Lech Walesa Biography

Lech Walesa Biography

Lech Walesa is the Ex-President of Poland. He was elected as President in 1990 and served for 5 years. He also received Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983. He is also a kindly and originator of 'Solidarity', the Soviet community’s first self-governing union and he was appointed as its foremost chairman.

Born: September 29, 1943 (age 70), Popowo, Gmina Tłuchowo, Poland
Spouse: Danuta Wałesa (m. 1969)
Previous office: President of Poland (1990–1995)
Movies: Life & Times of Pope John Paul II
Books: A Way of Hope, The Struggle and the Triumph

Birth Details

Lech Walesa was born in Popowo, Poland on September 29, 1943. Popowo was a Village loaded up with poverty. He had to walk a distance of 5km everyday in order to reach his school. After the death of his father, his brother took care of the family, as he was pledged to.

Career

In 1961, he started his career as a car mechanic at a machine center, soon after his graduation from a vocational school. In 1965, he served in the army, till he rose to the rank of a corporal. Again in 1967, he chose his career as an electrician and worked in the Lenin shipyards. He married Danuta Golos in 1969, presently having eight children. He became a trade-union activist, soon after starting his work at the Lenin Shipyard. Thus,he was suppressed by the Polish communist government, under police investigation and was arrested several times. In August 1980, he became the leader of the occupational strikes violating the Gdańsk (Lenin) Agreement and became the co-founder of the Solidarity trade-union movement. For this, he was imprisoned near the Soviet border until 14 November 1982 and the Solidarity was outlawed. Later he deepened his demands to make the Solidarity legal and in 1988 the government signed a negotiation with Walesa, allowing for the re establishment of the Solidarity Trade Union.

Achievements

He was the co-founder of Solidarity with himself as its first chairman. He was also a humanitarian. Time magazine (1981), The Financial Times (1980), The Observer (1980), named him "Man of the Year". In 1990, Walesa won the election and took an oath as the President of Poland. He served as the president for 5 years, but some consequences made him lose his popularity. Hence, he lost the election in 1995 and retired from politics by 2000. After the retirement, he gave lecture on history and politics at various universities. In 2002, Walesa represented Europe in the opening ceremony of Olympics, winter games bearing the Olympic flag in Salt Lake on 30 May 2007. The Italian Cultural Association awarded him the title of ‘Defender of Faith’ from the on 30 May 2007. 

Awards

In 1983, he received the Nobel Prize for peace. He has received many International eminence and Awards. On 4 July 1989 in Philadelphia, he received Liberty Medal and was its first recipient and in the same year he also the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He received many other awards including Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989, George Meany Human Rights Award in 1989, Honorary Citizen of London in 1991, Grand Sash of Order of Leopold in 1991, Freedom Medal of National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, 1999, International Freedom Award, Memphis, 1999 and many more.

Quotes

“[Without him] there would be no end of communism or at least [it would have happened] much later, and the end would have been bloody,”
- Lech Walesa

“broke the Soviet bear's teeth”
- Lech Walesa

“Deep faith eliminates fear”
- Lech Walesa

“Every drop of blood causes suffering for the Holy Father,”
- Lech Walesa

“freedom came, but it is still hard to get bread.”
- Lech Walesa

“From these broadcasting stations we gleaned our lessons of independent thinking and solidarity action.”
- Lech Walesa

“He who puts out his hand to stop the wheel of history will have his fingers crushed.”
- Lech Walesa

“Here the (Soviet) bear got his teeth knocked out. He could no longer bite other nations trying to break away to freedom.”
- Lech Walesa

“I believed it would succeed. It was Polish Solidarity and its victory that put an end to the old era when what mattered were borders and rival blocs.”
- Lech Walesa

“I got politics and economics moving and then others took over.”
- Lech Walesa

“I have always been and will be an enemy of communism, but I love all people.”
- Lech Walesa

“I made the right decisions, I set everything on the right course, the reforms are going in the right direction.”
- Lech Walesa

“I must tell you that the supply of words on the world market is plentiful, but the demand is falling.”
- Lech Walesa

“I used to lead 10 million people, so what use to me is just 1,000? From a logical point of view, there is no room for me here.”
- Lech Walesa

“I'm lazy. But it's the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn't like walking or carrying things.”
- Lech Walesa

“In front of God, everything that is sacred, I declare that there was no manipulation.”
- Lech Walesa

“In the EU, everyone is only protecting their own interests. For us, the EU was always more than its member states taken individually.”
- Lech Walesa

“It all began after a Pole became the pope. His words awakened the Polish nation and other nations followed.”
- Lech Walesa

“It was in us, in our hearts and minds that something started that changed the face of this earth.”
- Lech Walesa

“John Paul II is the most important person in my life, ... I owe him a lot, and I wanted to thank him.”
- Lech Walesa

“President Lech Kaczynski is not at all active in Poland and his image abroad leaves a lot to be desired.”
- Lech Walesa

“The Civic Platform would have had a better chance, because they are more sensible people. I hope I'm wrong.”
- Lech Walesa

“the message they we're fighting for freedom and human rights.”
- Lech Walesa

“The nation has made its choice. This is what they have now.”
- Lech Walesa

“The Pope has been informed about what is happening in Iraq,”
- Lech Walesa

“The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I se it, is service to a fellow human being.”
- Lech Walesa

“We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless.”
- Lech Walesa

“Well, I was thinking there's a job for me as an electrician.”
- Lech Walesa

“What is the role of the world's only super power? What is the role of the United Nations?,”
- Lech Walesa

“Why did we do all of it? To launch a new epoch, one without divisions. Without one shot, our generation was able to do it.”
- Lech Walesa

“You have riches and freedom here but I feel no sense of faith or direction. You have so many computers, why don't you use them in the search for love?”
- Lech Walesa


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