hidden europe 45

Remembering Anna

by hidden europe

Picture above: The new European Solidarity Centre in the Polish city of Gdańsk (photo © Krzysztof Janczewski / dreamstime.com).

Summary

Anna Walentynowicz died five years ago this spring in the plane crash that also claimed the lives of many in the Polish leadership. We recall the woman who was a welder, crane driver and political activist - a woman who quietly helped shape modern Poland.

It was 35 years ago that Anna Walentynowicz was sacked from her job as a crane operator at the Lenin shipyards in Gdansk (Poland). Anna’s dismissal led to a wave of strikes as workers protested over the sacking of a loyal comrade who had served the shipyard, first as a welder and later as a crane operator, for 30 years.

The strike committee quickly espoused wider goals beyond merely the reinstatement of Anna Walentynowicz — and its work was to have reverberations around Poland and far beyond.

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