Receive the newsletter Log In

A brief chronology of Poland


Poland wiped from the map


At the end of the 18th Century, Poland was divided up and ruled over by Russia, Prussia and Austria, which put an end to the independence that Poland fought so hard to gain throughout its history. Poland was wiped from the map for 123 years (1795-1918). But there were several periods of resistance, for example the uprisings of 1830, 1846, 1848 and 1863. Finally, the existence of the Polish state was recognised in the treaty of Versailles in 1918.


A victim of WWII


On September 1, 1939, the Nazis attacked Poland without declaring war. Two weeks later and because of the German-Russian alliance, the Soviets invaded the other part of the country, which made the Polish army futile in defending itself. Poland was split between Nazi Germany and the USSR. Massacres and deportations occurred on both sides of the border, causing he death of 6 million Polish people including 3 million Jews in camps from both sides and 2.3 million Polish either died or disappeared in the USSR.



The Warsaw Uprising of August 1944, was part of the Polish ‘Home Army’ resistance efforts to free Poland from German occupation. However, the Germans had victory and the city was destroyed, this all took place under the gaze of the Soviets, who waited for the destruction of the Polish resistance movement. In January 1945, Warsaw had been destroyed and the Soviet Union was able to take full control of the country. In 1980 in Gdansk, the first free trade union Solidarity (Solidarnosc in Polish) was founded by Lech Walesa. In 1989, the communist regime collapsed. The return to democracy was marked by free and democratic parliamentary election, and Tadeusz Mazowiecki (part of Solidarity), became the first non- communist Polish Prime Minister. Today Poland is a member of OECD, NATO and is part of the EU.