Merkel calls Poland's Solidarity 'heroes of freedom'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, marking the 40th anniversary of Poland's anti-communist Solidarity trade union, said on Saturday that the union launched processes that led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, calling the unionists "heroes of freedom."

Angela Merkel spoke in a video devoted to the Solidarity anniversary, prepared by the German DPA news agency and broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

The German chancellor said that "Solidarity created a power that attracted other central and eastern European countries. Also in Germany, both in Eastern and Western Germany, we closely watched what the fearless Polish women and men had achieved through their fight."

Merkel said that Solidarity had a significant impact on her life and Solidarity members were her "European heroes of freedom."

Monday will mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the landmark August Agreements between striking workers and the then communist government, as well as of the creation of the Solidarity union that led to the collapse of the communist system in Central and Eastern Europe nine years later.