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).


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.

Related articleFull text online

Monemvasía: the Greek Gibraltar

In the southern Peloponnese, the island citadel of Monemvasía once enjoyed a key strategic location on major Mediterranean shipping routes. No wonder, therefore, that many have sought to secure control of the rock that is often referred to as 'the Greek Gibraltar'.

Related articleFull text online

Where God grew stones: a Mani odyssey

Patrick Leigh Fermor's 1958 book on the Mani region of southern Greece helped put Mani on the map. Today it pulls the tourist crowds, yet it still retains a raw appeal. Guest contributor Duncan JD Smith dives deep into Mani to explore the otherworldly landscapes of this arid peninsula.