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Poland

Poland Political system

The Republic of Poland is a parliamentary democracy. The parliament is made up of two chambers: the Sejm (460 members) and the Senate (100 members). The chambers are elected every four years. The head of state is directly elected every five years. It can be re-elected once. The right to vote is from 18 years. The country is divided into 16 administrative districts.

Poland Political system

On November 16, 2007 the cabinet of the new Prime Minister Donald Franciszek Tusk was sworn in by Polish President Lech Kaczyński. Tusk is the chairman of the liberal-conservative party "Platforma Obywatelska" and took over the office after his election victory on October 21, 2007 from his predecessor Jarosław Kaczyński - the twin brother of President Lech Kaczyński - from the "Law and Justice Party (PiS)".

On the morning of April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential plane crashed shortly before the airport in Smolensk. 97 high-ranking representatives of the Polish political, military and economic elite were killed in the crash - including the country's president Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria. The delegation was on its way to a memorial service in Katyn to commemorate the 22,000 Polish officers murdered by the Soviet secret police 70 years ago and other members of the Polish elite at the time. This misfortune is considered to be the worst stroke of fate in the country after World War II.

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Rzeczpospolita Polska

Republic of Poland

National anthem

The national anthem of a country is usually a piece of music underlaid with a text, which is intended to express the state and lifestyle of a country. It is usually played on particularly festive occasions.

The introduction of the national anthems in most European countries goes back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The national anthem of the Republic of Poland has been Mazurek Dąbrowskiego since 1927. Originally the title was "Song of the Polish Legions in Italy" (Pieśń Legionów Polskich we Włoszech). Józef Wybicki wrote the text as early as 1797 in the Italian city of Reggio. At the beginning of 1878 the song was sung in all three parts of Poland, 1830 - 1831 during the November uprising (Powstanie listopadowe), 1863 - 1864 during the January uprising (Powstanie styczniowe), by Poles of emigration (Wielka Emigracja), in 1905 during the Russian Revolution and in the first and second world wars. The text differs slightly from the original "Song of the Polish Legions in Italy".

Polish text

Jeszcze Polska never zginela,

Kiedy my zyjemy.

Co nam obca przemoc wziela,

Szabla odbierzemy.Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Przejdziem Wisle, przejdziem Warte,

Bedziem Polakami,

Dal nam przyklad Bonaparte,

Jak zwyciezac mamy.

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Jak Czarniecki do Poznania

Po szwedzkim zaborze,

Dla ojczyzny ratowania

Wracal sie przez morze.

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Mowil ojciec do swej Basi

Caly zaplakany:

"Sluchaj jeno, pono nasi

Bija w tarabany."

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski,

Z ziemi wloskiej do Polski,

Za twoim przewodem

Zlaczym sie z narodem.

And in the English translation

Poland is not yet lost,

while we are alive,

what foreign power has taken from us,

let's get back with the saber.March, March Dabrowski,

from Italy to Poland,

under your leadership,

let us connect with the nation.Let's cross the Vistula and the Warta,

let's become Poles,

Bonaparte gave us an example of

how we should be victorious.

March, march...

Like Czarniecki to Posen

after Swedish annexation,

So let's

return to the rescue of our homeland, through the sea.

March, march...

The father said to his Basia,

completely in tears:

"Just listen, it seems that ours are

beating the kettledrum."

March, march...

National flag

The white eagle has been an important symbol of Poland since the beginning of the 13th century. Even today, the eagle is in the middle of the national flag in government organizations, comparable to the federal eagle in the German federal flag. Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, this flag was officially introduced as the national flag of Poland on August 1, 1919, and reintroduced in 1956 after the end of World War II. The Polish flags have been regulated in the Polish constitution since 1997, and since 2004 Poland has even celebrated Flag Day on May 2nd. The white stripe in the flag is supposed to symbolize the country's desire for peace.

Poland flag and coat of arms

Poland: Known People

Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005)

The 264th Pope was the first Pole to sit on the papal throne and also the first non-Italian Pope since 1523. He was from October 16, 1978 to April 2, 2005, i.e. over 26 years in office.

He was born as Karol Wojtyła on May 18, 1920 in the small village of Wadowice near Auschwitz. In 1942 he entered a seminary in Krakow, which was banned by the National Socialists. In order not to be deported, he worked in a quarry and later in a chemical factory. Woityla was ordained a priest in 1946. He then studied for two years in Rome, where he received his doctorate in 1948. In the same year he took up his first parish in Cracow. From 1953 he was a professor of moral theology. He was ordained Bishop of Krakow in 1958. In 1964 he was made archbishop and in 1967 cardinal.

His election as Pope on October 16, 1978 came as a huge surprise. In 1981 he was the victim of the Turkish assassin Ali Agça, whom he later forgave for the attack in a personal conversation. From this time on, the health of this originally very healthy and sporty Pope steadily went downhill. For years he suffered from the consequences of Parkinson's disease. After a long suffering, but completely unbowed, he died on April 2nd, 2005. He was solemnly buried on April 8th in St. Peter's Basilica. On May 1, 2011 he was in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. pronounced "blessed".

Magdalena Abakanowicz (born 1930)

sculptor, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan/Posen, lecturer at Californian University. The multiple award-winning artist also received the Grand Prize of the Cultural Foundation in 2001.

Frédéric François Chopin (1810 - 1849)

Composer and piano virtuoso. He is one of the romantics.

Maria Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934)

physicist and chemist. She did research mainly in the field of radioactivity and discovered radium and polonium, among other things. For her groundbreaking discoveries she received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, (1686-1736)

physicist. The temperature unit "degrees Fahrenheit" is named in his honor.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 - 1543)

astronomer, doctor and canon. He questioned the geocentric view of the world, that is, that the earth is the center of the world. He showed that the earth is a sphere and rotates around the sun with the other planets known at the time. In his honor, people still speak of the "Copernican worldview" today.

Agnieszka Holland (born 1948)

Director for film, theater and television. She has lived and worked abroad since 1981.

Jarosław Kaczyński (1949)

politician. Lech Kaczyński's twin brother is chairman of the national conservative party PiS. From July 2006 to 2007 he was Prime Minister of Poland.

Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (1949-2010)

Kaczyński was the fourth President of the Third Polish Republic from December 23, 2005 until his death on April 10, 2010. He and his wife Maria died on the way to a memorial service in Katyn when his plane crashed just outside the Smolensk airport in Russia. He has a twin brother - Jarosław Kaczyński - who was Prime Minister of the country from 2006 to 2007. The twin brothers are the sons of Rajmund Kaczyński, who took part in the Warsaw Uprising. Lech Kaczyński and his wife were buried on April 18th in the presence of numerous heads of state and government in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow - the coronation and burial place of numerous Polish kings and other important personalities.

Stanislaw Lem (1921 - 2006)

Lem was a philosopher, writer and one of the most important and sophisticated science fiction writers. His best-known work is "Solaris" from 1961. He received numerous awards and honors: 1973 the Great State Prize for Literature of the People's Republic of Poland, 1981 an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Wroclaw, 1986 the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, 1987 the Alfred Literature Prize Jurzykowski Foundation, 1991 the Austrian Franz Kafka Literature Prize, 1996 the "White Eagle Order", 1997 honorary citizenship of the city of Kraków, 1998 honorary doctorates from the Universities of Opole and Kraków and the State Medical University of Lviv and in 2003 an honorary doctorate from the University of Bielefeld (Dr. rer. Nat. Hc)

Simon von Lipnica (1438-1482)

priest and member of the Friars Minor. He died caring for plague sufferers. On June 3, 2007 he was welcomed by Pope Benedict XVI. canonized.

Adam Malysz (born 1977)

ski jumper. Since the beginning of the 2000/01 season he has had many excellent victories.

Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)

poet, writer, essayist and translator. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980, the Polish Nike Literature Prize in 1998 for his work "Puppy on the Road" and several honorary doctorates, including from Harvard University and the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.

Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933)

Composer and conductor. Professor at the Krakow Music Academy, lecturer at the Universities of Essen and Yale.

Józef Klemens Pilsudski (1867-1935)

Marshal and politician. Pilsudski is considered to be the founder of modern Poland in 1918 after the end of the First World War. His remains are in the crypt of the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow - the coronation and burial place of numerous Polish kings and other important personalities.

Roman Polanski (born 1935)

actor, director and screenwriter. He worked in England, USA, France and Poland.

Irena Sendler (1910-2008)

Irena Sendler, who saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children during World War II, died on May 12, 2008 at the age of 98 in Warsaw. Before the war, Sendler worked as a social worker to look after Jewish families in Warsaw. From the autumn of 1940 she helped people in the Warsaw ghetto established by the Nazis by bringing them food, clothing and medicine. As a Polish nurse, she had access to the ghetto. As a member of a Polish resistance group, she got Jewish children out of the ghetto - they hid them under her coat or in suitcases and were then transported out by the fire brigade and the garbage disposal.

Sendler made sure that the children were then placed in Catholic families, monasteries or homes. She wrote the names of the children on paper and hid them in her neighbor's yard so that they could return to the families later.

In October 1943, however, she was arrested by the Gestapo. Despite severe torture, she did not reveal the names of the children who were rescued. After her death sentence, however, she was rescued with the help of a Wehrmacht officer bribed by the resistance. In 2007 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

About 500,000 Jews were crammed into the Warsaw Ghetto by the Nazis. In the summer of 1942, around 300,000 of them were taken to the Nazi extermination camp in Treblinka and gassed there.

Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski (1881-1943)

Sikorski was Commander-in-Chief of the Polish soldiers in exile and Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile from 1939 to 1943. He was killed in an airplane accident on July 4, 1943 near Gibraltar. His remains were later interred in the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków - the coronation and burial place of numerous Polish kings and other important personalities.

Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012)

poet, literary critic and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Olga Tokarczuk (born 1962)

Olga Tokarczuk received the 2019 award for 2018 - in that year it was not awarded due to scandals in the Nobel Prize Committee - for her narrative imagination, which represents the crossing of boundaries as a way of life with encyclopedic passion.

Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016)

Director. He is one of the so-called immortals, members of the French Academy of Fine Arts. For his oeuvre he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1998 and an Oscar in 2000.

Lech Walesa (born 1943)

The strictly Catholic Walesa began his political career as an electrician at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk. There he was from 1980 to 1990 the leading head of the opposition union Solidarność. In 1983 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment. Because of his work, incidentally with the support of Pope John Paul II, democratic change has taken place in the country. After the collapse of the communist system, he was the first freely elected President of Poland from 1990 to 1995 with around 74% of the vote. In the 1995 election he was narrowly defeated by the old communist Aleksander Kwaśniewski. When he ran again in 2000, he received less than 1% of the vote.

Poland: plants

Trees

The flora of Poland is very diverse, partly because many forests have been preserved.

A specialty is the Bialowieza National Park on the Belarusian border, which is the last primeval forest and the largest contiguous forest area in Europe.

It has not been cleared for 500 years and no forest work is carried out, so that a unique flora and fauna has been preserved here.

Particularly noticeable are the size of the spruces, which often reach heights of over 50 m, and the age of the oaks standing here, with 125 years being the average age of all trees.

Typical for this primeval forest are dead trees that remain lying around and contribute to the preservation of the primeval forest in the form of supplying important nutrients.

Most of the forest includes oaks and hornbeams, but pine, maple trees, elms and linden trees also grow here.

Black birch and Polish larch can be found in the low and highland plains, a relic from the Ice Age is the stone pine, which can only be found in Poland in the Tatra Mountains. But birch trees can also be found.

Crops

The most important crop is grain, with wheat, rye and increasingly also rapeseed playing the most important economic role. Potatoes, sugar beets, fodder crops and legumes are also common crops.

And of course you can also find various fruit trees here - to the delight of the people, often on the avenue edges.

In autumn you can see numerous stalls on the streets offering various types of mushrooms, including the very popular porcini mushroom.

Medicinal plants

In the past, but still today, sundew was used as a medicinal herb against dry coughs. In the meantime, the plant was also used as a remedy for all kinds of lung diseases, consumption, epilepsy and mental illness.

Eyebright is only used as a medicinal plant in folk medicine and homeopathy.

The above-ground parts of the plant collected at the time of flowering are said to provide relief for eye infections, tired eyes and, when drunk as tea, for coughs and sore throats. However, this effect has not yet been scientifically proven.

The rootstock of the Siberian iris is used in the ground state in cough teas and tooth powders.

The broom has a heart-calming, water and diuretic effect and promotes labor in pregnant women.

However, an overdose can lead to cardiac arrest.

Poisonous plants

The globe flower with the yellow spherical flowers at the end of the stem belongs to the buttercup family. These bloom May - June and reach a diameter of 3 cm. In Poland it grows on the wet meadows of the Mazury, but it is mainly found in the mountains, Alps and Northern Europe.

Due to the alkaloid magnoflorin, it is slightly toxic and causes burning of the oral mucous membranes, gastrointestinal complaints, diarrhea and severe cramps. It can also lead to circulatory problems and fever, as well as skin irritation and blisters. The globe flower owes its name to the spherical appearance of its flowers, as the Latin translation of "trulleus" means "round vessel" and the name was slightly modified in Old German. The globe flower is protected.

The pasque flower from the buttercup family, which is 5-50 cm in size and occurs in Masuria, blooms from April to May with a light purple flower. The entire plant is poisonous due to the anemonine and the consumption of parts of the plant can lead to circulatory or respiratory paralysis. The broom grows in bright and sunny spots on rocky or stony ground.

All parts of the plant are poisonous and it can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and cardiovascular disorders.

However, the gorse, which belongs to the butterfly family, also has healing properties.

Introduced plants

The introduced plants include the arborvitae, the hibiscus, the rose hip, the azalea, magnolias and the rhodedrendron.

More plants

A typical plant of the Baltic Sea area is the bell heather, which is also known by many other names such as swamp heather, bog-bell heather and spring heather. Adonis florets and dwarf cherries, which found their way from Hungary to Poland, grow on dry limestone soils.

The Carpathian Mountains in southern Poland are home to many interesting plants. These include bluegrass, eyebright, the endemic (only found here) Zawadzki chrysanthemum and the laser herb, which grows on the upper tree line and can reach a size of up to 2 m.

There is also a special flora that is well worth seeing in Masuria, an area in north-eastern Poland. The carnivorous sundew can be admired here, with only three species of this genus occurring in Poland: the round-leaved, long-leaved and medium-sized sundew.

All sundew species are characterized by a sugary secretion secreting glands on special tentacles, which in turn are located on the leaves of the plant. This secretion attracts insects that stick to the tentacles and eventually suffocate or die of exhaustion. Enzymes break down the dead insects, giving the sundew the nutrients it needs to grow.

Furthermore, in Masuria there is the Siberian iris with the long stem and the purple-colored flower, the poisonous globe flowers and pasqueflowers, the yellow lady's slipper - a very rare orchid species - which is under strict nature protection, the peat bark and the bear moss.

 

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