This week in history has had great significance to the people of Poland and a huge impact on the future of the world.
As walls crumbled, prisoners freed and wars came to an end. Pivotal moments in history happened in the first part of the month of November than changed the landscape for years to come.
- November 3rd, 1984 Father Jerzy Poplieuszko was buried after his kidnapping and murder by the polish police. Thirty years later the changes he began can still be felt.
- November 7th, 1989, The East German government resigned after pro-democracy protests. This began the unraveling of the East and West German division.
- November 9th, 1989, the Berlin wall is opened after dividing the countries for 28 years.
- November 10th, 1989, the wall came tumbling down at the hands of the German citizens. Twenty five years later there is still dancing in the streets in celebration and over one million people are expected to attend.
As Communism began to falter in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in 1988 and 1989, new escape routes were opened to East Germans who wanted to flee to the West. Then suddenly, on the evening of November 9, 1989, an announcement made by East German government official Günter Schabowski stated, “Permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR (East Germany) into the FRG (West Germany) or West Berlin.” read more…
- November 10th, 1980, Poland acknowledges the Solidarity union which Father Jerzy Poplieszko becomes a champion of the fight.
- November 11th 1918, the Polish people celebrate their independence day. Meanwhile across the pond in America we honor our veterans on Veterans Day.
Poland regained its independence in November 11th, 1918, after 123 years of being split up by Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. The Polish Military Organization’s soldiers legionnaires disarmed the Germans throughout Poland and were able to regain civil control.
- November 11th, 1918, World War I was brought to an end. Leaving Europe divided and broken. The Communist regime took hold in Poland and suppressed its people.
- November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
“”In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…””
- November 12th, 1987, Boris Yeltsin is fired as head of Moscow’s Communist Party for criticizing the slow pace of reform.
- November 14th, 1982, Polish Solidarity chairman Lech Walesa freed.
- November 15th, 1980, Pope John Paul II visited West Germany, the first papal visit to Germany in 200 years.
These events in history have shaped the world over the past several decades and continue to mold people today. While there are countries that espouse communism and other means of suppression today, the voice of truth will never be silenced. Father Jerzy stood up against communism and alongside the solidarity movement in Poland. Ultimately this cost him his life. His murder began the unraveling of the communist strong hold and foretold the collapse of the German and Russian control,
Father Popieluszko spoke out against the Soviet-controlled government from the pulpit in his small church, in Warsaw. Up until the day when he was kidnapped and killed he used his sermons to summon the courage of the people. As a Roman Catholic priest he was the voice of the people and defended the imprisoned and suppressed. His life and death marked the new beginning for not only Poland but for all of Eastern Europe and America as well in their stand against communism.