Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Politics and Economy

Coal Mining in Upper Silesia and Heavy Industry in Poland During Communism

Hard Coal mining as well as other sectors of heavy industry were treated preferentially during the forty years of communism as the most vital and strategic industries for the economy and defense of our country. We were reminded continuously that the work of the miner is extremely important and the coal is our most important natural resource and the export product. Polish power plants were also mainly based on the coal, now it is slowly readjusting to the natural gas which is cleaner than coal.

Read more: Coal Mining in Upper Silesia and Heavy Industry in Poland During Communism


Crime, European Standards and Vulnerability of Elderly People

My father is a retired history professor. He lives in a small, at least for American standards, apartment in Krakow in a nine-store townhouse. This is the same apartment where our all family lived - me, my parents and my two brothers. The apartment consists of just two rooms, kitchen, bathroom, balcony and the hall. It is hard to imagine that we lived there - five of us. I remember that my brother had the beds which had to be folded up during the day. Every piece of space was properly managed, since the space was so limited. We have extra storage in the walls and even in the ceilings.

Read more: Crime, European Standards and Vulnerability of Elderly People


Sejny On The Borderland

Washington, D.C. Vice-Consul Pawel Bogdziewicz hosted a lecture featuring Chairman Krzysztof Czyzewski of the Borderland Foundation (BF) here at the Consulate General of the Embassy of Poland on February 3, 2006. The BF House is located in the small town of Sejny in the far north-east corner of Poland. Of consequence to its nearby and once fluid borders with Lithuania and Belarus, it has a well established mixed population of Poles, Lithuanians and Russians. The once flourishing Jewish population was exterminated by the Nazi Germans during World War II. But their Old Yeshiva and White Synagogue have been preserved and maintained and are now utilized for concerts, dramas and exhibitions.

Read more: Sejny On The Borderland


Polish dollars: did they really exist?

In spite of the fact that Poland was behind an iron curtain Poles always had their way to travel abroad or keep in touch with the family and friends in the countries behind the curtain. Poles were travelling abroad and work there legally or illegally, they also were receiving some gifts from family or friends, therefore the Polish government tried to gather these "good" money up (channel it up) by various means. One of the more efficient way was the establishment of the chain state-run Pewex stores in major Polish cities and towns. In these stores the goods - either Polish or foreign origin could be bought only with hard currency or by so called Polish dollar checks (bony towarowe PekaO). PeKaO is the abbreviation from Polska Kasa Opieki - Polish Saving Bank.

Read more: Polish dollars: did they really exist?


Brief History of Solidarity Workers' Union

Solidarnosc LogoThis year on August 31 we will celebrate the 25 anniversary of Solidarity Workers’ Union (Zwiazek Zawodowy Solidarnosc) -the first independent workers’ union operated legally in the communistic block. Creation of the Solidarity helped to abolished the Soviet system.

The origin of Solidarity traces back to a creation of Workers' Defense Committee (KOR, Komitet Obrony Robotnikow) in 1976. KOR was created by a group of intellectuals to help the workers who were detained after the strikes in the same year (1976).

Read more: Brief History of Solidarity Workers' Union


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