Instytut Pamięci Narodowej


September 1939

In the early hours of 1 September 1939, without declaring war on Poland, Germany attacked along the whole length of the border between the two countries. Artillery barrage laid down on a Polish military transit depot by Schleswig-Holstein, a German battleship, has become a symbolic opening of the Second World War. Polish soldiers, though heavily outnumbered, resisted heroically from the outset.

June 1956

On Thursday, June 28th, 1956, at 6:30am, the main factory siren was sounded in the Joseph Stalin Poznań Metal Works (ZISPO, then called the Hipolit Cegielski Metal Works). For workers present on site, distressed with their economic situation and disappointed with both deteriorating working conditions and their demands being ignored by the authorities, it was a signal to start a demonstration.

March 1968

The events of March 1968 were multi-faceted; in the space of a few weeks, several completely different and often unrelated incidents dovetailed with each other. In that light, when talking about the genesis of the March 1968 events, it is necessary to mention a series of diverse proceedings.

December 1981

On December 13, 1981 the Military Council of National Salvation, which is headed by General Wojciech Jaruzelski, imposed martial law in Poland. On this day, the hopes of millions of Poles were crushed, while the chance of introducing democratic changes was lost for many years.

June 1989

In 1988, in many countries of the Soviet bloc, the activity of opposition groups came to life – new organisations emerged, strikes and demonstrations occurred. Independence movements were also established in the Soviet Union, mainly in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Estonia and Georgia. After a summer wave of strikes, talks of a Round Table with part of the opposition were announced in Poland.