Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2013

In Osteuropa 5-6/2013

The “Weakest Link”
Poland under Communist Rule

Andrzej Paczkowski

Deutsche Fassung


The end of Soviet domination over East Central Europe was set in motion in Poland. There were several reasons for this: anti-Russian and anti-Soviet reflexes were more deeply rooted in Polish society than in the other countries of the region. The forcefully imposed communist system was seen as particularly foreign. The Catholic Church operated with unusual autonomy, and its strong position was reinforced by the election of the Pole Karol Wojtyla as pope in 1978. Workers and students showed a willingness to engage in mass protests. When the small but enormously effective opposition intelligentsia closed ranks in solidarity with the workers in the mid-1970s and the poor supply situation undermined the regime’s authority even farther, the end was sealed.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2013, pp. 207–222)