1979 – 1988

Decade of bankruptcy. As the crisis grew, so did the number of protests. In the wake of negotiations with the regime, an independent trade union known as Solidarność was established and became a mass opposition movement with 10m members. The outnumbered communist party reacted by declaring martial law. In response, the trade union adopted a policy of nonviolent resistance, bringing the nation to a standstill, which only deepened the economic problems. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union was increasingly distracted by its own issues. Unable to control the situation, the regime in Warsaw was eventually forced to back down and negotiate with the opposition.

December 13, 2018
1969 – 1978
Decade of miracle on credit. The unsolvable problems of the centrally planned economy resulted in a roll - ing deterioration of the availability of basic goods. Protests against a rise of consumer prices which erupted in 1970 in the cities on Poland's Baltic coast were forerunners of a change in power. Edward Gierek, the new [...]
December 13, 2018
1989 – 1998
Decade of transformation. Nationwide strikes in 1988 paralysed the country and forced the communist government into open dialogue with Solidarność. The negotiations paved the way to the first partially free elections in the Eastern Bloc in June 1989 and a peaceful transfer of power in their aftermath. The new paradigm resulted in a transition to [...]
Written by: Bartosz Stefaniak