On the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and the 20th anniversary of the collapse communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the Director of the National Centre for Culture, Krzysztof Dudek, invited the editors-in-chief of “Dziennik”, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, “Polska – The Times” and “Rzeczpospolita” to write essays on the Polish context of the 20th century history of Europe.

The most dreadful of all wars started with Hitler's army invading Poland on September 1, 1939. The events that took place in 1989 were completely different, and were the culmination of the peaceful collapse of communism based on the ethics of “Solidarity”. The time between these dates was marked by the nightmares of war, terror, enslavement, but also the proud resistance of the Polish nation against the forces that aimed to annihilate Poland.

This special anniversary calls for solemnity and reflection. For this occasion, we have prepared a publication bringing together the highest class of Polish art, namely the 3rd Symphony (“The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”) by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in the Blu-ray format and essays presenting the authors’ reflections on the sense of these fifty years.

We are proud that on this occasion the editors of the most important opinion-shaping Polish dailies have agreed to write special essays devoted to answering the following questions: What is the meaning of this period in Polish history? What conclusions are to be drawn for Europe and the world? Which events should be regarded as the most important in this half-century?

The National Centre for Culture

Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa NarodowegoNarodowe Centrum Kultury