Memorabilia of Kornel Morawiecki, the leader of Fighting Solidarity, as well as archival photographs, books, postcards, and even counter-surveillance equipment used by the anti-communist underground organisation will be displayed at a new historical exhibition in Warsaw.
Fighting Solidarity was founded in 1982 by Kornel Morawiecki, and dedicated its activities to make it possible for Poland to regain independence from the Soviet Union.
The inauguration, attended by Kornel Morawiecki’s son, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, was held on May 22nd at the Museum of the Indomitable Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People's Republic, located in the infamous former Mokotów prison where security forces used to repress political opponents.
Founded in the wake of the introduction of Martial Law by the communist regime which facilitated the crackdown on Solidarity, the first legal and independent trade union behind the Iron Curtain, “Fighting Solidarity” was one of the most radical and clandestine opposition organisations operating in the years leading up to the fall of the communist system in 1989.
"The road to freedom is woven from the threads of many thousands, tens of thousands of Polish heroes, Polish activists, activists of the post-war era opposition, Solidarity era and those times in between," - said the head of government, addressing former activists of Fighting Solidarity.
"Each of these threads is characterized by one fundamental issue, one fundamental premise - behind each of these threads, from which Polish freedom, today's freedom, is woven, there is a story, somebody’s life story and a decision, a decision of a particular person" - he added.
The Prime Minister recalled that in December 1981, when the communist authorities imposed martial law, "the hope that was prevailing among all Poles was suddenly dimmed".
"When Solidarity was taken by surprise by the introduction of martial law, then many of you, co-workers of my father Kornel Morawiecki at the time, were much more prudent, and just as the majority of the union was taken by surprise by the martial law, so were the communists from the spring and summer of 1982 taken by surprise by this increasingly strong resistance from Solidarity and Fighting Solidarity," - Prime Minister Morawiecki stated.
He also thanked everyone who contributed to the struggle waged by Fighting Solidarity, saying “it was a milestone on our road to freedom. It is thanks to you that this road of freedom was accelerated and independence could be regained".
The Prime Minister's mother, Jadwiga Morawiecka, was also present for the inauguration. She was greeted by Zbigniew Jagiełło, head of the Fighting Solidarity Association, and the head of the museum, Jacek Pawłowicz.
The exhibition was created by the Fighting Solidarity Association and the Pomeranian Historical Initiative Foundation.
In a press release, the two organisations wrote that the exhibition is located in 18 former prison cells and feature, among other things, documents belonging to Kornel Morawiecki, including his passport which was famously cancelled by the communist authorities after they forcibly expelled him from the country.
The exhibition gems include devices used by Fighting Solidarity’s counterintelligence division to listen in on conversations between communist intelligence agencies and police officers, as well as an illegally manufactured M3A1 submachine gun.
The creators of the exhibition also noted that it will feature a section dedicated to "patriotic jewelry made in the underground".