I found the series of books by Henryk K. Sienkiewicz to be highly useful to
learn how Poland evolved and prospered during the 1600's. I started with Fire
in the Steppe. A little out of order chronologically, but a great start. He
wrote historical fiction.
Then, there is a hard to get book called Brotherhood of Silence by Stefan
Ilok which is a wonderful resource for how Slovakia managed during World War II.
You can go to the local library and request that they send for some of the
hard to get books from another library
But, my own personal experience in starting to learn about these two
countries was with maps. i just could not get enough maps to study. New York City
Public library has a Map Division so once a month, i would take the hour's ride
by train into the city and spend the day with maps. they have 1918 maps
which show the exact way the European countries looked about the time our
ancestors came to the States. They were compiled by Blackie of London.
There was something about studying maps that just made me look deeper and
deeper into the countries.
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