Poland 1979-1989 (panel discussion)

Poland 1979-1989
Living through Poland’s Extraordinary Decade
Memories from Members of Our Community

On April 22, 2018 the Wisconsin Polish American Congress sponsored an extraordinary panel discussion that focused on the period between two electrifying events – the extraordinary first visit of the newly elected Pope, John Paul II, to his native land in June 1979 and the incredible victory of the Solidarity movement in the parliamentary election of June 4, 1989. In between came ten immensely difficult and stressful years for the courageous Polish people.

In the panel discussion at the beautiful Polish Center of Wisconsin, six residents of the Milwaukee community recounted and shared their varying experiences of that momentous time. Four – Irena Frączek, Derek Zarzeczny, Katarzyna Murawska, and Jarek Mielczarek lived through those years as citizens of Poland. Two – Poland-born Jadwiga (Heddy) Moskaluk and Milwaukee native, attorney Eugene Kaluzny were active in southeast Wisconsin working on behalf of Poland’s people. Moskaluk labored to ship parcels of food, clothing and medical supplies to families of Milwaukee Poles and Polish Americans who were enduring great hardships in Poland. Kaluzny, then president of the Wisconsin Polish American Congress, was deeply involved in sending needed goods to Poland through the auspices of the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation and Catholic Charities.

Their comments drew many questions from the audience in the Q & A that followed.

Below are two more photos of the event, along with a most impressive slide show presentation of the Polish crisis of the time that Mr. Zarzeczny presented (to the right).

This program is just the most recent of the many the Wisconsin Division of Polish American Congress continually organizes to inform the public about Poland and its People’s experience – in cooperation with the Polish Center of Wisconsin, other Polish American organizations, and the Polish Studies Committee of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Text provided by the panel moderator, Dr. Donald Pienkos, Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Polish Studies Committee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Photos courtesy of Diane Holytz from the Polish Center of Wisconsin.

Friday, April 27th, 2018 Newsletter

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