Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

30 years without terror of communism in Poland

30 years ago during the semi-free parliamentary elections on the 4th of June 1989 Polish people voted on the Citizens’ Committee, an opposition group around Lech Wałęsa, which led to the end of communism in Poland.

Solidarity won all of the freely contested seats in the Polish Parliament Sejm, and all but one seat in the entirely freely contested Senate. Poland became the first country behind the Iron Curtain whose democratically elected representatives became decision makers.

Despite the fact that elections were not entirely democratic, they led to the formation of a government led by Tadeusz Mazowiecki. A peaceful transition to democracy followed.These changes in Poland led to the wave of changes across Central and Eastern Europe.

In October 1980 in the national news a famous Polish actress Joanna Szczepkowska officially announced the end of communism by saying: ’’Dear Sir/Madam, on June 4 1989 the communism in Poland perished’’.

Joanna Szczepkowska announcing the end of communism on Polish Public TV

”Socialism, peace, work, prosperity” another propaganda slogan. On the photos below you can see what prosperity and peace meant in Poland under communism.

”Every provocateur or madman who dares to lift his hand against the power of People’s Poland will have that hand chopped off” Jozef Cyrankiewicz, Polish prime minister under communism. These are the photos only of some people who were murdered by the totalitarian communism system.

Police during the military state

Any form of opposition was strongly opposed, people were murdered or tortured in prisons

”Government takes care of people” propaganda slogan hanging above the empty shelves in a shop

People queueing outside a shop hoping to buy some meat. Would they manage?

Photos: taken at the museum Polish People’s Republic ( original name: Muzeum Zycia w PRL)
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