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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Voice » November 5, 2008
The Polish government may face further complications in the ongoing dispute with the EU, the daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna wrote against the background of the approaching visit of the Council of Europe delegation to Warsaw.
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Mercure - The 6 Friends Theory - Casting call
The Polish Voice  
The Poles are not original-like so many other nations, they see themselves as being exceptional. We have our special qualities distinguishing us from others because we had a unique history. You can hear the same from the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Lithuanians, from the Italians, the French, the Irish and the Basques, if we limit ourselves to Europe. Actually, all nations had a special history which, combined with other factors, served to develop their unique qualities.
The question of what regaining independence changed in the lives of Poles can be answered in one word: everything. If we hadn't regained our own state in 1918, Poland would certainly not exist as a political entity, because there was no hope for autonomy or any similar form of political existence. Going even further, the process of melding Polish lands with those of the occupying countries would have had to progress significantly, so that after a few decades a Pole from Cracow and a Pole from Toruń or a Pole from Lublin would have no sense of community.
The beginnings of the independent Polish state were not easy. The country was engaged in no fewer than six wars and border conflicts between 1918 and 1921. Poland expanded its territory in the wake of the Greater Poland Uprising of December 1918 and the Silesian Uprisings of August 1919, August 1920 and May 1921.
As the result of three partitions carried out by its neighboring powers, in 1772-1795 Poland slowly ceased to exist as a state. In November 1918, after 123 years, it reappeared on the map of Europe.
The September 1939 defeat did not mean the end of military operations involving Polish soldiers, on Polish territory and other fronts of World War II. Poles fought in almost all corners of the world, playing a major role in many important battles. Numerous partisan units were active in Poland itself from the moment war operations ended in early October 1939 until the end of the war.
The strike started on the morning of June 28, 1956 in the H. Ciegielski metalworks in Poznań and quickly developed into a general protest against the totalitarian government. The demonstrations were suppressed by more than 10,000 troops from both the army and the Internal Security Corps. Fifty-seven protesters died.
The Round Table talks between the government and the opposition, unprecedented in the history of the communist countries, began Feb. 6, 1989 and ended April 5. They were held in several locations, but began and ended at the Council of Ministers Office at the Namiestnikowski Palace in Warsaw. In all, 452 people took part in the sessions. The idea to hold talks between the communist authorities and the opposition had emerged a few years earlier, but the idea of the Round Table was first formulated on Aug. 31, 1988 during a meeting between the minister of internal affairs, Gen. Czesław Kiszczak, and Lech Wałęsa. The talks were to be held on condition that there would be a halt to the wave of strikes sweeping the country that were organized by Solidarity.
In March 1990, Poland's then Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski paid a historic visit to NATO Headquarters, thus establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and the alliance. Barely 16 months later, on July 1, 1991, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, and a new security system arose in Europe under which former East Bloc countries could join the military defense structures of the West.
The Port of Gdynia is situated in the Bay of Gdańsk, on the Baltic coast. Gdynia is a major Baltic container port and the largest general cargo port in Poland. Gdynia has come a long way since receiving its first vessel back in 1923. The port is now a modern operation that has won a strong position for itself on the European transport market.
History has been ruthless to the Polish capital. But its dramatic fate has also given it the ability to rise from its own ashes, better than before. It is not without reason that the city's coat of arms contains both the military Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari order and a ribbon bearing the city's Latin motto: Semper invicta, always undefeated.
Mazovia commemorates many glorious but exhausting episodes from Poland's past and relives the nation's relentless struggle for independence through a series of reenactments from January through November. These are an excellent history lessons as well as a huge drawcard for locals and visitors alike. Historical battles are fought by medieval knights, Napoleonic soldiers, January [1863] insurgents, World War I cavalrymen and soldiers from 1939. You can observe meticulously recreated battle dress and become acquainted with long lost crafts. Those taking part are decked out in period uniforms and armed with replicas of the weapons used at the time. They stage cavalry parades and infantry drills, adhering all the while to the military codes of conduct of the day.
Every country has its moments to cherish and take pride in and its moments to regret and mourn for. Polish Independence Day definitely falls within the former category.
Poznań is a must-see for all who want to explore Polish history and culture in the place that gave birth to them. "This is where Poland started," said Pope John Paul II during a visit to Poznań. And this is where it has survived, despite constant adversity. For over 1,000 years Poznań has been the birthplace of ideas radiating across the country and shaping the Polish national identity.
Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) is a dynamic and growing community of more than 60,000 people, including about 54,000 students, and close to 3,000 academic staff. The City of Poznań on the Warta River, where the AMU originates, along with the town of Gniezno some 40 km away, is the cradle of the Polish state. Here, in the Wielkopolska ("Greater Poland") region, the symbolic baptism of Poland took place more than 1,000 years ago.
The HISTORY of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań dates back to the beginnings of the 17th century when, upon the decision of King Sigismund III Vasa, the Jesuit College was transformed into an institution of higher learning and granted university status. The festive inauguration of the first academic year at our University in the reborn Poland took place on May 7th 1919. The Poznań University, one of the biggest research and teaching centres in Poland, was granted the name Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in 1955.
When Marshal Józef Piłsudski vested power in the Sejm Ustawodawczy in 1919 [the parliament of the Polish state that was reborn in 1918], our firm was 50 years old. By then, in the Tsarist Okhrana secret police records, the first owner of our firm had appeared twice, suspected of providing weapons to the "rebels," or insurgents of the January Uprising of 1863. When Lech Wałęsa sat down for the Round Table Talks in 1989 [between the communist government and the Solidarity opposition], our firm was 120 years old. By then, it had provided food parcels to the "rebels" incarcerated in the Nazi Pawiak prison during World War II and later to those held at the communist internment camp in Białołęka during Martial Law from 1981 to 1983. Next year, we turn 140.
After Poland regained its long-awaited independence in 1918, it started to develop its car industry. Fiat was the first foreign company from the sector to enter the Polish market.
ZAiKS celebrated its 90th anniversary March 18. On that day in 1918, a small group of writers and composers, primarily of revues and cabarets, met at the Udziałowa cafe on Nowy ¦wiat.
Wieliczka Salt Mine was one of the first 12 sites entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List Sept. 8, 1978. The explanation of the decision reads: "The historic salt mine in Wieliczka is the only mining site in the world functioning continuously since the Middle Ages. Lying on nine levels, its original excavations (longitudinals, traverses, chambers, lakes, as well as minor and major shafts) stretch for a total of about 300 kilometers. Reaching a depth of 327 meters, they illustrate all the stages of mining technology development over time."
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