Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 50 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|In 1945, this political party led by Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, posed the greatest challenge to Communist domination of Poland. What was the name of this political party?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Polish Peasant Party. In 1946, the Peasant Party claimed a membership of 600,000 much great than that of the Polish Worker's Party (aka Communist Party). The Communist were sufficiently concerned to postpone repeatedly the early and free elections which they had agreed to with the United States and Great Britain. However, the Communist willingness to use intimidation and terrorization tactics assured their rise to power.
|The Polish army did not contribute troops for the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 by Warsaw Pact troops. True or false?||Poland Under Communist Rule
f. Romania was the only Eastern European country which refused to take part in crushing the Prague Spring of 1968 in Czechoslovakia.
Wojciech Jaruzelski. Because of a compromise worked out between the Communist government and Solidarity during round table negotiations for the election of 1989, the Communist leader, Jaruzelski became the first Post-Communist era President of Poland. This compromise, also, allocated 65% of all seats of the Sejm (the lower parliamentary house)to the Communist while all other seats were to be freely elected. Other than the allocated seats, the Communist won only one more seat in the Senate but none in the Sejm. Jaruzelski would retire from office after only a year.
|This Communist leader declared martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981, established the Military Council of National Salvation to administer the country, and suspended Solidarity. Who was he?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Wojciech Jaruzelski. Jaruzelski had hoped that the Solidarity movement would not survive its return to illegal status. But Solidarity survived to challenge the Communist regime again.
|This group was organized in 1976 by Jacek Kuron and Adam Michnik to provide legal assistance to workers being persecuted for having taken part in strikes. It was part of growing phenomenon termed the "self-organization of Polish Society." Marginally legal, it provided vital support to Solidarity. What was the name of this group?||Poland Under Communist Rule
KOR. KOR (Komitet Obrony Robotnikow), or the Committee for the Defense of Workers, founded by Jacek Kuron and Adam Michnik, was crucial in garnering the support of all parts of Polish Society for the protest movement. Previous protests movements in Eastern Europe had often been plagued by lack of the necessary universal support. Past Communist leaders had successfully capitalized on discord between workers and intellectuals to stifle opposition groups. KOR, with its marginally legal status, helped in the organization of the illegal Solidarity Movement.
|On October 16, 1978, this archbishop of Krakow, who became Pope John Paul II, was elected by the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals as the new pope. What was his name?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Karol Wojtyla. The election of Wojtyla dealt a severe blow to already troubled government of Edward Gierek. Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan later formed an alliance called the 'Holy Alliance' whose purpose was the eradication of Communism in Poland and all of Eastern Europe. This alliance helped funnel crucial funds to the Solidarity Movement.
|True or False? Poland was the only Eastern European country in which there almost no collectivization of agriculture during the Communist years.||Poland Under Communist Rule
t. Over 90% of Polish land was owned by private individuals throughout the Communist regime.
|This individual was head of the Polish Communist Party from 1947-56. He was an ardent Stalinist, known for his brutal use of the secret police. Who was he?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Boleslaw Bierut. Boleslaw Bierut was one of the Muscovite Communists who dominated Polish Communist politics. He died in March of 1956. His eventual successor was Gomulka (1956-70), a nationalist Communist. Edward Gierek(1970-80) succeeded Gomulka after widespread rioting over increased food prices forced him out of office. Gierek, in turn, was forced out of office when the Polish economy took another down turn in the late 70s. Stanislaw Kania held office very briefly following Gierek until he was replaced by Jaruzelski.
|In February of 1956, this Soviet Communist leader denounced Stalin at the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist party. His denunciation led to "the thaw" throughout Eastern Europe, including Poland. Who was this Soviet leader?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Nikita Khrushchev. Nikita Khrushchev, the successor to Stalin, was the only Soviet leader not to die while in power until Gorbachev. He was deposed in 1964 and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev. Georgi Malenkov was his main competitor for the position of Soviet Communist party chief. Yuri Andropov was the Russian ambassador to Hungary during Khrushchev's rule and played a vital role in the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
|After the war, the Soviets installed as the new Defense Minister in Poland a Russian general. The Poles were insulted not only because a Russian had been placed in charge of the Polish military, but also because this particular general had been the leader of the Soviet forces who had failed to come to the aid of the Warsaw resistance fighters. Who was he?||Poland Under Communist Rule
Marshall Konstanin K. Rokossovsky. The Warsaw Uprising took place in the section of the city located on the west bank of the Vistula River in the summer of 1944. Soviet troops had already reached the east bank at the time of the uprising. But Stalin ordered Marshall Rokossovsky to not aid the fighters, thereby insuring their slaughter by the German forces. Stalin wanted to eliminate all potential opposition to future Communist rule. Rokossovsky remained the Defense Minister of Poland until the mid-1950s.
|At the conclusion of WWII, the western border of Poland was shifted approximately one hundred and fifty miles to the west. What was this new border called?||Poland Under Communist Rule
The Oder-Neisse Line. The new Polish border was decided on by the Big Three (USSR, Great Britain and the United States) at the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. The Soviet Union gained what had been Eastern Poland. Poland was compensated for its territorial losses by gaining 150 miles of what had been Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) did not recognize this new border until 1970.
|During his reign (1763-1795 AD) he witnessed his neighbors eat away at his kingdom little by little. Finally, in 1795 AD with the Third Partition of Poland, Poland as a political entity ceased to exist. Who was the final king of Poland? ||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski. Stanislaus (r. 1763-1795 AD) had once been a lover of Catherine II, Czarina of Russia. She had him elected as king of Poland. The First Partition (1772 AD) seized 30 percent of the kingdom, the Second Partition (1793 AD) seized 40 percent of the kingdom, and the Third Partition (1795 AD) seized the rest. Napoleon would briefly revive Polish nationalism when he created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (1807-1815 AD). Poland as a political entity would not be revived until the Treaty of Versailles (1919 AD).
|In 1683 AD, the Ottoman forces of the Sultan Mohammed IV laid siege to Vienna, capital of the Austrian Hapsburg family empire and the last bastion against the advancing tide of Islam. Which Polish king led the relieving force that raised the siege and saved the city?||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
John III Sobieski. John III Sobieski (r. 1674-1696 AD) was hailed as a Christian hero for stemming the tide of Islam. He had quickly gathered together an allied army of various nationalities and marched them so quickly to Vienna that he completely surprised Kara Mustafa and his Turkish soldiers. Mustafa, not wanting to be trapped between the walls of the city and the new Christian army, ordered the retreat. The retreat was so sudden that the Turks left a large amount of their supplies and weaponry. So much coffee was found that the first Viennese coffee shops were opened. To commemorate the victory the French chefs in the city invented the croissant (represented the crescent of Islam).
|This Prince of Transylvania was elected king of Poland in 1576 AD and successfully defend his kingdom's borders against both the Russians and the Ottoman Turks until his death in 1586 AD. Which individual was it? ||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Stephen Bathory. Stephen was the cousin of Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous Blood Countess of Transylvania (she had reportedly bathed in the blood of approx. 650 young girls to keep herself young). Vlad II, Dracul (the Dragon), Prince of Wallachia, had two sons who struggled over the throne of Wallachia after his death (c. 1447 AD): Vlad III, Tepes (the Impaler)(more commonly referred to as Dracula - son of the Dragon) and Radu III, his youngest son.
he went to assume the crown of France. After the death of Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland (r. 1548-1572 AD), a struggle over the succession ensued between two factions. Orthodox Christians and Protestants favored Ivan IV - even though he was not interested. Roman Catholics supported Henry, of Anjou, brother of Charles IX, King of France. Henry was eventually crowned (Feb 1574 AD) but soon abandoned the throne after the death of his brother. He would reign as king of France til 1589 AD. Charles IX is best known as the Catholic king who ordered the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
|On July 15, 1410 AD at the Battle of Tannenberg (Grunwald), a combined Polish and Lithuanian force under the command of Ladislaus II, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, defeated this enemy, effectively ending it as a military threat in eastern Europe. Which enemy of Poland and Lithuania was it?||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Teutonic Knights. With the conversion of the Lithuanians (the last pagan state of Europe) by the marriage of 1386 AD, the Teutonic Knights had lost their main purpose - "crusading" to convert the pagan. Their "holy mission" was soon exposed for what it was (and had always been) - land hunger!
|On Feb 18, 1386 AD Jadwiga, the young Queen of Poland (she was 12), married this Grand Prince of Lithuania. This marriage would unite the two states to form the largest territorial power in all of Europe. Which individual was it?||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Jagiello. Jadwiga (r. 1384-1399 AD) marriage terms: the queen was to receive a powerful protector (a husband) and in return Jagiello would convert to Christianity (Roman Catholicism) along with his people. For Jagiello the marriage offered an alliance against the Teutonic Knights. Jagiello was baptized (Feb 15, 1386 AD) and took the Christian name of Ladislaus. Ladislaus II (r. 1386-1434 AD) would outlive his wife. Note: the union of Poland and Lithuania was only a personal union. Each were ruled separately until the Union of Lubin (1569 AD) officially united the crowns into a single kingdom.
|The cultural height of the medieval Kingdom of Poland was during the reign of this monarch. They were the last of the Piast dynasty. Which individual was it? ||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Casimir III, the Great. Casimir III (r. 1333-1370 AD) truly earned his title of Great. He issued the first Polish legal code, abolished serfdom, and the University of Cracow was founded (1364 AD). He also encouraged European Jews to settle in his kingdom (the countries of western Europe were periodically persecuting and expelling their Jewish populations). This increase led to Poland being the center of Jewish culture in eastern Europe. His only major failure - he left no legitimate heir to the throne.
|This prince of Poland accompanied Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor, on the Second Crusade (1147-1149 AD). Which individual was it?||Mighty Monarchs VII (Poland)
Boleslaus IV, the Curly. Boleslaus IV (r. 1146-1173 AD).
Mieszko I. Mieszko I (r. 960-992 AD) was married to Dobravka, daughter of Wenceslaus, the Saint, Duke of Bohemia. He estalished the Piast dynasty which held the throne of Poland until 1370 AD.
|Although the Duchy of Warsaw practically ceased to exist in the spring of 1813, two of its fortresses did not surrender to the Russians until late December. What were they?||Poland 1807-1813
Zamosc and Modlin. Danzig (Gdansk) also underwent a long siege involving numerous Polish troops, but this city never belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw.
|During the catastrophic retreat from Moscow, the Grande Armee was saved from the total destruction by the self-sacrificing bravery of military engineers who built, and then rebuilt again and again, the bridges on the icy Beresina river (27-28 November 1812). Who were they?||Poland 1807-1813
Germans and Poles. This feat is often attributed to the French engineers only. Some of them were undoubtedly involved, but the bulk of the heroic bridge-builders consisted of Poles and Germans (mostly Wuerttembergians).
|On 5-7 September, 1812, the Grande Armee clashed with the Russians in a great battle at the gates of Moscow. What is the name of this famous encounter in the traditional Polish historiography?||Poland 1807-1813
Battle of Mozhaisk (Mozajsk). The Russians call it Borodino, while the French use the name "of the Moskova".
|In the spring of 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee was reorganized in the preparation for the invasion of Russia. Which one of its corps was comprised exclusively of Polish troops?||Poland 1807-1813
Fifth. The V Corps of the Grande Armee consisted entirely of Polish troops, and was commanded by Prince Joseph Poniatowski with General S. Fiszer as chief of staff. Polish units were also present in all the corps mentioned in the answers.
|What was the official governmental title of Prince Joseph Poniatowski, the leader of the Duchy's armed forces?||Poland 1807-1813
Minister of War. Poniatowski's military rank was general of division (an equivalent of the US four-star general). During the battle of Leipzig, on 18 October 1813, Napoleon nominated him Marshal of the Empire. On the following day Poniatowski was killed.
|Which ancient Polish city with its surrounding area had been annexed
by the Duchy of Warsaw after the victorious campaign of 1809? ||Poland 1807-1813
Krakow (Cracow). Polish units entered Krakow on 15 July 1809. Ironically, it was the Russians - nominal allies of Napoleon - who tried to bar Poniatowski's way into this ancient capital of Poland.
|In May 1808 three Polish infantry regiments were detached from the army of the Duchy of Warsaw and sent to fight in which country?||Poland 1807-1813
Spain. These were the 4th, 7th and 9th Infantry Regiments. Together with an artillery company and a company of engineers they formed the so-called Duchy of Warsaw Division in Spain. The soldiers of the 4th Infantry Regiment distinguished themselves in the successful defence of the castle at Fuengirola (near Malaga) on 14-15 October, 1810, against a much superior British-Spanish landing force.
22 July 1807. Napoleon composed this document himself, ignoring any Polish suggestions. One of its most innovative features was the abolition of serfdom (however, the land remained the landlord's property, so that the cynics spoke of "taking off the peasants' shackles along with their boots").
|In February 1807 Napoleon ordered the creation of a Polish cavalry
regiment to be included into the Imperial Guard. What was the original character of this unit?||Poland 1807-1813
Light horse. The Polish light horse regiment (also known as chevaulegers) received lances only in the fall of 1809; originally it was armed with sabers and pistols. Its greatest triumph took place on 30 November 1808 in the Somosierra pass in Spain, where one of its squadrons captured four consecutive gun batteries and thus opened the way to Madrid.
Frederick August, king of Saxony. Napoleon chose the Saxon king partly because of the past historical
connections between Poland and Saxony. Nevertheless, Frederick August was just a figurehead, the Duchy was in fact ruled by Napoleon himself.
|What was the official name of the Polish state created by Napoleon
in 1807?||Poland 1807-1813
The Duchy of Warsaw. Contrary to common (and erroneous) usage, the adjective "Grand" never
was a part of the Duchy's official appellation.