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Poland remembers its bloodless revolution of 1989


Kapusta 2 | 66  
3 Jun 2009 /  #1
Poland remembers its bloodless revolution of 1989

It began in Poland at the ballot box: A season of revolutions that toppled communist regimes from Berlin to Bucharest was set in motion 20 years ago this week by the first semi-free elections ever to take place in the Soviet-dominated eastern bloc.

On Thursday, Poles celebrate the anniversary of the ballot, which delivered a sweeping victory to Lech Walesa's pro-democracy Solidarity movement, kicking off a stream of events that will culminate with celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall this November and the Dec. 25 anniversary of the execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

On June 4, 1989, Poles streamed to polling stations with Soviet troops still on their soil, but with a leader at the Kremlin - Mikhail Gorbachev - who was allowing unprecedented freedom to the Soviet satellites as he struggled at home to reform socialism.

Tomorrow (June 4th) marks 20 years since Poland first took to the polls in a bid to free itself from communism and marks the start of a new Poland, a free Poland.

A better Poland? Most would say yes but not everyone:

But for all the gains of the past two decades, some Poles also grumble that much that was good - job security, free time, solidarity - has been lost with the arrival of a Western-style consumer society.

"I am disappointed," said Kazimierz Kasztelan, a 59-year-old unemployed mechanic struggling to supplement a monthly welfare check of 700 zlotys ($220) with odd jobs. He said he voted for Solidarity in 1989 and had joined strikes that pushed the communist regime to allow the June 4 vote.

Is there anyone on the forums who remembers June 4 1989? Or voted on that day? What were the expectations as you voted? Did you expect that Solidarity would have such a landslide win? What was the general feeling after the Solidarity win?
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
3 Jun 2009 /  #2
A better Poland? Most would say yes but not everyone

the cost of change.
Switek - | 59  
3 Jun 2009 /  #3
A better Poland? Most would say yes but not everyone

the cost of change.

Global prosperity counts, even actual poverty is on much higher level, than 20 years ago.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
3 Jun 2009 /  #4
even actual poverty is on much higher level, than 20 years ago.

To what degree? And what are the reasons? (Its very similar in the UK)
OP Kapusta 2 | 66  
3 Jun 2009 /  #5
I wonder how many of the older generation would have preferred communism to stay - communism suited them more perhaps?

Also, I forgot the link to the article before but thank you Mod for adding it in to the first post for me. :)
Switek - | 59  
3 Jun 2009 /  #6
To what degree? And what are the reasons? (Its very similar in the UK)

Even homeless people have now mobile phones and families living on social aid have washers, color TV sets, computers and many other civilization goods ...
Salomon 2 | 436  
3 Jun 2009 /  #7
According to survey ... only 9 % of Polish people have good opinion about " old times". Mostly older one who couldn't find themsleves in new system. Or simple their social status (in compariosn to neighbours) became lower.

If we look on fact that 25% of Eastern Germans want "the wall" to be rebuild.

Poles are in much better mental condition. :-)

What is more most people think that after last 20 years. Poles are better edcuated, richer, hardworking and even more handsome ...
pawian 173 | 13,440  
3 Jun 2009 /  #8
Poles are in much better mental condition. :-)

Physical condition is also much better than 1989.

Since 1989 the average life span has increased from 66 (males)/75 (females) years to 69/78

Infant mortality rate has decreased from 19 to 6.

These indexes show the progress that Poland achieved for 20 years of turbulent transformation.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
3 Jun 2009 /  #9
Out of Communism and in to E.Uism, I always thought that was quite brave.

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