UCU Pro-Rector Myroslav Marynovych was invited as a Special Guest for the opening of the Solidarnist European Center in Gdansk.
The ceremonies lasted two days (August 30-31) and they commemorated the 34th anniversary of the August Agreement between the existing at that ttime Polish People’s Republic and the Strike Committee of the Gdansk Maintenance Shipyard, headed at that time by the All-Polish Protest Movement Solidarnist. It was on August 31, 1980 that the Polish government agreed to legalizing the existence of an independent trade union.
The newly-opened Center’s mission is promoting the study and popularization of this page of Poland’s history as well as to become a school of civil society training for young Poles. Therefore, it is not surprising that Myroslav Marynovych as UCU Pro-Rector, also represented Ukrainian dissidents and activist of the Resistance Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
“I am most struck by the “short circuit” of history, since I well remember how working at a turning lathe in the camp for political prisoners in Kuchyno Village in the Urals – I deliberated over the words of our secret welcoming telegram addressed to the Polish Solidarnist – activities of which resounded throughout the world. To this day, I do not know whether this telegram ever made it to the Polish strikers, but in heaven’s registry our aspirations are surely noted.”
As a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian Army, which is battling on the fronts of Eastern Ukraine, Myroslav Marynovych gave his talk in Ukrainian. “My listeners applauded at my words that these soldiers today raised again the baton of Polish Solidarnist and are also fighting for their freedom and simultaneously for the freedom of other countries, among these also Russia,” UCU Pro-Rector specifically emphasized.
Myroslav Marynovych took this opportunity to thank the Poles for their invaluable support at this crucial moment of Ukrainian history. He stressed that Poles, and particularly members of Solidarnist, remember well the insidiousness of Kremlin and therefore his thoughts found support from the listeners. In his speech, the dissident altered a bit the slogan of Solidarnist “There is no freedom without solidarity” into a slogan suiting Ukraine’s present reality: “There is no safety without freedom.” He also voiced his belief that it is precisely for the sake of safeguarding basic values of its civilization that today’s confused Europe should unite.
Myroslav Marynovych describes a gesture done by the organizers which he found unexpected and incredibly touching: “After my appearance, the choir performed the world-wide renowed version of “Khreshchatyk” by Mykola Leontovych. Such an elegant way of expressing respect and gratitude to another country, is something very worthwhile for us to learn.
Among VIP participants at the ceremonies were: Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and former President Lech Walenca; the first democratically elected President of Bulgaria Zhelyu Zhelev; the elderly Polish film director Andrzej Wajda; former dissidents, such as Henryk Wuyts,
a Solidarity activist; Wolfgang Templin, a former East German political prisoner; and many members of the Diplomatic Corps.