It begun In Poland - 20th anniversary of communism collapse in Europe




 
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It begun In Poland - 20th anniversary of communism collapse in Europe
 
June 4th, 2009  
Venom PL
 
 

Topic: It begun In Poland - 20th anniversary of communism collapse in Europe


It begun In Poland - 20th anniversary of communism collapse in Europe
Quote:
RYAN LUCAS Associated Press Writer
10:33 AM CDT, June 4, 2009

Poland's first semi-free vote as an inspiration for movements that brought down regimes across the Soviet bloc, saying on the election's 20th anniversary that it helped pave the way for a reunited Europe.

The leaders of Poland and Germany and high-ranking representatives from nine other countries once behind the Iron Curtain joined former dissident leaders Lech Walesa of Poland and Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia to honor those who helped topple communism in Poland.

"Today ... leaders of European countries have come to pay tribute to the great ideas of freedom and solidarity and to the heroes — both the famous and unknown — who sacrificed their entire lives for freedom and solidarity," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at the ceremony in the arched courtyard at Krakow's historic Wawel Castle.

Strikes born of frustration with worsening economic hardship pushed the communist authorities to sit down in 1988 for talks with Walesa's pro-democracy Solidarity movement. The negotiations resulted in the communist regime legalizing Solidarity and agreeing to hold elections for all 100 Senate seats to free voting and one-third of the seats in the more important lower house, the Sejm. The remaining two-thirds of the lower house was reserved for the communists and minor parties allied with the regime.

On June 4, 1989, Poles streamed to polling stations for a vote that delivered a sweeping victory to Solidarity and a crippling blow to Poland's communist regime.

The results astounded everyone: Solidarity won 99 of the 100 Senate seats and all the 161 seats — one-third of the total — that were contested in parliament's more important lower house. The other two-thirds were reserved for the communists.

Havel, who led the dissident movement in what was then Czechoslovakia, said Solidarity and the June ballot spurred change in his homeland and helped tear down the Iron Curtain dividing Europe.

"This was a very strong impetus, a very strong link in the chain of events which were conducive later on to our liberation and to the end of the bipolar division of the world," Havel said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said the June 4 elections "marked the decisive victory of democracy in Poland and finally in the whole of Eastern Europe."

"We Germans are deeply grateful for your courageous stands, especially the Germans from within the German Democratic Republic," she said.

In the months to follow the ballot in Poland, Soviet-backed communist regimes would lose their grip on power in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Romania.

Across Poland on Thursday, people were marking the vote's anniversary and the momentous changes it unleashed with academic conferences, debates, rock concerts and art exhibitions.

But for all the gains of the past two decades, some Poles also grumble that much that was good, such as job security, free time and more equal pay, has been lost with the arrival of a Western-style consumer society.

In Gdansk — whose shipyard served as the birthplace of Solidarity — thousands of the union's members braved rain and hail to attend a rally and open-air Roman Catholic Mass marking the anniversary.

Workers came from throughout the country holding union banners. Their presence reflected the historic role played by workers in founding Solidarity and waging the strikes that enfeebled the communist regime.

The shipyard's gate was adorned with the nation's red and white flag, flowers and a framed photograph of Pope John Paul II, the late Polish pontiff whose rise to the papacy inspired Poles to resist the regime.
Source: http://www.fox6now.com/news/nationwo...,5107515.story


Congratulations Poland !!!
June 5th, 2009  
The Other Guy
 
 
Walesa's Solidarnosc contributed more to the downfall of the Soviet Union than nearly any other event or group.

Congratulations, Poland, on returning yourself to self-rule.
June 5th, 2009  
tomtom22
 
 
What a difference 20 years makes!

Congratulations to all of Poland!
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It begun In Poland - 20th anniversary of communism collapse in Europe
June 5th, 2009  
5.56X45mm
 
 
June 5th, 2009  
A Can of Man
 
 
People seeking freedom should do what the Poles did, earn it.
June 5th, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
You know in September it will be the 70th Annivesary of then start of WWII, which also started in Poland too...

Not exactly a joyous occasion but a funny coincidence.
June 5th, 2009  
A Can of Man
 
 
Yeah, the Eastern Europeans have had it pretty rough.
June 5th, 2009  
The Other Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
You know in September it will be the 70th Annivesary of then start of WWII, which also started in Poland too...

Not exactly a joyous occasion but a funny coincidence.
Well, that was more the fault of Poland's noble ally France, who bombed Germany after the invasion as promised, but with pamphlets.

Poland has had to fight pretty much everyone in Europe in order to get their own country.
June 8th, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Guy
Well, that was more the fault of Poland's noble ally France, who bombed Germany after the invasion as promised, but with pamphlets.

Poland has had to fight pretty much everyone in Europe in order to get their own country.
How is France responsible for the German invasion of Poland? I was not suggesting that Poland was somehow responsible for starting WWII, but its equally silly to suggest that France was. The person who started WWII was Adolf Hitler.

I was merely pointing out that this year marks two very sad annivesaries in Polish History, that the Poles had a pretty miserable 20th century, but then again so did the French.
June 9th, 2009  
The Other Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
How is France responsible for the German invasion of Poland? I was not suggesting that Poland was somehow responsible for starting WWII, but its equally silly to suggest that France was. The person who started WWII was Adolf Hitler.

I was merely pointing out that this year marks two very sad annivesaries in Polish History, that the Poles had a pretty miserable 20th century, but then again so did the French.
I was referring to the pledge of help that never came, coupled with the promise of forcing Germany to work on two fronts immediately, which never happened. But, eh, whatever. I don't want to argue about it.
 


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