Andrzej Gwiazda

Andrzej Gwiazda (born 14 April 1935 in Pińczów) is an engineer and prominent opposition leader, who participated in Polish March 1968 Events and December 1970 Events; one of the founders of Free Trade Unions, Member of the Presiding Committee of the Strike at Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk in August 1980, Vice President of the Founding Committee of Solidarity, then Vice President of Solidarity in 1980 and 1981; in December 1981 interned and next imprisoned with six other Solidarność leaders (see Martial Law in Poland). His wife, Joanna Duda-Gwiazda (they married in 1961) also was a prominent member of the anticommunist opposition in the 1970s and 1980s.

Andrzej Gwiazda

Life and activismEdit

Gwiazda's father was a sailor of the Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy, stationed in Pińsk (now Belarus), where the family moved in 1939, a few months before the outbreak of World War II. His father Stanisław fought in the Polish September Campaign, as a soldier of Independent Operational Group Polesie. After capitulation of Poland he was caught by the Germans, and spent the war in Oflag II-C in Woldenberg. Young Andrzej, together with mother Zofia (née Zamojska) and grandmother, was in 1940 deported by the Soviets (see Soviet invasion of Poland, Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946)) to Kazakhstan, where they stayed until 1946.[1] After the return and reuniting with Stanisław Gwiazda, the family first settled in Upper Silesia, then they moved to Gdańsk, where Andrzej studied electronics at Gdańsk University of Technology, graduating in 1966.[2] After graduation, he worked at Cybernetics Institute of the University, and in 1973 took a job at Power Supplies Factory Elmor in Gdańsk.

Gwiazda married Joanna Duda-Gwiazda in 1961. After marriage, Andrzej and Joanna became more active in anticommunist movements. In 1968, Andrzej was involved in student protests in opposition to the Polish government. In December 1970, he participated in demonstration protesting the dramatic rise in food prices.[3] In 1976, together with his wife, he wrote a letter to the Polish Parliament, in which he expressed support of Workers' Defence Committee. Soon afterwards, the Gwiazdas were officially banned from leaving the People's Republic of Poland, they were also under the surveillance of Służba Bezpieczeństwa. In 1978, Gwiazda was one of the founders of Free Trade Unions of the Coast (WZZ), publishing and delivering "Worker of the Coast", a bulletin of the WZZ. On 16 August 1980, he initiated an industrial action at Elmor. He then became a member of the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee, and co-authored the famous 21 demands of MKS. However, he did not sign the Gdańsk Agreement, claiming that the workers, upon advice of their legal experts, agreed for too many concessions to the government. Arrested on 13 December 1981 (see Martial law in Poland, he was transported to a prison camp in Strzebielinek. Later on, Gwiazda was transferred to a jail in Warsaw’s district of Białołęka. Finally, Gwiazda was released on 22 July 1984, after an amnesty. On 16 December 1984, he was arrested again, after a scuffle with ZOMO officers, and sentenced to five months. After spending time in prisons in Gdańsk and Zabrze, he was released on 15 May 1985.

In 1986 - 1989, Gwiazda was one of leaders of Working Group of National Commission of Solidarity. The group was opposed to any forms of negotiations with Communist authorities. Unlike Lech Wałęsa, Gwiazda did not participate in creation of the Solidarity Citizens' Committee, nor in the negotiations of Polish Round Table Talks. He remains a firm skeptic about Wałęsa, saying that "from the beginning of the strike at the Gdańsk Shipyard, he was acting to the detriment of Solidarity". Also, he says that Wałęsa should never have been made "a symbol of Poland".[4]


Works currently unavailable in EnglishEdit

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Opozycja PRL, Andrzej Gwiazda Archived 6 September 2012 at
  2. ^ Andrzej Gwiazda in Encyklopedia Solidarności
  3. ^ "Freedom Collection » Interviews » Andrzej Gwiazda and Joanna Duda-Gwiazda". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  4. ^ Andrzej Gwiazda o Wałęsie, 2008-06-20
  5. ^ a b "Poza układem" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Gwiazdozbiór w "Solidarności"" (in Polish). Nowy obywatel. Retrieved 14 February 2014.

External linksEdit