PM Mateusz Morawiecki has commemorated nine coal miners who, while protesting at the Wujek coal pit in December 1981, were killed by communist riot police fire.
The massacre at the Wujek coal mine in Katowice on December 16 was the deadliest and bloodiest single incident to take place during martial law, which had been introduced just a few days earlier in an attempt to crush the Solidarity trade union.
Along with the nine killed dozens of other miners were wounded in the shooting and a series of violent clashes that had preceded it.
"Today we bow our heads and thank those whose blood has paved the way to [anti-communist movement] Solidarity, freedom, and an independent Republic of Poland,” Mr Morawiecki said in front of the monument erected in the memory of the killed miners.
He stressed that at that time thousands of miners had bravely stood up to fight for the country's freedom, and though the fight against "this inhuman power" had been very unequal, it had planted the seeds of freedom.
"The blood that was shed here was not for nothing," he added.