The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland
I am a Harvard-trained historian of Central and Eastern Europe who focuses primarily on Poland. Although I am of Polish descent, my interest in Polish history blossomed during my first visits to the country in the 1980s. My initial curiosity quickly turned into a passion for Poland’s rich and varied past. Poles, who put great stock in their history, seem to have liked my books: in 2014 I was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. The books on Poland listed below, all by outstanding female historians, only scratch the surface of what is truly a rich field. Enjoy!
Poland: The First Thousand Years is a lively and accessible introduction to Polish history, presented from its medieval beginnings up to the present.
My book is a sweeping account designed to amplify major figures, moments, milestones, and turning points in Polish history. These include important battles and illustrious individuals, alliances forged by marriages and choices of religious denomination, and meditations on the likes of the Polish battle slogan "for our freedom and yours" that resounded during the Polish fight for independence in the long 19th century and echoed in the Solidarity period of the late 20th century.
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We think you will like A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland, The Polish Catholic Church Under German Occupation: The Reichsgau Wartheland, 1939-1945, and God's Playground: A History of Poland: The Origins to 1795, Vol. 1 if you like this list.
From R.A.'s list on crazy travel adventure you get to live vicariously.
How could I not love a book written by a fellow ‘Brexit refugee’? Around the same time Ben Aitken moved to Poland in the wake of the momentous 2016 UK referendum, I fled to Austria. Although we had different motives and his time in Poznan was a temporary adventure, I had to know how it went! And I wasn’t disappointed. There’s dry humour, plenty of self-deprecation, and lots of interesting trivia, which I like. Best of all, it’s a unique premise: “Britain has just reacted to ‘Poles taking our low-paying jobs’. So let me be the first Brit to try going to Poland as a manual labourer, and see how that pans out.” To learn the answers, and have your thoughts provoked whilst being thoroughly entertained, I recommend joining Aitken in the chip shop!
From Kevin's list on Catholic churches in Hitler’s Germany.
Huener has produced a definitive study of the Catholic Church in western Poland under German occupation. Identified by the Germans as the Reichsgau (district) Wartheland or Warthegau, it encompassed 45,000 square kilometers (roughly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire) with a “population of more than 4.9 million, including approximately 4.2 million Poles, 400,000 Jews, and 325,000 Germans.” Of this demographic, 3.8 million were Catholic and ninety percent were ethnic Poles. The German Reich incorporated the territory even though its borders remained guarded and not easily crossed. It included 1,023 parishes, served by 1,829 diocesan priests, 277 male religious, and 2,666 women religious.
Before World War II ended, the German occupiers would close more than ninety-seven percent of the churches, dissolve all Catholic organizations, deport, or imprison most women religious, and arrest more than 1,500 priests, of whom 815 they murdered directly or indirectly. In eighteen succinct and exceptionally well-written chapters, Huener uncovers the history of the church in the Warthegau, masterfully contextualizing it in the politics of the Nazi occupation. It is the first English language study on this topic, extensively based upon sources from both church and state archives.
From William's list on medieval Baltic history.
This is especially true for the first volume, which deals with the emergence of the Polish kingdom from rude barbarism to a political and cultural force so powerful that, after its union with Lithuania, dominated East Central Europe for generations. The total collapse of the kingdom in the 18th century—largely to defects in the constitution that allowed foreign interference in the election of the king—has blinded us to what Poland achieved in those forgotten centuries.