Poland as a Playground of Cold War Struggles 1981-1989

Don’t miss the chance to listen to a fascinating discussion on the 40th anniversary of imposing martial law in Poland! The discussion will deal with the general context of the 1980s in an international context of politics with Poland as the main focus.

T-55A on the streets during Martial law in Poland (public domain).

During the event scholars will discuss some of the global events during the Cold War surrounding Poland at the time which paved the way for the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. This discussion will address some of those key questions, like was Martial Law a shock for the west or what was the international/American public reaction to what happened in Poland? Was Poland the driving force behind the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union and how did Solidarity play a role in the fall of Communism? These are just some of the many questions that will be address, so make sure that you join these four prominent scholars in this debate.


Prof. Mark Kramer is the Director of Cold War Studies at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Director of Harvard’s Sakharov Program on Human Rights.

Dr. Łukasz Kamiński is a historian, specializing in the history of Communism and Anticommunist resistance. He is also an assistant professor at University of Wrocław. Between 2000-2016 he worked at the Institute of National Remembrance, and between 2011-2016 he was the President of the institute. In 2017-2021 he was the President of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.

Ambassador Daniel Fried is the former US Ambassador to Poland, 1997-2000. In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Irena Lasota is a journalist, commentator and Political activist. She has been the President of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe since its founding in 1985. She was also the President of the Committee in Support of Solidarity from 1981-89, both institutes supported and helped among others to bring down the fall of Communism.

Malwina Garyga works in the Foreign Projects Department at the Pilecki Institute. She is also a historian and author specializing in the Polish People’s Republic. Her most recent publication was “Dekada agonii. Komitet Krakowski PZPR w świetle materiałów partyjnych 1981-1990”.

The event will be held on 13 December at 7 pm CEST on Zoom.


Zoom link: http://bityl.pl/98BXY

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