In the lead up to the Second World War, the Soviets invaded Poland at the same time as the Germans. This lead the Poles to largely consider Stalin as an enemy, whereas to the Czechs he was considered an ally.
The leader of the Polish government in exile in Britain was General Wladislaw Sikorski and he was based in Iver in Buckinghamshire. Some of the Polish army were encamped in the woods between Amersham and Great Missendon.
Sikorski refused to negotiate with Stalin until Stalin apologised or the Katyn massacres (20,000? Polish officers were massacred by the Red Army). Churchill kept quiet about this issue because he had to work with Stalin.
Sikorski died under mysterious circumstances in a plane crash in Gibralter in 1943.
At the Postdam conference, the allies had agreed that the soviets would annex parts of Eastern Poland, and that Poland's western border would be moved westward. About 6 million Germans were forced to move to make way for the displaced Polish.
The provisional Polish government consisted of a membership of 25 people. Of these, 16 were Communist with Soviet support.
The Polish government in exile continued to meet in Amersham until the election of Lech Walesa.
Full elections were held in January 1947, by which time the communists had terrorised opposition parties, and thousands of activists were in prison, so the Communists were able to attain 80 pecent of the votes.Kirsty's gran used to visit the Polish offices.
For more information visit the www.polandinexile.com website.
It is interesting to note that the Poles had invaded Czechoslovakia (Chechan?) when the Nazis took the Sudetanland.
Note - Book: Joe's War.
The 'Fatherland Front' won the November 1945 elections in Bulgaria after the war. The Peoples Republic of Bulgaria was declared on 15th September 1946 and the Royal family, was forced to flee. In 2001, Simeon II returned from exile and won the 2001 election after only forming his National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) party.