Warsaw after World War II
The situation of Warsaw after World War II was difficult.
85% of the city was destroyed. Half of all the people living in Warsaw prior to World War II
were either killed or displaced. Big majority of Jewish population living in Warsaw was
exterminated by the Nazis. In addition to that Warsaw was isolated from the West because of
communism and Soviet influence.
After World War II a massive reconstruction effort began that revived some of Warsaw's architectural character. Unfortunately only the New Town and Old Town was reconstructed to their original past - the rest of Warsaw's architecture is influenced by socialist realism.
People in Warsaw resented the communists and Soviet influence. The living conditions during communism were despicable and there were few opportunities for people to develop themselves. Many Varsovians during communism chose to flee to the West in search of a better life.
On November 10th 1980 the Solidarity trade movement was legally registered in the Warsaw district court. It demanded wage rises and better living conditions for all People in Poland. It organized massive strikes and protest all around Poland. The movement was supported by the West and was seen as contributing to collapse of communism in the whole Eastern Europe. Unfortunately in 1981 the Solidarity movement was crushed in December 13th 1981 when the martial law was imposed in Poland.
In 1989 however Solidarity came to rise again and this time the communists sat down on round table talks with Solidarity members in Warsaw to discuss the future of Poland. Soon free elections were held for all of Poland. The integration of Poland with NATO structures as well as European Union was started.
Today Varsovians enjoy the same freedom as citizens of other Western countries. Warsaw boasts GDP per capita over 75% of EU average. The economy is booming with more and more Western companies starting operations here. Warsaw today is certainly one of the most interesting cities in Europe.
Sigths to visit