Three people who changed history visited the Institute from Poland in December.
The Rosa Parks of Polish independence from the Soviets, Anna Walentynowicz, was a shipyard crane operator and a free trade union organizer when the communists fired her in August, 1980. Her firing triggered a wave of strikes which resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first independent mass organization, and the vanguard of the people’s movement to free Poland.
Krzysztof Wyszkowski was a fellow underground activist who coined the name Solidarity for the workers’ movement, as editor in chief of the strikers’ news bulletin of the same name.
Antoni Macierewicz was a dissident, a political prisoner, and, after 1989, the first anti-Communist minister of interior who pioneered the attempts to purge Poland of KGB agents and secret informer networks.
The trio was in Washington, DC, to participate in the ceremony to award the “Victims of Communism” medals to John Paul II, Walentynowicz, and General Edward Rowny, a longtime IWP friend and guest lecturer.
The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Embassy of Poland under its new ambassador and the “Victims of Communism” Foundation, which is chaired by IWP Professor Lee Edwards.