Poles have lived in Zaolzie for centuries but since 1921 they have been a minority in this region. From then onwards they have taken measures to maintain their traditional national heritage. Even though during the communist period the Communist Party discredited their development they still managed to maintain their national identity. In 1989, they seized the opportunity to rebuild their social foundations. The Polish Congress coordinated the grounding of numerous social organizations, which were prohibited during communism. The Polish educational system underwent positive changes since new organizations were actively supporting Polish educational institutions. Improved contacts with Poland positively influenced the functions of the local Polish minority. The most crucial problem of Poles in Zaolzie is population loss. That trend has become evident since the inter-war period when Polish people had become a minority. The decreasing number of the Polish minority is noticeable above all in schools, leading to a decreasing number of students and schools with Polish language education.