Both Poland and Czech Republic are located in the center of Europe and share a common history. Poland was an independent state for most of its history. Even while it was a part of the socialist world, it kept its independence and enjoyed fundamental privileges among socialist countries, such as prevalence of private property in agriculture and the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in spiritual life. The Polish nobility were famous in Europe for their liberal rules and liberal freedoms at the time when many other European countries were authoritarian monarchies. Poland had a parliament and even some democratic practices for centuries even before it was partitioned by the end of the eighteenth century. (Larissa) Poland's Catholicism had puzzled outside countries when in 1980 Polish workers astonished the world by setting genuinely independent labor unions when the president of the time Lech Walesa was holding a crucifix and by burly strikers. This was just the beginning of the Solidarity movement. Even after the revival of the Polish Labor movement, the outside world was left with the mystery of the strange conflicting coexistence between the Catholic Church and the Communist Party. (Flame of... [continues]
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