April 11, 2012

Left or Right? Democratic Poland at a Fork in the Road

From communist dictatorship to peace and democracy, Poland overcame the trial, and became the only country in Europe that avoided recession during the 2008 global financial crisis. Breaking free from its historical burden, Poland was walking toward the center stage in Europe. In 2011, it held for the first time the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and was to co-host the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, the most important football event in Europe. Sandwiched between Western Europe and Russia, how would Poland carry on the results of its 20-year effort in transition to democracy?

About the Documentary
Polish Transformation
Produced by: The Helsinki Committees for Human Rights
Solidarity was the first independent trade union in the Soviet Bloc, with almost 10 million members in its heyday. In 1989, Solidarity-led opposition groups forced the government to hold round table talks, requesting for free elections. This made Poland the first communist state that facilitated democratic transition. How did freedom and democracy—what the Polish people were anticipating—become a reality in Poland? What challenges awaited them after the country broke free from communist rule?


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