Republic in central Europe, bordered by the Baltic Sea and Russia to the north, Lithuania to the northeast, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, The Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, and Germany to the west. Its capital and largest city is Warsaw.
Note: Poland was a great power from the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries, but in the eighteenth century it was partitioned three times among Austria, Prussia, and Russia. It was again recognized as an independent state in 1919.
Note: The invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 precipitated World War II.
Note: During World War II, about six million Poles, including three million Jews, died from German massacres, starvation, and execution in concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
Note: In 1952, Poland became a people's republic on the Soviet model.
Note: The Solidarity movement, which demanded greater worker control in Poland, emerged in the early 1980s as one of the first signs of popular discontent with single-party rule and the communist economic system.
Note: In 1989, Solidarity-backed candidates swept to victory in free elections, but Solidarity subsequently declined sharply as a political force.
Note: Poland joined NATO in 1999.