April 15, 2020
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⟶ Updated 1 months ago ⟶
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Poland becomes a Communist People's Republic after Soviet-run elections, under the Stalinist leadership of Boleslaw Bierut.
Poland joins the Soviet-run Warsaw Pact military alliance.
More than 50 people killed in rioting in Poznan over demands for greater freedom. Liberal Communist leader Wladislaw Gomulka takes over.
Food price riots in Gdansk. The protests are suppressed, hundreds are killed. Edward Gierek becomes party leader.
Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal of Krakow, elected Pope.
Disturbances at the shipyard in Gdansk lead to the emergence of the Solidarity trade union under Lech Walesa.
Martial law imposed. Many of Solidarity's leaders, including Walesa, are imprisoned.
Martial law lifted.
Round-table talks between Solidarity, the Communists and the Catholic Church pave the way for fall of communism in Poland. Partially free elections see landslide win for Solidarity, which helps form coalition government. Tadeusz Mazowiecki becomes the first non-Communist Polish prime minister since 1946..
Walesa elected president of Poland. Market reforms, including large-scale privatisation, are launched.
First parliamentary elections since fall of communism. Soviet troops start to leave Poland.
Reformed Communists enter coalition government. They pledge to continue market reforms.
Poland joins Nato's Partnership for Peace programme.
Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former Communist, narrowly beats Lech Walesa to become president.
Polish parliament adopts a new constitution. General election is won by the Solidarity grouping AWS. Jerzy Buzek forms a coalition government.
Poland enjoys relative economic prosperity based on foreign loans. Successive US presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter visit Poland.
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