Volksrepublik Polen

People’s Republic of Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL): it was the official name of Poland introduced by 1952 Constitution, abolished in 1989. Commonly it is used to define whole period of postwar history of Poland until the year 1989, when Poland was a part of Soviet’s satellites bloc and the main role within the country was played by communist party – PZPR. Formally PRL had democratic structures: parliament, government, general election, but in fact in the election took part only PZPR and two dependent parties: The United People’s Party (Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe, ZSL) and The Democratic Party (Stronnictwo Demokratyczne, SD). Poland was a member of The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Rada Wzajemnej Pomocy Gospodarczej, RWPG) and The Warsaw Treaty. In history of PRL there are few main periods: transitional period 1944-1948, Stalinist period 1948-1956, period of the reign of Władysław Gomułka 1956-1970, period of the reign of Edward Gierek 1970-1981, period of martial law 1981-1983 and decadent period 1983-1989. The chapter of PRL in Polish history ended with “Roundtable Talks” (Obrady Okrągłego Stołu), when PZPR handed over a part of its power to opposition, which had set up movement called Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity (NSZZ “Solidarność”).

The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.
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