December 13, marks dark day in Polish history when in 1981 communist government impose Martial Law in Poland and outlawed Solidarity movement.
Officially marked as Martial Law Victims’ Remembrance Day (Dzień Pamięci Ofiar Stanu Wojennego). On December 13th, 1981, the Communist government, under the guise of an illegal Military Council of National Salvation (WRON), imposed martial law in an effort to silence increasing civic opposition.
At the time, the Solidarity Movement (Solidarność) had been successfully rallying the Polish people in widespread protest of the state’s economic decline and was demanding political and economic reforms.
The military responded by arresting thousands of pro-democracy activists, imposing strict rules such as curfews and censorship, and soldiers became a constant presence on the streets. An estimated 91 people were killed during protests and demonstrations. Even after the end of martial law in July of 1983, many activists remained imprisoned for several more years.
Today, we remember the victims of Martial law, and we honour the sacrifices they made in the fight for a free and democratic Poland.