Poland as a Playground of Cold War Struggles 1981-1989 - Instytut Pileckiego


13.12.2021 (Mon) 19:00

Poland as a Playground of Cold War Struggles 1981-1989

Don’t miss the chance to listen to a fascinating discussion on the 40th anniversary of imposing martial law in Poland! The discussion will deal with the general context of the 1980s in an international context of politics with Poland as the main focus.

We will also discuss some of the global events during the Cold War surrounding Poland at the time which paved the way for the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. This discussion will address some of those key questions, like was Martial Law a shock for the west or what was the international/American public reaction to what happened in Poland? Was Poland the driving force behind the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union and how did Solidarity play a role in the fall of Communism? These are just some of the many questions that we will address, so make sure that you join these four prominent scholars in this debate.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ya55V3pqRu2HtsEh6-zTjA

  • Prof. Mark Kramer is the Director of Cold War Studies at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow of Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Director of Harvard's Sakharov Program on Human Rights. He has published extensively on a variety of Cold War topics, including Solidarity, the Warsaw-Pact, and the Polish Crisis 1980-81. He also edits both the Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series and the peer-reviewed Journal of Cold War Studies.
  • Dr. Łukasz Kamiński is a historian, specializing in the history of Communism and Anticommunist resistance. He is also an assistant professor at University of Wrocław. Between 2000-2016 he worked at the Institute of National Remembrance, and between 2011-2016 he was the President of the institute. In 2017-2021 he was the President of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. He is also the Co-editor (with Grzegorz Waligóra) of the history of Solidarity (of 6 volumes, 2010).
  • Ambassador Daniel Fried is the former US Ambassador to Poland, 1997-2000. In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. As Polish desk officer in the late 1980s, Ambassador Fried was one of the first in Washington to recognize the impending collapse of Communism in Poland and helped develop the immediate response of the George H.W. Bush Administration to these developments. As political counselor at the US Embassy in Warsaw (1990-93), Fried witnessed Poland’s difficult but ultimately successful free market, democratic transformation, working with successive Polish governments.
  • Irena Lasota is a journalist, commentator and Political activist. She has been the President of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe since its founding in 1985. She was also the President of the Committee in Support of Solidarity from 1981-89, both institutes supported and helped among others to bring down the fall of Communism. She has also written and edited many articles and works on anti-Communism.
  • Malwina Garyga works in the Foreign Projects Department at the Pilecki Institute. She is also a historian and author specializing in the Polish People’s Republic. Her most recent publication was “Dekada agonii. Komitet Krakowski PZPR w świetle materiałów partyjnych 1981-1990”.

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