Warsaw was liberated in January 1945, and by 1948 a Communist regime firmly controlled Poland. Under the Communists, Warsaw was physically restored but the terror began – many political opposition activists were arrested, imprisoned or murdered by the regime. Rebuilding of Warsaw coincided with emergence of socialist realism. The city fate was determined by Moscow, a fact symbolized by the Palace of Culture (originally named in honor of Joseph Stalin) towering over the city center since 1955. When Solidarity Union protests intensified, the Martial Law was imposed. The Soviet era ended on June 4, 1989 when Poland became a democratic republic.
ROUTE: Palace of Science and Culture (including 30th-floor city panoramic view terrace), soc-realistic architecture of MDM residential area with impressive Constitution square, the former headquarters of Polish Communist Party, communist terror monuments including the Monument to victims of Stalinist terror, the Museum of Blessed Father Jerzy Popiełuszko murdered by Polish communist internal intelligence agency in 1984 – optional, Military cemetery section for Regime victims – optional. The Museum of Communist Poland (newly opened in 2014) – optional.