European Solidarity Centre – Gdansk

I visited the European Solidarity Centre today in Gdansk. The centre is found close to the memorial to the Shipyard Workers who were murdered by the authorities when protesting about rises in the prices of essential foodstuffs in December 1970. The 40-metre high monument was raised exactly 10 years after the massacre. It stood close to Gate Number 2 of the Lenin Shipyard, the place where the events leading to the creation of the movement called ‘Solidarity’ started.

The European Solidarity Centre is an amazing place to visit. Although I very rarely use audio guides, I must recommend them here as the information provided was clear, concise, and fitted in almost perfectly with what I saw.

Solidarity is the heartbeat of recent Polish history and to emphasize this point a ‘feedback wall’ in the final exhibition room is covered with a reproduction of the 1981 cardiogram poster of Czesław Bielecki. The word “Solidarity” is the culmination of a number of upheavals, starting with the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and including many revolts against communism. Visitors can write their feedback, on what they’ve seen, on small pieces of white or red paper and then place these thoughts on small pegs and add to the thousands already there.

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