Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2009

In Osteuropa 2-3/2009

The Polish Civil War
The Unrelenting Decline of Communism

Andrzej Paczkowski

Deutsche Fassung


The process of overcoming Communism in Poland began at the end of the 1970s. The unstable economic situation led to strikes. Workers closed ranks to form Solidarność. Together with the Catholic Church, the labour union campaigned for non-violence and reforms. The regime reacted with repression and introduced martial law. With that began a decade of civil war by other means. At home, the regime lost all of its legitimacy. Abroad, Gorbachev’s perestroika led to the loss of reinsurance in alliance policy. Poland’s regime saw itself forced to integrate the opposition in order to find a way out of the crisis. The Round Table became the forum of dialogue, the partially democratic elections a plebiscite against Communist rule.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2009, pp. 97–118)