New Polish government brands Lech Walesa a traitor

New Polish government brands Lech Walesa a traitor
Lech Walesa (Image: YouTube screen grab, via The New York Times)

In the new Poland, yesterday’s heroes are being turned into today’s villains.

It means that Lech Walesa, the country’s most famous politician and freedom fighter, is a traitor and the 1989 uprising that ushered in democracy and a market economy was little more than a conspiracy. At least, that’s the new Polish government’s narrative after documents were released this week that purport to show the former Solidarity leader was a paid agent working for the communist authorities.

“Walesa may have been a puppet — we have to sort this out,” Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told TVN24 on Friday. “This casts a shadow over the creation of an independent Poland and its political elites.”

The government in Warsaw has spent its less than four months in power on a collision course with adversaries in the European Union, the nation’s banks and even credit rating companies. As it tries to remold Poland’s relationship with the world, it’s also setting out to rewrite the history of its fight with communism.

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