In the fall of 1988, Alfred Miodowicz, the head of the official union OPZZ (All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions), challenged Lech Wałesa, the leader of the outlawed Solidarity trade union, to a televised debate. The offer signaled the growing willingness of many party leaders to compromise with opposition groups, but it was also a sign of the party’s continued self-confidence. Miodowicz, a….
The Civic Forum's Position on the Negotiations of its Representatives with Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec
Civic Forum's original demands included "round-table" negotiations between itself and the government following the model used in Poland and Hungary. Unlike the party leadership in those countries, however, the Czechoslovak communists refused to open dialogue with the opposition until their hand was forced by the explosion of protest after November 17. Despite continued conservative resistance,….
Between February and April 1989 in Poland, Communist Party leaders and Solidarity activists engaged in negotiations during the historic roundtable talks. Several days after these talks commenced, Andrzej Slowik, a Solidarity activist in the city of Łódż who was not asked to participate in the talks, wrote this letter to Wladyslaw Findeisen, the roundtable chair for Solidarity. In this….
In the following report, the American Ambassador to Poland (John R. Davis, Jr.) outlines possible outcomes of June 4 elections and what consequences might follow from each. Although the analysis reveals a general expectation that the regime would perform poorly, considerable uncertainty remains over whether this will translate into a clear mandate for Solidarity. The cable underscores two….
Following the historic roundtable talks that took place in Poland from February to April 1989 between Communist and opposition leaders, Polish Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow to discuss the unfolding events in Poland and Polish-Soviet relations. The tone of this document is not one of dissatisfaction on the part of the Soviet leader but….
Officials in the United States watched closely the historic roundtable talks that took place between Communist Party leaders and the opposition in Poland from February to April 1989. During these sessions, participants agreed to numerous changes, including the initiation of economic reform measures. In response to the roundtable agreements that focused on Poland's economy specifically, U.S.….
One of the most important agreements made by Communist officials and opposition leaders in Poland at the roundtable talks that took place in February through April 1989 was the decision to hold, for the first time, semi-free elections, in which half of the parliamentary seats would be freely contested. In this confidential cable, the American Embassy in Warsaw reported to the U.S. Secretary of….
Formed in September 1980 in Poland and recognized as a legal union by Communist officials in November, Solidarity was formally dissolved by Communist leaders on October 8, 1982, and forced to function illegally and underground. During the historic roundtable talks between Communist officials and leaders of the opposition that took place in February through April 1989, participants revisited the….
Prior to the historic roundtable talks between Polish Communist officials and leaders of the opposition that eventually took place from February to April 1989, Solidarity activist Andrzej Stelmachowski secretly met with Secretary Jozef Czyrek, a member of the Polish Politburo. While their occasional meetings to discuss the content, structure, and composition of the upcoming talks were….
Andrzej Stelmachowski, a Solidarity activist, engaged in secret negotiations between the opposition and communist party and state leaders in Poland regarding the preparations for the historic Roundtable Talks that eventually took place in February through April 1989. In this document, he reported to Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity Movement, about his discussion with Secretary Jozef….
In September 1988, Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity Movement and later president of Poland following the collapse of communism (1990-1995), wrote this document a few months prior to the historic Roundtable Talks between party and state officials and the opposition that eventually took place in February to April 1989. Walesa presented what the opposition viewed as the most important….
Prior to the historic Roundtable Talks between the opposition and the communist party and state officials in Poland, negotiations occurred on many levels, as shown in this document. Not only were participants in the opposition negotiating with communist leaders, but they were also negotiating among themselves. Leaders of the opposition held numerous meetings in the fall of 1988 to discuss the….
Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity Movement and outspoken critic of the communist party and state, a shipyard worker in the city of Gdansk, and later president of Poland following the collapse of Communism (1990-1995), wrote this note prior to the Roundtable Talks that eventually took place in February to April 1989. During the historic Roundtable Talks, Polish communist leaders met….
This report, from September 1, 1988, details the meeting of a diverse coalition of Polish opposition members, consisting of trade unionists, academics, journalists and representatives of the Solidarity movement. They agreed that their major priorities were for talks with the government regarding the status of unions, pluralism, and economic and political reforms. They agreed to the….