Gdańsk is celebrating the 39th anniversary of “Solidarity”

Gdańsk is celebrating the 39th anniversary of “Solidarity” and the signing of the August Agreement on August 31st 1980 in former Lenin Shipyard. It was an historic agreement, changing Poland and the world. The Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union in the communist bloc, played a crucial role in the process of ending communist rule in Europe.

Watch the multimedia show “Gdańsk – a city of freedom and solidarity” screened at the Green Gate. What a spectacular performance!

 

The August Agreement of 1980 saw the end of mass protests and signified the beginning of the end of communism in the country. Based on the records of the European Solidarity centre in Gdańsk “the Solidarity trade union grew to a membership of 10 million Poles — more than one-quarter of the country’s population”. Its director Basil Kerski said: “In Poland, there is no more important symbol of democracy than Solidarity”

 

Its director Basil Kerski said: “In Poland, there is no more important symbol of democracy than Solidarity”

Today’s events will be followed by the tomorrow’s commemorations of the start of WWII have traditionally been held at the Westerplatte peninsula. The German battleship Schleswig-Holstein shelling a base there fired the opening shots of WWII. The first battle between Polish and German soldiers in WWII started at 4:45 am on 1 September 1939.

The defence of the site by Poles against overwhelmingly larger German forces became a symbol of the heroism of Polish soldiers.

Glory to the Heroes!

Nel Badowska

Pictures: British Poles