The beginning of revolution of the ”Solidarity” in Poland as seen by the Swedish media (August–September 1980)

Paweł Jaworski
University of Wrocław, E-mail:

DOI number: 10.53604/rjbns.v9i1_2

Paweł Jaworski (2017), The beginning of revolution of the ”Solidarity” in Poland as seen by the Swedish media (August–September 1980). RJBNS 9(1), 7-26. DOI: 10.53604/rjbns.v9i1_2.

The article was prepared thanks to financial support from Narodowe Centrum Nauki (UMO-2011/01/B/H53/00714) granted for the project ‘Sweden towards Solidarity 1980–1982. Historical analysis’). The main effect of the project is a monograph in Polish that will be published soon: P. Jaworski, Most przez Bałtyk. Szwecja wobec ‘Solidarności’ 1980–1982.

his article is a case study on the role of media during the Cold War era. The aim is to present the effects of the ventures of Swedish journalists in Poland during the strike of summer 1980 and in its aftermath when the Polish authorities decided to accept the creation of a new trade union independent from the communist regime. How these events were interpreted and what kind of the future was predicted? The article will demonstrate that the creation and development of ”Solidarity” Trade Union was received with a great interest in Sweden as well as in other western countries. Besides, it proves that this interest was a result of the course and the meaning of internal changes in Poland. Their scale and the non-violent means by which they were reached surprised and impressed numerous foreign observers.

Acest articol reprezintă un studiu de caz cu privire la rolul mass-media în timpul Războiului Rece. Scopul său este de a prezenta efectele activității jurnaliștilor suedezi în Polonia din perioada grevei din vara anului 1980 și după ce autoritățile poloneze au decis să accepte crearea unui nou sindicat independent de regimul comunist. Cum au fost interpretate aceste evenimente și ce fel de viitor a fost prezis Poloniei de către aceștia? Articolul va demonstra că formarea și dezvoltarea Sindicatului ”Solidaritatea” a fost primită cu un interes deosebit atât în Suedia, cât și în alte țări occidentale. În plus, el dovedește că acest interes a fost rezultatul cursului și al înțelesului schimbărilor interne din Polonia. Scara lor și mijloacele non-violente prin care au fost atinse au surprins și impresionat numeroși observatori străini.

Keywords: Poland, Cold War, Solidarity (Solidarność), Swedish press, perceptions
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