The Polish People's Republic was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989 as the predecessor of the modern Republic of Poland. With a population of approximately 37.9 million near the end of its existence, it was the second most-populous communist and Eastern Bloc country in Europe. Having a unitary Marxist–Leninist government, it was also one of the main signatories of the Warsaw Pact alliance. The largest city and official capital since 1947 was Warsaw, followed by the industrial city of Łódź and cultural city of Kraków. The country was bordered by the Baltic Sea to the north, the Soviet Union to the east, Czechoslovakia to the south, and East Germany to the west.
Between 1952 and 1989 Poland was ruled by a communist government established after the Red Army's takeover of its territory from German occupation in World War II. The state's official name was the "Republic of Poland" between 1947 and 1952 in accordance with the temporary Small Constitution of 1947. The name "People's Republic" was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952.