Journal Article

The Solidarity Revolution in Poland, 1980–1981

Jack M. Bloom

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 33-64
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI:
The Solidarity Revolution in Poland, 1980–1981

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This article, based upon in-depth interviews with anti-government leaders and activists, first explains the significance of the upheaval in Communist Poland in 1980–1981 and articulates how the author became involved in this research and explains his methodology. It then concentrates on the impact on the personal lives of the participants and on social relations in Poland of the upheaval that produced an unprecedented-in-the-Soviet-bloc independent union with the right to strike. It shows how activists developed talents and cultivated abilities as they assumed responsibilities that had previously been unavailable to them. It examines how workers' lives changed as they grasped control of power: their working conditions improved; their status rose; they treated one another better; they educated themselves. These changes, which contributed to the context in which the political struggle of that period took place, survived the suppression of the union and ultimately contributed to bringing about the end of Communism in Poland.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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