Gdansk – 7

All this historical information surrounds the living room of a typical flat provided by the Polish state. These flats were assigned to their owners and wouldn’t have been given to people taking part in events described elsewhere in this section of the museum! The items on show included a soda syphon decorated with a sticker of Goofy, an alarm clock, and a radio. The owners would have been able to listen to Radio Free Europe if the authorities hadn’t jammed the frequency.

I continued on and read more details about the events of 14th – 17th December 1970 along the Baltic Coast, commemorated in the Shipyard Workers monument outside the European Solidarity Centre. People protested at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk on the 14th and then on the 17th 44 people were killed at the dockyard and railway station in Gdynia. One of the people shot was Ludwik Piernicki who was coming out of the station when he was mown down by a salvo of bullets fired by security forces. The authorities claimed the bullets were ricochets but they weren’t. Ludwik’s blood-stained jacket is on display for all to see. He was carrying his blood donor card at the time of his death. The motto on the card stated “Giving blood is the greatest humanitarian act, proof of great social solidarity”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read this – I probably should have done both. 

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