Gdansk – The Place Where Communism Started to CollapseBy
Today, the Polish urban centre of Gdansk is a favorite tourist holiday location. Together with it’s neighbouring towns of Sopot and Gdynia, people travel here to delight in the shorelines, ambiance and culture. Its location on the Baltic coast has resulted in Gdansk being without doubt one of the most key ports in Northern Europe.
Formerly known as Danzig, the metropolis was the topic of dispute among Germany and Poland and it was here where the opening shots of World War II were unleashed as Germany formally annexed the metropolis and integrated into Prussia.
Soon after World War II, Poland came under control of the Soviet Union and became a central place in the Soviet ship building programme. Gdansk was a fast-paced shipyard on the Baltic coast and it was at the Lenin Shipyards where Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Union had been put together in 1980. It was the 1st union in any Warsaw Pact state which was not under the control of the Communist Party.
Under pressure from Moscow, the Polish administration attempted to eliminate Solidarity by arresting significant union members and imposing Martial Law. Even so, the Polish people were in no mood to be subdued and Solidarity grew to be a nation wide movement, eventually forcing the government into talks in 1989. The union was critical in the start of the decline of Communism and the report of their actions can be found in the Solidarity Museum. Addititionally there is a memorial in Gdansk to the 45 shipyard workers who died in the course of protests in opposition to the Communist regime in 1970.
Nowadays, Gdansk is a charming city with an abundance of history combined with the vibrant thrill of a modern metropolis. Various of the old properties wrecked in the war have been reconstructed and there are many watering holes, dining establishments and dance clubs to unwind thought the night. It has been selected as a host city for the Euro 2012 Championships with the recently constructed PGE Arena scheduled to have 3 group matches and a quarterfinal match.