Poland is a republic in Central Europe, often referred to as Northern European, with a capital in Warsaw, where many bad things have happened. It is geographically Western European. Poland is a part of the European Union and NATO.
Poland borders 9 countries: Sweden to the north (marine border), Russian enclave (Kaliningrad Oblast) and Lithuania to the northeast, Belarus to the east, Ukraine to the southeast, Slovakia to the south, the Czech Republic to the southwest, Germany to the west and Denmark to the northwest.
Currently, the country is run by far-right wingers, who endanger freedom of the press and could become a threat to Democracy. The rest of Europe is scared and the European Union is protesting.  Honestly, what did they expect? Poland is strongly Roman Catholic, homophobia is frequent but not universal. 
Mentions in Literature
And said Poland: "Whoever comes to me, will be free and equal, because I am FREEDOM." Adam Mickiewicz, 'The Books of the Polish Nation'
Who only knows Latin can go across the whole Poland from one side to the other one just like he was at his own home, just like he was born there. So great happiness! I wish a traveler in England could travel without knowing any other language than Latin! Daniel Defoe, 1728
I judged the Poles by their enemies. And I found it was an almost unfailing truth that their enemies were the enemies of magnanimity and manhood. If a man loved slavery, if he loved usury, if he loved terrorism and all the trampled mire of materialistic politics, I have always found that he added to these affections the passion of a hatred of Poland. She could be judged in the light of that hatred; and the judgment has proved to be right. Gilbert K. Chesterton, British writer, in 'Introduction to Letters on Polish Affairs' by Charles Sarolea (1922)
First Republic of Poland: Wars
The conversational style in these sections isn't typical for Liberapedia but we hope you like it.
Poland is known for being badly involved in conflicts, often as a victim, especially in the World War II, but also before that. First, Czech missionaries received permission from the Catholic Church to convert Poland to Christianity, thus forcing the powers that were to essentially beg the Czechs to convert them in a (successful) attempt to appease the bloodthirsty pope. Then all was good for a time, and it even managed to become a massive power at one point, extending from Moscow (conquered during the Russian Time of Trouble) almost to the France (Lorraine). Alas, Poland was called to repel invading Turks by-a-the-freakin' pope, with the promise of much wealth. Repel the Turks they did, but the pope royally F'd them in the A, leading to infighting among the leaders, neglect. Educational reforms were introduced in Poland during the enlightenment, which already was a state of religious tolerance (without witchhunts and pogroms of the Jews), including a creation of the world's first Ministry of Education, prohibition of corporal punishment in schools (1783) and the first European constitution. These innovative reforms were halted by the partitions of Poland in 1795, when its obscurant neighbours - Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia united in order to erase Poland from the maps, because they saw it as a threat.
Second Republic of Poland: Gypped
Fast-forward a few centuries later, after the shit-outta-luck Poles were getting the culture regularly beaten out of them, World War I came along, and for no apparent or useful reason, regions of former Poland were bombarded and invaded by Germany so Germany could suffer hunger on the way to get into Russia. Then it got into a really mofo'ing civil war to get its lands back and it still got wtfpwned by every damn country near it. Then, in World War II, it was wtfpwned again by Germany, again for no apparent reason, but that time just for fun, since Poland didn't really have any apparent strategical value, what with Hitler's pact with Russia. (Too bad for the Russians, who helped wtfpwn Poland that time around, Poland really did have strategic value as a staging ground for back-stabbing Stalin.) Over the course of World War II, it got trampled by damn near every power fighting on European soil.
People's Republic of Poland: constant rebel
Over the course of the Yalta conference, paranoid Americans sold Poland to the Soviets for 45 years. About half a century later, Poland got its shit together with Solidarity, sent shockwaves of nonconformist thought through the Borg Collective (ultimately shattering it), cancelled the nation's alliance with the USSR and re-bounded itself with democratic Europe. Unfortunately for the Poles, those same people that liberated, the nation were economically prodigies, yet politically incompetent (as well as being lapdogs of the Roman Catholic Church), thereby setting a precedent for conservative politics that finished with the arrival of liberal PM Donald Tusk as Poland's real saviour. Considering how history has a tendency to repeat itself, Poland got shafted by America in the latest Iraq debacle.
Modern Third Republic of Poland: Economic miracle and a leading European nation
Modern Poland became:
- very highly developed (Human Development Index),
- free of corruption (Corruption Perceptions Index),
- even more hard-working (OECD Working time),
- one of the most peaceful countries in the world (Global Peace Index)
- with free press ranking higher than the US and the UK.  Freedom of the press may have been compromized since then. 
Points of interest
- Freedom of Press laws in Poland were first passed in 1539
- Polish religious and ethnic tolerance not only for the Jews (the Statute of Kalisz, 1264), but anyone else (the Warsaw Confederation of 1573) was commonly acknowledged, and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was known in Europe as "a State without Stakes". There are limits to Polish tolerance, Anti-semitism is higher in Poland than the average for Europe.  Jewish effigy hanged and burned in ‘disturbing’ Easter ritual in Poland
- Poland was the only country not to criminalise homosexuality ever in its entire history and became one of the first countries to legalise it in 1932, today gay clubs and the like exist though a minority is tolerated but not accepted.
- Poland created first ministry of education (1774);
- Poland first in the world prohibited corporal punishment in schools (1783)
- Poland is amongst top countries in terms of educational performance, ahead of the USA;
- Poland created the second public Library in the world (Załuski Library);
- in Poland, first European constitution was written in 1791;
- Poland elected its first transsexual MP (after gender reassignment) in the world in 2010
- Hate Rising: One Third of Poland Declared “LGBTQ-Free Zones”
- Zamoyski, Adam. "The Polish Way". New York: Hippocrene Books, 1987
- A Postcard from Gay Poland
- Sexual minorities and tolerance in Poland
- World's only transsexual MP takes seat in Poland