Freedom and Civil Rights Day in Poland Date in the current year: June 4, 2024

Freedom and Civil Rights Day in Poland Freedom and Civil Rights Day (Dzień Wolności i Praw Obywatelskich) is an official holiday in Poland celebrated annually on June 4. Like most other holidays declared by a resolution of the Sejm, it is a working day unless it falls on a weekend or coincides with a movable public holiday such as Pentecost or Corpus Christi.

Freedom and Civil Rights Day was proclaimed by a resolution of the Sejm on June 24, 2013 to commemorate the anniversary of Poland’s first democratic election since the end of the Second World War. The Polish legislative election of 1989 marked the beginning of the transition from socialism to democracy.

The pro-Soviet socialist regime in Poland was established after the country had been liberated by the Soviet Army. In the immediate post-war years, numerous opposition groups challenged the emerging communist rule, but ultimately they failed. The Polish people’s referendum of 1946 legitimized the dominance of the communist Polish Workers’ Party, but its results were forged.

The Soviet influence on Poland was weakened by the process of perestroika in the Soviet Union, as well as by an economic crisis that the government couldn’t resolve. After a series of workers’ strikes across the country, the Polish government agreed to negotiate with the opposition, which ultimately led to Poland’s transition to democracy and market economy.

On June 4, 1989, the first round of the 10th election to the Sejm and the 1st election to the recreated Senate took place. In the end, the Solidarity Citizen’s Committee led by the labor activist Lech Wałęsa won by a landslide: all of the contested seats in the Sejm (161 out of 460) and all except for one of the 100 seats in the Senate. Although the elections were not entirely democratic, they paved the way for a peaceful transition to democracy.

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Freedom and Civil Rights Day in Poland, holidays in Poland, observances in Poland, holidays declared by the Sejm