The Eastern European Experience: The Example of Poland
At the end of the war Poland faced the dual problem of reconstructing and transforming her economy. In the interwar period the largely agrarian economy had stagnated—on the eve of the war output per capita (and in some cases output on an absolute basis) was below the 1913 level—and private enterprise proved weak. Wartime devastation was extensive, estimated at 7 per cent of the total 1938 national wealth, and about 20 per cent of the population killed. The tremendous demands of reconstruction drew the state deeply into economic life. In January, 1946, a large part of Polish industry was nationalized, partly to take over former German assets, including those in the extensive territories annexed from Germany, but also with the purpose of pursuing a program of development. During the 1946 to 1948 period the mixed Polish economy recovered rapidly, although agricultural production remained low.
KeywordsSocialist Enterprise Central Committee Legal Person National Wealth Interwar Period
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- Law Concerning the Nationalization of Basic Branches of the National Economy, January 3, 1946, in Samuel L. Sharp, Nationalization of Key Industries in Eastern Europe (Washington, D.C.: Foundation for Foreign Affairs, 1946), pp. 75–81, with deletions. Used by permission.Google Scholar
- Resolution Adopted by the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party at its Seventh Plenary Session, July 18 to 28, 1956, in Paul E. Zinner, ed., National Communism and Popular Revolt in Eastern Europe (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), pp. 150–165, with deletions. Translation amended. Used by permission.Google Scholar