Largely as a result of its spatial location adjacent to the Former Soviet Union, Poland’s post-war history and development has been fundamentally influenced by the rise and subsequent fall of Communism in the region. Poland emerged from the second world war in 1945, physically destroyed but with a spirit of independence that was eliminated by the invasion of influence and control by the Soviet Union who, although on the face of it encouraged and permitted an independent Poland to exist, in fact dominated the territory in terms of economy, politics and social fabric through a complex and at times subtle system of price and currency controls, armed forces and secret police.