- pI. Solidarności 1, 80-863 Gdańsk, Pologne
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The European Solidarity Centre (ECS) in Gdańsk is not only a museum to promote awareness of the Solidarity movement and the anti-communist opposition in Poland and Europe, but also a centre for dialogue about the contemporary world.
The European Solidarity Centre (ECS) is a new formula for an institution: it is not only a museum to promote awareness of the Solidarity movement and the anti-communist opposition in Poland and Europe, but also a centre for dialogue about the contemporary world. The ECS inspires debates on the condition of the open society, on the identity of democratic communities, and on the issue of social justice. Another important goal of the ECS is to the idea of freedom and solidarity in authoritarian states.
The European Solidarity Centre is being developed as a place that is very important to Polish and European history alike. It was here, in Gdańsk’s former Lenin Shipyard that the events which ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the return of freedom across Eastern and Central Europe, began. The nearby Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers commemorates the bloody events of December 1970, when the regime opened fire on the striking shipyard workers. Next to the Monument is Gate No. 2 of the former Lenin Shipyard, which in the 1980s became an icon in the struggle against the Communist regime. And last but not least, there is the nearby BHP Hall, where on 31 August 1980 the Inter-Factory Strike Committee signed an agreement with the Polish Communist government, which was so disruptive to the status quo, that the dream of freedom became reality.
The history of the Solidarity movement and the changes that it led to in Central and Eastern Europe is presented in the new ECS building together with Some 1.800 exhibits.
For the people of Gdańsk the end of the Second World War was not necessarily a liberation. The arrival of the Soviet Army meant first defeat and then factually a new occupation. The Poles who settled in Gdańsk after the war were not in favor of the Soviet domination. For many Poles the political consequences of the war lasted until 1989 when Poland became an independent and democratic state again.
Delve into Poland’s unique history: WWII began here in September 1939, when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded the country. Ruthless regimes were established, leading to an enormous amount of casualties among Polish citizens. Nowadays, war memorials, monuments and