The celebrations of the Gdynia August 1980 with the participation of the IPN's President Jarosław Szarek, Ph.D.

The celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the founding of "Solidarity" and August 1980 began in Gdynia on 29 August 29. The IPN’s delegation headed by the President of the Institute, Jarosław Szarek, Ph.D. laid flowers at the Monument to the Victims of December 1970.

Next, in the concert hall of the Port of Gdynia, the ceremony of awarding the "Heroes of August 80" awards took place. The President of the Institute of National Remembrance took the floor.

”For the Institute of National Remembrance, the memory of the Solidary Gdynia is an inherent part of the great Polish August 1980. All of Poland must hear about Gdynia. It is in the Paris Commune Shipyard that the famous Gdynia postulates with the first demand - the right to free trade unions – were out forward. This is your work,” emphasized Jarosław Szarek.

“Let us remember about Andrzej Kołodziej, the strike leader at the Paris Commune Shipyard. Let us not forget about people like Fr. Hilary Jastak, who celebrated the famous Mass on the first strike Sunday. Let us recall the history of the free printing house in the Gdynia shipyard. It was in Gdynia that the printing facilities for this great strike were located. Without Gdynia's support, August 1980 could have had a completely different dimension,” he added.


As part of the celebrations, a conference entitled "The genesis of workers' protests in the Coast. Strikes in Gdynia workplaces in August 1980 " was held. The Institute of National Remembrance, Branch in Gdańsk, was represented by Piotr Brzeziński, Ph.D., Daniel Czerwiński, Ph.D.,  and Krzysztof Filip. Among the speakers were Jerzy Miotke (shipyard worker, participant of the August 1980 strikes) and Małgorzata Sokołowska, a journalist associated with Gdynia. The discussion was moderated by Aleksander Kozicki, a representative of Gdynia's "Solidarity".


The conference raised the issue of social revolts from the first post-war years. Daniel Czerwiński was the first to speak on this matter. Aleksander Kozicki concluded his considerations on this subject:

“This is a period that has been completely forgotten [...] The memory of the strikes in the 1940s has already faded in society. Thanks to the work of IPN historians, the memory of this period is being restored.


On Sunday, 30 August 30, Jarosław Szarek, Ph.D., laid flowers at the monument to Fr. Hilary Jastak. Then he visited the nearby temple with which the priest was closely connected for years, i.e. the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the church memorabilia related to the activities of Fr. Hilary Jastak, as well as on the history of December '70 and August '80 can be seen.

After the Holy Mass, a delegation from the Institute of National Remembrance, headed by the president and director of the IPN Branch in Gdańsk, prof. Mirosław Golon, laid flowers at the tomb of Fr. Hilary Jastak. Color guards, veterans, representatives of "Solidarity", parliamentarians and local government activists participated in the ceremony.

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