1949 – 1958
Decade of totalitarianism and relief. After the Soviets installed their administrative structures in Poland and removed any meaningful armed resistance, they transformed the country into a smaller version of the USSR under Stalin’s rule. This involved all aspects of social activity. Stalinist influence lasted beyond Stalin’s death. Liberalisation from hardline and partial autonomy from the USSR only became possible in 1956, after Nikita Khrushchev broke away from Stalin’s legacy.