The book "Solidarność: Die unvollendete Geschichte der europäischen Freiheit" is a Polish-German project under the auspices of DW, the European Solidarność Center in Gdansk and with the participation of Newsweek Polska.
The book, edited by Katarzyna Domagała-Pereira (DW), Bartosz Dudek (DW) and Basil Kerski (Director of the European Solidarność Center), tells the story of the Solidarność movement and its impact on Poland and the whole of Europe.
Solidarność: Die unvollendete Geschichte der europäischen Freiheit presents interviews with prominent contemporary witnesses, including Lech Wałęsa, former German President Joachim Gauck, Archbishop of Bamberg Ludwig Schick, former President of the Bundestag Rita Süssmuth, and Timothy Garton Ash, British historian and contemporary witness, who describe their personal perception of Solidarność then and now. In addition, reports, historical depictions and numerous photographs tell the movement's story and show its significance today both within and outside of Poland.
"The courage, strength and successes of Solidarność continue to have an impact today. They are groundbreaking for moving from a dictatorship and can also be an incentive today to raise one's voice against oppression and for freedom. The book documents and motivates how this can be achieved," said Adelheid Feilcke, DW Director of Programs for Europe.
Bartosz Dudek, Head of DW Polish Service: "The two highlights of the book are undoubtedly the interviews with Solidarność founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Wałęsa and with the former German president and former member of the GDR opposition Joachim Gauck. Gauck's strong phrase, 'The Language of Freedom is Polish', reminds us how important Solidarność was for Germans in the oppressed part of Germany."
The Solidarność trade union has played a decisive role in the democratization of Poland and has had a lasting impact throughout Europe since it was founded in 1980. Solidarność: Die unvollendete Geschichte der europäischen Freiheit shows a process of transformation that was not completed in 1990 and in which Europe still finds itself today. The book offers deep insights into the power of solidarity in resistance and invites readers to rediscover the history of European freedom.
The book is available in German from the Herder Verlag publishing house.