We’d wanted to come here in part knowing that Gdansk was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement led by former electrical shipyard worker Lech Walesa so we spent our 1st morning walking to the nearby Gdansk shipyard, formerly known as the Lenin Shipyard.
It was here in 1970 that the 1st major cracks in E. Europe’s communist wall began when discontent with the communist regime boiled over into strikes and discontent. The official tally of those who were murdered by the armed forces was 45 but no one really knows as many funerals were held at night and families were bribed and threatened not to reveal how their family members had died. Protests began again in the shipyards 10 years later in August of 1980 because of huge price increases in the cost of food staples. An electrician named Lech Walesa emerged to lead the
Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers:
It was erected in front of the shipyard gates in 1980,
10 years after the 1970 riots and massacre; the monument
is a set of 3 42 m tall steel crosses with a series of bronze
bas reliefs in their bases; I remember seeing it for the 1st time
in an episode of The Amazing Race a few seasons ago.
|The pillars in Solidarity Sq. each had posters of other|
past and current political protests throughout the world.
Then toured the Roads to Freedom Exhibition: housed in a nearby bunker, it traces the Polish struggle against communism.
|The Solidarity flag/poster|
The photo of the dominoes represents the fall of the Eastern Bloc; victory in one country brought victory in another. One British historian said that it took Poland 10 years to go from the riots in 1970 to free elections in 1980, but only 10 months for Hungary to achieve its freedom, 10 weeks in Germany and a mere 10 days in the Czech Republic.
Lina, I thought of your niece Brigid (sp?) when we stopped in at the church of the same name.
|Photo of Pope John Paul II outside St. Brigid's;|
so far it seems you can figure on seeing a sculpture and/or
photos of him outside every significant Polish church.
A beautiful town almcost completely rebuilt post war; we loved how they maintained the architectural stylye of pre war Gdansk. We've found the architecture here in Poland far more pleasing to our eyes than what we saw all over Berlin.
We loved walking along the very vibrant
packed with Polish tourists, cafes, and yet more Dominican Fair stalls;
what a perfect day with Steven.