Manage episode 247978264 series 2377952
Before the Wall came down, before the days of Glasnost and Perestroika, the people of Poland began a series of defiant acts against their communist government. The Polish people suffered heavily during the Second World War under the brutal occupation of both the Nazis and Soviets. Following the end, the state remained a puppet of the Soviet Union. As the 1980s came around, the economy of Eastern Europe had stagnated due to Premier Brezhnev's limits on trade, production, and workers pay on its satellites. Things came to a head in Poland when it was decided an increase of prices was necessary, albeit while keeping salaries the same.
In the appropriately named Lenin Shipyard of Gdansk, the stevedores banded together to demand concessions from the government to improve working conditions in Poland, and bring the country closer to democracy. It was here the Solidarity movement began, the downfall of Poland's communist government commenced, and the ripples spread across Eastern Europe originated, which in turn would bring an end to the Warsaw Pact, and the Cold War itself.