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Modern Europe – forged in the Gdańsk Shipyard

In recent years Polish collective memory has become too focused on the military traditions of freedom and independence fighters. This approach overlooks the thinking and achievements of the 1970s and 1980s, which were the result of peaceful social movements. By opting for non-violence, the ten-million-strong Solidarity movement, Solidarność, chose a difficult, but in the end effective, path.

The historic Gdańsk Shipyard is one of the most important memory sites in Europe today. It is a complex that includes Solidarity Square, alongside the Monument of the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970, the historic Gate Number 2, the former BHP Hall (a place where in 1980 the famous August Accords between the communist authorities and the democratic opposition were negotiated) and the European Solidarity Centre (ECS). Upon the ECS’s initiative the shipyard was placed on the European Heritage Label list.
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September 29, 2022 - Basil Kerski - History and MemoryIssue 5 2022Magazine

The historical gate to the “Gdańsk Shipyard”, where in August 1980 the Gdańsk Accords were signed and Solidarity was born. In the background is the European Solidarity Centre which opened in August 2014 and has linked together all the historical monuments that are located in Solidarity Square and its vicinity. Photo: iwciagr / Shutterstock

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