"The merriest barrack in the Soviet camp" is a colloquial term characterizing Poland’s situation, which in the years 1944-1989 found itself in the zone of the absolute Soviet Union domination as a result of the Great Powers’ decision in Yalta. Throughout this period the country was under Communist regime enforced by Moscow. At those times approximately 60 million people lived in Poland in the scope of 45 years. Some of them collaborated with the regime or even created it. Others at different times and in different ways acted against it. The majority, however, without the slightest sympathy for the system, the authorities and the Soviet Union tried to adapt and simply live in dignity. These different attitudes are the subject of the exposition "People's Republic of Poland. So close and so far away" prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw.
The authors' intention was to show both the fight (in the first post-war period also an armed fight) with the imposed authority, as well as the events of everyday life including politics, economy, culture, sport and science. The most important events of the 45-year history are exhibited in a kaleidoscopic way, using diverse photographic material. At the exhibition you will find pictures showing events such as the breakdown of the postwar armed underground, the creation of the Communist Party, the country's reconstruction after the devastation of World War II , the period of the Stalinist terror, the political changes after Stalin's death, the conflict between the Catholics and atheist Communist rule, the pilgrimages of the Polish Pope John Paul II to his homeland, civil libertarian spurts that led to the emergence of the “Solidarity” movement, and finally regaining freedom and the collapse of the communist system in Central and Eastern Europe. Above all the curators tried to show evocative images, limiting information texts to minimum.
The exhibition will be presented in the building of Woodrow Wilson International Center from December 3, 2009 until the end of January 2010. The official opening of the exhibition will be held on December 3, 2009 at 3.00 pm.
We strongly encourage to visit the exhibition.