Kuchciński on December '70: During those bloody days faith in our own strength and common possibilities was born. There was also a spark of hope that communism can be defeated

On December 17, 1970, the army and militia opened fire on workers going to work in the Gdynia shipyard.

About 5,000 people took part in street clashes, hundreds were injured, and 18 were killed. A symbol of those events is 18-year-old Zbyszek Godlewski, who was shot on a railroad overpass in Gdynia. The boy's body was laid on the door and marched with him through the city streets to the party house, carrying a bloodstained white and red flag in front of him.

Black Thursday was the aftermath of earlier strikes on December 14 in Gdansk, which were triggered by news of foodstuff increases. Two days later, the army entered the Tricity and tanks and armoured personnel carriers appeared in the streets. Leading the action to pacify the Coast, a member of the PZPR Central Committee Political Bureau, Zenon Kliszko, declared to the director and party members at the Gdansk Shipyard: "We are dealing with a counter-revolution and it does not matter that 200 or more shipyard workers will die. The shipyard will be demolished and we will build a new one on the ruins of the old one".

Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Sejm, reminded that The cause of those events was a sense of injustice and long-held opposition to the communist dictatorship.

Fearing the rise of anti-communist sentiment, those in power did not allow the memory of the great rebellion to be cherished. Once again, freedom and human dignity were trampled upon.

However, during those bloody days, a belief in our own strength and collective possibilities was born. There was also a spark of hope that communism could be defeated. The tradition of December '70 has become an important element of our identity. Without the events on the Coast there would be no free and independent Poland today.


It is Zbyszek Godlewski who is the hero of "The Ballad of Janek Wisniewski."

Boys from Grabówka, boys from Chylonia

Today the militia used weapons,

We stood bravely, we threw accurately

Janek Wisniewski fell.

Don't cry mothers, it's not for nothing

A banner with a black bow above the shipyard

For bread and freedom, and a new Poland

Janek Wisniewski fell.

ZG 70



Parliamentary committees

Law and Justice



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