German documents reveal Walesa in Stasi spotlight

German documents reveal Walesa in Stasi spotlight

New revelations in the German press have found that the Solidarity leader and later Nobel laureate Lech Walesa was under the watchful eye of the Stasi East German secret police as early as 1980.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa addresses the audience during the Ronald Reagan Centennial Gala in Washington, D.C., May 24, 2011. fot. Defence.gov

Former Polish President Lech Walesa addresses the audience during the Ronald Reagan Centennial Gala in Washington, D.C., May 24, 2011. fot. Defence.gov

The German Die Welt daily writes that the Stasi – which was known as one of the most invasive secret police forces in the Warsaw Pact countries – had begun to observe members of the Polish opposition in the late 1970s.

Lech Walesa, who was still “virtually unknown” in Poland at the beginning of 1980, was already of interest to the Stasi, which feared that any counter-revolution in Poland would spill over to other communist satellite states.

The documents reveal that Lech Walesa came under observation in February 1980, with East German Stasi collaborators attempting to meet the Solidarity leader while under cover as journalists or East German activists.

The infiltration was so deep that in December 1980 – only months after the Gdansk agreement in August between Solidarity and the Polish Communist government on the establishment of a free trade union – a Stasi agent took part in an internal meeting of the Solidarity leadership.

(jb)

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