What is now the medical tourism center of Poland has been occupied for well over 7,500 years, although the Slavs have lived here for just about 1,500 years. Several cultures that bore resemblances to Germanic and Celtic tribes have migrated through these lands.Â Later, as the Germanic tribes settled down in the western part of the continent, the Baltic tribes began to move to this region. Sometime after the 5th century, the Slavic people, who contrary, to popular belief are not the indigenous people of Poland, began to settle down here.
In 965, Mieszko, the first ruler of the Polish tribes, or the Polanie, married a Czech Christian princess and converted to Christianity.Â This event is regarded by most historians as the "unofficial" establishment of a separate Polish state.Â By the mid 13th century, pockets of Jewish settlements were emerging in the region.
By the end of the 18thcentury, the Kingdom of Poland included Lithuania, Belarus, and portions of Ukraine.Â Large portions of the country were controlled by Prussia.Â Between 1772 and 1795, there were yet more divisions of the kingdom, with the western territories going to Prussia and the southern regions going to the Austrian empire. Â The central and eastern regions came under Russian control.Â At several times, the Poles in these regions revolted against their rulers, but to no avail.Â Towards the beginning of the 19th century, large hordes of Poles began one of the many periods of migration in the history of this country, this time to North America.Â After the First World War, the empires that ruled Poland suffered severe losses, and as a result, an independent republic of Poland was established.
Second World War
At the start of the Second World War, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union attacked Poland.Â The Nazis executed 90 percent of the countryâ€™s Jewish population and at least a million Catholic Poles. Â Close to a million citizens were deported by the Russians, mainly to Siberian death camps. Â After the War, the Russian, Americans, and British victors redrew the boundaries of Poland. Â There was massive migration out of the country, including the few remaining Jews who emigrated to the newly established State of Israel, and the US. Â The country also lost large parts of the land that it occupied before the war.Â By the end of the war, Poland was a shell of its former self, with a loss of over 38 percent of its national assets. Â It had over a million war orphans, and the economy was in a shambles
Post World War II
In the election of 1947, the parties that opposed the Communist Party were defeated by fraudulent means, and leaders of these parties emigrated. Â The head of the Communist Party, Wladyslaw Gomulka was declared leader of the country.Â Poland continued to remain a Communist-ruled nation, through decades of worker struggles, strikes throughout the country, and economic turmoil.Â Democracy wouldnâ€™t be established until December 1990, when Lech Walesa became the countryâ€™s first non Communist head of state since the end of the Second World War.
Today, Poland has the fastest growing economy in Central Europe.Â It is an emerging medical tourism center with thousands of patients from the rest of Europe, drawn by its dental clinics, cosmetic surgery centers, ophthalmology hospitals, and other medical facilities.Â This form of heath tourism is poised to be a major money spinner for the Polish economy in the years ahead.
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