Wałęsa reaffirms innocence over informant allegations
PR dla Zagranicy
Former Polish president Lech Wałęsa has issued a further denial over renewed claims that he cooperated with the communist security services (SB) during the 1970s.
Lech Wałęsa attends press conference in Caracas, Venezuela, in support of Venezuelan jailed opposition. EPA/MIGUEL GUTIERREZ
Wałęsa, who is currently in Venezuela with other former Nobel Prize winners, was compelled to speak out after files allegedly indicating his collaboration with the SB were seized at the house of the late communist interior minister Czesław Kiszczak.
“I once again publicly and personally declare that I never gave any consent to cooperate with the SB in terms of denunciations or supporting communism,” he wrote.
The former president did however acknowledge that during the course of several run-ins with the authorities he had signed documents.
His alleged collaboration supposedly occurred following the repression of strikes in Gdańsk, northern Poland, in December 1970, and he admitted on his blog that he had written an account of the strikes, and that the document “could have been used as a denunciation.”
“I was not broken in December 1970,” he insisted in a previous blog post, in response to claims he was pressured into collaborating following his participation in the strikes.
However, he also claimed that he had “made a mistake,” and that an unnamed “perpetrator is still alive, and he should reveal the truth.”
A number of historians have argued that Wałęsa was a secret informant who used the codename of 'Bolek.'
Nevertheless, research has indicated that 'Bolek' broke off cooperation with the SB several years before the landmark events of 1980 that made Wałęsa a household name across the world. Following the strike at Gdańsk's shipyard in August 1980, the Solidarity trade union was formed with Wałęsa at its head. The union eventally garnered over 9 million members and was a key factor in the eventual fall of communism. (nh/pk)