Poland - education
The school system in Poland has from 1989 been characterized by a pedagogical
reorientation based on national and Western European oriented values, but also
by limited economic resources. The education system as a whole is public and
free with 9 years of compulsory schooling for 6-15 year olds; in addition, there
are private, Catholic, institutions.
After preschool for 3-6-year-olds, who are applied for by approximately 44% (1995),
follow a one-year kindergarten class. The eight-year primary school, szkoła
podstawowa, is continued after passing the entrance exam of almost 90% in
either a general line, licum ogólnokształcące, a technical vocational
school, technikum zawodowe, or a basic vocational school, zasadnicza
szkoła; of which the first two are 4-5-year-olds, and the last
Higher education, which is in strong growth and most often conditioned by
entrance exams, takes place at either 11 universities, Jagielloński
University in Kraków, founded in 1364, or more than 100 other higher education
OFFICIAL NAME: Rzeczpospolita Polska
CAPITAL CITY: Warsaw
POPULATION: 38,200,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 312,685 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Polish, German, Ukrainian, Belarusian, others
RELIGION: Catholics 97%, Polish Orthodox 2%, others 1%
CURRENCY CODE: PLN
ENGLISH NAME: Poland
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Poles 98%, Germans 1%, others (especially Belarusians) 1%
GDP PER residents: $ 5194 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 70 years, women 79 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.862
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 37
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .pl
According to DIGOPAUL, Poland
is one of the largest and most populous states in Eastern Central
Europe; republic. Poland has been under Russian, Austrian and Prussian rule
several times and became part of the Eastern Bloc after World War II. The
country was the first of the Eastern Bloc states to change from a socialist,
planned economy system to a market economic, liberal system. The public system
is still plagued by large bureaucracies, and eastern Poland is one of the
poorest regions in the EU. In general, however, the economy is good with low
inflation and growing production. Poland is a member of NATO and of the EU.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each
independent country and territory, such as PL which stands for Poland.
I 700-t. the West Slavic tribe polanie lived around the Oder
tributary Warta in Wielkopolska, the western part of present-day Poland. Read
more about the history of Poland.
Poland - geography
Poland is divided into 16 counties, voivods. The administrative division is
from 1998, when several counties were merged, based on the idea of ensuring
decentralization after the long-standing centralism of communism.
Poland - language
Official language is Polish spoken by the majority of the population. Yiddish,
which until the persecution of Jews during World War II was the mother tongue of
approximately 3.5 million, is now spoken by only quite a few.
In a few enclaves west of Gdansk speak a smaller population Kashubian,
while Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rusyn Language (about 1/2 million.)
Spoken in the eastern areas.
In addition, German in the border areas with Germany and the gypsy language Romani.
Poland - religion
90% of the population belong to the Roman Catholic Church, the vast majority
to the Latin Church, while a small group are Ukrainian-united. An autocephalous
(self-governing) Orthodox church has approximately 500,000 members. Among the
Protestant churches, the Lutheran is the largest with approximately 120,000 members.
In the 1500's. the Counter-Reformation, carried by the Jesuit order, made a
strong impact in Poland. The piety of Mary played a major role, which was
reinforced after a Swedish army in 1655, despite overpowering power, had to give
up occupying the Pauline monastery at Jasna Góra with its icon of the Black
Madonna. While the Polish state has most often been weak, the church next to
the language became the bearer of the Polish identity. After 1918, the church
also experienced a cultural flourishing and was able to found a Catholic
university in Lublin.
After 1945, the communist governments subjected the church to varying degrees
of persecution. The bishops reacted pragmatically, and the church thus emerged
as the only alternative idea next to the communist, with which even non-Catholic
artists and intellectuals could find refuge. Finally, the election in 1978 of a
Pole as pope, John Paul II, aroused religious and national euphoria.
After the fall of communism, the image of the church as the defender of
freedom has cracked somewhat because the bishops have, in essential points, made
vain attempts to influence the country's politics.
Poland - Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland is from 1997. It bans totalitarian
and racist parties, and social justice must be pursued. States that Poland must
have a "social market economy" and that public debt must not exceed 60% of the
national product. Legislative power lies with the National Assembly, which
consists of two chambers, the Senate with 100 members and the Sejm.with
460. Both are elected by proportional representation for four years by equal and
ordinary suffrage. In order to keep the number of parties down, there has been a
cut-off limit of 5% for individual parties and 8% for coalitions since 1993. The
Senate can table amendments to the Sejm's bill, which the Sejm can, however,
vote down. The executive power lies with the president, who is elected by direct
election every five years; he can only be re-elected once. The president
appoints the government, which must have a majority behind him in the Sejm, but
he cannot dismiss it. He may preside at specially convened ministerial meetings
and postpone decisions via a suspensive veto; However, this can Sejm vote down
with 3/5of the votes. The president can dissolve
parliament under certain conditions. It is possible to hold a referendum. A
constitutional court can reject adopted laws if it finds them unconstitutional,
which it has done in several cases, and an ombudsman controls the public
Poland - political parties
The new Polish democracy of 1989 promoted the formation of parties. The until
then ruling Communist Party, PZPR, dissolved itself in 1990 and formed a social
democracy, the SDRP, which later, along with other groupings, a trade
union, formed the left-wing coalition SLD. In the autumn of 1990, a number of
parties with roots in the trade union Solidarity were formed, e.g. UD (from
1994: Frihedsunionen, UW) and PC. The first completely free parliamentary
elections in 1991, which brought 29 parties to the Sejm, changed the political
picture in Poland.
AWS was formed in 1996 by Solidarity and a number of Catholic and national
parties and groupings. The party formed a government together with the Freedom
Union UW in the 1990's. The peasant party PSL has since 1993 mostly collaborated
with SLD. In 2001, three new parties were formed, which drew votes from AWS and
UW in particular: the Civic Platform (PO) with a liberal and west-facing policy,
the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) with a strong emphasis on national
and Catholic values and the Polish Families League (LPR) with an
anti-European and conservative policy. The populist protest party Self-Defense
(Samoobrona) was formed in the mid-1990's, but has grown in popularity
in the early 2000's. In the 2005 election, T. Mazowieckiwithout success in
joining the Sejm with a new party, the Democratic Party (PD); nor did the Social
Democratic breakaway party SDPL, formed by Marek Borowski (b. 1946), a former
SLD politician and chairman of the Sejm, succeed.
The political parties in the early 2000-t.
The elections in 1997, 2001 and 2005 have shown large
fluctuations. Typically, the ruling party has been greatly reduced or has
completely disbanded after a period of government. Until the 2005 elections, the
leaders have typically been the same since 1989, but they have often formed new
parties. In the left-wing coalition SLD, however, after the great defeat in
2005, the leadership was rejuvenated. The Freedom Union (UW), whose members were
politically and intellectually important in the transition period after 1989,
has not been represented since 2001. The strongest parties after the 2005
elections are the Civic Platform (PO) and Law and Justice (PiS), which although
a common critical attitude to the former communists can not agree on economic
policy. Samoobrona and another protest party, the LPR, have been in
government since May 2006 and have moderated their policies to some extent.
Poland - economy
Poland had from the late 1940's until 1989 a socialist planned economy, which
was closely integrated with the other COMECON countries. The fall of Władysław
Gomułka in 1970 was followed by a few years of relatively great political
freedom and loan-financed economic progress, but after the oil crisis of 1973,
the progress was replaced by a deep economic crisis with declining growth and
high inflation. The government reintroduced strict control of the economy, but
by the end of the 1970's the situation had become so serious that Poland was
partly hit by a shortage of basic goods and price increases, and partly had to
suspend payments on foreign debt. The economic problems led to the formation of
the trade union Solidarity, which launched such fierce opposition to the regime
that the country was declared martial law. The 1980's were then marked by
economic stagnation, shortage of goods and significant price increases.
Following the change of system in 1989, the new Solidarity-led government
implemented an economic stabilization program and systematic structural reforms
in January 1990. Foreign trade was liberalized, the currency, the zloty,
gradually made convertible, foreign investment was allowed, and state-owned
enterprises were subject to a privatization program. The reform policy also
affected the financial sector. The central bank gave up its commercial
activities while new banks were being formed, and the Warsaw Stock Exchange,
which had been closed since 1948, was reopened. The private sector's share of
GDP rose from 18% in 1989 to 70% in 1999. Fiscal and monetary policies were
tightened and the zloty tied to the dollar as an anchor in the government's
efforts to reduce inflation, which in 1989 had been close to 300%. At the same
time, the government sought a reorientation of foreign trade and rapid
integration into Western economic and political cooperation
organizations. However, it proved difficult to get rid of inflation quickly,
which in 1990 was almost 600%, resulting in a marked deterioration in
competitiveness and the balance of payments, all the while the value of
production fell, unemployment rose and the informal economy spread. As early as
1991, the zloty had to be devalued and the dollar peg abandoned. The zloty was
then pegged to a basket of five currencies, from 1999 dollars and euros, against
which its value has been continuously written down. The write-down rate is
adjusted in accordance with inflation developments to keep competitiveness
In 1991, Poland's political approaches to Western countries were rewarded
partly by an association agreement with the EU, which entered into force in
1993, and partly by a debt forgiveness from the country's public creditors
against compliance with a number of stabilization policy demands from the
IMF. Commercial creditors also relinquished Polish debt in 1994. Economic
developments reversed in 1992, and since then Poland has experienced high growth
rates, 1994-98 of over 6% on an annual average, since slightly lower, but the
transformation of the economic system is considered to be perhaps the most
successful of the former Eastern European planned economies; for example, it has
largely succeeded in attracting foreign investment. In 1995, inflation had come
so much under control that the government implemented a money exchange: 1 new
zloty replaced 10,000 zlotys. The transition from a planned to a market economy
was so advanced in 1996 that Poland joined the OECD, and in 1998 the country
began negotiations with the EU on full membership; this became a reality with
the major enlargement in 2004. The country's entry into the eurozone is planned
for 2011. Poland's current economic problems are mainly linked to unemployment
and widespread poverty, a continuing significant balance of payments deficit,
rising public pension burdens and inefficient agriculture.. Unlike the other
planned economies, Poland did not nationalize the many small farms, but they
remained inefficient and have had difficulty developing productivity even after
the system change; they thus employ 16% of the working population, but
contribute only approximately 4% to GDP.
Poland's most important trading partner is Germany, which in 2005 accounted
for almost 30% of total foreign trade. Denmark's trade with Poland has been
growing strongly since 1990, and a large number of Danish companies have moved
production to or invested in Poland,
including Danfoss, NKT, Carlsberg, Unibank, Egmont and several clothing
manufacturers. Denmark's exports to Poland in 2005 amounted to DKK 10.3
billion. DKK, while imports from there were 8.9 billion. kr.
Poland - social conditions
After the collapse of communism in 1989, the social system has undergone a
series of cuts and liberalisations, which has meant a more skewed distribution
of income and wealth in society and, for a large part of the population, a
deterioration in living standards. New and stricter guidelines have thus been
drawn up for receiving unemployment benefits. Public subsidies for electricity
and heating have fallen away, and a number of public services such as cheap
childcare schemes have been abolished or sharply increased in price. In
addition, there has been a privatization of the housing market, which has led to
rising rental prices.
In 1998, the pension system was reformed and now consists of an actual
national pension that is paid out to everyone, a compulsory pension savings as
well as voluntary private pension savings. The retirement age is 60 years for
women and 65 years for men.
Poland - health conditions
The life expectancy of the population is only slowly increasing. It was 66.6
years for men in 1970 and 68.2 years in 1996. The corresponding figures for
women were 73.2 years and 76.7 years. Infant mortality fell in 1970-96 from 33.2
to 12.2 per 1000 live births. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of
death and in 1996 was almost twice as common as in Denmark. In contrast to
Western Europe, a slight decline has not been seen until 1991. Cancer is the
second most common cause of death and is stable at the same level as in
Denmark. The same goes for mortality due to lung cancer. In 1993, it was
reported that 51% of Polish men were smokers; for women, the figure was
29%. Alcohol consumption in 1996 was stated at 6.2 l per. adult. Mortality due
to external causes incl. poisonings were approximately 50% higher than in Denmark. In
1996, there were 0.4 cases of tuberculosis per 1000 residents, I.e. approximately four times
more than in Denmark.
Since 1990, the Polish healthcare system has moved from central government to
decentralization. In 1994, Poland spent 4.4% of GDP on health care, of which
approximately 10% was deductible, for the actual stay in hospitals. In 1999,
health insurance was reformed with regional insurance funds, to which payments
are dependent on income; for the unemployed and pensioners, they are paid by the
state. At the same time, the primary health service is being expanded. In 1995,
there were 6.3 hospital beds per. 1000 residents against 6.7 in 1980. In 1995
there were 2.3 doctors per. 1000 residents, and in 1990 the corresponding
figure for nurses was 5.3.
Poland - legal system
Poland's legal system was French-influenced in the time after the First World
War. After World War II, socialist law applied, and in 1964, rules were
introduced based on the socialist conception of society. In the period after the
fall of communism in 1989, reform work has been launched, which is gradually
preparing a codification of civil law, commercial law and civil procedure law,
so that the rules are approximated to the law applicable in Western Europe. The
Civil Codefrom 1964 has thus been changed several times since 1989, but not as
in other of the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe
replaced by a new one. Although Poland and these other countries have faced the
same task, governments have not tried to coordinate legislative work. The
Western sources that have been particularly important for the reforms in these
countries are German and Swiss law and the new Dutch Civil Code, as well
as CISG, UNIDROIT's Principles of International Commercial Contracts from 1994
(new edition 2004) and Principles of European Contract Law from 2000 and 2003.
Poland - military
The armed forces are (2006) at 141,500, of which just over 50,000 are
conscripts with nine months of training. The army is 89,000, the navy 14,300,
the air force 30,000 and 8200 in joint units. The reserve is 234,000, of which
188,000 for the army, 12,000 for the navy, 19,000 for the air force and 15,000
for joint units.
The forces have begun to receive newer Western equipment (Leopard
2A4, F-16C, Cougar minesafe vehicles, etc.) but for the next many
years the equipment will be dominated by a combination of older and newer
Soviet- and Polish-manufactured equipment. The army is predominantly heavily
equipped. The units are divided into two districts/armies and, in addition to
the German-Polish-Danish multinational corps headquarters in Szczecin
(Szczecin), have two national corps headquarters.
Overall, the armed forces within the narrow economic framework are undergoing
transition to be able to send qualified contributions to international
operations. Among other things, the task of sector manager in Iraq from 2003 has
had a very significant impact. The border guard and the security forces have a
total of 21,400.
Poland joined NATO in 1999.
Poland - Libraries and archives
Biblioteka Narodowa w Warszawie, founded in 1918, was made a law in 1928 the
National Library of Poland. Since 1979, the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków
(1364) has served as the main library for social studies. WW2 led to the loss
of 2/3 of the Polish library collections. Polish
libraries outside Poland have been of significant importance, such as the
Bibliothčque polonaise in Paris.
The public accessibility of school libraries was determined by law in 1790.
Since 1945, the state has taken care of the public libraries, which in the
nationwide library network are organized as branches of county libraries, some
of which are also scientific libraries.
Poland's archives remained under the tumultuous fate of the state in the
1900-t. partly heavily destroyed, partly scattered abroad. The central archives
of the state are the Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych for the period before 1918 and
the Archiwum Akt Nowych for the period after 1918, both in Warsaw. From the
1990's, the acts of the Communist Party are also in the latter. There are many
local archives, and parties and the church have their own archives. After 1945,
much archival material was hidden in Moscow. Important archives of recent Polish
history can be found, for example, in the Sikorski Institute, London and in the
Piłsudski Institute, New York.
Poland - mass media
Merkuriusz Polski, published from 1661, is considered Poland's oldest
newspaper. During the partition of Poland in the 1800's. the press was suppressed
in the Russian part in particular, but it flourished around the uprisings. An
exile and emigrant press emerged. After independence in 1918, there were
nationwide party political newspapers and minority newspapers, which, however,
were subjected to political interference after the coup in 1926. In the same
year, Polskie Radio was founded as a state institution. 1939-45 there was a
well-organized underground press. After 1945, the communist regime gathered the
print media of the Prasa-Książka-Ruch group 'Press-Book-Traffic', led by the
party organ Trybuna Ludu 'People's Tribune'. Radio and television were under the
party's control, and noise transmitters were deployed against Polish-language
radio from the West. Solidarity published an uncensored weekly newspaper,
In 1989, freedom of expression was introduced, the control of the Communist
Party was broken, and the media privatized, in 1998 also the news agency Polska
Agencja Prasowa. The leading newspapers are the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza
'Valgavis' and the conservative Rzeczpospolita 'Republikken'. Trybuna Ludu is
now a Social Democratic newspaper called Trybuna. The public Polskie Radio in
Telewizja is licensed and advertised and competes with commercial and church
stations. Major foreign investments have been made in the Polish mass media.
Poland - theater
From 1200-t. there was in Poland ecclesiastical theater in the form
of mystery plays. From the 1500's. played under the influence of Italian, French
and English theater school, manor and court theater. In the 1600's. developed
Polish satirical folk comedies as touring outdoor games. In 1765 a national
theater was opened.
After the partitions of Poland in the late 1700's. under the censorship of
those in power, the theater became a defense of the Polish language and national
consciousness with the "father of Polish theater", Wojciech Bogusławski, as the
front figure. Relatively freely, the theaters in the Austrian part of Poland,
especially in Kraków and Lwów (now Lviv), could play the national romantic
dramas. Stanisław Wyspiański, who liberated Polish theater from its
provincialism, also worked here.
The most important events in the interwar period were the founding in 1919 of
the theater institute Reduta, which became a source of inspiration for
alternative theater, and Leon Schiller's (1887-1954) development of the form of
total theater. During World War II, all theaters were closed, most buildings
burned, and Polish theater went underground.
After 1945, all theaters became state institutions, and in 1949-55, the
regime wanted to reduce theater to a propaganda institution. After 1956, the
alternative, such as student scenes, particularly influenced theater
life. Several theaters reached a high international level, such as Teatr
Współczesny in Warsaw and Stary Teatr in Kraków.
Poets and playwrights have contributed to the development of the special
Polish theatrical style, especially in the field of acting techniques and
staging. Tadeusz Kantor founded Cricot 2, and in 1956 Henryk Tomaszewski created
Jerzy Grotowski, the founder of the Teatr Laboratory in the 1960's, still
influences Polish and European theater; his work is continued by the Association
Gardzienice. The Polish theater theorist Jan Kott has inspired the world's
leading theater people.
In the politically turbulent 1980's, several illegal theaters existed. After
the system change in 1989, Polish theater enjoys full artistic freedom, but must
more or less succeed on the terms of the free market.
Poland - dance
Poland had until the Second World War a living tradition of dance at the
festivals of life and the year. In central Poland, there are pair dances of
the mazurka type : kujawiak, mazurek and the fast oberek,
all in 3/4 or 3/8 time. Chodzony, a popular variant of polonaise,
introduces the suite. In southeastern Poland, krakowiak is found. In
the mountain area, men dance zbójnicki with hand axes and high
jumps. In the West Pole there are both new dances and the old chain dance wiwat. In
the 1800's. got polonez, mazurek, kujawiak, oberek and krakowiak status
as national dances. They quickly spread to the rest of Europe as ballroom
On the ballet stage, polonaise and mazurka were included as
character dances in 1800's large Russian ballets, eg Swan Lake. Warsaw
has a ballet tradition dating back to the 1600's, but ballet life was mostly
dominated by foreign ballet masters. A national company was founded in Warsaw in
1818. In 1937, Balet Polski emerged with Bronislava Nijinska as
choreographer. After World War II, a new classical ballet life was built from
the ground up. Poland also has a strong mimic tradition with Henryk Tomaszewski
(1919-2001) as one of the most distinguished representatives. He founded his own
company in Wrocław in 1956 and in 1969 rehearsed Baggage after Herman
Bang's short story "Franz Pander" for Den Kgl. Ballet in Copenhagen.
Poland - music
The earliest information about Polish art music dates from the 10th
century. With the introduction of Christianity in 966, Gregorian chant came to
the country with monks from Western Europe, and church music as well as secular
music developed in the following centuries in close contact with Western
tradition. Polish unanimous Easter songs and polyphonic music are contained in
manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries.
In Kraków, until 1596 the country's capital and royal seat, music became a
university subject in 1406, and many travelers from European cities came to
study. A significant composer was Mikołaj Radomski, whose music, including a
motto from the 1420's, shows connection to Guillaume Dufay and the Burgundian
16th and 17th centuries
In the Renaissance, Kraków was the main center of musical life with many
instrumental and vocal ensembles; in the royal chapel, Polish and foreign
musicians played, and the repertoire was international. Mikołaj Gomółka
(1535-91) gave with Melodier til een Polish psalter (printed
1580) the first example in Polish music history of compositions with distinct
The instrumental music was dominated by the lute music with Polish, French
and Italian dances, but also the organ music thrived and left valuable
tablature, eg Jan Lublin's organ book (1537-48). As the new
capital, Warsaw became the country's musical center. Adam Jarzębski (approximately
1590-1648), violinist in the royal chapel, became one of the first
representatives of Central Europe's instrumental baroque style.
18th and 19th centuries
In opera, Italian influence prevailed, also later under King Stanisław II,
who during his reign (1764-95), however, especially supported Polish
composers; Maciej Kamieński (1734-1821) wrote the first national opera
(1778). Polish folklore came to play an increasingly important role, and
stylized folk dances characterized piano music in particular.
With Frédéric Chopin, Poland got its great national composer who found an
enthusiastic audience worldwide. Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-72), best known for
the opera Halka (1858) and his songs, was of inestimable importance to
Polish music life.
The song was in the 19th century the preferred form and was worshiped by all
composers after Chopin and Moniuszko. Zygmunt Noskowski (1846-1909) contributed
symphonies and symphonic poems. The time also fostered many excellent musicians
such as the violin virtuoso Henryk Wieniawski, who among other things. wrote two
violin concertos, pianists Ignacy Paderewski and Artur Rubinstein and conductors
Grzegorz Fitelberg (1879-1953) and Leopold Stokowski.
After the turn of the century, a group of composers rebelled against the
tradition of the group Młoda Polska 'The Young Poland', which, with Richard
Wagner and Richard Strauss as role models, was to modernize and elevate Polish
music. The group included Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909), Ludomir Różycki
(1884-1953), Grzegorz Fitelberg and, as the most important for the further
development of Polish music, Karol Szymanowski.
The period before World War II was thus marked by great musical activity, but
the material destruction of the war and the restrictions of the Nazi regime
meant that concerts had to be held in secret in cafés and in private homes.
After the war, music life in the new socialist state was rebuilt, and music
education reformed; the idea was to create a national art, and among all
composers folk elements now appeared.
In 1949, the 49 group was formed for the purpose of writing music
that could appeal to a larger audience; it should be rooted in tradition but
blade modern. Several composers joined the neoclassical ideas: Tadeusz
Baird, Kazimierz Serocki, Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-69), Bolesław Szabelski
(1896-1979) and Witold Lutosławski.
In 1956, the international festival Warsaw Autumn was held for the
first time, in which participated young composers such as Wojciech Kilar
(b. 1932), Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Górecki and Zygmunt Krauze (b. 1938).
After several years of isolation, new music from Europe was heard in Poland,
and soon twelve-tone technique, serialism and other advanced techniques came
into use in both older and younger composers.
Krzysztof Meyer (b. 1943) has, for example, worked with point music,
aleatorics and collage technique, Paweł Szymański (b. 1954) among others. with
electronic experiments. Poland came to play a remarkable role in the European
Of the post-war composers, Lutosławski, Penderecki and Górecki have achieved
the greatest international fame.
Polish folk songs is like strophic and in simple shapes with regular verse
structure that is attached to rhythm formulas from the Polish national dance
like mazurka, Krakowiak and Polonaise. Prelude is not used. The melodies
preferably use older, modal scales, but also major minor tonality
Unanimity is predominant, only in the southern mountain regions a pluralism
of older origin is practiced. The oldest musical instruments include the
shepherds' flutes, fujarki, long wooden trumpets and several different
Small stringed instruments with three or four strings, such as mazanki and
the somewhat larger suka, were in use until around 1900. The usual
ensemble at family parties was formerly a duo consisting of bagpipes
and violin. The violin has been the most important instrument since the 19th
century and is still part of every ensemble. In Podhale it consists of three
violins and bass, others of a newer nature also use clarinet, trumpet and
Poland - film
Poland had a significant film production from approximately 1910 with the director
Aleksander Hertz (1879-1928) as the basic driving force; he launched Pola
Negri, who became a silent film star in Germany and Hollywood in the 1920's.
The avant-garde group START in the 1930's included directors such as
Aleksander Ford (1908-80) and Wanda Jakubowska (1907-98), who especially after
World War II gained attention with films such as. The Uprising in the Ghetto (1948)
and the Auschwitz Women's Camp (1948).
The state film production and film school was established in 1945. Andrzej
Wajda had an international breakthrough with Ash and Diamonds (1958)
and is with the controversial Marble Man (1977) still the main
character of Polish film. In the same generation, directors such as Andrzej Munk
(1921-61) with the satirical Eroica (1958), Jerzy Kawalerowicz
(1922-2007) with Mother Joanna (1960) and Wojciech Has (1925-2000) with
the fabled Manuscript are found in Saragossa (1965).
Poland also had a significant production of animated films in the 1950's and
1960's with Jan Lenica (1928-2001) as the main character. A new tone marked the
new wave-inspired film of the 1960's with the directors Roman Polanski, who
quickly left Polish film, and Jerzy Skolimowski.
Then came modernist film art with a disillusioned basic tone by Krzysztof
Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland (b. 1948) and the main character Krzysztof
Kieślowski, who again created international awareness of Polish film with the
masterpiece Dekalog (1988).
The changing conditions for freedom of expression have led many instructors
to occasionally work outside Poland.