Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Martial Law in Poland - 24 Years After

I was talking with my law school buddies on Monday (after a disastrous Civil Procedure exam) about schools canceling classes for snow days. And then I recalled getting days off from school after the introduction of Martial law in Poland back in 1981. And I didn't even realize until later that today is December 13! Wow, so 24 years ago I was thrilled to get a few extra days off from school as tanks rolled into the streets to put down Solidarity (forgive me, I was only a seven-year-old then). I don't remember much, but along with the tanks I do remember newscasts read by "journalists" in uniforms. Wow, nothing like living in a communist country.

And here's an unfortunate statistic. According to Polish papers, more than half of Poles don't remember when Marial Law was declared and nearly half of those who do remember December 13 think that it was the right move. The propaganda that the Soviets were ready to roll in seems to be growing stronger with age. These must be the same people who in another poll last year chose communist leader Edward Gierek as the most popular Polish politician over Solidarity hero Lech Walesa. OK, so Walesa didn't do himself any favors as a president in the early 90's, but come on...

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