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3. ‘Living Parallel to the System’: The Solidarity Generation

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Chapter Summary

The first and basic idea of Communism was to set people against one another, including the intelligentsia and the workers. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the people of the Solidarity generation were young workers and students. In March 1968, an issue emerged that brought thousands of student protesters and their supporters out into the streets. It was about a play called Dziady, which concerned Czarist oppression in the 1830s. The large audiences responded to the anti-Czarist, anti-Russian allusions as anti-Soviet, and greeted them with loud applause. In August 1968, when the Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia to put an end to the Prague Spring, students in Warsaw distributed leaflets protesting the invasion. Faced with demonstration of brutality and callousness to public feelings, many of the students finally abandoned their allegiance to Polish Communism. This was a fundamental break by a significant section of the new generation.

Keywords:Czechoslovakia; Polish Communism; Prague Spring; Solidarity



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