'Solidarnosc' Shipyard in Gdansk sold to Ukrainian company

The Warsaw Voice reported yesterday that the former 'Lenin' shipyards in Gdansk, famous for being the birthplace of the trade union movement, Solidarnosc, is to be sold to the Ukrainian company Donbass for $400 million. From the leadership of Lech Walesa amongst others, Solidarnosc became a 10 million strong workers movement by the end of the 80's and a formidable force against the old regime.

The former site of numerous battles between repressed workers and their then communist overlords, close by to where World War II started at Westerplatte by the Baltic sea, allegedly faced bankruptcy owing $1.8 billion in State subsidies since Poland acceded to the E.U.

So will the maternity ward for the creation of the continent's powerful social movement against Communism end up as just another historical landmark ruined by business interests? Or will Jaroslaw Kaczynski, incumbent Prime Minister and former Solidarnosc
activist, put his money where his mouth is and ensure that the shipyards have not fallen into the hands of the ahistorical oligarch class.


varus said…
What is the buyer planning to do with the shipyard? Assuming they're not going to transport it to the Ukraine, then it will still be there as a landmark and historic monument. Obviously if they are planning to bulldoze it and turn the are into a casino then this is a different story. However, the ownership in itself does not affect its ability to be remembered and revered. I am surprised that you would take such a position with regards to this story. Is it no advocating a slightly nationalist stance???
Damien Moran said…
I made one fatal error. I used a full stop instead of a question mark in the final sentence. My intention was not to take any position.It was just to pose a question. This article says it will save the national symbol, whereas the Donbass spokesperson says:
""I wouldn't necessarily use the word savior, because we are doing it from the business point of view. It's a good biz," Lytvynov says.

"Would you call a person who buys bread the savior of the bakery?"

I think it is a worthy question to pose though, that JK is full of mouthing off but will he ensure that a national symbol is not just soon pawned off to private property developers:

Just because I recognise the symbolic significance of the shipyards and would like them preserved for educational purposes hardly means I am a nationalist???

It'll be tough job to bring school tours into a nice seaside block of penthouse apartments and tell them this is where the workers revolt took place and a social movement was born.
varus said…
Maybe i went a bit overboard with the nationalist bit, but i was also asking about the future use of the yard. Will it be a seaside resort?

Popular Posts