Poles paid homage to the fallen in December 1970 events
It is thanks to the sacrifice of victims of December '70 that we, the contemporary Poles, may live in yet again independent and sovereign homeland, wrote President Andrzej Duda in a letter to the participants of the 48th anniversary of December 1970 events commemorations in Gdynia.
The president undescored that the protests of December 1970 were quashed with "extraordinary brutality". "The regime sent out enourmous forces against defenseless workers: armed militia, armoured warfare, navy and air force. Several dozens protesters lost their lives, nearly half of them right here in Gdynia. I bow my head down in respect for the courage and sacrifice of the people, most of who couldn't had remembered independent Poland, as majority of them were born in the communist era. All of them, however, deeply desired a new, free Poland and for it they sacrificed their lives. And it is thanks to their sacrifice that we, the contemporary Poles, may live in yet again independent and sovereign homeland. Hail to the heroes of December '70, eternal honour and remebrance for the fallen," wrote President Andrzej Duda.
The occasional letter written by the president was read out by his aide and legendary opposition activist Zofia Romaszewka during the morning ceremony in front of the monument to the Fallen in December '70, nearby the Gdynia-Stocznia Fast City Rail station.
It was exactly there at 6 a.m., 48 years ago when the army and militia fired the first shots at workers who disembarked the train on their way to the shipyard.
In December 1970, a wave of strikes and demonstrations swept through northern, seaside cities of Poland, in protest against prices hike introduced by the government of the Polish People's Republic. In Gdańsk and Szczecin, the protesters set the communist party regional headquarters on fire. In order to supress the protests, the government allowed the militia and army to open fire. According to official data, in December 1970, on the streets of Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Elbląg, the army and militia shot 44 people dead (18 in Gdynia alone) and wounded over 1160.
Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Fakty TVN