Kornel Morawiecki passed away

Kornel Morawiecki, the founder of the anti-communist Fighting Solidarity organisation and a Senior Speaker of the Sejm, awarded the Order of the White Eagle, passed away at the age of 78.


Kornel Morawiecki was born in Warsaw on 3 May 1941 in a family with patriotic traditions. His great-grandfather fought in the January Uprising, his grandfather was associated with the Polish Socialist Party of Józef Piłsudski, and during World War II his father belonged to the Union of Armed Struggle, and then the Home Army. He grew up in post-war Warsaw. In 1958 he arrived in Wrocław to study medicine but he did not pass the entry exams to the Medical Academy and finally began his studies at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry of the University of Wrocław. He received his master's degree in 1963. He started scientific work in the Physics Department of the University of Wrocław. Four years later, he defended his doctorate.

During the events of March 1968, he was actively involved in the anti-communist opposition for the first time. He participated in the demonstrations at the Wrocław University of Technology, and then during the 1st May celebrations, he and a group of friends distributed previously printed leaflets calling for the defense of the repressed students. A similar leaflet action, combined with painting slogans on the walls, was also carried out after the countries of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia and in January 1969 (after the death of Jan Palach), and in December 1970.

In the 1970s, Morawiecki's resolute and uncompromising political attitude was reflected in the radical anti-communist editorial of the "Lower Silesian Bulletin." He was against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. On charges of harming the alliance with the USSR, he was arrested on 14 September 1981. In response to his arrest, employees of the Wrocław University of Technology expressed their readiness to go on strike. He was eventually released after 48 hours. After the introduction of martial law, Morawiecki, a keen supporter of street demonstrations, was in favour of establishing a strong nationwide and centralised underground organisation. At the end of May 1982, he became the leader of Fighting Solidarity, a unique hardline anti-communist movement, which evolved into one of the most significant organisations, with Morawiecki as being perceived by the authorities as the most dangerous.

Street demonstrations, the first of which turned into long hours of fighting with paramilitary police formations (ZOMO), quickly became a trade mark of Fighting Solidarity, and the first of them from 13 June 1982 turned into long hours of fighting with paramilitary police formations (ZOMO). In addition to demonstrations, there were also information and publishing activities that gave a sense of unity and strength. By calling for free speech, the target was not only to promote certain slogans, but above all, to create an extensive network of contacts, which furthered cohesion within the organization and allowed a large group of people to focus on one action. Until 1990, Fighting Solidarity published nearly 100 underground magazines throughout the country. Books were also published and the underground Fighting Solidarity radio programmes were broadcast.

Kornel Morawiecki was the main author of Fighting Solidarity programme which also reverberated in his numerous journalistic texts of that time. In June 1987, the "Ideological Principles" of Fighting Solidarity were published. They reflected the main socio-political assumptions of the party, as evidenced by its activity from the very beginning. Most of all, he thought it was crucial to decisively resist every form of communism. To his mind, Poland was too closely related with the Soviet Union. This fact restricted Polish sovereignty, preventing proper functioning and development. The overriding goal was to regain independence lost in September 1939. In Morawiecki’s opinion, the use of reasonable force was permitted. He did not even exclude the possibility of the launch of a military struggle.

The anti-communist attitude of the leader of Fighting Solidarity leader ruled out the possibility of dialogue with the communist authorities from the very start. Despite the growing structure, there were no cases of ideological disputes over Fighting Solidarity’s programme or the movement’s personnel. It was determined on the one hand by the great authority of Kornel Morawiecki, and on the other, by the cohesion of the programme which was expressed in the conviction of conducting an uncompromising fight against the communists.

Kornel Morawiecki was the longest hiding activist in the anti-communist underground. On 9 November 1987, he was arrested and transported to Warsaw, where he was detained in Mokotów Prison at Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw. On 30 June 1988, he was tricked into leaving the country. When he returned after 3 days, he was deported from Warsaw airport to Vienna without the right to return. Taking advantage of forced emigration, he had many meetings, among others in Great Britain, the USA and Canada, during which he promoted the ideas and goals of the Fighting Solidarity.

Following the reports of the summer strikes, he returned to the country illegally at the end of August 1988, once again becoming the leader of the Fighting Solidarity. In 1989, he strongly opposed the Round Table agreements. Always distrustful of the communists, he remained underground. Like the entire organisation, he believed that the communists were willing to conduct talks as a result of their weakness, not strength. In addition, he maintained that free Poland should be built from the very beginning on solid foundations, including moral ones.

Kornel Morawiecki did not reveal himself until June 1990 when the Freedom Party was established by members of Fighting Solidarity.

Although his views would not always ensure him a political career, he remained faithful to his ideas and ready to take uncompromising action.

The 2015 parliamentary election was a breakthrough in his political career. He became a deputy to the Sejm representing the election committee of Kukiz 15. As the eldest Deputy, Morawiecki was a Senior Speaker at the first sitting of the Sejm of the eighth term. In 2016, he left Kukiz'15 and founded the Free and Solidarity group. On 26 September 2019, President of Poland Andrzej Duda awarded him the Order of the White Eagle "in recognition of his outstanding service for democratic change in Poland, for outstanding achievements in public and state activity."

Kornel Morawiecki died on 30 September 2019.

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