If you never learn anything else about the history of
Poland, please remember this:|
Located in Eastern Europe, the country has no natural defensible borders, and therefore was overrun from time to time by the surrounding countries. In fact, in 1796 Poland disappeared from the map and did not exist as a political entity! It did not reappear until 1918 following the end of World War I. My grandparents were born in the late 1800's, when the country did not exist. But if you were to ask them, or anyone else, where they were born, they would have said "Poland" without any hesitation! The first line of the song that would later become their national anthem is "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęla, poki my żyjemy", "Poland has not yet perished, as long as WE are alive". The state existed only in the hearts of its people for over 120 years!
I can only wonder, and perhaps I'll never know: "What did it say on my grandparents' passports when they came to this country just after the turn of the century?"
1939 to 1945; Gone again! The Germans again! After World War II Poland became a communist "people's republic". Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of communism, the modern history of Poland becomes much easier for us to comprehend.
You are listening to the National Anthem of Poland. It was originally a marching song of General D±browski's legions as they marched from Italy to Poland in 1797. (However, it is not a march, it is a MAZURKA). The song didn't become the National Anthem until 1918 when Poland once again became a "country" on the MAP.
A "free flowing" translation of the lyrics are as follows:
"Oh, our Poland shall not perish, while we live to love her;