution of the Polish People’s Republic, which strengthened the country’s socialist development and the principles of the governmental system. In the elections to the Sejm on Oct. 26, 1952, the people showed their full support of the candidates of the newly formed National Front (called the Front of National Unity since 1956), which united all parties and mass organizations under the direction of the PUWP.

As a result of the fulfillment of the six-year plan for developing the national economy (1950–55), Poland was transformed from an agricultural-industrial country into an industrial-agricultural one. The Second Congress of the PUWP, held in March 1954, reaffirmed the correctness of the party’s general line, aimed at industrializing the country and building the foundations of socialism. It also introduced certain corrective measures with regard to the party’s policy on developing rural areas. The eighth plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP (October 1956) noted the difficulties that had risen in Poland’s internal political life, indicated the ways to overcome them, and made corrections in the five-year plan (1956–60) for developing the national economy. The plenum outlined ways to eliminate disproportions in the economy’s development, to improve the planning and management of the national economy, and to speed up the development of agricultural production. It reaffirmed the decisive importance of strengthening the party’s leading role in the country’s socialist development and elected W. Gomułka first secretary of the Central Committee of the PUWP.

In January 1957 the Front of National Unity, headed by the PUWP, won a complete victory in the elections to the Sejm. The Third Congress of the PUWP (March 1959) approved the resolutions of the eighth plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP (October 1956) and outlined a program for greater democratization in all spheres of life. The Congress also approved the directives for the national development plan of 1959— 65, which included the last two years of the 1956–60 five year plan and adopted the five-year plan for 1961–65. The Congress’s resolutions defined the main trends in the further building of socialism in Poland. The Fourth Congress of the PUWP, held in June 1964, indicated the need to intensify production, implement an austerity program, and raise the level of technical progress and labor productivity. The Congress approved the control figures for Poland’s development in the period 1966–70.

In 1965 the five-year plan of 1961–65 for developing the national economy was successfully fulfilled. That year industrial production was 12 times that of the prewar level. Industry’s contribution to the national income increased from about 30 percent in 1938 to about 52 percent in 1965, and the proportion of means of production in the total industrial output rose from 42 percent to 63 percent in that period. The decisive role in industry was played by the socialist sector, which contributed more than 99.5 percent of Poland’s entire industrial output. The prospects for agricultural development depended on socialist forms of property ownership and economic activity: agricultural producers’ cooperatives (the cooperative sector) and state farms (the state sector). But the private sector in agriculture remained predominant.

The Fifth Congress of the PUWP, held in November 1968, worked out measures to increase production, modernize the national economy, and activate the party’s ideological work. After the Congress there were miscalculations in planning and errors in improving the management of the national economy, resulting in serious difficulties in the country’s political and economic life in December 1970. The seventh plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP, held on Dec. 20, 1970, adopted resolutions aimed at overcoming these difficulties and stabilizing the domestic political situation. The plenum elected E. Gierek first secretary of the Central Committee of the PUWP. The eighth plenum of the Central Committee, meeting in February 1971, emphasized that the party’s most important and urgent task was to ensure the development of production, to increase labor productivity, and in this way to raise the workers’ living standard. In accordance with the resolutions of the seventh and eighth plenums of the Central Committee, the necessary changes and corrections were made in the national economic plan and state budget for 1971, and steps were taken to ensure the resolution of urgent social and economic problems.

The results of fulfilling the national economic plan for 1966–70 were summed up at the Sixth Congress of the PUWP in December 1971. After emphasizing the considerable growth in productive forces and national income (the national income had risen by 34 percent, and the gross output had increased by 149 percent), the Congress adopted a detailed resolution called For the Further Development of Socialism in the PPR. The Congress focused on the tasks of improving the party’s supervision of the country’s sociopolitical and economic life, strengthening the party’s ties with the working class and the masses, and further increasing the workers’ well-being. The March 1972 elections to the Sejm attested to the workers’ approval of the Congress’ resolutions. The Sejm elected H. Jabloński chairman of the State Council and P. Jaroszewicz chairman of the Council of Ministers. Poland took a more active part in the international cooperation among the countries of the socialist community and in the development of socialist economic integration.

Pursuing the course adopted by the party for improving the supervision of social and political life at all levels, the September 1972 plenum of the Central Committee adopted a resolution to reform the local organs of state power. Larger administrative-economic units, called gminas, were created. The First All-Polish Conference of the PUWP, held in October 1973, summed up the results of fulfilling (in the years 1971–73) the national economic plan for 1971–75, outlined the measures to be taken for a more dynamic socioeconomic development of the country in 1974–75, and announced the objective of building a developed socialist society in Poland during the next 20 years.

In the 30 years after the war there were significant achievements in all spheres of the socialist transformation of Poland. Compared with that of 1938, the national income had increased by 87 percent in 1947, 144 percent in 1950, 299 percent in 1960, 541 percent in 1970, and 718 percent in 1973. The total industrial output had increased more than 20-fold between 1938 and 1974, and agricultural production had almost doubled. Between 1949 and 1973 capital investment in the national economy increased 12-fold. Industry was modernized during this period, and its fixed capital increased six times. The economic growth of the Polish People’s Republic was facilitated by the economic aid of the USSR in the years when the country’s economy was being restored and later during the period of industrialization. Poland has more than 100 large enterprises completely equipped with Soviet machinery. More than 200 enterprises were built or modernized with Soviet equipment, and modern machinery and equipment from the USSR has been installed at more than 300 enterprises.

Cooperation with the Soviet Union has enabled Poland to establish such new branches of industry as the manufacture of motor vehicles, tractors, and ships and to modernize its electric power, electric machine-building, ferrous metallurgy, and steel industries. By 1974, Poland was the world’s tenth leading producer of industrial goods. Its foreign trade increased 17-fold between 1947 and 1973, with the socialist countries accounting for about two-thirds (half of this amount was trade with the USSR). In the three decades after the war Poland’s population increased by 10 million. Employment in the public sector of the national economy increased 2.5 times between 1950 and 1974. The rapid development of the economy from 1971 to 1974 resulted in a substantial rise in the real wages and income of the population.

The Seventh Congress of the PUWP, held in December 1975, summed up the results of fulfilling the national economic development plan for 1971–75 and adopted a detailed resolution called For the Further Dynamic Development of Socialist Construction, for Higher Work Quality and Living Standards for the People. The resolution contains directives for Poland’s socioeconomic development from 1976 to 1980. As stressed by the Congress, the 1971–75 five-year plan was overfulfilled in terms of the major indexes. The national income increased by 62 percent during this period, production output by 73 percent (the plan had envisaged a 48–50 percent increase), foreign trade turnover by more than two-fold, and labor productivity by almost 50 percent. More than half of the new productive assets were put into operation, chiefly by modernizing outdated industries.

In 1975 the mining industry produced 171 million tons of coal; new mines for the extraction of coking coal were being built in Silesia, and the Lublin Coal Basin was being worked. During the five years, power engineering produced 6,500 megawatts. In 1975, 15 million tons of steel were smelted and 247,000 tons of copper were produced. The zinc output increased 100 percent, totaling 14.6 million tons. The volume of work in capital construction rose almost two-fold, and labor productivity in this sphere exceeded 60 percent.

In agriculture, commodity production increased by 37.4 percent and the gross output by 22 percent; expenditures in agriculture between 1971 and 1975 amounted to 258 billion zlotys. The number of cattle increased by 22 percent to 13.3 million head, and the number of hogs grew by 58 percent to 21.3 million. The average yield of the major grain crops is 26 centners per hectare (ha), as contrasted with 20.2 centners per ha in 1970. The socialized sector in the countryside has expanded, and the various types of producers’ cooperatives have continued to develop. From 1971 to 1975 the state received about 550,000 ha of land from individual peasants; state farms and producers’ cooperatives received about 800,000 ha of state land (more than 280 new cooperatives were organized). State and cooperative farms own more than 20 percent of Poland’s agricultural land; in 1975 they produced 33 percent of the country’s commodity grain and 27 percent of its meat.

During the five years, real wages in Poland increased by 40 percent, as against the 17–18 percent envisaged by the plan. A great deal of attention was given to the development of education, higher schools, science, and culture. The Congress set as tasks the further development of the people’s state, socialist democracy, education, science, and culture, as well as increased economic efficiency. The Congress proclaimed that the country was entering the stage of the construction of a developed socialist society.

The fifth plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP (December 1976) discussed the fulfillment of the socioeconomic program of the PUWP’s Seventh Congress and the question of achieving greater efficiency in economic management, as well as proposals relating to the economic development plans for 1976–80 and 1977. The plenum’s resolutions envisaged some corrections in the plan indexes and economic maneuvering aimed at concentrating effort on the main lines of planned economic development. Emphasis was placed on using industrial resources more rationally, providing the domestic market with more consumer goods, and increasing the allocations for the development of agriculture and housing. The plenum called for reducing the share of capital construction in national income and increasing the output of export products.

The sixth plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP, held in January 1977, dealt with the problems of developing crop cultivation and livestock raising and more effectively using agricultural resources.

The seventh plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP (April 1977) discussed the party’s ideological and educational work and set the tasks of further strengthening the organization of the PUWP and promoting its work in heightening the socialist consciousness of the people. The ninth plenum of the Central Committee of the PUWP (October 1977) noted that the Second All-Polish Conference of the PUWP, to be held in January 1978, would evaluate the work of fulfilling the decisions of the Seventh Party Congress and would set the tasks for 1978–80.

With the strengthening of the socialist state, Poland’s authority in international affairs has grown. Poland is a charter member of the UN. In 1977 it maintained diplomatic relations with 115 states and traded with about 160 countries and territories. That year Poland was represented in 580 international organizations. A member of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, established in 1955, Poland, along with the other countries of the socialist community, advocates peaceful coexistence and cooperation with all countries and supports the strengthening of international security. The foreign policy of the Polish People’s Republic rests on friendship, unity, and cooperation with the socialist states and on support for the peoples struggling to liberate themselves from colonial and neocolonial exploitation, as well as solidarity with them. In August 1968, Poland took part in the joint measures of five socialist countries—signatories of the Warsaw Pact—aimed at preserving the socialist gains in Czechoslovakia.

At the Twelfth Session of the UN General Assembly in 1957, Poland’s proposal for the creation of a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe received wide support. Three years later, at the Fifteenth Session of the UN General Assembly, Poland submitted a proposal calling for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles, a halt to the establishment of military bases on the territory of other countries, and other measures aimed at strengthening peace. Poland signed the Moscow Treaty of 1963, banning the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, outer space, and under water, as well as the 1968 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. The Polish People’s Republic has made an important contribution to the efforts of the countries of the socialist community to reduce international tension. One of the most important results of these efforts was the signing in December 1970 of a treaty on the principles of normalizing relations between the Polish People’s Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), in which the FRG recognized the incontestability and inviolability of the Oder-Neisse boundary. On Apr. 8, 1965, Poland and the USSR signed a new treaty of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance. Between 1965 and 1970, Poland concluded similar treaties with the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People’s Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Rumania.

V. D. KOROLIUK (prior to the late 18th century) I. S. MILLER (from the late 18th century to the late 19th) A. IA. MANUSEVICH (from the early 20th century to 1944) P. KUZ’MIN and V. IASNOV (since 1944)


Volumina legum, vols. 1–10. Warsaw-Kraków-Poznań, 1733–1952.
Anonymus Gallus. Khronika i deianiia kniazei Hi pravilelei pol’skikh. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Latin.)
Statuty Kazimierza Wielkiego. Poznan, 1947.
Materiaiy dodziejówSejmu czteroletniego, vols. 1–6. Wroclaw, 1955–69.
Izbr. proizv. progressimykh pol’sk. myslitelei, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1956–58.
Żródta do dziejów klasy robotniczej na ziemiach polskich, vols. 1–3. Warsaw, 1962–72.
Nachalo Pervoi russkoi revoliutsii, Ianv.-mart 1905g. (Revoliutsiia 19051907 gg. ν Rossii: Dokumenty i materiaiy). Moscow, 1955.
Dokumenty i materiaiy po istorii sovetsko-pol’skikh otnoshenii, vols. 1–8. Moscow, 1963–74.
Works by the Founders of Marxism-Leninism
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “O Pol’she.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed., vol. 4.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “O pol’skom voprose.” Ibid.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. [Articles from the Neue Rheinische Zeitung.] Ibid., vols. 5–6.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Mitingu ν Zheneve, sozvannomu ν pamiat’ 50-i godovshchiny pol’skoi revoliutsii 1830 g.” Ibid., vol. 19.
Marx, K. “Rech’ na pol’skom mitinge ν Londone 22 ianv. 1867 g.” Ibid., vol. 16.
Marx, K. “K istorii pol’skogo voprosa: Rukopisi 1863–1864 gg.” In Arkhiv Marksa i Engel’sa, vol. 14. Moscow, 1973.
Engels, F. “Kakoe delo rabochemu klassu do Pol’shi?” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed., vol. 16.
Engels, F. “Emigrantskaia literatura.” Ibid., vol. 18.
Engels, F. “Za Pol’shu.” Ibid.
Engels, F. “Vneshnaia politika russkogo tsarizma.” Ibid., vol. 22.
Engels, F. “Predislovie k pol’skomu izdaniiu Manifesta Kommunistiches-koipartii 1892 g.” Ibid.
Lenin, V. I., “Natsional’nyi vopros ν nashei programme.” Poln. sobr. soch, 5th ed., vol. 7.
Lenin, V. I., “Raskol ν pol’skoi sotsial-demokratii.” Ibid., vol. 22.
Lenin, V. I., “Tezisy po natsional’nomu voprosu.” Ibid., vol. 23.
Lenin, V. I., “Neskol’ko zamechanii po povodu Otveta P. Maslova.” Ibid., vol. 17.
Lenin, V. I., “Itogi diskussii o samoopredelenii.” Ibid, vol. 30.
Lenin, V. I., “O mire bez anneksii i o nezavisimosti Pol’shi, kak lozungakh dnia ν Rossii.” Ibid., vol. 27.
Lenin, V. I., “Rech’ na mitinge Varshavskogo revoliutsionnogo polka 2 avg. 1918 g.” Ibid., vol. 37.


Istoriia Pol’shi, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1954–58. Supplementary volume, Ocherki istorii Narodnoi Pol’shi. Moscow, 1965. (Contains a bibliography.)
Razumovskaia, L. V. Ocherki po istorii pol’skikh krest’ian: Ot drevnikh vremen do XV v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Koroliuk, V. D. Drevnepol’skoe gosudarstvo. Moscow, 1957.
Koroliuk, V. D. Zapadnyeslaviane iKievskaia Rus’νX-XI vv. Moscow, 1964.
Kula, W. Formirovanie kapitalizma ν Pol’she. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from Polish.)
Kostiushko, I. I. Krest’ianskaia reforma 1864 g. ν Tsarstve Pol’skom. Moscow, 1962.
Snytko, T. G. Russkoe narodnichestvo ipol’skoe obshchestvennoe dvizhenie, 1865–1881 gg. Moscow, 1969.
Historia Polski, vol. 1, parts 1–3; vol. 2, parts 1–4; vol. 3, parts 1–2; vol. 4, part 1. Warsaw, 1955–72.
Rutkowski, J. Historia gospodarcza Polski, 3rd ed., vols. 1–2. Poznań, 1947–50.
Lelewel, J. Dzieła, vols. 1–8, 10. Warsaw, 1957–72.
Hensel, W. Polska przed tysiqcem lat, 3rd ed. Wroclaw, 1967.
Łowmiań ski, H. Początki Polski, vols. 1–5. Warsaw, 1963–73.
Tymieniecki, K. Historia chtopów polskich, vols. 1–3. Warsaw, 1966–69.
Jabloń ski, H. Narodziny Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej. Warsaw, [1962].
Rawski, T., Z. Stą por, and J. Zamojski. Wojna wyzwoleńcza narodu polskiego w latach 1939–1945, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1966.
Madajczyk, C. Polityka III Rzeczy w okupowanej Polsce, vols. 1–2. Warsaw, 1970.
Kowalski, W. T. ZSRR agranica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej 1941–1945. Warsaw, 1965.
Bibliographical reference materials
Kaloeva, I. A. Sovetskoe slavianovedenie (1918–1960). Moscow, 1963. Pages 151–256.
Kaloeva, I. A. Sovetskoe slavianovedenie (1961–1962). Moscow, 1963. Pages 134–76.
Kaloeva, I. A. Sovetskoe slavianovedenie (1963–1968). Moscow, 1973.
Estreicher, K. Bibliografia polska, vols. 1–34. Kraków, 1872–1951.
Estreicher, K. Bibliografia polska XIX stulecia, 2nd ed., vols. 1–10. Kraków, 1959–1972.
Bibliografia historii Polski, vol. 1., parts 1–3; vol. 2, parts 1–2. Warsaw, 1965–71.

Political parties. The Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza) was founded in 1948 through a merger of the Polish Workers’ Party and the Polish Socialist Party. In 1977 it numbered some 2.6 million members and candidates. The United Peasant Party (UPP, Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe) was founded in 1949 and had 420,400 members in 1976. The Democratic Party (DP, Stronnictwo Democratyczne), founded in 1938, had a membership of more than 94,100 in 1976.

Front of National Unity (Front Jednoáci Narodu). Founded in 1952 and called the National Front until October 1956, the Front of National Unity includes the PUWP, UPP, DP, trade unions, the Federation of Socialist Unions of Polish Youth, and other social organizations.

Trade unions and other social and public organizations. The Central Council of Trade Unions, founded in 1945, is made up of 23 trade unions with 12.3 million members (1976). The Federation of Socialist Unions of Polish Youth, founded in 1973, includes the Union of Socialist Polish Youth, the Socialist Union of Polish Students, and the Union of Polish Pioneers. It has a membership of more than 5 million. The League of Women, founded in 1945, had more than 467,000 members in 1976. The Union of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy, founded in 1949, unites veterans of World War II, participants in the resistance movement, and former prisoners of fascist concentration camps. In 1976 it had more than 520,000 members. The All-Polish Committee for Peace was founded in 1948. The Society for Polish-Soviet Friendship, founded in 1944, numbers some 4 million persons.


General characteristics. During the period of socialist development, Poland was transformed into an industrial-agricultural country. Whereas in 1950 industry contributed 1.5 times less to the national income than agriculture, in 1974 it contributed 4.3 times more (in 1971 prices). Industry and construction accounted for 64.3 percent of the national income in 1974 and agriculture for 11.8 percent.

Between 1950, when the national economy had already been essentially restored, and 1973 national income increased almost 5.5 times, the fixed capital stock 2.3 times, the gross industrial output 9.4 times (means of production, Group A, 13 times; consumer goods, Group B, 8 times), and agriculture 1.9 times. In 1973 the socialist sector accounted for 81.6 percent of the national income, 82.5 percent of the fixed capital stock, 98.3 percent of the gross industrial output, 16.9 percent of the total agricultural output, and 99.1 percent of the retail trade. Between 1970 and 1974 the annual growth rate of the national income increased sharply, averaging more than 11 percent.

During the years of the people’s rule the historically conditioned differences in the level of economic development among the various parts of Poland have been largely erased. The rate of economic development in the historically more backward eastern and northern regions has surpassed that of other regions. However, the center of heavy industry is still the south, where 40 percent of Poland’s industrial fixed productive capital is concentrated.

Other socialist countries, primarily the USSR, have contributed to Poland’s industrialization and the development of its leading branches of industry. As a member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), Poland has been active in strengthening and expanding the socialist economic integration of the member countries. Within COMECON, Poland specializes in products of the machine-building industry and is an important supplier of coal, coke, copper, zinc, sulfur, rock salt, several chemical products, medical preparations, consumer goods, and certain agricultural products. Poland has helped other countries build roads, electric power plants, and industrial enterprises and has provided transportation services, both railroad and maritime shipping.

Industry. Poland’s industrial output has been increasing at a rapid rate, averaging 10 percent annually from 1971 to 1974, 8.4 percent during the 1960’s, and 12.9 percent during the 1950’s. The machine-building and chemical industries developed especially rapidly between 1950 and 1974, their share of the industrial output increasing 4.5-fold and 2.8-fold respectively. (For the structure of industry see Table 2.)

Table 2. Branch structure of state and cooperative industry (1973)
 Industrial output (percent)Number of workers (percent)Fixed capital stock (percent)Exports (percent)
Fuel and energy.........13.811.528.012.7
Coal .........
Electric power .........
Ferrous metallurgy .........
Nonferrous metallurgy .........
Machine building .........29232020341 5
Chemical .........9.86.912.89.6
Building materials .........30455408
Lumbering and wood    
products .........
Paper and pulp .........1 21 31 802
Light industry .........
Textiles .........11.310.45.12.9
Food processing .........14.411.19.410.5

MINING AND POWER ENGINEERING. Although the mining industry’s share of the gross industrial output decreased by almost three times (to 5.7 percent) between 1950 and 1973, mining continues to be a highly important industry of general European significance. Poland is the world’s second leading exporter of coal (35.9 million tons in 1973) and sulfur. Some three-fourths of the coal is extracted from the Upper Silesian Basin, and more than one-fifth of this amount (mostly coking coal) is obtained from the new and enlarged mines near Rybnik. Coking coal is also mined in the Lower Silesian (Wałbrzych) Basin. The Lublin Coal Basin is being worked, as well as the lignite deposits in the Bełchatów region.

In 1970 coal supplied four-fifths of the country’s energy needs; 7 percent of this amount was provided by lignite, used by the larger steam power plants—the Turów Plant (2 million kW) and the three steam power plants near Konin (producing 2.8 million kW). In the 1970’s large coal-operated steam power plants are being built on the banks of the Vistula and Oder; the Kozienice (2.6 million kW) and Lower Oder (1.6 million kW) plants have been put into operation. Under construction in 1975 were three other steam power plants, including the Potanec (3.1 million kW). In 1973 hydroelectric power plants provided only 2.2 percent of the country’s electric energy. Because Poland’s hydroelectric resources are limited, pumped-storage hydroelectric power plants are becoming more important. The largest of these plants is Porąbka, producing 0.5 million kW. The installed capacity of Poland’s electric power plants was 19.1 million kW in 1974.

Poland produces 0.6 million tons of petroleum annually. About nine-tenths of the oil refining (11.4 million tons in 1974) is done at Płock, which receives raw material from the USSR by the Druzhba Pipeline; a second large refinery began operating in Gdańsk in 1975. The remaining five oil refineries are located near old oilfields in the Carpathians (three) and in the Upper Silesian Basin (two).

Natural gas production rose from 0.2 billion cu m in 1950 to 6 billion cu m in 1974. The center of the natural gas industry has shifted from the Carpathians to the Sandomierz Basin. A gas pipeline connects Przemyśl in the basin with Warsaw, after which it extends northward and westward to the Upper Silesian Basin. Natural gas deposits are being developed south of Poznań.

Lead and zinc ores have been extracted for centuries around Bytom and Olkusz. Exploitation of the Lubin-Głogów copper ore deposits in Wroclaw and Zielona Góra województwos began in the 1950’s and 1960’s. A small amount of iron ore is mined, chiefly around Czestochowa; some 1.3 million tons were produced in 1974.

MANUFACTURING. The ferrous metallurgy industry uses local coking coal and depends heavily on imported iron ore (15.6 million tons in 1974), most of which comes from the USSR. More than three-fifths of Poland’s cast iron and more than two-fifths of its steel are produced by the Lenin Plant, built with Soviet aid at Nowa Huta, near Kraków. The out-put of the Lenin Plant exceeds the combined output of the 15 old plants of the Upper Silesian Conurbation. In 1975 the Katowice Works, with a first-phase annual capacity of more than 4 million tons of steel, was under construction in Upper Silesia. There are two more metallurgical plants in the south—in Częstochowa and Zawiercie. The Zawiercie plant is becoming one of the largest centers of electric steel production, along with Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Warsaw, and Stalowa Wola.

The smelting of zinc and lead is concentrated in Katowice and in the new centers of Bukowno and Miasteczko Ślaskie. During the 1950’s an aluminum industry was established, using imported alumina, chiefly Hungarian. The plants in Skawina and around Konin, where there are large steam power plants, produced 102,000 tons of aluminum in 1974. The growing copper industry is based in Glogów and Legnica.

Poland’s machine-building industry is characterized by an intensive use of metal and by a diversity of products and exports. This pertains primarily to the production of industrial equipment, especially that used in heavy machine building. The principal export industries are shipbuilding (Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Szczecin) and the production of aircraft (Warsaw, Mielec, and Świdnik) and railroad cars (Świdnica, Zielona Góra, Wroclaw, and Poznań). A considerable number of the locomotives produced in Poznań, Wrocław, and Chrzanów are also exported. The automotive industry is characterized by extensive cooperation among enterprises, including foreign companies. Trucks are manufactured in Starachowice, Jelcz, Lublin, and Nysa, buses in Jelcz and Sanok, and passenger cars at Warsaw, Tychy, and Bielsko-Biala.

In addition to means of transportation, which account for about one-third of the exported machinery, Poland also exports hoisting-transport and construction machinery and equipment for sugar refineries, foundries, and factories producing sulfuric acid, wood-chip panels, and concrete. Other important exports are metal-cutting and woodworking machine tools, ships’ engines, electric motors, and turbine units.

The chemical industry has considerable raw material resources at its disposal—native sulfur (in 1974, 4.1 million tons were mined), salt (3.3 million tons), natural gas, and by-products of coking. Among the most important chemical products are soda ash (Kraków, Inowroclaw, and Janikowo, with nearby salt mines), calcium carbide (Oświęcim), sulfuric acid, and superphosphate. The sulfuric acid and superphosphate are produced in the Machów region, where native sulfur is mined; in Police (near Szczecin) and Gdańsk, which receive phosphate raw material shipped by sea; and in regions where agriculture has traditionally been intensive, such as the areas around Poznań, Wroclaw, and Toruń. Other major chemical products are composite fertilizers (Police) and nitrogen fertilizers, produced in Kgdzierzyn, where coke was formerly used, and in cities along the gas pipelines—Puławy, Włocławek, and Tarnów. Viscous fiber is

Table 3. Output of the leading industrial products
Electric power (billion kW-hrs) ............9.429.364.591.6
Coal (million tons) ............78104140162
Lignite (million tons) ............4.89.332.839.8
Steel (million tons) ............256711 8146
Coke (million tons) ............611.916.518.1
Cast iron (million tons) ............
Zinc (tons) ............114,000176,000209,000233,000
Copper (tons) ............10,50021,70072,200195,000
Sulfuric acid (million tons) ............
Plastics (tons) ............40,100224,000396,000
Chemical fibers (tons) ............24,80077,800138,000196,000
Synthetic (tons) ............4045005380096000
Metalworking machines (units) ............4,10025,90036,30033,000
Tractors (units) ............4,0007,20038,70055,100
Motor vehicles (units) ............80036,800146,000222,800
Passenger cars (units) ............13,10064,200133,000
Ocean-going ships (gross registered tons) ............5,900212,000434,000594.0001
Railroad freight cars (units) ............13,90013,90015,50017,900
Cement (million tons) ............2.56.612.216.8
Cotton fabrics (million m) ............432667881885
Sugar (million tons) ............

produced at Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Łódź, and Jelenia Góra, and paints and dyes are manufactured at Zgierz, Brzeg-Dolny, and Bydgoszcz.

The principal centers of the organic synthesis industry —Oświęcim, Kędzierzyn, Tarnów, Bydgoszcz, and Brzeg-Dolny—have basically shifted from carbon-chemical to petrochemical raw material; Plock is a petrochemical center. These cities produce plastics, and Oświęcim also manufactures synthetic rubber. Tarnów makes semifinished products for synthetic fibers; the fibers are then made in Toruń and Gorzów Wielkopol-ski. Pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals are manufactured in Warsaw, Kraków, and Zielona Góra; perfume in Poznań, Łódź, and Kraków; rubber in Grudziądz and Łódź; and automobile tires in Olsztyn, Dębica, and Poznań.

The cement and glass industries are well developed (Krosno, Piotrków Trybunalski, and Sandomierz), as is the production of porcelain and earthenware (Walbrzych, Katowice, Czeliadź, Włoclawek, Pruszków, and Ćmeliów). The lumbering and wood products industry, which basically satisfies Poland’s domestic needs, exports lumber, furniture, matches, fiberboards, and paper. In 1974, Poland produced 7.6 million cu m of lumber and 1 million tons of paper. Most of the wood pulp output of 0.6 million tons was produced in Świecie, Ostrołęka, and Kostrzyn.

The textile industry, one of the country’s oldest industries, produces cotton, linen (142 million m in 1974), woolen (117 million m), silk, and semisilk (187 million m) fabrics, as well as knitted goods. Most of the textile factories are concentrated in the Łódź and Sudetes (Lower Silesia) textile regions, which developed long ago, as well as in and around Bielsko-Biała, Częstochowa, and Białystok. The leather and footwear industry is dominated by large-scale enterprises in Radom, Bydgoszcz, Chełmek, Krapkowice, Gniezno, Słupsk, and Nowy Targ.

The food-processing industry produces sugar, vodka and other alcoholic beverages, confectionery, meat products (including bacon and ham), butter, tobacco products, beer, margarine, and fish products. Some foodstuffs are exported. (For the output of selected industrial goods see Table 3.)

Agriculture. Agriculture is dominated by small farms. Individual peasant farms contributed approximately 83 percent of Poland’s total agricultural output in 1973. In 1970, three-fourths of Poland’s 3.4 million privately owned farms had 7 hectares (ha) or less of agricultural land, and of these more than one-third had 2 ha or less. Farms exceeding 7 ha account for more than half of the peasant-owned land, and farms with more than 20 ha account for one-tenth of such land. The proportion of farms under 2 ha is highest in the southeast and in the Kraków area, where strip farming is common. Most of the large farms are in the west-central part of Poland.

In 1973 the socialist sector controlled 19.5 percent of the land suitable for agriculture. Of this land, 16.4 percent was used by state farms, primarily in the west and north, 1.4 percent by producers’ cooperatives, and 0.7 percent by agricultural groups. In the agricultural groups the farm equipment is owned collectively; in 1973 123,000 tractors out of a total of 363,000 used in agriculture belonged to such groups. The use of mineral fertilizers (174 kg per ha of farmland in 1973–74), the liming of acidic soils, and land improvement have raised the productivity of the country’s arable land (more than one-fourth of which has been improved) and hayfields and pastures (more than half of which have been improved).

About 62 percent of Poland’s territory is agricultural land; arable land occupies 47.3 percent of Poland’s total area, and pastures cover another 13.4 percent. In 1973 crop cultivation accounted for 54.8 percent of the gross agricultural output and livestock raising for 45.2 percent. In the output of agricultural commodities these proportions were reversed, with crop cultivation contributing 35.4 percent and animal husbandry 64.6 percent.

CROP CULTIVATION. Field crops constitute the largest proportion of market crops. Vegetables account for 4.5 percent of the agricultural commodity output and fruit for 3.3 percent. In 1973 cereals and legumes occupied 57.5 percent of the sown area (as compared to 67.4 percent in 1950), potatoes 18.2 percent (17.4 percent), industrial crops 6.3 percent (4.1 percent), and fodder crops 14.9 percent (9.3 percent). (For the sown area and yield of the chief crops see Table 4.)

Poland had a grain harvest of 23 million tons in 1974. It is the world’s second (after the USSR) largest producer of rye and potatoes, both of which are well suited to the sandy soil that covers much of Poland.

LIVESTOCK RAISING. Animal husbandry is based on pasture grazing, and the most important sectors are hog and cattle raising. In 1973 milk accounted for 14.7 percent of the agricultural commodity output, beef and veal for 10 percent, pork for 26.5 percent, mutton for 0.3 percent, poultry for 3.1 percent and eggs for 4.2 percent. (See Table 5 for data on the livestock population.)

There are regional differences in the structure of landowner-ship, labor productivity, and the intensity and commercialization of agriculture.

FISHING. In 1974, Poland’s fish catch was 588,000 tons (as

Table 4. Sown area, harvest, and yield of the chief crops
 Sown area (ha)Harvest1 (million tons)Yield1 (centners per ha)
1Yearly average 2Industrial 31973 41971–73
Wheat ...........1,617,0002,022,0003.05.719.728.2
Rye ...........4,447,0003,138,0007.58.016.423.3
Oats ...........1,314,0001,271,00032.63.2417.124.34
Barley ...........689,0001,230,0001.43.119.429.0
Potatoes ...........2,765,0002,684,0004447.315417.7
Sugar beets ...........476.0002440,0001113.4267307
Table 5. Livestock and poultry population (June of each year)
 Total headHead per 100 ha of farmland
1Computed in terms of arable land
Horses2 800 0002,300,00013.712.0
Chickens35,000,00083,000,000232 1565

compared to 66,000 tons in 1950), most of it from the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

LUMBERING. More than four-fifths of the forested area belongs to the state. The timber output totaled 21.5 million cu m in 1974.

Transportation. Most of Poland’s freight and passenger traffic is handled by railroad. There are 26,700 km of railroad tracks, of which 5,100 km were electrified as of 1974. The electrified railroad lines are concentrated in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, where more than two-fifths of the country’s railroad freight originates. Almost one-fourth of the railroad frieght is foreign-trade cargo, with transit shipments accounting for 4 percent.

Poland has 140,600 km of paved roads, of which 95,000 have been improved. Navigable inland waterways total 4,600 km. The principal waterway is the Oder River, connected with the Gli-wice Canal. There are 1,600 km of petroleum pipelines. In 1974 the merchant marine totaled 2.1 million gross registered tons. The most important seaports are Szczecin and Świnoujście, whose combined cargo turnover amounted to 23.1 million tons in 1974; Gdynia; and Gdańsk, where a new harbor for large ocean-going ships has been built. Poland’s international airport is Okęcie, near Warsaw, and air service is provided by the state airline Lot.

Foreign trade. In the postwar period Poland’s foreign trade has been one of the most dynamic branches of the national economy. Between 1950 and 1973 the foreign trade turnover increased 7.7 times. As a result Poland’s share of the world trade, which had remained at 1.1 percent from 1938 to 1970, rose to 1.3 percent in 1973. Poland’s trade relations with the COMECON countries are of decisive importance for its foreign trade as a whole. In 1973 the COMECON countries accounted for 53.4 percent of Poland’s foreign trade, the advanced capitalist countries for 39.8 percent, and the developing countries for 4.5 percent.

The principal change in the commodity structure of Poland’s foreign trade as a whole and with the socialist countries in particular has been a sharp increase in the export of finished industrial products, primarily machinery, equipment, and means of transportation (see Table 6). As a resuit

Table 6. Commodity structure of exports and imports1 (in percent)
1 In prices for the respective years
Machinery and equipment   
Exports .............7.828.338.9
Imports .............32.427.141.2
Fuel, raw materials, and finished materials   
Exports .............49.538.629.6
Imports .............37.233.532.2
Farm products and foodstuffs   
Exports .............30.623.015.2
Imports .............27.133.920.4
Industrial consumer goods   
Exports .............
Imports .............

of structural changes in the national economy, the proportion of machinery and industrial equipment in exports increased from 7.8 percent in 1950 to 38.9 percent in 1973. About 80 percent of the commodities in this group are shipped to socialist countries, which also receive some 72 percent of Poland’s exports of industrial consumer goods. Along with the USSR, Poland is the largest supplier of fuel and raw material to the COMECON countries, chiefly coal, zinc, copper, and rolled ferrous metals. In return, the COMECON countries provide most of Poland’s imports of machinery and equipment (about 75 percent), petroleum and petroleum products (about 90 percent), iron ore (about 80 percent), and other raw and processed materials, and farm products, including grain.

Poland’s chief trading and economic partner is the Soviet Union, which received 32.4 percent of Poland’s exports and supplied 24.4 percent of its imports in 1973. The German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia are also important trading partners. The Polish People’s Republic has been active in promoting production specialization among the COMECON countries and has cooperated with them in production and capital investment. Poland has concluded about 150 bilateral agreements with other COMECON countries on specialization and cooperation in various branches of manufacturing. In its economic relations with the advanced capitalist countries the Polish People’s Republic has encouraged cooperation in both production and science and technology.

In 1974 some 7.9 million foreign tourists visited Poland, as compared to 1.9 million in 1970, including 5.5 million from the German Democratic Republic (500,000 in 1970). The monetary unit is the zloty. By the exchange rate of the State Bank of the USSR, 100 zlotys equaled 22.50 rubles in January 1975.

Economic regions. Poland may be divided into seven economic regions.

The economy of the central industrial region is largely determined by the Warsaw and Łódź industrial conurbations. Warsaw is Poland’s largest center of machine building, including electrical and electronic equipment, optical instruments, machine tools, motor vehicles, and tractors. Also important are the production of chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, and printing. In the Łódź Conurbation the dominant industry is textiles. The Łódź metropolitan area and the other cities in the województwo constitute the country’s principal textile region, producing large quantities of synthetic fibers, dyes, and textile and other types of machinery. Outside these conurbations, Płock is noted for its petrochemical industry.

The west-central economic region has intensive agriculture and a diversified industry. The leading industries are machine building (Poznań, Bydgoszcz), electric power production (Konin Lignite Basin), chemicals (soda near Inowrocław, polymers in Bydgoszcz, nitrogen fertilizers in Włocławek, synthetic fibers in Toruń), rubber (Poznań and Grudziądz), and food processing (sugar and meat). Industry is distributed comparatively evenly, although a large number of enterprises are concentrated in the cities along the Vistula.

The southern or Silesia-Kraków economic region is dominated by heavy industry. It is a well-developed coal and metallurgical complex with two principal centers—the Upper Silesian Conurbation (and coal basin) and Kraków. Other important centers are Bielsko-Biała (motor vehicles, machinery, textiles), Częstochowa (ferrous metallurgy, textiles), and Oświęcim and Kędzierzyn (chemicals). In the Carpathians are the health resorts of Zakopane, Krynica and Rabka.

The southwestern economic region, or Lower Silesia, is noted for its high level of industrial development and intensive agriculture. Among its numerous and abundant natural resources are coal and lignite, copper ore, nickel, kaolin, and building stone. The traditional industries of the region are food processing, concentrated on the left bank of the Oder (sugar mills), and textile manufacture, dispersed throughout the small industrial towns of the Sudetes. New industries include machine building (Sudetes, Wroclaw, and Zielona Góra) and the production of chemicals, electric power, and copper (Głgów, Legnica). There are also health resorts in the Sudetes.

The northwestern, or maritime, economic region is an industrial-agricultural area. Its principal centers are the seaports of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Szczecin, noted for their large-scale shipbuilding. Agriculture is market-oriented owing to the prevalence of state farms. There are numerous resorts along the coast, of which the best known are Sopot, Międzyzdroje, and Hel.

The northeastern economic region is an agricultural-industrial area. Its leading industrial centers are Białystok (textiles) and Olsztyn. Lumbering is also important. Regional economic development has emphasized the intensification of agriculture and the promotion of tourism, particularly on the Great Masurian and other lakes.

The southeastern economic region is an industrial-agricultural area with predominantly new industries, including machine building, the production of alloy steel, cement, and nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, and the extraction of natural gas and sulfur. Among growing industrial centers are Lublin, Rzeszów, Stalowa Wola, Kielce, Radom, and Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. The chief farm products are tobacco, hops, and hemp. (See Table 7 for statistics on economic regions.)


Growth of prosperity. The multifaceted and rapid development of Poland’s economy during the years of people’s rule has created the preconditions for a rise in the population’s standard of living through higher personal income, increased public consumption, and greater satisfaction of cultural needs.

The national income increased 2.4 times between 1960 and 1973, when about 65.4 percent of the national income was used for consumption, including 55.4 percent for personal consumption and 10 percent for consumption from the public fund. From 1946 to 1973 the consumption fund increased more than 7.3 times, and from 1950 to 1973 the per capita consumption fund almost doubled. In 1973 the consumption fund totaled 720 billion zlotys (at 1971 prices), or 21,600 zlotys per capita. Of this amount, consumption from personal income amounted to 669 billion zlotys, or 18,300 zlotys per capita.

The Sixth Congress of the PUWP adopted a broad social program which, along with measures aimed at increasing personal income, provided for larger expenditures for the needs of the working people from the public consumption funds, a growth in the production and import of consumer goods, expansion of communal and domestic services, and an increase in construction. In the course of successfully fulfilling the economic development plan for 1971–75, the growth rate of the people’s living standard increased still further. The plan envisaged an overall increase in consumption of 38 percent and an average rise in real wages of 18 percent, targets that were overfulfilled in the plan’s first three years. Real wages increased by 25 percent between 1971 and 1973, and the consumption fund grew at an average rate of 9.1 percent annually, in contrast to the 6.8 percent stipulated by the plan. During this period 6.5 million industrial and office workers received a pay increase as part of wage regulation. The families of low-income workers and large families with a per capita income of under 1,400 zlotys a month receive monetary subsidies from the social funds of enterprises and from general state funds.

Between 1960 and 1973 the average monthly wage in the socialized sector of the national economy increased from 1,509 to 2,798 zlotys, and real wages increased 1.5 times. The average monthly wage in the collectivized sector of agriculture (2,457 zlotys in 1973) is somewhat lower than in industry (2,873 in 1973), but it has been rising steadily. Increases in the purchase prices of farm products have resulted in higher incomes for noncollectivized peasants, whose gross income rose by 62 percent from 1971 to 1973 and whose personal consumption funds increased by 66 percent. The population’s deposits in savings accounts increased from 77 million zlotys in 1950 to 174.4 billion zlotys in 1973.

Public consumption tripled between 1960 and 1973. About 85 percent of the population was covered by social security and social insurance in 1973, in contrast to 47 percent in 1950 and 60 percent in 1960. The social security system covers those who work in the socialized sector and their families. The great majority of citizens are eligible for old-age and disability pensions, health and maternity insurance, and family assistance grants. Women are eligible for old-age pensions upon reaching the age of 60 after 20 years of work; for men the pension age is 65 and the working period, 25 years. The size of the pension depends on the wages and the length of time worked. From 1960 to 1973 the pension fund increased 4.2 times, and the number of persons receiving pensions rose from 1.4 million to 2.9 million. Disabled workers are entitled to a disability pension if they have worked for more than five years. Family assistance grants, introduced in 1947, depend on family income. Allocations to families with many children increased from 7.7 billion zlotys in 1960 to 10.5 billion zlotys in 1973. Pregnant women are granted maternity leaves ranging from 16 to 18 weeks with assistance payments equal to their wages. After this period, a woman may obtain a three-year leave without compensation, during which time she retains her job seniority.

An eight-hour workday and a 46-hour workweek have been instituted; for potentially harmful occupations the workweek is 36 hours. Annual paid vacations are guaranteed by legislation. The scholarship program that went into effect in 1974 provides stipends for 70 percent of the country’s students. The minimum monthly stipend has been increased from 400 to 600 zlotys.

Retail sales increased almost 2.5 times between 1960 and 1973. The demand for industrial goods is growing more rapidly

Table 7. Economic regions and their share in selected national indexes1 (percent 1973)
 AreaPopulationGross industrial outputState of farm products
   TotalMachine buildingChemicalsTextilesFood 
1The Polish Central Statistical Office has designated contiguous województwos as economic regions
Central (Warsaw and Łódź wojewodztwos; Warsaw and Łódź) ......1519.117.921.017.638.616.217.3
West-central (Bydgoszcz and Poznań województwos; Poznań).........1514.014.012.816.
Southern (Katowice, Kraków, and Opole województwos; Kraków)..........1123.331.923.230.719.417.210.1
Southwestern (Wrocław and Zielona Góra województwos; Wrocław) .........1110.412.913.211.022.49. 810.0
Northwestern (Gdań sk, Koszalin, and Szczecin województwos)139.98.412.46.82. 012.712.1
Northeastern (Biatystok and Olsztyn województwos) 97. 010.7
Southeastern (Rzeszów, Kielce, and Lublin województwos).....2016.812.415.515.13. 615.917.6

than the demand for food products. Between 1960 and 1973 the number of television sets per 100 households increased from six to 73, the number of refrigerators from 1.8 to 41.5, and the number of washing machines from 19 to 82. There has been a sharp increase in the consumption of meat, milk and other dairy products, and sugar. Housing has increased at a rapid rate: more than 3.3 million urban apartments were built between 1950 and 1973.



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Ilinich, lu. V. Ekonomicheskaia geografiia Pol’shi. Moscow, 1958.
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Pol’sha: Geografiia, istoriia, kul’tura. Warsaw, 1959.
Karpinski, A., and A. Rakowski. Pol’sha na fone mirovoi ekonomiki. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Polish.)
Bajear, A. Turistskii putevoditel’ po Pol’she. Warsaw, 1971.
Pol’skaia Narodnaia Respublika: Spravochnik Moscow, 1974.
Kostrowicki, J. Pol’sha: Priroda-Naselenie-Arkhitektura. Warsaw, 1972.
Kostrowicki, J. Środowisko geograficzne Polski, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1961.
Geografia gospodarcza Polski Warsaw, 1963.
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Wielka encyklopedia powszechna [vol.] 9. Warsaw, 1967.
Polska: Zarys encyklopedyczny. Warsaw, 1974.
Narodowy Atlas Polski. Warsaw, 1973—.

The Polish armed forces consist of an army, an air force, anti-aircraft defense units, a navy, and border troops. They are supervised by the minister of national defense.

The nucleus of the Polish armed forces was the First T. Ko-ciuszko Division (named after Poland’s national hero), formed in the USSR in the spring of 1943. On Oct. 12, 1943, the division, operating jointly with Soviet troops, fought a battle against Nazi German troops near the Byelorussian village of Lenino, successfully carrying out its military mission. This date is celebrated as Polish Armed Forces Day. The organization of the I Polish Corps began in August 1943. The corps became the basis for the First Polish Army, formed in March 1944, and for the Second Army, organized later that year. Together with the Soviet Army, the Polish forces took part in the Vistula-Oder, Eastern Pomeranian, Berlin, and Prague operations against the fascist German Army.

The Polish Army is recruited on the basis of universal compulsory military service. The term of active service in the engineering units and in the navy is three years; in the other branches it is two years. The draft age is 19. Officers are trained at military academies and schools. The armed forces are equipped with missiles, tanks, aircraft, and combat ships. Most of the military equipment is of domestic manufacture. Since the Warsaw Treaty Organization was created in 1955, the armed forces of the Polish People’s Republic have taken part in joint measures to strengthen the United Armed Forces in order to ensure peace and security in Europe.

Medicine and public health. In 1973 the birth rate was 17.9 per 1,000 inhabitants and the mortality rate, 8.3; the infant mortality rate was 26.1 per 1,000 live births. In 1946 the corresponding figures were 26.2, 10.2 and 119.8. The average life expectancy in 1973 was 70.3 years, 66.8 years for men and 73.8 years for women.

Among the leading causes of illness and death are cardiovascular diseases and malignant tumors. Many infectious diseases have been successfully controlled. There has been a sharp decline in the incidence of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, and tuberculosis. A law enacted in 1959 initiated a program to eradicate tuberculosis, and infant mortality from tuberculosis has been reduced to zero. Measles, epidemic hepatitis, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and dysentery are still encountered. The most common helminthiases are taeniarhynchus, trichinosis, and trichocephalosis. Also recorded are taehiasis, hymenolepiasis and ascariasis. Regional variations occur primarily in the distribution of focal infections and biogeo-chemical endemic diseases. The highest incidence of endemic goiter (as much as 20 percent) occurs in the mountains.

Poland has a state system of health care. On Jan. 1, 1972, free medical care was made available to the entire population; prior to that time peasants owning their own farms received medical aid for a set fee. The central directing body is the Ministry of Health and Social Security, which in 1960 replaced the Ministry of Health, established in 1945. Since 1973 medical centers have been established combining hospital, first aid, and polyclinic (including outpatient) services.

In 1973 there were 682 hospitals with 217,400 beds, or 6.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants, as contrasted with 9,900 beds or 3.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants in 1946. In addition, health services were provided by 467 maternity homes, 55 tuberculosis sanatoriums, 23 preventive medicine centers, 36 sanatoriums for rehabilitation, 4,300 polyclinics (excluding those in the medical centers), 28,000 health centers, 1,600 medical stations operated by physicians, medical assistants, or nurses, and 2,200 midwife stations. There were 431 first-aid stations in 1973, as contrasted with 178 in 1950. In 1973, Poland had 54,900 physicians, or one for every 610 inhabitants, as compared to 7,700 physicians, or one per 3,100 inhabitants in 1946; 15,100 dentists; 13,800 pharmacists; and about 119,000 medical assistants.

Physicians and pharmacists are trained at medical academies in Warsaw, Biatystok, Gdańsk, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Wroclaw, and Katowice. Medical assistants are trained at 276 medical schools offering 16 fields of specialization. Between 1955 and 1974 the total expenditure on health care increased from 6.2 billion to 45 billion zlotys, and appropriations for medical services increased from 5 percent of the national budget in 1955 to 10 percent in 1974.

Poland has many health resorts. Balneological and climatic resorts include Krynica, Żegiestów, Szczawnica, Rabka, and Polanica Zdrój. Busko Zdrój, Ciechocinek, and Polczyn Zdrój are noted for their mineral waters and mud therapy. Other balneological resorts are Lądek Zdrój, Duszniki Zdrój, Kudowa Zdrój, Szczawno Zdrój, Sweradów, Iwonicz, and Inowrocław. Sopot and Kolobrzeg are popular seaside resorts, and Zakopane is Poland’s most famous mountain resort.


Veterinary services. Farm animals are comparatively free of the more serious infectious diseases. During the years of people’s rule sheep pox has been completely eradicated, as well as dou-rine, glanders, equine infectious anemia, horse influenza, and Teschen disease. Brucellosis has completely disappeared in many areas. A number of diseases are still being recorded, including swine plague (31 outbreaks in 1972), Newcastle disease (235 outbreaks), tuberculosis (236 outbreaks), mycoplasmosis (179 outbreaks), and fowl cholera (184 outbreaks). Rabies, swine erysipelas, and helminthiases are also encountered.

Veterinary services are directed by the Central Office of Veterinary Medicine under the Ministry of Agriculture. Scientific research is conducted at the Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Pulawy, which has several branches. The institute produces special biological preparations and directs institutions of veterinary hygiene. The veterinary faculties at Lublin, Olsztyn, Warsaw, and Wroclaw graduate more than 250 veterinarians annually. In 1973, Poland had 6,600 veterinarians.


The first schools in Poland were established in the tenth and 11th centuries. They were affiliated with monasteries and churches, and the language of instruction was Latin. In the 13th and 14th centuries urban schools were founded in which lessons were conducted in Polish. Public education developed and became more secular in the Renaissance and Reformation periods, when the Jagiellonian University in Kraków became a center of humanism in Western Europe. The brotherhood schools also developed at this time. Down to the 18th century Polish schools were dominated by the Jesuits, who made education dogmatic and scholastic. In 1773 schools were placed under the jurisdiction of the Education Commission, which functioned until 1794. In 1773–75 the commission introduced reforms that secularized education and firmly established Polish as the language of instruction.

The partitions of Poland had grave consequences for education. On the territory ceded to tsarist Russia, the number of primary schools decreased, chiefly in villages, and from 1869 instruction was conducted in Russian. (Polish was used only in private schools.) In the early 19th century in almost all the schools in the Austrian-held areas German was the language of instruction. A similar policy was adopted by Prussia. After the Uprising of 1830–31 the tsarist authorities abolished the Department of Education, replacing it with the Warsaw Educational District, subordinate to the All-Russian Ministry of Education. However, the progressives in Polish society illegally organized Polish schools and even a university, known as the “flying university.” Various educational organizations were established.

After the creation of the Polish bourgeois state in 1918, Polish schools and universities were reopened, but public education remained at a low level for a long time. In 1931, 22.6 percent of the population over the age of seven was illiterate; of these, 17.7 percent were men and 27.1 percent women. That year more than 1 million school-age children did not attend school. During the Nazi occupation, although the Polish school system was almost completely destroyed, patriotic teachers, under the direction of a secret teachers’ organization, taught children and young people illegally.

After the liberation of Poland by the Soviet Army and the formation of the Polish people’s democratic state, a centralized state school system was established to meet the people’s needs. The goals and tasks of instruction have changed radically. The present system of public education is based on the Law on the Development of a System of Education and Upbringing in People’s Poland, enacted in 1961.

For children between the ages of three and seven there are kindergartens. In 1973, 1,026,000 children—more than 40 percent of all preschool children—attended 30,200 kindergartens. At the age of seven children are enrolled in a compulsory eight-year basic school. Graduates of a basic school may continue their education at a lycée or at one of the many types of vocational schools. The lycée, a general secondary school, offers a four-year course of study, and its graduates may enroll in institutions of higher learning. Lower vocational schools, open to those who have completed a basic school, offer a two-or three-year course of study and train skilled workers for various branches of the national economy. In addition there are secondary vocational schools, both technicums and vocational lycées, offering a four-or five-year course of study. During the 1973–74 school year there were 20,200 basic schools with an enrollment of 4,778,600 pupils, 1,200 general lycées with 639,100 students, and many vocational schools of all types with 1.9 million students.

In 1973 the Sejm adopted a resolution of the reorganization of the public school system. The resolution provided for the introduction of universal ten-year secondary education based on a standard nationwide curriculum.

Institutions of higher learning include universities, the oldest of which are the Jagiellonian University and Warsaw University, polytechnical institutes, higher agricultural, economic, and pedagogical schools, and medical academies. The course of study in institutions of higher, learning ranges from four to six years. During the 1972–73 academic year the country’s 88 institutions of higher learning had an enrollment of 361,100 students.

The largest libraries are the Jagiellonian University Library (founded in 1364, more than 1.2 million holdings), the National Library in Warsaw (1928, 2.7 million holdings), the Warsaw University Library (1817, about 1.7 million holdings) and the Library of the University of Poznań (1902, about 1.5 million holdings). The most important museums are the national and history museums in Warsaw and Kraków, the Lenin museums in Warsaw, Kraków, and Poronin, and the F. Chopin museums in Warsaw and Żelazowa Wola.


Natural and technical sciences,NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES PRIOR TO 1795. In Poland the origin of the natural sciences dates from the 13th century, when the first Polish scientists became known in Western Europe. The most famous were Benedict the Pole, who traveled to Karakorum in 1245–47 as a member of G. Carpini’s mission, and Franko the Pole, who wrote a treatise on the torquetum, an astronomical instrument. The use of Latin, the official language in Poland after the adoption of Christianity, promoted contacts between educated persons in Poland and scholars in Italy, France, and other Western European countries and facilitated the dissemination of scientific writings. Poles studied at the Universities of Padua, Bologna, and Paris and at the Montpellier Medical School. An important 13th-century scientist was Witelo of Silesia, whose multivolume work on geometrical and physiological optics circulated throughout Europe in manuscript form and was printed in the 16th century. The scientists of the Renaissance referred to Wite-lo’s work, and J. Kepler entitled one of his works Supplements to Witelo (Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena).

The opening of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1364 gave impetus to the development of natural science in Poland. The university, a self-governing institution, was the only school in Europe in the 15th century where J. Buridan’s views on physics, which conflicted with Aristotle’s theories, were taught without distortion. In the second half of the 15th century Marcin Król and his students John of Glogau (Głogów), Marcin Bylica, and Wojciech Brudzewski founded a school of mathematics and astronomy at the university which became famous throughout Europe and attracted students from abroad.

The second half of the 15th and the early 16th centuries were the age of the Polish Renaissance. After the appearance of the first printed book in 1474, printing became a flourishing trade. In the natural sciences empirical observation and analysis were stressed, and research was freed from the dictates of Aristotelian and scholastic traditions. The most important scientist of the Renaissance was N. Copernicus, the originator of the heliocentric theory of the universe, which undermined the religious world view and heralded the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. Copernicus maintained close ties with Polish scientific circles, especially with the scholars of Kraków, and the Jagiellonian was the only university to offer lectures on his theories in the second half of the 16th century.

Other natural sciences also developed. In his Treatise on the Two Sarmatias (1517), Matthew of Miechów provided extensive data on the geography of Eastern Europe. Among the many map-making projects of the period was B. Wapowski’s large map of Poland, compiled in 1526. The treatises of the alchemist M. Sendivogius became famous throughout Europe. In medicine, important contributions were made by J. Struś, the author of a book on the pulse and its importance for diagnostics, and Stephen Báthory’s physician, W. Oczko, who wrote works on balneology and venereology. Herbariums were compiled by J. Stanko, Marcin of Urzędów, and S. Syreński. The first book on agriculture, A. Gostomski’s The Farm, appeared in 1588. S. Grzepski published his Geometry, or the Science of Measurement in 1566. The technical sciences were at an embryonic stage, although the construction of fortifications, canals, water pipelines, and mills, as well as mining and metallurgy were relatively well developed.

From the late 16th century Polish science developed more slowly. The Counter-Reformation and the subsequent period of feudal reaction hindered scientific work, which continued only in a few centers. Among eminent scientists working in Kraków were S. Pudłowski, who proposed using the length of a seconds pendulum as a unit for measuring length; the mathematician and astronomer J. Brożek, a follower of Copernicus persecuted by the Jesuits who wrote works on the theory of numbers; and S. Petrycy, who conducted medical research. The natural sciences were taught at the school run by the Polish Brethren at Raków (1603–38), one of whose rectors was the mathematician J. Stegmann, the author of Teaching Mathematics (1630). The natural sciences were also part of the curriculum of the Czech Brethren’s school in Leszno, which functioned until 1655. Among the school’s teachers were J. A. Komenský (Comenius) and J. Jonston, who wrote many works dealing with natural science and medicine.

The most famous 17th-century Polish scientist, the astronomer J. Hevelius, worked in Gdańsk. The physicists W. Magni and T. Burattini were attached to the court of King Władysław IV, and the mathematician and specialist in mechanics A. Ko-chański worked at the court of Jan Sobieski. A number of works on military technology were published, notably A. Freytag’s work on fortifications (1631) and K. Siemienowicz’s work on artillery, containing several rocket designs (1650). S. Solski’s engineering textbook, The Polish Architect, appeared in 1690. During the first half of the 18th century scientific work was concentrated in Gdańsk, where Poland’s first learned society of naturalists was founded in 1743.

The mid-18th century saw the rebirth of Polish culture under the aegis of the Enlightenment. In Warsaw, S. Konarski in 1740 founded a new type of school, called the Collegium Nobilium, which paved the way for the reform of the educational system in Poland. In 1752 the school organized the first physics study center in Poland. The first national library, the Załuski Library, opened in 1747. Its holdings included 30,000 books, 10,000 manuscripts, and a map collection. The Knights’ School, the first Polish military academy, was founded in 1765.

The Education Commission, established in 1773, continued to carry out educational reforms. The Jagiellonian University in Kraków was reorganized by H. Kołłątaj and the University of Vilnius (Wilno), by M. Odlanicki-Poczobutt. A botanical garden and physics and chemistry laboratories were founded in Kraków, and J. Ś niadecki established an observatory there in 1792. The prominent physicians A. Badurski and R. Czer-wiakowski raised the level of medical teaching at the Jagiellonian University, where J. Jaśkiewicz was doing important work in applied chemistry. An astronomical observatory was established in Vilnius in 1753 and in Poznań in 1765. Numerous scientific and popular-science works dealing with the exact and natural sciences and technology were published, such as J. Osiński’s books on physics and technology. K. Kluk published multivolume works on botany, zoology, and mineralogy. By the end of the 18th century Poland had overcome its backwardness in science, and the way was open for further scientific development.

NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES FROM 1795 TO 1918. After Poland’s loss of state sovereignty in 1795, the conditions for scientific activity deteriorated. But despite political and national oppression and a dearth of scholarly institutions, Polish science continued to develop in the tradition of the Enlightenment. The conditions for scientific work varied in the lands under Russian, Austrian, and Prussian domination. From about 1800 to 1830 they were most favorable in the areas under Russian rule, where the leading scientific centers were Vilnius and Warsaw. At the University of Vilnius and at the Krzemieniec Lycée, founded in 1805, research was conducted in the exact, natural, and medical sciences. Among the eminent scientists working at the University of Vilnius were the astronomer and mathematician Jan Śniadecki, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences; his brother Jędrzej Ś niadecki, a chemist, biologist, and physician; the botanist S. Jundzil; the anatomist L. Bojanus; and the physician J. Frank. The Vilnius Society of Physicians, the first Polish specialized learned society, was founded in 1805.

The Warsaw Society of Friends of Science, established in 1800, paved the way for joint scientific work. The society’s president between 1808 and 1826 was S. Staszic, the author of On the Geological Structure of the Carpathians (1815) and the founder of the Mining Institute in Kielce (1816). Warsaw University was founded in 1816, and two years later a zoological study center and a botanical garden were organized at the university. The Institute of Agronomy was established at Marymoncie near Warsaw in 1816 as the country’s first agricultural institution of higher learning. The surgeon L. Bierkowski and the geologist L. Zejszner did important work in Kraków, where a learned society was founded in 1816.

After the suppression of the Polish Uprising of 1830–31 and the revolutionary outbreaks of the 1840’s, the Universities of Warsaw and Vilnius were closed down, as well as the Krzemieniec Lycée. The Warsaw Society of Friends of Science was dissolved, the Jagiellonian University was germanized, and many scientists and scholars emigrated. The mathematician J. Wroński and the chemist F. Walter continued their work abroad. The traveler P. Strzelecki explored the mountains of Australia, the geologist I. Domeyko pursued his research in Chile, and the construction engineer E. Malinowski worked in Peru. I. Łukasiewicz, who lived in L’vov, obtained kerosine from petroleum in 1852 and built the kerosine lamp in 1853. In Poznań scientific work began in the 1830’s and the Poznań Society of Friends of Science was founded in 1857.

In the period of liberalization after 1860, the Main School, an institution of higher learning, was opened in Warsaw in 1862. Among the outstanding scientists associated with the school were the biologists W. Taczanowski, B. Dybowski, and H. Hoyer; the chemist J. Natanson; and the physicians and public figures J. Mianowski, W. Szokalski, and T. Chatubiński. In 1869 the Main School was transformed into a Russian university, and scientific work was carried on by organizations initiated by the public. The Museum of Industry and Agriculture, founded in 1875, established research and applied-science laboratories and organized lectures. The Mianowski Foundation was created in 1881 to assist scientists and scholars, and until the creation of the Warsaw Scientific Society in 1907 it was one of the country’s leading scientific centers. In view of the lack of a Polish institution of higher learning, various attempts were made to organize education. Secret self-education courses, organized in 1882, became the basis for an illegal progressive school, called the flying university, established in 1885. The school was legalized in 1905–06 and named the Society of Scientific Courses. The Wawelberg and Rotwand Technical School was opened in 1895. The leading scientific journals were Prace matematyczno-fizyczne (from 1888) and Nowości matematyczne (from 1897). The Spra-vochnik dlia samoobrazovaniia (Handbook for Self-education) was first published in 1898.

During the 1870’s there was considerable scientific progress in Galicia, whose centers of learning were the polonized Universities of Kraków and L’vov (Lwów) and the L’vov Technical Academy. Founded in 1844, the academy was reorganized as the Polytechnical School in 1877 and as the Polytechnical University in 1921. An agricultural school founded in Dublany in 1856 became the Higher Agricultural School in 1872 and the Agricultural Academy in 1900. The Kraków Scientific Society, renamed the Kraków Academy of Learning (Akademia Umieję tności) in 1873, became the Polish Academy of Learning in 1919. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Polish science developed in close contact with European science. World renown was achieved by Z. Wróblewski and K. Olszewski, who did pioneering work in low-temperature physics at the Jagiellonian University, by M. Sklodowska-Curie, who twice received the Nobel Prize for her work in France, and by M. Smoluchowski at the University of L’vov, who wrote basic works on statistical physics. Important work in chemistry was done by S. Kostanecki, who taught at the University of Bern, and his student K. Funk, by L. P. Marchlewski in Kraków, and by M. Nencki, who worked in St. Petersburg. Also noteworthy was the work of the astronomer M. Rudzki, director of the observatory in Kraków.

In biology, scientific schools arose both in Warsaw and Krakó w. The Warsaw school was headed by the botanist E. Stras-burger and the zoologist J. Nusbaum-Hilarowicz and the Kraków school by the physiologist N. Cybulski and the botanists E. Godlewski and M. Raciborski. Schools of medicine arose in Kraków (J. Dietl), Warsaw (T. Chalubiński), and L’vov (L. Rydygier and E. Biernacki). The petroleum geologist R. Zuber worked in L’vov, where the Geological Atlas of Galicia was compiled between 1877 and 1911. The technical sciences were developed in L’vov by M. Thullie, I. Mościcki, and J. Ochorowicz. Many Polish scientists worked abroad—in Russia (F. Jasiński, S. Kierbedź, A. Pszenicki, S. Drzewiecki), Switzerland (G. Narutowicz), and Great Britain (K. Pruszyń-ski). Polish scientists took part in research expeditions to Eastern Siberia (J. Czerski, B. Dybowski), the Caucasus, Middle Asia, the Pamirs and northern Tibet, South America, Micronesia, Africa, and Antarctica.

SCIENCE IN BOURGEOIS POLAND. Despite economic difficulties and a lack of concern on the part of the bourgeois government, science continued to develop in the interwar period. The centers of scientific work were the Universities of Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań (founded in 1919), and L’vov and the Mining and Metallurgical Academy (founded in 1919) in Kraków. The Academy of Learning in Kraków supervised the work of the learned societies and represented Polish science abroad.

The L’vov and Warsaw schools of mathematics became famous throughout the world. The leading representatives of the L’vov school—H. Steinhaus, S. Banach, one of the founders of functional analysis, S. Mazur, J. Schauder, and W. Orlicz— were grouped around the journal Studia mathematika. In Warsaw research in set theory and topology was conducted by W. Sierpiński, S. Mazurkiewicz, Z. Janiszewski, K. Kuratow-ski, S. Sachs, and K. Borsuk, whose works appeared in the journal Fundamenta mathematicae. The work of these mathematicians influenced the Warsaw school of mathematical logic, whose foremost exponents were J. Lukasiewicz, S. Leśniewski, and A. Tarski. Important work in astronomy was done at the Kraków Observatory, headed by T. Banachiewicz.

Research in physics, primarily optics and theoretical physics, was conducted in Warsaw, Kraków, L’vov, and Poznań. In, 1920, M. Wolfke introduced the idea of holography. S. Pieńkow-ski did work in luminescence, A. Jabloński in molecular optics, C. Bialobrzeski in theoretical physics and astrophysics, and W. Rubinowicz in quantum theory. The Polish Physics Society was established in 1920. Research in chemistry flourished in Warsaw, Kraków, and L’vov. W. Świętosławski studied thermochemistry; M. Centnerszwer, chemical kinetics; K. Dziewoński, dyes; and B. Szyszkowski, surface phenomena. Work in general physical geography, cartography, geomorphology, and climatology was done by E. Romer and S. Lenewicz. Geological explorations of the Carpathians were made by W. Goetel and K. Tolwiński, and the Bug Coal Basin was discovered by J. Sam-sonowicz.

In the biological sciences, advances were made in parasitology (K. Janicki), biochemistry (L. Marchlewski and J. Parnas), botany and phytocenology (J. Paczoski), zoology, and hydro-biology. W. Szafer studied environmental problems, and J. Mikulowski-Pomorski did work in the agricultural sciences. In microbiology, L. Hirszfeld contributed to the study of blood groups, and R. Weigl developed a typhus vaccine. Centers were founded for the study of internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, neurology, and psychiatry. Despite Poland’s industrial backwardness, progress was made in the technical sciences. Important contributions were made to the theory of elasticity (M. Huber), the theory of welding (S. Bryła), mining (W. Bu-dryk), radio engineering (J. Groszkowski), and aerodynamics (C. Witoszyński). The Academy of Technical Sciences was founded in Warsaw in 1920 with G. Narutowicz as its first president. Also organized were research institutes of aerodynamics (1927), radio engineering (1928), radium (1932), and chemistry (1928).

During the Nazi German occupation (1939–1944), institutions of higher learning were closed down, research was banned, and scientific institutions were destroyed. Out of the 603 scientific laboratories operating in 1939, 357 were completely destroyed and only three remained undamaged. About 40 percent of Poland’s scientists perished; in some fields the number exceeded 50 percent. Despite the persecutions and mass murder of scientists, scientific work continued underground. Secret institutions of higher learning existed in Warsaw, Kraków, and other cities.

NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES IN PEOPLE’S POLAND. From the first days of people’s Poland the destroyed higher-education and scientific institutions were rebuilt and new ones were founded. As early as 1946 there were more such institutions than in 1939. Between 1946 and 1948 central design and planning offices were organized, and from 1949–50 specialized research institutes were established. The First Congress of Polish Science was held in 1951, and a year later the Polish Academy of Sciences was founded. Intensive work was done in various branches of the natural and technical sciences.

In the exact sciences, the greatest achievements have been in mathematics, thanks to the work of such eminent scientists as W. Sierpiński, K. Kuratowski, S. Mazur, W. Orlicz, R. Sikor-ski, S. Lojasiewicz, J. Mikusiński, H. Steinhaus, K. Urbanik, and T. Ważewski. Along with such traditional fields as set theory, topology, functional analysis, and mathematical logic, new fields have been developed, including mathematical analysis, higher algebra, differential geometry, and mathematical statistics. Important work is also being done in applied mathematics.

In physics, the Polish school of theoretical physics has been successfully established, largely through L. Infeld’s work on general relativity theory and W. Rubinowicz’s research in quantum mechanics. A. Trautman found new solutions to Einstein’s equations and obtained important results in the theory of gravitational waves. A. Sołtan, H. Niewodniczański, and M. Mien-sowicz initiated research in nuclear physics. Among Poland’s experimental nuclear installations are the Ewa reactor (1958) and a cyclotron, both built with the aid of the USSR; the Anna (1963), Maryla (1963) and Maria (1974) reactors; linear proton and electron accelerators; and betatrons. M. Danysz and J. Pniewski have won international acclaim for their discovery of hypernuclei. In solid-state physics important contributions have been made by L. Sosnowski and J. Kołodzieczak in semiconductor research and by A. Piekara in the study of ferroelectric materials. Research is under way in atomic and molecular optics (A. Jabłoński), low-temperature physics and the physics of powerful magnetic fields (W. Trzebiatowski), and high-pressure physics. Under the direction of S. Kaliski, high-temperature plasma (107K) has been obtained using impulse laser beams. In astronomy, research on the photometry of stars has been conducted in Kraków by K. Kozieł and E. Rybka. Through the efforts of W. Dziewulski, a radio astronomy center has been organized at Toruń (W. Iwanowska, director). A center for theoretical astrophysics has been established in Warsaw by S. Piotrowski and W. Zonn.

In chemistry, important results have been achieved in thermochemistry and phase equilibria (W. Świętosławski and his school), structural chemistry and solid-state physical chemistry (B. Jezowska-Trzebiatowska, W. Trzebiatowski), quantum chemistry (W. Kołos), polarography (W. Kemula), the chemistry and stereochemistry of nitrocompounds (T. Urbański), and the synthesis and stereochemistry of organic phosphorus compounds (J. Michalski). Other fields of research include radiation and nuclear chemistry, petrochemistry, the chemistry of polymers, the chemistry of natural and biologically active substances, corrosion, heterogeneous catalysis, and surface phenomena. In geology, the systematic study of Poland’s geological structure by W. Goetel, M. Ksiązkiewicz, J. Samsonowicz, and S. Pawłow-ski has led to the discovery of deposits of copper and lead-zinc ores, sulfur, coal, potassium salts, and natural gas. J. Dylik and J. Kondracki have done valuable work in physical geography and paleogeography.

In the biological sciences, Polish scientists have won international recognition for their work in environmental studies (W. Szafer, W. Goetel), ecology (K. Petrusewicz), phytocenology, floristics, paleobotany (W. Szafer, B. Pawłowski, A. Środoń, J. Kornas, A. Kornas), paleozoology (R. Kozłow-ski), ethology and zoopsychology (J. Dembowski), parasitology (W. Stefański), and neurophysiology (J. Konorski). In molecular biology important results have been achieved by W. Niemierko, T. Baranowski, and J. Heller. Systematic research is being done in zoology and botany.

In the medical sciences, there have been significant achievements in immunology and serology (L. Hirszfeld and S. Ślopek), immuno-chemistry (E. Mikulaszek, W. Kuryfowicz), the study of blood coagulation (E. Kowalski), vectorcardiography (H. Kowarzyk), and pharmacology (B. Bobrański, J. Supniew-ski). Among the clinical disciplines outstanding work has been done in hematology (T. Tempka), orthopedics (W. Dega, A. Gruca), thoracic surgery (W. Bross, L. Manteuffel, J. Moll, M. Witt-Rzepecki), eye cryosurgery and cryotherapy (T. Krwawicz), audiosurgery (J. Miodoński), and kidney transplants (J. Nielubowicz, T. Orłowski). Progress has also been made in cardiology, radiology (K. Rowiński), pediatrics (M. Michałowicz), neurology, and neurosurgery.

In the agricultural sciences, there have been achievements in soil science (A. Musierowicz, S. Bac), soil microbiology (J. Marszewska-Ziemięcka), the technology of crop cultivation (B. Świ?tochowski, F. Dembiński), and agrochemistry (F. Terlikowski, M. Górski, K. Boratyńtski, T. Lityński). High-yield varieties of grain, potatoes, and rape have been developed by T. Wolski, A. Słaboński, D. Makowski, K. Roguski, and F. Dembiński. Work is also being done in fruit and vegetable growing, phytopathology and plant protection, various branches of livestock raising, and the theory of farm machinery.

In the technical sciences valuable results have been achieved in theoretical and applied mechanics, particularly in the theory of elasticity (W. Nowacki) originally developed by M. Huber. Other important research fields are the theory of plasticity and thermoplasticity (W. Olszak), rock mechanics (W. Budryk, J. Litwiniszyn), and structural mechanics and design theory (Z. Wasiutyński). Significant contributions have been made to the theory of nonlinear vibrations and vacuum technology by J. Groszkowski, to laser technology by S. Kaliski, and to ultrasonic technology by I. Malecki. Research is underway on semi-conductor, magnetic, and piezoelectric materials. Studies are being conducted on the optimal management of large systems and on automation in industry and transportation. Computer technology is also developing. Among the various instruments that have been designed is a radiospectrograph, which was installed in the Copernicus 500 satellite launched in 1973 as part of the Intercosmos series. Research is expanding in the chemical industry, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, mining, machine building, and shipbuilding. Technical achievements include the electro-osmosis method of dewatering soils (R. Cebertowicz) and a highly efficient process for extracting aluminum from alumina (S. Bretsznajder, J. Grzymek).


Social sciences.PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIOLOGY. Polish philosophical thought dates from the 13th century, when Witelo of Silesia propounded a nature philosophy strongly influenced by Neoplatonism. Among the various scholastic trends that flourished at the Jagiellonian University in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, realism and nominalism struggled for ascendancy. In the second half of the 15th century Renaissance ideas were expounded by Grzegorz of Sanok and Philippus Callimachus. During the Renaissance, Neoplatonic, Stoic, and Aristotelian ideas were disseminated. J. Ostroróg criticized the ideology of papal Rome, and A. Modrzewski proposed a humanist program of social reform. The natural sciences, notably the ideas of N. Copernicus, influenced the development of philosophy in Poland. The centers of the Reformation movement were the Czech Brethren’s school in Leszno and the Polish Brethren’s school in Raków, where the ideas of F. Socinus had many adherents. With the triumph of the Counter-Reformation in Poland came a general cultural decline and stagnation in philosophy.

Intellectual life revived during the Enlightenment, which lasted from the mid-18th to the early 19th centuries. The leading men of the Polish Enlightenment were H. Koitataj, S. Staszic, Jan Śniadecki, and J?drzej Śniadecki, progressive writers and publicists who developed and disseminated ideas of social reform. The philosophical concepts of these Enlightenment figures —deterministic, naturalistic, and essentially materialist—contained elements of historicism and of a dialectical perception of social processes.

During the first half of the 19th century, J. Lelewel’s philosophy of history, incorporating Enlightenment and romantic ideas, exerted considerable influence. The revolutionary-democratic movement, led by T. Krępowiecki, S. Worcel, P. Ściegienny, and E. Dembowski, propagated Utopian socialism. In his “philosophy of creativity,” Dembowski interpreted the Hegelian dialectic from a revolutionary-democratic standpoint. H. Kamieńtski, a representative of the democratic trend, integrated the Hegelian theory of historical development with his analysis of political economy. The development of progressive sociopolitical thought and philosophy in Poland was greatly influenced by the Russian revolutionary democrats, notably A. I. Herzen and N. G. Chernyshevskii. Both the philosophical and the sociopolitical principles of the revolutionary-democratic current were directed against traditional Catholic thought, expounded by J. Woronicz, H. Rzewuski, and E. Ziemięcka, and the conservative outlook, represented by J. K. Szaniawski, J. Gołu-chowski, and A. Wielopolski.

Polish messianic ideas, preached by the poets J. Stowacki, A. Mickiewicz, and Z. Krasiński and the philosophers A. Towiańtski and J. Wrońtski, became popular during the 1830’s and 1840’s. An outgrowth of Polish messianism was “national philosophy,” to which philosophers of different schools adhered, including A. Cieszkowski, B. Trentowski, K. Libelt, and J. Kremer. For some exponents of the national philosophy the idea of Poland’s unique destiny was linked to the thought of saving Europe from revolution and restoring social peace.

From the mid-19th century positivist ideas were disseminated by M. Wiśniewski, A. Krzyżanowski, F. Krupińtski, W. Kozłowski, J. Supińtski, A. Świ?tochowski, J. Ochorowicz, and A. Mahrburg. Marxist ideas were introduced in the 1870’s by L. Waryński, S. Krasiński, and L. Krzywicki, a leading representative of historical materialism. Marxism also influenced the early works of S. Brzozowski and E. Abramowski.

The works of R. Luxemburg and J. Marchlewski reflected the revolutionary trends in the Polish workers’ movement. V. I. Lenin’s works were of vital importance for the development of Marxist social thought in Poland. The views of K. Kelles-Krauz were similar to those of the Social Democratic leaders of the Second International.

After Poland attained its independence in 1918, philosophy was dominated by Neo-Thomism and the L’vov-Warsaw school of logic founded by K. Twardowski. The logical semantic studies of Twardowski, T. Kotarbińtski, K. Ajdukiewicz, J. Łukasiewicz, and T. Czeżowski were internationally acclaimed. R. Ingarden was a prominent exponent of phenomenology. Problems in Marxist philosophy were investigated by J. Brun, J. Hempel, and S. Rudniański.

Sociology also developed at this time. Its chief centers were the Institute of Social Economy in Warsaw, where L. Krzywicki worked, and the Institute of Sociology in Poznań, organized by F. Znaniecki. F. Bujak and J. Chatasiński studied rural sociology, and J. S. Bystroń, S. Czarnowski, K. Dobrowolski, and S. Ossowski focused on the sociology of culture. The development of Polish philosophy and sociology was arrested by World War II.

After the victory of the people’s democratic system, Polish philosophy entered a new stage. The main philosophical disciplines were reorganized on the theoretical and methodological principles of Marxism-Leninism. Developing through polemics with Catholic philosophy and with the L’vov-Warsaw school (and related neopositivist currents) and overcoming revisionist and dogmatic tendencies, Marxist philosophy strengthened its position and became the dominant trend. Traditional logical-epistemological and historical-philosophical problems have also been examined under the influence of Kotarbińtski, Ajdukiewicz, Czeżowski, W. Tatarkiewicz, and N. Łubnicki.

Polish philosophers are studying various aspects of dialectical materialism. Z. Augustynek, W. Krajewski, J. Ładosz, and C. Nowińtski are working on the Marxist theory of development and are evolving the principles of dialectical methodology using material from biology and physics. A. Schaff and Z. Cackowski are focusing on the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge. J. Topolski, J. Kmita, and L. Nowak are dealing with the methodology of the social sciences, and B. Suchodolski, T. M. Jaroszewski, and J. Kuczyńtski are developing the Marxist view of man. K. Szaniawski, R. Suszko, and R. Wójcicki are working in logic and scientific methodology and A. Mostowski, J. os, H. Rasiowa, and R. Sikorski in mathematical logic.

In the history of philosophy, work in ancient and medieval philosophy has been done by J. Legowicz, Z. Kuksewicz, and R. Palacz, in modern philosophy by A. Walicki, Z. Ogonowski, R. Panasiuk, and Z. Kuderowicz, and in contemporary philosophy by Łubnicki, Jaroszewski, and S. Dziamski. Various aspects of ethics, particularly the theoretical principles of ethics, metaethics, and normative ethics, have been studied by Kotarbiński, M. Ossowska, M. Fritzhand, and H. Jankowski. The traditions of Polish aesthetics are being developed. Work has been done on the social conditions for artistic activity and on problems of changing aesthetic standards and tastes. The leading scholars in aesthetics are A. Kuczyńska, J. Kossak, J. Wojnar, B. Dziemidok, and S. Krzemień-Ojak. Questions of religion have been studied from a Marxist point of view by J. Keller, W. Mysłek, Z. Poniatowski, E. Ciupak, and J. Grudzień. Catholic philosophy is represented by M. A. Krąmpiec, S. Świezaw-ski, M. Gogacz, and W. Granat. Polish sociologists are working on theoretical problems of sociology as well as conducting empirical studies of various aspects of society. Socialist industrialization and the resulting changes in the structure of Polish society have been studied by J. Szczepański, J. Chałasiński, W. Markie-wicz, W. Wesołowski, and S. Widerszpil. Work on cultural sociology has been done by K. Dobrowolski, A. Kłoskowska, and K. Żygulski. Other research fields include the sociology of politics (J. Wiatr), urban and rural sociology (S. Nowakowski, B. Gałęski), industrial sociology (J. Hochfeld, A. Sarapata, K. Doktór), and family, law, and labor sociology. Polish philosophers and sociologists cooperate with scholars from the USSR and other socialist countries on joint research projects and publications and sponsor international conferences on theory.

The main centers of philosophy and sociology are the Institute of Basic Problems of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the PUWP, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, institutes of philosophy and sociology attached to universities, the Higher School of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the PUWP, and departments of philosophy and sociology at various institutions of higher learning. Research in philosophy and sociology is coordinated by the scientific committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also important are the Polish Philosophical Society and the Polish Sociological Society.

The principal philosophical journals are the Studia filozoficzne (since 1957), Cziowiek i światopogląd, Ruch filozoficzny (since 1911), Etyka (since 1966), Archiwum historii filozofii i myśi spo-łecznej (since 1957), Studia logica (since 1953), Studia estetyczne (since 1964), Studia mediewistyczne (since 1958), and Przegląd religioznawczy. The leading sociological journals are Studia so-cjologiczne (since 1961), Kultura i spoieczeństwo (since 1957), Studia socjologiczno-polityczne (since 1958), and Przegląd so-cjologiczny (since 1930).


HISTORY. The oldest examples of historical writing in Poland are annals, kept from the late tenth century, in which the most important events were recorded year by year. Hagiographies were written from the early 11th century, for example, the Life of Saint Wojciech. Both the annals and saints’ lives are valuable sources for the oldest period of Polish history. The first real historical work was the chronicle of AnonymusGallus, recounting the history of Poland up to 1113. The chronicle reflects the author’s hostility to the Holy Roman Empire’s claim to supremacy in Europe. W. Kadłubek’s chronicle, covering events up to 1202, is written from the standpoint of the ecclesiastical and secular magnates. Medieval Polish historiography culminates in the History of Poland by J. Długosz. During the 16th and 17th centuries chronicles were written by Matthew of Mie-chów, M. Stryjkowski, and W. Kochowski.

The social and political crisis in the Polish feudal ‘State in the 18th century and the development of capitalist relations created problems whose resolution required a critical study of Polish history. The works of the Polish Enlightenment figures S. Staszic and H. Kołłątaj, as well as their followers, paved the way for the development of bourgeois historical scholarship. They raised questions concerning the origin of social inequality, the state, and such typically Polish political institutions as the elective monarchy and the llberum veto. Another historiographie trend, represented by A. Naruszewicz, attempted to provide a rational interpretation of the historical process.

A milestone in the development of modern Polish historiography was the work of J. Lelewel, who criticized the feudal order and defended the interests of the peasants and city dwellers. Independently of the French bourgeois historians Thierry and Guizot, Lelewel arrived at an understanding of the historical process as a class struggle and founded several auxiliary disciplines in Polish historical scholarship. Democratic in orientation although idealist in essence, Lelewel’s views became the ideological basis of the mid-19th century Polish liberation struggle, led by the Polish Democratic Society, the Polish People, and other organizations.

After the defeat of the Uprising of 1863–64, when Polish society was undergoing transformation from feudalism to capitalism and the gentry-dominated nationalist movement was on the decline, the leading place in Polish historiography was taken by the Kraków historical school. Its leading representatives— W. Kalinka, J. Szujski, and M. Bobrzynski—significantly enriched the methodology of historical research. But the historians of this school held reactionary social views. They played down and condemned the role of the revolutionary and antifeudal struggle in the history of the Polish people, lauded the predatory policy of the Polish feudal lords in the east, whose mission was to “civilize” the Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peoples, and promoted Catholic obscurantism. The Kraków school was opposed by the Warsaw historical school, whose views stemmed from the philosophy of positivism. Polish social thought of the 18th century was thoroughly researched, by W. Smoleński. An important role in the development of historiography was played by bibliographic works, both general (K. Estreicher and S. Estreicher) and historical (L. Finkel). Historians of law made a significant contribution to bourgeois historical scholarship (see below: Jurisprudence).

On the whole the views of the Kraków school predominated until the end of the 19th century. The beginning of Marxist historiography in Poland is associated with the growth of the workers’ movement, which was linked to the theory of scientific communism. The first works of Marxist historiography were written by R. Luxemburg, J. Marchlewski, and other leaders of the Proletariat Party and the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania. After 1918, in bourgeois-landowner Poland, historiography was dominated by bourgeois economic historians, such as J. Rutkowski.

The victory of the people’s democracy created the conditions for the successful development of Polish historical scholarship, based on Marxist-Leninist methodology. The Institute of History, organized in 1953 as part of the Polish Academy of Sciences, became the center of historical work in Poland. One of its most important achievements was the creation, on the basis of Marxist concepts, of the History of Poland (vols. 1–4, 195774—). The works of H. Jabloński, H. Lowmiański, S. Kieniew-icz, G. Labuda, and T. Manteuffel have contributed to the development of Marxist views on the national historical process.

Considerable work has been done in world history, including the history of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. A major achievement of Polish archaeology was the discovery of early medieval relics in Egypt and the Sudan during the mid-1960’s by an expedition headed by K. Michałowski. The history of the peoples of the USSR has been extensively studied, as well as Polish-Russian, Polish-Ukrainian, and other historical relations. Joint publications by Polish and Soviet scholars include The 1863 Uprising: Materials and Documents (begun in 1957), of which 20 volumes had been published by 1975, and Documents and Materials on the History of Soviet-Polish Relations (vols. 1–8, Moscow, 1963–74), an ongoing publication. Since the late 1940’s Polish scholars have published works commemorating important historical events in the development of the Polish people and their culture—the achievements of A. Mickiewicz, J. Slowacki, F. Chopin, H. Kołłątaj, F. Dzerzhinskii, and J. Marchlewski, the 1,000th Anniversary of the Polish state, and the 30th Anniversary of people’s Poland.

The major centers for research and the training of historians are the universities in Warsaw, Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznań, Łódź, Toruń, Lublin, Gdańsk, and Katowice. Other research centers are the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of the History of Material Culture (founded in 1953), the Institute of Socialist Countries (formed in 1973 out of the Institute of Soviet-Polish Relations, founded in 1956), and the Institute of Military History (founded in 1959), all in Warsaw.

In 1976 more than 60 historical journals and serial publications were issued in the Polish People’s Republic, the most important of which were Kwartalnik historyczny (since 1887), Przegląd historyczny (since 1905), Z pola walki (since 1958), Studia historyczne (since 1958), and Wojskowy przegląd his-toryczny (since 1956).


ECONOMICS. In Poland, economic thought as an integrated system of ideas developed in the early 19th century. The way had been prepared by the men of the Polish Enlightenment (H. Ko-łłątaj, S. Staszic) in the late 18th century whose works touched upon a number of questions concerning the country’s economic development. Most of the economists of the first third of the 19th century (W. Surowiecki, F. Skarbek) adhered to the tenets of Western European vulgar political economy, particularly those of J. B. Say. Polish economic thought during this period was also influenced by the doctrines of the Physiocrats. Between about 1830 and 1860, Polish economists, abandoning theoretical questions, approached economic and social problems from the standpoint of political exigencies. Most economists advocated the stimulation of capitalist relations by all possible means. Concurrently, however, there was growing criticism of capitalism from the standpoint of Utopian socialism and revolutionary democracy (S. Worcell, H. Kamieński).

During the 1860’s work in economic theory revived briefly in the part of Poland that had been incorporated into Russia, chiefly at institutions of higher learning, such as the Main School in Warsaw. In the late 1860’s Galicia became the center of theoretical studies. In the second half of the 1870’s the organic school began to exert a marked influence on Polish economic thought. Polish economists in Galicia adhered to the views of the historical school and the Austrian school of bourgeois political economy. During the 1880’s and 1890’s Marxist economic thought spread and was developed by S. Krusiński, L. Krzy-wicki, J. Marchlewski, and R. Luxemburg. Also dating from this period was the early work of E. Abramowski, who expounded the idea of “cooperative socialism.” Historians of the bourgeois-liberal school, notably T. Korzon and A. Pawiński, inaugurated the study of the economic history of feudal Poland. The influence of reformism on bourgeois economic thought grew stronger in the early 20th century.

In the interwar period bourgeois economic scholarship stagnated. Whereas the Polish economists of the older generation continued to subscribe to the concepts of the historical and Austrian schools, the young economists were increasingly drawn to the mathematical school. During the 1930’s Keynesianism had some influence on Polish economists. During the 1920’s and 1930’s the representatives of Marxist economic thought concentrated on studying the agrarian question and the characteristics of Polish capitalism. Important contributions to the development of Marxist economic thought were made by J. Ryng, M. Koszutska, A. Warski, F. Fiedler, G. Walecki, and G. Brand.

The victory of the people’s democratic system opened the way for the development of all aspects of Marxist economic science. Economic research has focused on solving the basic problems of building socialism. Polish scholars have made significant contributions to the methodology of political economy (O. Lange), the political economy of socialism (J. Pajestka, M. Kalecki), the history of economic theory (E. Lipiński, S. Żurawicki), the political economy of capitalism (J. Górski), agricultural economics (H. Cholaj), statistics (S. Szulc), and demography (E. Rosset).

The Committee of Economic Sciences has been established under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences to coordinate economic research. The main centers of economic research are the Institute of Agricultural Economics, the Institute of Economic Research run by the Planning Commission under the Council of Ministers of the Polish People’s Republic, the economics departments of universities, higher schools of economics, and the Higher School of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the PUWP. Economists are trained by university economics departments and higher schools of economics. The Polish Economic Society is a member of the International Economic Association.

The leading economics periodicals are Ekonomista (since 1900), Gospodarka planowa (since 1946), Życie gospodarcze (since 1945), Z prac zakładu nauk ekonomicznych PAN (since 1954), and Zeszyty naukowe Wyższej szkofy ekonomicznej w Krakowie (since 1957).


JURISPRUDENCE. During the Middle Ages jurisprudence was dominated by canon law, strongly influenced by Italian scholarship, notably the Bologna school of glossators. The development of legal thought in the 14th century was reflected in the codification of laws as a means of centralizing the state, for example, the Statutes of Casimir III, promulgated in 1346–47. At the Jagiellonian University in Kraków the emphasis was on Roman law; there were five chairs of Roman law and three of canon law. The most renowned scholars of the 14th century were S tanisław of Skarbimierz and Paweł Włodkowic, both of whom developed several progressive statutes pertaining to military law.

During the Renaissance legal science was secularized, although canon law continued to be taught in the universities. J. Łaski and J. Przyłuski attempted to systematize indigenous Polish law on the basis of Roman law, and B. Groicki studied municipal law. Contributions to legal and political thought were also made by such eminent scholars as J. Ostroróg, A. Mod-rzewski, who formulated the principal of the equality of all before the law, and S. Orzechowski, the ideologist of gentry democracy.

In the early 18th century plans to reform the legal and state system were proposed, first by S. Karwicki, S. Szczuka, and J. S. Jabłonowski and later by S. Leszczyński and S. Konarski. In May 1791 a constitution was adopted along with a number of other legal acts. S. Staszic and J. Zamoyski advocated an alliance between the gentry and the middle class against the magnates. However, their positive proposals were essentially conciliatory. Much attention was given to defining the legal position of the various strata of the population and classes (G. Lengnich, W. Skrzetuski, T. Ostrowski). Attempts to codify judicial procedure were unsuccessful, for example, the codes of A. Zamoyski (1778) and Stanisław August (1791). The leading trend in this period was natural law, combined with the doctrines of the Physiocrats (H. Strojnowski and H. Kołłątaj).

During the 19th century the concepts of the historical school of law were firmly established in Polish jurisprudence. Works on the history of the Polish state and law were written by J. Lelewel, J. W. Bandtkie, W. A. Maciejowski, and R. Hube. During the second half of the 19th century study of the origin of the Polish state and its sociopolitical system was continued by F. Pieko-siński, O. Balzer, and S. Kutrzeba. P. Dąbkowski studied the history of judicial procedure, and B. Ulanowski and W. Abraham dealt with the development of Catholic law. On the whole legal scholarship was hampered by the lack of state sovereignty.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries S. Wróblewski was the leading authority on civil and Roman law and J. Makarewicz on criminal law. L. Gumplowicz, who taught at the University of Graz, was noted for his work on constitutional and administrative law.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s J. Gwiazdomorski, K. Przybyłowski, and J. Wasilkowski wrote on civil law, F. Fierich on civil procedure, W. Makowski, W. Wolter, A. Mogilnicki, and S. Ś liwiński on criminal law, W. Wróblewski, W. Swida, F. Bossow-ski, and S. Batawia on criminology and criminalistics, A. Peretiatkowicz on constitutional law, E. Ehrlich on international public law, and W. L. Jaworski on administrative law. Many works reflected the influence of positivist ideas and a revival of natural law. L. Petrażycki, a leading 20th-century jurist and the founder of the “psychological school of law,” worked in Poland at this time.

After the establishment of people’s rule, jurisprudence evolved according to new ideological principles. In the Polish People’s Republic the development of Marxist legal science has been completed. The Institute of Legal Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences was founded in 1956, and new faculties of law have been organized in the universities. The more profound application of Marxist methodology in jurisprudence was facilitated by K. Opałek’s Methodological Problems of Legal Science (1962). S. Rozmaryn initiated work on the methodology of comparative jurisprudence. Many sociological studies of legal problems have appeared, for example, the collaborative work analyzing the activity of the people’s councils, published under the direction of S. Zawadzki. Research in a number of legal fields is being integrated with all the social sciences. Among these fields are the theory of the state and law (A. Łopatka), the logic and theory of legal norms (Z. Ziemba, Z. Ziembiński), and problems of administrative law (W. Brzeziński, Z. Rybicki, J. Staro-ściak, and M. Jarosiński).

Current legal science is characterized by a creative use of Marxism in jurisprudence, improved research methods, and broadening of the range of the problems studied. Scientific problems in law are studied at the Institute of Legal Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in all the university law departments, at the Institute for the Study of Crime Problems (attached to the procurator-general’s office), and at the Institute for Legal Research (attached to the Ministry of Justice). The main legal journal is Państwo i prawo.


LINGUISTICS. The first linguistic works were devoted to Latin, such as the Orthography by Franciszek of Silesian L’vov, written in the early 14th century. Works on the Polish language appeared in the 15th and 16th centuries. Latin treatises on Polish orthography were written by Jakub Parkosz (1440) and S. Zaborowski (1512). The first description of Polish grammar, P. Statorius’ Polonicde grammatices institutio, appeared in 1568. J. Mączyński’s Latin-Polish Lexicon (1564) was one of several bilingual dictionaries compiled at that time. Important lexicographic achievements of the 17th and early 18th centuries were the Polish-Latin-Greek Thesaurus by Grzegorz Knapiusz (1st ed., 1621), the bilingual dictionaries compiled by M. A. Trotz, and the six-volume Dictionary of the Polish Language by S. Linde (1807–14). In the late 18th and early 19th centuries normative and school grammars were written by O. Kopczyński (1st ed., 1778–83) and J. Mroziński (1822).

The first scientific studies of the Polish language appeared in the second half of the 19th century. I. A. Baudouin de Cour-tenay worked on the history of language, L. Malinowski and J. Karlowicz on dialectology, and A. Kryński and A. Kras-nowolski on grammar. The first linguistics journal, entitled Sprawozdania Komisji Jezykowej AU (Reports of the Linguistic Commission of the Academy of Learning), was founded in 1880. In the 20th century research has focused on the diachronic study of Polish (J.Łoś, A. Brückner, K. Nitsch, T. Lehr-Spławinski, Z. Klemensiewicz, W. Kuraszkiewicz, S. Urbańczyk) and the description of dialects and their history (K. Nitsch, M. Małecki, W. Doroszewski, Z. Stieber, M. Karaś, and W. Taszycki). In 1934, Nitsch and Małecki published the first Slavic linguistic atlas, entitled Linguistic Atlas of the Polish Carpathian Region. Lexicography expanded to include all periods of the Polish written language. Intensive work was done on problems of word formation (H. Ułaszyn, W. Doroszewski) and literate speech.

Contributions to general linguistics have been made by Baudouin de Courtenay, J. Rozwadowski, J. Kuryłowicz, T. Mi-lewski, and L. Zawadowski, as well as the philosophers K. Ajdukiewicz and T. Kotarbiński. Comparative historical studies include Indo-European linguistics (J. Kuryłowicz, J. Rozwadowski, J. Otrębski, L. Zabrocki, and T. Milewski) and Slavic linguistics (T. Lehr-Spławiński, Z. Stieber, M. Rud-nicki, and M. Basaj). In Slavic linguistics much attention has been given to problems of onomastics (W. Taszycki, S. Ros-pond) and etymology (A. Brückner, F. Slawski, and K. Polański). The traditions of classical philology have been continued by T. Zieliński, T. Sinko, K. Kumaniecki, and J. Safarewicz, and outstanding work in Oriental studies has been done by A. Zającz-kowski and W. Jabłoński.

The Society of Lovers of the Polish Language, founded in 1921, publishes the journal Język polski, which has appeared since 1913. The Polish Linguistic Society, established in 1925, has published the yearbook Biuletyn polskiego towarzystwa ję-zykoznawczego since 1927. The Literate Speech Society, created in 1966, publishes the journal Poradnik językowy, which first appeared in 1901. The most important periodicals are Lingua Poznaniensis (since 1949), Rocznik slawistyczny (since 1908), Onomastica (since 1955), Slavia Occidentalis (since 1921), and Slavia Orientalis (since 1952).


Scientific institutions. The highest government body in science and technology is the Ministry of Science, Higher Education, and Technology, organized in 1972 out of the Committee on Science and Technology, which existed from 1963 to 1972. The ministry works in cooperation with the Polish Academy of Sciences. Research is conducted at various scientific institutions affiliated with the Polish Academy of Sciences, at institutions of higher learning and at scientific institutions affiliated with government offices. Poland’s 112 research institutes (1973) include institutes of nuclear research, computer technology, environmental studies, general chemistry, pharmacology, geology, oncology (named in honor of M. Curie), electrical engineering, ferrous metallurgy (named in honor of S. Staszic), mining, precision mechanics, agriculture, fertilizers and soil science, scientific-technical and economic information, and the history of material culture. In addition, there are 25 central laboratories, 103 research centers, 651 independent centers for studying the scientific and technical base of the national economy, and 1,670 industrial research centers.

As of 1974 scientific institutions (excluding institutions of higher learning) employed 141,000 persons, of whom 11,700 worked for the Polish Academy of Sciences, 73,000 in research institutions affiliated with government offices, about 7,300 in central laboratories, and 41,800 in research centers. Of the total number employed in research, 10,500 were working in the exact and natural sciences, 104,000 in the technical sciences, more than 7,000 in medicine, about 6,000 in agronomy, and some 6,000 in the social sciences.

In 1974 some 26 billion zlotys were spent on research projects, amounting to 2.36 percent of the national income, as compared to 1.9 percent in 1970. In 1973,13.5 percent of total expenditures on research were allocated for the exact and natural sciences, 83 percent for the technical sciences, and 3.5 percent for the social sciences. In 1972 about 3,500 scientific books and pamphlets were published, and in 1974 some 2,000 scientific journals were published, with a total circulation of about 1.6 million.

Poland’s scientific institutions maintain ties with similar institutions in 116 countries. Of special importance are the scientific contacts with the USSR, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and other socialist countries. Scientific ties exist with France, the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries. Poland is a member of 140 international scientific organizations, and two international research institutions are based in Poland: the S. Banach International Mathematics Center (Warsaw) and the International Laboratory of Strong Magnetic Fields and Low Temperatures (Wroclaw). Scientists from the Polish People’s Republic work at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna (USSR) and other international institutes and participate in international scientific programs. B. SUCHODOLSKI


Histori nauki polskiej, vols. 1–2. Edited by B. Suchodolski. Wroclaw, 1970.
Rolbiecki, W. Polskie towarzystwa naukowe ogólne w latach 1944–1964. Wroclaw, 1966.
II Kongress Nauki polskiej: Materialy Kongresowe. Warsaw, 1973.
Istoriia filosofii, vols. 1, 2, 4, 5. Moscow, 1957–61.
Marksistsko-leninskaia filosofiia i sotsiologiia ν SSSR i evropeiskikh sotsialisticheskikh stranakh. Moscow, 1965.
Sotsiologicheskaia mysl’ ν Polskoi narodnoi respublike. Moscow, 1968.
Istoricheskaia nauka ν Narodnoi Pol’she ν 1945–1969 gg.: Spravochnik Warsaw, 1970.
Serejski, M., J. Dutkiewicz, and K. Śreniowska. Zarys historii historio-grafii polskiej, parts 1–3. Łódź, 1954–59.

In 1976 Poland had 87 dailies (total circulation, 10.17 million) and 2,850 other newspapers and periodicals (circulation, 30.5 million). The newspapers published by the województwo committees of the PUWP have a total circulation of 4,212,000. The leading newspapers, published in Warsaw, are Trybuna Ludu, the main press organ of the PUWP Central Committee (published since 1948, circulation 633,300 in 1974); Chłopska Droga, also an organ of the PUWP Central Committee (since 1945, circulation 152,700); Głos Pracy, an organ of the Central Council of Trade Unions (since 1951, circulation 164,800); Gromada-Rolnik Polski (since 1947, circulation 404,500); Dziennik Ludowy, an organ of the Central Committee of the United Peasant Party (since 1945, circulation 179,800); Życie Warszawy (since 1944, circulation 320,000); Żotnierz Wolności, an organ of the Defense Ministry (since 1943, circulation 99,100); Kurier Polski, an organ of the Democratic Party (since 1957, circulation 161,300); Przegląd Sportowy (since 1921, circulation 205,600); Swiat Młodych, an organ of the Polish Pioneers (since 1949, circulation 421,700); and Sztandar Młodych, an organ of the Federation of Socialist Leagues of Polish Youth (since 1950, circulation 206,700).

The largest weeklies, also published in Warsaw, are Polityka (since 1957, circulation 244,300 in 1974); Kultura (since 1963, circulation 109,000); Dookoła Swiata, an organ of the Federation of Socialist Leagues of Polish Youth (since 1953, circulation 301,500); Żołnierz Polski, an organ of the Main Political Board of the Polish Armed Forces and the Main Board of the National Defense League (since 1945, circulation 113,900); Przyjaźń, an organ of the Society for Polish-Soviet Friendship (since 1948, circulation 119,100); Tygodnik Demokratyczny, an organ of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party (since 1953, circulation 22,600); and Szpilki (since 1935, circulation 124,000). The largest Warsaw monthlies are Nowe Drogi, the theoretical and political organ of the Central Committee of the PUWP (since 1947, circulation 79,400), and Widnokręgi, an organ of the All-Polish Committee for Peace (since 1951, circulation 89,100).

Information on domestic and international affairs is provided by the Polish Press Agency, founded in 1944. The Polish Inter-press Agency, established in 1967, supplies foreign countries with information on Poland’s political, economic, and cultural life.

Radio broadcasting is supervised by the Committee on Radio and Television (Polish Radio and Television), founded in 1944. Domestic broadcasting is conducted on three programs, and 36 radio stations are in operation. There are 5.8 million piped-radio subscribers in the country. Foreign broadcasting to Europe, America, Africa, and the Arab East is conducted in many languages, including Polish, English, French, German, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, Arabic and Esperanto.

Television broadcasts, initiated in 1952 and transmitted regularly since 1953, have been conducted on two channels since 1970. Poland has 19 television stations and more than 56 radio relay stations.


Old Polish literature is customarily divided into the medieval (12th to 15th centuries), Renaissance (16th century), and baroque (to the mid-18th century) periods. No major ancient works of folklore have been discovered. Nevertheless, the existence of an ancient folkloric tradition has been confirmed by the retelling or mention of folk legends, songs, and proverbs in Old Polish written literature. The earliest examples of medieval Polish literature written in Latin combined religious and secular traits. The first historical chronicle, written in the early 12th century by Anonymus Gallus, a chaplain, was essentially secular in its outlook. Chronicle writing culminated in the multivolume History of Poland by J. Dlugosz (1415–80). The first works in Polish were translations of church texts and religious songs; later, secular didactic works, dialogues, poems, and songs appeared.

During the Renaissance, marked by a sharp political struggle and by the spread of humanist and Reformation ideas, literature flourished and was enriched by works written solely as artistic creations. Polish gradually supplanted Latin, although the best learned Latin poetry, for example, the verse of K. Janicki (1516—42/43), was written at this time. M. Rej (1505–69), the author of dialogues, plays, treatises, and satirical verse, wrote exclusively in Polish. Rej was a spokesman for the gentry, and, as a Calvinist, he took an active part in the religious struggle. The works of J. Kochanowski (1530–84) are remarkable for their artistic perfection and intellectual refinement. Kochanowski wrote narrative poems, fraszki, or “trifles” (epigrams, songs, elegies), laments (threnodies), and a drama on a classical subject, The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys, first performed in 1578. A highly original poet, Kochanowski laid the foundations for Polish versification and contributed to the development of the literary language. The lyric poetry of M. Sęp-Szarzyński (c. 1550–81) is notable for its emotional depth and intense philosophical searching. Literature reflected the daily life, mores, and aspirations of the gentry and other classes. An outstanding Renaissance work is The Polish Courtier (1566) by Ł Górnicki (1527–1603), depicting the court milieu. The translated literature of the period includes dialogues, parables, anecdotes, adventure novels, and novellas, many of which reached Russia by way of Poland. Radical social ideas were expressed in publicistic writings, the best examples of which are De republica emendando (1551) by A. Modrzewski (1503–72) and works by the ideologists of Polish Arianism.

The late 16th and early 17th centuries saw the rise of urban literature, written both by prosperous educated burghers, such as S. Klonowicz (c.1545–1602) and S. Szymonowicz (1558–1629), noted for his Eclogues (1614), and by members of the lower classes, who produced sowizdrzalski satires, ribald comedies, lyric poems and songs, frequently influenced by folklore, and the verse cycle Peasant Laments.

The 17th century was the age of baroque literature. Rhymed chronicles and treatises appeared, as well as religious and mystical works expressing the triumph of the Counter-Reformation. Such poets as J. A. Morsztyn (c. 1620–93) wrote amatory verse and meditative lyric poems. The best works reflect the author’s anxiety over the fate of Poland, racked by wars and political anarchy. This theme dominates the works of W. Potocki (born 1621 or 1625; died 1696) and the satirical poets. The leading writers of the baroque strove for a deeper understanding of human psychology and technical brilliance in their poetry. Events and mores were vividly portrayed in memoirs, of which the most famous are the Memoirs of J. C. Pasek (c. 1636–1701). The political decline of the feudal state in the late 17th and early 18th centuries was accompanied by literary stagnation.

During the Age of Enlightenment (mid-18th century) literature reflected the struggle for reform and national independence and the spread of progressive social and philosophical ideas, most of them emanating from prerevolutionary and revolutionary France. Poland’s ties with general European literary developments grew stronger. Literary and sociopolitical magazines appeared, a national theater arose, and the literary language was perfected. The leading neoclassical writers —I. Krasicki (1735–1801), A. Naruszewicz (1733–96), S. Trembecki (1739–1812), and T. K. Węgierski (1756–87)—subordinated artistry to the solving of national problems. Through such militant genres as the satire, fable, and mock epic, they exposed social evils, ignorance, and clericalism. Alongside the translations and adaptations of foreign models there now appeared original comedies. Among the best known were the comedies of F. Zablocki (1752–1821) and The Deputy’s Return (1790) by J. U. Niemcewicz (born 1757 or 1758; died 1841). W. Bogusławski (1757–1829) introduced the common people into his play A Supposed Miracle, or Krakovians and Mountaineers (1794).

The modern novel emerged at this time, blending didactic and Utopian elements, the adventure story, and descriptions of customs and mores. The most famous example of this genre is Krasicki’s Adventures of Nicholas Doświadczyński (1776). Senti-mentalism, also an important trend, was represented by the lyrics of F. Karpiński (1741–1825) and F. D. Kniaźnin (1750–1807). Sentimental prose, however, did not attain its full flowering until the 19th century. In the late 1780’s and early 1790’s a prominent role in the political struggle was played by radical publicistic works, anonymous “Jacobin poetry,” and the writings of revolutionary-minded writers such as J. Jasiński (1761–94).

Romanticism, regarded as the high point of modern Polish literature, encompasses the period of national uprisings in the 19th century, down to the defeat of the 1863–64 uprising. After Poland lost its independence in 1795, literature played an important role in the liberation struggle, the development of national self-awareness, and the preservation of the national culture. The romantic movement arose around 1820. The first romantic works—and the movement’s manifesto—were the two volumes of Poems (1822–23) by A. Mickiewicz (1798–1855). The members of patriotic organizations in Warsaw, Lithuania, and the Ukraine joined the movement. Polish romanticism was predominantly revolutionary and patriotic. The leading genres were the ballad and the lyric-epic poem, or “poetic narrative,” the best examples of which are Grażyna and Konrad Wallenrod by Mickiewicz, Maria by A. Malczewski (1793–1826) and Kaniów Castle by S. Goszczyński (1801–76). There were also attempts to experiment with dramatic forms.

The romantics turned to folklore, regarding it as a reflection of the peasants’ world outlook, and they used historical themes to preach patriotic ideals. A new type of protagonist, the self-sacrificing fighter, was created, the literary language was democratized, and versification was perfected. Romantic literary critics, led by M. Mochnacki (born 1803 or 1804; died 1834), affirmed the uniqueness of each nation’s literature, rejecting the dogmatism of normative aesthetics.

After 1831 émigré literature predominated for a time. The romantics sought to discover the reasons for the failure of the uprising of 1830–31 by analyzing the gentry revolutionary movement and the rift between the vanguard of the liberation struggle and the masses. There were fiery denunciations of the tsarist regime and its harsh repressions in Poland. Romantic drama, diverse in form and saturated with moral and political themes, reached a high point in Part 3 of Forefathers’ Eve (1832) by Mickiewicz, the plays of J. Słowacki (1809–49), and The Undi-vine Comedy (1835) and Irydion (1833–36) by Z. Krasiński (1812–59). Narrative poetry was enriched by such new variations as Mickiewicz’s national epic Pan Tadeusz and Słowacki’s historical and philosophical epic King Spirit. The romantics’ historical and philosophical searchings were expressed not only in literary works, but also in mystical messianic philosophical systems justifying Poland’s future salvation.

Within Poland some writers, notably A. Fredro (1793–1876), remained untouched by romanticism. Fredro, who went directly from Enlightenment traditions to realism, wrote his best comedies, remarkable for their social and psychological insights, in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The prose genres were developed by J. I. Kraszewski (1812–87) and J. Korzeniowski (1797–1863). On the eve of the Revolution of 1848–19, R. Berwiński (1819–79) wrote revolutionary democractic poetry, and E. Dembowski (1822–46) published criticism and works on aesthetics. A newly awakened interest in peasant life is reflected in the prose of Kraszewski and the poetry of T. Lenartowicz (1822–93) and W. Syrokomla (1823–62). The romantic period produced the greatest Polish folklorists, collectors of folk literature. A special place belongs to the émigré writer C. Norwid (1821–83), whose poetic innovations have been fully appreciated only in the 20th century.

After 1863 realism replaced romanticism as the dominant trend. This period is sometimes called the age of positivism because of the influence of positivist social and philosophical ideas on the work of a number of writers. Publicistic writings and some literary works propagandized “organic work” and “fundamental work” and called for cooperation in achieving economic progress, educating the masses, and eliminating feudal-gentry prejudices. Poetry, rich in civic motifs, affirmed a faith in patriotic ideals and touched upon the new problems posed by capitalist development. The most important civic poets were A. Asnyk (1838–97) and M. Konopnicka (1842–1910). This period produced many outstanding novels, novellas, and short stories. The works of E. Orzeszkowa (1841–1910), B. Prus (1847–1912), H. Sienkiewicz (1846–1916), and Konopnicka painted a broad panorama of Polish society, including the life of the peasants and the lower urban strata, showed the contradictions in social development, and introduced new social and psychological types. The historical novel became popular. Such works as Sienkiewicz’s Trilogy (1883–88), vividly describing old gentry Poland, Kra-szewski’s series of novels covering Poland’s entire history, and Prus’ Pharaoh (1895–96) served to reinforce patriotic feelings. Literary theory and criticism also developed. In the last decades of the 19th century naturalistic tendencies appeared in prose, for example, the works of A. Dygasiński (1839–1902). The incipient workers’ movement produced the first examples of proletarian poetry, of which the most famous are the “Warszawianka” and “The Red Banner.”

World recognition of Polish literature in the 19th century was reflected in the intensive development of Russo-Polish literary ties. In this sense Mickiewicz’s stay in Russia was of enormous importance; his works were highly valued and translated many times by Russian men of letters. In turn, Mickiewicz included Russian literature in his lectures in Paris during the 1840’s. Translations of Russian poetry appeared in Poland throughout the 19th century. The works of I. S. Turgenev, L. N. Tolstoy, and later F. M. Dostoevsky were widely read and influenced the major Polish writers. Conversely, Russian translations of the works of Orzeszkowa, Sienkiewicz, and Prus appeared almost simultaneously with their publication in Poland.


1890–1918. In the period from 1890 to 1918, known as Young Poland, while realism continued to develop, various modernist trends arose—impressionism, symbolism, and neoromanticism. The theoreticians of modernism were Z. Przesmycki (1861–1944) and S. Przybyszewski (1868–1927). Poetry was strongly influenced by symbolist and impressionist tendencies, and the main genres were philosophical, erotic, and nature lyrics. The leading modernist poets were K. Tetmajer (1865–1940), J. Kas-prowicz (1860–1926), and T. Miciński (1873–1918). Between 1900 and 1920 new, life-affirming motifs appeared in the realistic civic poetry of Konopnicka, the classicist lyrics of L. Staff (18781957), and the satirical poems of T. Boy-Zeleński (18741941).

In prose, where the realistic trend remained dominant, social criticism intensified, and rural life, the power of the land, and the impending peasant revolt were successfully portrayed by W. Reymont (1867–1925), W. Orkan (1875–1930), and S. Żeromski (1864–1925). Żeromski also dealt with the social aspirations of the Polish intelligentsia and the history of the Polish people’s struggle for national independence. Realism and symbolism blended in the novels of W. Berent (1873–1940), and naturalistic tendencies appeared in the prose of A. Gruszecki (1852–1929) and G. Zapolska (1857–1921). After 1905, A. Strug (1871–1937), G. Daniłowski (1872–1927), and A. Niemojewski (1864–1921) introduced the theme of revolution as an act of sacrifice by intellectual revolutionaries. The plays of S. Wyspianski (1869–1907) presented a romantic and symbolic vision of Poland’s past and future. Realistic drama was represented by the “petit bourgeois tragicomedies” of Zapolska and the psychological plays of T. Rittner (1873–1921). S. Brzozow-ski (1878–1911), an eminent critic, polemicized against antisocial views of art.

1918–44. A critical approach to the conflicts in the restored Polish state (1918) characterized the realistic sociopolitical novels and the novels of everyday life written by Żeromski, Z. Na-łkowska (1884–1954), M. Dabrowska (1889–1965), J. Kaden-Bandrowski (1885–1944), Strug, P. Gojawiczyńska (1896–1963), Z. Unilowski (1909–37), and H. Boguszewska (born 1886). During the 1930’s realistic psychological prose was developed by J. Iwaszkiewicz (born 1894), Nałkowska, and M. Kun-cewiczowa (born 1889) and realistic drama by J. Szaniawski (1886–1970). The psychological novels of B. Schulz (1892–1942) and W. Gombrowicz (1904–69) dealt with the irrational, and the playwright S. I. Witkiewicz (1885–39) was a master of the grotesque.

The poetry of the interwar period was strongly influenced by Staffs verse and the symbolist fantasies of the poet B. Leśmian (1877–1937). The “traditionalism” of the Skamander group, which included such diverse poets as J. Tuwim (1894—1953), Iwaszkiewicz, A. Słonimski (born 1895), J. Lechoń (1899— 1956), K. Wierzynski (1894–1969), and M. Pawlikowska-Jas-norzewska (1894–1945), was attacked by the “vanguard” poets T. Peiper (1891–1969) and J. Przyboś (1901–70). During the 1930’s the poetry of K. I. Gałczyński (1905–53), J. Czechowicz (1903–39), and M. Jastrun (born 1903) was imbued with a sense of impending catastrophe and apocalyptic forebodings. The foundations of socialist literature were laid in the poetry of W. Broniewski (1897–1962), the leader of a group of revolutionary poets that included B. Jasieński (1901–39), S. R. Stande (1897-c. 1937), W. Wandurski (1891-c. 1937), L. Szenwald (1909–44), L. Pasternak (1910–69) and E. Szymański (190743). Contributions to socialist prose literature were also made by the prose writers L. Kruczkowski (1900–62) and W. Wasilew-ska (1905–64) and by the Marxist critic I. Fik (1904 -42).

During World War II antifascist resistance literature, chiefly poetry, was written in occupied Poland by K. Baczynski (1921–44), T. Gajcy (1922–44) and Staff, despite the terror. Of the Polish writers who emigrated abroad, Wasilewska, Szenwald, J. Putrament (born 1910), and L. Pasternak wrote antifascist poems in the USSR and Broniewski and Tuwim in the West. The poetry of the war years was patriotic, often reflective, and filled with romantic fervor.

Polish People’s Republic. The defeat of the Nazi German invaders and the establishment of the people’s democratic system created new conditions for the development of literature. As early as September, 1944, the First Congress of the Polish Writers’ Union, held in liberated Lublin, declared its support of the people’s democratic development of the country. Literature was confronted with the task of depicting the new reality and assisting in the building of socialism. Much of the realistic prose of the 1940’s dealt with the fascist occupation. Among the best works on this theme are Medallions (1946) by Nalkowska, World of Stone (1948) by T. Borowski (1922–51), and Smoke Over Birkenau ( 1945) by S. Szmaglewska (born 1916). Postwar social conflicts were portrayed in Ashes and Diamonds (1948), a novel by J. Andrzejewski (born 1909). Polish-Soviet literary ties were strengthened, and an increasing number of translations of works by Soviet writers appeared. The Fourth Congress of the Polish Writers’ Union, held in 1949, called for a struggle for socialist realism. In response, works appeared dealing with the social changes within the country (Village Wedding, 1955, by Dabrowska; Jawor’s House, 1954, by W. Mach, 1917–65), the Nazi occupation (Generation, 1951, by B. Czeszko, born 1923), the revolutionary movement in bourgeois Poland (Under a Phry-gianStar, 1952, by I. Newerly, born 1903; The Old and the New, vols. 1–3, 1948–60, by L. Rudnicki, 1882–1968), and the catastrophe that befell Poland in September 1939 (September, 1951, by Putrament; Days of Defeat, 1952, by W.Żukrowski, born 1916).

Since the mid-1950’s attention has shifted to problems of ethics and politics and the historical and social factors that shape the individual. In the works of Andrzejewski these themes are treated on an abstract philosophical level. Essay writing and philosophical analytic prose has been developing. The best examples of such works are The Bronze Gates (1960) by T. Breza (1905–70) and Disneyland( 1965)by S. Dygat(born 1914). Innovations in literary technique occur even in works written in the traditional narrative style. Moral and philosophical problems predominate, and a frequent theme is World War II, the underground movement during the occupation, and the establishment of people’s rule. Among outstanding works on this theme are The Columbuses-Generation of 1920 (vols. 1–3, 1957) by R. Bratny (born 1921); Diary of a Thinking Man (published 1970) by Dabrowska; the trilogy Praise and Glory (1956–62) and many novellas and short stories by Iwaszkiewicz, a leading realistic writer; The Diary of an Antihero (1961), consisting of “mi-cronovels,” by K. Filipowicz (born 1913); The Tree Bears Fruit (1963) and Personality (1973) by T. Hołuj (born 1916); and Baptism of Fire (1961) and Headed for Berlin (1970) by Zukrowski. The changes in village life have been portrayed by J. Kawalec (born 1916), W. Machejek (born 1920), T. Nowak (born 1930), J. Morton (born 1911) and Mach. The history and labor of the working class are the theme of works by S. R. Dobrowolski (born 1907), L. Wantula (born 1928), and J. Pierzchala (born 1921). Noteworthy historical and historical-biographical novels have been written by J. Parandowski (born 1895), T. Parnicki (born 1908), A. Kusniewicz (born 1904), and Hołuj. The philosophical science fiction of S. Lem (born 1921) is popular, as are works in the documentary genres.

Prior to 1956 the leading poets were Broniewski, Gałczyński, Iwaszkiewicz, Przyboś, and Jastrun. The most promising of the poets who emerged in the 1960’s are T. Różewicz (born 1921), W. Szymborska (born 1928), S. Grochowiak (born 1934), and E. Bryll (born 1935). An important contribution to socialist realist drama are L. Kruczkowski’s The Germans (1949) and The First Day of Freedom (1960).


Literary theory and criticism. In Poland the first works of literary scholarship appeared in the 17th century, although the systematic study of literature did not begin until the Enlightenment, when F. K. Dmochowski established the poetic norms of Polish classicism in his Art of Versification (1788) and I. Krasicki published his general survey of poetry On Rhymes and Rhym-sters (1803). F. Bentkowski’s History of Polish Literature appeared in 1814. An important contribution to the evolution of literary theory and criticism was the essay “On Classicism and Romanticism” (1818) by K. Brodziński (1791–1835), a representative of late sentimentalism. The essay touched off a lengthy polemic on the paths of development to be followed by genuine Polish literature.

During the 1820’s M. Mochnacki, the theoretician of romanticism, after developing the concept of the popular nature of literature, posed the problem of the origin of poetry and the civic role of the poet. During the 1840’s this problem was studied in greater depth by the Left Hegelian E. Dembrowski. In the second half of the 19th century Polish literary scholarship became a science with several specialized branches. M. Małecki, who belonged to the philological school, published the first monographic studies. P. Chmielowski, an exponent of positivist aesthetics and realism, wrote important works on literary history, stylistics, and criticism. The archival research of A. Brückner represented a turning point in the study of Old Polish literature. Brückner also contributed to the development of textual analysis.

In the Young Poland period at the turn of the 20th century, I. Matuszewski emerged as the foremost theoretician of modernism; and problems of literary history were studied by W. Feld-man. Of great significance was the work of the bibliographers K. Estreicher and G. Korbut.

The leading critics in the interwar period were K. Irzykowski and T. Boy-Żeleński. Avant-garde theories were expounded by T. Peiper and S. I. Witkiewicz. Marxist criticism was represented by I. Fik and A. Stawar. Among the foremost academic literary scholars were J. Kleiner, S. Pigoń, K. Górski, W. Bo-rowy, M. Kridl, T. Sinko, and J. Krzyżanowski.

After World War II, R. Ingarden emerged as a prominent literary scholar, emphasizing problems of structure in artistic works. S. Skwarczynska, H. Markiewicz, J. Trzynadlowski, and M. Dłuska are noted for their work in literary theory; J. Krzyżanowski, W. Kubacki, K. Wyka, and J. Z. Jakubowski have done important work on the history of Polish literature and the history of literary criticism; and M. Żurowski and W. Chwalewik have written on the history of world literature. Marxist-Leninist research methodology has become firmly established. In Slavic studies, the history of Russian literature and Polish-Russian literary ties have been studied by M. Jakubiec, R. Łużny, B. Białokozowicz, F. Sielicki, and T. Pożniak. The chief journals devoted to literary theory and criticism are Pami-ętnik Literacki (since 1902), Polonistyka (since 1948), and Prze-gląd humanistyczny (since 1957). I. K. GORSKII


Istoriia pol’skoi literatury, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1968–69. (Contains a bibliography.)
Bibliografia literatury polskiej: Nowy Korbut, vols. 1–9, 12–14. Warsaw, 1963–73. (Continuing publication.)
Sfownik wspótczesnych pisarzy polskich, vols. 1–4. Warsaw, 1963–66.
Historia literatury polskiej, vols. 1–3. Warsaw, 1972 -73.

Neolithic pottery decorated with ribbon, punctuate, and whipped-cord designs has been discovered in Poland. Remains from the Bronze and Iron ages include fortified settlements (Bis-kupin, c.550–400 B.C.), clay and bronze vessels, ritual chariots adorned with figurines of birds and animals (Lausitz culture), and effigy vessels (Pomeranian culture). Schematic sculpture from the seventh to the 12th centuries has survived, of which the best-known example is the tenth-century head of a deity, found at Janków. Also dating from this period are the remains of Slavic settlements with wooden and earthen fortifications (in Gdansk, Opole, Gniezno and Wroclaw).

After the adoption of Christianity in 966, stone religious architecture developed. An outstanding example is the rotunda chapel of the Virgin Mary at the Wawel in Kraków, built in the second half of the tenth century. The Romanesque style was introduced in the second half of the 11th century. The austere grandeur of the three-aisled basilica may be seen in the partially preserved Romanesque churches in Poznań and Gniezno and the Church of St. Andrew in Kraków. The basilican church at Turn (c. 1141–61) is notable for its immense towers and the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Wroclaw (late 12th century), for its recessed “perspective” portals covered with carving. In the church interiors, the capitals and sometimes even the shafts of the columns dividing the aisles were decorated with rich carving—interlace and floral patterns and representations of saints and mythical animals and birds (church at Strzelno, c. 1180). Several Romanesque crypts have survived, of which the most famous is St. Leonard’s crypt in the Wawel cathedral in Kraków (c. 1100). The few extant pieces of Romanesque sculpture have softly modeled generalized forms, for example, the tympanum of the portal of the Church of Our Lady on the Sand in Wroclaw, with reliefs depicting the Virgin Mary and donors dating from the second half of the 12th century. The masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture in Poland is the relief on the bronze doors of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Gniezno (c. 1170), where scenes from the life of St. Wojciech (Adalbert), executed with the utmost directness, are skillfully woven into a magnificent ornamental composition. Paintings from the 12th and 13th centuries, such as the frescoes in the churches in Turn and Czerwiński, have flat contours and make use of local color.

During the 14th and 15th centuries the strengthening of the feudal monarchy in Poland stimulated a cultural flowering in the cities. The Gothic style spread, reflecting a unique reworking of the architectural forms of Germany, Bohemia, and the Netherlands. Three-aisled basilican churches of stone and brick were built in the south, for example, the Wawel Cathedral and the Church of the Virgin Mary in Kraków and the cathedrals in Wroclaw and Poznań. In the north, severe hall churches of brick were constructed (Church of the Virgin Mary in Gdańsk). The smooth walls of the Gothic churches contrast with the tracery on the portals and windows and on the gables surmounting the walls. The immense towers of the western facades are usually divided into tiers and are covered with hipped roofs. In Silesia and northern Poland the church gables are often decorated with designs made with glazed bricks. The spacious interiors, with their cruciform, stellar, or tripartite “Piast” ribbing, are notable for their clarity of structure.

In the late 15th and early 16th centuries decoration became more elaborate. Crystal vaults adorned with picturesque ornamentation also appeared (the church in Pelplin). The composition of the stone churches was repeated in wooden churches, which nevertheless preserved their link with folk architecture, as exemplified by the churches in Dębno (second half of the 15th century) and in Grywald (c. 1500).

In the 14th and 15th centuries the rapidly expanding cities acquired a regular layout and were surrounded by stone walls with gates and towers. Sometimes barbacan fortifications were erected in front of the gates, as in Kraków and Warsaw. Numerous public buildings, were adorned with rich Gothic decoration, for example, the town halls in Toruń and Wroclaw, the Artus Hall in Gdańsk, and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, whose inner courtyard was enclosed by a gallery resting on lancet arcades. During the 14th and 15th centuries castles were built with irregular ground plans in the south (Bedzin) and with rectangular layouts in the north (Ciechanów). The fortified monastery complexes built by the Crusaders in northern Poland have survived; the most famous is Malbork, built between the 13th and 15th centuries.

In the pictorial art of the 14th and 15th centuries there was an increasing tendency toward realism. Naively expressive weepers appeared on the Gothic tombs of kings, and the schematic figures of the dead acquired individual traits. Wood sculpture, reflecting the simple poetic world outlook of the common people, was influenced by the Gothic “soft style” in the early 15th century. Poland’s finest example of Gothic sculpture is the altar of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Kraków, carved between 1477 and 1489 by Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoss). In Stwosz’s altar Late Gothic realism is blended with new Renaissance elements.

The paintings of the 14th and 15th centuries reflect contacts with Bohemian art in the south, Dutch art in the north and Old Russian art in the east (the paintings in the chapel of Lublin Castle, 1418). In the wall paintings of the 14th and 15th centuries linear refinement is combined with landscape and everyday motifs (churches in Niepołomice [1360–70] and Ląd [1370]) or with rich ornamentation (church in Dębno, c. 1500). Fifteenth-century altar painting had a decorative flatness but strove to convey individual traits, national types, and life situations. In the second half of the 15th century, partially under Dutch influence, an interest arose in conveying space and volume. But the continuing love for decorative design may be seen in the triptych Dormition of the Virgin Mary (c. 1508) by Marcin Czarny. Decorative applied art (silverware, weapons, stained-glass windows) flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries.

In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, with the spread of humanism and Reformation doctrines, a Renaissance culture developed in Poland. Italian architects rebuilt palaces and castles in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Wawel Castle in Kraków was reconstructed in the Renaissance style between 1502 and 1516, when its inner courtyard was enclosed by arcaded galleries. Renaissance chapels appeared in churches; the most famous is Sigismund’s Chapel in the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków (1517–33). Down to the 17th century Renaissance forms were mingled with Gothic traditions. It was the combination of medievael structures and Renaissance decoration that gave Polish urban buildings their distinctive appearance. Along with loggias, arcaded inner courtyards, and columned portals, a common feature was the attic with handsome ornamental carving (the Sukiennice in Kraków and the town halls in Poznań and Chełmno). The influence of Dutch mannerism in northern and central Poland in the late 16th and early 17th centuries may be seen in the Arsenal in Gdańsk and residences in Gdańsk and Kazimierz Dolny.

In the pictorial art of the 16th century the secular element became increasingly important. The painted friezes in the halls of the Wawel Castle in Kraków depict tournaments and court festivities. Battle painting and portraiture developed, for example, the flat formal portraits by M. Kober. Miniature painting flourished in the early 16th century. The finest examples are the miniatures from the Codex of Baltazar Behem, depicting scenes from the life of various urban classes, and the portraits in the genealogy book of the Szydłowiecki family (to 1530) by the master Stanisław Samostrzelnik. A schematic treatment of figures is characteristic of Renaissance funerary sculpture, framed by columns of the various orders. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, mannerist decorativeness intensified (funerary sculpture of S. Gucci and Jan Michałowicz of Urzędow). In altar painting a naïve realism was combined with Venetian Late Renaissance influences (T. Dolabella). In 16th-century decorative applied art (silver reliquaries, weaponry, fabrics) Gothic traditions coexisted with Renaissance motifs.

With the onset of the feudal Catholic reaction in the early 17th century, many baroque churches were built. A noteworthy example is the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Kraków, built between 1605 and 1619. The splendor and compositional complexity attained by Polish baroque churches in the late 17th and early 18th centuries may be seen in the Jesuit churches in Poznan, sacristies in Warsaw, and the Bernardine Church in Krakó w with its imposing twin-tower facade. The churches in Ląd and Osieczna are remarkable for their dynamic spatial rhythms. In the mid-18th century church interiors were decorated in the rococo style, for example, the church in Kobyłka, Warsaw Woje-wództwo. Baroque and Gothic forms coexisted in wood architecture; noteworthy examples are the Catholic churches in Olesno (1668–78) and the Orthodox church in Powrożnik (c. 1643).

Castles built during the late 16th and early 17th centuries had a complex ground plan, for example, the pentagonal castle in Ujazd with its two inner courtyards (1631–44). From the late 17th century the influence of French architecture may be discerned in palace architecture. Magnificent suburban residences were built with cours d’honneur and formal parks (the palaces at Wilanów and Bialystok), as well as urban palaces without projecting wings (Krasinski Palace in Warsaw). From the second half of the 17th century palaces and churches were decorated with stucco sculpture, notable for its dynamic elegance of form. In the mid-18th century richly carved wooden altars became common.

Baroque and naïve realistic elements coexisted in portrait, battle, and to some extent altar painting (K. Boguszewski’s altar paintings and J. Tretko’s portraits). The decorative formal portraits popular among the lesser nobility, although two-dimensional, had a lively directness. Illusionist techniques of the Italian baroque were employed in fresco painting from the late 17th century. In the mid-18th century classical tendencies appeared in the altar paintings of S. Czechowicz. The portrait engravings of the 17th and 18th centuries reflected the influence of Dutch art (J. Falck). In decorative applied art, European baroque motifs fused with Polish and Oriental decoration in the designs of furniture, pile rugs, Gobelin tapestries, and silken “Persian” sashes.

From the late 18th century the development of art was influenced by the Enlightenment and by the antifeudal and national liberation struggle of the Polish people. Evolving in the 1770’s, classical architecture at first retained certain baroque features, for example, the Łazienki palace and park complex in Warsaw. The classical churches and palaces built by the architects S. B. Zug, C. P. Aigner, J. Kubicki, and S. Zawadzki in the late 18th and early 19th centuries had an intimate quality and an elegant simplicity. From about 1820 classical architecture became more imposing and acquired spatial grandeur, as exemplified by the ensembles in the central squares of Warsaw designed by the architect A. Corazzi. Classical residential and commercial buildings were erected in cities and rural areas. During the political reaction in the 1830’s construction was curtailed, and stylization and eclecticism prevailed.

During the second half of the 19th century cities were built up randomly with numerous apartment houses having shaft-like courtyards. At the turn of the 20th century there were efforts to create a national architectural style. S. Witkiewicz developed the “Zakopane style,” inspired by folk architecture. Through the influence of Austrian architecture, art nouveau became popular in the early 20th century. In Kraków many buildings from this period combine fanciful forms with motifs from Polish medieval architecture (Old Theater, architects T. Stryjeński and F. M%-czyński). Warsaw architecture tended toward greater severity and structural logic, for example, the Bank of the Cooperative Societies, designed by J. Heurich, Jr.

The leading artists at the Royal Palace in Warsaw in the last third of the 18th century were foreigners. Foremost among them were the painter M. Bacciarelli, the sculptor A. Lebrun, and the portraitists G. B. Lampi and G. Grassi. Detailed canvases depicting Warsaw and its environs were produced by B. Belotto. The historical compositions of F. Smuglewicz and M. Stacho-wicz, both of whom sought to convey the civic and patriotic mood of the time, presented a marked contrast to the court art. J. P. Norblin’s vivid drawings of Polish life, including the 1794 uprising, and the works of his followers M. Ploński and A. Or-lowski initiated democratic genre painting in Poland. Preroman-tic elements are discernible in the portraits by K. Wojniakowski.

During the first third of the 19th century the dominant trend was academic classicism. The portraits by A. Brodowski are notable for their romantic features. Genre painting flourished in the scenes of urban life by F. Piwarski and F. Pęczarski. Romanticism, colored by national and democratic tendencies, became firmly established in the 1840’s and 1850’s. Noteworthy examples of romantic painting are P. Michałowski’s dynamic and expressive battle scenes and his sympathetic peasant portraits, as well as H. Rodakowski’s portraits. Historical painting, an important genre from the mid-19th century, reached its culmination in the 1860’s, 1870’s and 1880’s in the works of J. Matejko. His crowded canvases, with their vibrant colors, combine national and civic ardor, dramatic expressiveness, and convincing realistic representation. In the series of drawings by A. Grottger patriotic romanticism and realism coexist with academic trends.

In the 1860’s democratic landscape and genre painting containing social criticism became an important trend. Outstanding examples include the scenes from the life of the common people by F. Kostrzewski and A. Kotsis and the Polish landscapes by J. Szermentowski and W. Gerson, similar to the paintings of the Barbizon school. Democratic realism reached its apogee in the 1870’s and 1880’s in M. Gierymski’s paintings of the 1863–64 uprising, A. Gierymski’s compositions on urban themes, and J. Chełmoński’s poetic scenes from peasant life. In battle painting, the romanticism of J. Kossak was replaced by the everyday realism of J. Brandt. The naturalistic and pretentious academic trends that arose in the 1880’s sometimes incorporated folkloric symbols (H. Siemiradzki, M. Kotarbiński, W. Pruszkowski).

At the turn of the 20th century, in the Young Poland period, many artists were attracted to impressionism and the art-nouveau style. The influence of impressionism may be seen in the portraiture of J. Pankiewicz and O. Boznańska, the landscapes of J. Stanisławski and J. Fałat, and the landscape compositions showing peasants at work by L. Wyczółkowski. Along with an exuberant, decorative fantasy and sometimes artificiality (J. Mehoffer’s portraits and stained-glass windows), Polish art nouveau had national democratic aspirations and symbolist tendencies, as exemplified by J. Malczewski’s depictions of the life of exiled Polish insurgents, S. Wyspiański’s and F. Ruszczyc’s stained-glass windows, portraits, and landscapes, and W. Wojt-kiewicz’s genre paintings. Social realism is reflected in A. Ka-mieński’s engravings and S. Lentz’s paintings.

The turn of the century also saw a revival of the graphic arts. Outstanding works include the etchings and lithographs by L. Wyczólkowski, the architectural drawings by S. Noakowski, the book designs by S. Wyspiański, and the posters by J. Mehoffer and K. Frycz. In sculpture, realism and art nouveau coexisted with impressionism. The leading sculptors were W. Szymanowski, K. Laszczka, and X. Dunikowski. There was a renewed interest in decorative applied art and folk handicrafts, both of which had undergone a period of decline and eclecticism. Of special interest are the ceramics, furniture, and kilim rugs designed by S. Wyspiański, K. Tichy, and J. Szczepkowski.

After the formation of the bourgeois Polish state in 1918 the development of art was marked by contradictions. Efforts to assimilate the latest achievements of European culture, attempts to create a contemporary national style, and quests for new forms of realism coexisted with formal experimentation. In the architecture of the 1920’s and 1930’s neoclassicism and function-alism (Prudential Building in Warsaw, Jagiellonian Library in Kraków) existed alongside modernistic stylization influenced by folk architecture (Polish pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1925, designed by J. Czajkowski and K. Stryjeński). Attempts were made to regulate urban construction and to create well-planned districts (Żoliborz in Warsaw, architects B. Brukalska and S. Brukalski). Large-scale urban developments in the functionalist style were designed by B. Brukalska, S. Brukalski, S. Syrkus, B. Pniewski and J. Szanajca. However, the opportunities for carrying out these projects were limited.

In art the influence of cubism and impressionism may be seen in the painting and sculpture of Z. Pronaszko and T. Czy-żewski. Folk art traditions were frequently combined with modernistic stylization, as in the paintings by Z. Stryjeńtska. The democratic trend within the “folklore” movement was represented by the engravings of W. Skoczylas, partially inspired by illustrated broadsides and remarkable for their clarity of composition and subtle decorative quality. Skoczylas’ work promoted the development of a Polish school of graphic art in the 20th century whose leading representatives are B. Krasnodçbska-Gardowska, T. Ceślewski, Jr., S. Ostoja Chrostowski, and T. Kulisiewicz. In painting, democratic ideals were reflected in the work of T. Makowski, who creatively used cubist and primitivist techniques, and in the canvases of F. Kowarski, who tended toward the dramatic and neoclassical generalization. In the work of the “colorists” J. Cybis, H. Rudzka Cybisowa, A. Nacht-Samborski, and Z. Waliszewski and the painters akin to them (E. Eibisch), postimpressionist techniques were employed in an original manner. Avant-garde aspirations were manifested in the works of the sculptors K. Kobro and H. Wiciński and the painter W. Strzemiński.

During the 1930’s social criticism intensified in art. Social protest was expressed in abstract forms by the painters M. Jarema, J. Stern, and T. Kantor. The artists H. Krajewska, J. Krajewski, and F. Bartoszek were influenced by progressive German graphic art. The inhumanity and hypocrisy of the bourgeois world was exposed by the satirical drawings of B. Linke.

In sculpture, stylized folk art (J. Szczepkowski) coexisted with neoclassical trends exemplified by the statues and monuments of E. Wittig, H. Kuna, and A. Zamoyski. The leading Polish sculptor, X. Dunikowski, creatively adapted various cubist and expressionist techniques in evolving his own original style, characterized by inner meaning and a structural severity of form. Advertising graphic and posterait flourished (W. Jastrzę-bowski, T. Gronowski, and E. Bartłomiejczyk). In decorative applied art there were notable achievements in the designing of kilim rugs (W. Jastrzębowski, E. Plutyńska), ceramics, furniture, and metal articles.

During World War II many population centers in Poland were heavily damaged by the fascists and their cultural works were destroyed. After the establishment of people’s rule, projects were launched to rebuild the ruined cities. The USSR and other socialist countries took part in these projects. In the development of architecture during the postwar years an important role was played by masters of the older generation, such as S. Syrkus, B. Pniewski, B. Brukalska, and S. Brukalski. Most of the housing built during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s consisted of low economical buildings arranged in rows. From the mid-1950’s, when construction became increasingly industrialized and standardized, multistory large-panel and large-block apartment houses were built. Since the early 1960’s interchangeable prefabricated components have been used in housing construction.

The rapid growth of industry during the 1950’s stimulated the building of new cities, such as Nowa Huta (now part of Kraków) and Nowe Tychy near Katowice. A freer approach to city planning was adopted, and the layout of residential developments became more flexible (the districts of Żoliborz Sady, Praga-3, and Słuzewiec in Warsaw).

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s public buildings were constructed in the tradition of Polish functionalism, for example, the Party House and the Geological Institute in Warsaw and the main department store in Poznań. After a period of enthusiasm for historical styles (Constitution Square in Warsaw), a preference for rational simplicity of form was evident in the late 1950’s. The public buildings of the 1960’s have a functional layout and reflect original structural solutions and a flexible rhythmic combination of standardized structural elements. Examples of this style include the Women’s Dormitory in Kraków, the Supersam store in Warsaw, and the Mercury Hotel in Poznań. Much attention has been devoted to redesigning the centers of cities and creating expressive spatial compositions, such as the ensemble of tower-like and long buildings on Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw and the downtown area of Katowice. Monumental sculpture, mosaics, and stained-glass windows are used extensively in urban construction. There have been impressive achievements in the construction of sports facilities, hospitals and schools, tourist facilities and industrial buildings (factories in Kalisz, Wyszków and Łódź).

An important role in the emergence of art in people’s Poland was played by such masters of the older generation as X. Dunikowski, noted for his monuments, and F. Kowarski and W. Weiss, who produced paintings on historical revolutionary themes. In the early 1950’s the painters J. Krajewski, H. Krajewska, A. Strumiłło, and A. Kobzdej and the sculptors S. Horno-Popławski and J. Jarnuszkiewicz addressed themselves to the themes of building socialism and the revolutionary struggle. Humanistic traditions were revived in the sculptural portraits of X. Dunikowski, A. Karny, and J. Puszet. Graphic and poster art reflected civic consciousness and a diversity of artistic techniques. Outstanding examples include the graphic series by T. Kulisiewicz and the posters by T. Gronowski, T. Trepkowski, and H. Tomaszewski. The traditions of “colo-rism” were continued in the works of the painters J. Cybis, A. Nacht-Samborski, H. Rudzka-Cybisowa, E. Eibisch, and J. Studnicki. Elegantly decorative painted compositions were created by W. Taranczewski and A. Marczyński. Fauvist, cubist and expressionist techniques continued to influence the painters T. Brzozowski, T. Kantor, J. Stern and H. Stażewski.

Since the mid-1950’s self-centered artistic strivings for plastic expressiveness have gained ascendancy. Artists have been much attracted to abstract art, expressionism (A. Kobzdej, J. Leben-stein), surrealism (J. Tchórzewski, T. Brzozowski), and, since the late 1960’s, op art, pop art, and other neo-avant-garde trends. Concurrently, there has been a renewed interest in realism. The advocates of realistic art have founded groups in Warsaw, Gdańsk, and other cities. An expressiveness of texture, composition, and coloring marks the paintings on the theme of industrialization, landscapes, portraits, and scenes of everyday life by J. Krawczyk and W. Garboliński. Symbolic generalization and primitivism distinguish the paintings of J. Nowosielski and K. Mikulski. Since the late 1950’s outstanding works of monumental sculpture have been produced by M. Konieczny, J. Ban-dura, A. Haupt and F. Duszenko. The abstract spatial compositions of J. Jarnuszkiewicz and W. Hasior strive for a decorative expressiveness in their use of materials. Several sculptors have turned to the traditions of folk art.

Polish graphic art, known for its expressiveness, decorative refinement, and multiplicity of artistic techniques and styles, has reached a high level in the engravings of H. Chrostowska-Piotrowicz, J. Panek, and M. Malina and the illustrations and caricatures by Z. Lengren, E. Lipiński, M. Hiszpańska-Neumann, O. Siemaszko, J. M. Szancer, and A. Uniechowski. The posters of J. Mroszczak, W. Swierzy, and J. Lenica are outstanding for their compositional acuteness, originality, and vivid decorativeness. Much attention is given to folk arts and handicrafts and to the artistic design of industrial goods. The masters of decorative applied art combine contemporary forms with the traditions of folk art.


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The musical culture of Poland, one of the oldest Slavic musical cultures, is related to the music of the other Slavic peoples. Among the oldest folk instruments that have survived are rattles, tambourines, and whistles (dating from the 11th century), all of which are used to accompany ritual folk songs. The melodies of these folk songs are often based on three notes and contain pentatonic elements. The folk songs are songs descended from pagan ritual songs and dances known to have existed in the seventh century. Popular folk stringed instruments, both bowed and plucked, are the fiddle, the mazanka, and the maryna. Folk wind instruments include the ligawka, bazuna, and trombita. Among well-known folk dances, accompanied by singing, are the chodzony (predecessor of the polonaise), the krakowiak, the mazurka, the kujawiak, and the oberek. These dances were traditionally accompanied by instrumental ensembles played by wandering musicians.

During the ninth and tenth centuries Gregorian chant was introduced into Poland along with Catholicism. In the 11th and 12th centuries ecclesiastical singing schools were founded whose pupils enriched church music with folk melodies from various parts of Poland. The influence of folk music was especially apparent in the mystery plays performed from the 12th century on by itinerant clergymen in Latin and by comedians (franty) in Polish.

During the 12th century court choirs were organized, and in the 13th century troubador songs appeared, as well as non-liturgical songs based on religious texts. Poland’s first known composer was Wincenty of Kielce (13th century), whose religious songs reflect the influence of musical folklore on church music. Vocal polyphony first appeared in the 13th century, and during the 15th century it was introduced into secular vocal and instrumental music by such composers as Mikołaj of Radom. An urban musical culture developed, especially in Kraków, where musicians’ guilds arose in the 14th century. Guilds were formed by organists and makers of organs and other musical instruments. The songs of university students (żaks) were popular, and music theory was taught at the Jagiellonian University in the 16th century by Sebastian of Felsztyn and other musicians. The printing shops that were founded in Kraków at this time also published musical scores.

In the 16th century, with the spread of Renaissance and Reformation ideas, secular elements grew stronger in Polish music. Songs patterned after madrigals appeared, and dance forms developed in instrumental music under the influence of the Italian and Netherlandish polyphonic schools, introduced into Poland by foreign musicians employed at the royal court. Polish choirs were renowned for their performance of Western European Catholic music. Especially famous was the Choir of the Rorantists, founded in 1543, which took its name from the roraty, or matins sung during Advent. Religious music of various genres was composed by Wacław of Szamotuły, Marcin of L’vov (M. Leopolita), and Mikołaj of Kraków, one of the first composers of Polish dances who also made keyboard arrangements of works by foreign composers. The musicians who were associated with Protestantism cultivated national elements, writing songs to Polish texts based on folk dance airs. Church genres, such as the collection Melodies to the Polish Psalter (1580) by M. Gomółka, attest to the development of homophonic-har-monic music.

The eminent 16th-and 17th-century composers Cato Di-omedes, W. Długoraj (also virtuoso lutanists), and J. Polak combined national elements with dance and instrumental musical genres popular in Western Europe. Their works, published in Polish and foreign tablatures, became well known in other European countries, as did the string instruments made by the Grob-licz family and B. Dankwart. Operas were staged at the royal court in Warsaw, where an Italian company performed from 1628. As a result of Poland’s general economic decline in the mid-17th century, the opera company was disbanded, and the royal court, together with its choir, was transferred to Dresden. Small opera companies made up of serf singers and instrumental ensembles existed at the courts of magnates and bishops. Noteworthy composers of the first half of the 17th century include M. Zieleński, M. Mielczewski, A. Jarzębski, and B. Pękiel. Polish baroque music was developed at the turn of the 18th century by S. S. Szarzyński (trio sonatas) and G. G. Gorczycki (religious choral works, including concertis).

A theater called the Opera was opened in Warsaw in 1748 and burghers were admitted to the performances free of charge. During the growth of the national liberation movement in the 18th century, patriotic and insurgent songs became popular. The song “Forward, Go On!” was sung by the participants in T. Koś-ciuszko’s uprising in 1794, and the revolutionary song of the Polish Legions in Italy, “Poland Has Not Yet Perished” (1797), also known as “Dąbrowski’s Mazurka,” subsequently became the national anthem of Poland and the Polish People’s Republic. Close to the spirit of these songs was K. Kurpińtski’s “War-szawianka,” written in 1831.

The Polish National Theater (Teatr Narodowy) was founded in Warsaw in 1765. The first national opera, M. Kamieński’s Misery Contented, was performed at the theater in 1778. J. Stefani’s comic opera A Supposed Miracle, or Krakovians and Mountaineers, set to a libretto by W. Bogusławski, was first staged at the National Theater in 1794. During the second half of the 18th century opera theaters were established in Kraków and L’vov.

The first Polish symphonies were written in the mid-18th century. The symphonic works of J. Szczurowski, A. Milwid, J. Wański, and W. Dankowski, although clearly influenced by the Mannheim school and the early Viennese classical school, reveal a national symphonic style. In the late 18th century con-certi for chamber orchestra were composed by F. Janiewicz and J. Kleczyński. At the turn of the 19th century piano music developed, chiefly dance pieces, including polonaises (M. K. Ogiński), mazurkas, and waltzes. Etudes and nocturnes were composed in the early 19th century by the pianist and composer M. Szymanowska. During this period an important contribution to the development of Polish music was made by J. Eisner and K. Kurpiński, both composers of historical operas and prominent figures in Poland’s musical life. Eisner was Chopin’s teacher and the founder (1821) and director of the Institute of Music and Declamation, and Kurpiński was the conductor and later the director of Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki, an opera theater founded in 1833.

The increasingly active concert and theater life, the development of diverse genres in Polish music, and the proliferation of various forms of public and domestic music-making paved the way for the appearance of the great composer and pianist Chopin, whose works brought world renown to the Polish school of composition. Expanding the expressive and technical possibilities of piano playing, Chopin poeticized and dramatized national dance forms, which in his compositions achieved great depth. His innovative scherzos, preludes, and études are independent, artistically complete works. Chopin also created the piano ballade and experimented with harmony. Deeply rooted in folk music, Chopin’s works combine classical elegance with lyrical directness, melodic richness, and an inexhaustible creative imagination.

Chopin’s music exerted a great influence on the musical culture of other countries, including that of Russia. Polish motifs are encountered in the works of Russian composers: the Polish scenes in Ivan Susanin by M. I. Glinka and in Boris Godunov by M. P. Mussorgsky; N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Pan Voe-voda, which he dedicated to Chopin; the polonaise and mazurka in Eugene Onegin and other works by P. I. Tchaikovsky; and various instrumental pieces by Glinka, A. A. Aliab’-ev, A. N. Verstovskii, A. K. Glazunov, A. K. Liadov, and A. N. Scriabin. Subsequently, the Russian musical classics influenced Polish music, for example, Tchaikovsky’s influence on M. Karlowicz and Scriabin’s on K. Szymanowski.

The traditions of Chopin were developed by his younger contemporary S. Moniuszko, who wrote Poland’s classic national operas, of which the most famous are Halka and The Haunted Manor. Several composers and virtuoso performers played an important role in stimulating concert life in the second half of the 19th century. Among them were the violinist K. Lipiński, the Wieniawski brothers (Józef, a pianist, and Henryk, a violinist), the pianist Antoine De Kontski, and his brother Apollinare De Kontski, a violinist and the founder of the Warsaw Music Institute, serving as its director from 1861 to 1879. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Moniuszko’s compositions influenced the operas of W. Żeleński, Z. Noskowski, and the pianist I. J. Paderewski (the last two also wrote symphonic works) and the songs of E. Pankiewicz, J. Gall, and S. Niewiadomski. The composers and pianists J. Zarębski, and A. Rutkowski, as well as Pankiewicz, developed the national traditions. Interest in folklore was stimulated by O. Kolberg, the founder of Polish musical ethnography and the author of the vast multivolume work The People, Their Customs, Habits, Language, published between 1865 and 1890.

The early 20th century saw a considerable intensification of Poland’s musical life. The National Philharmonic, founded in Warsaw in 1901, and the newly organized Publishing Society of Young Polish Composers, also in Warsaw, promoted the development of symphonic music, primarily the symphonic poem, which reflected the influence of the neoromantic symphonic poems of F. Liszt, R. Strauss, P. I. Tchaikovsky, and especially A. N. Scriabin. The young Polish composers K. Szymanowski, L. Rózycki, G. Fitelberg, and A. Szeluto, as well as the older composer M. Karlowicz, who joined the group later, sought new paths of development for Polish music by combining national and folk elements with the achievements of world music. By analogy to the name of a contemporary literary group, these composers were known as the representatives of Young Poland in music.

Among the many outstanding performing artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the conductors E. Młynarski and G. Fitelberg; the pianists and teachers T. Leszetycki, A. Michałowski (who established a tradition of playing Chopin), and J. Turczyński; the harpsichordist W. Landowska; the violinists S. Barcewicz, B. Huberman, P. Kochański, and I. Lotto; and the singers A. Bandrowski, J. de Reszke, E. de Reszke, A. Didur, I. Dygas, M. Sembrich-Kochanska, J. Korolewicz-Waydowa, H. Ruszkowska-Zboińska, and S. Szymanowska-Korwin.

After Poland gained its independence in 1918, diverse and often contradictory tendencies appeared in the work of Polish composers, who were coming under the influence of the new music of foreign composers and were increasingly preoccupied with developing their own musical idiom. During the 1920’s and 1930’s there was a sharp conflict between the young composers grouped around Szymanowski and the Association of Young Polish Musicians, founded in Paris in 1926, and such composers of the older generation as P. Rytel, E. Morawski, and E. Młynarski, who advocated strict adherence to tradition and the preservation of the national distinctiveness of Polish music. Headed by P. Perkowski, the Association of Young Polish Musicians included K. Sikorski, J. Maklakiewicz, T. Szeligowski, B. Woytowicz, and S. Wiechowicz. B. Szabelski and J. Koffler, the first Polish composer to write twelve-tone music, took a more neutral position.

Among the performers who became prominent in the 1930’s were the pianists H. Sztompka, S. Szpinalski, and Z. Drze-wiecki; the violinists I. Dubiska and E. Umińska; and the singers J. Kiepura, M. Polińska-Lewicka, E. Bandrowska-Turska, and A. Sari. The eminent musicologists A. Chybiński, Z. Ja-chimecki, and L. Kamieński taught in the universities.

Many new musical societies, orchestras, and music magazines were founded in the interwar period. The number of higher and secondary music schools and conservatories (Katowice, Poznań) increased. The Warsaw Conservatory continued to function (it was renamed the Chopin Higher School of Music in 1946). International competitions were held in Warsaw every five years—the Chopin Piano Competition, begun in 1927, and the Wieniawski Violin Competition instituted in 1935 and held in Poznań since 1952. (Competitions for composers have also been held in Poznań since 1956 and for violin-makers since 1957.) On the initiative of the Polish section of the International Society for Music, the International Festival of Contemporary Music was held in Warsaw for the first time in 1939. The works of young Polish composers were performed at the festival.

During World War II libraries, archives, and manuscript collections were destroyed. Musical life, however, did not come to a complete standstill. Illegal concerts of national music and poetry readings were organized in artists’ cafes and private homes, chiefly in Warsaw. The resistance songs composed during the war were published in 1947 in the series Songs of the Underground Struggle. A leading composer of resistance songs was W. Lutosławski, whose songs were published in the USSR in 1974.

The creation of a socialist culture in the Polish People’s Republic began immediately after the war. Musical theaters were reopened, amateur threatrical groups were formed, and professional and amateur music societies were founded, as well as philharmonic societies. A music publishing house was established in Kraków. The First All-Polish Congress of Composers was held in Kraków in 1945. The congress resulted in the formation of the Polish Composers’ Union later that year out of musical associations that existed since the mid-1920’s. The 17th festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music was held in Warsaw in 1945.

In 1974 the Polish People’s Republic had 21 symphony orchestras, 10 opera theaters, including touring companies, nine operetta theaters, seven higher music schools (in Warsaw, Krakó w, Poznań, Łódź, Wroclaw, Gdańsk, and Katowice), and some 120 secondary and primary music schools. The country’s rebirth on a new, socialist basis brought about an upswing in the democratization of all the arts. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s most composers wrote instrumental-choral works and works for mass singing (incorporating folk music) accessible to a general audience. Outstanding works of this period include the songs of A. Gradstein and T. Sygietyńtski, the cantatas of S. Wiechowicz and T. Szeligowski, reflecting the influence of Soviet mass songs and cantata-oratorio music, and the orchestral and vocal-symphonic works of Lutosławski, G. Bacewicz, T. Baird, and K. Sikorski. The predominant themes were peace, labor, and patriotic sacrifice.

In the mid-1950’s works appeared which were inspired memories of fascism and the war and were protests against them. The evocation of evil and violence and the call to struggle against them led to a radical change in the criteria of musical aesthetics. It stimulated an intense searching for new means of expression, often producing a complex musical idiom, and a striving to perfect compositional technique. Polish composers became interested in various avant-garde trends and turned to sonoristics, aleatory, and serial music, as well as to dodecaphony. Among the most famous works of this period are K. Penderecki’s Lament for the Victims of Hiroshima, Baird’s opera Tomorrow, and Lutosławski’s Funeral Music, Three Poems of Henri Michaux, Venetian Games, Book for Orchestra, and Prelude and Fugue. Among other noteworthy contemporary composers are H. Górecki, K. Serocki, B. Schäfter, W. Killar, W. Kotoński, W. Szalonek, A. Bloch, K. Meyer, and W. Rudziński. The music of the foremost Polish composers has been widely acclaimed, and many works have been awarded international prizes, including the UNESCO Prize.

The International Festival of Contemporary Music (Warsaw Autumn) has been held in Poland every year since 1956. Soviet composers have taken part in the festival. Also important are the Festival of Old Eastern European Music (Musica Antique Euro-pae Orientalis), held in Bydgoszcz every three years since 1966, the Oratorio and Cantata Music Festival (Wratislavia Cantans), held in Wroclaw, the International Festival of Popular Songs in Sopot, and the festivals of Soviet songs in Zielona-Góra and Polish songs in Opole.

Among the leading contemporary performing artists are the conductors W. Rowicki, H. Czyż, J. Krenz, S. Wisłocki, K. Kord, B. Wodiczko, and A. Markowski; the pianists H. Czerny-Stefańtska, B. Hesse-Bukowska, A. Harasiewicz, R. Smendzianka, and P. Paleczny; the violinists W. Wilkomir-ska, T. Wroński, K. Kulka, and P. Janowski; and the singers B. Paprocki, A. Hiolski, B. Ładysz, W. Ochman, K. Szczeparńska, M. Foltyn, S. Woytowicz, H. Łukomska, and K. SzostekRadkowa.

There are various associations of performers and musicians in all fields of specialization. The Warsaw Musical Society, founded in 1870, does important work in promoting music education among students and the general public. The Polish Music Publishing House issues old and contemporary music works, as well as works by Polish and foreign musicologists. Several music magazines are published, of which the best known are Ruch muzyczny, appearing twice a month since 1960, and Muzyka, a quarterly founded in 1956. The Mazowsze and Śląsk folic song and dance ensembles are popular. Several professional vocal-instrumental ensembles and chamber choirs, such as the Poznań Nightingales, specialize in the performance of old music.


Belza, I. Istoriia pol’skoi muzykal’noi kul’tury, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1954.
Izbrannye stat’i pol’skikh muzykovedov (collection 2). Moscow, 1959.
Jachimecki, Z. Muzyka polska w rozwoju historycznym od czasów najdaw-niejszych do doby obecnej, vols. 1–2. Kraków, 1948–51.
Strumiłł o, T. Szkice zpolskiego życia muzycznego XIX w. Kraków, 1954.
Michał owski, K. Bibliografia polskiegopismiennictwa muzycznego. Kraków, 1955.
Suplement za lata 1955–63. Kraków, 1964.
Z dziejów polskiej kultury muzycznej, vols. 1–2. Edited by S. Łobaczewska et al. Kraków, 1958–66.
Polska współczesna kultura muzyczna, 1944–1946. Edited by E. Dziebowska. Kraków, 1968.
Chomñski, J. Muzyka Polski Ludowej. Warsaw, 1974.
Erhardt, L. Muzyka w Polsce. Warsaw, 1974.

Poland’s first ballet performances were staged in the 17th century. Ballet companies were formed during the 18th century at the courts of magnates. One such group—the Dance Company of His Royal Highness—developed into Poland’s first professional company between 1785 and 1794. A ballet school was established in Warsaw in 1801 under the direction of the French teacher F. Le Doux. In 1818 the school became part of the National Theater, and its graduates entered the theater’s ballet company. The school produced several famous dancers, including L. Polkowska, J. Mierzynska, L. Polichnowska, and J. Wolinski. In 1823 the French ballet master L. Thierry and Mierzynska staged at the National Theater the ballet Wedding in Ojców, based on Polish folk dances and customs. The music was by K. Kurpinski and J. Damse. From 1826 to 1843 the company was directed by the French ballet master M. Pion.

In 1833 a ballet company was created in Warsaw under the Teatr Wielki. The ballet master R. Turczynowicz, who worked at the theater from 1843 to 1867 (with interruptions), was noted for his productions of Giselle (1848) and C. Pugni’s La Esmeralda (1851). From about 1870 to 1918 the Polish ballet theater declined because of lack of continuity in its leadership and the emigration of its ballet dancers. Among the foreign ballet masters and dancers who worked in Poland at this time were E. Cecchetti and M. Fokine.

After Poland gained its independence in 1918, the national ballet revived. The ballet masters P. Zajlich, F. Parnell, and J. Cyklinski staged ballets by the Polish composers K. Szy-manowski {Harnasie), Z. Noskowski, and L. Rózycki. Ballet companies were formed at the opera theaters in L’vovandPoznan. An independent company, the Ballet Polonaise, was organized in 1937. It was directed by B. Nijinska and L. Woizikovsky (Wójcikowski), and its soloists included O. Slawska, O. Glin-kówna, and Z. Kilinski.

After World War II, theaters and affliliated ballet companies and schools were established in Warsaw, Bytom, Poznan, and Wroclaw, between 1945 and 1952 and in Gdansk, -Lodz, Bydgoszcz, and Kraków between 1952 and 1964. Their repertoires include such classical ballets as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Adam’s Giselle, and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka; contemporary foreign works such as Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin; and ballets by the modern Polish composers G. Bacewicz, A. Bloch, and T. Baird. The leading dancers and choreographers are Jar-zynówna-Sobczak, L. Woizikovsky, B. Bittnerówna, and W. Gruca. The Polish Dance Theater (Poznan Ballet) was, established in Poznan in 1973. Its director, the choreographer C. Drzewiecki, has been influenced by modern dance. In 1974, Poland had nine ballet companies and four choreographic schools.

Articles dealing with various aspects of ballet are published in the journals Ruch muzyczny (since 1960) and Taniec. Among the foremost authorities on ballet are Y. Turska, T. Wysocka, and J. Pudelek.


Turska, Y. Krótki zarys historii tanca i baletu. Kraków, 1962.
Pudelek, J. Warszawski bale! romantyczny. Kraków, 1968.
Wysocka, T. Dzieje baletu. Warsaw, 1970.

An early form of theater in Poland was the liturgical performance, of which scripts have survived from the second half of the 13th century. With the development of mystery plays in the 15th century, secular satirical folk motifs were introduced into religious plays, for example, The History of the Lord’s Glorious Resurrection, written by Mikolaj of Wilkowiecko between 1570 and 1580. School drama, written by the monastic orders for didactic purposes, became popular from the late 16th century. However, realistic motifs crept even into these edifying scholastic plays. During the Renaissance a court theater arose that strengthened Poland’s ties with the theatrical culture of other countries.

Poland’s first permanent theater, supplied with the best theatrical equipment of the time, was opened at the royal castle in Warsaw in 1633. During the reign of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, a theater lover and an enlightened patron, two theaters were built in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, one called In the Orangerie (1788) and the other, an open-air amphitheater, On the Island (1790). During the second half of the 18th century the great magnates, in imitation of the royal court, established theaters on their estates. The development of these theaters under the influence of Enlightenment ideas promoted the rise of a Polish national theater.

Poland’s first public theater, the National Theater (Teatr Narodowy), opened in Warsaw on Nov. 19, 1765. The theater staged plays by Polish and foreign authors. In the late 18th century the struggle for a progressive national theater was led by W. Bogusławski, a director, actor, playwright, theoretician, teacher, and for many years the head of the National Theater. Boguslawski helped organize theaters in Kraków, Vilnius, Poznań, and other cities. His production at the National Theater of the comic opera A Supposed Miracle, or Krakovians and Mountaineers (1794), for which he wrote the libretto and J. Stefani composed the music, expressed the progressive ideas of national liberation. Bogusł awski trained a group of outstanding actors and actresses who performed at the National Theater, including K. B. Świerzawski, K. Owsiński, M. Szymań ski, T. Trus-kolaski, A. Truskolaska, J. Ledóchowska, L. Dmuszewski, and A. Żółkowski, Sr.

From about 1810 to 1850 a rift opened between the theatrical reportoire and literary drama, which reached its apogee in the unperformed works of the prominent Polish romantics A. Mic-kiewicz, J. Słowacki, and Z. Krasiński. There were outstanding productions of the plays of J. Korzeniowski and A. Fredro, notable for their democratic sentiments, as well as of European classics. In 1829 the Rozmaitoś ci (Variety) Theater opened as a branch of the National Theater (the two theaters merged in 1836). Its first director was B. Kudlicz, who trained many famous actors and actresses, among them J. Królikowski, A. Żólkowski, Jr., L., and J. Rychter.

In the late 1860’s the Kraków Theater, under the direction of S. Koźmian, became the country’s foremost theater. The Kraków school of progressive realistic acting evolved at the theater. Eschewing declamation, the actors of this school immersed themselves in the psychology of the characters they were portraying and used external means of expression with restraint. The leading actors of the Kraków school were A. Hoffman, F. Benda, W. Rapacki, B. -Ł adnowski, R. Żelazowski, and L. Solski, and the acting style of the great Polish actress H. Modjeska was also influenced by the school. In stage directing, the principles of the Kraków school were developed by T. Pawlikowski and J. Kotarbiński. The realistic tradition was continued by many of the outstanding actors, actresses, and directors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including K. Kamiński, M. Frenkiel, M. Przybyłko-Potocka, W. Siemasz-ko, A. Zelwerowicz, K. Adwentowicz, J. Węgrzyn, B. Lesz-czyński, J. Leszczyński, and S. Wysocka.

The Polish Theater (Teatr Polski), founded in Warsaw in 1913, sought to counteract bourgeois commercial influences in the theater. Organized through the efforts of A. Szyfman, the theater maintained a repertoire of high quality, affirmed the principle of subordinating all the elements of a performance to a unified concept, and introduced innovations in directing and stage design. Poland’s best actors and directors were connected with the theater. Under the influence of K. S. Stanislavsky they introduced progressive artistic princples in the 1920’s and 1930’s, continuing them later in people’s Poland. Among them were the actors and directors J. Osterwa, S. Jaracz, S. Wysocka, and L. Schiller. In his productions Schiller created a monumental theater, poetic and highly civic, which carried out the ideas of A. Mickiewicz and S. Wyspianski.

After Poland’s liberation from fascist occupation in 1944, the creation of a new national theater was begun. The first session of the Theater Council, held in June 1946, outlined the function of the theater in the intellectual upbringing of the broad masses. Prewar theaters were restored, and new theater groups were organized in Warsaw, Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznan, Katowice, Gdansk, Łódź Opole, Toru ń, and other cities. In 1949 the nationalization of the theaters was completed. One of the first major achievements of the Polish theater, revived after the war and occupation, was the Shakespeare festival, held in 1947. Among the festival’s best productions were plays directed by such representatives of the older generation as L. Schiller, W. Horzyca, and I. Gall. A festival of Russian classical and Soviet drama, held in 1949, was of great importance in establishing the principles of socialist aesthetics. A festival of contemporary Polish plays, organized in Wroclaw in 1951, has become an annual event, held regularly since 1960.

The dogmatic tendencies in the works of some Polish playwrights and in a number of theaters in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, reflecting a narrow interpretation of the development of socialist art, were subsequently overcome in the plays of L. Kruczkowski, J. Lutowski, J. Broszkiewicz, T. Rózewicz, S. Grochowiak, and, in the early 1970’s, in the works of E. Bryll. The works of A. Mickiewicz, J. Słowacki, Z. Krasiński, and S. Wyspiański were staged frequently and in many diverse ways.

An important contribution to the development of acting has been made by such performers of the older generation as L. Sol-ski, A. Zelwerowicz, K. Adwentowicz, M. Cwiklińska, J. Kreczmar, E. Barszczewska, I. Eichlerówna, W. Brydziński, J. Kurnakowicz, J. Węgrzyn, J. Leszczyński, J. Woszczero-wicz, M., K. Opaliński, W. Hańcza, L. Sempoliński, and I. Kwiatkowska.

Among the actors and actresses who have come to prominence since the war are H. Mikołajska, Z. Mrozowska, A. Ślaska, B. Krafftówna, Z. Kucówna, K. Skuszanka, J. Swi-derski, T. Fijewski, G. Holoubek, T. Łomnicki, W. Siemion, M. Dmochowski, I. Gogolewski, C. Wołłejko, A. Łapicki, D. Olbrychski, M. Komorowska, A. Poloni, W. Pszoniak, and J. Nowicki.

Besides those already mentioned, important contemporary directors include A. Hanuszkiewicz (director of the National Theater and actor), E. Akser (director of the Wspólozesny [Contemporary] Theater in Warsaw), K. Skuszanka, J. Krasowski, J. Jarocki, K. Dejmek, A. Bardini, L. Zamkow, M. Okopiñski, L. René, Z. H¨bner, J. Szajna, K. Braun, J. Grotowski (founder of the famous Laboratory Theater), H. Tomaszewski (Wroclaw Pantomime Theater), K. Swinarski, and J. Warmiński. M. Prus, J. Grzegorzewski and R. Kordziński are promising directors of the younger generation.

Poland’s foremost stage designers are A. Pronaszko, W. Das-zewski, C. Axer, J. Kosiński, T. Roszkowska, K. Zach-watowicz, M. Kołodziej, and J. Szajna.

In 1974, Poland’s leading theaters were the National Theater, the Teatr Polski, the Ateneum, the Dramatyczny and the Wspól-czesny in Warsaw; the J. Slowacki Theater and the H. Mod-jeska Teatr Stary in Kraków; the Teatr Nowy in -Łódź; the Wybrzeźe in Gdańsk; the J. Osterwa Theater in Lublin; the W. Horzyca Theater in Torurń; the S. Wyspiański Theater in Katowice; the combined drama theaters in Wroclaw; and the Teatr Polski in Poznań. Student theaters hold a notable place in Polish theatrical life. Especially popular are the STS (Studencki Teatr Satyryków) in Warsaw, now a professional theater, the Kalambur in Wroclaw, and Bim-Bom in Gdańsk. There are higher theatrical schools in Warsaw, Kraków, and -Łódź.

Scholarly work on the theater is conducted at the Theater Division of the Arts Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, which also has a Theater Museum. Among eminent drama critics and authorities on the theater are Z. Raszewski, S. Marczak-Oborski, J. Szczublewski, T. Sivert, K. Puzyna, and R. Szydłowski.

Periodicals devoted to the theater include the magazines Teatr (since 1945), Dialog (since 1956), and Scena (since 1970); the quarterly Pamię tnik teatralny (since 1952); and the yearbook Almanach sceny polskiej (since 1961). Professional theater people belong to the Union of Theater Artists, founded in 1919.


Ignatov, S. “Pol’skii teatr.” In Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vols. 2,4. Moscow, 1957–64.
Rostotskii, B. I. “Teatr i kino.” In Istoriia Pol’shi, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
Rostotskii, B. I. “Teatr.” In Ocherki istorii Narodnoi Pol’shi. Moscow, 1965.
Rostotskii, B. I. “Pol’skii teatr.” In Istoriia zarubezhnogo teatra, part 2. Moscow, 1972.
Solski, L. Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Polish.)
Szydł owski, R. Teatr ν Pol’she. Warsaw, 1972.
Estreicher, K. Teatr w Polsce, vols. 1–3, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1953.
Strzelecki, Z. Polska plastyka teatralna, vols. 1–3. Warsaw, 1963.
Csató, E. Polski teatr wspótcznesny pierwszej potowy XX wieku. Warsaw, 1967.
Marczak-Oborski, S. Teatr czasu wojny. Warsaw, 1967.
Marczak-Oborski, S. Ż ycie teatralne w latach 1944–1964. Warsaw, 1968.
Stownik biograficzny teatru polskiego, 1765–1965. Warsaw, 1973.


Circus. Down to the late 1880’s itinerant circus performers— acrobats, jugglers, and magicians—entertained the public at fairs and in the city streets. The first large traveling circus was organized by A. Pincel. A permanent circus building was erected in Warsaw in 1883 in which mostly foreign circus artists performed. The circus was owned first by W. Ciniselli and later by A. Ciniselli; in the early 20th century it was acquired by S. Mroczkowski. During World War II the circus building was destroyed, and the traveling circus of the Staniewski brothers, founded in 1932, also ceased to exist.

Circus entertainment was restored in the Polish People’s Republic in 1945, and since then several traveling circuses have been formed. The state Association of Amusement Enterprises, created in 1945, includes 15 circuses, among them the First State Circus in -Łódz (since 1945; manager and artistic director E. Mane), Arena, Warszawa, Polonia, and the Fairy Tale Theater-Circus (Teatr-Cyrk Bajka). In the late 1950’s a training center for preparing new acts and programs was organized at Julinek, near Warsaw. Since 1954 Polish artists have been touring abroad with increasing frequency. The First International Festival of Circus Art was held in Warsaw in 1956.

Among the leading Polish circus artists are the cyclists M. Barański, S. Barański, and Joles, the horse trainers B. Basta and P. Basta, the clowns K. Bałszak, E. Dworakowski, and E. Kordium, the jugglers Braun and Bruskich, the wrestlers Zbyszko-Cyganiewicz and the Pytlasiński’s, and the clown duo Din-Don (W. Manc and E. Manc).


Regular film production in Poland began between 1908 and 1914. Most of the films made between 1910 and 1939 were either screen adaptations of Polish literary works or comedies starring the popular actors A. Fertner and A. Dymsza. A few films dealt with the people’s struggle for liberation, criticized social evils, experimented with film technique, or sought to resolve aesthetic problems pertaining specifically to the cinema. The motion-picture associations St ART (founded 1930) and the Filmmakers’ Cooperative (1937) produced motion pictures, chiefly short films, and published theoretical works criticizing the lack of ideological commitment in filmmaking. The films of E. Cękalski, W. Jakubowska, J. Zarzycki, J. Bossak, and S. Wohl dealt with pressing social problems and portrayed the life of the common people.

After the outbreak of World War II only a small group of newsreel cameramen continued to work under the direction of A. Bohdziewicz. Polish cinematography ceased to exist because of the destruction of its technical base. The revival of cinematography began with the release of documentary film anthologies. In 1945 film production was nationalized, and the state studio Film Polski was established. The main themes in the immediate postwar years were the tragic events of the war and the Nazi German occupation. The first postwar feature film was Forbidden Songs (1947), directed by L. Buczkowski. The most important film of this period was The Last Stage (1948), directed by W. Jakubowska.

During the mid-1950’s there was a sharp increase in film output, several new film associations were founded, and a number of talented filmmakers appeared whose work marked a new phase in the development of national cinematography. A number of innovative films were made that set off powerful social reverberations: Generation (1955), The Canal (1957), and Ashes and Diamonds (1958), all directed by A. Wajda; The Real End of the Great War (1957; Soviet title, This Must Not Be Forgotten), directed by J. Kawalerowicz; Eroica (1958), directed by A. Munk; and Farewells (1958), directed by W. Has. These films aspire to a philosophical understanding of World War II and its consequences and touch upon a broad range of historical, social, and moral problems. Intensely emotional and expressive, these highly artistic and intellectual films portray sharp conflicts. A notable film dealing with contemporary life is Man on the Track (1957), directed by A. Munk.

Many films of the 1960’s and the early 1970’s are devoted to various moral and social aspects of modern life. Among the best are Silence (1963), directed by K. Kutz; Life Once More (1965), directed by J. Morgenstern; and The Structure of a Crystal (1969; Soviet title Thoughts), Family Life (1971), and Illumination (1973), all directed by K. Zanussi. The theme of war is again developed with great power in The Passenger (1963, directed by Munk) and How to be Loved (1963, directed by Has). Wajda’s films Landscape After the Battle (1970) and The Promised Land (1975) deal with important subjects.

A major artistic achievement was the joint Soviet-Polish film Lenin in Poland (1966), directed by S. I. Iutkevich. Another fine joint Soviet-Polish film is Remember Your Name (1975), directed by S. N. Kolosov.

Among the outstanding films of the 1960’s and 1970’s are screen adaptations of Polish literary classics: S. Ż eromski’s Ashes (1965, directed by Wajda), B. Prus’ Pharaoh (1966, directed by J. Kawalerowicz) and The Doll (1968, directed by Has), H. Sien-kiewicz’s Pan Woł dyjowski (1969) and The Deluge (1974, both directed by J. Hoffman), and S. Wyspiań ski’s The Wedding (1973, directed by Wajda). The first films to portray the life of Silesian workers were Salt of the Black Earth (1970) and Pearl in the Crown (1972), both directed by Kutz. A noteworthy historical film is Copernicus (1973), directed by Ewa and Czesław Petelski.

The leading directors of documentaries are J. Bossak, W. Kaź -miercak, K. Karabasz, T. Jaworski, R. Wionczek and W. Śle-sicki, and popular science films are made by W. Puchalski, Z. Bochenek, S. Grabowski, S. Kokesz, J. Zukowska, J. Ar-kusz, and K. Marczak. Animated cartoons are produced by the directors and artists J. Lenica, W. Nehrebecki, Z. Ołdak, L. Marszałek, D. Szczechura, and W. Giersz. The film actor Z. Cybulski became world famous. Other popular film stars are L. Winnicka, T. -Lomnicki, G. Holoubek, A. Łapicki, B. Tysz-kiewicz, S. Mikulski, P. Raksa, D. Olbrychski, M. Zawadzka, and M. Komorowska.

The Union of Polish Cinematographers was organized in 1966. Polish filmmakers are trained at the L. Schiller State Higher School of Cinematography, Television, and Theater, founded in Łódź in 1948. Research on the history and theory of motion pictures is carried out at the Arts Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and at the University of Łódź. There is a film library in Warsaw. Publications include the weeklies Film (since 1946) and Ekran (since 1957) and the monthly magazines Kino (since 1966) and Studio (since 1973). Since 1956 numerous film clubs have been organized to promote film culture. The International Festival of Short Films has been held in Kraków since 1961, and the Festival of Polish Feature Films has been organized in Gdańsk since 1974. In 1973, 25 feature films were released, and there were 2,900 motion-picture theaters.


Michalek, B. Zametki opol’skom kino. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Polish.)
Rubanova, I. Pol’skoe kino: Fil’my o voine i okkupatsii, 1945–1965. Moscow, 1966.
Markulan, la. Kino Pol’shi. [Leningrad-Moscow, 1967.]
Fuksiewicz, J. Kino ν Pol’she. Warsaw, 1973.
Banaszkiewicz, W., and W. Witczak. Historia filmu polskiego, vol. 1. Warsaw, 1967.
Jewsiewicki, W. Polska kinematografia w okresie filmu niemego (18951929/1930). Łódź, 1966.
Jewsiewicki, W. Polska kinematografia w okresie filmu dzwię ukowego (1930–1939). Łódź, 1967.
Koniczek, R. Polski film fabularny (1947–1967). Warsaw, 1967.
Toeplitz, J. Dwadziesncia pięc lat filmu Polski Ludowej. Warsaw, 1969.
Historia filmu polskiego, vols. 1, 3. Warsaw, 1966–74.

M. M. CHERNENKO [20–852–2; updated]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Republic of Poland

Capital city: Warsaw

Internet country code: .pl

Flag description: Two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Mona­co which are red (top) and white

National anthem: “Mazurek Dabrowskiego” (Dombrows­ki’s Mazurka; informally known in English as “Poland Is Not Yet Lost” or “Poland Has Not Yet Perished”)

National emblem: White eagle on a red field

Geographical description: Central Europe, east of Ger­many

Total area: 120,725 sq. mi. (312,683 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers

Nationality: noun: Pole(s); adjective: Polish

Population: 38,518,241 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7%

Languages spoken: Polish 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2%

Religions: Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3%

Legal Holidays:

All Saints' DayNov 1
Assumption DayAug 15
Christmas DayDec 25
Constitution DayMay 3
EasterApr 24, 2011; Apr 8, 2012; Mar 31, 2013; Apr 20, 2014; Apr 5, 2015; Mar 27, 2016; Apr 16, 2017; Apr 1, 2018; Apr 21, 2019; Apr 12, 2020; Apr 4, 2021; Apr 17, 2022; Apr 9, 2023
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a republic in central Europe, on the Baltic: first united in the 10th century; dissolved after the third partition effected by Austria, Russia, and Prussia in 1795; re-established independence in 1918; invaded by Germany in 1939; ruled by a Communist government from 1947 to 1989, when a multiparty system was introduced. It consists chiefly of a low undulating plain in the north, rising to a low plateau in the south, with the Sudeten and Carpathian Mountains along the S border. Official language: Polish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: zloty. Capital: Warsaw. Pop.: 38 551 000 (2004 est.). Area: 311 730 sq. km (120 359 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Especies heterostilicas necessitam de um eficiente servico de polinizacao, para que os graos de polen cheguem ate os estigmas das flores e garantam a reproducao da planta (Garders, 1979), sendo que a presenca de dois morfos florais maximiza a transferencia de polen (Barret, 2002), como e o caso de S.
El horario de entradas a los nidos mostro el mismo patron en epoca lluviosa y seca, con mayor recoleccion de polen entre las 8:00-10:00 h, luego de lo cual aumento el numero de entradas sin polen hasta las 12:00 h.
No primeiro ciclo produtivo, de 2012/2013, a cultivar housui apresentou maior quantidade de graos de polen em comparacao as demais, sendo o mesmo nao obtido no ciclo de 2013/2014, que teve 'Packham's Triumph' com media superior (Tabela 1) as outras duas cultivares.
Para el analisis polinico porcentual, la metodologia de extraccion de polen en miel ha sido la propuesta por Loveaux et al.
laboriosa, debido a que visitan las flores para recolectar polen y tienen la capacidad de usar el metodo de "polinizacion por zumbido", lo cual libera el polen de las anteras poricidas (Mackenzie 1994).
* La receptividad del estigma (entendida como la capacidad del estigma para sostener la germinacion del polen) fue evaluada en todos los pistilos de cada flor en estadio de antesis, de flor abierta, flor madura y en inicio de senescencia usando peroxido de hidrogeno al 3% (metodo de Osborn et al.
The firm also announced that Neil Polen, Assoc AIA, LEED Green Associate, and Charlie Stewart, Assoc.