• Solidarność Weekly is 30 years old
  • 14.05.2011
An academic conference has been held in Warsaw to mark the 30th anniversary of the Solidarność (Solidarity) Weekly.

The magazine’s launch in April 1981, a few months after the official registration of the independent Solidarity Trade Union, was a significant event in Poland’s modern history.

The nationwide distribution of a weekly independent of the communist authorities, with a print-run of half a million copies, enhanced the importance of Solidarity on the Polish scene.

The conference, organized by the weekly together with the Institute of National Remembrance, brought together many of the weekly’s past and present editors as well as former activists of anti-communist opposition and historians.

The weekly’s first editor-in-chief Tadeusz Mazowiecki (who in 1989 became Prime Minister of Poland’s first Solidarity-led government) and his successor Jarosław Kaczynski (who served as Prime Minister in 2006-07) were not present.

After the introduction of martial law in December 1981 most of the journalists were interned.

Following the collapse of communism in 1989 and the appointment of Tadeusz Mazowiecki to the post of Prime Minister and of several of the weekly’s leading journalists to his cabinet, there evolved a conflict amongst its journalists concerning the shape of relations with the Gazeta Wyborcza daily, which also represented the Solidarity camp.

In the 1990s Solidarity Weekly became an important forum for debates and discussions and the venue for concerts and performances. Among its prominent guests were Colonel Ryszard Kukliński and Aslan Maskhadov, President of the Chechen Republic.

The present editor of the Solidarity Weekly is Jerzy Kosinski. (mk)