Regarding Drew Hinshaw and Marcus Walker’s “Poland’s New Nationalist Leaders Erasing Lech Walesa [sic] from History” (Wall Street Journal, 22 January 2018), it is incontrovertible that Poland’s erstwhile hero of “Solidarity,” Lech Wałęsa, was a Communist secret police informer in the 1970s.
Multiple documents have corroborated persistent gossip about his collaboration, including from the Mitrokhin Archive. Ultimately, there came the smoking gun: the original agent file preserved in the collection of late General Czesław Kiszczak, former head of the Communist secret police.
The psychological impact of the revelations of Wałęsa’s past on his fellow citizens has been horrific. And so is the realization that the post-Communist elites simply covered it all up.
No wonder the current Law and Justice government handles Wałęsa with embarrassment, if not disgust. None of them betrayed their fellow freedom fighters to the Communist secret police. They feel that Wałęsa should not get a free pass just because the erstwhile leader of “Solidarity” is an internationally acknowledged symbol of Poland’s struggle for freedom.
Hence, the current government of Poland has resolved to cut the former police informer down to size. Can you blame the Poles? How would the American people feel if, having concealed his treason, Benedict Arnold managed to become the President of the United States?
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Ph.D.
Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies
The Institute of World Politics
Washington, DC, January 24, 2018