Two Nations on Wheels
It has been about half a century since the end of the Greek civil war (1949) and the Stalinization of Poland (1949) as well as a decade since Poland's Democratization (1990). After the fall of Communism, the whole of Europe tends to integrate into a peaceful commonwealth. Thus Greek and Polish histories converge whereas most of the time they had diverged and went off in opposite directions. Greece was the first country to defeat communist aggression in Europe. Poland was the first Communist country to shake of Communist tyranny and set the stage for the collapse of the Soviet empire. Greece and Poland have played key roles in European history. The present cannot be comprehended without reference to the past. The extraordinary events of the 1980s-1990's provide a good opportunity for an examination and comparison of the development of Hellenism and Polonism. Poland's birth coincided with the most glorious period of Byzantium when contacts with the two states were undertaken. After the twelth century, Byzantium began to decline and fell in 1453 whereas Poland expanded and became a great empire, only to follow Byzantium's fate and disappear as a state in 1795. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively, Greece and Poland reemerged as independent states which was an illustration of the dynamics and continuity of their societies.