The Crumbling of the Soviet Bloc: Overcoming Totalitarianism

Issue Date Winter 1990
Volume 1
Issue 1
Page Numbers 72-74
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About the Author

Jacek Kuroń began his opposition to Communist Party rule in Poland in 1962. Jailed for the first time in 1964 for his “Open Letter to the Members of the Communist Party,” he resumed his political activities upon release in 1967, only to be interned again in 1968 for another three years. Kuroń helped found the Workers’ Defense Committee, or KOR, in 1976. He was arrested during the strikes in the summer of 1980 that led to the formation of Solidarity, and his release was a condition of the Gdansk Accords of September 1980. A key advisor to Solidarity, he was jailed yet again from 1981 to 1984. Kuroń was elected to the Polish Parliament in June 1989 and, three months later, was named minister of labor in postwar Poland’s first non-Communist government.

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