Polish city of Gdansk proud of its revolutionary legacy

Thirty years ago, five months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Poland held its first free elections. The trade union Solidarity and its leader Lech Walesa won virtually all the seats as they swept to power, paving the way for the peaceful fall of the Communist regime. Our reporter Gulliver Cragg returned to the port city of Gdansk, where it all began.


Today in Poland, three decades after the country’s first free elections, Solidarity remains a trade union but has become close to the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party. Most of its leaders from the 1980s have deserted it.

The city of Gdansk, though, remains proud of its reputation as the cradle of revolution in Poland, ushering in the fall of the Soviet Union and a new era of democracy in Eastern Europe.

>> On Lech Walesa at centre of battle to rewrite history

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