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Communist's widow: 'My husband brought down communism, not Wałęsa'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 25.02.2016 11:41
Maria Kiszczak, the widow of former communist interior minister Czesław Kiszczak, has claimed it was her husband and not Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa who brought down communism in Poland.
Czesław Kiszczak and Lech Wałęsa, c. 1989. Photo: wikimedia commonsCzesław Kiszczak and Lech Wałęsa, c. 1989. Photo: wikimedia commons

The claims come after the widow's apparent attempts to sell documents concerning Wałęsa's alleged collaboration with the security services (SB) during the 1970s.

The files were ultimately confiscated last week by police working in tandem with the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

It was my husband, and not Wałęsa who brought down communism and contributed to the creation of democracy in Poland,” Maria Kiszczak told the Super Express daily.

In December 1981, the communists had imposed martial law in a bid to cripple the Solidarity trade union led by Wałęsa. It lasted until July 1983.

In 1988, the communist government initiated a discussion with Wałęsa and oppositionists, leading to the Round Table talks that paved the way for the first partially free elections since before WWII.

Had it not been for Kiszczak, there would not have been Round Table talks and the relinquishment of power to the opposition,” his widow argued.

Czesław knew that Poland needed changes,” she continued.

The initiator of the changes was Kiszczak, who was a great patriot and national hero,” she claimed.

History will recognise this one day.”

Kiszczak died in November 2015, and he endures as one of the most controversial figures from the communist era.

In the lead-up to the declaration of martial law, nine striking miners at the Wujek Coal Mine in Katowice, Silesia, were shot down, while Kiszczak was interior minister. (nh)

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