Modern History of Poland

General Information
(10 workshops x 3 h / 3 x 45 min.), from 2023-10-12
Number of Hours: 
Thursday 9:15 - 11:15
Course Description: 


  1. The WWII years
  2. Laying foundations 1945-1947
  3. Stalinism 1948-1956
  4. The times of Gomułka (1956-1970)
  5. Gierek’s propaganda of success
  6. Gierek’s struggle with the opposition movement
  7. Solidarity and the Martial law
  8. The 1980s in Poland
  9. The Autumn of Nations – 1989 and its aftermath Towards the NATO and EU
Aims of the course: 

W1. Basic knowledge about the post-WWII history of Poland, taking into consideration its international position

W2. Continuity and change in the history of Poland

U1. Analyzing international situation of Poland

U2. Analyzing political structures of the post-WWII Poland

U3.  Analyzing attitudes of the Polish people under communism and after commusnism, their decisions and activities

U4. Presenting the history of Poland in the English language

K1. Assesses events and attitudes of the people from the past, understands various perspectives and different opinions

K2. Understands that interpretations of historical events change over time and should not be taken for granted. 

Teaching methods: 

Lectures illustrated with the multimedia presentations, discussions, text analyses, group work, short tasks, film analysis, museum excursion 

Evaluation & Completion: 

Final written test (multiple choice, short answer) – max. 20 questions, 40% to pass.

Successful completion of the small tasks referring to the content of the previous classes increase the final result by 1% per class (max. 10% altogether). 

Basic Literature: 

A. Paczkowski, The Spring Will Be Ours. Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom, University Park 2003

A. Kemp Welch, Poland under Communism. A Cold War History, Cambridge 2010. 

W. Roszkowski, Najnowsza historia Polski (various editions)

Additional Literature: 

J. Lukowski, H. Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland, Cambridge 2006

N. Davies, Microcosm (various editions)

Rothschild J., Wingfield N., Return to Diversity. A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II, Oxford 2008.

A. Dudek, Z. Zblewski, Utopia nad Wisłą, Warszawa 2008

A. Dudek, Historia polityczna Polski 1989-2012, Kraków 2013