Lech Wałęsa

Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa

Lech Wałęsa [ˈlɛx vaˈwɛ̃ŋsa] (* 29. September 1943 in Popowo with Lipno, Poland) is a Polish politician. The electrician was from 1980 to 1990 of chairmen of the trade union Solidarność and of 1990 until 1995 president of Poland. It organized the political change of Poland from a communist country to the democracy.

Table of contents


youth and marriage

he as a son of a carpenter and its woman in very poor conditions was born, buildup strictly catholic. It visited the reason and the electrotechnical vocational school,was considered as on the average talented. Between 1961 and 1965 he tried as a garage mechanic. it began 1967 as an electrician on Lenin-thrown in Danzig (Polish Stocznia Gdańska in. Lenina to work today Stocznia Gdańska). 1968 he married MirosławaDanuta Wałęsowa. The pair has in the meantime eight children.

trade union leader6

1970 was Lech Wałęsa member of the illegal strike committee on the Danziger threw. After the bloody end of the strike, with over 80 the worker killed by the policebecame, he was arrested and condemned because of anti-social behavior to one year detention. 1976 lost Wałęsa its work, because he had collected signatures for a Petition for the establishment of a monument for the killed workers. Because it on an informal blackList stood, found it nowhere work and lived on allowances of friends.

1978 organized it together with Andrzej Gwiazda and Alexander resound the illegal underground combination free trade union Pommerns (Polish Wolne Związki Zawodowe Wybrzeża). 1979 it became repeated because ofOperation of a anti-national organization arrests. But the court acquitted it. It was allowed to leave the prison at the beginning of of 1980 and to Lenin-thrown again take up its work on .

After the beginning of the strike and the occupation of the Danziger threw, erkletterte Wałęsa to 14. August 1980 illegaly the throwing wall and became the strike leader. In completely Poland worker followed spontaneously the Danziger example and laid down in their enterprises the work. Some days later it stopped worker, those the Danziger threw abandoned wanted andconvinced it to educate a strike co-ordination committee (Polish Międzyzakładowy Komitet Strajkowy) which should train and support the general strike in Poland.

In the September of the same yearly the communist government signed an agreement, which legalisierte free combinations with the strike co-ordination committee. The strike co-ordination committeelegalisierte itself as a national co-ordination committee of the free trade union solidarity (Polish Solidarność). Wałęsa was selected to the chairman.

It kept this office until December 1981 as a prime minister Wojciech Jaruzelski the martial law announced. To 14. November 1982 became Wałęsa for eleven monthsin southeast Poland, the close border to the Soviet Union interns. The US-American magazine Time shortens it to the man of the yearly. The Swedish newspaper “Dagens Nyheter” and the Danish newspaper “Politiken” dedicate its liberty price endowed with 50.000 Swedish crowns to 1982 Wałęsafor its fight for the right to live in liberty and truth.

1983 he requested, as an electrician on the Danziger threw returns to be allowed. While it was treated officially as simple workers, it actually stood until 1987 under house arrest.

BeforeLech Wałęsa the Nobel peace prize received, it in June 1983 with the scarf COM price of the German human right organization working group for justice and peace was distinguished.

1983 were lent Wałęsa the Nobel peace prize. Because he was afraid, with a personal receipt of the price not again inCountry to be left, received its wife the price in Oslo . Prize money donated Wałęsa to the exile headquarters of the trade union Solidarność in Brussels.

From 1987 to 1990 organized Wałęsa the halflegal occasional Exekutivkommittee of the trade union Solidarność. 1988 organizedit again an occupation strike on the Danziger dockyard and required the legalization of the trade union. Enterprises in completely Poland followed the Danziger model. The country was rolled over by several strike waves. On the television Wałęsa live with the chairman of the national trade union federation discussedOPZZ, Miodowicz, and triumphed with joke and Schlagfertigkeit.

After 80 days and several discussions between Ministers of the Interior General Kiszczak and Wałęsa the government discussions at rounding table agreed . It stepped to 6. February 1989 in Warsaw for the first time together.Wałęsa functioned as a Wortführer of the non--government side. During the discussions the government signed an agreement for the reestablishment of the trade union Solidarność and for the preparation of half-free elections to the Polish parliament.

party politician

1989 organized and led Wałęsa the citizen committee of theChairman of the trade union Solidarność. It formally concerned thereby a consulting committee, but it was actual a kind a political party, which won the parliamentary elections in the same year. The opposition achieved 48% of 49% of the seats in the Sejm, thoseby free elections were determined. 51% of the seats went to the agreements at rounding table automatically to the communist party. In the again created senate the opposition received all up to a seat carrier.

Wałęsa transferred now a key role in thatPolish policy. At the end of of 1989 it convinced the chairmen of the Polish coalitions to educate a non-communist coalition government. It was the first non-communist government in the Eastern Bloc. For the large surprise of the communist party the parliament Tadeusz Mazowiecki selected to the prime minister of Poland.Although Poland was formally still another communist country, its economics began itself to transform into free market system.


to 9. December 1990 won Wałęsa the presidency elections and became for five years president of Poland. During its presidencyit released „the war in such a way specified at the point “, which led practically to an annual replacement of the government. The style of its presidency was criticized by most political parties. At the end of of 1995 it had lost the initial support of the population.Poland however changed itself during its presidency of a repressive communist country under strict Soviet control with weak economy to a democratic country with a fast growing free free-market economy.

after the presidency

with the presidency elections was subject to 1995Wałęsa the former communist Alexander Kwaśniewski. Afterwards it, it explained will politically withdraw itself . But it remained active and tried to create its own political party. 1997 organized and supported it a new party, the choice action solidarity (Polish Akcja Wyborcza Solidarność), which became with parliamentary elections a strongest party. Its support played thereby however no substantial role and in the party dressed it only an unimportant position. Main supervisor and Wortführer of the party was the new boss of the trade union Solidarność, Marian Krzaklewski.

2000 began Wałęsa again to the presidency elections, however less than 1% of the voices received. Afterwards it explained for the second time, it will politically withdraw itself. Since that time it holds by different foreign Universities of lectures to history andPolitics of Central Europe. To 31. August 2005 it will terminate and communicated its membership in the trade union Solidarność that it would like itself to endeavor in the future more strongly around the European agreement.

To 10. May 2004 became the international airport Danzig Dreistadt officially in airport Lech Wałęsa Danzig renamed, in order to remind of the prominent Danziger citizen. Its signature was taken up to the airport Logo.

Lech Wałęsa with a discussion in Frankenthal

beside the Nobel peace prize were lent Wałęsa many national and private honors.The highest medals are the Knight OF the Grand CROSS OF the order OF the Bath and the large cross of the Ehrenlegion. It received besides honour doctor title from 32 US-American and European universities.

Wałęsas of results with presidency elections

  • 1990: 74%
  • 1995: 48.3%
  • 2000: 1%
  • 2005: not participated


  • Lech Walesa: A way of hope: Autobiography. Zsolnay, Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-552-03922-8
  • Lech Wałęsa: Droga nadziei. Wydawn. Znak, Kraków 1990, ISBN 83-7006-142-7
  • Lech Wałęsa: DrogaDO wolności: 1985-1990 decydujące lata. OD. Spotkania, Warszawa 1991, ISBN 83-85195-03-3


  • Hans Peter Rullmann: Lech Walesa: The gentle revolutionary. Goldmann, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-442-11321-0
  • Jule gate Klenk: Perhaps on knees, but forward!: Discussions with LechWalesa. Athenäum publishing house, Königstein/Ts. 1983, ISBN 3-7610-8340-8
  • Jerzy Klechta: Lech Walesa: A political biography. Up-to-date, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-87959-469-4
  • Tony Kaye: Lech Walesa. Chelsea House publication., New York, 1989, ISBN 0-7910-0689-1
  • Jaroslaw cure ski: Democrat or dictator?Westview press,Boulder 1993, ISBN 0-8133-1788-6
  • Roger Boyes: The naked president: A political would run OF Lech Walesa. Secker & being castle, London 1994, ISBN 0-436-20055-4

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Wikiquote: Lech Walesa - quotations
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| | * Literature of andover Lech Wałęsa in the catalog of the DDB



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