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Michael Palin's New Europe

Episode 6: From Pole to Pole

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Michael Palin journeys through Poland, from the port of Gdansk in the north to the Slovakian border south of the Tatra Mountains. He considers the upheavals that traumatised Poland for 70 years, visiting Auschwitz and the spiritual capital of Poland, Czestechowa, where politics and religion are never far apart.

Palin meets the great European maestro, Lech Walesa, whose independent trade union Solidarity lit a fuse under Communism's grip on Eastern Europe. Then he marvels at the miracle of Warsaw, razed to the ground on Hitler's orders and restored to its old glory, brick by brick, from original plans.

He also enjoys the pleasures Poland has to offer, accepting a cameo role on stage with one of Poland's most famous cabaret groups, driving a steam loco on the Polish rail network out of Poznan during rush hour, and appearing on Polish breakfast TV, where he takes a Polish lesson from a Londoner who went to work in Poland and learned the language by drinking with Poles. Show less

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