Lech Kaczyński exhibition opened in Warsaw

Poland’s Culture Ministry has opened an exhibition at its building in Warsaw dedicated to one of the Solidarity Trade Union anti-communist activists, and late President Lech Kaczyński.

The exhibition is open to visitors in the courtyard of the Ministry of Culture in Warsaw.

In communist Poland, Lech Kaczyński was a prominent activist in the pro-democratic movement, strongly engaged in the Solidarity movement. During Martial Law, he was interned as an “anti-socialist element.” He was an adviser to Lech Wałęsa before the fall of communism in 1989, and took part in the Round Table Talks of 1989.

In free Poland, Lech Kaczyński served as head of the Supreme Audit Office, he was also the Minister of Justice in Jerzy Buzek’s government. He was elected the mayor of Warsaw 2002 and the President of the Republic of Poland in 2005.

On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential plane crashed near Smolensk, western Russia. All 96 passengers and members of the crew, including the then president Lech Kaczyński, and the First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, died. The Polish delegation was going to Russia to attend the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre.

Solidarity Trade Union

The Solidarity Trade Union was established following the Gdańsk Agreements of August 31, 1980, which ended a wave of strikes in the Pomorze region and were the second of a series of accords between striking workers and the communist government. Solidarity was the first legal trade union in communist countries that was independent of the authorities.

Although made illegal by the imposition of martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981, the union remained active as an underground organisation, eventually leading to the fall of communism in Poland in 1989.