Communist-era massacre remembered in northern Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s prime minister on Sunday led ceremonies to commemorate the victims of a communist-era massacre of workers in the north of the country.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki speaks during Sunday's ceremonies in front of the Monument to the Victims of December 1970 in the northern Polish city of Gdynia. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa
The commemorations marked 47 years since Poland’s former communist rulers in December 1970 ordered the army and police to open fire on protesting workers on the country’s Baltic coast, killing at least 45.
Although the events of 47 years ago were a tragic chapter in Polish history, they marked a milestone on the country’s road to freedom, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during ceremonies in the coastal city of Gdynia.
“The blood that was shed in December 1970 was not in vain,” Morawiecki said in front of a Monument to the Victims of December 1970 in Gdynia on Sunday morning.
He added that a "fight for a better, just future” for the country required that “all the issues from the past are explained and that all our heroes of those days are honoured.”
Sunday’s ceremonies in Gdynia also included the reading of a letter from President Andrzej Duda, who wrote that a modern-day Poland must be built “on a foundation of truth” and “a fair, undistorted vision of history."
During a meeting with participants of the events decades ago, Morawiecki said that the bloody crackdown in 1970, when Poland’s former communist rulers deployed tanks against workers, “showed the true face” of the communist system.
In December 1970, drastic price rises gave rise to massive, more than weeklong protests in Gdynia as well as Gdańsk and Szczecin in northern Poland, triggering one of the most brutal crackdowns of the communist era.
At least 45 people were killed and more than 1,100 injured after police and soldiers opened fire on protesters, who also demanded a change of government and freedom of speech.
December 17, 1970, so-called "Black Thursday," marked the worst day of the crackdown.
Source: IAR, PAP