The Economic History of Poland, 1918-1990


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
PKW



Table of Contents


Chapter IV : 1945-1955
Working Table of Contents, 2nd Update
Chapter III : World War II, 1st Update
Working Table of Contents, 1st Update
Bibliography 3rd Update
Chapter III : World War II
Chapter I : Recovery
Bibliography 2nd Update
Working Table of Contents
Bibliography 1st Update
Bibliography



Chapter IV : 1945-1955 (as of November 28th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

IV. 1945-1955

IV.1 The Aftermath of WW2

IV.1.1 The Effects Brought by the Destruction and Territorial Changes
            Poland lay in ruins by the time World War II was over. More than one fifth of its population had been killed and most of its cities, including Warsaw, had been leveled. To make matters worse, the damage wrought on Poland's countryside was tremendous. For example, if we were to take the average agricultural production of the period 1934 - 1938 as 100, the level for 1945/1946 was a mere 33 (1). Although Poland's industrial production was not as badly affected: If we take the level in 1938 as 100, then in 1946/1947, it was 90.8 (2). A ten percent decrease in production still brought about many inconveniences. Thus, due to the combination of war damage in several areas, the people of Poland were forced to live under extremely low standards of living even after the war. They constantly suffered from shortages of supplies and had to live frugally in order to make ends meet. An index which shows how hard life was is the supply of nutrients per person. According to Poland Today (Oct. 1948), the average Pole had to live off 1,702 calories, 46 grams of proteins and 29 grams of fat. It is meager compared to the prewar supply of nutrients per person for U.S.A and United Kingdom as shown in the table below.

Prewar Supply of Nutrients per Person for U.S.A and U.K (3)
U.S.A. U.K.
Calories 3,228 2,984
Proteins (gram) 89 81
Fats (gram) 132 130


            On the other hand, the effects brought forth by the change of borders were rather positive. The most obvious effect was the increase in Poland's industrial and agricultural resources. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the land given up to the Soviet Union was neither rich in industrial or agricultural resources. Apart from the industrial institutions surrounding Lwow and Wilno, most of the land was barren and used only for primitive agriculture. However, the land acquired from Germany, especially in Silesia and around Stettin were important industrial areas. The table provided below shows how significant the acquisition of these areas actually was.

Poland's Industrial Resources (Prewar and Postwar) (4)
Category Pre-War Post-War Percentage Gain
Coal :
Number of Mines 67 80 19
Production (Thousand tons) 32,600 64,650 98
Brown Coal :
Number of Mines 7 20 186
Production (Thousand tons) 18 7,611 3,220
Zinc and lead :
Number of Mines 2 9 350
Production (Thousand tons) 492 1,214 147
Iron ore :
Number of Mines 20 21 5
Production (Thousand tons) 792 865 7
Crude Oil :
Number of Wells 812 190 -77
Production (Thousand tons) 501 118 -76
Potassium Salt :
Number of Mines 3 0 -100
Pricyction (Thousand tons) 522 0 -100


            In addition to the gains listed in the table above, Poland acquired deposits of cadmium, cobalt, gypsum, and china clay. All of which had to be imported before the war. On balance, even though Poland was short of capital equipment, owing to wartime devastation and the removal of equipment by its occupants, postwar Poland's economic aspects were much brighter because it had made slight gains in agricultural resources, and had gained substantially in industrial resources.
            Another important impact of the territorial adjustments was that it led to the creation of a homogeneous state. With the expulsion of millions of Germans, Ukrainians and other national minorities after the war; in addition, to the extermination of the Jewish population during the war, Poland became ethnically Polish and predominantly Roman Catholic by religion. During the inter-bellum period over 10 million of the population had belonged to national minorities, but afterwards they numbered a mere 500,000. Although the price Poland paid during the war can never be undone, Poland consequently became a more compact and stable nation.

IV.1.2 The effects brought by the dramatic decrease in population

IV.1.2.1 Extermination of the Jewish Population
            The prewar Jewish population in Poland was over 3 million. They made up nearly 10 percent of the population but, unlike the Jews of other western European nations, the vast bulk of the Polish Jews did not assimilate with the culture of the mother nation. In fact, in the census of 1931, almost 80% of the Jews declared Yiddish as their mother tongue, and a similar percentage considered themselves Jews by nationality. There were around 130 Yiddish and Hebrew periodicals, 15 Yiddish language theaters, 266 elementary schools, 12 gymnasia, and 14 vocational schools all taught in Yiddish or Hebrew throughout Poland. Therefore, had one visited Poland during the interwar period, one would find two communities ? the Poles and the Jews. Although they lived together for centuries in the same country, they for the most part maintained separate existences, lifestyles and value systems.
            However out of Poland's prewar population of 3,500,000 Jews, only about 50,000 - 120,000 survived the war. This meant that the Jewish community in Poland, which was once the largest in Europe, was nearly decimated. Many changes and impacts followed as a consequence.
            The most prominent impact was the increased opportunity given to the ethnic Polish population to move up the social economic ladder. Even though the Jews numbered only 10% of the population they were mostly in the upper strata. They compromised 21.5 % of the country's professional class and almost held a monopoly in provincial Polish towns. In fact, in many eastern Polish towns, Jews often made up 50 - 90% of the population and practically owned all the shops. In general the Jews sold, and the Poles either bought or worked for Jewish employers. However, after the war most of the Jews were killed or had left the country, leaving their positions open. Thus, the remaining Poles were able to use this opportunity to raise their social status and become part of society that the Jews once dominated.

IV.1.2.2 Extermination of the Polish Intelligentsia
            Meanwhile, the Polish Intelligentsia suffered unproportional losses as well. The Germans in their goal to destroy the Polish culture focused on eliminating anyone with even the slightest political and cultural prominence. Their definition of these so called elites was so board however that it spanned over a major part of Polish society, including teachers, physicians, officers, and even priests. In fact, in the spring of 1940, the Nazis, taking advantage of the preoccupation of world opinion with military operations in the West, launched a massive program under the cryptonym A-B, Ausserordentliche-Befriedungsaktion, to exterminate the Polish intelligentsia in the General Government. At least 6,000 people were killed; in addition, to several thousand more that were seized in roundups and shipped to Auschwitz.
            The intelligentsia who succeeded in evading death suffered from physical and economical decline. The Germans deprived them of a way of living. People in academe, and professional work had to join writers, journalists and artists in unemployment. These professionals often had to assume lowerly jobs. They could be found everywhere, trading, shop keeping and even operating rickshaws.
            The Germans were extremely successful in their resolve. It was discovered that by the end of the war Poland had lost 45% of her physicians and dentists; 57% of her attorneys, 15% of her teachers, 40% of her professors, 30% technicians, 18% of her clergy (5). The sudden shortage of the Polish intelligentsia exacerbated the social problems caused by the war. For example, because of the lack of physicians and medicine, diseases related with malnutrition such as tuberculosis was prevalent among the population. Also, shortage of professors and teachers proved to be a big problem for the new government as it rebuilt its educational system.

IV.2 Poland's Transition to Communism

IV.2.1 Dominance of the Communist Party
            By the middle of March 1944, the provisional government was in control of what was to become post-war Poland. Backed by the Red Army, the communist party immediately began the task of rebuilding national life, whereas the pro-London forces were in a state of near collapse. The non communist parties were unable to act because of the presence of the Red Army. Indeed, it had good reason to be, for by October 1944 Stalin had told the PKWN that the Soviet forces themselves would suppress AK activity, which they saw as a threat to their rear. He even criticized the communist party saying they lacked "revolutionary methods" in dealing with their opponents. As a result the PKWN launched a campaign against the AK, and the conflict quickly escalated, creating conditions for a civil war.
            However, the war in Europe was not over until May 8th 1945, and there had not yet been a formal agreement between the USA, Great Britain, and the USSR on the Polish Question. Therefore, the forthcoming conference at Yalta between the Big Three was of great importance for Poland. At the preliminary conversations held on Malta on the 1st and 2nd of February, Eden and Stettinius, the new secretary of states for England and the U.S, agreed that the London government in-exile had no part to play in the reconstruction of post-war Poland and that any attempt to seek a fusion of it and the provisional government would be fruitless. Instead, they thought that creating a new government composed of Poles at and home and abroad would be a better solution. The preliminary session ended with the agreement that the purpose of the new government would be to hold free elections as soon as possible.
            The Yalta Conference of February 2 - 11th 1945 had much to discuss and it wasn't until the third plenary session on February 6th that the Polish Question was considered. The next few days were spent discussing the issue of changing the borderlines and the formation of a Polish government. On 10 February though, it was finally agreed by the Big Three that the present provisional government should be reorganized as the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity by the inclusion of democratic leaders from home and abroad. In addition, the new government was pledged to hold free and fair elections as soon as possible
            The London based exile government denounced the Yalta agreement on February 13th but by that time it was too late to reverse the decision made by the Big Three. As a result, many Poles began to come to terms with the fact that the Soviet Union and the communists would be the architects of the new Poland.
            The new government in name was a coalition of five parties, the PPR, PPS, the Peasant Party, the Democratic Party and the Party of Labor. However, in practice it was dominated by the Communists. The Communists controlled the key ministries of Defense, Public Security, the Western Territories, Industry and Foreign Affairs and used the power derived from their posts to ensure more political support and loyalty from the masses

IV.2.2 Six Year Plan
            The new government though, faced a huge burden. It had to solve the problems caused by the war and the changes in borders, such as the integration of the new provinces with the old, the completion of land reform and the reconstruction of devastated areas. The government implemented many policies and programs to undo the damage but the Six Year Plan covering the years 1950-1955 is by the far the most prominent.
            Just after the November 1949 Plenum of the Central Committee, it was announced that the Three Year Plan had been fulfilled in 2 years and 10 months. The Three year Plan was an overall successful: Between 1946 and 1949 national income rose by 219%, investment by 192%, consumption by 226%, real wages by 33% and the main objective of reaching pre-war consumption levels was achieved. Agricultural production was only 86% of the 1938 level but it was shadowed by the other achievements (6). Encouraged by the success of the Three Year Plan, the government put together the Six Year Plan for the following six years.
            The Three Year plan had been prepared by the Central Planning Office, staffed by able economists under the chairmanship of Professor C. Bobrowski. The team worked to create a balanced economic growth. They made necessary investments in light industry, handicraft & farming, and then projected investment in heavy industry. Although the Three Year Plan showed the positive effects of such an approach, this method was radically different from the Soviet scheme, which gave priority to heavy industry. As a consequence, the Central Planning Office came under attack by the minister of industry and trade, Hilary Minc. And in February 4th 1949, it was replaced by the State Commission for Economic Planning headed by the minister himself.
            Thus, the Commission prepared the main targets for the new economic plan. The goals were ambitious but still reasonably realistic and aimed at a balanced economic growth. However, when they announced the Six Year Plan at the Unity Congress, the targets were drastically raised under raised under Soviet pressure as can be seen from the table below. Even though the new targets were wholly unrealistic, it was approved by the Central Committee Plenum and five days later enacted by the Sejm as part of a comprehensive law concerning the "Six Year Plan of Economic Development and the Construction of Socialism in Poland for the Years 1950 - 1955."

Proposed Increases on the 1949 Levels (7)
1948 version 1950 version
National income 70-80 % 112.3 %
Industrial Production
(Socialist Sector)
85-95 % 158.3 %
Agricultural Production 35-45 % above 50 %
Consumption per head 55-60 % 50-60 %

IV.2.2.1 Industrial Sector
            The industrial sector of the Six Year Plan can be largely characterized into two characteristics. The first is its concentration on heavy industry. By 1948, the industrial sector was already nationalized and under the firm grip of the Central Committee. The Committee controlled nearly everything; starting from the allocation of resources, to the number of products released into the market. Using this power, the Committee invested the bulk of its resources in order to develop Poland's heavy industry and build new factories all over Poland.
            Deliveries to the USSR and the needs of rearmament had the first claim in receiving aid from the government because allocation of resources was based on a system of priorities dictated by political considerations. Heavy and medium industry followed along with their demand for iron, steel, and industrial machinery. Meanwhile, light industry, agriculture and handicraft trailed far behind. The last three notoriously lagged behind the rest of the economy throughout the Six Year Plan because the government simply did not investment much resource in them. In fact, between 1950 and 1953, the proportion of investment in light and consumer goods was nearly halved, declining from a healthy 23.77 % to a meager 13.87 %.
            The concentration of resources into heavy industry, especially the practice of withdrawing huge resources, nearly 40% of the annual income in 1953, from immediate consumption or from consumer goods industries for long term industrial projects together with the replacement of private shops by state municipal co-operative shops made everyday life harder and harder for the population. The first policy drastically lowered the number of consumer products produced while the second policy worsened the distribution of goods; the network of state owned shops was not as wide as the old private system making shopping extremely arduous. By the middle of 1951 great shortages of agricultural and industrial goods became noticeable.
            Meanwhile, the second characteristic is the vast amount of Soviet contribution to the industrialization process. Under a long term agreement with the USSR, Poland was given credits and guaranteed the supply of raw materials and industrial goods necessary for her economic development along with the sale of surpluses of the Polish economy for eight years. Poland was also promised a great quantity of investment equipment, including whole plants for dozens of factories and mines, together with technical and personnel training. As a result, new branches of industry, many unknown in pre-war Poland, were brought into the country. For example, after 1951, a sophisticated defense industry, producing tanks, guns, munitions, airplanes and radar was added.
            Although the reliance on the Soviet Union seemed to bring about positive change in the near future, it had adverse consequences in the long run. For instance, Soviet equipment was technologically inferior to that of the West. It used up more resources then was necessary and brought poorer returns. Had Poland invested in Western equipment with the same amount of capital, Poland could have had a much more efficient economy. In addition, because of its economic ties with Poland, the Soviet Union was able to directly influence the direction of Poland's industrial development. In many cases the USSR based its decisions on Soviet priorities, investing heavily on heavy industries instead of distributing it evenly for a more balanced economy.

IV.2.2.2 Agricultural Sector
            Meanwhile, the Plan for the agricultural sector was to ¡°create conditions for the inclusion of a considerable part of farms in the socialist co-operative productions¡± and increase its overall yields: 39 % increase in crops yields, 68 % increase in animal products, and 50 % increase in the overall value of agricultural production by 1955. These goals were rather unrealistic and none of them were in fact achieved.
            Unlike the industry, agriculture was predominately run by private farmers. Collective farms were introduced in 1949 and around 300 of these "production co-operatives" were scattered around the country, but as can be seen from the table below, they played only a minor role. It was the private farmers who produced most of the food supplies and other raw materials that the national economy depended on.

Collectivization of farms, 1949 - 1955 (8)
Year % share of arable land Number of members Number of Collectives
1949 - - 243
1950 0.8 23,300 2,199
1951 3.2 77,400 3,056
1952 3.4 85,200 4,478
1953 6.7 158,500 7,772
1954 8.2 192,400 9,322
1955 9.2 205,200 9,750


            However, due to the government's hostile policies the position of private farmers worsened rapidly. In July 1951 compulsory deliveries of grain were imposed, and in 1952 extended to pork, beef, milk and potatoes. The state paid for these goods but the prices were fixed below the production cost. In addition a land tax was introduced in 1950. The land tax together with the compulsory deliveries resulted in a confiscation of nearly 20% of the net farm production. As a result, many private farmers stopped investing in their farms and allowed their equipment and buildings to decay. Some even divided their farms and sold it to poorer peasants or simply surrendered parts of their land to escape taxation. In turn, the overall area of land under cultivation decreased and bad harvests followed in the following year: 1951, 1952, and 1953. In general, average crop yields fell below the 1950 level instead of rising by 10% per year as planned.
            To make matters worse, the collective farms which were indeed expanding, although at a slow pace, proved to be inefficient. Collectivization produced general uncertainty and inhibited production. In fact according to National Communism and Popular Revolt in Eastern Europe, "economically collectivization was a waste because it did not motivate farmers to work hard and only heavily subsidized farms." The government was aware of this, but nevertheless pursued this policy because it was the Soviet way of building socialism in the countryside and perhaps simply because Stalin had order it.
            Nevertheless, the Six Year Plan in the agricultural sector wasn't a complete failure because peasants benefitted from other aspects of the plan. For example, peasants would commute to nearby cities and earn extra money working as a construction worker or doing unskilled factory work. Also, peasant's children could now enjoy better access to education at all levels because of the emphasis put into education during the Six Year Plan. They had a much better chance of reaching intelligentsia status than they had had before the war, and thus were open to new opportunities.

Notes

(1)      The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950, 124
(2)      The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950, 181
(3)      Food Consumption Levels. Report of a Special Joint Committee Set up by the Cominbed Food Board, H.M.S.O. (London, 1944) p. 16
(4)      U.N.R.R.A paper, "Industrial Rehabilitation in Poland."
(5)      Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles under German occupation 1939 -1944, 9
(6)      The History of Poland since 1863, 311
(7)      Speeches of Minc to the Unity Congress, December 1948; and V PZPR Central Committee Plenum, July 1950
(8)      The History of Poland since 1863, 318




Working Table of Contents, 2nd Update (as of October 17th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

A Comparison of the Destruction and Recovery Process of Poland's Economy in the Two World Wars


I. 1914-1918
     I.1 Poland's Economy before the War
          I.1.1 The Economy in Prussian-held Poland
          I.1.2 The Economy in Austrian-held Poland
          I.1.3 The Economy in Russian-held Poland
     I.2 Wartime Destruction
          I.2.1 The Economy in Prussian-held Poland
          I.2.2 The Economy in Austrian-held Poland
          I.2.3 The Economy in Russian-held Poland
     I.3 Aftermath
II. 1919-1929
     II.1 How the Polish government overcame the problems caused by the war
          II.1.1 Unification of the administrative and economical systems
               II.1.1.1 Currency Reforms
               II.1.1.2 Taxation Reform
          II.1.2 Improvement of the Infrastructure
          II.1.3 Increase of Agricultural Yield
     II.2 The Fate of Danzig
III. 1939-1945
     III.1 The Polish economy during the war
          III.1.1 Destruction of the Polish economy
          III.1.2 The annexation of the Polish economy
               III.1.2.1 Soviet Occupation
               III.1.2.2 German Occupation
          III.1.3 The Economic Aspects of Concentration Camps
     III.2 Overview
IV. 1945-1955
     IV.1 The Aftermath of World War II
          IV.1.1 The effects brought by the destruction
          IV.1.2 The effects brought by the dramatic decrease in population.
               IV.1.2.1 Extermination of the Jewish Population
               IV.1.2.2 Extermination of the Intelligentsia
     IV.2 Poland's Transition to Communism
          IV.2.1 Dominance of the Communist Party
          IV.2.2 Implementation of the six-year policy
V. Conclusion
     V.1 Comparison of Destruction
          V.1.1 Motive
          V.1.2 Extent
     V.2 Comparison of Recovery Phases
          V.2.1 Structural Differences
          V.2.2 Effectiveness



Chapter III : World War II, 1st Update (as of September 24th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

III. World War II (1939-1945)

III.1 Destruction of the Polish Economy
            Although Poland had made great strides after the First World War and The Great Depression, it doesn't long before it faced an even greater enemy. For, on September 1st, 1939 Germany invaded Poland and thus started World War 2. The Polish army was no match for the Wehrmacht; which could attack from four different directions and was better equipped and greatly outnumbered the Poles. In fact, the Polish Army had no intention of defeating the German forces. Its main goal was to stall the Wehrmacht for two weeks so that the English and French forces could launch a major offensive in the western front. However, to Poland's dismay English and French forces failed to make a major offensive, and to make matters worse, the Red army began to occupy Eastern parts of Poland on September 17th. The Polish High Command and the Government were forced to retreat to neutral Romania not long afterwards. Even though fighting lasted only a couple of weeks, the loss of human lives and economic assets were astronomical. Over 200,000 were either killed or wounded and major industrial cities and large areas of arable land were destroyed due to heavy bombing from the Luftwaffe
            This was however, only the beginning for, on June 22, 1941 Operation Barbarossa commenced and Poland once again became a battleground. Eastern Poland quickly became the front line and consequently suffered from extensive property damage. According to an estimate in March 1943, the average losses of Polish agriculture are as follows :
Devastation of Polish Agriculture (1939-1943 (1)
Percentage decrease
Area under grain (excluding rye) 30
Yield of cereal per acre 20
Pig population 20
Cattle 35
Horses 40
Sheep 30


            Unfortunately, I wasn't able to obtain a similar estimate for the loss in industry. As a result, price inflation rose to over three hundred percent and food rationing and food shortages reduced the average diet to almost starvation levels.

III.2 The Annexation of the Polish Economy

III.2.1 The Soviet Occupation
            Although the Soviet Union occupied the eastern half of Poland, it was annexed by the Germans in little less than two years. Because of the brief time period, I wasn't able to obtain much data about this region during the Soviet occupation and ' unfortunately will have to omit this part of history from my paper.

III.2.2 The Nazi Occupation
            The Nazis quickly divided the German occupied Poland into two sectors. The division was made on economic lines; thus, the North and Western parts were directly annexed into the Reich and came to be known as the New Reich whereas the central and Southern areas were formed into the General Government, a German colony. From the very beginning, German economic policy differed in the two areas.
            For the incorporated area, the aim was to absorb the existing economy into Germany's. This would be the fist step to Hitler's dream which was to completely annex the New Reich. In addition to the economic conquest, he wanted to replace the Polish majority, around 87% of the population, with Germans and thus carry out the policy his predecessor, Bismarck, had tried to implement in the late 19th century. He actually started deporting Poles in 1941 (2) but stopped after he realized the magnitude of the process and due to lack of enthusiasm of the German immigrants.
            On the other hand, the goal of the General Government was agricultural specialization in addition to unrestricted economic exploitation. In other words, the area was to be deindustrialized and turned over to the supply of agricultural commodities and raw materials. As a result, Germans began dismantling the factories in order transport their equipment into Germany. This policy continued until 1941, when it was suddenly reversed to meet the needs of the Nazi military machine. (3) After 1941, efforts were made to increase the overall output of oil and iron as well as develop the armaments industries of the Central Industrial District. (4)
            Meanwhile, in all of Poland all private companies and factories, major land estates and state owned enterprises were confiscated without compensation and merged into the Hermann Goering Werke (5) and turned over to munitions. Polish owners were literally rendered destitute overnight and were forced to watch swarms of dubious German entrepreneurs take their place. Oskar Shindler, the philanthropist credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, started out as one of these entrepreneurs.
            With their new financial control over Poland the Nazis made drastic changes to Poland's industry. For example, the less effective plants were immediately shut down and their machinery was dismantled and transported to other parts of the Reich. Whereas the effiecient factories were not only kept but enlarged with new machinery. Thus, production was concentrated to only a few factories throughout Poland.

III.3 The Economic Aspect of Concentration Camps
            Though many would find it hard to believe, concentration camps such as Auschwitz were under strict economic consideration. They were often designed by respectful architects and consultants, and supported by some of the greatest firms in Germany. Their operations were subject to precise calculations of cost accounting and quality control, much like any other legitimate business. The WVHA (6) even made careful estimates of its profits from the camps in advance. The estimates are as follows:
      "The hiring of concentration camp inmates to industrial enterprises yields an average daily return of 6 to 8 RM, from which 70 pf must be deducted for food and clothing. Assuming an inmate's life expectancy to be 9 months, we must multiply this sum by 270. The total, is 1,431 RM. This profit can be increased by rational utilization of the corpse, i.e. by means of gold fillings, clothing, valuables etc., but on the other hand every corpse represents a loss of 2 RM, which is the cost of cremation." (7)
            As can be seen from the quote, the camps produced various products with its input: in addition to the synthetic petroleum produced in the camp's chemical factories, there were gold for the Reichsbank, tons of bone fertilizer, soap, hair carpet, optical lenses from spectacles, and scrap wood and metal from crutches and artificial limbs.
            Strangely, the production did not match expectations and by 1942 even the WVHA realized how inefficient it was to kill its own labor force. Thus, in December 1942, Oswald Pohl, the head of WVHA, proclaimed that all maltreatment of concentration camp inmates should end, as it did not make good economic sense. In addition, in April of the following year, he announced that the Final Solution should be suspended due to lack of fuel. These orders slowly put an end to the concentration camp industries but sadly, they did not bring much relief to the inmates. In fact, all it did was slow down the inevitable.

III.4 Overview
            The war left deep and permanent wounds in Poland. The most prominent is the extensive war damage and the loss in human lives. During the six years of war, over six million Poles died including three million Polish Jews. This was nearly one-third of Poland's population and Poland was left with merely twenty four million inhabitants. In other words, Poland's manpower had been reduced to the position of 1918. (8) To make matters worse, the social structure had also been totally destroyed. The intelligentsia and the Jewish population, both who were of the upper strata were literally decimated. As a result, political, cultural, and economic life would never be the same.
            In addition, the change in Poland's borderline brought was a drastic change as well. Due to the wishes of the Soviet Union, Poland was shifted 150 miles to the west. In the process, Poland lost important cities such as Wilno and Lwow, but acquired cities such as Breslau (Wroclaw), Stettin (Szczecin) and Danzing (Gdansk). Although the territory lost greatly exceeded the territory gained; the new Poland was only four-fifths the area of its predecessor, the resources of the Western Territories more than compensated for the loss. Whereas the area lost was mostly primitive and underdeveloped, the acquired territory included rich coal and iron deposits, complex industrial installations, a modern network of roads and railways, and a large number of cities and seaports. These new resources increased Poland's prospects of economic modernization and industrialization.
            In short, from an economic aspect, the period between 1939 and 1945 can be summarized as an interlude characterized by ruthless exploitation of Poland's many assets by foreign nations. Naturally, the Polish economy was left in a pitiful state much like it was after the First World War. Though the great constructive economic achievements of the inter-bellum period had been in vain, the acquiring of the western resources left a glimmer of hope for the future.

Notes

(1)      Table 56. Devastation of Polish Agriculture (1935 ? 1943), The Economic Development of Poland 1919 ? 1950(Ithaca, 1970), 161
(2)      Around 1,500,000 Poles out of 9,000,000 Poles were deported, many of which were used for cheap labor or forced off to labor camps.
(3)      Operation Barbarossa was the codename for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War 2.
(4)      Also known as the Upper Silesian Industrial District
(5)      A company Goering set up as the Haupttreuhandstelle Ost in early 1940 to extend his four-year plan to the eastern areas of the Reich four-year plan to the eastern areas of the Reich.
(6)      The WVHA was the economic and administrative department of the SS. The fact that concentration camps occupied one of the five departments shows how big the camp operations were
(7)      Quoted by George H. Stein, The Waffen SS (New York, 1966), 88.
(8)      God's Playground Volume II 1795 to the Present (New York, 2005), 365



Working Table of Contents, 1st Update (as of September 17th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

The History of Polish Economy (1919 - Today)
Each with what they exported and imported if possible.

I. 1919 - 1929 (Great Depression)
     A. How the Polish Government overcame the problems caused by the war
          1. Unification of the Administrative and economical systems
               a) Currency Reform
               b) Taxation Reform
          2. Improvement of the Infrastructure
          3. Increase of Agricultural Yield
     B. The fate of Danzig

II. 1929 - 1939
     A. The affects of the Great Depression and Poland's reaction

III. 1939 - 1945
     A. The Polish economy during the war
          1. Destruction of the Polish economy
          2. The Annexation of the Polish Economy
          3. The economic aspect of Concentration camps
          4. Overview

IV. 1945 - 1956
     A. Effects of WW2
          1. The effects of the Extermination of Poland's Jewish Population
     B. Poland's transition to Communism
          1. The implementation of the 5 year policy
     C. The effects of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

V. 1956 - 1973 ( first oil crisis)

VI. 1973 - 1990
     A. How the first oil crisis affected Poland
     B. What Poland did to overcome the problem



Bibliography 3rd Update (as of September 17th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Printed Sources Used
1.      Biskupski, M.B., The History of Poland, Westport CT : Greenwood 2000
2.      Bozyk, Pawel. The Economy of Modern Poland. Warsaw : Interpress 1975
3.      Davies, Norman, God's Playground. A History of Poland, Vol.II : 1795 to the Present, NY : Columbia UP revised edition (1979) 2005
4.      Leslie, Roy Francis, The History of Poland Since 1863. Cambridge UP 1980
5.      Lukowski, Jerzy and Hubert Zawadzki. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001
6.      Pogonowski, Iwo Cyprian, Poland, an illustrated History. NY : Hippocrene 2000
7.      Taylor, J. The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1952
8.      Article : Poland, in : New International Year Book 1916 p.551, 1918 pp.507-508, 1919 pp.530-534, 1920 pp.546-548, 1921 pp.570-574, 1923 pp.603-607, 1925 pp.563-565, 1928 pp.609-610

Online Sources Used
9.      "Wladyslaw Grabski." Wikipedia, 14 Oct 2007, 23:09 UTC. 28 Mar 2008 .
10.      History of Poland: from WHKMLA
11.      A brief History of Poland: from Polonia Today Online
12.      Polish Economic History: from OK Economics,
13.      Article "Second Polish Republic", from Wikipedia, 6 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Polish_Republic&oldid=217596681
14.      Article "History of Poland (1918-1939)", from Wikipedia, 8 May 2008, 7 Jun 2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_Poland_%281918%E2%80%931939%29&oldid=211030407
15.      Article "Second Polish Republic", from Wikipedia, 6 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Polish_Republic&oldid=217596681
16.      Article "Gdansk", from Wikipedia, 5 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gda%C5%84sk&oldid217222978
17.      Article "Administrative division of Polish territories during World War II". from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_division_of_Polish_territories_during_World_War_II
18.      Article "Invasion of Poland (1939)", from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland
19.      Article "General Government", from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Government
20.      Article "Occupation of Poland (1939?1945)", from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Poland_(1939%E2%80%931945)

Printed Sources Not Yet Used
21.      Gunther, John. Behind The Curtain. New York: Harper & Brothers 1948
22.      Kelly, Eric P. The Land and People of Poland. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, (1943) revised ed. 1964
23.      Kenny, Padraic. Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists 1945 -1950. New York: Cornell UP 1997
24.      Mitchell B.R. International Historical Statistics Europe 1750 - 1988. New York: Stockton Press:1992
25.      Smith, Alan H. The Planned Economics of Eastern Europe. Worcester: Billing & Son 1983
26.      Central Statistical Office of the Polish People's Republic, Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland vol.7 1965, vol.14 1972

Online Sources Not Yet Used
27.      Poland: Country Studies : Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, :
28.      Polish Archives: http://www.poland.pl/archives/index.htm



Chapter III : World War II (1939-1945) (as of September 17th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

III. World War II (1939-1945)

III.1 Destruction of the Polish Economy
            Although Poland had made great strides after the First World War and The Great Depression, it doesn't long before it faced an even greater enemy. For, on September 1st, 1939 Germany invaded Poland and thus started World War 2. The Polish army was no match for the Wehrmacht (1); which could attack from four different directions (2) and was better equipped and greatly outnumbered the Poles. In fact, the Polish Army had no intention of defeating the German forces. Its main goal was to stall the Wehrmacht for two weeks so that the English and French forces could launch a major offensive in the western front. However, to Poland's dismay English and French forces failed to make a major offensive, and to make matters worse, the Red army began to occupy Eastern parts of Poland on September 17th. The Polish High Command and the Government were forced to retreat to neutral Romania not long afterwards. Even though fighting lasted only a couple of weeks, the loss of human lives and economic assets were astronomical. Over 200,000 were either killed or wounded and major industrial cities and large areas of arable land were destroyed due to heavy bombing from the Luftwaffe.
            This was however, only the beginning for, on June 22, 1941 Operation Barbarossa (3) commenced and Poland once again became a battleground. Eastern Poland quickly became the front line and consequently suffered from extensive property damage. According to an estimate in March 1943, the average losses of Polish agriculture are as follows :

Average Losses of Polish Agriculture, 1943 compared to 1938
Percentage decrease
Area under grain (excluding rye) 30
Yield of cereal per acre 20
Pig population 20
Cattle 35
Horses 40
Sheep 30

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to obtain a similar estimate for the loss in industry. As a result, price inflation rose to over three hundred percent and food rationing and food shortages reduced the average diet to almost starvation levels.

III.2 The Annexation of the Polish Economy
            The Nazis quickly divided occupied Poland into two sectors. The division was made on economic lines; thus, the North and Western parts were directly annexed into the Reich and came to be known as the New Reich whereas the central and Southern areas were formed into the General Government, a German colony. From the very beginning, German economic policy differed in the two areas.
For the incorporated area, the aim was to absorb the existing economy into Germany's. This would be the fist step to Hitler's dream which was to completely annex the New Reich. In addition to the economic conquest, he wanted to replace the Polish majority, around 87% of the population, with Germans and thus carry out the policy his predecessor, Bismarck, had tried to implement in the late 19th century. He actually started deporting Poles (4) in 1941 but stopped after he realized the magnitude of the process and due to lack of enthusiasm of the German immigrants.
            On the other hand, the goal of the General Government was agricultural specialization in addition to unrestricted economic exploitation. In other words, the area was to be deindustrialized and turned over to the supply of agricultural commodities and raw materials. As a result, Germans began dismantling the factories in order transport their equipment into Germany. This policy continued until 1941, when it was suddenly reversed to meet the needs of the Nazi military machine (5). After 1941, efforts were made to increase the overall output of oil and iron as well as develop the armaments industries of the Central Industrial District (6).
            Meanwhile, in all of Poland all private companies and factories, major land estates and state owned enterprises were confiscated without compensation and merged into the Hermann Göring Werke (7) and turned over to munitions. Polish owners were literally rendered destitute overnight and were forced to watch swarms of dubious German entrepreneurs take their place. Oskar Shindler, the philanthropist credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, started out as one of these entrepreneurs.
            With their new financial control over Poland the Nazis made drastic changes to Poland's industry. For example, the less effective plants were immediately shut down and their machinery was dismantled and transported to other parts of the Reich. Whereas the effiecient factories were not only kept but enlarged with new machinery. Thus, production was concentrated to only a few factories throughout Poland.

III.3 The Economic Aspect of Concentration Camps
            Though many would find it hard to believe, concentration camps such as Auschwitz were under strict economic consideration. They were often designed by respectful architects and consultants, and supported by some of the greatest firms in Germany. Their operations were subject to precise calculations of cost accounting and quality control, much like any other legitimate business. The WVHA (8) even made careful estimates of its profits from the camps in advance. The estimates are as follows :
      "The hiring of concentration camp inmates to industrial enterprises yields an average daily return of 6 to 8 RM, from which 70 pf must be deducted for food and clothing. Assuming an inmate's life expectancy to be 9 months, we must multiply this sum by 270. The total, is 1,431 RM. This profit can be increased by rational utilization of the corpse, i.e. by means of gold fillings, clothing, valuables etc., but on the other hand every corpse represents a loss of 2 RM, which is the cost of cremation." (9)
            As can be seen from the quote, the camps produced various products with its input: in addition to the synthetic petroleum produced in the camp's chemical factories, there were gold for the Reichsbank, tons of bone fertilizer, soap, hair carpet, optical lenses from spectacles, and scrap wood and metal from crutches and artificial limbs.
            Strangely, the production did not match expectations and by 1942 even the WVHA realized how inefficient it was to kill its own labor force. Thus, in December 1942, Oswald Pohl, the head of WVHA, proclaimed that all maltreatment of concentration camp inmates should end, as it did not make good economic sense. In addition, in April of the following year, he announced that the Final Solution (10) should be suspended due to lack of fuel. These orders slowly put an end to the concentration camp industries but sadly, they did not bring much relief to the inmates. In fact, all it did was slow down the inevitable.

III.4 Overview
            The war left deep and permanent wounds in Poland. The most prominent is the extensive war damage and the loss in human lives. During the six years of war, over six million Poles died including the three million Polish Jews. This was nearly one-third of Poland's population and Poland was left with merely twenty four million inhabitants, the same as Poland's population in 1918. To make matters worse, the social structure had also been totally destroyed. The intelligentsia and the Jewish population, both who were of the upper strata were literally decimated. As a result, political, cultural, and economic life would never be the same.
            In addition, the change in Poland's borderline brought was a drastic change as well. Due to the wishes of the Soviet Union, Poland was shifted 150 miles to the west. In the process, Poland lost important cities such as Wilno and Lwow, but acquired cities such as Breslau (Wroclaw), Stettin (Szczecin) and Danzig (Gdansk) (11). Although the territory lost greatly exceeded the territory gained; the new Poland was only four-fifths the area of its predecessor, the resources of the Western Territories more than compensated for the loss. Whereas the area lost was mostly primitive and underdeveloped, the acquired territory included rich coal and iron deposits, complex industrial installations, a modern network of roads and railways, and a large number of cities and seaports. These new resources increased Poland's prospects of economic modernization and industrialization.
            In short, from an economic aspect, the period between 1939 and 1945 can be summarized as an interlude characterized by ruthless exploitation of Poland's many assets by foreign nations. Naturally, the Polish economy was left in a pitiful state much like it was after the First World War. Though the great constructive economic achievements of the inter-bellum period had been in vain, the acquiring of the western resources left a glimmer of hope for the future.

Notes

(1)      The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945.
(2)      East Prussia in the North; Slovakia in the South; Pomerania in the Northwest; and Silesia in the Southwest.
(3)      Operation Barbarossa was the codename for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War 2.
(4)      Around 1,500,000 Poles out of 9,000,000 Poles were deported, many of which were used for cheap labor or forced off to labor camps.
(5)      Operation Barbarossa began on June 1941. Having the factories near the front lines was much more efficient
(6)      Also known as the Upper Silesian Industrial District
(7)      A company Goering set up as the Haupttreuhandstelle Ost in early 1940 to extend his four-year plan to the eastern areas of the Reich.
(8)      The WVHA was the economic and administrative department of the SS. The fact that concentration camps occupied one of the five departments shows how big the camp operations were
(9)      Quoted by George H. Stein, The Waffen SS (New York, 1966), p.88.
(10)      The Final solution was Hitler's plan to systematically liquidate all the Jews in Europe.
(11)      These areas came to be known as the "Recovered Lands".



Chapter I : Recovery (as of June 8th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. Recovery
            After over a century (1795-1918) of partition and years (1914-1918) of being a battlefield during World War 1, Poland faced serious problems when it gained independence in 1918. In addition to the economy, which was divided and in ruins, the extensive war damage added to the burden of the feeble country. However, Poland eventually managed to overcome these obstacles one by one, and was able to gain relative stability by 1929.

I.1 How the Polish Government overcame the problems caused by the War

I.1.1 Unification of the administrative and economic systems
            After the third partition of Poland in 1795, Poland was divided into three different parts. Russia controlled the Kingdom of Poland and the Eastern borderlands; Prussia controlled Poznania and Pomerania and Upper Silesia; and Austria was in charge of Galicia and Austrian Silesia. This meant that during its partition Poland had at least three distinct administrations and three different forms of economic systems. Thus, one of the first agendas Poland had to take care of was to unify the administrative and economic systems.

I.1.1.1 Currency Reform
            To make matters worse, over six different currencies (1) were circulating Poland during its partition. However, in 1915 the Central Powers defeated the Russians and annexed the former territory of the Congress Kingdom of Poland. Under the guidance of Wolfgang von Kries, the chief of German Administration, the "Polish Loan Bank" was created and a unified currency, the Polish Mark (100 Fenigow), which was equivalent to the German Mark, followed in 1917.
            The new Polish government in 1918, decided to keep the Polish Mark. However, the new government constantly overspent its budget in order to keep accordance with its programs of social legislation and thus, the budget was never balanced and inflation became inevitable. In addition, inflation was exacerbated by the many border wars Poland fought during its early years, most notably the Polish- Bolshevik War of 1920. In 1922 hyperinflation set in, and the government had to print 10,000 and 50,000 mark notes. The situation only got worse as time passed, and by the end of 1923, five and ten million marks notes were in circulation as well.
            The government tried to stem the inflation by intensifying the production of the country and pursuing a policy of austerity. Although the government succeeded to a certain extent, it wasn't long before the flood of inflation began again. Eventually situations became so bad that riots broke out all over the country by the latter part of 1923.

Exchange Rates 1 U.S. Dollar to Polish Mark
1919 90
1921 6000
May 1923 52,000
July 1923 140,000
Beginning of November 1923 2,000,000
End of November 1923 5,000,000
January 1924 9,300,000


            Finally in 1924, W©©adys©©aw Grabski, prime minister and the minister of treasury at the time, implemented a currency reform. Through the act of January 11th, the Bank of Poland was established, and a new monetary system, the Zloty, was introduced. The new Zloty was a gold based currency, with an exchange rate of 5.18 Zloty per dollar. Although the zloty suffered from occasional inflation, it was one of the most stable currencies of Central Europe.

I.1.1.2 Taxation Reform
            The forms of taxation largely varied in the three different administrations. Russia used a largely indirect tax; Prussia used a direct tax; and Austria used a mixture of both. Poland managed to unify its system but it was a long and difficult process.

I.1.2 Minor Improvements of the Infrastructure
            Poland's infrastructure was a mess after the war. Because of the partition, there was little or no direct infrastructural links between major cities. For example, in the 1920's Warsaw and Krakow had no direct railroad connection, and it wasn't until 1934 until the line was completed. To make matters worse, the war directly affected 90% of Poland and thus, destroyed or damaged the all types of infrastructure : 63% of railways, 55% percent of bridges and stations, 48 percent of locomotives and 18 percent of buildings had been destroyed.
            The new Polish government understood that a stable infrastructure was a must for economic development, but sadly it lacked the funds to invest into major public projects during its infant years. It did, however, try its best and implemented some projects in order to undo the damages of war whenever they had the oppurtunity. For example, the creation of the Polish Coal Trunk-Line, connecting the port of Gdynia with the coal mines and steel works in Upper Silesia, was the biggest investment of the Second Polish Republic. It ran approximately 550 kilometers and served freight trains with coal. Also, between the years of 1918 and 1936, 2016 kilometers of new communication lines were created and some 11,613 kilometers of highway were in construction from 1924 to 1936. Although this may seem like a lot of improvements, the total number of communication lines was less than half the figure the Ministry of Communication had decided as necessary to meet the economic needs of the country, and roads were clearly deficient.

I.1.3 Increase of Agricultural Yield
            Poland's country side was not excluded during the war and suffered a great decrease in production. The extent of the damage can be clearly seen in the graph provided below.

Wartime Decline of Food Production
1914 1919
Wheat 1,640,000 697,000
Rye 4,100,000 2,085,000
Barley 1,500,000 878,000
Oats 2,900,000 1,870,000
Beet Root 4,585,000
Potatoes 19,138,000
Sugar Beet (2)


            As can be seen, in most cases the production of many of the produce was nearly halved.
            However, Poland was able to recover rather quickly because it was still largely an agricultural country with more than 60% of its population plowing fields and naturally had fertile soil. In fact, by 1923, all products except for wheat had greater yields than before the war. Little did the peasants of Poland know that in the next decade Poland's rural economy would fall into a decline from which it would never recover.

Post-War Increase of Food Production
1920 1921 1922 1923
Wheat 1,017,699 1,150,000 14,528,000 1,353,600
Rye 4,349,152 5,132,000 65,428,000 5,962,400
Barley 1,247,115 1,297,000 17,846,000 3,522,400
Oats 2,231,092 2,655,000 37,726,000 1,655,500
Beet Root
Potatoes 15,405,564 19,102,900 287,182,000
Sugar Beet 1,549,000 (3)


I.2 The Fate of Danzig (Gdansk)
            The fate of Danzig (4), Gdansk, was a topic of debate among the victorious nations of WW I. According to Woodrow Wilson Poland had the right to "free and secure access to the sea" and thus, the majority of the Polish people hoped that Danzig would become a part of Poland. However, there was one major problem: the population of Danzig was 98% German and did not want to placed under Polish rule. As a consequence, the victorious nations were put under a very uncomfortable situation.
            The Allied powers tried but were unable to reconcile the two sides and eventually came up with a totally different solution. They decided to turn Danzig into an independent quasi-state under the auspices of the League of Nations and with its external affairs mainly dictated by Poland. Their decision was incorporated into the Versailles Treaty, and Danzig was proclaimed a free city on January 10, 1920 with its own constitution, national anthem, parliament, and government.
            Because this decision was not what either side had wanted, tensions grew between Poland and the inhabitants of Danzig. However, they never materialized into open conflict and Danzig remained a free city until it was annexed by the Nazi Germany during its invasion of Poland in 1939.

Notes

(1)      Russian Roubles, which in turn had three kinds, all of unequal value; Austrian Krone, German Mark, Polish Mark
(2)      Poland, in : New International Year Book 1916 p.551, 1920 pp.546-548
(3)      Poland, in : New International Year Book 1921 pp.570-574, 1923 pp.603-607, 1925 pp.563-565
(4)      Danzig is a port on the mouth of the Vistula River. It was the most important seaport in Poland until the creation of Gdynia and ship building center. Thus, it was sought after by both Poland and Germany.



Bibliography 2nd Update (as of June 8th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Printed Sources Used
1.      Biskupski, M.B., The History of Poland, Westport CT : Greenwood 2000
2.      Bozyk, Pawel. The Economy of Modern Poland. Warsaw : Interpress 1975
3.      Davies, Norman, God's Playground. A History of Poland, Vol.II : 1795 to the Present, NY : Columbia UP revised edition (1979) 2005
4.      Leslie, Roy Francis, The History of Poland Since 1863. Cambridge UP 1980
5.      Lukowski, Jerzy and Hubert Zawadzki. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001
6.      Pogonowski, Iwo Cyprian, Poland, an illustrated History. NY : Hippocrene 2000
7.      Taylor, J. The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1952
8.      Article : Poland, in : New International Year Book 1916 p.551, 1918 pp.507-508, 1919 pp.530-534, 1920 pp.546-548, 1921 pp.570-574, 1923 pp.603-607, 1925 pp.563-565, 1928 pp.609-610

Online Sources Used
9.      "Wladyslaw Grabski." Wikipedia, 14 Oct 2007, 23:09 UTC. 28 Mar 2008 .
10.      History of Poland: from WHKMLA
11.      A brief History of Poland: from Polonia Today Online
12.      Polish Economic History: from OK Economics,
13.      Article "Second Polish Republic", from Wikipedia, 6 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Polish_Republic&oldid=217596681
14.      Article "History of Poland (1918-1939)", from Wikipedia, 8 May 2008, 7 Jun 2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_Poland_%281918%E2%80%931939%29&oldid=211030407
15.      Article "Second Polish Republic", from Wikipedia, 6 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Second_Polish_Republic&oldid=217596681
16.      Article "Gdansk", from Wikipedia, 5 Jun 2008, 7 Jun 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gda%C5%84sk&oldid217222978

Printed Sources Not Yet Used
17.      Gunther, John. Behind The Curtain. New York: Harper & Brothers 1948
18.      Kelly, Eric P. The Land and People of Poland. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, (1943) revised ed. 1964
19.      Kenny, Padraic. Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists 1945 -1950. New York: Cornell UP 1997
20.      Mitchell B.R. International Historical Statistics Europe 1750 - 1988. New York: Stockton Press:1992
21.      Smith, Alan H. The Planned Economics of Eastern Europe. Worcester: Billing & Son 1983
22.      Central Statistical Office of the Polish People's Republic, Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland vol.7 1965, vol.14 1972

Online Sources Not Yet Used
23.      Poland: Country Studies : Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, :
24.      Polish Archives: http://www.poland.pl/archives/index.htm



Working Table of Contents (as of April 19th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

The History of Polish Economy (1919 - Today)
Each with what they exported and imported if possible.

I. 1919 - 1929 (Great Depression)
     A. How the Polish Government overcame the problems caused by the war
          1. Unification of the Administrative and economical systems
               a) Currency Reform
               b) Taxation Reform
          2. Improvement of the Infrastructure
          3. Increase of Agricultural Yield
     B. The fate of Danzig

II. 1929 - 1939
     A. The affects of the Great Depression and Poland's reaction

III. 1939 - 1945
     A. The Polish economy during the war
          1. The Nazi annexation of the Polish economy
          2. Development of the Black Market
          3. The economic aspect of Concentration camps (perhaps¡¦)

IV. 1945 - 1956
     A. Effects of WW2
          1. The effects of the Extermination of Poland's Jewish Population
     B. Poland's transition to Communism
          1. The implementation of the 5 year policy
     C. The effects of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

V. 1956 - 1973 ( first oil crisis)

VI. 1973 - 1990
     A. How the first oil crisis affected Poland
     B. What Poland did to overcome the problem



Bibliography 1st Update (as of April 19th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Printed Sources Used
1.      Biskupski, M.B., The History of Poland, Westport CT : Greenwood 2000
2.      Davies, Norman, God's Playground. A History of Poland, Vol.II : 1795 to the Present, NY : Columbia UP revised edition (1979) 2005
3.      Leslie, Roy Francis, The History of Poland Since 1863. Cambridge UP 1980
4.      Lukowski, Jerzy and Hubert Zawadzki. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001
5.      Pogonowski, Iwo Cyprian, Poland, an illustrated History. NY : Hippocrene 2000
6.      Taylor, J. The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1952
7.      Article : Poland, in : New International Year Book 1916 p.551, 1918 pp.507-508, 1919 pp.530-534, 1920 pp.546-548, 1921 pp.570-574, 1923 pp.603-607, 1925 pp.563-565, 1928 pp.609-610

Online Sources Used
8.      "Wladyslaw Grabski." Wikipedia, 14 Oct 2007, 23:09 UTC. 28 Mar 2008 .
9.      History of Poland: from WHKMLA
10.      A brief History of Poland: from Polonia Today Online
11.      Polish Economic History: from OK Economics,

Printed Sources Not Yet Used
12.      Bozyk, Pawel. The Economy of Modern Poland. Warsaw : Interpress 1975
13.      Gunther, John. Behind The Curtain. New York: Harper & Brothers 1948
14.      Kelly, Eric P. The Land and People of Poland. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, (1943) revised ed. 1964
15.      Kenny, Padraic. Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists 1945 -1950. New York: Cornell UP 1997
16.      Mitchell B.R. International Historical Statistics Europe 1750 - 1988. New York: Stockton Press:1992
17.      Smith, Alan H. The Planned Economics of Eastern Europe. Worcester: Billing & Son 1983
18.      Central Statistical Office of the Polish People's Republic, Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland vol.7 1965, vol.14 1972

Online Sources Not Yet Used
19.      Poland: Country Studies : Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, :
20.      Polish Archives: http://www.poland.pl/archives/index.htm



Bibliography (as of March 31st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Books
1.      Bozyk, Pawel. The Economy of Modern Poland. Warsaw : Interpress 1975
2.      Davies, Norman, God's Playground. A History of Poland, Vol.II : 1795 to the Present, NY : Columbia UP revised edition (1979) 2005
3.      Gunther, John. Behind The Curtain. New York: Harper & Brothers 1948
4.      Kelly, Eric P. The Land and People of Poland. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, (1943) revised ed. 1964
5.      Kenny, Padraic. Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists 1945 -1950. New York: Cornell UP 1997
6.      Leslie, Roy Francis, The History of Poland Since 1863. Cambridge UP 1980
7.      Lukowski, Jerzy and Hubert Zawadzki. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001
8.      Mitchell B.R. International Historical Statistics Europe 1750 - 1988. New York: Stockton Press:1992
9.      Pogonowski, Iwo Cyprian, Poland, an illustrated History. NY : Hippocrene 2000
10.      Smith, Alan H. The Planned Economics of Eastern Europe. Worcester: Billing & Son 1983
11.      Taylor, J. The Economic Development of Poland 1919 - 1950. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1952
12.      Central Statistical Office of the Polish People's Republic, Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland vol.7 1965, vol.14 1972
13.      Article : Poland, in : New International Year Book 1916 p.551, 1918 pp.507-508, 1919 pp.530-534, 1920 pp.546-548, 1921 pp.570-574, 1923 pp.603-607, 1925 pp.563-565, 1928 pp.609-610

Online Sources
14.      Library of Congress : Country Studies : Poland,
15.      Polish Archives : http://www.poland.pl/archives/index.htm
16.      A Global History of Currencies : Poland https://www.globalfinancialdata.com/index.php3?action=showghoc&country_name=Poland
17.      OK Economics, Polish Economic History http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/Economics/Economic_History/Poland/ecohist_pol_main_lg.htm
18.      History of Poland, from WHKMLA,
19.      Brief History of Poland, from Polonia Today Online
20.      Article Wladyslaw Grabski, from Wikipedia, Oct 14 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=W%C5%82adys%C5%82aw_Grabski&oldid=164596339