100000BC-80000BC In 2010 Polish scientists
announced the discovery of 3 Neanderthal teeth, dating back to about
this time, in the Stajnia Cave, north of the Carpathian Mountains.
5500BC Scientists in 2012 presented evidence of
cheese making in pottery sieves discovered in Poland that dated to
about this time.
(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A22)
c4,000BC The archeological site at Oslonki
uncovered some 30 longhouses and 80 graves.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.73)
800-900 In Poland a 9th century edict forbade Jews
from baking. The law was supposedly circumvented by boiling bread
and then toasting it. This process is believed to have led to the
creation of the bagel.
(WSJ, 11/29/08, p.W11)
997 The Polish city of Gdansk
was founded. From 1920 to 1939 it was known as the Free City of
(SSFC, 3/3/13, p.N4)
1000 In Cracow the Wawel Castle
was built overlooking the Vistula River.
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A24)
1058 Nov 28, Kazimierz I
Restaurator (b.1015), grand duke of Poland (1034-58), died. He
succeeded in reuniting the central Polish lands under the hegemony
of the Holy Roman Empire, but he was never crowned king.
1079 May 9, Stanislaus, Polish
bishop of Cracow, was murdered.
1194 May 5, Kazimierz II, the
Justified, grand duke of Poland (1177-94), died.
1220 Czestochowa, Poland, was
first mentioned as a village in historical documents.
1241 Apr 9, In the Battle of
Liegnitz, Silesia, Mongol armies defeated the Poles and Germans. In
this year the Mongols defeated the Germans and invaded Poland and
Hungary. The death of their leader Ughetai (Ogedei) forced them to
withdraw from Europe.
1241 A trumpeter in Krakow,
Poland, was shot through the throat by an archer as he warned the
city of a fast-approaching Mongol army.
(SSFC, 12/28/03, p.C6)
1267 Feb 9, Synod of Breslau
ordered Jews of Silesia to wear special caps.
1268 Jan 21, Pope Clement IV
gave permission to Poland’s King Premislus II to take over Lithuania
and establish Catholicism.
1271 Sep 17, Wenceslas II, king
of Bohemia & Poland (1278-1305), was born.
1306 Aug 8, King Wenceslas of
Poland was murdered.
1309 Apr 30, Kazimierz III de
Great, King of Poland (1333-70), was born.
1333 Mar 2, Wladyslaw IV, the
Short One, Great, duke, king of Poland, died.
1335 Charles I of
Hungary-Croatia, Casimir III of Poland and John of Bohemia met in
Visegrad, Hungary, and agreed to create new commercial routes to
bypass the staple port Vienna and obtain easier access to other
1342 Sep 26, John I, ruler of
1349 May 28, 60 Jews were
murdered in Breslau, Silesia.
1360 Jul 25, Jews were expelled
from Breslau, Silesia.
1364 In Cracow the Jagiellonian
University was founded. [see 1400]
1370 Nov 5, Kazimierz III ("The
Great"), king of Poland (1333-70), died at 61.
1370 Louis I (the
Great)(b.1326), King of Hungary (1342-1382), became King of Poland.
(HN, 3/5/98)(MC, 3/5/02)
1382 Sep 10, Louis I, the
Great, King of Hungary and Poland, died.
1382 In Czestochowa, Poland,
the Paulist monastery of Jasna Gora was founded by Władysław
Opolczyk (Ladislav of Opole), the Polish Piast prince of Upper
1384 Oct 16, The Polish
princess Hedwig was crowned King Jadwiga (d.1399) at age 10. She was
crowned as king to make it clear that she was a ruler, not a
(SFC, 6/9/97, p.A10)(SSFC, 10/2/11,
1385 Jan 18, A Lithuanian
delegation under Skirgaila arrived in Cracow to ask for the hand of
Jadvyga on behalf of Jogaila.
1385 Aug 14, In Lithuania
Jogaila and his brothers signed a treaty with Poland at Krievos
Castle. Here he agreed to convert to Christianity and to seek the
conversion of all of Lithuania and that then Lithuania and Poland
would unite. The treaty also included an agreement to free all
captive Catholics and to help Poland regain all the land it had lost
to the German Knights. Vytautas urged Jogaila to go to Poland and
leave Lithuania to be ruled by himself.
(H of L, 1931, p.48)(Ist. L.H., 1948, p. 68)
1386 Feb 2, Jogaila was elected
King of Poland.
1386 Feb 15, Christianity was
introduced to Lithuania when Grand Duke Jogaila and Vytautas
underwent a token Baptism at the cathedral in Cracow. Jogaila had
married Queen Jadvyga (12) and was crowned King in Poland. Together
they began to rule from Cracow over Lithuania and Poland. Jogaila
submitted to restrictions that no major decisions could be made
without the authorization of the Polish nobility.
(Dr, 7/96, V1#1, p.5)(Ist. L.H., 1948, p.
69)(DrEE, 11/9/96, p.6)
1386 Mar 4, Jogaila was
crowned King of Poland.
1387 Feb 17, Jogaila founded
the archdiocese of Vilnius and provided land for the Bishop’s
1387 Feb 22, Jogaila
issued a proclamation for all Lithuanians to accept Catholicism.
1388 Mar 12, Pope Urban
VI authorized Poznan’s Bishop Dobrogost to establish a Vilnius
c1399 In Poland Queen Hedwig
died in childbirth at age 25.
(SFC, 6/9/97, p.A10)
1400 In Cracow the Jagiellonian
University was re-founded with funds and a permanent income by the
royal couple. [see 1364]
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A24)(PG-Comm)
1401 Jan 18, In Lithuania
Vytautas and the country’s dukes submitted documents to Poland that
Vytautas would rule Lithuania as a vassal to Poland and return the
country to Poland upon his death.
1407 Jan 21, Duke Vytautas led
Polish and German forces for a 2nd time against the Duchy of Moscow.
1407 Oct 26, Mobs attacked the
Jewish community of Cracow.
1410 Jul 15, Lithuanian-Polish
forces defeated the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Tannenberg,
Prussia, thereby halting the Knights’ eastward expansion along the
Baltic and hastening their decline. Vytautas and Jogaila with hired
mercenaries from Belarus along with Tartars and Czechs defeated the
Teutonic Knights between Grunvald (Zalgiriai) and Tannenberg
southeast of Malburg. Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen and many of
his nobles were killed. The war officially ended with the Treaty of
Thorn in which the Knights gave up Zemaitija to Vytautas.
(COE)(H of L, 1931, p.52)(DrEE, 11/9/96, p.6)
1411 Feb 1, Lithuania, Poland
and the Knights of the Cross signed the Torun Peace Treaty.
Samogitia was returned to Lithuania. The Teutonic Knights had
regrouped and gone to battle against Vytautas and Jogaila. Peace was
signed at Torun and western Lithuania was returned, but not Klaipeda
(Ist. L.H., 1948, p. 71)(LHC, 1/31/03)
1416 Feb 13, A Lithuanian and
Polish delegation read their grievances against the Teutonic Knights
at the Church Council at Constance.
1423 Mar 30, Lithuania and
Poland reached an agreement at Kezmark with Emperor Sigismund, who
agreed to recall Sigismund Kaributa from Poland.
1430 Apr 14, A band of Hussites
raided the monastery at Czestochowa, Poland, and robbed it of its
1453 Jul 4, 41 Jewish martyrs
were burned at stake at Breslau, Poland.
1454 Mar 6, Casimir
proclaimed the attachment of Prussia to Polish rule. This began a
13-year war over Prussia (1454-1466).
1466 Oct 19, The peace of Torun
ended the 13-year War of the Cities (1454-1466), between the
Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia. The
Peace of Thorn (Torún) ended the war between the Teutonic knights (a
German military and religious order) and their subjects in Prussia,
led by King Casimir IV (1427-1492) of Poland. Poland was given
Pomerelia and West Prussia, and the knights retained East Prussia,
with a new capital at Königsberg (Kaliningrad). The knights,
formerly strictly a German order, were forced to accept Poles as
members and their grand master became a vassal of the Polish king.
1473 Feb 19, The astronomer
Copernicus (1473-1543) was born in Torun, Poland. He promulgated the
theory that the earth and the planets move around the sun.
(WUB, 1994, p. 322)(HN, 2/19/98)(AP, 2/19/98)
1481 Aug 30, Two Latvian
monarchs were executed for conspiracy to murder Polish king
1484 Mar 4, Casimir
(Kazimierz), the son of Lithuania’s Grand Duke Casimir, died in
Grodno at age 25. In 1602 he was declared a saint and protector of
Lithuania. St. Casimir was born Oct 3,1458, in Cracow.
1486 Mar 4, Jogaila was crowned
king of Poland.
(LC, 1998, p.12)
1495 Feb 15, Lithuanian Grand
Duke Alexander wed Duchess Elena of Moscow.
1496 A Polish edict, pushed by
Krakow’s gentile bakers, banned Jews from selling bagels within the
1497 Mar 9, Nicolaus Copernicus
(1473-1543), Polish astronomer, made the 1st recorded astronomical
(WUD, 1994 p.322)(MC, 3/9/02)
1501 Jul 27, Copernicus was
formally installed as canon of Frauenberg Cathedral.
1505 Feb 26, In Brest
Polish Chancellor J. Laski invited the Lithuanian government to
reconfirm and expand the 1501 Union of Melnik, but the offer was
1506 Copernicus (1473-1543),
Polish-born astronomer, was appointed canon of church properties in
the Prussian diocese of Ermland.
(ON, 2/11, p.5)
1512 Copernicus, Polish-born
astronomer, wrote his manuscript “The Little Commentary," in which
he suggested that the earth’s apparent immobility was due to a
“false appearance" and a sun-centered cosmos would resolve many
(ON, 2/11, p.5)
1514 Vasily III, ruler of
Moscow, captured Smolensk from Poland.
1515 Jul 22, Emperor
Maximillian and Vladislav of Bohemia forged an alliance between the
Habsburg [Austria] and Jagiello [Polish-Lithuanian] dynasties in
1518 Apr 18, Bona Sforza
(1494-1558) was crowned Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of
Lithuania in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow. The Italian niece of Bianca
Maria Sforza, who in 1493 married Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I,
became the 3rd consort of Lithuania’s Grand Duke Sigismund the Old
1538 King Sigismund I
(1467-1548), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, imposed the
death penalty for bison poaching.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigismund_I_the_Old)(Econ, 9/14/13, SR
1543 May 24, Nicolaus
Copernicus, astronomer, died in Poland. His book, "On the
Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs," (De Revolutionibus Orbium
Caelestium), proof of a sun-centered universe, was printed just
before he died. Although he did say that the earth rotated once a
day and did revolve around the sun once a year, he kept 2 features
of the old Aristotelian system: one involved uniform circular
motion, and the other was quintessential matter, for which such
motion was said to be natural. In 1916 the Catholic clergy placed
the book on its “Index of Prohibited Books." In 2004 Owen Gingerich
authored "The Book Nobody Read," an examination of how the ideas of
Copernicus spread. In 2006 William T. Vollmann authored “Uncentering
the Earth: Copernicus and The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres."
In 2008 his remains, buried in a Roman Catholic Cathedral in
Frombork, Poland, were positively identified using DNA evidence. In
2011 Dava Sobel authored "A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus
Revolutionized the cosmos."
(WSJ, 3/5/04, p.W8)(NH, 4/1/04, p.66)(SSFC,
2/5/06, p.M1)(AP, 11/20/08)(Econ, 9/24/11, p.106)
1547 Mar 21, Matthew
Stryjkovski (d.c1592), the 1st author of a printed history of
Lithuania, was born in Strykov, Poland.
1548 Apr 1, Sigismund I, the
Elder (81), King of Poland, died.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(MC, 4/1/02)
1561 Poland-Lithuania gaining
control over Livonia. In response Sweden seized the territory of
Estonia with the major port of Reval. Denmark, also invested
in the war, seized the Livonian Islands.
1563 Feb 15, Ivan IV led
Russian forces in the takeover of Polocka, defended under the
leadership of Stanislav Davaina.
1564 Mar 13, Zigmantas
Augustas gave over to Poland his rights to Lithuania and supported
the Warsaw parliament recess and summons for the 1st representatives
on talks regarding union.
1566 Mar 11, The 2nd
Lithuanian statutes went into effect and upheld a democracy of
landowners. The Statute of Lithuania gave the Seimas legislative
power. The parliament had developed since Casimir ascended to the
Polish throne. It was composed of an upper chamber or Council of
Lords and assemblies of noblemen. They assembled in Vilnius or
(DrEE, 10/5/96, p.5)(LHC, 3/11/03)
1569 Feb 28, The
Lithuanian delegation pulled out of union talks with Poland and
1569 Mar 12, Zigmantas
Augustas broke away from Lithuania and attached Volinija and Palenki
1569 Jul 1, The Lublin Union
was signed and direct rule over Lithuania was passed to Poland.
Lithuania maintained certain ministers, laws, money and an army. The
territories of Volinija, Kiev and Podolija were transferred to
(H of L, 1931, p.72-74)(LC, 1998, p.20)
1570 Apr 14, Polish Calvinists,
Lutherans, Hernhutters unified against the Jesuits.
1573 Jan 28, In Warsaw a
confederation act acknowledged freedom of religion in Lithuania and
1573 May 11, Henry of Anjou
became the first elected king of Poland.
1581 Jan 14, The city of Riga
joined the Polish-Lithuanian union.
1581 Mar 1,The Warsaw
government accepted the statutes of the Lithuanian high tribunal.
1581 Stephen Bathory, King of
Poland, invaded Russia.
1581 Sweden and Poland overran
Livonia (a territory that included southern Latvia and northern
1582 Jan 15, Russia ceded
Livonia and Estonia to Poland, and lost access to Baltic.
1582 Aug 10, Russia ended its
25-year war with Poland. Russia and Poland concluded the Peace of
Jam-Zapolski under which Russia lost access to the Baltic and
surrendered Livonia and Estonia to Poland.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.23)(HN, 8/10/98)
1586 Stephen Bathory, King of
Poland, died and was succeeded by Sigismund III.
1587 Aug 19, Sigismund III was
chosen to be the king of Poland.
1588 Jan 28, King Sigismund
Vaza upheld the 3rd Lithuanian Statute that until 1795 stood as the
fundamental code of law. In practice it was active until 1840.
1595 Feb 24, Mathias
Casimir Sarbievius, poet and prof. at Vilnius Univ., was born in
Sarbev, Poland. He died in Warsaw Apr 2, 1640.
1605 Sep 27, Jan Karol
Chodkiewicz (1560-1621), Lithuanian hetman (Jonas Karolis
Katkevičius-Katkus), led Lithuanian and Polish forces to victory
against a Swedish army at Kircholm, Latvia. Chodkiewicz carried the
day in a victory that, taking into account the disparity of power
and strategic result, was huge. It is estimated that 6000 Swedes
died. Sweden’s King Charles IX was wounded.
1609 Mar 21, Jan II Kazimierz,
cardinal, King of Poland (1648-68), was born.
1609 Rabbi Loew (b.1525), also
known as the Maharal of Prague, died. He became well-remembered for
a legend about him creating a clay figure known as Golem, which he
is said to have brought to life to protect Prague's Jewish community
1610 Feb 14, Polish king
Sigismund III forced Dimitri #2 and the Romanov family to sign
covenant against Czar Vasili Shuishki (sequel to story of "Boris
1610 Jul 4, Battle at Klushino:
King Sigismund III of Poland beat Russia & Sweden.
1610 Aug 27, Polish King
Wladyslaw was crowned king of Russia.
1610 In Cracow (Krakow),
Poland, bagels were listed in the community regulations as a
suitable gift for pregnant women.
(SFC, 10/16/96, zz1 p.6)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1610 Sigismund III ruled
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.29)
1612 Oct 27, A Polish army
which invaded Russia capitulated to Prince Dimitri Pojarski and his
1612 Nov 4, Russia drove
Catholic Poles and Lithuanians out of Moscow. This marked the end of
the "Time of Troubles," a period of popular uprisings and fighting
between noblemen and pretenders to the throne. Russian Orthodox
Church celebrated this day as the victory of the forces of Eastern
Orthodoxy over the forces of Western Catholicism. In 2005 Russia
chose this day for the new “People’s Unity Day" holiday.
11/12/05, p.56)(Econ, 3/17/07, p.65)
1632 King Ladislas IV began his
(PCh, 1992, p.241)
1634 Feb 19, At the Battle at
Smolensk Polish king Wladyslaw IV beat the Russians. [see Mar 1]
1634 Mar 1, Battle at Smolensk;
Polish King Wladyslaw IV beat the Russians. [see Feb 19]
1638 In Cracow the Isaac
Synagogue was founded.
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A24)
1648 May 20, King Ladislas IV
died at age 55. His Jesuit brother (39) took rule as John Casimir
(PCh, 1992, p.241)
1648 May 6, Battle at Zolty
Wody-Bohdan: Chmielricki's Cossacks beat John II Casimir.
1648 Jun 24, Cossacks
slaughtered 2,000 Jews and 600 Polish Catholics in Ukraine.
1648 Sep 21, In Poland at the
Battle at Pilawce Bohdan Chmielricki beat John II Casimir.
(PCh, 1992, p.241)(MC, 9/21/01)
1648-1649 It is estimated that 100,000-200,000
Jews died in the Chmielnicki (Khmelnytskyi) revolt that lasted from
1648-1649. This wave of destruction is considered the first modern
1654 Jan 18, The union of
Ukraine and Russia was announced at the Council of Pereyaslav, but
no original documents have been preserved. A treaty invoked only
protection of the Cossack state by the Tsar and was intended as an
act of official separation of Ukraine from the Polish–Lithuanian
1655 Aug 29, Swedish king Karel
X Gustaaf occupied Warsaw.
1655 Oct 15, Jews of Lublin,
Poland, were massacred.
1656 Jan 17, Prussian Duke
Frederick Wilhelm withdrew ties with Lithuania and Poland and
acknowledged vassal status with Sweden.
1656 Oct 24, Treaty of Vilnius
(Lithuania): Russia and Poland signed an anti-Swedish covenant.
1659 Mar 22, The Warsaw
parliament decided to issue metal currency, shillings, for Lithuania
1667 Jan 30, Lithuania, Poland
and Russia signed a 13.5 year treaty at Andrusov, near Smolensk.
Russia received Smolensk and Kiev.
1667 May 9, Marie Louise de
Gonzague-Nevers, French Queen of Poland (1645-48), died.
1668 Sep 16, King John Casimer
II of Poland abdicated the throne.
(HN, 9/16/98)(PCh, 1992, p.241)
1670 May 12, August II
(d.1733), the Strong One, King of Poland (355 children) and elector
of Saxony, was born.
(MC, 5/12/02)(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.D12)
1674 May 20, John Sobieski
became Poland’s first King. [see 1573]
1674 May 21, Gen. Jan Sobieski
was chosen King of Poland. [see May 20]
1675 Jun 11, France and Poland
formed an alliance.
1675 Wojciech Bobowski
(b.1610), Polish-Jewish musician and dragoman, died. He had been
taken prisoner by Crimean Tartars and was sold to the Ottoman court
where he converted to Islam and served as an interpreter, treasurer
and musician. He translated the Bible into Turkish and composed
1679 Apr 3, Edmund Halley met
Johannes Hevelius in Danzig.
1681 Jan 8, The treaty of
Radzin ended a five year war between the Turks and the allied
countries of Russia and Poland.
1683 Feb 12, A Christian Army,
led by Charles, the Duke of Lorraine and King John Sobieski of
Poland, routed a huge Ottoman army surrounding Vienna.
1683 Sep 12, A combined
Austrian and Polish army defeated the Ottoman Turks at Kahlenberg
and lifted the siege on Vienna, Austria. Prince Eugene of Savoy
helped repel an invasion of Vienna, Austria, by Turkish forces.
Marco d'Aviano, sent by Pope Innocent XI to unite the outnumbered
Christian troops, spurred them to victory. The Turks left behind
sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they
sweetened it with honey and milk and named the drink cappuccino
after the Capuchin order of monks to which d'Aviano belonged. An
Austrian baker created a crescent-shaped roll, the Kipfel, to
celebrate the victory. Empress Maria Theresa later took it to France
where it became the croissant. In 2006 John Stoye authored “The
Siege of Vienna."
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.69)(WSJ, 3/27/96, p.A-16)(HN,
9/12/98)(SFEC, 2/6/00, p.A1)(Reuters, 4/28/03)(WSJ, 6/3/03, p.D5)
(WSJ, 12/6/06, p.D12)
1696 Jun 17, Jan Sobieski (72),
King of Lithuania and Poland (1674-96), died.
(MC, 6/17/02)(LHC, 5/21/03)
1696 August III (d.1763), son
of August II, was born. He was crowned King of Lithuania and Poland
(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.D12)(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.D8)
1700 Feb 22, Augustus II
(the Strong), elector of Saxony (1694-1733) and King of Poland
(1697-1706, 1709-1733), with the help of the Saxon army attacked
Swedish controlled Riga. This began the Northern War (1700-1721).
1707 Aug 31, The Treaty or
Convention of Altranstädt was signed between Charles XII of Sweden
and Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor. It settled the rights of
Protestants in Silesia and forced Augustus the Strong to yield the
Polish throne to Stanisław Leszczyński (1677-1766).
1709 Augustus the Strong,
Elector of Saxony, had ordered alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger to
re-create the formula for oriental porcelain. Bottger was imprisoned
and joined physicist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus in a search
for the formula. Tschirnhaus died but Bottger discovered the formula
in this year. Within 2 years a factory was established in Meissen’s
Albrechtsburg and Meissenware became Europe’s first hard-paste
(Hem, 6/96, p.111)(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.D12)(Econ,
1710 Feb 4, August II with the
support of the Russian army was recognized by the parliament in
Warsaw as King of Lithuania and Poland.
1710 In Germany Baron Johann
Bottger invented the Meissen hard-paste porcelain at the Meissen
factory on the river Elbe under the auspices of Augustus, King of
Poland. [see 1709] Kandler was a virtuoso sculptor and brilliant
artist at Meissen and was responsible for the figurine of Mazzetin
and Columbine, 2 characters from the Italian comedia dell ‘arte.
(WSJ, 8/28/98, p.W10)
Nov 3, In the Pacification Treaty of Warsaw Czar Peter the Great
(1672-1725) guaranteed Saxon monarch August I's (1682-1718) Polish
(DoW, 1999, p.373)
1717 Jan 30, Surrounded by the
Russian army the Lithuanian-Polish parliament reduced its army by
half and acknowledged Russian protection.
1723 Augustus the Strong, ruler
of Saxony and King of Poland, ordered the expansion of the Royal
Residence Palace treasure chamber in Dresden, long called the Green
Vault because of the color of its walls.
(http://tinyurl.com/gp7uy)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.95)
1725 August II, elector of
Saxony and King of Poland, gifted a selection of Meissen porcelain
from his own collection to the king of Sardinia.
(WSJ, 11/21/07, p.D10)
1732 Jan 17, Stanislaw II
August Poniatowski, last king of Poland (1764-95), was born.
1733 Feb 1, Augustus the
Strong, Elector of Saxony, Grand Duke of Lithuania (1697-1706) and
twice King of Poland (1697-1706, 1709-1733), died in Warsaw.
1733 Oct 10, France declared
war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1734 Jan 24, In Cracow the 2nd
last king of Lithuania and Poland, August III, was crowned.
1734 Mar 9, The Russians took
Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
1734-1823 Adam Czartoryski, a friend of Rousseau
and Ben Franklin and luminary of the enlightenment in Poland, was an
art collector and displayed his art at the family estate at Pulawy.
(WSJ, 7/30/97, p.A13)
1736 Jan 27, Stanislaw
Lesheinski gave up the Polish-Lithuanian throne.
1738 Dec 9, Jews were expelled
from Breslau, Silesia.
1741 Jun 11, Austria ceded most
of Silesia to Prussia by Treaty of Breslau.
1745 Dec 25, Prussia and
Austria signed the Treaty of Dresden. This gave much of Silesia to
1746 Tadeusz Kosciusko (d1817),
Polish patriot and general in the American Revolutionary army, was
born in Lithuania. [see Feb 4, 1747]
(WUD, 1994 p.794)
1747 Feb 4, Tadeusz Kosciusko,
patriot, American Revolution hero (built West Point), was born in
Poland. [see 1746]
1747 Mar 4, Casimir Pulaski
(d.1779), Count, American Revolutionary War General, was born in
Poland. Pulaski led troops in some of the bloodiest fighting of the
(HN, 3/4/98)(SC, 3/4/02)
1762 Aug 5, Russia, Prussia and
Austria signed a treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland.
1763 Oct 5, August III
(b.1796), son of August II, died. He was crowned King of Lithuania
and Poland in 1734.
(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.D12)(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.D8)
1767-1780 Bernardo Belotto (Il Canaletto), Italian
topographical view painter, worked as court painter in Warsaw for
Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski, the last King of Poland.
(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.A18)
1768 Feb 24,
Lithuania-Poland signed an eternal friendship treaty with Russia
along with a guarantee of protection. Lithuania and Poland agreed
not to change their state system.
1772 Upon the partition
of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the Kingdom of Galicia and
Lodomeria, or simply Galicia, became the largest, most populous, and
northernmost province of Austria where it remained until the
dissolution of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I. Jews
accounted for 10% of the 2.6 million population of Galicia.
1774 Tadeusz Kosciusko (b.1746)
came to America from Poland after an unsuccessful love affair. He
became a hero fighting the British in the American war for
(SFEC, 11/24/96, T7)
1775 Jan 17, 9 old women were
burned as witches for causing bad harvests in Kalisk, Poland.
1775 Jan 22, Marshal Oscar von
Lubomirski expelled Jews from Warsaw, Poland.
1775 Feb 22, Jews were expelled
from the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland.
1775 Szymon Antoni
Sobiekrajski, cartographer to King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski,
calculated that the center of Europe was in Suchowola, Eastern
(WSJ, 7/14/04, p.A7)
1779 Oct 11, Polish nobleman
General Casimir Pulaski died two days after being mortally wounded
while fighting for American independence during the Revolutionary
War Battle of Savannah, Ga. Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski had come to
America in 1777. In 2005 an attempt to confirm his remains using DNA
(AH, 10/04, p.15)(AP, 6/24/05)(AP, 10/11/07)
1783 Mar 5, King Stanislaus
Augustus Poniatowski granted rights to Jews of Kovno.
1784 May 25, Jews were expelled
from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek.
1785 Mar 31, Antanas
Tyzenhauzas (B.1733), Lithuanian agricultural organizer, died in
1786 Mar 22, Joachim Lelevelis
was born in Warsaw. He became a renowned historian and Prof. at
Vilnius Univ. He died May 29, 1861 in Paris.
1788 Oct 6, The Polish Diet
decided to hold a four year session.
1790s Tadeusz Kosciusko
returned to Poland and united the country in the battle against
Prussian and Russian domination.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, T7)
1791 May 3, Poland adopted a
new Constitution. It was designed to redress long-standing political
defects of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and its traditional
system of "Golden Liberty." The constitution put Lithuania under
Polish domination. It is generally regarded as Europe's first and
the world's second modern codified national constitution, following
the 1788 ratification of the US Constitution.
#27-28, 7/1996, p.13)
1792 May 18, Russian troops
1792 May 19, Russian army
1793 Jan 23, Prussia and Russia
signed an accord on the 2nd partition of Lithuania and Poland. The
2nd partition of Poland. Polish patriots had attempted to devise a
new constitution which was recognized by Austria and Prussia, but
Russia did not recognize it and invaded. Prussia in turn invaded and
the two agreed to a partition that left only the central portion of
(WUD, 1994, p.1677)(LHC, 1/23/03)
1793 Jan 23, The 2nd partition
of Poland. Polish patriots had attempted to devise a new
constitution which was recognized by Austria and Prussia, but Russia
did not recognize it and invaded. Prussia in turn invaded and the
two agreed to a partition that left only the central portion of
(WUD, 1994, p.1677)
1793 Apr 17, The Battle of
Warsaw was fought.
1794 Mar 23, Lieutenant-General
Tadeusz Kosciusko returned to Poland.
1794 Mar 24, In Cracow a
revolutionary manifesto was proclaimed. The Lithuanian and Polish
nobility under the leadership of Tadas Kosciusko revolted against
(H of L, 1931, p. 81-82)(LHC, 3/23/03)
1794 Apr 7, At the battle of
Raclawice the revolutionary forces of Tadeusz Kosciusko defeated the
(DrEE, 9/21/96, p.5)
1794 Apr 19, Tadeusz Kosciusko
forced Russians out of Warsaw.
1794 Oct 10, The Russian Army
under Gen’l. Alexander Suvorov took Warsaw and captured Tadeus
Kosciusko at Maciejowice. T. Vavzeckis was became the new commander
of the revolutionary forces.
(Voruta #27-28, 7/1996, p.5)(HN, 10/10/98)
1794 Nov 16, Warsaw capitulated
to the Russian Army and the revolution ended.
(Voruta #27-28, 7/1996, p.5)
1795 Jan 3, The 3rd division of
the Lithuanian Polish Republic was made between Russia and Austria.
(Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996, p.5)
1795 Mar 22, A Lithuanian
delegation under L. Tiskevicius went to Jekaterina II in Petersburg
and declared that Lithuania’s union with Poland was ended.
(Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996, p.5)
1795 Stanislaus Augustus
Poniatowski, the last king of Poland, was forced to abdicate.
(WSJ, 2/15/00, p.A24)
1795-1921 The state of Poland was gobbled up by
Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Prussia.
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.A7)
1797 Jan 15, In St. Petersburg
Russia, Prussia and Austria signed and act that terminated the
1806 Nov 28, French forces led
by Joachim Murat entered Warsaw.
1807 Feb 8, At Eylau, Poland,
Napoleon’s Marshal Pierre Agureau attacked Russian forces in a heavy
snowstorm. Like Napoleon, to whom he is most often compared,
Alexsandr Suvorov believed that opportunities in battle are created
by fortune but exploited by intelligence, experience and an
intuitive eye. To him, mastery of the art and science of war was
not, therefore, purely instinctive. Napoleon’s forces ran low on
supplies at Eylau and ate their horses.
(HN, 2/7/97)(WSJ, 9/21/05, p.A8)
1807 Napoleon gave Danzig
(later Gdansk) 6 years of formal independence.
(WSJ, 8/31/98, p.A4)
1808 Oct 17, The political
rights of Jews was suspended in Duchy of Warsaw.
1810 Mar 1, Frederic Chopin
(d.1849), Polish composer and pianist, was born. He studied in
Poland but spent most of his adult life in Paris. He met George Sand
in Paris in 1838 and they were together until 1847. His works
include the Waltz #2 in C# Minor (1835).
(BAAC PN, Chambers, 1/8/96)(HN, 3/1/98)
1812 Jun 24, Napoleon crossed
the Nieman River [in Lithuania] and invaded Russia. The French army
under Napoleon crossed the Nemunas River near Kaunas. Prior to his
march into Russia, Napoleon had taken land from Russia and returned
it to Polish control in Warsaw. This assured him safe passage
through Poland and Lithuania on his way to Russia. In 1824 the book
“History of the Expedition to Russia, Undertaken by the Emperor
Napoleon in the Year 1812" by Count de Segur, a general in
Napoleon’s army, was first published. An English translation edited
by Gerard Shelley was published in 1928.
(HN, 6/24/98)(WSJ, 8/25/07, p.P9)(H of L, 1931,
1812 The Testament of Peter the
Great was first published in Napoleonic France to demonstrate that
the Russian Empire had grand plans to conquer and subjugate Europe.
It was demonstrated to be a fraud in 1879. It was written by a
Polish general in the late 1700s and has continued to find
mainstream adherants in the modern era, particularly amongst
scholars, journalists and politicians.
1813 Feb 18, Czar Alexander
entered Warsaw at the head of his Army.
1813 Prussia took over Danzig.
(WSJ, 8/31/98, p.A4)
1815 Nov 27, Cracow, Poland,
declared itself a free republic.
1817 Oct 15, Tadeusz AB
Kosciusko (b.1746), Polish Lt-Gen. and American Revolution freedom
1820 In southern Poland Jan
Kutschera opened the Sczcawnica Zdroj health resort. He sold it in
1929 to the Hungarian Szalay family, which turned it into a
fashionable place. Josef Szalay bequeathed it to Krakow’s Academy of
Arts and Sciences, which sold it to Count Stadnicki in 1909.
Stadnicki (d.1982 at 99) was ousted by the communists in 1948. By
2008 his heirs had regained control of the spa and invested $4.5
million in restoration.
(SSFC, 8/17/08, p.F7)
1829 May, In Poland Niccolo
Paganini (1782-1840), Italian violinist, performed in concert in
Warsaw. Frederic Chopin (19) was so impressed that he proceeded to
compose a series of piano studies a la Paganini. Chopin’s 27 Etudes
later became a cornerstone of every gifted pianist’s repertoire.
(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.W11)
1830 Nov 29, In Warsaw young
Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress, Poland's
military academy revolted against the Russian Empire. They were led
by lieutenant Piotr Wysocki and were soon joined by large segments
of societies of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Right-bank Ukraine.
Nicholas I ruthlessly repressed the insurrection and by October 1831
Polish forces were defeated.
1831 Feb 20, Polish
revolutionaries defeated the Russians in the Battle of Growchow.
1831 Feb 25, The Polish army
halted the Russian advance into their country at the Battle of
1831 Mar 26, An interim
government was set up in Raseiniai as a Lithuanian revolt against
Russian rule began. There was a major uprising led by the Polish
nobility in Warsaw against Russian rule. Russian forces began to
march through Lithuania and this led many people of Lithuania to
join in the rebellion against Russian rule. Serf uprisings also
followed. The rebellion was eventually quelled by Russian force.
(H of L, 1931, p.85-86)(LHC, 3/26/03)
1831 May 26, Russians defeated
the Poles at battle of Ostrolenska.
1832 Feb 26, The Polish
constitution was abolished by Czar Nicholas I.
1840 Polish explorer Paul
Strzelecki named Australia’s highest peak in honor of the Polish
national hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Early surveyors messed up the
transcription and the peak was named Mt. Kosciusko. Decades later it
was discovered that the mountain was a few feet lower than a
neighboring peak. The New South Wales Lands Dept. swapped their
names to resolve the issue. In 1996 there was a move to restore the
missing z to the name.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, T7)(SSFC, 12/25/11, p.N6)
1846 Feb 23, Polish
revolutionaries marched on Cracow, but were defeated.
1846 May 5, Henryk Sienkiewicz
(d.1916), author (Quo Vadis, Nobel 1905), was born in Poland:
"The greater the philosopher, the harder it is for him to answer the
questions of common people."
(AP, 2/5/97)(MC, 5/5/02)
1849 Oct 17, Frederic Chopin
(b.1810), Polish-born composer and pianist, died in Paris of
tuberculosis at the age of 39. The 1945 film "A Song to Remember"
was about Chopin." In 2010 Adam Zamoyski authored “Chopin: Prince of
(HN, 10/17/00)(SFC, 11/25/02, p.A15)(Econ,
1850 May 16, Johannes von
Mikulica-Radecki, Polish surgical pioneer, was born.
1850s Polish immigrants began
arriving in Chicago as job opportunities abounded.
(WSJ, 6/2/03, p.A1)
1852 Ignacy Lukasiewicz, a
druggist, found oil seeping from the ground and in an attempt to
make vodka distilled it to produce the first kerosene.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, Z1 p.2)
1855 Nov 26, Adam Bernard
Mickiewicz (b.1798) died in Constantinople. He was a poet,
dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic
literature, and political activist. Mickiewicz is regarded as
national poet in Poland, Lithuania (Adomas Mickevičius) and Belarus.
1857 Nov 2, Joseph F.F.
Babinski, Polish-French neurologist (Babinski reflex), was born.
1857 Dec 3, Joseph Conrad
(d.1924), novelist, was born in Berdychiv, Poland, as Teodor Jozef
Konrad Korzeniowski. He is best known for “Heart of Darkness." His
work “The Secret Agent" had a profound effect on Unabomber Theodore
J. Kaszynski in the late 20th cent. Conrad also wrote the short
story “The Informer."
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.A3)(HN, 12/3/98)(AP, 12/3/07)
1858 August Czartoryski
(d.1893) was born as a Polish prince. He became a Salesian priest
and was beatified in 2004.
1860 Nov 18, Ignacy Jan
Paderewski (d.1941), composer and 3rd prime minister of Poland
(1919), was born.
1861 Feb 27, In the Warsaw
massacre Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule
over Poland. Five marchers were killed.
1863 Jan 22, The interim
Lithuanian government in Warsaw announced an uprising against
Russian rule. The uprising aspired to restore the Polish-Lithuanian
state and was supported by large numbers of peasants.
(DrEE, 9/14/96, p.4)(LHC, 1/22/03)
1864 Mar 2, Russian Czar
Alexander II upheld reforms in Poland that gave landholders
ownership of their lands.
1867 Nov 7, Marie Curie
(d.1934), Polish-born French scientist, was born in Warsaw as Marya
Salomee Sklodowska. Her discoveries included polonium, radium, which
she isolated from pitchblende, and the radioactivity of thorium. She
was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1903 with her husband, and
in chemistry in 1911. "You cannot hope to build a better world
without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work
for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general
responsibility for all humanity."
(AHD, 1971, p.323)(AP, 10/26/98)(HN, 11/7/98)
1876 Helena Modrzejewska,
celebrated actress, left for America with her husband Count Karol
Chapowski, their son, Rudolf (15), the young journalist Henryk
Sienkiewicz and a few friends. Helena proceeded to establish herself
on the American stage as Helena Modjeska. In 2000 Susan Sontag
planned to publish an historical novel based on Helena: "In
(SFC, 1/6/00, p.E1)
1877 Jul 5, Wanda A. Landowska,
Warsaw Poland, harpsichordist (Musique Ancienne), was born.
1880 Mar 31, Henryk Wieniawski
(44), Polish violist, composer, died.
1880 Nov 1, Sholem Asch,
Polish-born American novelist, was born. He wrote "The Nazarene" and
"The Apostle, Mary."
1881 Aug 20, Nikolay
Yakovlevich Myaskovsky, composer, was born in Poland of Russian
1882 Aug 17, Samuel Goldwyn,
American movie mogul who helped start MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer), was
born as Schmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Poland.
1882 Elie Nadelman (d.1946),
Polish-born sculptor, was born. He moved to Paris in 1904 and to the
US in 1914 with the support of Helena Rubenstein. His work included
"The Dancer" (1920-1924).
(WSJ, 5/15/03, p.D8)
1883 Jan 13, Fire in circus
Ferroni in Berditschoft, Poland, killed 430.
1884 Aug 3, Louis Gruenberg,
composer (Daniel Jazz), was born near Brest Litovsk, Poland.
1885 Sep 15, Juliusz Zarebski,
Polish composer, died at 31.
1885 Dr. Lazarus Ludwig
Zamenhof (1859-1917), Polish ophthalmologist, invented the
artificial language known as Esperanto. [see 1887]
(SFCM, 6/8/03, p.18)
1886 Jan 28, Artur Rubinstein,
pianist, was born in Lodz, Poland.
1886 Oct 16, David Ben-Gurion
(d.1973), Israeli statesman, was born in Plonsk, Poland. He was the
1st PM of Israel and served from 1948-53 and in 1955.
(HN, 10/16/00)(MC, 10/16/01)
1887 The artificial
international language called Esperanto was introduced in a pamphlet
published by Polish ophthalmologist Dr. Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof.
Zamenhof (1859-1917), invented the artificial language known as
Esperanto in 1885. Zamenhof used the pen name "Esperanto,"
which means "the hoper" in the new language. Esperanto vocabulary is
comprised primarily of words with Latin roots and words common to
several languages. Esperanto is less complicated than an earlier
attempt at artificial language called Volapuk. While Esperanto
associations formed around the world, it never became widely
(Wired, 8/96, p.84)(HNQ, 6/15/98)
1891 Aug 22, Jacque Lipchitz
(d.1973), sculptor, was born in Poland.
1891 Oct 12, Edith Stein was
born to a Jewish family at Breslau. Through her passionate study of
philosophy she searched after truth and found it in reading the
autobiography of St. Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a
Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she
took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and
cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution
and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her
holocaust for the people of Israel.
(WWW, Teresa Benedicta, 10/6/98)
1900 Mar 21, Paul Kletzki,
Polish violinist, composer, conductor, was born.
c1900 The 1999 novel "The River
Midnight" by Lilian Nattel was about life in the Polish shtetl of
Blaszka at the turn of the century.
(USAT, 3/24/99, p.7E)
1901 Ignacy Jan Paderewski
(1860-1941), Polish composer, built Warsaw’s Hotel Bristol.
1904 Jul 14, Isaac Singer
(1991), Polish-born American author (Enemies-Nobel 1978), was born.
"God is the sum of all possibilities." "When you betray somebody
else, you also betray yourself."
(AP, 3/30/97)(AP, 6/4/99)(HN, 7/14/01)(MC,
1905 Oct 20, A Great General
Strike in Russia began and lasted 11 days.
1905 Oct 20, Russian tsar
allowed Polish people to speak Polish.
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish
author, won the Nobel Prize and wrote the third work of his trilogy
"With Fire and Sword." It was preceded by "Pan Michael" and "The
Deluge." The first 2 books were made into films during the 1960s and
1970s. Filming of the 3rd work began in 1997.
(SFC,11/18/97, p.E2)(SFC, 7/8/99, p.E3)
1906 Aug 26, Albert Bruce
Sabin, U.S. virologist, born in Poland. In 1955, he developed an
oral vaccine against polio.
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote
the third work of his trilogy "With Fire and Sword." It was preceded
by "Pan Michael" and "The Deluge." The first 2 books were made into
films during the 1960s and 1970s. Filming of the 3rd work began in
1907 Nov 28, Stanislaw
Wyspianski (b.1869), Polish playwright, painter and poet, died in
Krakow. He created a series of symbolic, national dramas within the
artistic philosophy of the Young Poland Movement.
1908 Sep 9, Russia grabbed part
1908-1996 General Witold Urbanowicz, Polish
fighter ace. He destroyed 28 German and Japanese fighter planes and
fought in combat over Poland, in the Battle of Britain and in China.
(SFC, 8/21/96, p.A20)
1909 Mar 6, Stanislaw J. Lec
(d.1906), Polish poet, author and satirist: "THINK before you
1909-1984 Anna Swir, Polish poet. "A poet should
be as sensitive as an aching tooth."
(SFEC, 11/10/96, DB p.8)
1911 Jun 30, Czeslaw Milosz
(d.2004), Polish poet and critic and Nobel winner, was born in
Lithuania. In 2001 his Polish "Milosz’s ABC’s" was published in
(SFC, 3/21/01, p.C1)(HN, 6/30/01)
1912 The People’s Hall was
built in Wroclaw, capital of Lower Silesia. The city is at the foot
of the Sudety Mountains on the banks of the Odra River.
(DrEE, 9/21/96, p.1)
1913 Nov 26, Russian kingdom
forbade Polish congregation of speakers.
1914 Aug 11, Jews were expelled
from Mitchenick, Poland.
1914 Oct 21, Battle of Warsaw
ended with a German defeat.
1914 Nov 25, German Field
Marshal Fredrich von Hindenburg called off Lodz offensive 40 miles
from Warsaw, Poland. The Russians lost 90,000 to the Germans’ 35,000
in two weeks of fighting.
1914 Dec 6, German troops over
1915 Apr 6, Tadeusz Kantor
(d.1990), Polish director and theorist, was born in Galicia, a part
1915 Aug 5, The Austro-German
Army took Warsaw, in present-day Poland, on the Eastern Front.
1915 Sep 2, Austro-German
armies took Grodno, Poland.
1916 Aug 11, The Russia army
took Stanislau, Poland, from the Germans.
1917 Jan 14, The Provisional
Parliament was established in Poland.
1918 Feb 14, Warsaw
demonstrators protested the transfer of Polish territory to the
1918 Mar 3, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of
Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent
countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty
deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
(HN, 3/3/99)(LHC, 3/1/03)(AP, 3/3/08)
1918 Sep 22, Henryk Szeryng,
violinist (Brahms Concerto), was born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland.
1918 Nov 11, In Poland Jozef
Piłsudski (1867-1935) was appointed Commander in Chief of Polish
forces by the Regency Council and was entrusted with creating a
national government for the newly independent country. On the same
day he proclaimed the independence of the Second Polish Republic.
11/11/08)(Econ 7/15/17, p.45)
1918 Nov 21, Polish soldiers
organized a pogrom against Jews of Galicia, Poland.
1918 Nov 22, Polish forces
attacked the Jewish community of Lemberg (Lvov).
1919 Jan 17, Pianist and
statesman Ignace Jan Paderewski became the first premier of the
newly created republic of Poland.
1919 Feb 17, Germany signed an
armistice giving up territory in Poland.
1919 Feb, The Polish–Soviet War
began and continued to March 1921. It was an armed conflict between
Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine against the Second Polish Republic
and the Ukrainian People's Republic, four states in post-World War I
1919 Apr 5, Polish Army
executed 35 young Jews.
1919 Apr 20, Polish Army
captured Vilno (Vilnius), Lithuania from Soviet Army.
1919 Jimmy Winkfield
(1882-1974), former US Kentucky Derby winner, helped lead 262 horses
from the Odessa (Ukraine) race track to Warsaw, Poland, in a 3-month
journey in front of the advancing Red Army.
1920 Jan 10, The League of
Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into
effect. The Free City of Danzig (Gdansk) was constituted by the
(WUD, 1994, p.367)(AHD, 1971, p.744)(AP, 1/10/98)
1920 Jan 15, The United States
approved a $150 million loan to Poland, Austria and Armenia to aid
in their war with the Russian communists.
1920 Mar 7, The Bolsheviks
opened a major offensive on the Polish front.
1920 May 18, Pope John Paul II
(d.2005) was born as Karol Jozef Wojtyla, in Wadowice, Poland. In
1978 he became the 264th Roman Catholic pope. He was the first
non-Italian Roman Catholic pope since the Renaissance and wrote the
international bestseller "Crossing the Threshold."
(SFC, 5/19/97, p.A13)(HN, 5/18/99)(SSFC, 4/3/05,
1920 Jul 4, Poland gave de
facto recognition to Lithuania.
(LC, 1998, p.20)
1920 Jul 8, The Galician Soviet
Socialist Republic (Galician SSR) was formed and lasted to September
21, 1920, during the Polish-Soviet War within the area of the
South-Western front of the Red Army.
1920 Aug 10, Allies recognized
Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania.
1920 During Polish-Soviet war
thousands of captured Red Army men were placed in the camp of
Тuchola, Poland. These POWs lived in trenches, while famine, cold,
and infectious diseases killed tens of prisoners daily. In the
winter 1920/1921 POWs had a death rate of about 25%, which was
attributed to malnutrition, poor sanitary conditions, lack of fuel
and medicines, and physical maltreatment by the Polish supervisors.
1921 Apr 9, Russo-Polish
conflict ended with the signing of the Riga Treaty.
1921 The Solec Hospital in
central Warsaw was built.
(WSJ, 1/15/97, p.A1)
1922 Feb 1, Lieutenant Colonel
I. Matuszewski, the head of the II department of the Polish Joint
Staff, informed the military minister of Poland in the letter, that
22,000 prisoners of war were lost in the camp of Tuchola during its
1922 Feb 20, Vilnius,
Lithuania, agreed to separate from Poland.
1922 Mar 24, The Polish
parliament endorsed the transfer of the Vilnius area to Lithuania.
1922 Dec 16, Gabriel Narutowicz
(b.1865), a Lithuanian-born, Swiss banking engineer and Poland’s
first post WWI president was assassinated while attending an art
exhibition, in the National Gallery of Art.
1922 Dec 16, Gabriel Narutowicz
(b.1865), a Lithuanian-born, Swiss banking engineer and Poland’s
first post WWI president was assassinated while attending an art
exhibition, in the National Gallery of Art “Zachęta."
1923 Feb 3, The National Union
committee divided a neutral zone between Lithuania and Poland and
drew a final line of demarcation.
1923 Mar 15, An
ambassador's conference set the demarcation line between Lithuania
and Poland as a national border, which Lithuania did not recognize.
1923 Apr 18, Poland annexed
1923 Jul 6, Wojciech
Jaruzelski, Polish general, pres. (1989-90), was born.
1925 Feb 10, Poland made an
accord with the Vatican and the archdiocese of Vilnius was revived
as one of 5 Polish dioceses.
1926 Feb 25, Poland demanded a
permanent seat on the League Council.
1926 May 29, Charles Denner,
actor (And Now My Love), was born in Tarnow, Poland.
1926 Jun 1, Ignacy Mocicki was
elected president of Poland.
1926 Jun 19, The opera “King
Roger," composed by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937),
premiered in Warsaw.
1927 Aug 7, Maia Wojciechowska
(d.2002) was born in Warsaw. She moved to the US in 1942 and became
an acclaimed author of children’s books. Her work included the
memoir "Till the Break of Day: Memories, 1939-1942."
(SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)
1928 Mar 28, Zbigniew
Brzezinski, US national security advisor (Carter), was born in
1928 Janusz Korczak (d.1942),
pediatrician and writer, authored “King Matt the First," the story
of an orphan boy who becomes king and enacts laws favorable to
(SSFC, 10/10/04, Par p.17)
1931 Jan 24, The League of
Nations rebuked Poland for the mistreatment of a German
minority in Upper Silesia.
1933 Mar 6, Poland occupied
free city Danzig (Gdansk).
1933 Jun 14, Jerzy Kosinski,
Polish-American novelist (The Painted Bird, Being There), was born.
1933 Aug 18, Roman Polanski,
Polish film director best known for Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown,
1933 Nov 23, Krzysztof
Penderecki, Polish composer and conductor was born in Debica. He
grew to become Poland's leading composer and conductor using
unconventional forms and sounds that evoke classical associations.
1934 Jan 26, Germany signed a
10-year non-aggression pact with Poland, breaking the French
(WUD, 1994, p.1682)(HN, 1/26/99)
1934 Jul 4, "Madame" Marie
Curie-Sklodovska, Polish-born French chemist and Nobel Prize winner,
died in Paris of leukemia caused by her long exposure to radiation.
In 1937 Eve Curie authored "Madame Curie, a Biography." In 2004
Barbara Goldsmith authored “Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of
1935 Aug 7, In Danzig
(Gdansk) 60% of voters agreed to Nazism (NSDAP).
1938 Mar 17, The Polish
government presented an ultimatum to Lithuania to establish
diplomatic ties. (LHC, 3/17/03)
1938 Mar 19, Lithuania
accepted a Polish peace ultimatum and established diplomatic ties.
(HN, 3/19/98)(LHC, 3/19/03)
1938 Apr 5, Anti-Jewish riots
broke out in Dabrowa, Poland.
1938 Sep 29, British, French,
German and Italian leaders signed the Munich Agreement, which was
aimed at appeasing Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of
Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, inhabited by a German-speaking
minority. The treaty ceded three areas of Czechoslovakia to other
powers: the Sudetenland was annexed into Germany, the Teschen
district was given to Poland, and parts of Slovakia went to Hungary.
British PM Neville Chamberlain gained a brief peace agreement from
Hitler at Munich and without consulting the Czechs agreed that Nazi
forces could occupy Sudetenland. Some mark this "appeasement policy"
as the decisive event of the century. Chamberlain predicted "peace
in our time." French PM Edouard Daladier was very depressed from the
meeting. In 1980 Telford Taylor published "Munich: The Price of
Peace." It is a detailed political & diplomatic history of the
1930's in Europe, culminating in the Munich conference. Taylor later
helped write the rules for Nuremberg Trials. In 2008 David Vaughan
authored “Battle for the Airwaves: Radio and the 1938 Munich
6/9/96, Z1 p.5)(SFC, 6/16/96, Z1 p.6)(WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)(AP,
9/29/06)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.115)
1938 Nov 26, Poland renewed a
non-aggression pact with the USSR to protect against a German
1939 Mar 21, Nazi Germany
demanded Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland.
1939 Mar 31, Britain and France
agreed to support Poland if Germany threatened to invade. Seven
French islands were annexed by Japan.
1939 Apr 6, Great Britain and
Poland signed a military pact.
1939 Apr 28, Hitler claimed the
German-Polish non-attack treaty to be still in effect.
1939 May 23, Hitler proclaimed
he wants to move into Poland.
1939 Aug 23, German Foreign
Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Commissar for Foreign
Affairs Vyacheslav M. Molotov signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin
to invade Finland. Secret protocols, made public years later, were
added that assigned Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia to be
within the Soviet sphere of influence. Poland was partitioned along
the rivers Narev, Vistula and San. Germany retained Lithuania
enlarged by the inclusion of Vilnius. Just days after the signing,
Germany invaded Poland, and by the end of September, both powers had
claimed sections of Poland.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A16)(AP, 8/23/97) (HNPD,
1939 Aug 25, Britain and France
signed a treaty with Poland promising military assistance should the
(ON, 11/05, p.3)
1939 Aug 27, Nazi Germany
demanded Danzig and Polish corridor.
1939 Aug 31, There was a staged
"Polish" assault on radio station in Gleiwitz by Nazis dressed as
Poles to "provoke" war, an excuse for Germany to invade Poland the
next day to start World War II.
1939 Sep, 1, At 4:40 a.m.,
World War II began. The Germans attacked Poland with their strategy
of Blitzkrieg, or lightning war. The war started at dawn with salvos
from the cruiser Schleswig-Holstein at the Polish garrison in
Gdansk. In 1989 Donald Cameron Watt authored “How War Came."
(WSJ, 4/26/95, p.A-16)(AP, 9/1/97)(WSJ, 1/14/07,
1939 Sep 1, A transport train
carrying 250 children from Czechoslovakia disappeared as Germany
invaded Poland. It was the last transport organized by English
stockbroker Nicholas Winton (1909-2015).
(Econ, 7/11/15, p.82)
1939 Sep 1, US Sen. William
Borah of Idaho said 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler,
all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call
this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been
repeatedly discredited by history." In 2008 Pres. Bush quoted these
words in a speech to the Israeli Knesset.
1939 Sep 4, The Nazis marched
into Czestochowa, Poland, two days after they invaded Poland.
1939 Sep 4, German troops
stormed into Danzig (Gdansk).
1939 Sep 4, The Polish ghetto
of Mir was exterminated.
1939 Sep 5, In Czestochowa,
Poland, approximately 150 Jews were shot dead by the Germans. The
day was remembered as “Bloody Monday."
1939 Sep 8, Gen. Von
Reichenau's panzer division reached the suburbs of Warsaw.
1939 Sep 9, Nazi army reached
1939 Sep 15, The Polish
submarine Orzel arrived in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the
German invasion of Poland.
1939 Sep 17, The Soviet Union
attacked Poland, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany launched its
assault. They took 217,000 Poles prisoner and occupied eastern
Poland within a week with losses of 737 dead and 2,000 wounded. The
Polish submarine Orzel escaped from internment and went on to fight
the Germans against long odds.
(AP, 9/17/97)(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)(HN,
1939 Sep 27, Germany occupied
Warsaw. Poland surrendered after 19 days of resistance to invading
forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Poland had endured a
brutal 3 day bombing campaign by the German Luftwaffe.
(AP, 9/27/97)(HN, 9/27/98)
1939 Sep 28, The Boundary and
Friendship Treaty between the USSR and Germany was supplemented by
secret protocols to amend the secret protocols of Aug 23. Among
other things Lithuania was reassigned to the Soviet sphere of
influence. Poland’s partition line was moved eastwards from the
Vistula line to the line of the Bug. Germany kept a small part of
south-west Lithuania, the Uznemune region. A separate Soviet mutual
defense pact was signed with Estonia that allowed 25,000 Soviet
troops to be stationed there.
(DrEE, 9/28/96, p.3)(DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)(DrEE,
10/26/96, p.4)(AP, 9/28/97)
1939 Sep 29, Germany and the
Soviet Union reached an agreement on the division of Poland. [see
1939 Sep 30, Germany and Russia
agreed to partition Poland. [see Sep 28,29]
1939 Oct 4, Last Polish troops
surrendered to German Wehrmacht.
1939 Oct 8, Germany annexed
1939 Oct 26, Polish Jews were
forced into obligatory work service.
1939 Oct 30, USSR and Germany
agreed on partitioning Poland. Hitler deported Jews.
1939 Nov 12, Jews in Lodz
Poland were ordered to wear yellow star of David.
1939 Nov 15, Nazis began their
mass murder of Warsaw Jews.
1939 Nov 23, Hans Frank, the
Nazi Gov. of Poland, required Jews to wear a blue star.
1939 Nov 28, Nazi Gov-Gen of
Poland, Hans Frank organized Judenrat.
1939 Dec 1, Reichsfuhrer-SS
Heinrich Himmler ordered the deportation of Polish Jews.
1939 Dec 11, New anti Jewish
measurements in Poland were proclaimed.
1940 Jan 23, Pianist Jan Ignaz
Paderewski became premier of Polish government in exile.
1940 Jan 25, Nazis established
a Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland.
1940 Apr 28, Rudolf Hoess
became commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz.
1940 Mar 5, Stalin among others
signed an Order for the massacre at Katyn, Poland. Soviet agents
shot 21,768 Polish military officers, intellectuals and priests who
had been taken prisoner during the invasion. Between April and May
some 25,700 (15,000) Polish citizens were massacred by the Soviets
in the Katyn and Miednoje (Mednoye) forests on the outskirts of
Moscow and at Kharkov in western Russia (later Ukraine). Some 14,700
Polish officers were identified by their uniforms. Documents were
made public in 1992 by Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first post-Soviet
leader. They included a letter by Lavrenty Beria, head of the secret
police, recommending the execution of the Polish prisoners of war.
The letter bears the signatures of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and
three other members of the Politburo. Excavations of the sites began
in 1994. 6,313 Polish officers were all shot in the back of the head
near Mednoye. 9,000 Russians were also massacred at the site. In
2008 Andrzej Wajda directed the film “Katyn." In 2004 Russia's top
military prosecutor closed the investigation after concluding that
the massacre did not constitute genocide. In 2009 Russia's Supreme
Court rejected appeals to re-open the investigation. On April 7,
2010, Russian PM Vladimir Putin attended a memorial ceremony. Hours
later he said Stalin had ordered the atrocity as revenge for the
death of Red Army soldiers in Polish prisoner of war camps in 1920.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.16)(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.A18)(AP,
3/6/05)(Econ, 6/21/08, p.65)(AP, 1/29/09)(SFC, 4/8/10, p.A2)(AP,
1940 Apr, The Germans sealed
the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, with barbed wire. Lodz at this
time had some 231,000 Jews, about one-third of the city’s
population. Some 45,000 Jews from other parts of Nazi-occupied
Europe were forced into the ghetto as well as some 5,000 Gypsies.
Many died under forced labor and horrific conditions. Those
remaining were killed in August, 1944.
(SSFC, 8/30/09, p.A17)
1940 May 23, The Polish
submarine ORP Orzel left Rosyth, Scotland, and disappeared in the
North Sea during a mission with the Allies.
1940 June 14. The Nazis opened
their concentration camp at Auschwitz. In German-occupied Poland the
first inmates arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. They were
all Polish political prisoners.
(SF E&C, 1/15/1995, A-10)(AP, 6/14/97)(AP,
Jul, Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch diplomat, and Chiune Sugihara, a
Japanese diplomat, worked together to save some 2,000 thousand
Polish Jews, who had fled to Lithuania by issuing them visas for
Japan, China and the Dutch colonies in South America. Zwartendijk
wrote out the so called Curacao visas, while Sugihara issued the
transit visas weeks after the Red Army entered the Baltic state. The
Sugihara family was later captured by the Russians and placed in a
concentration camp for 1½ years. None of the refugees actually
arrived in Curacao, but many of them reached free countries or ended
up in Shanghai where they survived the war.
9/7/96, p.A13)(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A16)(AFP, 6/15/18)
1940 Sep, Witold Pilecki
(1901-1948), a Catholic cavalry officer and founder of the Secret
Polish Army (1939), infiltrated Auschwitz to spy on what was
happening there. He escaped Auschwitz in April 1943, but was
executed by the Soviets in 1948.
1940 Oct 16, The Warsaw Ghetto
was formed by Nazi SS troops.
1940 Nov 26, The half-million
Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced by the Nazis to live within a
1940 Oct 31, This was the
deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto.
1940 The documentary film
"Lights Out in Europe" was made by Herbert Kline. It documented
Hitler's invasion of Poland.
(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A24)
1940 "The Nazis packed 450,000
human beings into 75 square blocks of the Warsaw ghetto, then walled
it off and left them to starve."
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.A7)
1940 A mass murder of Polish
Jews took place at Lublin. A report of the killings to the Red Cross
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A8)
1940 The term "genetic
engineering" was coined in Poland, by Danish microbiologist A. Jost
while giving a lecture on the sex life of yeast at the Technical
Institute in Lwow, Poland.
1941 Feb 20, The 1st transport
of Jews to concentration camps left Plotsk, Poland.
1941 Feb 20, Nazis ordered
Polish Jews barred from using public transportation.
1941 Feb 22, IG Farben started
building Buna-Werke in the Auschwitz extermination camp.
1941 Mar 1, Himmler inspected
the Auschwitz concentration camp.
1941 Apr 9, In Czestochowa,
Poland, a ghetto for Jews was created. By the end of WW II some
45,000 of Czestochowa's Jews were murdered by the Germans, almost
the entire Jewish community living there.
1941 May 19, The new 823.5-foot
Nazi battleship Bismarck left Gdynia, Poland, under the command of
Commander Gunther Lutjens.
1941 Jun 22, Germany attacked
the Soviet Union, its former ally. When the German forces entered
the Polish city of Lviv (Lwov), they and their Ukrainian
collaborators massacred Jews in the city and countryside. While
occupying the area, Germans murdered Jews in the ghetto, the Belzec
death camp and a forced labor camp, Janowska, with the final
annihilation occurring in 1943.
1941 Jun 25, Germans invaded
Dubno, Poland, and encouraged the Ukrainians to do whatever they
want to 12,000 Jews living there.
1941 Jun 28, German troops
occupied Galicia, Poland.
1941 Jul 3, German soldiers
arrive in Kolomiya, (later part of Ukraine) which belonged to Poland
at this time, and tacked up posters the declared in three languages
"Death to All Jews." Blanca Rosenberg (d.1998) wrote a memoir in
1993, "To Tell at Last," that described how she survived the
(SFC, 9/29/98, p.C2)
1941 Jul 10, In Jedwabne,
Poland, some 300-400 Jews were herded into a barn by the local
villagers and burned to death. In 1949 a communist-era court
convicted 12 Poles in the massacre, saying they assisted German
forces in the killings. In 2001 Jan Tomasz authored "Neighbors: The
Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne." According to
Gross, some 1,600 Jews were killed in Jedwabne.
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A16)(SFC, 3/31/01, p.A12)(AP,
1941 Jul 21, Himmler ordered
the building of the Majdanek concentration camp. The camp was built
in eastern Poland as a principal site to exterminate Jews. It
contained 7 gas chambers.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A14)(MC, 7/21/02)
1941 Sep 3, Nazis made the 1st
use of Zyclon-B gas in Auschwitz on Russian prisoners of war.
1941 Sep 6, Jews of Vilna,
Poland (Lithuania), were confined to their ghetto.
1941 Oct 8, Construction began
on the 430-acre Birkenau extermination camp, 1.5 miles away from
(MC, 10/8/01)(WSJ, 8/14/02, p.A8)
1941 Oct 14, The 1st mass
deportations took place at Kovno, Lodz, Minsk & Riga.
1941 Dec 4, Nazi ordinances
placed the Jews of Poland outside protection of courts.
1941 Dec 8, The Nazi Chelmno
extermination camp opened in Poland.
(WUD, 1994 p.252)(MC, 12/8/01)
1941 At Auschwitz 152 Polish
Catholics were killed by the Nazis.
(SFC, 5/29/99, p.A14)
1941 Polish Franciscan friar
Maximilian Kolbe was sent to Auschwitz after Nazi officials
discovered he had been hiding Jews. He was canonized by Polish-born
Pope John Paul II in 1982. He was hailed as a martyr for
volunteering to die in the place of another man.
1941-1943 The three Jewish Bielski brothers,
escaped Nazi-occupied Poland and established a refuge in the forests
of Belarus. By the end of WWII they succeeded in saving some 1,200
men, women and children. In 2003 Peter Duffy authored "The Bielski
Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Saved
1,200 Jews and Built a Village in the Forest." Their story was
depicted in the 2009 film “Defiance," directed by Edward Zwick.
(SSFC, 7/13/03, p.M4)(WSJ, 1/2/08, p.W1)
1942 Jan, In occupied Poland
Samuel Kunz (20) started working as a guard at Belzec prison camp
and continued working there to July, 1943. In 2010 he was charged
with allegedly participating in the murder of more than 430,000 Jews
at the death camp, and was involved in the entire killing process:
From taking victims from trains to pushing them into gas chambers to
throwing their corpses into mass graves, according to court
1942 Mar 17, Belzec
Concentration Camp opened. 30,000 Lublin Polish Jews were
1942 Mar 23, Some 2,500 Jews of
Lublin were massacred or deported.
1942 Mar 25, 700 Jews of Polish
Lvov-district reached the Belzec Concentration camp.
1942 Mar 26, The Germans began
sending Jews to Auschwitz in Poland.
1942 Mar 26, The 1st 700 Jews
from Polish Lvov-district reached concentration camp Belzec. The
Germans began sending Jews to Auschwitz in Poland.
(HN, 3/25/98)(SS, 3/26/02)
1942 May 12, 1,500 Jews were
gassed in Auschwitz.
1942 Jun, By this month 100,000
people of the Warsaw ghetto had died due to disease or starvation.
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.A7)
1942 Jul 11, In the longest
bombing raid of World War II, 1,750 British Lancaster bombers
attacked the Polish port of Danzig. The Polish submarine Orzel
escaped from internment and went on to fight the Germans against
1942 Jul 13, 5,000 Jews of
Rovno, Polish Ukraine, were executed by Nazis.
1942 Jul 13, SS shot 1,500 Jews
in Josefov, Poland.
Jul 22, Nazi’s began their transport of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto
to the death at Treblinka.
1942 Jul 23, A 2nd
Treblinka Camp opened for the extermination of European Jews, as the
evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto began. Nearly 750,000 people died in
the gas chambers of Treblinka.
1942 Aug 5, Janusz Korczak and
the children he cared for were taken away by the Nazis from an
orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto. He chose to stay with the children
in his care as they went together into the gas chambers at
Treblinka. In 2002 a memorial in Warsaw was dedicated to Korczak and
1942 Aug 9, Carmelite nun
Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, whose given name was Edith Stein, was
executed by the Nazis at Auschwitz for her Jewish heritage. A Roman
Catholic convert from Judaism, Stein was an educator, nun,
philosopher and spiritual writer and is generally regarded as a
modern saint and martyr. Born in Germany on October 12, 1891, she
joined the Carmelites in 1934 and wrote a number of important
philosophical and spiritual works, including "Finite and Eternal
Being." With Hitler's 1942 order for the arrest of all non-Aryan
Catholics, Stein was seized and shipped to the concentration camp at
Auschwitz where she died in the gas chamber with her sister Rosa. A
woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body
of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound
spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on
May 1, 1987.
1942 Aug 11-Sep 30, The SS
began exterminating 3,500 Jews in Zelov Lodz, Poland.
1942 Aug, Irene Nemirovsky
(39), French-Jewish author, died at Auschwitz. She had recently
authored "Suite Francaise" while waiting in rural France for what
she knew was her imminent arrest and deportation. It is a powerful
account of the effect on ordinary people of the military collapse of
June 1940, the panicked flight from Paris and the arrival of the
German army. It was finally published in France in 2004 and
Nemirovsky was awarded a top French literary award. In 2006 Jonathan
Weiss authored “Irene Nemirovsky: Her Life and Works."
(AFP, 11/8/04)(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.M1)(SSFC,
1942 Sep 12, Free-Poland &
Belgium asked Pope to condemn Nazi-war crimes. He did not.
1942 Sep 23, At Auschwitz Nazis
began experimental gassing executions.
1942 Oct 27, In Starachowice,
Poland, Nazi soldiers separated out weak Jews from the strong. The
strong were sent to work and the weak were sent to the extermination
camp at Treblinka.
(WSJ, 11/25/03, p.A1)
1942 Oct, By this month some
300,000 occupants of the Warsaw ghetto had been shipped off to the
gas chambers at Treblinka.
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.A7)
1942 Nov 11, 745 French Jews
were deported to Auschwitz.
1942 Nov 19, Bruno Schulz
(b.1892), Polish writer and graphic artist, was shot dead by a
German officer, a rival of Schulz’s German protector. In 1992
Theatre de Complicite created their play “The Street of Crocodiles"
based on the life and work of Schulz.
1942 Nov, In Bronsk, Poland,
2500 Jews living in a shtetl (small village), were rounded up by the
Nazis and gassed at Treblinka. In 1996 a 3-hr Frontline documentary
film was aired that revisits the sight of the vanished Jewish life.
(SFC, 4/14/96, EM, p.6)(SFC, 4/17/96, p.E-3)
1942 Jan Karski (d.2000 at 86),
former Polish diplomat, disguised as a Nazi guard and snuck into the
Izbica death camp and twice entered the Warsaw Ghetto. He witnessed
the mass killings and torture of Jews and reported his story to
political and religious leaders in the West. His book "Story of a
Secret State" appeared in the US in 1944.
(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A23)
1942-1943 Irena Sendler (29), posing as a
nurse, visited the Warsaw Ghetto and persuaded parents that their
children had better chances of survival outside its walls. She and
20 helpers smuggled some 2,500 children out of the ghetto and placed
them with Polish families. In 2003 Sendler was awarded Poland's
highest order. In 2007 Sendler (97) was honored by parliament at a
ceremony during which Poland's president said she deserves the Nobel
(AP, 11/11/03)(AP, 3/14/07)
1943 Jan 18, Jews in Warsaw
Ghetto began an uprising against the Nazis. [see Apr 19, 1943]
1943 Jan, Rutka Laskier (14)
began a diary in Bedzin, Poland, shortly before she was deported to
Auschwitz. The 60-page memoir ended in April and within a few months
Rutka was dead. Her diary was made public in 2007.
1943 Mar 2, 1st transport of
Jews from Westerbork, Netherlands, to Sobibor concentration camp.
1943 Mar 4, Transport Number 50
departed with French Jews to Majdanek and Sobibor.
1943 Mar 13, Germans closed the
Krakow ghetto in Poland.
1943 Apr 13, Nazi's discovered
a mass grave of Polish officers near Katyn. [see Apr 13, 1990]
1943 Apr 17, SS lt. General
Jurgen Stoop arrived in Warsaw.
1943 Apr 19, Nazis entered the
Warsaw ghetto, the eve of the Passover holiday. Three days later
they set the ghetto ablaze, turning it into a fiery death trap.
Jewish fighters kept up their struggle for nearly a month before
they were brutally vanquished. Teenager Simcha Rotem (d.2018), aka
Kazik, served as a liaison between the bunkers and took part in the
1943 Apr 19, In Warsaw, Poland,
some 750 young Jews under Mordechai Anielewicz began their 1st urban
uprising against the Nazis. During World War II, tens of thousands
of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but futile
battle against Nazi forces. SS-Gen Jurgen Stroop led the destruction
of the ghetto of Warsaw: "The Warsaw Ghetto is no more!" he wrote
proudly to Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler. Stroop was hanged on
the site of the Warsaw ghetto after the war. Jacek Zlatka (Jack
Eisner, 1925-2003) smuggled arms for the revolt. Eisner made a
fortune in the import-export business after the war and in 1980
authored the autobiography "The Survivor."
(SFEC, 3/2/97, p.T11)(AP, 4/19/97)(HN,
4/19/97)(SSFC, 8/31/03, p.A29)
1943 Apr 30, Etty Hillesum,
Dutch diarist, died in Auschwitz.
1943 Apr, Irena Sendler
(1910-2008), Polish social worker, and her team of some 20 people
saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October
1940 and April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the
residents or sending them to death camps.
1943 May 15, Warsaw ghetto
uprising ended in it's destruction by Nazi-SS troops.
1943 May 16, German troops
destroyed the synagogue of Warsaw. Jewish resistance in the Warsaw
ghetto ended after 30 days of fighting.
1943 May 30, Dr. Josef Mengele
arrived at Auschwitz as research assistant to Dr. Otmar Freiherr von
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D6)
1943 May, German captors took
American POWs Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet
Jr. to view mummified corpses of Polish officers massacred in the
Katyn forest. They used coded messages to report on the Soviet
guilt, but it was suppressed by the Roosevelt administration until a
report in 1952. Documents of their coded messages were made public
1943 Jun 25, Crematory III at
Birkenau, Poland, was finished.
1943 Jul 4, A Liberator II
aircraft carrying Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski, Poland’s prime minister
and chief army commander, crashed into the sea just 16 seconds after
taking off from Gibraltar. In 2008 Poland began an investigation
into the crash.
1943 Jul 11, In Poland the
killing of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists peaked. From
1943-1944 Ukrainian nationalists killed up to 100,000 Poles in Volyn
and eastern Galica, areas then in Poland but now in Ukraine. The
peak of the killings involved Poles being butchered with axes and
1943 Aug 2, In Poland at the
Nazi Treblinka concentration camp some 600 prisoners staged an
uprising and fled into the woods. Some 300 inmates managed to
escape. Only 40 survived. Some 900,000 Jews, chiefly from
Poland, were killed from 1941 to 1944 at Treblinka. In 1999 Ian
MacMillan authored "Village of a Million Spirits: A Novel of the
(SFEC, 8/22/99, BR p.5)(AP, 8/2/18)
1943 Aug 18, Final convoy of
Jews from Salonika, Greece, arrived at Auschwitz.
1943 Sep 29, Lech Walesa,
Polish labor leader who founded the Solidarity party and later
became the president of Poland, was born.
1943 Oct 14, Some 300 of 600
prisoners escaped from the Nazi’s Sobibor death camp in Poland.
Alexander Pechersky, a Russian officer of Jewish origin, roused his
fellow prisoners to rebellion. The event was later documented in the
book "Escape from Sobibor" by Richard Rashke (1982) and the film of
the same name with Alan Arkin. Josef Vallaster, an Austrian guard,
was among 11 SS officers and 11 Ukrainians killed in the escape.
Most of the escaped prisoners were killed as they fled. Only 50
prisoners survived the war. Vallaster had operated the motor that
funneled gas into Sobibor’s shower rooms. After the uprising at
Sobibor, the Nazis shut it down and leveled it to the ground,
replanting over it to cover their tracks.
(SFC, 7/11/03, p.A19)(SSFC, 2/17/08, p.A8)(AP,
1943 Oct 23, The 1st Jewish
transport out of Rome reached Birkenau extermination camp.
1943 Nov 3, In Poland Nazi SS
and police units shot at least 6,000 Jewish inmates of the Trawniki
and Dorohucza Labor Camps in one of the largest single
massacres of the Holocaust.
1943 Nov 3-1943 Nov 4, In
Poland the 2-day "Operation Harvest" at the Majdanek concentration
camp executed men, women and children. Nazi officer Alfons
Goetzfried later admitted to having personally shot 500 people. Over
42,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed in the operation. In 1999
Alfons Goetzfrid (79) was convicted for assisting in the murders of
17,000 Jews at the camp. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
During the so-called "Mission Harvest Festival" massacres tens of
thousands of Jews in the district of Lublin were shot by Nazi
officers. Among them were members of Erich Steidtmann’s Hamburg
Polizeibataillon 101 company. In 2010 prosecutors reopened an
investigation on Steidtmann’s role in the massacre.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A14)(SFC, 5/21/99, p.D2)(AP,
Dec 2, The 1st RSHA (Reichsicherheitshauptamt, the central
SS-department) transport out of Vienna reached Birkenau camp
(Poland). One of the powers of the RSHA was the imposition of
"Protective Custody," which meant the deportation to a concentration
camp without trial or the possibility of appeal for the victims.
1943 Some 35,000 Poles in Lviv,
Ukraine, were massacred by extreme Ukrainian nationalists. Poland
opened investigations around 2001.
(SFC, 6/27/01, p.A12)
1943 Polish lawyer Raphael
Lemkin (1900-1959) coined the word genocide about this time. He
first used the word in print in “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws
of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress"
(1944), and defined it as "the destruction of a nation or an ethnic
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Lemkin)(Econ., 4/18/15, p.10)
1944 Jan 4, Soviet troops
crossed the former Polish border.
1944 Jan 11, Crakow-Plaszow
Concentration Camp was established.
1944 Jan 17, Russia rejected a
Polish proposal to negotiate a boundary dispute.
1944 Mar 7, Emanuel Ringelblum
(b.1900), Jewish historian, died in the Warsaw ghetto. He is known
for his “Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto," “Notes on the Refugees in
Zbąszyn" chronicling the deportation of Jews from the town of
Zbąszyń, and the so-called Ringelblum's Archives of the Warsaw
Ghetto. In 2009 Samuel D. Kassow authored “Who Will Write our
History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto.
1944 Apr 14, 1st Jews
transported from Athens arrived at Auschwitz.
1944 Apr-Jul, Hungarian
authorities facilitated the deportation of some 437,000 Hungarian
Jews to Auschwitz.
(SFC, 6/7/99, p.A9)(Econ, 4/24/04, p.48)
1944 May 16, The 1st of over
180,000 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz.
1944 May 17, Polish poet Felix
Konarski (1907-1991) wrote the song “Red Poppies on Monte Cassino"
on the night before the Allied attack that crushed the German
defense at Monte Cassino. Alfred Schutz (d.1999) composed the music.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trv_4epO6vw)(SFC, 9/23/15, p.A2)
1944 May 18, The Allies in
Italy finally captured Monte Cassino, Europe's oldest Monastic
house, after a four-month struggle that claimed some 20,000 lives.
The Polish 2nd Army corps, at a staggering loss of life, captured
the convent of Monte Cassino.
(HN, 5/18/99)(AP, 5/18/02)(SC, 5/18/02)
1944 May 19, 240 gypsies were
transported to Auschwitz from Westerbork, Neth.
1944 May-1944 Jun, Some 425,000
Jews from Hungary were brought to the Nazi-run Auschwitz
concentration camp in Poland. At least 300,000 were almost
immediately gassed to death. In 2014 German prosecutors charged
Oskar Groening (93) with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for
serving as as SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp during this
(SFC, 9/16/14, p.A2)
1944 May-1944 Oct, About 158
trainloads of victims were brought to the Nazi-run Auschwitz
concentration camp in Poland. In 2013 a German arest warrant accused
Johann Breyer (d.2014 at 89), a resident of Pennsylvania, of 158
counts of accessory to murder, one for each trainload of victims
brought to Auschwitz while he served as a guard there.
(SFC, 7/24/14, p.A8)
1944 Jun 20, Nazis began mass
extermination of Jews at Auschwitz.
1944 Jul 21, Jerzy Bielecki
(23), a German-speaking Catholic Pole arrested as a resistance
fighter, walked in broad daylight down a pathway at Auschwitz,
wearing a stolen SS uniform with his Jewish sweetheart Cyla Cybulska
(1922-2002) by his side. Both managed to escape. They became
separated in 1945 and did not meet again until 1983.
1944 Jul 22, German SS officer
Siegfried Assmuss, commander of a unit of the Ukrainian Self-Defense
Legion, was killed by partisans near Chlaniow, Poland.
1944 Jul 23, A Ukrainian
Self-Defense unit, directed to "liquidate all the residents" of
Chlaniow, Poland, in a reprisal attack for the killing of German SS
officer Siegfried Assmuss, killed 44 people including women and
children. In 2013 Michael Karkoc (94), a retired Minnesota
carpenter, was named as commander of the Nazi SS-led unit in the
1944 Jul 23, Soviet troops took
Lublin, Poland, as the German army retreated.
1944 Aug 1, In Poland a revolt
in Warsaw was organized by the clandestine resistance movement, the
Home Army. An estimated 50,000 young Poles took part in the Warsaw
Rising, which was expected to take only a few days but lasted two
months. The Nazis then razed the city and expelled some 500,000
remaining residents, sending some to the Auschwitz death camp.
German forces killed tens of thousands of civilians in retaliation
for the revolt.
1944 Aug 1-1944 Oct 2, The
Warsaw Uprising was fought. The Polish underground began an uprising
against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches
Warsaw. The revolt lasted two months before collapsing. US Air Force
Groups dropped medicine and food to the Polish freedom fighters
under heavy fire from German fighter planes. The supply planes were
also shot at by Soviet gunners. American dead were buried in the
military cemetery at Poltava, Ukraine. The uprising ended with the
Nazis killing 250,000 people. During the 63-day uprising the
insurgents, largely ill-armed teenagers, organized a postal service
to help city residents get information to relatives. Marek Edelman
(1909-2009) was among the commanders of the uprising and managed to
survive the war.
(Civilization, July-Aug, 1995, p. 23)(AP,
8/1/97)(HN, 8/1/98)(AP, 3/6/08)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.91)
1944 Aug 4, A Halifax JP-276A
took off on its final flight from the Italian city of Brindisi
around 8 p.m., to drop weapons, ammunition and medical supplies for
resistance fighters involved in the Warsaw Uprising against the
Nazis. The plane was shot down by Poland's Nazis occupiers and
crashed near the town of Dabrowa Tarnowska, in southern Poland.
Remnants were recovered in 2006 and the remains of the crew, 5
Canadians and 2 Britons, were formally buried in 2007.
1944 Aug 6, The deportation of
70,000 Jews from Lodz. Poland, to Auschwitz began.
1944 Oct 2, Nazi troops crushed
the 2-month-old (63 days) Warsaw Uprising, during which a
quarter-million people were killed.
1944 Oct 15, Philip Mechanicus,
journalist, was executed in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
1944 Oct 17 Hans Krasa,
Czech-Jewish composer, died at Auschwitz. The opera Brundibar by
Krasa was 1st performed at a Prague orphanage. It had been intended
for a 1938 government competition. It was later performed at the
Terezin concentration camp.
(WSJ, 2/7/03, p.D8)
1944 Oct 30, Anne Frank (of
Diary fame) was deported from Auschwitz to Belsen.
1944 Oct 30, Last transport for
Auschwitz arrived in Birkenau.
1944 Wilhelm "Wilm"
Hosenfeld (1895-1952), a German officer in the Wehrmacht
stationed in Warsaw for most of the war, encountered Wladyslaw
Szpilman (1911-2000), when the musician was looking for somewhere to
hide after the city was razed in the brutal Nazi suppression of the
Warsaw Uprising. Szpilman's experiences became the basis his
autobiography and for Roman Polanski's 2002 film "The Pianist," for
which Polanski won the best director Oscar and Adrien Brody took the
best actor prize for his portrayal of Szpilman. Hosenfeld saved two
Jews from the Nazi Holocaust but he died in obscurity in a Soviet
prison after World War II.
1944 By this year 360,000 of
the 500,000 inmates of the Nazi Majdanek concentration camp in
eastern Poland had perished in the gas chambers or from brutal
treatment by the guards.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A14)
1944 Rudolf Vrba (1925-2006), a
Jew from Czechoslovakia, and Alfred Wetzler, a Hungarian Jewish
leader, escaped from the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. They made
their way to a Czech safe house and dictated a report that became
known as the Auschwitz Protocols, a seminal Holocaust document
containing eyewitness accounts of the atrocities. In 1963 Vrba
published a memoir entitled, "I Cannot Forget," which was eventually
released in six languages.
1945 Jan 13, The Red Army
opened an offensive in South Poland, crashing 25 miles through the
1945 Jan 17, Soviet and Polish
forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
(AP, 1/17/98)(HN, 1/17/99)
1945 Jan 18, The Red Army freed
Krakow from Nazi occupation. [see Jan 19]
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.A12)
1945 Jan 19, The Red Army
captured Lodz, Krakow, and Tarnow.
1945 Jan 27, The Soviet army
arrived at Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland, and found the Nazi
concentration camp and crematorium. It is now believed that 1
million Jews were murdered here, up to 75,000 Polish Christians,
21,000 Gypsies, and 15,000 Soviet POWs.
1945 Jan 30, Nazi SS guards
shot down an estimated 4,000 Jewish prisoners on the Baltic coast at
Palmnicken, Kaliningrad. The town was later renamed by the Russians
to Yantarny. Some 7,000 prisoners had been marched 25 miles from
Koenigsberg to a vacant lock factory at Palmnicken where they were
mowed down with machine guns. The prisoners had been vacated from a
network of 30 camps that made up Poland's Stutthoff concentration
camp. 90% of the Jews were women from Lithuania and Hungary.
(SFC, 1/31/00, p.C1)
1945 Jan, In Poland a Soviet
fighter bomber crashed into the frozen Bzura River. On August 23,
2015, parts of Soviet uniforms, a parachute, a sheepskin coat
collar, parts of boots, a pilot's TT pistol and radio equipment were
found, along with a lot of heavy ammunition, as river levels dropped
to record lows.
1945 Jan, The Red Army drove
the Wehrmacht out of Poland and demolished Danzig (Gdansk) by bomb
(SFEC, 5/24/98, p.T4)
1945 Mar 31, The U.S. and
Britain barred a Soviet supported provisional regime in Warsaw from
entering the U.N. meeting in San Francisco.
1945 Aug 13, 35 Jews sacrificed
their lives to blow up a Nazi rubber plant in Silesia.
1945 Aug 16, The communist
dominated Polish government signed a treaty with the USSR to
formally cede eastern territories, including Galicia.
1945 Adam Zagajewski, poet, was
born in Poland. In 1988 he began teaching at the Univ. of Houston as
well as in Krakow. His books included “A Defense of Ardor," a
collection of essays translated to English in 2004.
(SSFC, 11/28/04, p.E2)
1945 Summer’s end: The
Ukrainian Trophy Brigade occupied the castle of Count von Althmann
in Silesia, Poland. It was packed with Nazi archival records.
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A18)
1945 Wladyslaw Szpilman
published his Warsaw ghetto memoir "The Pianist," right after the
war. An English edition was released in 1999.
1945 The allies settled on the
Oder-Neisse line as the new Western border of Poland. It cut through
the German city of Guben, called Gubin on the Polish side.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.50)
1945 In Poland a monument,
designed by Red Army artists, was put up by Warsaw authorities to
commemorate the joint struggle of Soviet and Polish troops against
Nazi Germany. It also honored some 600,000 Soviet troops who fell in
the struggle in Poland. It was put into storage in 2011 to make room
for a subway. In 2015 Warsaw city councilors voted to keep it in
1945 The German city of Breslau
on the Oder River was turned over to Poland and renamed Wroclaw.
(SFC, 7/14/97, p.A10)
1946 Jun-Sept. 100,000 Jews
left Poland and traveled through Czechoslovakia to displaced persons
camps in Germany. Their story is told in some detail by Bernard
Wasserstein in his: Vanishing Diaspora: The Jews in Europe Since
(WSJ, 3/20/96, p.A-14)
1946 July 4, A postwar pogrom
in Kielce, Poland, left 42 people, mostly Jews, dead and 50 wounded.
Army and security officers took part in the attack that was sparked
by the false story of Walenty Blaszcyk that his son had been
kidnapped by Jews. The event is considered as Europe’s last pogrom.
In 2001 Jan Tomascz Gross authored “Neighbors," the story of the
Kielce Jews, who were herded into a barn that was set alight.
(WSJ, 3/20/96, p.A-14)(SFC,10/17/97, p.D3)(Econ,
1946 Kazimierz Brandys authored
"The Rebellious City," a novel about Warsaw's struggle against the
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.D6)
c1946 After 1945 the Communist
seized nearly $50 billion worth of property left by Polish Jews and
Polish citizens, who had left the country. A 2000 panel voted to
excluded non-citizens from property compensation.
(SFC, 1/800, p.C1)
1947 Jan, The Polish Peasant’s
Party, led by a former member of Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorsky’s
government-in-exile, won the parliamentary elections, despite
violent intimidation. The results were brazenly falsified by the
(Econ, 10/20/12, p.75)
1947 Jerzy Giedroyc (d.2000 at
94), Polish émigré, founded the Kultura literary magazine outside of
Paris. Co-founder Zofia Hertz (d.2003 at 92) continued the magazine.
(SFC, 9/19/00, p.B2)(SSFC, 6/22/03, p.A27)
1947 Poland decreed that
Auschwitz be preserved as a museum and testimony to Nazi atrocities.
(WSJ, 8/14/02, p.A8)
1948 May 25, Witold Pilecki
(b.1901), founder of the Secret Polish Army (1939), was executed in
Warsaw by Communist secret police. In 1940 he had infiltrated
Auschwitz to spy on what was happening there.
1948 Jun, In Rome Father Karol
Jozef Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, completed his thesis “The
Problems of Faith in the Works of St. John of the Cross" and earned
a doctorate in philosophy. In July he returned to Poland as an
assistant pastor at Niegowic.
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.A12)
1948 Oct 23, Israel established
its first diplomatic mission as a new nation at the Bristol Hotel in
central Warsaw, Poland.
1949 Jan 25, Poland joined the
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.
(EWH, 1968, p.1200)
1949 Jun 8, Emmanuel Ax,
pianist (Artur Rubinstein Comp-1974), was born in Lvov, Poland.
1949 Sep 30, Poland denounced
its treaty of friendship with Yugoslavia and confirmed its adherence
to Soviet and Cominform policy.
(EWH, 1968, p.1200)
1949 Oct 22, In Dwor, Poland,
the Danzig-Warsaw express derailed and more than 200 people were
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(AP, 2/18/04)
1949 Nov 7, Soviet Marshal
Konstantin Rokossovsky was appointed minister of defense and
commander-in-chief of he Polish army.
(EWH, 1968, p.1200)
1950 Mar 20, The government of
Poland decided to confiscate the property of Polish church.
1950 The Polish Catholic church
and government signed an accord over relations. The Catholic Church
was dispossessed of its principal charitable organization, Caritas,
including numerous residential facilities and community resources
such as soup kitchens and missions in rail stations.
1951 Sep 8, Jurgen Stroop, Nazi
exterminator of Warsaw Ghetto, was hanged on site of the ghetto.
1951 "A World Apart" by Polish
author Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski was first published in English. It
told of his years in a soviet gulag. He later founded the literary
magazine "Kultura" that was banned in Poland until 1989 and in 1990
wrote "Journal Written at Night."
(WSJ, 6/17/96, p.A12)
1952 Poland adopted a new
(SFC, 5/26/97, p.A10)
1952 Stefan Norblin,
Polish-born artist, committed suicide in the US after going blind.
His wife, former actress Lena Zelichowska, died in 1958. The had
left Poland following the Nazi invasion in 1939 and moved to
Iraq and then to India before arriving to the US in 1946.
(SFC, 10/11/12, p.A8)
1953 Sep 26, Polish government
fired and imprisoned Cardinal Wyszynski.
1953 Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski
(d.2000 at age 81) authored "A World Apart," an account of his
experiences in a Soviet labor camp from 1940-1942.
(SFC, 7/6/00, p.C3)
1953 Czeslaw Milosz, émigré
Polish poet, published “The Captive Mind," in which he unpicked the
mangling effects of communist thought.
(Econ, 8/1/09, p.76)
1953 The Polish government,
under pressure from the Soviet Union, renounced any claim to
reparations from East Germany.
(Econ, 8/19/17, p.44)
1953 In Poland Brig. Gen.
August Emil Fieldorf, a top clandestine Home Army commander who once
served as emissary to the country's government-in-exile, was accused
of ordering killings of Soviet soldiers and hanged. Poland's
communist authorities later admitted the charges were fabricated.
1953 A group of 1,200 North
Korean orphans arrived at the small, forested village of Plakowice,
where they lived in a former hospital building for six years under
the care of Polish teachers. In 2018 the documentary film "The
Children Gone to Poland" premiered at the Busan International Film
Festival in South Korea.
1954 Nov 15, Aleksander
Kwasniewski was born in Bialogard. He served as the President of
Poland from 1995 to 2005.
1954 Kazimierz Brandys authored
"The Citizens," a novel about Polish intelligentsia embracing the
new Communist system.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.D6)
1954 The Polish film "The Loop"
was directed by Wojciech Has.
(SFC, 10/4/00, p.B2)
1955 May 14, Representatives
from eight Communist bloc countries: Soviet Union, Albania,
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland &
Romania, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. Andras Hegedues signed
(AP, 5/14/97)(SFC, 10/26/99, p.B4)(MC, 5/14/02)
1955 Jun 29, The Soviet Union
sent tanks to Pozan, Poland, to put down anti-Communist
1956 Apr 6, Polish communist
Gomulka was freed from prison.
1957 Kazimierz Brandys authored
"Mother of Kings," a novel about the dishonesty and dangers of
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.D6)
1957 The Polish novel
"Kolumbowie" (Columbuses) by writer Roman Bratny was inspired by the
heroics of WWII resistance fighter Stanislaw Likiernik (1923-2018).
A TV series and film with the same title soon followed.
1957 The film "Kanal" was made
by Andrzej Wajda.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, DB p.52)
1958 Nov 27, Artur Rodzinski
(66), Polish conductor and composer, died.
1958 The film "Ashes and
Diamonds" was made by Andrzej Wajda.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, DB p.52)
1958 Roman Polanski shot his
student film "Two men and a Wardrobe."
(WSJ, 10/29/03, p.D10)
1959 Aug 28, Raphael Lemkin
(b.1900), a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent, died in NYC. In 1943 he
coined the word genocide and first used the word in print in “Axis
Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government
- Proposals for Redress" (1944).
1959 The Polish film "Shared
Room" was directed by Wojciech Has.
(SFC, 10/4/00, p.B2)
1960 Naftali Herts Kon (b.1910)
was imprisoned in Warsaw on fabricated charges of spying for Israel.
He had just completed a report from Romania on the persecution of
political opponents and Jews. Kon had spent the years between 1949
and 1956 at Soviet labor camps among other persecuted intellectuals.
He died in Israel in 1971, never having recovered from the loss of
1961 The Polish film "Knife in
the Water" was the debut work by Roman Polanski.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.E3)
1961 Polish defector Michael
Goleniewski exposed British agent George Blake (b.1922) as a spy for
Russia. He was convicted on spying charges in Britain and sentenced
to 42 years in prison. In October 1966, he made a dashing escape
with help from several people he met while in custody and settled in
Russia. He said he volunteered to work for the Soviet Union after
witnessing relentless US bombing of North Korea.
1962 Jun, Supersam, Poland’s
first large self-service food store, opened in Warsaw. The structure
was designed by a team led by Jerzy Hryniewiecki. The hanging roof
was designed by Waclaw Zalewski. In 1991 a management team won
control over the store. In 2006 wrecking crews were halted as
enthusiasts called for its preservation as a historical site.
(WSJ, 10/4/06, p.D13)
1964 The Polish film "The
Saragosso Manuscript" starred Zbigniev Cybulski (d.1967 at 39) and
was directed by Wojciech Has (d.2000 at 75). It was based on the
novel "The Manuscript," found in Saragosso and written by Jan
Potocki, a Polish expatriate.
(SFEM, 8/1/99, p.2)(SFC, 8/5/99, p.B1,5)(SFC,
1965 Aug 19, Auschwitz trials
ended with only 6 life sentences.
1967 May 29, Pope Paul VI named
27 new cardinals, including Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow, who
later became Pope John Paul II.
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.A13)
1968 Mar 8, Some 1500 students
demonstrated in Warsaw following a government ban on the performance
of a play by Adam Mickiewicz, (Dziady), written in 1824). Within
four days, protests spread to Krakow, Lublin, Gliwice, Wroclaw,
Gdansk, Poznan, and Lodz.
1968 Mar, In Poland some 4,000
students marched through Warsaw yelling: "Down with the
1968 Aug 3, The Bratislava
statement conceded Czechoslovakia’s right to pursue its own path.
The conference was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, for representatives
of the communist and workers' parties of the People's Republic of
Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic
Republic, the Polish People's Republic, the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
1968 Aug 20, Some 650,000
Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact troops began invading
Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive of
Alexander Dubcek's regime.
(AP, 8/20/97)(MC, 8/20/02)
1968 Sep 8, In Poland Ryszard
Siwiec (b.1909), accountant, teacher and anti-communist protester,
self immolated in front of some 10,000 spectators during the
national harvest festival at the Dziesieciolecia football stadium.
He died 4 days later at a hospital.
1968 The Polish film
"Everything for Sale" was directed by Andrzej Wajda.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.44)
1968 The Polish film "The Doll"
was directed by Wojciech Has.
(SFC, 10/4/00, p.B2)
1968 In Poland some 13,000 Jews
were forced to leave the country following mass anti-communist
protests in March. Students defending a banned anti-totalitarian
play initiated the protests, which the ruling communist factions
used in their infighting that climaxed in the purge of Jews.
1968 In Poland Gen. Jaruzelski
was appointed defense minister, benefiting from a purge of Jewish
(Econ, 6/14/14, p.86)
1970 Dec 7, Poland and West
Germany signed a pact renouncing use of force to settle disputes,
recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland's western frontier, and
acknowledging transfer to Poland of 40,000 square miles of former
1970 Dec 13, Gen. Jaruzelski
imposed martial law.
(SFC, 5/16/01, p.D3)
1970 Dec 17, Riot police under
orders from defense minister Gen'l. Wojciech Jaruzelski opened fire
on workers protesting food price increases and 44 people were killed
in Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, and Elblag. A case against Jaruzelski
was opened in 1996 and in 1999 a court ruled that medical reasons
would not exempt him from trial. The Jaruzelski trial began in 2001.
(SFC, 8/28/99, p.A14)(SFC, 5/16/01, p.D3)
1970 Dec 18, In Poland rioting
continued. Troops and tanks patrolled Polish streets. 20 people were
killed in the riots as they protested increased. food prices.
1970 Jerzy Grotowsky (d.1999 at
65), theater director, published "Towards a Poor Theater."
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.A18)
1970-1976 In Poland a government informant known
as Bolek operated during this period. In 2008 two historians alleged
that Lech Walesa was Bolek. Walesa denied the allegations. In 2016
the head of Poland's history institute said Lech Walesa, founder of
the Solidarity freedom movement, was a paid informant for the
communist-era secret security service during this period.
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.58)(AP,
1973 Mar 5, Paul Kletzki
(b.1900), Polish violinist, composer, conductor, died.
1973 Aug 7, Hermine
Braunsteiner Ryan (1919-1999) became the first Nazi war criminal
extradited from the United States to Germany. A US judge had
certified her extradition to the Secretary of State on May 1, 1973.
She became the first Nazi war criminal to be extradited from
the US. The NY Times had exposed the local housewife in 1964 as a
former guard at the Nazi Majdanek death camp in Poland.
(SSFC, 4/4/10, Par.
1973 The Polish film "The
Hourglass Sanatorium" was directed by Wojciech Has and won top prize
(SFC, 10/4/00, p.B2)
1973 In Poland scientists
gathered to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Copernicus. Cambridge
physicist Brandon Carter gave a lecture and coined the phrase
"anthropomorphic principle" to describe to describe the idea of an
intelligent guide at work in the evolution of humans. This is one
item used by Patrick Glynn in his 1997 book: "God: The Evidence" to
support the idea of god with scientific evidence.
(WSJ, 12/23/97, p.A12)
1974 May 18, World's tallest
structure, a 646-m Polish radio mast, was completed. It fell down
1974 In Poland an explosion
killed 34 miners at the Czechowice-Dziedzice in Silesia. This was
the country’s worst mining accident to date.
1974 The Polish film "Land of
Promise" was directed by Andrzej Wajda.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.E3)
1975 Jul 29, President Ford
became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi
concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland as he paid tribute to the
1976 Jul 4,
Antoni Slonimski, Polish poet, translator, and newspaper columnist
best known for his devotion to pacifism and social justice, died in
1976 In Poland Jacek Kuron
(1934-2004) led a mobilization of the Committee to Assist Workers
(KOR) to support striking workers. In 1977 it was reorganized into
the Committee for Social Self-defense (KOR).
(http://tinyurl.com/z9u3yhd)(SFC, 6/19/04, p.B6)
1977 Polish poet Stanislaw
Baranczak (1946-2014) co-founded the Workers' Defense Committee
(KOR), following a brutal communist crackdown on protesting workers.
For his activity he was fired from his job at the Adam Mickiewicz
University in his native Poznan and his writings were barred from
print in Poland. In 1981 he got a three-year contract as lecturer at
Harvard but stayed on.
1978 Jul 5, A Soviet Soyuz
spacecraft touched down safely in Soviet Kazakhstan with its
two-member crew, including the first Polish space traveler -- Major
1978 Oct 16, The College of
Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Wojtyla (58),
Archbishop of Cracow, to become Pope. He took the name John Paul II.
The first non-Italian since Adrian VI of Utrecht died in 1523.
(AP, 10/16/97)(HN, 10/16/98)
1978 Poland’s Wieliczka Salt
Mine, founded in the 12th century, was placed on the original list
of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Commercial mining operations ended
in 1996, but the mine continued to operate as a tourist attraction
due to the underground cathedral left behind by generations of
1979 Jun 2, Pope John Paul II,
formerly Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Warsaw, arrived in his native
Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country. The Pope
celebrated a Mass at the Birkenau death camp during his visit.
(SFC, 11/20/96, p.C1)(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D1)(AP,
6/2/97)(SFC, 5/29/99, p.A14)
1979 Oct 10, In Poland an
explosion killed 34 miners at the Dymitrow mine in Bytom. This
matched Poland’s worst mining accident in 1974.
1979 Ivor Norman Richard Davies
(b.1939), a British-Polish Historian, authored “God’s Playground: A
History of Poland, Vol 1. The Origins to 1795."
1980 Aug 14, Some 17,000 Polish
workers, led by Lech Walesa, began a 17-day strike at the Lenin
Shipyards in Gdansk. This resulted in the creation of the Solidarity
(TMC, 1994, p.1980)(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A12)(AP,
1980 Aug 19, In Poland 65
people were killed when a freight train collided with a passenger
train near Otloczyn. An additional two died later.
1980 Aug 31, Poland's
Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in
Gdansk that ended a 17-day strike. The Communist government signed
an agreement with the Strike Coordination Committee in Gdansk,
Poland, to allow legal organization, but not actual free trade
1980 Sep 22, Solidarity
formally was founded, when delegates of 36 regional trade unions met
in Gdansk, Poland, and united under the name Solidarnosc.
1980 Nov 22, Eighteen Communist
Party secretaries in 49 provinces were ousted in Poland. Edward
Gierek (d.2001 at 88), Communist boss, was among the ousted.
(HN, 11/22/98)(WSJ, 7/30/01, p.A1)
1980 Dec 14, After four days of
meetings, members of NATO warned the Soviets to stay out of the
internal affairs of Poland, saying that intervention would
effectively destroy the detente between East and West.
1980 Dec 14, A separate
agricultural union composed of private farmers, named Rural
Solidarity (Wiejska Solidarnosc), was founded in Warsaw.
1980 Zbigniev Rybczynski
created his experimental film "Tango," about a series of people in a
crowded apartment oblivious to each other's presence. It won an
Academy Award in 1983.
(WSJ, 10/29/03, p.D10)
1981 Jan 31, Lech Walesa
announced an accord in Poland, giving labor Saturdays off.
1981 Oct 18, In Poland General
Jaruzelski (b.1923) was elected party leader. He led the country to
(www.historyguide.org/europe/jaruzelski.html)(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)
1981 Nov, Col. Ryszard
Kuklinski fled Poland to the US. He had served as a US CIA spy and
reported on activities from 1972-1981. He passed some 35,000 pages
of classified Warsaw pack documents. In 2004 Benjamin Weiser
authored "A Secret Life," an account of Kuklinski's life as a spy.
(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 2/3/04, p.A8)
1981 Dec 12-1982 Dec 31, In
Poland Gen’l. Jaruzelski imposed martial law, effective at midnight,
restricting civil rights and suspending operation of the independent
trade union Solidarity in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor
movement. Polish labor leader Lech Walesa was arrested. Martial law
formally ended in 1983. Women kept the organization going as most
male leaders were arrested. In 2005 Shana Penn authored
“Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland.
1981 Dec 16, In Poland riot
police opened fire on protesting miners in Katowice. Nine were
killed 25 wounded. A 4 year trial acquitted 22 riot police in 1997.
In 2008 a court upheld the conviction of 14 policemen involved in
(SFC,11/22/97, p.C2)(Econ, 6/28/08, p.58)
1981 Dec 22, Zdzislaw Rurarz
(1930-2007), Polish ambassador to Japan, defected to the US to
protest the imposition of martial law. Romuald Spasowski, the
ambassador to the United States, also defected.
1981 Dec 29, President Reagan
curtailed Soviet trade in reprisal for its harsh policy in Poland.
1981 The film “Image Before My
Eyes" was directed by Joshua Waletzky. It was based on the book by
Dr. Lucjan Dobroszycki. The documentary takes a broad look at the
vibrant Jewish community in Poland between the two World Wars.
1981 The film "Man of Iron" was
made by Andrzej Wajda and won the Golden Palm award at Cannes. It
was a sequel to "Man of Marble" and was about the disillusionment of
a father and son under the Communist system.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, DB p.53)
1981 Kazimierz Brandys, author,
went into self-imposed exile in Paris following the crackdown on
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.D6)
1981 Jozef Glemp, a lawyer by
education, was appointed primate of Poland's Roman Catholic church.
1982 Jan 22, President Reagan
formally linked progress in arms control to Soviet repression in
1982 Oct 8, All labor
organizations in Poland, including Solidarity, were banned.
1982 Oct 10, Pope John Paul II
canonized Rev. M. Kolbe (1894-1941), a Polish Franciscan friar. The
controversial racist priest had volunteered to die in place of
another inmate at Auschwitz concentration camp.
1982 Oct 10, US imposed
sanctions against Poland for banning Solidarity trade union.
1982 Nov 11, Solidarity leader
Lech Walesa (b.1943) was let out of jail in Poland.
1982 Dec 31, In Poland Martial
Law was suspended. It was terminated on July 22, 1983.
1982 Andrzej Wajda co-produced
the Polish film "Interrogation." It was written by Krzysztof
Kieslowski and Janusz Dymek and directed by Ryszard Bugajski. The
film was officially released in 1989.
(Econ, 11/12/16, p.18)
1983 May 14, In Warsaw, Poland,
Grzegorz Przemyk (19), student and son of Solidarity Grzegorz
activist Barbara Sadowska, died from internal injurious while
in police custody.
1983 Jun 16, Pope John Paul II
1983 Jul 22, Polish government
ended 19 months of martial law. Some 100 government opponents lost
their lives in the 1½ year crackdown.
1983 Oct 5, Lech Walesa, Polish
Solidarity founder, was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
(SFC, 10/12/96, p.A13)(AP, 10/5/08)
1983 James Michener wrote his
1984 Oct 19, Jerzy Popieluszko,
Polish priest and dissident, was kidnapped by three secret police
officers after celebrating his last mass in Bydgoszcz, central
Poland. The priest was tortured to death before his body was thrown
into the Vistula river, 120 km. north of Warsaw [see Oct 30, Dec
27]. Popieluszko was beatified in 2010.
1984 Oct 30, Police in Poland
found the body of kidnapped pro-Solidarity priest Father Jerzy
Popieluszko, whose death was blamed on four security officers.
1984 Dec 27, Four Polish
officers were tried for the slaying of Reverend Jerzy Popieluszko.
[see Oct 19]
1985 Feb 13, Polish police
arrested 7 Solidarity leaders.
1987 Feb 19, US Pres. Reagan
lifted remaining economic sanctions against Poland.
1987 May 9, All 183 people
aboard a Polish jetliner were killed when the plane, bound for New
York, crashed and burned in Warsaw after the pilot attempted an
1988 Aug 23, Some striking
workers in Poland ended a walkout that had begun a week earlier, but
125 miners barricaded themselves in an underground shaft, vowing to
stay until they'd won their demands.
1988 The 10-part, 10-hour TV
series Decalogue by Krzystof Kieslowski described everyday events in
and around a Warsaw apartment complex.
(SFC, 4/23/99, p.C13)
1988 In Poland Mariusz T. raped
and killed four boys in Piotrkow Trybunalski. His death sentence was
commuted to 25 years under an amnesty announced when Poland shed
communism in 1989. His release in 2014 caused a national uproar.
1989 Feb 6, Lech Walesa began
negotiating with Polish government.
1989 Apr 5, The government of
Poland signed an agreement restoring the independent labor movement
Solidarity after a seven-year ban.
1989 Apr 17, Solidarity in
Poland was legalized.
(HFA, '96, p.28)
1989 Apr, The newspaper Gazeta
Wyborcza was created as part of a deal between the Solidarity
movement and Communists for free parliamentary elections. In 1999
Gazeta began an IPO that valued its parent company, Agora SA, at
(WSJ, 3/3/99, p.A16)
1989 Jun 4, Poland held Eastern
Europe's 1st somewhat free election in 40 years. The 2-part election
(June 4 and 19) resulted in a land-slide victory of the opposition
organized in the Citizens' Committee, which won all 161 seats
available to it in the Sejm, and 99 out of 100 seats in the senate.
1989 Jun 30, General Wojciech
Jaruzelski announced he would not run for Poland's new presidency,
saying the people viewed him as the man who imposed martial law.
1989 Jul 9, President Bush
began a visit to Poland.
1989 Jul 29, Poland's newly
elected president, Wojciech Jaruzelski, resigned as Communist Party
general secretary and was succeeded by Mieczyslaw Rakowski
(1927-2008). Rakowski, a historian and journalist, remained chairman
of the communist Polish United Workers' Party until the party was
dissolved at its January 1990 congress during the country's
bloodless transition to democracy.
(AP, 7/29/99)(AP, 11/8/08)
1989 Aug 10, Poland's Roman
Catholic church suspended an agreement to move nuns from a convent
on the edge of Auschwitz, blaming Jewish groups for creating what it
called an "atmosphere of aggressive demands."
1989 Aug 11, Poland's
Solidarity-dominated Senate adopted a resolution expressing sorrow
for the nation's participation in the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of
1989 Aug 19, Polish President
Wojciech Jaruzelski formally nominated Tadeusz Mazowiecki to become
Poland's first non-Communist prime minister in four decades.
1989 Aug 24, Poland appointed
Tadeusz Mazowiecki prime minister, becoming the first country in the
Soviet bloc to name a non-communist prime minister since the late
1940s. Krzysztof Skubiszewski (d.2010 at 83) became foreign minister
under PM Mazowiecki. Skubiszewski served under three more prime
ministers before leaving the job in 1993.
(Reuters, 8/24/01)(AP, 2/8/10)
1989 Sep 19, The trade and
commercial and economic cooperation agreement between the Community
and Poland signed in Warsaw, Poland.
1989 Nov 13, Polish labor
leader Lech Walesa received the Medal of Freedom from President Bush
during a White House ceremony.
1990 Apr 13, The Soviet Union
accepted responsibility for the World War II murders of thousands of
imprisoned Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, a massacre the
Soviets had previously blamed on the Nazis.
1990 Jul 17, The seven nations
negotiating German unification reached agreement in Paris on
Poland’s permanent border, clearing the way for the merger of East
and West Germany.
1990 Aug 20, In Poland 16
people were killed in a collision involving two trains in the Warsaw
suburb of Ursus.
1990 Nov 4, Douglas Wakiihuri
of Kenya and Wanda Panfil of Poland won the New York City Marathon.
1990 Nov 25, Poland held its
first popular presidential election. Solidarity founder Lech Walesa,
who received a plurality of votes, won a runoff the following month.
1990 Dec 9, Lech Walesa,
founder of Solidarity, was elected president of Poland in a runoff
by a landslide.
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A12)(HN, 12/999)(AP, 12/9/00)
1990 Dec 22, Lech Walesa took
the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.
Ryszard Kaczorowski (1919-2010), the last president of
Poland’s government in exile in London, ended his 2-year term. He
passed the presidential insignia to Lech Walesa, thus ending the
45-years long episode of the Polish government in exile.
1991 Feb 15, In Visegrad,
Hungary, a declaration of co-operation was signed by Poland,
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The 4 became known as the
1991 Mar 20, Pres. Bush
announced the US would reduce Poland’s indebtedness by a full 70%.
The Paris Club, an informal grouping of the world's 17 leading
industrial countries, announced a week earlier that it would halve
Poland's enormous debt and reduce accumulated interest by 80
percent. The US portion of the forgiven debt was approximately $2.4
1991 Apr 1, The Warsaw Pact was
1991 Aug 8, The 2,120-foot
8-inch Radio One tower in Poland fell down.
1991 Dec 16, "Europe
Agreements" are signed with Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
1991 Tough environmental laws
were laid down and set to take effect in 1997.
(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.B-3A)
1991 Agnieszka Kotlarska became
Miss Poland. She was murdered in 1996.
(SFC, 8/29/96, p.A14)
1992 Mar 5, In Copenhagen the
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany,
Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden, in the
presence of the representative from the European Commission, opened
a 2-day meeting and decided to establish a Council of the Baltic Sea
States to serve as a forum for guidance and overall coordination
among the participating states. Iceland joined the CBSS in 1995
1992 Jun 29, The remains of
Polish statesman Ignace Jan Paderewski, interred for five decades in
the United States, were returned to his homeland in keeping with his
wish to be buried only in a free Poland.
1992 Jul 5, Leaders of the
world's seven richest nations gathered in Munich, Germany, for their
18th annual economic summit. President Bush, en route to the summit,
told cheering Poles in Warsaw that "America shares Poland's dream."
1992 The Polish left-wing
populist party Samoobrona (Self-defense) was founded as a small
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.47)
1993 Jul 19, Szymon Goldberg
(84), Polish-born violinist, conductor, died in Japan. He became a
US citizen in 1953 and two years later founded the Netherlands
1993 Sep 19, Polish voters
turned left in parliamentary elections, giving the most number of
seats to the Democratic Left Alliance.
1994 Mar 18, Lithuania
and Poland signed an agreement in Warsaw on friendship and
1994 Jul 7, President Clinton,
visiting Poland, assured the parliament that the U.S. would "not let
the Iron Curtain be replaced by a veil of indifference."
1994 The film "Red" by Polish
director Krzysztof Kieslowski was inspired by the poem Love At First
Sight by Wislawa Szymborska. It was the 3rd in his trilogy that
included "Blue" and "White."
(SFC, 10/4/96, p.A17)(SFEC, 1/9/00, BR p.2)
1995 Mar 1, Jozef Oleksy
succeeded Waldemar Pawlak as premier of Poland.
1995 Nov 19, Former Communist
Alexander Kwasniewski won the presidency by a narrow margin over
Pres. Walesa with 51.7% of the vote.
(WSJ, 11/7/95, p.A-1)(WSJ, 11/21/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec, The European
Investment Bank signed a loan for $127.4 to provide financing for
small and midsize Polish firms.
(WSJ, 12/11/95, p.B3B)
1995 Ryszard Kapyscinski
(b.1932), Polish journalist, authored “Imperium," a book about the
crumbling Soviet empire.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.60)
1995 The Violin Concerto No. 2
by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki was written for the German
violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and premiered in Leipzig with the
Central German Radio orchestra.
(SFC, 11/9/96, p.E1)
1996 Jan. Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy was charged with providing state secrets to a foreign power
and consorting with Soviet and Russian spies.
(WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-12)
1996 Jan 25, The Prime
(WSJ, 1/25/96, A-1)
1996 Jan 31, Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz was named as candidate for prime minister.
(WSJ, 2/1/96, p.A-1)
1996 Apr 12, Poland’s
government agreed to grant pensions to former presidents Lech
Walesa, Wojciech Jaruzelski, and the last pre-Communist pres.
Ryszard Kaszorowski. The net pension will be about $1600 a month.
Legislators later approved $800 per month.
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-9)(WSJ, 5/31/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in Poland was $1.44.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Jul 20, At the Atlanta
Olympics, Renata Mauer of Poland won the Games' first gold, in the
10-meter air rifle.
1996 Aug 28, Agnieszka
Kotlarska, fashion model, was knifed and killed by a thief outside
(SFC, 8/29/96, p.A14)
1996 Sep, Michael Jackson, pop
singer, played the Warsaw leg of his "HIStory" tour.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.A18)
1996 Oct 6, At the Tokyo Int’l.
film festival a special jury prize went to the Polish film "In Full
Gallop" by Krzysztof Zanussi.
(SFEC, 10/7/96, D3)
1996 Oct 24, Polish lawmakers
relaxed the controversial abortion law and allowed women to
terminate pregnancies until the 12th week for financial or emotional
reasons. The law was signed on Nov 20.
(SFC, 10/25/96, p.A15)(SFC, 11/21/96, p.C6)
1996 Nov 11, Poland’s return to
independence after WW I was celebrated and hundreds of skinheads and
right-wing activists staged demonstrations against Jews and
(SFC, 11/13/96, p.C2)
1997 Jan 1, Tough environmental
laws that were set in 1991 were scheduled to take effect.
(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.B-3A)
1997 May 5, In Poland 12 people
were killed in a train crash in Reptowo.
1997 May 13, The pension crises
in Poland was described. One-fifth of the GDP was being used for
pensions and the state social security office, ZUS, was feared to be
facing bankruptcy without quick reforms.
(SFC, 5/13/97, p.A13)
1997 May 25, Poland adopted a
new constitution to replace the 1952 communist-era charter. It was
committed a market economy, private ownership, personal freedoms and
civilian control of the military.
(SFC, 5/26/97, p.A10)
1997 May 28, A Constitutional
Tribunal struck down the new abortion law. Parliament was given 6
months consider the ruling.
(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A12)
1997 May, Michael Jackson, pop
star, returned to Poland and signed a letter of intent to build a
$500 million World of Childhood amusement park under the direction
of US entrepreneur Jacques Tourel.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.A18)
1997 Jun 10, Pope John Paul II
bade farewell to his native Poland as he ended an 11-day pilgrimage.
1997 Jul 8, NATO issued formal
invitations to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
(SFC, 7/9/97, p.A1)
1997 Jul 10, Torrential rains
in Poland and the Czech Republic killed at least 39 people and
forced thousands from their homes.
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A11)
1997 Jul 13, In Poland floods
threatened the isle of Ostrow Tumski on the Oder River in the heart
of Wroclaw, whose buildings date back to the 13th century. A
100-year flood swept through the Sudety Mountains.
(SFC, 7/14/97, p.A15)(SFEC, 8/2/98, p.T8)
1997 Sep 21, Election results
indicated that Solidarity won 189 of the 460 seats of the parliament
with about 34% of the vote.
(WSJ, 9/23/97, p.A1)
1997 Sep, Col. Ryszard
Kuklinski was cleared of spy charges after a military court ruled
that he acted in Poland’s best interests. He had served as a US CIA
spy and reported on activities from 1972-1981. He passed some 35,000
pages of classified Warsaw pack documents.
(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A10)
1997 Oct 31, Jerzy Buzek (57),
a chemical engineering professor, became PM of Poland and served
until Oct 19, 2001.
1997 Dec 3, Cardinal Jozef
Glemp chastised Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk for his daily broadcasts of hate
and rage mingled with prayer sessions. Rydzyk began broadcasting
over Radio Maryja in 1991 and has become the 4th most popular
station in Poland with 5 million listeners, mostly among older,
religious observant women.
1997 Krzystof Kieslowski, film
director, died. In 2000 Annette Insdorf authored "Double Lives
Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzystof Kieslowski."
(SFEC, 1/9/00, BR p.2)
1998 Mar 21, Maciej
Slomczynski, translator, died at age 77. He made Polish translation
of Shakespeare’s complete works, Joyce’s "Ulysses" and works by
Faulkner, Swift and Milton.
(SFC, 3/24/98, p.B2)
1998 Apr 3, Some 15,000 leftist
trade unionists protested for reforms in Warsaw. Prime Minister
Jerzy Buzek recently proposed to merge Poland’s 49 provinces into 12
(SFC, 4/4/98, p.A16)
1998 Apr 27, Col. Ryszard
Kuklinski returned to Poland from the US. He had served as a US CIA
spy and reported on activities from 1972-1981. He was cleared of
charges in 1997.
(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A10)
1998 Jun 25, Marek Papala (38),
former national police chief, was killed in Warsaw as he stepped out
of his car outside his home. He was scheduled to be liaison officer
to the EU with efforts directed at organized crime. Some 300-400
organized gangs were operating in Poland. Polish officials accused
Edward Mazur, who holds Polish and US citizenship, of enticing
another man to shoot Papala for $40,000. Mazur faced murder charges
in Poland in the shooting death of Papala. In 2006 Mazur remained in
the US federal government's Metropolitan Correctional Center in
Chicago pending an extradition hearing.
(SFC, 6/27/98, p.A14)(AP, 11/28/06)
1998 Jul 22, Flash floods
caused heavy damage along the Duszniki River.
(SFEC, 8/2/98, p.T8)
1998 Jul 28, Zbigniev Herbert
(b.1924), poet and essayist, died at age 73 in Warsaw. He insisted
that civilization depended on artists’ staking out clear moral
positions resistant to the winds of history and ideology. In
1999 John and Bogdana Carpenter translated "Elegy for the Departure
and Other Poems," and "The King of the Ants: Mythological Essays."
(SFC, 7/30/98, p.B2)(SFEC, 3/28/99, BR p.8)
1998 Summer, Authorities closed
a bridge for repair at Gora Kalwaria and created a traffic jam that
spread across the country. There were only 160 miles of highway in
all of Poland.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998 Nov 23, An Arctic cold
wave was reported to have killed 71 people across Europe over the
last 3 days. 36 deaths were in Poland and 24 in Romania and
(SFC, 11/24/98, p.A14)
1998 Nov 25, In Poland the cold
weather left another 8 people dead, mostly middle-aged drinkers who
(SFC, 11/26/98, p.B5)
1998 Dec 18, In Poland Pres.
Kwasniewski signed a bill that would allow victims of communist-era
repression to see their secret police files.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998 A "vetting law’ was passed
that required politicians to file declarations of whether they ever
cooperated with the secret police.
(SFC, 8/12/00, p.A10)
1999 Mar 12, Poland, Hungary
and the Czech Republic formally joined NATO in a ceremony at
Independence, Mo., where Pres. Truman announced in 1949 the
formation of the Atlantic alliance for defense against the Soviet
(SFC, 3/11/99, p.C14)
1999 Apr 10, Poland welcomed
the first of several thousand ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, p.A30)
1999 May 10, Pres. Kwasniewski
signed a bill authorizing the removal of crosses erected by
Catholics near the site of Auschwitz.
(WSJ, 5/11/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 4, Pope John Paul II
traveled to Poland, the first stop on a 13-day visit to 20 cities.
This was his 8th visit to Poland.
(WSJ, 6/4/99, p.A1)
1999 Aug 6, The 5th free
Station Woodstock rock festival was held in Zary with an estimated
200,000 people in attendance.
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.A22)
1999 The Polish film "Battu's
Bioscope" was by Andrzej Fidyk. It was a documentary about a Bengali
showman bringing films to rural villagers, while longing for his
(SFEC, 4/11/99, DB p.36)
1999 The Polish film "Mr.
Tadeusz" was directed by Andrzej Wajda. It was based on the Romantic
verse novel by Adam Mickiewicz.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.E3)
1999 The Polish film "With Fire
and Sword" was directed by Jerzy Hoffman. It was based on a novel
set during the 17th century war between Poland and the Ukraine.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.E3)
1999 Poland set up a two-tier
pension system. Workers made mandatory contributions into a state
system (ZUS) and into funds run by private fund managers (OFES).
(Econ, 9/21/13, p.80)
1999 Agora SA, the parent
company of Gazeta Wyborcza, went public. Its 1600 employees received
shares at one zloty each (23 cents). The Gazeta IPO valued its
parent company, Agora SA, at $521 million.
(WSJ, 3/3/99, p.A16)(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A1)
2000 Jan 20, Poland expelled 9
Russian diplomats under allegations of spying.
(WSJ, 1/21/00, p.A1)
2000 Mar 11, Kazimierz Brandys,
émigré Polish author, died in Paris at age 83.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.D6)
2000 Apr 12, the Polish Central
Bank allowed the zloty to float.
(WSJ, 4/12/00, p.A18)
2000 May 28, In Poland the
Freedom Union Party voted to resign from the coalition government of
Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.
(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A10)
2000 Jun 25, In Warsaw a 3-day
world Forum on Democracy was sponsored by the NY-based Freedom House
and the Warsaw-based Stefan Batory Foundation.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.A9)
2000 Jun 26, In Warsaw a 2-day
ministerial-level conference, "Toward a Community of Democracies,"
was the 1st of a planned biannual series.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.A9)
2000 Jun 27, In Poland 107
participants joined to endorse a declaration of the "community of
democracies." France alone excluded itself.
(SFC, 6/28/00, p.B10)
2000 Sep 15, Truckers across
Europe blocked highways to protest high fuel costs. Protests hit
Spain, Germany, Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic.
(SFC, 9/16/00, p.A10)
2000 Oct 8, In Poland Pres.
Aleksander Kwasniewski won a second five-year term in national
elections with 55% of the vote.
(SFC, 10/9/00, p.A10)(AP, 10/8/01)
2000 Dec 10, Fishermen dragged
the corpse of Dariusz Janiszewski, stripped to a shirt and
underwear, from the muddy banks of the Oder River in southwestern
Poland. His body showed signs of starvation and torture. In 2007 a
court ruled that author Krystian Bala planned and directed the
grisly killing, but said there was insufficient evidence to convict
him of carrying out the murder himself. He was sentenced to 25 years
in prison. Bala's 2003 novel, "Amok," an alcohol- and sex-fueled
tale was narrated by a man named Chris, who stabs a woman after
binding her hands behind her back and then running the rope to a
noose around her neck.
2000 A new Motorola plant for
chip production and software development was to be built. The
investment was valued at $110 mil by 2001. The software center was
to be established with Krakow’s Jagiellonian Univ. and was expected
to employ 500 engineers and scientists within a few years.
(WSJ, 3/30/98, p.A12)
2001 May 17, The 2 defense
attorneys in the trial of Gen. Jaruzelski quit.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 Jul 10, In Jedwabne Pres.
Kwasniewski apologized for a wartime massacre of Jews.
(SFC, 7/11/01, p.A7)
2001 Jul 29, Edward Gierek, the
Polish communist ruler who pushed for reform during the 1970s but
was forced from power in 1980 over mounting debt and strikes, died
2001 Sep 23, Elections were
held in Poland and the Democratic Left Alliance, composed of former
Communists, won with 41% of the popular vote. Leszek Miller became
the new PM.
(SFC, 9/24/01, p.B1)(Econ, 2/19/05, p.49)
2001 Sep 23, Henryk Tomaszewski
(81), theater artist, died. His dreamlike, wordless presentations
influenced some American avant-garde artists.
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.C6)
2001 Nov 4, It was reported
that both Poland and the Czech Republic would send military forces
to assist the US in Afghanistan.
(WSJ, 11/5/01, p.A17)
2001 Nov 6, Pres. Bush met with
France’s Pres. Chirac and addressed an anti-terrorism meeting in
Poland via satellite.
(SFC, 11/7/01, p.A1)
2001 Parliament approved a law
to compensate Polish citizens whose property was seized under
Communist rule from 1944-1962, but only for those who retained
Polish citizenship on Dec 31, 1999.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A18)(WSJ, 1/12/00, p.A1)
2001 In Poland twin brothers
Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski (1949-2010) founded the Law and Justice
(Econ, 4/17/10, p.96)
2001 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Polish vodka Wyborova, Czech bitters Jan Becher and Seagram’s
Martell cognac and Chivas scotch.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2002 Mar 28, Pope John Paul II
accepted the resignation of Julius Paetz, archbishop of Poznan,
Poland, due to a sex scandal and accusations of molesting young
(SFC, 3/29/02, p.A7)
2002 Jul 14, A bus with 52
passengers, mostly Polish students, crashed in western Romania,
killing five people and injuring 26.
2002 Aug 16, Pope John Paul II
returned to Poland for a 3-day visit.
(SFC, 8/17/02, p.A10)
2002 Aug 19, An ailing and
aging John Paul II bid a tearful farewell to his homeland as he
concluded a four-day visit to the Krakow region of Poland.
2002 Oct 9, The European
Union's executive Commission declared Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania,
Slovenia, and Slovakia nearly ready for EU membership and
recommended they be invited to join in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria
likely will be delayed until 2007 because of weak economies, the
Commission said, adding Turkey was the weakest link among
2002 Oct 27, Polish voters
chose mayors directly for the first time since the end of communism
in local elections seen as a tests of popularity for the year-old
2002 Nov 27, Daniel Baraniuk
(27) from Gdansk, Poland, set a new pole-sitting world record,
coming down from his perch in a German fun park after 196 days and
2002 Dec 13, The EU reached
agreement to accept 10 new countries in 2004. These included Czech
Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec 27, Poland
announced it will buy 48 U.S.-made F-16 jet fighters from Lockheed
Martin for $3.5 billion to upgrade its air force to NATO standards
2003 Jan 17, Poland Prime
Minister Leszek Miller fired his health minister and 2 deputy
finance ministers resigned in the 2nd Cabinet reshuffle this month.
2003 Mar 1, In Poland
the year-old left-leaning government under PM Leszek Miller
collapsed after an emergency meeting between coalition partners
broke down in a bitter dispute sparked by a new tax plan.
(AP, 3/1/03)(SSFC, 3/2/03, A7)
2003 Apr 2, Polish troops
fighting with the US-led coalition in Iraq reported encountering
many Iraqi combatants in civilian clothes.
2003 Apr 18, Poland signed a
deal to buy 48 US-made F-16 jet fighters for $3.5 billion, the
biggest defense contract by a former Soviet bloc country since the
end of the Cold War.
2003 May 21, NATO's 19 nations
agreed unanimously to start planning to help Poland lead a
multinational peacekeeping force in Iraq.
2003 May 30, President Bush
began a 6-nation tour in Krakow, Poland, and brought personal thanks
to the country for standing up as a wartime ally in Iraq.
(AP, 5/30/03)(SFC, 5/31/03, p.A14)
2003 Jun 8, Poland ended a
two-day referendum to join the EU. 76% of the 59.6% turnout voted in
(AP, 6/9/03)(SFC, 6/9/03, p.A7)
2003 Jun 11, Poland's finance
minister quit in a power struggle over economic reforms. Grzegorz
Kolodko was the 11th minister, and the second finance minister, to
quit Miller's 20-month-old left-leaning administration.
2003 Nov 6, Two American
soldiers were killed near Baghdad and along the Syrian border.
Polish forces suffered their first combat death when a Polish major
was fatally wounded in an ambush south of the capital.
2003 Dec 22, Poland's Pres.
Aleksander Kwasniewski made an unannounced visit to the headquarters
of Polish-led peacekeepers in Iraq.
2003 Dec 29, Poland and Israel
signed a deal worth some $350 million over the next 10 years to
provide the Polish army with some 2,700 state-of-the-art Israeli
2003 In NYC the Grammercy
Theater featured "A Short History of Polish Animation" and "A Short
History of Polish Avant-Garde and Experimental Film."
(WSJ, 10/29/03, p.D10)
2003 The US CIA paid $15
million to Polish intelligence or use of a secret prison site,
handing over the cash in two cardboard boxes. This only became
public in 2014 when the Washington Post cited former CIA officers
regarding the ‘black site."
2004 Jan, Sergiusz Kozubek
(26), creator of a website for the town of Koniakow, Poland,
(www.koniakow.com), began offering locally produced lace thongs,
named stringi, on the site. Women of this Silesian highlands town
had produced lace articles for the last 2 centuries.
(WSJ, 6/2/04, p.B2B)
2004 Mar 26, Polish PM Leszek
Miller announced he will step down the day after Poland joins the
European Union on May 1, taking the blame for his government's
collapse in popularity and raising the prospect of early elections.
22 members of Miller’s SLD party had left to form the new left-wing
Polish social Democracy as Miller’s popularity plummeted.
(AP, 3/26/04)(Econ, 4/3/04, p.56)
2004 Apr 27, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU officials signed an accord extending
the EU-Russia partnership accord to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and
Malta, which join May 1.
2004 May 1, Revelers across
ex-communist eastern Europe celebrated their historic entry to the
European Union. 10 new members (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia)
joined. Malta joined with 70 exemptions to EU rules. Poland had 43
exemptions. Latvia had 32. The Turkish occupied area of Cyprus was
suspended from entry.
(AP, 5/1/04)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.50)(Econ, 4/16/05,
2004 May 2, Poland's PM Leszek
Miller stepped down after helping lead Poland into the European
Union. New PM Marek Belka promised to push ahead with tough reforms
and keep supporting the United States in Iraq as he took the helm, a
day after Poland joined the European Union.
2004 May 7, In Iraq gunmen
ambushed a Polish TV crew south of Baghdad, killing a producer and a
correspondent who was Poland's best-known war reporter.
2004 May 9, Polish police in
Lodz mistakenly opened fire with live ammunition to stop a street
fight, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding three others.
2004 May 14, Poland's new PM
Marek Belka, who had urged patience for free-market reforms and his
country's mission in Iraq, lost a parliamentary confidence vote.
2004 Jun 11, Poland's president
nominated economist Marek Belka as prime minister for the 2nd time,
opening the way for lawmakers to confirm a new government or trigger
early elections by rejecting it.
2004 Jul 31, In Poland some
200,000 people gathered for the 10th annual weekend concert called
Woodstock in Kostrzyn.
2004 Aug 14, Czeslaw Milosz
(93), Polish poet and Nobel laureate (1980), died in Krakow. He was
known for his intellectual and emotional works about some of the
worst cruelties of the 20th century. Milosz was born on June 30,
1911, in Szetejnie, now Lithuania, and studied law at the University
in Vilnius. There, he published his first book of poems, "Three
Winters," in 1936. In 2006 Cynthia L. Haven edited the book “Czeslaw
(AP, 8/14/04)(Econ, 8/21/04, p.72)(SSFC, 9/24/06,
2004 Aug, The supervisory board
of PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest oil company, dumped pres. Jacek
Walszykowski. The government, which owned 27.5% of PKN, wanted him
out because of his ties with Jan Kulczyk, the country’s richest
businessman and owner of 4.8% of PKN.
(Econ, 11/6/04, p.64)
2004 Sep 12, Three Polish
soldiers were killed in Iraq when they were attacked with grenades
and machine-gun fire as they returned to their base from a demining
2004 Oct 7, In Poland
organizers of the 5th annual erotic fair in Warsaw said they would
defy an order from the mayor's office and go ahead and stage a
"test" for the woman who can carry out a sex act with as many men as
2004 Nov 13, Australian police
arrested two men and seized three million ecstasy tablets that the
pair is accused of importing from Poland hidden inside a bakery
2004 Nov 20, A Polish woman
abducted from her apartment in Baghdad reappeared in Poland after
being suddenly released.
2004 Dec 22, Poland's PM Marek
Belka and Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski arrived in Iraq for a
Christmas visit to Polish troops.
2004 Frontex, a Warsaw-based
agency, was created to manage the EU’s external borders. The agency
started to be operational on October 3, 2005 and was the first EU
agency to be based in one of the new EU states.
2004 French retailer Carrefour
SA agreed to buy 13 supermarkets in Poland.
(WSJ, 4/15/08, p.B2)
2005 Jan 1, Poland was forecast
for 4.5% annual GDP growth with a population at 38.1 million and GDP
per head at $7,300.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.89)
2005 Jan 4, Polish PM Marek
Belka arrived in Tripoli for a two-day visit that will include talks
on cooperation in the oil sector and a meeting with Libyan leader
2005 Jan 13, In Poland an
anti-terrorism law that allows authorities to shoot down hijacked
planes as a last resort took effect, part of efforts to protect the
country from attacks similar to those of Sept. 11.
2005 Jan 19, The Polish
government signed a deal with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin
Corp. paving the way for the transfer of technology and investment
to a Polish weapons producer.
2005 Feb 22, Zdzislaw
Beksinski, a surrealist painter who was one of Poland's leading
contemporary artists, was found stabbed to death at his Warsaw home.
2005 May 23, Ryszard Kalisz,
Poland's interior minister, offered his resignation amid reports of
growing corruption in police forces around the country.
2005 Jun 1, In Poland
investigators published a report offering new details of allegations
that a priest was an informer for Poland's communist government
while he was close to Pope John Paul II's entourage in the 1980s.
The report says against Rev. Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo met secretly
with communist agents from 1975 to 1988 in upscale restaurants and
hotel rooms, giving them details about the church in return for
money and gifts of liquor.
2005 Jun 11, More than 2,000
people defied a ban on a gay-rights rally in Poland's capital,
taking to the streets of Warsaw against the orders of the city's
2005 Jun 15, Poland said it
will cut its 1,700-troop deployment to Iraq this summer by as many
as 300 troops.
2005 Jun 29, Poles lined up to
buy collectors' coins with the image of the late Pope John Paul II,
issued by the central bank to honor Poland's most famous son.
2005 Aug 2, Belarusian police
arrested two leaders of an ethnic Polish cultural group after
seizing the group's headquarters, raising already heightened
tensions between the neighboring countries.
2005 Aug 10, An assailant beat
a Polish envoy near Poland's Moscow embassy, drawing diplomatic
protests over the second such attack in four days.
2005 Aug 17, Norwegian
officials said 3 unarmed Polish researchers stranded on a remote
Arctic island were rescued by helicopter as polar bears were closing
in on them. The escape took place on an island in Norway's Svalbard
archipelago, about 650 miles from the North Pole.
2005 Aug 27, Stanislaw Dziwisz
(66), Pope John Paul II's longtime aide, was installed as archbishop
2005 Sep 25, Polish voters cast
their ballots in a parliamentary election expected to deal a
crushing defeat to an ex-communist government plagued by scandal and
high unemployment and lead to a coalition government between two
conservative parties. Voters embraced two center-right parties that
have promised tax cuts and clean government.
(AP, 9/25/05)(AP, 9/26/05)
2005 Sep 27, The leader of
Poland's Law and Justice party (PiS) said he would begin talks to
form a new center-right coalition government after the final count
confirmed its election victory. PiS won by promising to uproot the
uklad, a network of ex-spies, corrupt businessmen and political
insiders, who have dominated Poland since 1989.
(AP, 9/27/05)(Econ, 9/29/07, p.54)
2005 Sep 30, A bus carrying
high school students on a pilgrimage to Czestochowa, a 14th century
monastery and Poland's most sacred Roman Catholic shrine, collided
with a truck and burst into flames, killing 12 people.
2005 Oct 9, In Poland voters
chose between two former Solidarity movement activists in
presidential elections, underlining the decline of the former
communists in a country that was part of the Soviet bloc only 16
2005 Oct 10, The final count in
Poland's presidential election confirmed that the pro-market
lawmaker Donald Tusk won more votes than conservative Warsaw Mayor
Lech Kaczynski, but fell short of a majority needed for an outright
victory in a first round of balloting.
2005 Oct 11-2005 Oct 12, Polish
customs officials seized at least 8 million cigarettes apparently
destined for the British market in a coordinated sweep in two
cities. The cigarettes, mostly low-quality Ukrainian-made, were to
2005 Oct 16, Polish television
broadcast a recorded interview with Pope Benedict XVI, who said that
he planned to visit Poland, the homeland of his predecessor, John
Paul II (it's believed to be the first TV interview by a pope).
2005 Oct 19, Polish President
Aleksander Kwasniewski nominated conservative Kazimierz
Marcinkiewicz as PM following the first meeting of the newly elected
2005 Oct 23, Poles voted for a
new president in an election that opinion polls showed to be a
close-fought battle between Donald Tusk and his vision of a liberal,
free-market Poland, and Lech Kaczynski who favors state intervention
and Catholic conservatism. Warsaw's conservative Mayor Lech
Kaczynski won Poland's presidential runoff vote 54%-46%.
(AP, 10/23/05)(Econ, 10/29/05, p.52)
2005 Oct 31, Polish President
Aleksander Kwasniewski has officially named a minority conservative
government headed by Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.
2005 Nov 3, European Union
officials said they would investigate a report that the CIA set up
secret jails in Eastern Europe to interrogate top al-Qaida suspects.
The international Red Cross also said it asked the US to let a
representative visit detainees if such a facility exists. At least
10 nations denied that the prisons were in their territory. Human
Rights Watch in New York said it has evidence indicating the CIA
transported suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan to Poland
2005 Nov 17, Greenpeace
activists in small inflatable boats stopped a ship carrying
genetically engineered soybean meal from unloading in a Polish port.
Greenpeace says genetically engineered soy is causing massive
environmental problems in Argentina, including deforestation, a
dramatic increase in the use of toxic herbicides and soil
2005 Nov 23, Poland's two
leading newspapers blacked out large sections of their front pages
in an eye-catching protest against media repression in neighboring
2005 Nov 25, Poland's defense
minister signed an order that will give researchers access to most
of the Warsaw Pact's top-secret archives, including decisions
related to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.
2005 Dec 9, Marc Garlasco, a
Human Rights Watch investigator, said Poland served as the CIA's
main center to detain terrorist suspects in Europe at clandestine
2005 Dec 10, Poland's PM
Marcinkiewicz said that he has ordered a probe of allegations that
the CIA ran secret prisons for terror suspects on Polish territory.
2005 Dec 23, Lech Kaczynski was
sworn in as Poland's new president, completing the rise to power of
conservative leaders who pledged to fight corruption, boost the
economy and distance the country from its communist past.
2005 Dec 27, Ukraine and
Bulgaria said all their troops had left Iraq. Poland said it would
remain but reduce its number of troops by 600 next year.
2006 Jan 1, Russia's natural
gas monopoly halted sales to Ukraine in a price dispute and began
reducing pressure in transmission lines that also carry substantial
supplies to western Europe. Supplies of natural gas to Poland have
been hit by cuts imposed by Russia on the amount of gas entering the
pipeline system in neighbouring Ukraine.
(Reuters, 1/1/06)(AFP, 1/1/06)
2006 Jan 28, In southern Poland
an exhibition hall collapsed during a racing pigeon show in
Katowice, killing at least 65 people and injuring 160. On June 26
three men, who helped design the exhibition hall, were arrested on
suspicion of endangering lives by failing to meet building codes. In
2016 a court convicted five men and one woman over the roof
(AP, 1/31/06)(SFC, 2/1/06, p.A3)(AP, 6/26/06)(AP,
2006 Feb 16, A human rights
group said that homophobic rhetoric has escalated in Poland since a
socially conservative party came to power, threatening the rights of
gays and lesbians.
2006 Feb 24, Polish TV reported
that police had arrested about 30 people in several countries across
Europe in a sting operation against a suspected child-porn ring.
2006 Mar 7, A four-year-old
Indonesian boy became the latest suspected human casualty of bird
flu as the virus spread in Nigeria and Poland. A Russian virus
expert warned that a human pandemic was highly likely and told the
government to get ready.
2006 Mar 12, The Cameroon
government announced its first case of bird flu, becoming the fourth
African country to be struck by the virus. New cases were also
reported in Poland and Greece.
2006 Mar 27, Stanislaw Lem
(b.1921), Polish science fiction writer, died in Poland. His work
included “His Master’s Voice" (1968). His best-known work,
"Solaris," was adapted into films by director Andrei Tarkovsky
(1972) and by Steven Soderbergh (2002). That version starred George
Clooney and Natascha McElhone.
(AP, 3/27/06)(WSJ, 4/8/06, p.P14)
2006 Mar 31, Prosecutors in
Warsaw filed charges against Poland's last communist leader, Gen.
Wojciech Jaruzelski, in connection with his imposition of martial
law in 1981 as the Soviet-backed regime tried to crush the
Solidarity pro-democracy movement.
2006 May 5, In Warsaw 2 parties
that opposed Poland's entry into the EU joined the government,
raising hopes for an end to six months of political wrangling.
2006 May 13, Poland’s general
unemployment was running at 18% with youth unemployment at 40%.
(Econ, 5/13/06, Survey p.3)
2006 May 25, Poland welcomed
Pope Benedict XVI with cheers and fluttering yellow and white
Vatican flags as the German-born pontiff started a four-day visit
aimed at honoring predecessor John Paul II and healing wounds from
World War II.
2006 May 26, Yukos sold its
53.7% stake in Mazeikiai to the Polish PKN Orlen oil refining
company for US$1.49 billion. Orlen signed the agreement in Amsterdam
with the Yukos company’s Netherlands-registered subsidiary, Yukos
International, which had all along held the legal title to that
stake. The Lithuanian government had exercised its right to
authorize this sale-and-purchase three days earlier.
2006 May 28, Pope Benedict XVI
urged some 900,000 Poles at a giant mass to fight growing secularism
by spreading their Christian faith across Europe and the world. He
(AFP, 5/28/06)(WSJ, 5/30/06, p.A1)
2006 Jun 10, In Poland several
thousand people staged an international rally in Warsaw in support
of gays, who complained of prejudice, hostility and violence.
2006 Jun 23, Poland's finance
minister resigned after a prosecutor asked a court to investigate
whether she collaborated with the country's communist-era secret
2006 Jul 8, Poland's governing
party accepted the resignation of PM Marcinkiewicz and recommended
party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the president's twin brother, to
replace him. A group with roots in Poland's anti-communist
Solidarity trade union movement signed an unprecedented accord to
join forces with the country's two main post-communist parties.
2006 Jul 14, Poland's Pres.
Lech Kaczynski (57) swore in his identical twin brother, Jaroslaw,
as prime minister, along with a socially conservative Cabinet made
up largely of the same ministers who resigned in a shake-up days
2006 Jul 18, Authorities freed
about 100 Poles forced into virtual slavery as Italian and Polish
police arrested 25 people involved in a human trafficking ring that
brought farm workers to Italy.
2006 Jul 28, Poland's
conservative President Lech Kaczynski vowed to campaign for a return
of the death penalty in the European Union.
2006 Aug 9, In Poland the US
specialists secretly removed 90 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from
a research reactor and transferred it to Russia for re-processing.
(SFC, 8/10/06, p.A8)(WSJ, 8/10/06, p.A1)
2006 Sep 14, Poland will send
at least 900 troops early next year to bolster the NATO mission in
Afghanistan. NATO said the offer did not ease the immediate need for
2,500 additional soldiers in the violence-wracked south.
2006 Sep 29, In Scotland police
found the body of Angelika Kluk (23), a missing Polish student, at
Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in the Anderston area of
2006 Oct 7, In Poland thousands
marched through the streets of Warsaw, calling for new elections and
the ouster of the government after weeks of political turmoil.
2006 Oct, Poland’s government
passed a law to give politicians greater power to appoint top civil
servants, and scrapped the independent civil-service office.
(Econ, 12/2/06, p.55)
2006 Nov 21, In southern Poland
23 coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Halemba mine.
2006 Dec 6, Cardinal Jozef
Glemp (76) stepped down after more than 25 years as archbishop of
Warsaw. He headed Poland's powerful Roman Catholic Church through
the dark days of martial law and the country's later jump to
2006 Poland’s government under
PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski created an anti-corruption office.
2007 Jan 4, Polish newspapers
reported that Stanislaw Wielgus (67), who is poised to be sworn in
as archbishop of Warsaw, was a "secret and conscious" collaborator
with Poland's hated communist-era security forces from 1973-1978.
2007 Jan 5, Stanislaw Wielgus,
Warsaw's incoming archbishop, admitted he had cooperated with the
Communist-era secret police and said he was leaving his fate in the
hands of Pope Benedict XVI.
2007 Jan 7, Stanislaw Wielgus,
Warsaw's new archbishop, resigned over his involvement with the
communist-era secret police. The Vatican said his past actions had
"gravely compromised his authority."
2007 Jan 8, Rev. Janusz
Bielanski, head priest of Krakow's prestigious Wawel
Cathedral, left his post amid allegations he collaborated with
secret services of the communist era, a day after Warsaw's
newly-appointed archbishop resigned in a scandal that shocked the
2007 Jan 19, A Polish court
convicted two doctors and two ambulance workers of participating in
a scheme in which 14 patients were allowed to die, or in some cases
killed with muscle relaxants, in return for kickbacks from funeral
homes. All received prison sentences, ranging from five years to
2007 Jan 20, Czech PM Mirek
Topolanek said the US wants to build a radar base in the Czech
Republic as part of its global missile defense system. Poland was
also mentioned as a potential site. Russia in response warned of an
(AP, 1/20/07)(WSJ, 1/22/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 21, Zdzislaw Rurarz, a
former Polish ambassador to Japan, died of cancer in Virginia. He
humiliated Poland's communist regime by defecting to the US in 1981
to protest its imposition of martial law.
2007 Jan 23, Ryszard
Kapuscinski (b.1932), Belarus-born Polish writer and journalist,
died following heart surgery. He gained international acclaim for
his books chronicling wars, coups and revolutions in Africa, the
Middle East and other parts of the world. His books included "The
Emperor" (1978), a chronicle of the decline of Haile Selassie's
regime in Ethiopia. In 1981 he published "Shah of Shahs," a book
about the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled Iran's Shah Mohammad
Reza Pahlavi. His last book “Travels With Herodotus" was published
shortly after his death. In 2012 Artur Domoslawski’s “Ryszard
Kapuscinski: A Life" (2010), was translated to English by Antonia
(AP, 1/24/07)(WSJ, 6/9/07, p.P8)(SSFC, 7/22/07,
p.M1)(Econ, 6/23/12, p.83)
2007 Feb 16, In Poland Antoni
Macierewicz (b.1948), vice-minister of national defense, authored a
report on the recently disbanded WSI (military intelligence service)
that named dozens of current and former agents.
2007 Feb 19, Gen. Nikolai
Solovtsov, a top Russian general, warned that Poland and the Czech
Republic risk being targeted by Russian missiles if they agree to
host a proposed US missile defense system.
2007 Feb 26, In Poland a new
book, "Priests In The Face Of The Security Services" by Rev. Tadeusz
Isakowicz-Zaleski, dredged up more painful allegations from Poland's
Communist era, naming some 30 Roman Catholic priests, including
several bishops, as registered informants with the secret police.
2007 Mar 3, Pope Benedict named
Kazimierz Nycz, a bishop with a spotless record, as archbishop of
Warsaw to replace a prelate who resigned in disgrace after admitting
he spied for the communist police.
2007 Apr 12, Polish officials
said Google plans to open an operations center in Wroclaw later this
year, creating 200 new jobs and boosting the city's efforts to
become a technology hub.
2007 Apr 25, Barbara Blida
(57), a former Polish government minister, committed suicide in her
bathroom as police searched her house in connection with corruption
allegations. Blida, a lawmaker for the post-communist Democratic
Left Alliance from 1989-2005 and construction minister from
1993-1996, was suspected of taking and receiving material gains. The
raid was part of an investigation into corruption allegations
against 14 people.
2007 May 11, Poland's highest
court struck down the key provisions of a new law requiring that up
to 700,000 Poles with public service jobs be screened for past
collaboration with the communist-era secret police.
2007 May 21, Polish doctors
launched a nationwide open-ended strike, demanding a pay raise amid
complaints that the health system is underfunded and medical
professionals are overworked.
2007 Jun 3, Pope Benedict XVI
named four new saints from France, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland
at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square. Among those honored was Sister
Marie Eugenie de Jesus Milleret, a French nun who in 1839 founded
the Religious of the Assumption to educate young girls; the Rev.
George Preca of Malta, who founded the Society of Christian Doctrine
in 1932 as a group of lay people who teach the faith to others; the
Rev. Szymon z Lipnicy of Poland, a Franciscan monk who comforted
Poles afflicted by the plague that broke out in Krakow from 1482-83
and died of it himself; and the Rev. Charles of St. Andrew (Dublin),
who was born Karel Van Sint Andries Houben in the Netherlands in
2007 Jun 8, A European
investigator issued a report saying the CIA ran secret prisons in
Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005 to interrogate detainees in the
war on terror.
2007 Jun 10, Former Polish
president and Nobel laureate Lech Walesa said he has published on
the Internet about 500 pages of files kept on him by the
communist-era secret police in order to disprove allegations he
collaborated with them in the 1980s.
2007 Jun 27, A special
commission of Poland's Roman Catholic Church said that documents in
secret police files showed "about a dozen" living bishops had ties
to the communist-era secret services.
2007 Jul 9, Poland’s PM
Jaroslaw Kaczynski fired his deputy, Andrzej Lepper, over corruption
allegations, throwing the future of Poland's conservative governing
coalition into doubt and raising the possibility of early elections.
Kaczynski also fired Sports Minister Tomasz Lipiec, of his own Law
and Justice party.
2007 Jul 22, A bus carrying
Polish pilgrims from a holy site in the French Alps plunged off a
steep mountain road, crashed into a river bed and burst into flames,
killing 26 people.
2007 Jul 30, The European
Commission said it was seeking a court injunction against Polish
plans to build a key continental highway to prevent permanent damage
to the Rospuda Valley, a "unique environmental site."
2007 Aug 4, Zbigniew Krakowski
(56), a Polish sea captain in charge of the 2,000-ton Jork, crashed
his ship into an unmanned gas platform in the North Sea while drunk.
The platform, owned by US firm ConocoPhillips, went out of action
with losses at 615,000 pounds a month in revenue. In November
Krakowski was jailed for 12 months.
2007 Aug 5, A junior partner in
Poland's ruling coalition said it was pulling out of the partnership
and withdrawing its two ministers from government in a move that
could set the scene for early legislative elections.
2007 Aug 13, Poland's fractious
governing coalition came to an end when the country's president
dismissed four Cabinet ministers from two junior partners, clearing
the way for an early election expected this fall.
2007 Aug 16, In Afghanistan 6
civilians, including 3 children, were killed by the mortar and
machine-gun attack on the village of Nangarkhel, Paktika province.
Two other civilians died of their wounds in a hospital. 7 Polish
soldiers were later charged with war crimes. On Jun 1, 2011, a
military court in Poland acquitted the soldiers saying there was not
enough evidence to support war crime charges. On March 19, 2015,
four Polish soldiers were cleared of war crimes over the killing of
the six civilians, but were convicted of lesser charges for which
three of them were given suspended sentences.
2007 Sep 1, In Poland 2 small
planes collided during an acrobatic display at the Radom Air Show
killing both pilots.
2007 Sep 7, Poland's parliament
voted to dissolve itself, forcing an election that the government
had sought to end persistent political turbulence. President Lech
Kaczynski set the vote for Oct. 21, two years ahead of schedule.
2007 Sep 25, Poland began
publishing a list of public figures who either collaborated with or
were spied on by its old secret police before 1989.
2007 Oct 2, Magda Pniewska
(26), a Polish woman, was shot in the head and died after being
caught in the cross-fire between two gunmen in a residential street
in London. On April 22, 2008, Armel Gnango (17) was convicted of
murder for being involved in the gunfight.
(AFP, 10/3/07)(AFP, 5/22/08)
2007 Oct 3, The Polish
ambassador to Iraq was slightly wounded and two civilians, including
a bodyguard, were killed in a roadside bomb attack in downtown
Baghdad. About 900 Polish troops are stationed training Iraqi
personnel and 21 have died during the conflict. The US military said
it had discovered a list of some 500 al Qaeda militants recruited to
fight in Iraq from a range of European, Middle East and north
(AP, 10/3/07)(Reuters, 10/3/07)
2007 Oct 10, Police in the
eastern Polish town of Kazimierz Dolny pushed their way into a
convent and evicted about 65 rebellious ex-nuns, arresting the
mother superior and a monk who had occupied the complex with them
illegally for two years. The women had taken over the building in a
rebellion against the Vatican, which had ordered the replacement of
their mother superior, Jadwiga Ligocka.
2007 Oct 10, Ministers from
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine signed a deal to
build an oil pipeline linking the Black and Baltic seas.
(WSJ, 10/11/07, p.A18)
2007 Oct 21,
A pro-business opposition party that wants to bring Poland's troops
home from Iraq was headed to an overwhelming victory in
parliamentary elections, exit polls showed, setting it up to oust
the prime minister's staunchly pro-U.S. government. The opposition
Civic Platform party ousted PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski's government in
the parliamentary elections.
(AP, 10/21/07)(AP, 10/21/08)
2007 Oct 22,
In Poland election results showed pro-business Civic Platform,
led by Donald Tusk, beating PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski's nationalist
conservatives by nearly 10 percentage points, enough to allow them
to form a coalition government with an allied party. The incoming
government promised to negotiate a tougher deal with the US when it
comes to hosting a missile defense base. Civic Platform won 209
seats in the 460-member lower house.
(AP, 10/22/07)(Econ, 10/27/07, p.59)
2007 Nov 5, Poland's prime
minister-designate Donald Tusk said in a published interview
that the new government plans to end the country's role in the
US-led coalition in Iraq in its "current form" next year. Poland's
conservative PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski handed in his resignation to his
twin, President Lech Kaczynski.
(AP, 11/5/07)(AFP, 11/5/07)
2007 Nov 14, In Poland members
of the 460-member lower house, or Sejm, agreed to make April 13 an
annual "Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Katyn Crime," for more
than 14,000 Polish officers who were captured at the start of World
War II and killed by Soviet secret police in the Katyn forest.
2007 Nov 16, Poland's new PM
Donald Tusk formally took office along with a team of former
2007 Nov 17, The new Polish
Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said Poland will end next year its
mission in Iraq, where it currently deploys 900 soldiers.
2007 Nov 27, PM Donald Tusk
announced that Poland will drop its opposition to Moscow's bid to
join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) in a drive to improve ties with Russia.
2007 Nov 30, Poland's new PM
Donald Tusk paid a low-key visit to Lithuania on his first foreign
trip. Lithuania and Poland were locked in a dispute about their
relative share of the future output of a nuclear power plant that
the two countries, plus Latvia and Estonia, planned to build in
Lithuania by 2015.
2007 Nov, In Poland the Gdansk
Shipyard, in order to avoid bankruptcy, was sold Ukrainian firm
Donbass for $400 million. The transaction, notified to the OCCP in
October 2007, consisted in ISD Polska, a company belonging to the
Donbass Group, taking control over the shipyard.
2007 Dec 20, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic halted land and sea border controls at midnight in a wave
of new members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone. They all
joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
(AFP, 12/20/07)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)
2007 Andrzej Wajda (81),
Poland’s leading film maker, completed “Katyn," based on the letters
and diaries of victims murdered by Soviet secret police in 1943.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.81)
2008 Jan 11, Belgium, France
and Poland pledged to provide the resources needed to launch a
European Union peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African
2008 Jan 23, A Polish military
plane carrying 20 passengers and crew crashed in flames in
northwestern Poland, killing all aboard including an air force
2008 Mar 1, A violent storm
plagued parts of Europe and deaths rose to 10 after two people in
Poland were killed by falling objects because of hurricane-strength
winds. Germany reported 2 deaths, the Czech Rep. 2 deaths and 4 more
2008 May 5, Polish authorities
arrested the Kuwaiti ambassador's son (23) for briefly abducting
three Jewish teenagers at a hotel and claiming he had a bomb. Police
said a heavily intoxicated Mohammad A. had pulled three 16-year-old
Brazilians into their sixth-floor room of Warsaw's Holiday Inn.
2008 May 12, Irena Sendler
(b.1910), Polish savior of WWII Jewish children in the Warsaw
ghetto, died in Warsaw. She saved some 2,500 Jewish children by
smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with false
documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's
homes outside the Ghetto.
2008 Jun 18, Witold
Waszczykowski, the chief Polish negotiator on missile defense with
the United States, said Washington has been talking with Lithuania
about basing part of a missile defense system in that country in
case negotiations with Poland break down.
2008 Jul 4, Poland rejected a
US offer to boost its air defenses in return for basing a "missile
shield" on Polish soil but PM Donald Tusk said Poland remains open
for further talks with Washington.
2008 Jul 11, In Serbia a bus
carrying Polish tourists overturned north of Belgrade, killing six
people and injuring nearly 40.
2008 Jul 13, In Poland
Bronislaw Geremek (76), former foreign minister (1997-2000), died in
a car accident near Lubien. He was an icon in the struggle against
communist rule and a founding member of the Solidarity trade union.
(AFP, 7/13/08)(Econ, 7/26/08, p.98)
2008 Jul 25, Energy companies
in the three Baltic states and Poland agreed to set up a joint
venture to develop a nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
2008 Aug 14, The US and Poland
struck a deal to install a missile defense facility in the
2008 Aug 20, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and her Polish counterpart signed a deal to build a
US missile defense base in Poland, an agreement that prompted an
infuriated Russia to warn of a possible attack against the former
Soviet satellite. The deal included an American Patriot
anti-aircraft and anti-missile battery in Poland.
(AP, 8/20/08)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.44)
2008 Sep 5, In Poland police
detained Krzysztof B. (45), in the eastern city of Siedlce, after
his wife and daughter came forward with the allegations that he had
imprisoned and raped his daughter (21) for 6 years fathering 2
children, who were put up for adoption.
2008 Sep 12, Poland's last
communist leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, and seven other
Soviet-era officials went on trial over the declaration of martial
law more than a quarter of a century ago. The 1981 decision led to
the deaths of dozens of people and the jailing of hundreds more.
2008 Oct 4, A ceremony in
Diwaniyah marked the departure of Polish troops from Iraq. Poland
sent combat troops into Iraq as part of the US-led coalition and had
2,500 troops deployed there at its peak. The last 900 were being
pulled out this month. Two US helicopters collided while landing at
a base in Baghdad. One Iraqi soldier was killed.
(AP, 10/4/08)(AP, 10/5/08)
2008 Nov 5, Russia will deploy
missiles near NATO member Poland in response to US missile defense
plans, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday in his first state
of the nation speech.
2008 Nov 7, Mieczyslaw Rakowski
(81), Poland's last communist-era party chairman and prime minister,
died. Rakowski, a historian and journalist, was chairman of the
communist Polish United Workers' Party from July 1989 until the
party was dissolved at its January 1990 congress during the
country's bloodless transition to democracy.
2008 Nov 8, Mieczyslaw Rakowski
(81), politician and former editor of Polityka magazine, died.
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.99)
2008 Nov 23, In Georgia gunfire
that broke out as Pres. Saakashvili and Polish Pres. Lech Kaczynski
were traveling near a roadblock at the edge of Georgia-controlled
territory. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was no
gunfire from Russian or South Ossetian positions and suggested
Georgia engineered the incident to discredit Russia and South
Ossetia. In Tbilisi Nino Burjanadze, a former ally of Pres.
Saakashvili, founded a new party: the Democratic Movement-United
(AP, 11/24/08)(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 30, Poland adopted an
economic package for 2009-2010 valued at 24 billion euros (30
billion dollars) to help weather the impact of the global financial
2008 Dec 1, A 12-day UN climate
conference opened in Poznan, Poland. During the conference Chief
Bill Erasmus of the Dene nation in northern Canada brought a stark
warning about the climate crisis: The once abundant herds of caribou
are dwindling, rivers are running lower and the ice is too thin to
2008 Dec 12, In Poland
negotiators at a UN climate conference broke through red tape and
freed up millions of dollars to help poor countries adapt to
increasingly severe droughts, floods and other effects of global
2008 Dec 23, The World Bank
finalized a loan of 975 million euros (1.34 billion dollars) for
Poland to support economic reform plans, in a measure not directly
related to the global economic crisis.
2009 Jan 3, Russian gas flows
to four European Union countries fell normal levels after Moscow cut
off supplies to Ukraine in a pricing row with no talks in sight to
resolve the dispute. Bulgaria's Bulgargaz joined energy firms in
Poland, Romania and Hungary in saying they had noted falls in
2009 Jan 8, Dell Inc. announced
that it is moving its Irish manufacturing operations to Poland by
2010, as part of a cost cutting measure that will result in the loss
of some 1,900 Irish jobs.
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.B4)
2009 Jan 13, In Austria Umar
Israilov (27), a Chechen refugee, was shot dead on a Vienna street.
Officials said they had no proof the killing was political, but
human rights activists said his death was linked to his opposition
to Chechnya's pro-Moscow president. On Jan 28 Austrian authorities
arrested seven suspects, all Chechens, in the killing. On February
19 Polish police arrested Turpal Ali J. (31), a man suspected of
killing Israilov. In 2010 Austrian investigators concluded that
Chechnya Pres. Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the kidnapping of one of his
critics and former bodyguards and that Israilov was shot to death
when the abduction went awry.
(AP, 1/28/09)(AP, 2/22/09)(AP, 4/27/10)
2009 Feb 4, Poland’s defense
minister stated plans to end military missions in Lebanon, the Golan
Heights and Chad in an effort to cut spending due to the global
2009 Feb 18, Polish police said
they have detained 78 people, including a priest and a doctor,
suspected of possessing child pornography and spreading it on the
2009 Feb 19, US Defense Sec.
Robert Gates, in Europe for NATO talks, signed a new military
cooperation agreement with Poland.
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Feb 27, Leading
international financial institutions said Eastern Europe's
struggling banks will receive euro24.5 billion ($31.1 billion) worth
of emergency help to shore up their battered finances. Regional
leaders were scheduled to meet this weekend. The Hungarian, Polish
and Czech currencies strengthened on the news of the aid package.
2009 Apr 8, Over 100 Afghan
ministers, lawmakers and officials signed a petition opposing a
controversial law that critics say legalizes marital rape. The
petition said the law is unconstitutional and leads toward the
"Talibanization" of Afghanistan's legal system. The petition came as
Poland's President Lech Kaczynski held talks in Kabul with Karzai
and reiterated his country's plans to increase its troop
contribution in the country by 400 over the current 1,600 in Ghazni
province. A roadside blast hit a civilian vehicle south of Kandahar
city, wounding six civilians. Gen. David McKiernan, top US general
in Afghanistan, met with villagers in Helmand and Kandahar. He
apologized for past mistakes and said he is now studying the Quran,
the Muslim holy book.
(AP, 4/8/09)(AP, 4/10/09)(SFC, 4/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 13, Poland's deadliest
fire in nearly 3 decades tore through a homeless shelter in the
northwest, killing 21 and forcing parents to toss children from
windows to rescuers.
2009 May 15, Polish gas firm
PGNiG announced that it had signed a deal with the Qatari firm
Qatargas for the supply of one million tons of liquefied natural gas
(LNG) per year.
2009 Apr 25, San Francisco
celebrated a new sister city relationship with Krakow, Poland. The
official signing was scheduled to take place in Krakow on July 3.
(SFC, 4/25/09, p.B1)
2009 May 30, Polish Prime
Minister Donald Tusk indicated that Gulf capital was behind the
consortium which bought two of Poland's three historic shipyards
2009 Jun 30, In Poland
officials began building a new museum of Jewish history in Warsaw
that they hope will become a major cultural landmark. Museum
officials say construction will cost around 150 million zlotys ($47
million) and should be completed in 2012. An earlier groundbreaking
ceremony for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews took place in
2007 in the presence of the Polish president, but bureaucratic
obstacles then held up construction.
2009 Jul 14, The European
Parliament elected ex-Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek as its
president, making him the first leader from a former Soviet bloc
country to hold one of the top European Union posts.
2009 Jul 23, In Poland say
seven people died in violent storms.
2009 Sep 17, Pres. Obama said
he is abandoning Bush-era plans for a long-range missile defense
system based in Poland and the Czech Rep. Czechs and Poles expressed
rancor and relief that Obama was scrapping plans for the US missile
defense shield on their territories, reflecting deep divisions over
a proposal that had angered Russia.
(AP, 9/17/09)(SFC, 9/18/09, p.A7)
2009 Sep 18, In Poland a
methane leak in a coal mine set off an explosion that killed 12
miners in the southwestern city of Ruda Slaska.
2009 Sep 25, Poland approved a
law making chemical castration mandatory for pedophiles in some
cases, sparking criticism from human rights groups.
2009 Oct 6, In Poland Mariusz
Kaminski, the head of the anti-corruption office, was charged with
abuse of power after a sting operation in which he encouraged his
agents to fabricate documents and offer bribes.
2009 Oct 10, Polish President
Lech Kaczynski signed the EU’s reform treaty, the Lisbon Treaty,
into law, leaving the Czech Republic as the only country still to
ratify the document.
2009 Oct 11, Pope Benedict XVI
canonized five new saints, including Father Damien, a 19th-century
priest who worked with leprosy patients on a Hawaiian island;
Zygmunt Szcezesny Felinski, a 19th-century Polish bishop who
defended the Catholic faith during the years of the Russian
annexation; Spaniards Francisco Coll y Guitart, who founded an order
of Dominicans in the 19th century, and Rafael Arniaz Baron, who
renounced an affluent lifestyle at age 22 to live a humble life in a
strict monastery and dedicate himself to prayer; and Jeanne Jugan
(d.1879), a French nun, who helped found the Little Sisters of the
2009 Nov 26, Polish defense
ministry spokesman Robert Rochowicz said the US and Poland have
agreed terms for stationing US troops in Poland so that the
deployment of US Patriot missiles can start next year.
2009 Nov 27, Poland's Pres.
Kaczynski's Web site said he has approved legislation that allows
for people to be fined or even imprisoned for possessing or buying
2009 Dec 2, Poland said it
plans to send 600 more troops to Afghanistan next year.
2009 Dec 16, Germany said it is
donating euro60 million ($87 million) to a new endowment for
Auschwitz-Birkenau to preserve barracks, gas chambers and other
evidence of Nazi crimes at the former death camp in Poland. The
donation is half the amount experts believe is needed to preserve
2009 Dec 18, In Poland the
Nazis' infamous iron sign declaring "Arbeit Macht Frei," German for
"Work Sets You Free," was stolen from the entrance of the former
Auschwitz death camp. On Feb 2, 2010, a Polish court issued a
European arrest warrant for former neo-Nazi leader Anders Hogstrom
(34) of Sweden, on suspicion of incitement to commit theft of a
cultural treasure. Hogstrom was arrested in Stockholm on Feb 11.
(AP, 12/18/09)(SFC, 2/3/10, p.A2)(AP, 2/11/10)
2009 Dec 20, Polish police
found the "Arbeit macht frei" metal sign that had hung over the
former Auschwitz Nazi death camp. It was cut in 3 pieces and
hidden under snow. 5 men were detained for stealing it and police
said the suspects were common thieves, not neo-Nazis.
(Reuters, 12/21/09)(AP, 12/22/09)
2009 Poland ended
conscription in favor of an all-volunteer army.
(Econ, 8/17/13, p.44)
2009 Polish singer Dorota
Rabczewska expressed doubt about the Bible during an interview. She
said “it’s hard to believe in something that was written by someone
drunk on wine and smoking some herbs." In 2012 a Warsaw court
slapped her with a $1,450 fine for bad mouthing the Bible.
(SFC, 1/17/12, p.A2)
2010 Jan 10, Heavy snowfall
caused havoc in parts of Europe, causing hundreds of traffic
accidents, downing power lines in Poland, halting flights out of
southern France and trapping more than 160 people overnight on a
frozen highway in northeastern coastal Germany.
2010 Jan 12, A web site linked
to leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Poland's tax
office has levied a fine of 2.3 million zlotys ($820,000) on an
unemployed woman for failing to pay tax on income worth at least
13.7 million zlotys she said she had earned as a prostitute.
2010 Feb 1, Polish scientists
said they have discovered 3 Neanderthal teeth, dating back
some 100,000 to 80,000 years, in the Stajnia Cave, north of the
2010 Feb 19, Pope Benedict XVI
approved sainthood for Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), making the
woman known for her work among the needy Australia's first saint.
Sainthood was also approved for Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century
Polish priest; Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano;
Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola and a
Canadian brother, Andre Bessette (d.1937). The formal canonization
will take place Oct. 17 in Rome.
2010 Feb 23, A Polish court
said a government move to slash the pensions of communist leaders
who imposed martial law in 1981 was illegal. The Constitutional
Tribunal ruled the move violated the constitution. It said the
portion of the pensions earned during the crackdown itself could be
cut but the rest could not. The cut, which took effect Jan 1, was
part of a wider law intended to punish former officials and security
agents for supporting the communist regime.
2010 Mar 18, A Polish court
convicted three men of the theft of the notorious "Arbeit Macht
Frei" (Work Sets You Free) sign from the Auschwitz memorial site in
December. The men, two of whom are brothers, were given prison
sentences ranging from 18 months to 2 1/2 years.
2010 Mar 19, A Krakow court
ruled that allegations in the 2009 biography "Lech Walesa: The Idea
and History" by Pawel Zyzak that Walesa served as a communist
informant were slanderous. A 2000 special court already cleared
Walesa of collaboration allegations.
2010 Mar 19, Polish authorities
said a herd of some 300 bison in southeastern Poland is at risk from
tuberculosis after one recently died of the disease.
2010 Apr 10, Polish President
Lech Kaczynski (60) and some of the country's highest military and
civilian leaders died when the presidential plane crashed as it came
in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96. The
26-year-old Tupolev was taking the president, his wife and staff to
events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest
of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. On board
were the army chief of staff, the navy chief commander, and heads of
the air and land forces. Also killed were the national bank
president, deputy foreign minister, army chaplain, head of the
National Security Office, deputy parliament speaker, Olympic
Committee head, civil rights commissioner and at least two
presidential aides and three lawmakers.
(AP, 4/10/10)(AP, 4/11/10)
2010 Apr 19, Winners of the
2010 Goldman Environmental Prizes, known as the "green Nobels," were
honored in San Francisco. Sereivathana Tuy of Cambodia won for his
efforts in stopping farmers from killing elephants. Randall Arauz of
Costa Rica won for his campaign to halt the maiming and killing of
sharks for their fins. Humberto Rios Labrada (47) of Cuba won for
his campaign to shift farming practices toward increasing diversity
and reducing chemical use. Malgorzata Gorska of Poland won for her
fight to stop a highway through the Rospuda Valley, one of Poland’s
last vestiges of untouched wilderness. Thuli Makama of Swaziland won
for her efforts in getting citizen participation on the Swaziland
board in charge of the environment. She helped prompt investigations
into allegations of private park rangers killing suspected poachers
in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. Lynn Henning of the
USA won for exposing polluting practices of livestock ranches in
(AP, 4/19/10)(SFC, 4/19/10, p.A1)
2010 May 8, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev turned over scores of volumes from an investigation
into the Katyn massacre to his Polish counterpart, a move
underlining Moscow's new willingness to repair long-troubled
relations with Warsaw.
2010 May 18, In southern Poland
2 days of flooding killed at least 9 people. Officials closed the
Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site to protect its Holocaust archives
and artifacts. Heavy rains that began in central Europe last weekend
also caused flooding in areas of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic, with rivers bursting their banks and inundating low-lying
homes and roads, and cutting off villages.
(AP, 5/18/10)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 May 22, In Poland Nicolaus
Copernicus (1473-1543), the 16th-century astronomer whose findings
were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was
reburied by Polish priests as a hero, nearly 500 years after he was
laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
2010 May 23, Dozens of American
soldiers and a battery of Patriot missiles arrived in Poland, where
they will spend the next two years teaching the Polish military to
operate the advanced guided missile system at a base just a few
miles from the Russian border.
2010 Jun 2, The US Embassy said
that Polish police arrested Alexsander Efrosman, a businessman from
Staten Island, New York, in Krakow last weekend. The US Commodity
Futures Trading Commission said in a complaint filed in 2005 that
Efrosman, who also goes by Alex Besser, stole about $5 million from
customers of two fraudulent hedge funds that he claimed to manage,
Century Maxim Fund, Inc. and AJR Capital Inc.
2010 Jun 12, Germany’s federal
prosecutor's office said that Polish authorities have arrested an
alleged Mossad spy from Israel wanted in connection with the slaying
of a Hamas agent in Dubai. A man using the name of Uri Brodsky was
arrested in early June upon his arrival in Poland because of a
European arrest warrant issued by Germany and Germany is now seeking
2010 Jun 20, Poles voted for a
new head of state after president Lech Kaczynski perished in an air
disaster. Poland's centrist presidential candidate Bronislaw
Komorowski faced a tight run-off vote against his right-wing rival
Jaroslaw Kaczynski on July 4 after beating him by only a few
percentage points in today’s vote.
(AFP, 6/20/10)(Reuters, 6/21/10)
2010 Jul 4, Poland’s moderate
conservative Bronislaw Komorowski narrowly won the presidential
election. Komorowski won 52.6% of the vote, according to results
based on 95% of the ballots. Right-wing rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski
performed much better than expected.
2010 Jul 7, In Poland Warsaw
district court Judge Tomasz Calkiewicz ordered that Uri Brodsky, a
Mossad agent, be extradited to Germany on charges of forgery.
Brodsky was suspected of helping fake a German passport that was
used by a member of a hit squad believed to be behind the
killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.
2010 Jul 9, Italy's Fiat, which
controls Chrysler Group LCC, said it will proceed with a euro700
million ($886 million) investment to move production of its new
Panda compact from Poland to a plant near Naples despite an
unresolved dispute with an Italian union.
2010 Jul 12, Polish priest
Henryk Jankowski (73), who gained prominence in the 1980s by
supporting Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement but who later saw his
reputation marred by anti-Semitism and suspicions of pedophilia,
died in Gdansk.
2010 Jul 17, In Poland
thousands of gays and lesbians from around Europe marched through
Warsaw to demand equal rights and more tolerance toward homosexuals.
2010 Aug 6, Poland's new Pres.
Bronislaw Komorowski was sworn in and pledged to serve as a unifying
force and work closely with European allies.
2010 Aug 9, In central Europe
swollen rivers surged north after carving a swath of destruction
across Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. At least 11 people
were reported killed.
(AP, 8/9/10)(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 10, In Poland several
thousand protestors rallied before Warsaw's presidential palace to
seek the removal of a cross erected there after the April air crash
death of president Lech Kaczynski.
2010 Sep 8, Belgian police say
10 people have been arrested in raids across Europe against hackers
who put illegal copies of movies and television series on the
Internet. Police said 5 arrests were in Belgium and the other
arrests were made in Poland, Norway and Sweden, where the alleged
leaders of four computer piracy networks were being held.
2010 Sep 16, In Poland Akhmed
Zakayev (51), a senior Chechen separatist wanted in Russia for
alleged murder, kidnapping and terrorism, was arrested in Warsaw
where he was to attend a conference organized by the World Chechen
Congress. Zakayev, who lives in Britain, was apprehended "without
any trouble" on an international warrant issued by Russia. Zakayev
was released the next day.
(AP, 9/17/10)(AP, 9/18/10)
2010 Sep 22, A Polish
prosecutor said his office has opened an investigation into whether
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi man accused in the 2000 bombing of
the USS Cole, was mistreated in a prison that the CIA allegedly ran
2010 Sep 23, Russia turned over
to Poland 20 new files from a probe into the 1940 Katyn massacre
that could be key in proving that Soviet secret police carefully
planned the killing of thousands of Poles.
2010 Sep 26, In Germany a
Polish tour bus crashed on its way home from a Spanish holiday,
killing 13 people. 32 remained hospitalized the next day.
2010 Sep 27, In Afghanistan a
Polish soldier died of injuries sustained when a land mine exploded
under his patrol vehicle in the eastern province of Ghazni.
2010 Oct 12, In central Poland
a van crammed with farm workers crashed head-on into a truck after
apparently trying to overtake another vehicle in dense fog, killing
all 18 people on board.
2010 Nov 6, In Poland a
gigantic statue of Jesus that Poles claim is the world's largest
rose majestically above the small town of Swiebodzin, as the
grandiose dream of a local priest finally came to pass. Residents
believed it will put their town of 22,000 on the map for tourists.
2010 Nov 12, Henryk Mikolaj
Gorecki (76), Polish classical composer, died following a serious
illness in Katowice. Gorecki was best known for his Symphony 3
"Sorrowful Songs," which was published in the US in 1994 and became
a best-seller, with more than one million copies sold.
2010 Nov 21, Poles voted in
local elections expected to reward the government's reluctance to
trim the welfare state in the EU's largest new member, the only one
in Europe to avoid a recession.
2010 Dec 2, Heavy snow caused
travel chaos across much of northern Europe, keeping London's
Gatwick airport closed for a second day and disrupting road and rail
travel in France, Germany and Switzerland. Freezing temperatures and
often blinding snowfall killed 12 people, 10 in Poland and 2 in
Germany. Poland had already reported 8 dead due to the cold. Some of
the worst floods in a century devastated parts of the Balkans.
Authorities declared a state of emergency in Bosnia, Serbia and
(Reuters, 12/2/10)(AP, 12/2/10)
2010 Dec 3, In Poland the death
toll from a deep freeze increased to 30 with a dozen more deaths
overnight. The death toll across Europe reached at least 40.
2010 Dec 6, Poland's parliament
got notice of its first ever African lawmaker, a teacher and
Christian pastor from Nigeria who has lived in Poland for 17 years
and proven himself a popular local leader. John Abraham Godson (40),
a councilman in the central city of Lodz, will fill a seat in the
national parliament vacated by a fellow lawmaker from the Civic
2010 Dec 13, In Argentina a
yacht returning from Antarctica smashed ashore in a storm near the
city of Ushuaia, killing two Polish brothers, Marek and Pawel
Radwanski, and injuring five other people.
2010 Dec 30, In Poland Anders
Hogstrom, a Swedish man, was sentenced to two years and eight months
in prison for instigating the December 2009 theft of the notorious
"Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work Sets You Free") sign from the former
Auschwitz death camp.
2010 Dec 30, In southwestern
Poland 3 miners were killed by falling rocks after a minor
earthquake at a copper mine.
2011 Jan 25, It was reported
that Poland's state-run National Remembrance Institute has created a
new game called "Kolejka," or "Queue," to help young Poles
understand the hardships of life under communism. It goes on sale
2011 Feb 5, The body of Monika
Markiewicz (32), a Polish national and musician on the cruise ship
Allure of the Sea, was recovered from the sea off Cozumel, Mexico.
An autopsy determined she drowned but also had suffered a blow to
the head. Nelson Perez Torres (24) later confessed to hitting
Markiewicz in the head with a rock and then throwing her into the
ocean in Quintana Roo state, where Cozumel is located.
(AP, 2/9/11)(AP, 2/10/11)
2011 Feb 11, A top US diplomat
for arms control said Poland and other Eastern European countries
are expressing concern to the United States about an arsenal of
tactical nuclear weapons believed to be at their doorsteps in
Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.
2011 Mar 28, An association of
Israelis of Polish descent slammed Warsaw's decision to suspend
plans to offer compensation for property seized during the Nazi and
communist eras. Citing economic conditions Polish PM Donald Tusk
last week suspended work on a law that would have given some
compensation to former owners of lost property.
2011 Apr 5, In Poland the
restored synagogue at Zamosc, Renaissance gem looted by the Nazis,
was presented to the public in a ceremony attended by Jewish
leaders, US and Israeli diplomats and city officials. It will serve
occasionally as a house of worship for Jewish tourists who visit
death camps in the area.
2011 May 6, In Poland one miner
and one rescuer were already confirmed dead after methane ignited
some 2,700 feet (820 meters) underground at the Krupinski mine near
Katowice. The body of a missing rescuer was found on May 12,
bringing the death toll to 3.
2011 May 16, In Poland
representatives of millions of Poles, whose property was seized
during and after World War II, met for a national congress that
lashed out at the Cabinet of PM Donald Tusk for recently abandoning
a plan to partly compensate families, many of them Jewish, whose
property was confiscated by the Nazis and the subsequent Communist
2011 May 26, In Peru Polish
couple Jaroslaw Frackiewicz (70) and his wife, Celina Mroz (58),
were last seen while kayaking on the Ucayali River. On July 8 police
arrested Fidel Garcia (27). an ethnic Ashaninka. Garcia implicated
his brother-in-law Freddy Ruiz and uncle Roger Ruiz in the couple’s
2011 May 27, President Barack
Obama's last stop on his European tour brought him to Poland for the
first time, giving him the chance to inject new vigor in a
relationship with an ally that has sometimes felt slighted by
2011 May 28, In Poland US
President Barack Obama pledged close cooperation with Poland on
missile defense, the upgrading of its air defenses and in developing
shale gas and nuclear power to boost its energy security.
2011 Jul 1, Poland took over
the rotating presidency of the EU.
(Econ, 6/25/11, p.66)
2011 Aug 5, In Poland Andrzej
Lepper (57), a pig farmer-turned-firebrand populist who was briefly
deputy prime minister (2006-2007) in a shaky government and who was
later disgraced by bribery and sex scandals, was found dead in what
police suspected to be a suicide.
2011 Aug 12, Poland's PM Donald
Tusk lambasted prosecutors for giving Belarusian police confidential
financial information on Ales Belyatsky, a prominent human rights
activist. The information contributed to his arrest and allowed
Belarusian authorities to file criminal charges against him.
2011 Aug 16, Poland's
prosecutor general announced the dismissal of two officials who
played a role in giving Belarus financial data about Ales Belyatsky,
a leading human rights activist, information that resulted in his
2011 Aug 21, In Poland two
small planes have crashed within half an hour of each other in
separate accidents in the southern part of the country, killing six
2011 Sep 1, Poland’s
government, Jewish community and Holocaust survivors all strongly
condemned the desecrated Jedwabne monument marking the spot where
hundreds of Jews were burned alive during World War II. Police
discovered the desecration a day earlier during a patrol and sought
2011 Oct 8, Polish authorities
said 2 Polish men have been arrested and charged with carrying out a
string of bomb attacks at IKEA stores across Europe and trying to
extort millions from the Swedish furniture giant. They were
identified as Mikolaj G. and Adam K., both 39-year-olds from the
northern city of Gdynia.
2011 Oct 9, Poles voted in
parliamentary elections that will determine whether the country
continues on its conciliatory course with Russia and Germany, or
whether it returns to a more combative stance with its historic
foes. Results showed that PM Tusk’s pro-European party could
maintain a narrow majority in parliament with its small coalition
partner, a sign of deepening stability in this nation of 38 million.
The Palikot's Movement, a new left-wing party that opposes the
church's influence in political life in this conservative and mainly
Catholic country, entered parliament as the third largest force.
(AP, 10/9/11)(AP, 10/10/11)
2011 Nov 8, In Poland a
transsexual woman and an openly gay man took seats in the newly
elected parliament, historic firsts that reflect profound social
change in this traditionally Roman Catholic country. Both belong to
Palikot's Movement, a new progressive party that became the
third-largest party in parliament in the Oct. 9 election.
2011 Nov 11, Polish police
arrested 210 people during Independence Day marches that turned
violent, and that nearly half of them were Germans. 40 police
officers were injured and 14 police cars destroyed. Far-right
protesters, football hooligans and anarchists from Germany were
2012 Jan 9, In western Poland
military prosecutor Col. Mikolaj Przybyl, the head of a local
department investigating organized crime in the army, shot himself
in the head after defending the work of his office and rejecting
planned reforms. Przybyl survived the shooting in Poznan and said he
tried to commit suicide because his own work has been used as a
reason supporting plans to close military prosecution offices in
(AP, 1/9/12)(AP, 1/10/12)
2012 Jan 12, In Poland the
Warsaw Provincial Court found retired Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak guilty
on charges of membership in an armed criminal group that illegally
declared a clampdown and violated the freedom of many Poles in 1981.
The former interior minister was given a two-year suspended prison
term for his role in implementing martial law in Poland on Dec 13
2012 Feb 1, In Poland Wislawa
Szymborska (b.1923), Nobel-winning poet (1996), died. She published
fewer than 400 poems.
2012 Feb 3, The death toll from
a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 222, including 101 in
the Ukraine, 37 in Poland, 24 in Romania and 16 in Bulgaria.
2012 Feb 15, Authorities said
more than 600 people in Eastern Europe have died during a
record-breaking cold snap. Officials in the Czech Republic blamed
two massive car pile-ups on blinding snow. Authorities in Russia
said 205 people have died, while in Ukraine there have been 112
fatalities; in Poland, 107. Authorities said 7 people have died in
Romania in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 86 deaths.
2012 Feb 17, Polish politician
Janusz Palikot and several activists smoked marijuana in front of
parliament in Warsaw as part of a campaign to liberalize the
country’s drug laws.
(SFC, 2/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 3, In southern Poland
2 trains running on the same track collided head-on in a shower of
sparks, killing 16 people and injuring 58 in the country's worst
train disaster in more than 20 years.
2012 Mar 28, In Poland former
intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski was charged with exceeding
his powers related to a secret CIA prison in Poland during his
tenure (2002-2004). Former CIA officials have told the AP that a
prison in Poland operated from December 2002 until the fall of 2003,
and that prisoners were subjected to harsh questioning and
waterboarding in the village of Stare Kiejkuty. Intelligence
officials, aviation reports and human rights groups have said "black
sites" were based in Afghanistan and Thailand as well as Poland,
Lithuania and Romania.
(SFC, 3/29/12, p.A2)(AP, 3/31/12)
2012 Apr 25, European ministers
began returning to Belarus. Poland, Lithuania and Sweden sent their
representatives back to Minsk today. Other ambassadors will return
over the next hours and days.
2012 Jul 31, In Poland US
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said Poland's economy
is a model of small government and free enterprise that other
nations should emulate as they struggle with recession. This was his
final stop on a three-nation tour designed to boost his foreign
policy resume with voters back home.
2012 Aug 10, In Poland a
prosecutor said a charred body found at a cemetery is believed to be
that of a priest, identified as Boguslaw P., who was charged this
week with sexually abusing two teenage boys 10 years ago.
(SFC, 8/11/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 17, Polish prosecutors
charged the owner of Amber Gold Fund, a suspended investment fund,
with illegal activity in a case that has increased government
scrutiny of the country's private financial firms. More than 400 of
its clients have written to the prosecutors to seek reimbursement of
their money. They were lured to the fund by promises of a 10 percent
interest. Prosecutors later said investors lost about 163 million
zlotys ($50 million; €40 million), a number that has been mounting
as more and more victims come forward.
(AP, 8/17/12)(AP, 8/28/12)
2012 Sep 29, In Poland
thousands blew horns, prayed and waved flags in downtown Warsaw to
show their anger over a new law that raises the retirement age and a
host of other issues. A new law put through by the pro-market
government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk will gradually raise the
retirement age to 67 for all Poles from 60 for women and 65 for men.
2012 Nov 2, In Poland a
prosecutor said a woman, identified only as Beata Z. (41), has been
arrested on suspicion of killing at least five of her newborn
2012 Nov 9, A Polish university
researcher driven by nationalistic and anti-Semitic hatred was
arrested for planning to detonate a four-ton bomb in front of the
Parliament building in Warsaw with the president, prime minister,
government ministers and lawmakers inside.
2012 Dec 21, Poland’s Interior
Ministry said the death toll from sub-freezing temperatures that set
in in December was 49 people so far, compared to 19 in the whole of
December last year. Another 15 people died of cold in October and
five in November. Another 41 have been killed by carbon monoxide
inhalation from coal or other ways of heating their homes since
temperatures started falling.
2012 Halik Kochanski authored
“The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War."
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.88)
2013 Jan 23, Cardinal Jozef
Glemp (83), the longtime head of Poland's influential Roman Catholic
church, died. He helped lead the nation peacefully through martial
law and the fight against communism.
(AP, 1/24/13)(Econ, 2/2/13, p.86)
2013 Mar 1, In Poland
Lech Walesa said in a television interview that he believes gays
have no right to sit on the front benches in Parliament and, if
represented at all, should sit in the back, "and even behind a
2013 Mar 18, US officials
visiting Warsaw tried to reassure Poland that the cancellation of
the final stage of a European missile defense system will not
sideline the country and was not made to appease Russia.
2013 Mar 19, Romania's defense
minister said US plans to deploy anti-missile interceptors in his
country are going ahead and that Romania has an "exceptional"
partnership with the United States. US officials have stressed they
will deploy shorter-range missiles to Poland and Romania.
2013 Mar 25, Abu Zubaydah, a
Guantanamo detainee who allegedly revealed valuable information
about 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, sued Poland.
Lawyers said he was held in a CIA black site in Poland (2002-2003),
which they say has withheld critical information needed to
investigate his case.
2013 Apr 1, Barbara Piasecka
Johnson (b.1937), the Polish widow of J. Seward Johnson Sr.
(d.1983), heir to millions made from bandages, baby oil and
pharmaceutical products, died. She had inherited much of the Johnson
& Johnson fortune after a sensational court battle with her six
2013 Apr 13, Poland unveiled a
giant statue of the late Pope John Paul II in the southern city of
Czestochowa and billed it as the world's tallest.
2013 Apr 19, Poland inaugurated
its new $100 million Museum of the History of Polish Jews in the
heart of the former Warsaw ghetto.
(SFC, 4/19/13, p.A3)
2013 May 29, The EU granted
France, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia more time
to bring their budget deficits under control to support the bloc's
shrinking economy. The European Commission approved France’s request
to postpone by 2 years the target of cutting its budget deficit to
3% of GDP.
(AP, 5/29/13)(Econ, 6/1/13, p.55)
2013 Jun 12, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off a two-day visit to Poland. He met
Polish PM Donald Tusk in Warsaw and then headed south to inaugurate
a new Auschwitz pavilion meant to educate visitors about the
Holocaust and the WWII Nazi quest to exterminate the Jewish people.
2013 Aug 23, The Belgian
prosecutor's office said a three-nation investigation (Belgium,
Netherlands, Poland) has led to one of the biggest seizures of
synthetic drugs in Europe, a haul of core products to create Ecstasy
pills with a street value of 1.3 billion euros ($1.75 billion).
2013 Sep 9, Poland's
conservative opposition Law and Justice Party won a parliamentary
by-election with an increased margin, delivering a fresh blow to PM
Donald Tusk's government.
2013 Sep 14, In Poland
some 100,000 union members marched through Warsaw to protest the
government’s labor and wage policies.
(SSFC, 9/15/13, p.A4)
2013 Sep 29, In Poland
Pavel Khodorkovsky, a son of Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky,
received a $100,000 human rights award on behalf of his imprisoned
father during a ceremony conducted by Solidarity founder Lech
2013 Oct 2, Polish police said
they have located Rev. Wojciech Gil, a priest sought by Interpol on
suspicion he sexually abused children in the Dominican Republic,
where he led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight
2013 Oct 4, Poland's Catholic
Church said it will not pay compensation to victims of priests who
sexually abused children. Rev. Jozef Kloch said in comments aired by
Polish Radio 1 that the responsibility for compensation lies with
2013 Oct 28, In Poland Tadeusz
Mazowiecki (b.1927), Eastern Europe's first democratic prime
minister after communism, died. He was a key adviser to Poland's
Solidarity freedom movement and UN human rights envoy to Bosnia in
2013 Nov 11, Violence marred
Polish independence day as ultra-nationalist rioters went on the
rampage outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw, igniting a diplomatic
row with Moscow.
2013 Nov 13, In Russia
protesters threw firecrackers at the Polish embassy in Moscow in
response to a similar attack on the Russian mission in Warsaw,
further straining ties between countries with a history of troubled
2013 Nov 19, In Poland 18
people were detained on suspicion of large scale corruption. They
included current and former state officials.
(SFC, 11/20/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 20, Poland’s PM Donald
Tusk reshuffled his Cabinet. Jacek Rostowski, the man who has led
the country’s economy since 2007, was among those sacked.
(Econ, 11/23/13, p.56)
2013 Nov 20, At UN talks in
Poland the governments of Norway, Britain and the United States said
they will allocate $280 million of their multi-billion dollar
climate change finances to a new initiative aimed at halting
2013 Nov 21, In Poland around
800 people from environmental groups, including Greenpeace and WWF,
walked out of UN climate talks in Warsaw in protest at what they see
as a lack of progress towards a global deal to curb greenhouse gas
2013 Nov 22, In Poland UN
negotiators agreed rules on financing forest projects in developing
nations, paving the way for multi-billion dollar investments from
governments, funding agencies and private firms in schemes to halt
2013 Nov 23, In Poland UN
negotiators reached consensus on some of the foundations for an
ambitious, global climate pact, modifying wording in a document that
had threatened to derail talks in Warsaw. The Conference of the
parties (COP) agreed that countries would make contributions to
climate change reduction.
(AFP, 11/23/13)(Econ, 11/30/13, p.59)
2013 Dec 2, In central Poland a
priest (49) was sentenced to more than eight years after being
convicted of sexually abusing five boys.
2013 Dec 6, The death toll from
hurricane-force Storm Xaver sweeping across northern Europe rose to
6 when high winds hurled a tree limb against a car, killing 3 people
in Poland. Britain and Denmark had already reported 3 deaths.
Thousands of people in Britain faced a second day of flooding as the
country confronted its worst tidal surge in 60 years after Xaver
roared across northern Europe.
(Reuters, 12/6/13)(AP, 12/6/13)
2013 Dec 7, Polish authorities
said icy winter storms with hurricane-force winds battering northern
Europe have claimed four more lives in Poland, where some 350,000
homes remained without power. This brought the reported death toll
from the storms across north Europe to 14.
2013 Dec 29, In Poland Wojciech
Kilar (b.1932), pianist and composer of classical music and scores
for many films, including Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning "The
Pianist" (2002) and Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula"
(1992), died in his hometown of Katowice.
2014 Jan 28, A Polish court
convicted seven Poles for attacking Mexican cadets last year in a
massive beach fight on the Baltic coast, and sent them to jail. Some
300 Poles had attacked 57 Mexican naval cadets who were on a
training voyage aboard a sailing vessel docked in Gdynia.
2014 Feb 18, Polish prosecutors
said they have charged a Catholic priest (Wojciech G.) with four
counts of sex abuse against children in Poland and in the Dominican
Republic, where he was working in a rural parish.
2014 Feb 19, Poland's deputy
foreign minister said consensus has been reached among EU states
about imposing sanctions on Ukrainian officials over the violence in
Kiev that has killed dozens of people.
2014 Mar 6, Poland's defense
minister said a mission of observers from the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been stopped from
entering Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula by unidentified men in military
2014 May 7, Poland awarded a
prize for championing democracy and human rights to Mustafa
Dzhemilev, a leader of the Tatar community in Ukraine's Crimea
peninsula who says he was barred from the region after Russia
2014 May 15, Prime ministers
from central European countries backed Polish plans for close energy
cooperation and agreed to draft joint crisis management plans for
the possibility of a cut in natural gas from Russia in the coming
2014 May 25, In Poland General
Wojciech Jaruzelski (90) died. The Communist leader for years had
helped the Kremlin suppress dissent behind the Iron Curtain before
finally allowing democratic rule.
(Reuters, 5/26/14)(Econ, 6/14/14, p.86)
2014 Jun 3, Pres. Obama said
the United States is preparing to boost its military presence in
Europe and at a cost of up to $1 billion. The announcement in Poland
came at the start of a three-country swing through Europe steeped in
both historical significance and regional anxiety over the crisis in
2014 Jun 4, US President Barack
Obama endorsed Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko, offering
Kiev financial and security help and saying he was the right choice
to lead the country through its stand-off with Moscow. Obama spoke
in Warsaw ahead of a G7 meeting in Brussels.
(Reuters, 6/4/14)(AP, 6/4/14)
2014 Jun 14, Polish magazine
Wprost published a recording in which central bank head Marek Belka
told Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz last July that he
would help the government get out of financial trouble if it fired
the finance minister.
2014 Jul 16, In Poland a
malfunction at a power plant near Kozienice caused a leakage of
fuel, prompting emergency officials to work to make sure it doesn't
contaminate the nearby Vistula River.
2014 Jul 17, Polish rescue
services said 7 people have been killed after falling into a septic
tank where they were overcome by toxic gas in the western village of
2014 Jul 23, Polish state
airline LOT suspended its flights to Israel from Warsaw until July
28 because of concern for passengers' safety.
2014 Jul 24, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Poland violated the rights of two terror
suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish
soil in 2002 and 2003 and facilitating conditions for torture. Abd
al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Palestinian terror suspect, and Abu Zubaida,
a Saudi national charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the
USS Cole, were currently imprisoned at Guantanamo.
(SFC, 7/25/14, p.A5)
2014 Aug 14, Ukrainian hackers
hostile to the government claimed to have launched a cyber-attack
against the websites of Poland's presidency and the Warsaw Stock
2014 Aug 15, Poland put on its
biggest military parade in years to mark its annual armed forces
2014 Aug 19, Poland said it has
asked the European Commission to lodge a formal complaint to the
World Trade Organization (WTO) over a Russian ban on EU food
products that has hit Poland particularly hard.
2014 Aug 23, Several thousand
people formed a human chain across the German-Polish border to
protest the expansion of mining for brown coal, aka lignite, in the
(SSFC, 8/24/14, p.A6)
2014 Aug 30, EU leaders chose
Polish PM Donald Tusk as the new president of their Council and
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the bloc's new
foreign policy chief.
2014 Sep 10, Poland's PGNiG gas
utility said its gas deliveries from Russia's Gazprom had been cut
by 24 percent, amid heightened tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
2014 Sep 18, Poland said it
will create a joint military unit with Lithuania and Ukraine, with
its command headquarters in the eastern Polish city of Lublin.
2014 Sep 24, In Poland some 200
coal miners blocked railway tracks on the border with Russia to
protest imports of cheap Russian coal, saying it threatens their
2014 Oct 6, In Poland a methane
blast occurred 660 meters (1,265 feet) below the surface at the
Myslowice-Wesola mine near the city of Katowice. The body of one
missing miner was later recovered. 30 miners were hospitalized with
burns and 2 died later from their burns.
2014 Oct 22, Polish prosecutors
said a parish priest, identified as Wojciech Gil, has been formally
charged in Poland with sexually molesting minors in both in Poland
(2000-2001) and the Dominican Republic (2009-2013).
2014 Oct 28, Polish President
Bronislaw Komorowski and Israeli President Reuven Rivli joined
Holocaust survivors for a ceremony to open a multimedia museum that
tells the 1,000-year history of Jewish life in Poland. The POLIN
Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened in 2013 and is located
at the site that once was the center of the Warsaw Ghetto.
(AP, 10/28/14)(Econ, 4/9/15, p.55)
2014 Nov 11, In Poland police
in Warsaw used water cannon to push back several hundred masked men
who broke away from a far-right march and threw stones and flares at
lines of riot police. Nationalist groups march through Warsaw each
year to mark the anniversary of independence, but for the fourth
year in a row the procession turned violent.
2014 Nov 16, Poland held
regional elections. On Nov 22 official results said the ruling
center-right Civic Platform (PO) won 179 seats in provincial
assemblies. The conservative bloc led by PiS came 2nd, with 169
2014 Nov 17, Russia expelled
several Polish diplomats for spying, deepening the worst East-West
crisis since the Cold War as the EU eyed fresh sanctions against
Moscow over the violence in Ukraine.
2014 Dec 1, In Poland Robert
Biedron (38) became mayor of Slupsk and the country's first openly
2014 Dec 8, Poland said it has
decided to refuse a toxic waste shipment from a pesticide plant in
El Salvador that was to be destroyed at an incineration plant in a
southern town, after the local community in Dabrowa Gornicza raised
2014 Dec 10, Poland's
constitutional court overturned a ban on the ritual slaughter of
animals which had affected the Jewish and Muslim communities.
2014 Dec 13, In Poland
thousands of supporters of a conservative opposition party marched
to protest the results of recent local elections, which party leader
Jaroslaw Kaczynski says were falsified. Kaczynski's critics accuse
him of making false claims about the election outcome to motivate
his base ahead of national elections next year.
2014 Dec 26, Former Harvard
lecturer Stanislaw Baranczak (68), Poland's outstanding poet,
translator and dissident, died at his home near Boston, Mass.
2014 Poland ranked 45th in the
World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business index.
(Econ, 3/15/14, p.52)
2014 Canada-based historian Jan
Grabowski was awarded the 2014 Yad Vashem International Book Prize
for Holocaust Research for his book "Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and
Murder in German-Occupied Poland," which documents the involvement
of Poles in finding and killing Jews during the German occupation of
Poland during World War II.
2015 Jan 1, In Poland a
so-called "oncology package" was introduced requiring family doctors
to diagnose and fast-track cancer patients. Doctors said this will
leave less time and attention for all other patients, threatening
their health. Hundreds of doctors refused to sign the new plan and
kept their surgeries closed.
2015 Jan 7, Tadeusz Konwicki
(b.1926), a prominent Polish writer and filmmaker. died in Warsaw.
His works during the communist era lampooned the authoritarian
Soviet-imposed system. He was best known for his novels "A
Minor Apocalypse," a satire of life in a totalitarian state, and
"The Polish Complex," a polemic on a national historical condition
tragically defined by military defeats and foreign occupation.
2015 Jan 26, Poland led EU
criticism of bilateral farm deals with Moscow following a French
accord with Russia to lift its ban on live pig and pork imports.
2015 Jan 30, France pledged
tanks and armored vehicles to bolster NATO forces in Poland, where
leaders are increasingly uneasy about Russia.
2015 Jan 30, NATO said it will
deploy small units in six Eastern European nations to help
coordinate a spearhead force set up in response to Russia's actions
in Ukraine. The units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Bulgaria and Romania will be the first of their kind there.
2015 Feb 6, Poland’s lawmakers
voted 254-175 with eight abstentions to empower Pres. Komorowski to
sign into law the 2011 Council of Europe's convention on combating
violence against women and domestic violence.
2015 Feb 11, In Poland hundreds
of angry farmers drove their tractors toward Warsaw, where their
leaders were seeking government compensation for crops destroyed by
wild boar, profits undercut by Russia's import ban and new market
2015 Feb 22, In the 87th
Academy Awards Poland won its first ever foreign language movie
Oscar for "Ida."
(SFC, 2/23/15, p.E1)
2015 Feb 23, The Russian
consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it has suspended since Feb 20
all imports of cheese from Poland due to irregularities in
2015 Mar 4, Poland's central
bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to a
historic low of 1.5 percent amid concerns over deflation, a
sustained drop in consumer prices that can hurt the economy.
2015 Mar 17, In Poland rioting
by some 300 young people in Sosnowiec follows two nights of
disturbances near Warsaw over the death of another young man
apprehended by the police. Two officers were hurt as police detained
14 people. They blamed the police for the death last week of a
23-year-old man, apprehended in the street and taken to a sobering
center, where he lost consciousness.
2015 Mar 18, Poland's foreign
minister says his government will reciprocate if Russia continues to
bill for Poland's diplomatic buildings after the Arbitration Court
in St. Petersburg allowed bailiffs to evict Poland's consulate
there, saying Poland owes some $1 million in rent.
2015 Mar 25, A Polish court
sentenced former priest Wojciech Gill to seven years in prison for
abusing six minors in the Dominican Republic between 2009 and 2013,
as well as two in Poland in 2001-2002.
(SFC, 3/26/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 15, Poland's PM Ewa
Kopacz criticized a fiercely nationalistic Russian biker gang's
plans to ride through Europe to celebrate the Soviet Union's victory
over Nazi Germany in World War II.
2015 Apr 24, Poland’s Foreign
Ministry says it will not allow the Night Wolves, a Russian
nationalistic motorcycle group loyal to President Vladimir Putin, to
enter Poland to commemorate next week the 70th anniversary of the
end of World War II.
2015 Apr 24, Polish statesman
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski (93), died. The Polish Red Cross got him out
of Auschwitz in 1941 and he wrote down the first account of the
(Econ, 5/9/15, p.86)
2015 Apr 27, Polish border
guards blocked 10 nationalistic Russian bikers loyal to President
Vladimir Putin from entering Poland as part of a ride to commemorate
the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.
2015 Apr 29, Polish authorities
accused Russian journalist Leonid Sviridov of posing a threat to
Poland's security, saying that he should lose his right to reside in
Poland and the European Union.
2015 May 2, In Poland one man
died after being hit by a rubber bullet and 14 police officers were
injured in clashes that erupted during a league football match in
2015 May 3, In Poland thirty
people were arrested and five police vans damaged during a second
night of violence in Knurow. This followed the death of a soccer fan
hit by a rubber bullet fired by police a day earlier.
2015 May 4, Polish President
Bronislaw Komorowski approved a resolution that gave his formal
consent to the establishment of a joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian
military unit. The joint brigade will serve separately from the
three countries’ military commands, but will participate in NATO,
United Nations and European Union operations.
2015 May 4, In southern Poland
nine people were arrested following the third night of violence in
Knurow, in southern Poland, triggered by the death of a football fan
hit by a rubber bullet fired by police.
2015 May 10, Poland held
presidential elections. Incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski was expected
to be re-elected, but not in the first round of balloting. Exit
polls showed that Komorowski took just 33 percent of the votes
compared to more than 34 percent for Andrzej Duda (42), backed by
the right-wing Law and Justice party.
(AP, 5/10/15)(AP, 5/11/15)
2015 May 15, The Polish Foreign
Ministry said that it was processing payments, ordered last July by
the European Court of Human Rights, of a quarter of a million
dollars to two terror suspects allegedly tortured by the CIA in a
secret facility in this country in 2002-2003.
2015 May 24, Poland held the
final round of a cliffhanger presidential election race between the
conservative incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski and an even more
conservative challenger. Conservative newcomer Andrzej Duda (43)
from the Law and Justice (PiS) opposition party won the presidential
run-off with 51.55% of the vote.
(AP, 5/24/15)(AFP, 5/25/15)
2015 Jun 1, US-led NATO drills
began in the Baltic states and Poland, a move intended to reassure
Russia's nervous neighbors amid tensions over Ukraine.
2015 Jun 2, Polish authorities
said they will cull about 5,800 pigs to prevent the spread of
African swine fever.
2015 Jun 8, In Poland Emirati
PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the emir of
Dubai, met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski as the two
countries sought greater cooperation in the areas of tourism,
agriculture, higher education and scientific research.
2015 Jun 23, US Defense
Secretary Ash Carter announced that the United States will
pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in
eastern and central Europe, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved
by Russian involvement in Ukraine. Carter, during a trip to Tallinn,
said the Baltic states - Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia -- as well as
Bulgaria, Romania and Poland agreed to host elements of this heavy
2015 Jun 25, Poland's lawmakers
approved a government bill that provides coherent regulations for in
vitro fertilization and guarantees the procedure also to unwed
2015 Jul 1, US House of
Representatives Speaker John Boehner led a Congressional delegation
to Poland, part of a broader US attempt to strengthen economic ties
and reassure an ally nervous about Russian aggression in the region.
2015 Jul 9, Poland offered to
accept 2,000 refugees from Africa and the Middle East as part of a
European Union plan. This thrown into doubt the next day when the
junior partner in its coalition government complained of not being
2015 Jul 23, In Poland hundreds
of police, firefighters and other uniformed workers picketed the
main government building to demand higher pay and modernization of
their sectors. The Interior Ministry said pay rises are planned for
2015 Jul 23, In Poland a bus
traveling from Ukraine to Warsaw crashed, killing 5 people and
injuring more than two dozen others.
2015 Jul 29, In Poland Jan
Kulczyk (65), the country’s richest man and the founder and
president of investment empire Kulczyk Holding, died from
complications following surgery. He made his fortune during Poland's
2015 Aug 6, Conservative
Andrzej Duda was sworn in as Poland's new president, bringing
political change to the nation's top office.
2015 Aug 28, Poland's defense
ministry signed a preliminary agreement with Bulgaria to modernize
the Balkan country's Soviet-era fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets.
2015 Sep 4, In a joint
statement the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland
and Slovakia rejected any quota system for accepting migrants in the
European Union's 28 members.
2015 Sep 28, Poland's army said
it has begun inspecting the southwestern area where two men claim to
have discovered an armored Nazi gold train buried at the end of
World War II.
2015 Oct 1, The Polish
government was reported to have organized the nation's first
shopping receipt lottery aimed at boosting budget income from sales
taxes. Deputy Finance Minister Izabela Leszczyna said the lottery is
intended to encourage shoppers to ask for receipts from sellers,
leading to less evasion on sales tax.
2015 Oct 3, The Vatican
dismissed a gay priest from his Holy See job on the eve of a major
Church meeting for a highly public coming out that challenged the
Roman Catholic teaching that homosexual acts are a sin. Monsignor
Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish theologian, had worked at the
Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal
arm, since 2003.
2015 Oct 5, Poland's PM Ewa
Kopacz said she does not consider nuclear energy a priority and is
instead focused on strengthening the coal mining industry.
2015 Oct 7, A Chinese Navy
destroyer, a Chinese frigate and a Chinese supply vessel sailed into
Poland's navy port of Gdynia on the first such visit ever.
2015 Oct 15, Poland signed a
landmark $636 million deal to build the first EU gas pipeline to
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, reducing their uneasy reliance on
Russian supplies. Construction is set to begin next year on the GIPL
(Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania) pipeline.
2015 Oct 25, Poland held
parliamentary elections. The conservative Law and Justice (PiS)
party under party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski won 235 seats in the
460-seat lower house and a majority in the Senate, sweeping the
economically liberal pro-EU center-right Civic Platform from office.
No party left of center won a seat. Beata Szydlo will serve as prime
(Reuters, 10/2615)(AP, 10/27/15)(SFC, 10/29/15,
p.A2)(Econ, 10/31/15, p.51)
2015 Nov 11, In Poland
thousands of flag-waving nationalists marched through Warsaw with an
anti-migrant message as they mark Independence Day, a holiday marred
by violence in recent years.
2015 Nov 13, Poland’s Pres.
Andrzej Duda officially designated Beata Szydlo from the right-wing
Law and Justice Party as the new prime minister.
(SFC, 11/14/15, p.A2)
2015 Nov 27, Bulgaria's
parliament ratified an agreement with NATO ally Poland for the
repair of its ageing Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, part of a push
by the Balkan country to reduce its reliance on Russia.
2015 Nov 27, Pirates attacked
the Cyprus-registered Szafir, a Polish-owned cargo vessel, off the
Nigerian coast and kidnapped its captain and four crew. The five
Polish seamen were reported freed on Dec 8.
(Reuters, 11/27/15)(AP, 12/8/15)
2015 Dec 10, The European
Commission said it has decided to take Poland to court over its
failure to address its poor air quality.
2015 Dec 12, In Poland tens of
thousands, angered by an ongoing constitutional conflict, marched in
Warsaw. They argued that President Andrzej Duda is breaking the
constitution with the steps he is taking concerning the appointment
of new judges to the Constitutional Tribunal, the top law arbiter.
2015 Dec 13, In Poland tens of
thousands of people marched through Warsaw to express support for
the ruling conservatives, as the country remained locked in a
constitutional crisis over the appointment of judges who could help
the government pass its legislative program.
2015 Dec 15, Polish geology
experts said they have found no traces of a train at a site
allegedly hiding a World War II Nazi train.
2015 Dec 19, In Poland
thousands of people took part in demonstrations across the country
to protest moves by the new right-wing government to neutralize the
Constitutional Tribunal as a check on its power.
2015 Dec 19, Polish police
seized a record amount of cocaine worth around $27 million that
arrived via Belgium in a shipment of bananas from Colombia.
2015 Dec 21, In Poland a
chemist was convicted of a bomb plot against parliament and other
government buildings, and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Brunon Kwiecien, an agricultural university teacher in Krakow, was
arrested in 2012 in a much publicized case in which prosecutors said
a "terrorist" attack was foiled.
2015 Dec 28, Poland's President
Andrzej Duda approved controversial legislation that regulates the
Constitutional Tribunal. This required the tribunal to approve all
verdicts by a two-thirds margin.
(AP, 12/28/15)(Econ, 1/2/16, p.41)
2015 In Poland Mateusz Kijowski
founded the Committee for the Defense of Democracy to fight judicial
changes he and supporters saw as anti-democratic. He stepped down
after the allegations of financial wrongdoing came to light in 2017.
In 2018 he was accused of illegally appropriating 121,000 zlotys
($35,000) from the organization. Kijowski, a computer specialist,
said that the money he took was for computer work rendered to the
2016 Jan 3, The European
Commission said it would debate the rule of law in Poland this month
in the first stage of a potentially-punitive procedure after Warsaw
seized control of public broadcasters.
2016 Jan 4, Poland’s government
said 21 people died over the weekend because of freezing weather
amid one of the country's deadliest cold spells.
2016 Jan 7, Poland's President
Andrzej Duda signed a temporary new law that's a step toward giving
the government full control of state radio and television. It will
expire June 30. By then, a sweeping new law intended to overhaul the
state-run broadcasters and the PAP news agency was expected to be in
2016 Jan 9, In Poland thousands
of opponents of the new right-wing government held protests in
Warsaw and other cities against policies which they say threaten
democracy and media freedom.
(AP, 1/9/16)(SSFC, 1/10/16, p.A5)
2016 Jan 13, The European Union
escalated its standoff with Poland over the rule of law under the
new government, deciding to open a case over legislation on the
constitutional court and media that has been criticized as running
counter to the bloc's fundamental principles.
2016 Jan 15, Poland's
Parliament adopted disputed new regulations for police surveillance
that widen its scope but also put it under stricter court control.
2016 Jan 23, In Poland
thousands of people took to the streets in more than 30 cities
across the country to "defend freedom" and protest against the
2016 Feb 22, A Polish state
archive has released documents which allegedly show that democracy
leader and former president Lech Walesa collaborated with the
communist secret police in the 1970s, before he took leadership of a
movement that eventually helped topple communism.
2016 Mar 4, Poland reported
that five generals have submitted their resignations over the last
few days. The resignations rocked the new conservative government,
which is facing a barrage of criticism at home and abroad over a
host of controversial reforms.
2016 Mar 6, In Poland hundreds
of women marched in Warsaw for a 17th year to demand greater
accessibility to abortion, better working conditions and more state
support in raising children.
2016 Mar 9, Poland's
Constitutional Tribunal ruled that new rules introduced by the new
government to regulate how the court functions are unconstitutional.
2016 Mar 12, In Poland tens of
thousands held street protests in Warsaw and other cities in
opposition to government moves that have paralyzed the
2016 Mar 14, It was reported
that Poland’s Bialowieza forest is at the heart of a heated debate
between foresters who advocate cutting tens of thousands of cubic
meters (yards) of worm-affected trees, and environmentalists, who
say that nature alone should be allowed to deal with the plague.
2016 Mar 17, Polish President
Andrzej Duda led the formal opening of the Ulma Family Museum of
Poles Saving Jews, in the village of Markowa.
2016 Mar 23, Polish PM Beata
Szydlo said Warsaw would not take in its share of migrants under an
EU plan because of the jihadist attacks that killed 31 people in
2016 Mar 25, Poland's
environment minister said he has approved a much-protested plan to
allow extensive logging in Bialowieza Forest, Europe's last pristine
forest, arguing it's the way to save it from woodworms.
2016 Apr 1, In Poland the PiS
government began its “Family 500+" program. Together with families
with two children or more, parents with a combined monthly income
below 800 PLN (€184) will also be eligible to get 500 extra PLN per
month starting from their first child. The first payments would be
made in July.
2016 Apr 3, Thousands of Poles
protested a possible tightening of the country's abortion law,
already one of the most restrictive in Europe.
2016 May 25, Polish authorities
said they have started chopping down beetle-infested trees in parts
of the Bialowieza Forest, the country’s oldest forest, saying the
move aims to eliminate dying trees and to ensure safety for
2016 Jun 1, The European Union
said Poland's government is not following the rule of law as
required by the bloc's membership and has taken a step toward
2016 Jun 3, Poland's PM Beata
Szydlo announced a new program to provide cheap housing for families
on low income — the second project the conservative government has
launched to support large families.
2016 Jun 4, In Poland two
former presidents were at the front of tens of thousands of marchers
in Warsaw to protest the right-wing government’s policies and mark
27 years since the ouster of communism. The march was led by Mateusz
Kijowski (47), founder of the Committee for the Defense of Democracy
(SSFC, 6/5/16, p.A4)(Econ, 6/11/16, p.55)
2016 Jun 5, Pope Francis
proclaimed two new saints: Swedish-born Elizabeth Hesselblad
(1870-1957), a Lutheran convert, who hid Jews during World War II
and Stanislaus Papczynski (1631-1701), the Polish founder of the
first men's religious order dedicated to the immaculate conception.
2016 Jun 11, Thousands of
people marched in colorful gay pride events in Croatia, Italy, and
Poland urging support for minority rights in the mostly Catholic
2016 Jun 21, A Polish court
convicted and handed a suspended prison term to Gen. Pawel Bielawny,
a former deputy head of government security, over the 2010 plane
crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others.
2016 Jul 7, Poland's parliament
rushed through legislation governing the Constitutional Tribunal, an
attempt to address international concerns about the rule of law a
day before Pres. Obama and other Western leaders arrive in Warsaw
for a NATO summit.
2016 Jul 8, Leaders of the NATO
military alliance met in Warsaw and began a landmark summit that
will order ambitious actions against a daunting array of dangers to
the security of their nations and citizenry, including a rearmed and
increasingly unfriendly Russia to Europe's east and violent Islamic
extremism to the south. Finland and Sweden joined NATO leaders at
the top table for the first time as Russia's military build-up
pushed the two countries closer to the western military alliance.
(AP, 7/8/16)(Reuters, 7/8/16)
2016 Jul 8, US President Barack
Obama expressed concern about the state of democracy in Poland,
publicly rebuking a right-wing government that has paralyzed the
constitutional court and taken steps to control state run media.
Obama shared his worries with Polish President Andrzej Duda in a
one-on-one meeting before the opening of a NATO summit in Warsaw.
2016 Jul 22, Poland's
parliament eased some restrictions on the constitutional court in a
move the government said addressed concerns that the ruling party
had undermined the rule of law but the opposition said the changes
did not go far enough.
2016 Jul 27, The European
Commission gave Poland three months to boost the powers of its
Constitutional Tribunal, stepping up pressure on Warsaw's
eurosceptic government to respect the EU's democratic standards.
2016 Jul 27, Pope Francis
landed in Poland at the start of 5-day visit to join young Catholics
for World Youth Day.
2016 Jul 31, In Poland Pope
Francis encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people at
the end of World Youth Day to "believe in a new humanity" that is
stronger than evil and refuses to see borders as barriers.
2016 Aug 9, Polish media
reported that authorities have arrested an 80-year-old woman,
identified only as Janina M., who allegedly drugged and then robbed
a string of senior citizen suitors she met through newspaper lonely
2016 Aug 11, Poland's
Constitutional Tribunal ruled that parts of a new law governing its
own operation are unconstitutional.
2016 Aug 25, The Three Seas
Initiative met for their first summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Also
known as the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Sea (BABS) Initiative, it is a
forum of 12 European Union countries in Eastern and Central Europe
that aims to create a north-south dialogue on a variety of questions
affecting the member states. Members included Austria, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
2016 Oct 9, Polish filmmaker
Andrzej Wajda (90) died in a Warsaw hospital, just months after
finishing "Afterimage," Poland's entry for a foreign language
Academy Award. In 2000 he received an honorary lifetime achievement
Oscar. The film focused on the life of art theorist Wladyslaw
Strzeminski and the years 1949-1952.
(AP, 10/19/16)(Econ, 9/17/16, p.81)(Econ,
2016 Nov 14, The Int’l.
Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said in a report that US forces in
Afghanistan may have committed the war crime of torture when
interrogating detainees, opening the possibility of Americans being
prosecuted even though their country is not a member of the court.
The report added that CIA operatives may have subjected at least 27
detainees in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania to "torture,
cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape" between
December 2002 and March 2008.
2016 Nov 16, Poland's lawmakers
voted to lower the retirement age in a reversal of a 2012 reform,
despite questions about financing of the new system. The lower house
voted 262-149 with 19 abstentions to allow women to retire at the
age of 60 and men at 65, as of October 2017. The lower chamber also
voted 269-170 for a bill establishing the Territorial Defense Forces
that are starting to recruit men and women.
2016 Nov 19, In Poland tens of
thousands of teachers from all over the country protested in Warsaw
against education reforms proposed by the right-wing government that
critics say could see thousands of jobs slashed.
2016 Nov 19, Poland's defense
minister officially launched self-defense courses for women, saying
that training by military instructors will increase individual and
2016 Nov 29, In southwestern
Poland an earth tremor at the Rudna copper mine left at least 5
people dead. Three miners remained missing.
2016 Dec 1, Poland and the US
Patriot missile maker Raytheon signed a letter of intent to
cooperate in production that could pave the way for the purchase of
2016 Dec 2, In Poland
technicians worked across the country to restore power to some
180,000 households as the freezing weather that has gripped the
country for a month claimed two more lives.
2016 Dec 5, Polish authorities
said Lufthansa and General Electric will jointly invest some 250
million euros ($270 million) in Poland to build a plant that will
service aircraft engines starting in 2018.
2016 Dec 6, Poland's Supreme
Court confirmed that the country would refuse to detain and
extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the US.
2016 Dec 14, US and Polish
defense officials said the United States has decided to accelerate
the deployment of troops to Poland, the Baltic states and Romania as
part of raising the security of the region.
2016 Dec 16, In Poland
opposition lawmakers, upset that the conservative ruling party plans
to limit reporters' access to lawmakers, protested in the lower
house of parliament, singing the national anthem and chanting "Free
media!" and "Democracy!"
2016 Dec 17, In Poland several
thousand people protested outside the presidential palace in Warsaw
over alleged vote fraud and the rightwing government's plans to
impose new restrictions on media coverage of parliament.
2016 Dec 18, Poland's President
Andrzej Duda met separately with opposition party leaders to help
solve a political crisis, as anti-government protests were held for
the third straight day.
2016 Dec 19, Polish President
Andrzej Duda scrambled to defuse a political crisis as opposition
lawmakers occupied parliament for a fourth day of anti-government
2016 Dec 29, A Polish court
handed prison sentences to a businessman and two waiters convicted
in the illegal wiretapping of top Polish politicians in expensive
2016 Dec 31, In Poland Daniel
R. and another Pole took two bottles of a beverage from the Prince
Kebab restaurant in Elk, without paying. In the ensuing brawl, a
26-year-old Tunisian cook stabbed Daniel R. twice with his knife.
2017 Jan 6, Blizzards swept
parts of Europe, causing at least nine deaths, closing roads and
resulting in traffic accidents, travel delays and medical
evacuations. In Poland, the cold was blamed for five deaths in 24
hours. Ukraine officials reported that four people had died from
effects of the cold in the Lviv region near the Polish border.
2017 Jan 7, Heavy snowfall and
below-freezing temperatures continued to sweep across the European
continent causing more than a dozen deaths. In Poland two men died
of cold, bringing the nation's death toll from winter weather to 55
since Nov 1.
(AP, 1/7/17)(AP, 1/8/17)
2017 Jan 10, In Poland six
people died over a 24-hour period as temperatures plunged across
Europe, bringing the toll of hypothermia deaths in the country to 71
2017 Jan 11, Poland's
parliament was paralyzed as liberal opposition MPs refused to end an
unprecedented protest against what they say are anti-democratic
actions by the government.
2017 Jan 12, Poland's main
opposition party ended its weekslong blockade of parliament,
stepping back in what had been a bitter standoff with the populist
2017 Jan 12, US troops and
tanks began streaming into Poland as part of one of the largest
deployments of US forces in Europe since the Cold War. The Atlantic
Resolve mission will see more than 3,000 American soldiers and heavy
equipment deployed in Poland and nearby NATO partners Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary on a rotational
2017 Jan 19, Poland's interior
minister defended a decision to post photos of some anti-government
protesters to illustrate the country's "zero tolerance for breaches
of the law," but opposition lawmakers called it an act of "political
revenge" intended to intimidate government critics.
2017 Jan 23, Lawmakers in the
Krakow region of Poland, considered the area with the dirtiest air
in the country, approved an anti-smog plan that calls for replacing
the most polluting heating stoves by 2023.
2017 Jan 25, In Poland hundreds
of students are gathering in downtown Warsaw and other cities to
protest the country's populist government, with a range of demands
that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the
2017 Jan 25, Poland's state-run
defense firm PGZ said it has signed a memorandum of understanding
with French military shipbuilder DCNS that could allow them to work
together on building submarines in Poland.
2017 Jan 26, Lithuania and
Poland said they would not allow the United States to locate new
secret prisons on their soil if President Donald Trump chooses to
reinstate an old CIA program that detained and interrogated
terrorism suspects abroad.
2017 Jan 31, Poland's
government-affiliated history institute said it had new evidence
that Lech Walesa, who led protests and strikes that shook communist
rule in the 1980s, had been a paid informant for the secret police
in the 1970s.
2017 Feb 2, Warsaw's mayor
harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the Polish capital to
incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities, describing it as the type
of power grab one expects in an authoritarian state like Belarus or
2017 Feb 3, Polish police
raided the Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior and
the private homes of some of its board members, seizing computers.
the group has exposed ties between local officials, prosecutors and
right-wing groups in Bialystok.
2017 Feb 11, In Poland hundreds
of protesters with flags and banners marched in downtown Warsaw
against the ruling party's plan to enlarge the capital by
incorporating 32 neighboring municipalities.
2017 Feb 17, Polish
environmental groups filed a complaint with the European Union
against national and local authorities for failing to fight lethal
levels of smog. Antiquated coal-fired power plants generate nearly
all of Poland's electricity, giving it some of the most toxic air in
the 28-member EU. Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said
pollution does not shorten people's lives.
(AFP, 2/17/17)(Reuters, 2/17/17)
2017 Mar 1, Polish European
Parliament lawmaker Janusz Korwin-Mikke told the European parliament
that "women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they
are smaller, they are less intelligent." Two days later in Warsaw he
said it is a "20th-century stereotype that women have the same
intellectual potential as men," and that the stereotype "must be
destroyed because it is not true."
2017 Mar 1, Human Rights Watch
said that Poland is endangering asylum-seekers fleeing persecution
in the Russian province of Chechnya and elsewhere by returning them
summarily to Belarus.
2017 Mar 2, The Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia urged the European Union to boost the
role of national parliaments under a planned overhaul of the bloc's
2017 Mar 8, Poland cautioned
other European Union countries that extending Donald Tusk's mandate
as chairman of EU leaders against Warsaw's will would undermine the
2017 Mar 9, European Union
leaders confirmed Donald Tusk for a second term as council
president, overcoming weeks of strong opposition from his native
2017 Mar 13, A prosecutor said
Poland will seek the arrest and extradition of Michael Karkoc (98)
from Minneapolis, Minnesota, after confirming he was a Nazi unit
commander suspected of ordering the killing of 44 Poles during World
2017 Mar 14, The European
Parliament suspended Polish lawmaker Janusz Korwin-Mikke for 10 days
after he said during a March 1 debate that women should earn less
than men because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.
2017 Mar 18, In Poland hundreds
of people, braving the winter cold and rain, protested in Warsaw
against plans by the conservative government to curb the power of
local governments and to subject the judiciary to the ruling party's
2017 Mar 20, A Polish court has
convicted a lawyer, identified only as Stanislaw Sz., of spying for
Russia and handed him a four-year prison term.
2017 Mar 24, In southern Poland
14 men and women in their twenties slaughtered a sheep and took
their clothes off at the former Nazi German death camp
Auschwitz-Birkenau. The group, including six Poles, four Belarusians
and one German, staged an "artistic performance" at Auschwitz aimed
at protesting the wars in Ukraine and Syria. The individuals used a
drone to film the incident. Police detained all those involved. In
2019 the man who killed the sheep, Adam Bialiatski, was sentenced to
a year in prison for animal cruelty and desecrating a site of
memory, while a second man, Mikita Valadzko, was given eight months.
Nine other participants were ordered to pay fines.
(AP, 3/24/17)(AP, 5/28/19)
2017 Mar 27, The foreign
minister of Nigeria visited Poland an effort to develop economic,
military and security ties with the fast-growing economy in central
2017 Mar 28, The central
European Visegrad Group (Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland and Slovakia)
rejected a European Union policy that calls for all member states to
receive migrants, protesting suggestions that the level of their
compliance could be linked to the availability of EU funds to them.
2017 Mar 31, Teachers across
Poland staged a strike to protest a sweeping overhaul of the
education system by the populist government that will see middle
schools eliminated this fall.
2017 Apr 3, Polish prosecutors
said they would press charges against two Russian air traffic
controllers of deliberately contributing to a 2010 plane crash that
killed Poland's president and 95 other people.
2017 Apr 5, In Poland
opposition lawmakers called for the dismissal of Defence Minister
Antoni Macierewicz, saying he is undermining the nation's armed
forces with dismissals and demotions of high-ranking officers who
aren't his allies.
2017 Apr 8, In southwestern
Poland an apartment house collapsed in Swiebodzice, leaving six
people dead and four injured. A gas explosion was suspected.
(AP, 4/8/17)(AP, 4/11/17)
2017 Apr 21, Magdalena
Abakanowicz (86), Poland's leading visual artist, renowned sculptor
and fiber artist, died.
2017 Apr 27, Officials said
Poland has signed its first deal to purchase liquefied natural gas
from a US supplier, a step that will help the country's efforts to
cut its dependence on deliveries from Russia.
2017 Apr 27, The European
Commission stepped up its legal action against Poland over the
logging of the protected primeval Bialowieza forest in the north
east of the country, warning that the next step would be a lawsuit
in the EU's top court.
2017 May 6, Thousands of Poles
marched through Warsaw to protest the policies of the populist
ruling party under Jaroslaw Kaczynski, describing them as attacks on
the country's democracy.
2017 May 29, Poland extradited
Benjamin F. to Austria. He was suspected of war crimes after he
allegedly killed civilians and enemy troops last year who had
already surrendered while he was fighting on the side of Ukrainian
2017 Jun 1, Thousands of troops
from NATO and its partner nations began training on land and sea in
Poland and Romania, in two major exercises that aim to demonstrate
their cooperation and rapid response capabilities at a time when the
region feels threatened by Russia.
2017 Jun 3, In Poland some
5,000 thousand people marched and danced down the streets of central
Warsaw to show their support for gay rights in the 17th annual
"Equality Parade", calling for stronger defiance of discrimination
and greater acceptance for same-sex unions and marriages.
2017 Jun 5, Hundreds of taxi
drivers in Poland's four largest cities drove at a crawl blocking
rush-hour traffic in a protest to draw the government's attention to
the rising number of unlicensed drivers who offer transport
2017 Jun 13, The European
Commission said that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have
breached their legal obligations to take some refugees as part of
the 2015 plan, which is aimed at sharing the burden of 160,000
migrants at camps in Italy and Greece.
2017 Jun 14, The European
Commission launched legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary
and Poland for failing their commitment to take in refugees.
2017 Jun 23, French President
Emmanuel Macron and four eastern European Union leaders (Visegrad-4)
sought to turn the page after publicly trading barbs over their
differences on issues ranging from jobs to the bloc’s fundamental
values. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic say they
should be allowed to compete on lower prices - just as more
developed western EU nations compete on quality products and
know-how - to catch up after decades of communist stagnation.
2017 Jul 1, Jaroslaw Kaczynski,
head of Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), said Poland has
a moral right to say 'no' to refugees.
2017 Jul 6, US President Donald
Trump arrived in Warsaw and pledged his backing for NATO at the
start of a high-stakes visit to Europe. Around 10,000 people turned
out to see him, many arriving on free buses laid on by Poland's
conservative ruling party.
2017 Jul 9, The United Nations'
cultural agency added to its list of World Heritage sites six caves
in west Germany with art dating back to the Ice Age and old silver
ore mines in southern Poland.
2017 Jul 21, Poland's upper
house of parliament passed a bill allowing parliament to appoint
Supreme Court judges, defying massed opposition protesters and the
European Union, which has threatened sanctions.
2017 Jul 22, Poland's Senate
approved a contentious law that gives politicians substantial
influence over the Supreme Court, in defiance of EU criticism. The
bill proposed by the populist ruling party only needs the signature
of President Andrzej Duda to become binding. Outrage over plans by
the governing party to put the judicial system under its political
control sparked another day of nationwide protests, with some people
gathering outside the home of ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski
and accusing him of being a dictator.
2017 Jul 24, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda announced that he will veto two contentious bills which
were widely seen as assaults on the independence of the judicial
system by the ruling party and that sparked days of nationwide
protests. This marked the first time Duda has broken openly with
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of the ruling Law and
Justice party. Duda said he would sign a third bill that reorganizes
the functioning of the lower courts.
2017 Jul 26, The European
Commission said it would start legal action against Poland over an
overhaul of the judiciary that it says undermines the independence
of judges and so breaks EU rules.
2017 Jul 28, The European
Union's top court ordered Poland to immediately halt large-scale
logging in an ancient protected forest, one of many cases that has
pitted Brussels against the right-wing eurosceptic government in
2017 Jul 29, The European
Commission launched legal action against what it sees as Polish
government attempts to undermine the independence of judges.
2017 Jul 31, Poland said it
would press on with logging the country's primeval Bialowieza forest
in defiance of a ruling by the European Union's top court, saying it
needed to cut down trees to defeat insect pests.
2017 Aug 12, In Poland five
people, including two teenage girl scouts, died and more than 30
were injured as a result of falling trees in a series of severe
2017 Aug 21, Poland's Defense
Ministry started a new program to boost the nation's defenses by
offering military training to university student volunteers.
2017 Aug 23, Poland’s defense
ministry said an additional 200 billion zlotys ($55 billion) will be
allocated on defense over the next 15 years to modernize the army
amid signs of growing aggression from Russia.
2017 Aug 25, French President
Emmanuel Macron triggered a furious reaction from Poland after he
attacked Warsaw for rejecting tough proposals to overhaul a
controversial EU rule on cheap labor.
2017 Aug 29, In Poland
activists climbed trees and blocked felling machines in the primeval
Bialowieza Forest n a bid to stop what they say is an illegal
logging operation authorized by the government.
2017 Sep 8, Germany dismissed
Poland's threat to demand new talks over World War II reparations
from Berlin, saying the issue had already been settled in 1953.
2017 Sep 12, The European Union
escalated its case against Poland over what it sees as democratic
backsliding, moving a step closer to a possible court case that
could result in financial penalties for Warsaw. The EU gave Warsaw
one month to address judicial changes which it believes violate the
rule of law.
2017 Sep 21, In northern Poland
thousands of Polish and other NATO troops launched Dragon-17, a
major defensive exercise, amid security concerns raised by war games
recently held by neighboring Russia and Belarus.
2017 Sep 22, Poland's PM Beata
Szydlo and Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban met in Warsaw and insisted that
they will stick to their anti-migrant policies in defiance of the
European Union and warnings of sanctions.
2017 Sep 25, Poland's Andrzej
Duda demanded a greater say in nominating judges, despite blocking a
similar reform by his own party that the European Union had said was
2017 Oct 5, Defense ministers
from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine authorized their two-year-old
joint brigade to take part in international missions for the
2017 Oct 6, Polish officials
say that a heavy storm that ravaged parts of western Poland has
killed two people and injured 39. Tens of thousands of households
were also without electricity after falling trees broke power lines
when the storm hit overnight.
2017 Oct 7, Thousands of Polish
Catholics formed human chains on the country's borders, begging God
"to save Poland and the world" in an event many viewed as a
spiritual weapon against the "Islamisation" of Europe.
2017 Oct 13, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill on funding for non-governmental
organizations that critics fear the conservative government may use
to undercut groups with missions that conflict with the ruling
2017 Oct 14, In Poland hundreds
of young doctors rallied in front of PM Beata Szydlo’s office to
demand pay increases and more money for the country's chronically
strapped health care system.
2017 Oct 14, In Poland an
Armenian man suffered the fatal injury while getting into a car in
east Warsaw. Police searched for the gunman and questioned
2017 Oct 17, In Warsaw Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Polish counterpart, his
first official bilateral visit to an EU country since the failed
2016 coup in Turkey. President Andrzej Duda said he hopes Turkey
will eventually join the EU. They discussed defense cooperation
through NATO, and the issue of energy as both countries count on
coal for part of their energy needs.
2017 Oct 19, Poland's
government announced plans to significantly increase spending on
health care as a hunger protest by young doctors demanding more
funds for the sector entered a third week.
2017 Oct 19, Amnesty
International released a report alleging that Polish authorities
have used surveillance, prosecutions, harassment and excessive force
in some cases against peaceful anti-government protesters since
2017 Oct 20, In Poland a man
(27) wielding two knives attacked people at the VIVO! mall in the
southeastern town of Stalowa Wola. He was detained by shoppers and
handed over to police. One person was killed and nine others
injured. The man confessed and blamed society for his problems.
2017 Oct 23, Poland's President
Andrzej Duda signed a law that will eventually increase the
country's spending on defense to at least 2.5 percent of GDP, well
above the 2 percent required by membership in NATO.
2017 Oct 29, High winds knocked
down trees and caused widespread travel chaos across much of Central
Europe, leaving five people dead and several injured in the Czech
Republic, Austria, Germany and Poland.
2017 Nov 11, Poles celebrated
their country's 1918 Independence Day. Thousands of nationalists
marched in a demonstration organized by far-right groups in Warsaw.
2017 Nov 15, European lawmakers
triggered the first stage of a so-called rule-of-law procedure
against the Polish government amid concerns that new laws in Poland
undermine judicial independence and the rule of law. Poland's prime
minister reacted furiously over the call for the country to face EU
(AP, 11/15/17)(AFP, 11/15/17)
2017 Nov 24, Poland’s lawmakers
approved a law that will phase out Sunday shopping by the year 2020
despite criticism that it may eliminate thousands of jobs. The bill
still needed approval from the Senate and from President Andrzej
2017 Dec 7, The European Union
announced that it is taking the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland
to court for failing to accommodate their fair share of refugees
under a plan agreed to by the 28-country bloc two years ago.
2017 Dec 8, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda formally designated Finance Minister Mateusz
Morawiecki, a former international banker, to be the country's next
prime minister. Lawmakers voted to complete an overhaul of the
justice system, defying warnings from elsewhere in Europe that the
changes sought by Law and Justice are un-democratic. The legislation
would give lawmakers the right to choose 15 out of the council's 25
judges. The judicial body's members currently all are selected by
2017 Dec 14, Poland's lawmakers
approved much-criticized new rules for local elections that
opponents say undermine the independence of the electoral bodies and
fairness in voting.
2017 Dec 14, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland will respect the ruling of the
European Union's top court on whether the government can continue
logging in the primeval forest of Bialowieza that is under an EU
environment protection plan.
2017 Dec 14, The new prime
ministers of the Czech Republic and Poland vowed not to give any
ground on the divisive issue of hosting refugees as they arrived in
Brussels for their first summit of EU leaders.
2017 Dec 14, The Czech
Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia announced that they plan to
spend around 35 million euros ($41 million) to beef up European
Union borders as they come under pressure for refusing to accept
2017 Dec 20, The European
Commission launched the Article 7 procedure against Poland over
judicial reforms that Brussels says undermine Polish courts'
2017 Dec 21, In Poland British
PM Theresa May and Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki pledged to deepen
their cooperation in fighting Russian disinformation, as well as on
matters of defense and security.
2017 Dec 22, The Polish
government donated 100 million zlotys ($28 million) to preserve a
major Jewish cemetery in Warsaw where many tombstones are
dilapidated or covered by vegetation.
2018 Jan 3, The prime ministers
of Hungary and Poland said their countries' anti-immigration
policies are gaining strength within the 28-nation European Union.
2018 Jan 3, In Poland a protest
by thousands of doctors, who refuse to work overtime, disrupted
services at some hospitals, including children's wards. The Health
Ministry said that some 3,500 of about 88,000 hospital doctors have
refused to sign up to contracts allowing for work weeks of more than
2018 Jan 4, It was reported
that Poland has created a new, state-owned aviation company, the
Polish Aviation Group, based on the national airline, LOT, that aims
to capitalize on a planned major airport and on the region's growing
air travel market.
2018 Jan 10, Poland's lawmakers
approved a controversial electoral law that critics say will give
the ruling party influence over the voting procedure and will allow
more room for vote rigging. The bill still needs the approval of
President Andrzej Duda.
2018 Jan 17, Germany and Poland
said they would consider setting up a commission to explore Polish
calls for reparations for German actions during World War Two.
2018 Jan 23, Polish prosecutors
said they have arrested and charged three people with propagating
fascism after a news program revealed details of neo-Nazi group
“Pride and Modernity" that celebrated Adolf Hitler in a ceremony
(SFC, 1/24/18, p.A2)
2018 Jan 30, Polish President
Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill that largely limits trade on
Sundays, saying it will benefit family life. Large Western
supermarket chains were the main target of the law.
2018 Jan 30, Israel's Yad
Vashem memorial awarded a posthumous medal for heroism to three
Poles who risked their lives to protect Jewish neighbors during the
Nazi Holocaust. Jan Dziadosz, his wife Sabina and their son
Aleksandr were honored as "Righteous Among the Nations," for risking
their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
2018 Feb 6, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda said he would sign into law a bill that imposes jail
terms for suggesting the country was complicit in the Holocaust,
defying criticism from Israel, the United States and activists.
2018 Feb 7, The European
Parliament voted to dismiss one of its vice presidents, Ryszard
Czarnecki of Poland, after he compared a rival Polish parliament
member to a Nazi collaborator.
2018 Feb 8, In Poland
protesting doctors and health authorities signed a deal that will
significantly increase spending on health care, including doctors'
2018 Feb 13, Poland’s PM
Mateusz Morawiecki's declared $10 million to help Lebanon build
housing for 1,000 refugees from Syria during a two-day visit there.
2018 Feb 13, Ukrainian
opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili said he would continue
rallying people against the nation's authorities from abroad,
following his deportation to Poland.
2018 Feb 22, A top EU court
said Poland has violated EU law on air quality by continuously
exceeding the bloc's pollution limit from 2007 through 2015. It did
not impose any fines. In reaction, Poland's government launched a
"Stop Smog" program limiting the use of coal for heating in private
homes, believed to be the main source of air pollution.
2018 Mar 1, A Polish law that
makes it a crime to falsely accuse the Polish nation of crimes
committed by Nazi Germany took effect, part of a wider effort by
nationalist authorities to use history to defend the country's honor
2018 Mar 1, Senior Israeli and
Polish diplomats met in Jerusalem in a bid to resolve differences
over a controversial Holocaust law passed in Poland that has raised
concerns in the Jewish state.
2018 Mar 4, In Poland an
apartment block collapsed in the western city of Poznan, killing
four people and injuring 24 others. Teams of firefighters and
rescuers with dogs combed the rubble in search of more victims. The
body of a fifth victim was recovered the next day. The deadly
collapse was caused by a resident who had killed his wife and then
tried to kill himself by opening gas valves that caused an
(AP, 3/4/18)(AP, 3/5/18)(AP, 3/6/18)
2018 Mar 7, Poland’s parliament
voted to approve 15 new members of the judiciary council, all of
them proposed by the ruling party and its ally.
2018 Mar 8, Poland’s PM Mateusz
Morawiecki met with top European Union officials in Brussels as part
of efforts to avert potential unprecedented EU sanctions over a
reform of Poland’s judiciary.
2018 Mar 11, In Poland a new
law banning almost all trade on Sundays took effect, with large
supermarkets and most other retailers closed for the first time
since liberal shopping laws were introduced in the 1990s after
2018 Mar 12, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki said the government dismissed 17 of more than 120
deputy ministers in a move designed to improve the Cabinet's work
and make it "less political".
2018 Mar 15, Polish prosecutors
say American authorities are moving ahead with their request to
extradite Michael Karkoc (99) of Minnesota man to be tried on
allegations he was involved in a World War II massacre of civilians.
2018 Mar 23, In Poland crowds
gathered in Warsaw for a women's protest against plans backed by the
conservative government to further tighten Poland's strict
2018 Mar 30, Russia ordered new
cuts to the number of British envoys in the country, escalating a
dispute with the West over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
Scores of foreign ambassadors streamed into the Russian Foreign
Ministry in Moscow to receive the notices given to 23 nations:
Albania, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Romania, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
2018 Apr 4, Polish activists
and lawmakers, who are combatting what they call a "restitution
mafia," invited US senators to tour sites in Warsaw that were
transferred to people unrelated to the original owners.
2018 Apr 5, In Poland Law and
Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said politicians' salaries will be
reduced and bonuses recently paid to government ministers will go to
charity, following a public outcry.
2018 Apr 12, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki said his government plans to spend up to $8.8
billion by 2028 on cleaner heating as part of its efforts to fight
2018 Apr 17, The European Court
of Justice (ECJ) said that Poland broke environmental laws with
large-scale logging in an ancient forest, a ruling that comes as its
nationalist government seeks to ease tensions with the bloc.
2018 Apr 21, In Poland several
thousand teachers rallied in Warsaw demanding wage hikes a week
after the right-wing government announced a raft of generous
spending measures in other sectors ahead of local elections this
2018 Apr 27, Romania's
President Klaus Iohannis called on PM Viorica Dancila to resign,
saying that she is unfit for the job, signaling a fresh round of
political tensions between the centrist president and left-wing
2018 May 5, In southern Poland
two missing coal miners were found hurt but conscious after an
earthquake struck at the Zofiowka coal mine in the Silesian coal
basin. One miner was crushed to death and another was trapped, while
three remained missing. The bodies of two miners were found after
many days of rescue efforts. One other miner remained missing.
(AP, 5/5/18)(AFP, 5/6/18)(AP, 5/13/18)
2018 May 10, Polish lawmakers
approved divisive legislation paving the way for the construction of
what is intended to be one of Europe's largest airports, and China's
gateway to the continent.
2018 May 10, US President
Donald Trump signed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today
(JUST) Act that Jewish groups praise as helpful in their efforts to
reclaim lost property in Poland but which the Polish government says
2018 May 12, In Poland
thousands marched through Warsaw demanding free courts and respect
for the constitution and denouncing a populist government that they
accuse of eroding democracy.
2018 May 14, The European
Commission gave Poland until late June to settle a dispute with the
EU over the independence of its courts that threatens Warsaw's
future access to funding from the bloc.
2018 May 16, Poland's Supreme
Court acquitted Tomasz Komenda. He had served 18 years in prison for
rape and murder of a teenager that the judges now say he couldn't
have committed, in a case that has shocked the nation.
2018 May 17, Polish authorities
said they plan to expel one Russian and banned four others from
entering for five years on allegations they had engaged in
"information warfare" seeking to fuel animosity between Poles and
2018 May 27, In Poland a group
of parents who have occupied part of the Polish parliament with
their disabled children abandoned their protest of low state
assistance payments after more than a month.
2018 May 29, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki said his country will take decisive steps to end
illegal waste dumping after a string of highly-polluting fires of
waste dumps that were likely to have been started on purpose.
2018 May 30, Poland's police
say they have arrested a Nigerian man (27) who is wanted in the
United States for alleged cyberfraud and extortion done over the
internet totaling an estimated $7 million.
2018 Jun 3, A major US-led
military exercise with 18,000 soldiers from 19 primarily NATO
countries kicked off in the alliance's eastern flank involving
Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
2018 Jun 14, Poland's Supreme
Court ruled against a businessman who refused to print posters for
an LGBT business group because he did not want to "promote" the gay
2018 Jun 18, In central Poland
two people were killed and at least 27 others injured when a bus
carrying retirees on a seaside holiday veered off the road and into
a grassy ditch in Konstantynowo.
2018 Jun 20, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki warned of "very significant" crop losses as the
EU country scrambled to help farmers struggling to cope with an
unusual spring drought amid soaring temperatures. Grain and
vegetable farmers in neighboring Lithuania have also warned of
drought-related losses. Latvian officials were considering the
declaration of a state of emergency.
2018 Jun 27, Poland's Senate
approved changes to a controversial Holocaust speech law that remove
the threat of prison for blaming Poland for the Holocaust crimes of
Nazi Germany. The changes must still be approved by President
Andrzej Duda, who is expected to do so.
2018 Jun 29, Polish sprinter
Irena Szewinska (72), the most famous athlete in Polish sports
history, died in Warsaw. She dominated women's athletics for two
decades, winning seven Olympic medals.
2018 Jul 2, The EU opened
another rule-of-law procedure against Poland over what it sees as
flaws in the country's Supreme Court law, intensifying a standoff
that could threaten Poland's EU voting rights and funding. The move
comes a day before legislation takes effect that will force the
early retirement of 27 of 72 justices of the Supreme Court.
2018 Jul 3, Poland braced for
protests against judicial reforms that come into force at midnight
despite strong opposition at home and an ongoing row between Warsaw
and the EU. Malgorzata Gersdorf, the head of Poland's Supreme Court
insisted that under the Constitution of Poland her term as the
court's first president runs until 2020.
(Reuters, 7/3/18)(AP, 7/3/18)
2018 Jul 4, In Poland a new law
lowering the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court judges to 65
from the previous 70 went into effect. First President Malgorzata
Gersdorf (65) arrived for work as usual at the court in Warsaw,
vowing to continue her constitutionally mandated term, which runs
2018 Jul 5, Yad Vashem,
Israel's renowned Holocaust memorial and research center in
Jerusalem, slammed an agreement between Israel and Poland over a
Polish law on the World War II genocide of Jews, saying it contains
2018 Jul 6, In Poland Japanese
Foreign Minister Taro Kono held talks with his Polish counterpart,
Jacek Czaputowicz, on global security and on intensifying
cooperation in trade, business, science and clean energy.
2018 Jul 11, The Geneva-based
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called on Poland to
"restore the independence of the judiciary", adding another voice to
a row between Warsaw and the European Union.
2018 Jul 26, Authorities in
Poland banned swimming at over 50 beaches along its Baltic coast,
after hot weather led to the toxic growth of bacteria in the
unusually warm sea.
2018 Aug 11, In western Poland
the final of this year's edition of Mr Gay Europe took place in
Poznan. Enrique Doleschy (30) of Germany beat six other finalists to
win the title.
2018 Aug 13, Poland used its
powers as a European Union member to ban human rights Ukrainian
activist Lyudmyla Kozlovska (32) from all 26 countries in Europe's
Schengen area. Kozlovska was stopped at the Brussels Zaventem
airport after arriving from Kiev, held overnight and put on an early
flight back to Kiev the next morning. Belgian authorities acted
after Poland entered her in the Schengen Information System, a
database aimed at ensuring security in Europe's passport-free
2018 Aug 28, Poland's
government unveiled details of a voluntary pension program intended
to encourage many Poles to start saving and to protect low-earners
from post-retirement poverty.
2018 Sep 6, Polish prosecutors
said they have indicted a former employee of the EU member's economy
ministry with spying for Russia's GRU intelligence agency, the
latest case in a string of espionage allegations in the region.
2018 Sep 10, In Poland Europe's
largest human rights conference, organized by the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), opened in Warsaw.
Turkey's government was the only country not attending because it
was not allowed to prevent the participation of non-governmental
2018 Sep 24, The EU referred
Poland to its top court for an alleged breach of the independence of
its supreme court, the latest showdown between Brussels and populist
member state governments.
2018 Sep 27, Polish Catholic
Bishop Romuald Kaminski apologized to those who were sexually abused
by priests in his Warsaw diocese and vowed to take steps to win back
2018 Oct 2, In Poland more than
20,000 policemen, firemen, border and prison guards gathered in
Warsaw to decry "outrageous" working conditions and demand pay
rises, in what they described as the biggest protest in Polish
2018 Oct 2, An appeals court in
Poland ruled that a Roman Catholic order should pay damages to a
woman who was abducted and sexually abused by one of its priests
when she was 13. The priest was arrested in 2008 and convicted of
pedophilia. He has served four years in prison, and was removed from
the religious order last year.
2018 Oct 4, Hungary and Poland
said they have gone to the European Court of Justice to challenge
tighter European Union rules on the employment of workers from
low-pay EU states.
2018 Oct 7, A private
foundation in Poland published a map of 255 cases of sexual abuse of
minors by the country's Catholic priests — the latest development
pressuring Poland's church to admit and take responsibility for such
2018 Oct 10, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda swore in 27 new Supreme Court judges, stepping up the
conflict over control of the judiciary and ignoring another top
court that said the appointments should be suspended pending an
opinion by EU judges.
2018 Oct 11, In Poland an
official of the Supreme Administrative Court confirmed that the
court had now ruled in favor of the lesbian parents of a Polish boy
and have been given the right to register him in Poland as their
2018 Oct 13, Polish police used
tear gas and a water cannon against right-wing extremists who were
trying to block the first equality parade in the city of Lublin.
2018 Oct 21, Polish voters cast
ballots in local elections that were the first nationwide test of
support for the conservative ruling party. A pro-European Union
opposition party defeated the ruling conservatives in local
elections in Warsaw. The ruling populist party, Law and Justice, won
254 of the 552 seats in regional assemblies in local elections, with
194 going to the key opposition coalition.
(AP, 10/21/18)(AP, 10/24/18)(AP, 10/25/18)
2018 Oct 22, Poland's Supreme
Court chief justice asked 23 of the court's judges to return to
work, days after the European Union's top court ordered Poland to
"immediately suspend" their retirement under a disputed law.
2018 Oct 24, Poland's national
airline LOT cancelled some flights as some crew members struck to
protest layoffs and demand better working conditions. Almost 70
flight crew members have been fired for participating in the strike
that started Oct. 18 and that the management says is illegal.
2018 Nov 5, In Poland a North
Korean worker who claims he is a victim of modern slavery in a
Polish shipyard filed a criminal complaint against a Dutch
shipbuilder that bought products from the Polish firm. Dutch lawyer
Barbara van Straaten filed the case on the worker's behalf.
2018 Nov 16, In Poland Sister
Cecylia Roszak (b.1908) died. During the German occupation of Poland
during World War II she was one of several nuns who set up a new
convent near Vilnius, today in Lithuania, sheltering Jews who had
escaped the ghetto there.
2018 Nov 21, Poland's
parliament passed legislation reversing a disputed Supreme Court
retirement law, bowing to a ruling from the EU's top court, which
had raised fears of a threat to judicial independence.
2018 Nov 22, Poland introduced
temporary border checks of people entering the country, to ensure
peace during a global climate summit that it is hosting next month.
2018 Nov 27, Poland's
anti-corruption officers detained Marek Chrzanowski, the former head
of a financial regulatory body, who resigned recently after a media
report he sought a bribe.
2018 Dec 2, In Poland delegates
from nearly 200 nations began two weeks of talks in Katowice to
tackle deep political divisions at the most important UN meeting on
global warming since the landmark 2015 Paris deal to shift away from
2018 Dec 3, In Poland UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a dramatic appeal to world
leaders to take the threat of global warming seriously and to act
boldly to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures before the end
of the century. Nations facing imminent environmental disaster
called on rich polluters to help them back from the brink.
(AP, 12/3/18)(AFP, 12/3/18)
2018 Dec 4, Poland's PM Mateusz
Morawieck said the country, which has some of Europe's most polluted
cities, will invest between 3-4 billion euros ($3.4-$ 4.5 billion)
in low-emissions public transport.
2018 Dec 4, In Poland
negotiators at the UN climate talks got down to the nitty-gritty
task of finalizing the rules for the 2015 Paris accord, a landmark
agreement by countries three years ago to curb global warming. Five
international banks pledged to use the billions at their disposal to
steer clients away from businesses that emit large amounts of
2018 Dec 6, A Polish court
ruled that Lech Walesa, the anti-communist dissident and former
president of Poland, must apologize to Jaroslaw Kaczynsk, the head
of Poland's ruling party in a slander case.
2018 Dec 8, In southern Poland
thousands of people from around the world marched through Katowice,
the city that's hosting this year's UN climate talks, demanding that
their governments take tougher action to curb global warming.
2018 Dec 10, In Poland
protesters disturbed a US-sponsored event promoting fossil fuels on
the sidelines of the UN climate change talks, saying attempts to
rebrand coal as a potentially "clean" energy source were misleading.
2018 Dec 12, Eight European
Union nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland,
Sweden and the United Kingdom) underlined their commitment to the
Iran nuclear deal while urging Tehran to stop its "destabilizing
regional activities" especially the launch of ballistic missiles.
2018 Dec 13, In Poland dozens
of nations threatened with catastrophe from unchecked climate change
warned they "face extinction" without immediate action to rein in
mankind's emissions, as UN climate talks limped towards their
2018 Dec 13, United Nations
human rights experts expressed concern over recent rollbacks of
women's rights in Poland, especially those regarding reproductive
health and societal roles.
2018 Dec 14, In Poland a group
of small islands and countries, particularly vulnerable to global
warming threatened to block agreement at UN climate talks unless
their demands are met. Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed,
head of the Alliance of Small Island States, said "we are deeply
unhappy with the way the talks are going".
2018 Dec 15, In Poland nearly
200 countries at the United Nations talks in Katowice saved the
landmark 2015 Paris Agreement from disintegration by agreeing a
package of guidelines for its implementation. It deferred rules on
carbon credits and lacked any firm commitment to strengthen
countries' emissions cut targets by 2020, when the agreement comes
2018 Dec 17, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda, an ally of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party,
signed into law amendments to contentious legislation that will
allow some Supreme Court judges to remain in their posts after
having been forced into early retirement.
2018 Dec 25, In Poland six
people died late today in a fire at a small wooden building
sometimes used by the homeless in an outlying district of Warsaw.
2019 Jan 4, Poland accused
France of breaching European Union laws by exceeding spending
limits. Paris last month forecast a 2019 deficit of 3.2 percent,
which would violate the EU-mandated limit of 3.0 percent of GDP.
2019 Jan 4, In Poland five
teenage girls were killed by a fire in an "escape room" attraction
in Koszalin. In "escape rooms", participants are locked in a room
and race against the clock to solve puzzles and challenges to open a
2019 Jan 7, It was reported
that Amnesty International has called on Poland not to deport Tumsu
Abdurakhmanov, a Chechen video blogger and critic of Chechen
authorities, who is being sought by Russia.
2019 Jan 8, Poland arrested a
Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei in Poland and one of its own
former counter-espionage officers and charged them with spying on
Poland for China.
2019 Jan 9, Thousands of Poles
protested a government plan to hold a massive slaughter of wild
boars as a way to stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever
among farm pigs.
2019 Jan 9, Italy's far-right
Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, at a press conference in Warsaw, said he
wants his country and Poland to join forces to reshape Europe in his
quest for a euroskeptic alliance ahead of elections in May.
2019 Jan 12, In southwest
Poland one miner died and six were injured after a tremor struck
KGHM's copper mine Rudna, around 700 meters underground.
2019 Jan 12, Chinese
telecommunications equipment maker Huawei said it had sacked Wang
Weijing, an employee arrested in Poland on spying charges, in a case
that could intensify Western security concerns about the company.
2019 Jan 14, In Poland Pawel
Adamowicz, the liberal mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, died of
his wounds a day after being stabbed by a former convict who rushed
the stage during a charity event. The attacker has been identified
by Polish authorities as a 27-year-old named Stefan.
2019 Jan 16, Polish private
Radio Zet said that Iran has stopped issuing tourist visas for
2019 Jan 17, Polish private
radio RMF FM, citing confirmation from the Prime Minister's office,
said a Polish man arrested on charges of spying for China last week
was an advisor to former PM Beata Szydlo.
2019 Jan 28, Poland's
anti-corruption bureau says it has detained six suspects as part of
an investigation into a state-owned arms company, including an
ex-lawmaker and former employees from the Defense Ministry.
2019 Jan 31, Poland's top state
veterinary official said about 2,500 kg (5,500 pounds) of meat from
sick cows who were slaughtered illegally in Poland has been exported
to 10 other European Union countries. The Polish veterinary
inspectorate stripped the slaughterhouse in Ostrow Mazowiecka of
permission to operate earlier this week.
2019 Feb 4, EU investigators
began a weeklong inspection in Poland based on a media report that
beef from unfit animals was exported to more than a dozen countries.
2019 Feb 13, The US and Poland
finalized a deal for Warsaw to buy American mobile rocket launchers
worth $414 million (365 million euros) as it lobbies Washington to
boost troops on Polish soil.
2019 Feb 14, US Vice President
Mike Pence demanded that Europeans drop a nuclear deal with Iran and
join in seeking to cripple the regime, a cause that united Israel
with longtime Arab rivals at a conference in Warsaw.
2019 Feb 18, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki cancelled Warsaw's participation in a Jerusalem
summit, accusing an Israeli minister of "racist" comments about the
actions of Poles during the Holocaust, further souring relations
between the two nations.
2019 Feb 18, Israel says that
it would host bilateral meetings with the Czech, Slovak and
Hungarian leaders this week after Poland withdrew from a planned
five-way summit in Jerusalem in protest at Holocaust rhetoric.
2019 Feb 20, Czech authorities
said they would slap checks on beef imported from Poland after
veterinarians found the dangerous Salmonella bacteria in a 700-kg
batch of Polish beef. The beef was imported from Poland on February
2019 Feb 21, A Polish charity
helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests accused
24 bishops of concealing perpetrators of sexual molestation of
minors. Three activists overturned a statue of a Polish priest
accused of sex abuse in the northern city of Gdansk. Father Henryk
Jankowski, who died in 2010, has faced accusations of pedophilia.
(Reuters, 2/21/19)(AFP, 2/21/19)
2019 Feb 21, Israel's acting
foreign minister doubled down on his divisive claim that Poles
collaborated with the Nazis and "suckled anti-Semitism with their
2019 Feb 23, In Poland shipyard
workers of Gdansk Solidarity (union) returned the recently
overturned statue of Father Henryk Jankowski (d.2010) to its place.
Father Jankowski, accused of sex abuse, was formerly a close aide to
Lech Walesa during the Gdansk shipyard strikes in 1980s.
2019 Mar 8, Workers in the
Polish city of Gdansk dismantled a statue of the late Solidarity-era
priest, Henryk Jankowski, following allegations he sexually abused
2019 Mar 14, Poland's Catholic
Church leaders revealed that they have recorded cases of 382 priests
abusing minors since 1990.
2019 Mar 15, In Poland
thousands of students marched in rainy Warsaw and other cities to
demand a ban on burning coal, a major source of carbon dioxide. Tens
of thousands of young people skipped school across the globe to
march through the streets for an international day of student
protests aimed at pushing world leaders into action on climate
(AP, 3/15/19)(AFP, 3/15/19)
2019 Mar 25, Poland's
Constitutional Tribunal ruled that controversial rules introduced by
the right-wing government that allow lawmakers to choose members of
a judicial body are in line with the constitution.
2019 Mar 31, Catholic priests
in Poland burned books they say are sacrilegious, including tomes
from British author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy
novels. Rev. Rafal Jarosiewicz apologized on April 2, saying the
ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or
(AFP, 4/1/19)(AP, 4/3/19)
2019 Apr 3, The EU launched
legal action against Poland that alleges recent justice laws
undermine the independence of the country's judges and comes amid
concern the rule of law is being increasingly abused around the
2019 Apr 5, Marek Falenta, a
fugitive businessman convicted in an eavesdropping case that led to
the fall of the Polish government, was captured in Spain. He was
convicted of organizing the secret recordings of top Polish
politicians in 2013 and 2014, creating a scandal that contributed to
the defeat in 2015 of a pro-EU government and the election of a
populist right-wing party.
2019 Apr 6, A coalition of
Polish opposition parties launched its campaign for May's European
elections by warning that the governing eurosceptic PiS party could
drive the country out of the European Union.
2019 Apr 6, Spanish police said
they have arrested a fugitive they described as a millionaire and
the most-wanted man in Poland. Polish authorities issued a European
arrest warrant for the man on April 1. He had been convicted of
making illegal audio recordings in a Warsaw restaurant during
2013-14, with the aim of using the recordings for monetary gain.
2019 Apr 8, Teachers in Poland
went on an indefinite nationwide strike to demand higher pay, after
days of talks with the government failed to meet the demands of a
majority of teachers' unions.
2019 Apr 15, A nationwide
strike of Poland's teachers entered its second week with the
government saying it has no more funds to meet their pay demands
after offering generous benefits to various other groups.
2019 Apr 23, Teachers from
across Poland gathered in Warsaw to demand higher wages in a dispute
that is emerging as another political fissure in a deeply divided
2019 Apr 25, The head of the
Polish Teachers' Union said it will suspend a strike that has closed
most Polish schools for nearly three weeks in order to allow
end-of-year exams to go forward. He said the strike for higher pay
for teachers will end April 27, but it will be resumed in September.
2019 Apr 26, Poland signed an
agreement with Italy's Leonardo to buy four AW101 helicopters for
its navy in a deal worth 1.65 billion zlotys ($428 million).
2019 May 2, In Poland some ten
thousand young Jews from around the world joined Holocaust survivors
and politicians for an annual Holocaust remembrance march between
the two parts of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp that
focuses on fighting anti-Semitism and hatred.
2019 May 11, Several thousand
nationalists rallied in Warsaw against a US law on the restitution
of Jewish properties seized during the Holocaust, an issue which has
surfaced ahead of parliamentary elections later this year.
2019 May 14, Poland's PM
Mateusz Morawiecki vowed tougher punishments for those who sexually
abuse minors after a new film spurred the country into grappling
with the problem of abuse by priests. The documentary "Tell No One"
has triggered soul searching in the deeply Catholic country since it
was released May 11 on YouTube.
2019 May 18, In Poland
thousands marched in Warsaw to celebrate the nation's European Union
membership ahead of key European Parliament elections.
2019 May 20, In Poland the two
founders of a notorious pyramid scheme were found guilty of fraud
for cheating thousands of people out of their savings, worth $219
million, in one of the nation's biggest financial scandals.
2019 May 20, In Poland a mother
(29) gave birth to sextuplets in the 29th week of her pregnancy.
(SFC, 5/22/19, p.A2)
2019 May 22, Europol said that
more than 450 police and customs officers in Spain, the United
Kingdom, Poland and Lithuania carried out raids last week that led
to the arrest in Spain of the suspected ringleader, a 48-year-old
2019 May 26, Poland's ruling
Law and Justice party has emerged as the big winner in the country's
European Parliament election, taking over 45% of the votes.
2019 May 30, It was reported
that Marek Lisinski, the founder and head of “Have No Fear," a
Polish organization dedicated to helping victims of pedophile
priests, has resigned after allegations surfaced that he extorted
money from a victim and demanded money from the producers of a
documentary about clerical abuse.
2019 May, European scientists
successfully tranferred a test tube rhino embryo back into a
southern white female rhino whose eggs were fertilized in vitro at
the Cherzow Zoo in Poland.
(SFC, 6/26/19, p.A2)
2019 Jun 5, A court in Poland
upheld for the first time the registration of a child raised by a
2019 Jun 8, In Poland tens of
thousands of people joined a pride march in Warsaw as gay rights
continue to become a major issue in Poland's election campaign.
2019 Jun 11, It was reported
that a Polish court has ordered church authorities to hand over to
prosecutors classified files regarding a pedophilia case, in a rare
example of a clash between the state and the powerful Catholic
Church in deeply devout Poland.
2019 Jun 12, US Pres. Donald
Trump pledged to Polish President Andrzej Duda that he would deploy
1,000 US troops to Poland, a step sought by Warsaw to deter
potential aggression from Russia.
2019 Jun 13, Russian lawmakers
said that a new US military deployment to Poland announced by
President Donald Trump would force Moscow to take retaliatory steps,
with one saying it would make Poland a target in the event of a
2019 Jun 20, An advocate
general for the EU's top court said Poland's new rules that lower
the retirement age for judges, introduced in 2017, break European
2019 Jun 24, The European
Union's highest court ruled that Poland's lowering of the retirement
age for its supreme court judges was against EU law, in a blow to
the Polish eurosceptic government.
2019 Jul 17, The European Union
gave Poland's government two months to reverse new disciplinary
regulations the bloc says undermine the independence of the