Ties between America and Poland stretch back to the American Revolution and the service of generals Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski, then through some five million Poles who emigrated to the US during the 19th and 20th centuries, to the open and covert support for the Solidarity labor movement that led to the end of Communist rule. Polish history is marked by great accomplishment and unspeakable tragedy. Life has not been easy for a nation situated without natural borders between Germany and Russia. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1004428.mp3
But in recent years Poland has awakened, institutions have become more democratic, anyone can travel in and out and around the country, ties between East and West have approached normal. It was in this new condition of openness and advancement that Binghamton University chemistry professor Michael E. Starzak took a year's sabbatical in 1992 to teach at the Wroclaw University of Technology.