- Vladimir Tismaneanu: What source do you use in your classroom to help students understand the events of 1989?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach the letters found in Adam Michnik's book?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach Adam Michnik's book in the classroom?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you help your students interpret the passage you read about an independent, self-governing union?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you help students make sense of 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What sources do you use to teach 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What else is significant about the Declaration of the Creation of Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: How did the regime respond to Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: Why is the 28th of January remarkable?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you put the anti-Charter into context for students?
- Padraic Kenney: What is remarkable about the poem and the leaflet together?
- Padraic Kenney: How should students interpret the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: Does this poem help explain the strike?
- Padraic Kenney: How do you analyze the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What sources help us understand the strikes?
- Maria Bucur: Is there a particular source that is important to study?
- Maria Bucur: How do students study 1989 in your classroom?
- Maria Bucur: What is difficult to understand about the "Common European Home" speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is important about Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: How do you help students understand Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is unique about viewing Ceausescu's last speech?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you use the Charter Declaration and the anti-Charter together with students?
Padraic Kenney: What is remarkable about the poem and the leaflet together?
And so whereas at first I thought of the strikes of 1988 as being kind of a herald over the return of Solidarity, that Solidarity is getting reinvigorated by new blood. This poem and others like it showed me that it was actually the death knell of Solidarity. I had to go back and rethink the strikes of 1988.
These workers, they’re kind of stripped of community and of movement. They’re isolated. They don’t have the kind of support and they don’t think of themselves as having the kind of support that they once clearly had in 1980. And secondly, these poems and the calls to action and so on that appear in their leaflets of the same time period, don’t really have a plan of action of any kind.
In Gdansk, they’re asking for political prisoners to be freed and also for spreading anarchism. And that’s going to turn out to not be particularly competitive on the larger field of contestation that the strikes are going to help create. They’re going to succeed in a sense of creating-it’s because of the strike in this particular mine, the July Manifesto mine, that Solidarity and the Communist leaders agree to negotiate.
Walesa has to come to this mine after all of Poland has stopped striking. He has to come to this mine and say: guys, stop striking. I understand your concerns. I’m going to bring them to the Communists and we’re going to make them listen to us. And they very reluctantly agree to stop striking. As if they bring Solidarity to the finish line, but they collapse, falling over and their hand just touching the finish line of a marathon let’s say, but then that’s it. And others go on ahead without them and the workers are really left behind. And I really did not understand that until I spent a week in Jastrzębie Zdrój talking to workers and understanding their experiences.