Will the Independent Party ever be resurrected?
History of Poland
A 1000-year history connects the country with the European continent. Poland is characterized by strong farming traditions, but the change is in full swing: away from an agricultural to a service society.
The plaything of world powers
Border changes, power games, wars - Poland has been through a lot due to its geographical location between the large states of Germany and Russia. As with most nation-states in Europe today, Polish history began in the Middle Ages with the amalgamation of principalities. When Duke Miesko was baptized himself and his people in 966, this was considered to be the birth of Christian Poland.
Poland experienced a cultural and political heyday from the 13th to the 16th century. But then there followed turbulent centuries in which foreign powers, above all Prussia and Russia, steered the fate of the country, sent troops and installed kings.
In 1772, with the first division of Poland, a development began that culminated in the fact that the Polish state disappeared from the map of Europe for more than 120 years.
Poland is heavily influenced by Russia at this time. Tsarina Catherine II enforces her former lover Stanislaus Poniatowski as the Polish king. Violent unrest and civil war broke out in the country under Stanislaus II August when non-Catholics demand the same civil rights as Catholics.
The German Emperor and Archduke of Austria, Joseph II, seized the opportunity and occupied parts of the country. The Prussian King Frederick II then proposed to the Tsarina to separate larger parts of the area. In 1772 the corresponding contracts are signed.
But that's not all. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, Poland became the first country in Europe to adopt a free constitution. The Polish aristocracy sees itself robbed of its power and asks Tsarina Katharina for help. Russian troops march in, the Russo-Polish War of 1792 ends with the defeat of the Poles - and the second Polish partition.
Prussia and Russia sign the treaties on January 23, 1793. The Poles respond with a national uprising. A good reason for the powers Russia, Prussia and Austria to completely divide Poland among themselves. In 1795 the Polish state ceased to exist.
Resurrection after the First World War
"An independent Polish state is to be created, which includes all areas indisputably inhabited by the Polish population, free and safe access to the sea is to be guaranteed."
This is how US President Thomas Woodrow Wilson describes his ideas for the reorganization of Europe after the First World War in front of the Washington Congress in January 1918. And indeed: on November 11, 1918, the Republic of Poland was proclaimed.
The reborn state has no fixed borders, initially no army and no treasury. But for the first time in 123 years there is a Polish republic again. And she is quite self-confident in the years that follow.
For example, Poland secured control of eastern Galicia in 1919 after clashes with Ukrainian troops. The new state gained a particularly large amount of territory in the east through its victory in the Polish-Soviet war of 1920/21.
After the Polish troops had advanced as far as Kiev (now the capital of Ukraine), they are then pushed back as far as Warsaw. Thanks to the "miracle on the Vistula", the Poles beat back the Soviet army again. In the peace treaty of Riga in 1921, the defeated Soviets granted the Polish state considerable territorial gains.
The second World War
In 1934 Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Germany. But the Germans are playing a double game. The Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 23, 1939 again provides for the partition of Poland. On September 1, 1939, the Germans invade.
The Second World War is raging hard on the territory of Poland. The Jewish population is almost completely wiped out; More than a million people are murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp near Cracow alone. In 1943 the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is suppressed.
A year later, the Polish Home Army tries to retake Warsaw from the Germans. The Soviet Union refused to support it, allowed the uprising to fail and instead set up the Communist-controlled "Lublin Committee". It is the beginning of communism-Stalinism in Poland.
In the Potsdam Agreement in 1945, the Polish border was again shifted to the west. From now on the Oder-Neisse limit applies. The Germans in the areas east of this border are expelled.
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