Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

sources of hard currency revenues for Poland. In 1958, 58 percent of meat exports went to Great Britain. Three years later, 100 percent of bacon exports went to the same country. In 1963, frozen meat exports went almost exclusively to Italy and Spain, and canned meat to West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.

Polish agricultural policies did not change much until the communist regime colapsed at the end of the 1980s. During the last two decades, the communist regime was forced to import huge quantities of food from Western states. Between 1969 and 1975, 2.4 million tons of bread grains alone were imported. When the communist system collapsed, food prices were gradually freed, and government intervention in the agrarian sector was reduced. There was little need for reprivatization in this sector, since most agricultural land was already in private hands.


Bibliography

Alton Paul T., The Polish Postwar Economy ( New York, 1955); Blazyca George, and Rapacki Ryszard, eds. Poland Into the 1990s. Economy and Society in Transition ( New York, 1991); Charemza Wojciech, Plans and Disequilibria in Centrally Planned Economies: Empirical Investigation in Poland ( New York, 1988); Karpinski Andrzej, Poland and the World Economy ( Warsaw, 1960); Kolaja Jiri, A Polish Factory. A Case Study ( Lexington, KY, 1960); Korbonski Andrzej, Politics of Socialist Agriculture in Poland ( New York, 1960); Landau Zbigniew, The Polish Economy in the Twentieth Century ( New York, 1988); Lange Oscar, Some Problems Relating to the Polish Road to Socialism ( Warsaw, 1957); Marer Paul, Creditworthiness and Reform in Poland ( Bloomington, IN, 1988); Montias John M. , Central Planning in Poland ( New Haven, CT, 1962).

Gdansk Riots. Originally an ancient Slav settlement, located on a branch of the Vistula river at the Gulf of Gdansk, the city was a member of the Hanseatic League in the course of the thirteenth century. Since that time, the majority of the population consisted of German craftsmen and merchants. The city was also a point at which German and Polish nationalism collided, and it provided the spark for the outbreak of World War II.

During the communist era, Gdansk was a busy Polish port on the Baltic sea. Its huge shipyard, one of the largest in the world, served as a source of shipbuilding for the Soviet Union and other East European countries. The shipyard workers included some of the best-known people in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, among them Lech Walesa (see Walesa, Lech) and Anna Walentynowicz (see Walentynowicz, Anna). In 1970, when riots broke out in Poznan and the Polish army fired on the demonstrating workers, the unrest spread to Gdansk, where it eventually led to the formation of an Inter-factory Strike Committee, a forerunner of the Solidarity trade union. Disturbances occurred in Gdansk in 1976 and 1980; the 1980 disturbances led to the building of Solidarity. This organization was eventually instrumental in the destruction of the communist regime and the transformation of Poland into a democratic society.


Bibliography

Andrews Nicholas G., Poland 1980-1981: Solidarity Versus the Party ( Washington, DC,

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