Polish 1970 protests

The uprising of December 1970 in Poland was a workers' uprising from 14 to 22 December 1970, the People's Republic of Poland; There were strikes, mass rallies, demonstrations in Gdynia, Gdansk and Szczecin. Triggered the riots by sudden drastic price increases for food and articles of daily use.

Background and History

Already in the summer and autumn of 1970 led the problematic economic situation of Poland to rumors of massive price increases. Was only temporarily calmed the internal political situation by the conclusion of the Warsaw Pact under Wladyslaw Gomulka on 7 December 1970. Hoping that the foreign policy success would distract the public from the domestic political crisis, the prices, especially for consumer goods were just before Christmas in order to increased to 38%. First, in Gdansk, there were strikes in the shipyards. In addition, demonstrations were in Poland. The country was doing from time to time on the brink of civil war. The authorities responded with a massive deployment of police and military, officially 45 people lost their lives in the course. In fact, the number of victims was about twice as high. Were injured in the inserts more than a thousand people.

However, the unrest marked the end of the reign of Gomulka. The Politburo of the PZPR forced the government on 19 December 1970 withdrawal to secure their rule. Successor was on December 20, 1970 Edward Gierek.


The August 1980 strike that led to the approval of free trade unions are explicitly in the tradition of the events of 1970. Example, the erection of a monument to the victims of December 1970 was one of the demands of the strikes in 1980.

At the unveiling of the monument on the square in front of the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk rang December 16, 1980 in front of 100,000 people for the first time the Lacrimosa (later part of the Polish Requiem ) by Krzysztof Penderecki, which had been given to this event by the Solidarność in order.

Major strikes in the People's Republic of Poland

  • June 1956 - Poznań uprising
  • March 1968 - March unrest, especially in Warsaw
  • June 1976 - Ursus (Warsaw) / Ursus SA, Radom, Płock
  • August 1980 - Gdansk / Szczecin / Elbląg: Solidarity