Despite the heroic struggle alongside the Allies on almost all fronts of World War II, after the
end of the war Poland, by the decisions of the Yalta Conference, found itself in the orbit of
Soviet influence. The power in the country was taken over and gradually strengthened
(mainly through terror and the elimination of political opponents) by communists from the
Polish Workers' Party (established in 1942) obedient to Moscow.
It should be emphasised that the communists encountered strong resistance in Poland. It was
also an armed resistance by the partisans who did not agree to the new Soviet occupation.
According to various estimates, the number of so-called Cursed (or Irresistible) Soldiers
reached about 30,000 people. The lonely soldiers who were doomed to fail, decided to fight
defiantly against a powerful enemy. This anti-communist uprising was almost completely
crushed two years after the war (when the number of partisans decreased to just 2,000) - with
weapons in their hands almost 9,000 soldiers died during that time, several thousand more
were murdered on the basis of communist court sentences or died in prisons. However, the
last of the Cursed Soldiers - Józef Franczak, nickname "Lalek" died only in 1963.
Elections were held in 1947. They had almost nothing to do with the free elections announced
in Yalta, but the Communists, who officially won 80.1% of the vote, obviously considered
them to be the legitimate ticket of their government.
The People's Republic of Poland, which had been officially named after Poland since 1952,
was not a sovereign state. Like most Central and Eastern European countries, it was only a
wholly dependent pawn in international politics. Nor could key domestic decisions be taken
without consulting the "Soviet comrades".
The history of the People's Republic of Poland can be conventionally divided into four
periods. The first one in the years 1944-1956 was the so-called years of Stalinism in Poland,
in later propaganda also called the "period of errors and deviations". The second one, in the
years 1956-1970 was the so-called small stabilisation, i.e. the period when Władysław
Gomułka was in power. The years 1970-1980 were the so-called decade of Edward Gierek.
The period between the founding of the "Solidarity" and the partially free elections, i.e. the
end of the People's Republic of Poland fell in the years 1980-1989. The stance of the
government towards the opposition and the methods of fighting it were determined by many
factors. The most important were: the individuals currently in power in Warsaw and in
Moscow, the international standing, the condition of domestic economy and later - Poland's
dependency on western loans.