Peter Bruce Columnist

Many readers of this column will remember Lech Walesa, his union Solidarity, and the struggle for Poland against the Soviet-controlled regime of his time. Walesa’s sheer moral and physical courage made him a formidable foe. Poland in the 1970s and ’80s became a symbol of resistance to the Soviet Union’s oppression of its neighbours. Walesa won a Nobel Peace Prize and was president of his country from 1990 to 1995. A free Poland joined the EU. Its economy grew and it prospered. Until Poles forgot what they had fought so hard for. Until they started taking their freedom for granted. Now a new leader, driven by nationalism and using immigration to stoke fires, has a firm grip on Poland’s throat. Jaroslaw Kaczynski is strangling the judiciary and media in a direct attack on the democratic and modern constitution Poles fought for 40 years ago. I was reading a piece on Poland by the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen and was struck by his recall of what Adam Michnik, the Polish dissiden...

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