|Polish name: Polska a republic in central Europe, on the Baltic: first united in the 10th century; dissolved after the third partition effected by Austria, Russia, and Prussia in 1795; re-established independence in 1918; invaded by Germany in 1939; ruled by a Communist government from 1947 to 1989, when a multiparty system was introduced; joined the EU in 2004. It consists chiefly of a low undulating plain in the north, rising to a low plateau in the south, with the Sudeten and Carpathian Mountains along the S border. Official language: Polish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: złoty. Capital: Warsaw. Pop: 38 551 000 (2004 est). Area: 311 730 sq km (120 359 sq miles)|
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.