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lech walesa


According to new documents seized by Poland’s history institute, the country’s former president and Solidarity hero Lech Walesa was an informant for the Communist party’s secret police.

The documents were taken earlier this week from the home of a former communist-era interior minister, Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak.

Lukasz Kaminski, head of the Institute of National Remembrance, said the documents appear authentic.

Lech Walesa has long denied being an informer in the 1970s.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

He said the new materials could not originate from him, according to Polish radio.

The 279 pages of documents have not yet been properly analyzed, and will be made public in due course, Lukaszs Kaminski said.

Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak’s widow had wanted to sell the documents, the institute said.

The state body has the power to prosecute.

Lech Walesa strenuously denied long-standing allegations of collaboration.

The former president was cleared of security service collaboration by a special court in 2000.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his role as leader of Solidarity – the first free trade union in the Soviet bloc.

Lech Walesa was elected Polish president in 1990, after the fall of communism.


Germany is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Concerts and exhibitions are being staged in the city and Chancellor Angela Merkel will later attend a huge open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate.

White balloons marking a stretch of the Berlin Wall will be released to symbolize its disappearance.

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop people fleeing from Communist East Germany to the West.

Its fall in 1989 became a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War.

Angela Merkel will be joined for the festivities by former Polish trade union leader Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader.

White balloons marking a stretch of the Berlin Wall will be released to symbolize its disappearance

White balloons marking a stretch of the Berlin Wall will be released to symbolize its disappearance

The wall stretched for 96 miles through Berlin but today only about 2 miles of it still stands.

Within a year of its collapse, Germany – divided after its defeat in World War Two – was reunited.

More than a million visitors have descended on Berlin for the weekend of festivities that will culminate at the Brandenburg Gate.

The monument itself was inaccessible during the partition of Germany and is seen as a symbol of the country’s reunification.

On November 8, people posed for photos in front of the few remaining graffiti-daubed slabs of the wall, or read information boards about life under Berlin’s 28-year division.

Others admired the art installation of almost 7,000 white balloons, pegged to the ground and winding along a 9 miles stretch of the wall’s route.

At the bustling Potsdamer Platz, which was once cut in two by the wall, a small crowd watched archive footage of East German demonstrators chanting: “We are the people.”

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General Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s last Communist leader, has died aged at the age of 90 after a long illness, Polish media say.

Wojciech Jaruzelski led Poland from 1981, when he declared martial law and ordered the arrest of the pro-democracy Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

He lifted martial law two years later and after growing unrest was forced to negotiate with Solidarity in 1989.

General Wojciech Jaruzelski led Poland from 1981 to 1990

General Wojciech Jaruzelski led Poland from 1981 to 1990

He had been in ill health for some time.

Lech Walesa said that a “great man from a generation of betrayers has gone”.

Wojciech Jaruzelski fought in a Polish unit of the Russian army during World War Two and rose up the military ranks after the war to become chief “political officer” of Poland’s armed forces.

He was defense minister at the time of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, in which Polish soldiers took part.

Wojciech Jaruzelski denied ordering the fatal shooting of dozens of shipyard workers in the northern cities of Gdansk and Gdynia in 1971, for which he was later put on trial.

He was also tried in 2008 by Poland’s post-Communist authorities for his December 1981 decision to impose martial law. Tanks rolled on to the streets and thousands of opposition activists were arrested overnight.

Dozens of people died in the military crackdown, which the general insisted he ordered to avert invasion by Moscow.

His trial was suspended in 2011 after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Wojciech Jaruzelski resigned as president in 1990 and was succeeded by Lech Walesa.

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