Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa is the former president of Poland, a trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist. A charismatic leader, he co-founded Solidarity (SolidarnoÅ›Ä‡), the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.
Bio last updated April 30th, 2018.
Articles by Lech Wałęsa
By Lech Wałęsa with Raymond J. de Souza
October 1, 2014
Convivium editor-in-chief Father Raymond J. de Souza sits down with Poland's Lech Walesa on the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism
Yet we have to be careful not to overestimate the role of the Pope because John Paul II also visited Cuba, and where is it now? There they did not have the second factor—the capacity of the people to take the Pope's inspiration and lead the fight C: Were you afraid, then, that Poland's future might be one of increasing violence? Did you fear for your own life after Father Jerzy was killed? LW: When I asked presidents, prime ministers and kings of that time whether there was a chance for freedom in Poland, they all said that there was no chance—only a nuclear war could change the reality of that world He said, "Be not afraid—change the face of the world!" He unveiled the lies of the communist propaganda, because the communists were saying about those who opposed the system, "There are not many of them; they have no influence We are in a secular time, but I think that intelligent people will realize that, without faith, we cannot live Before John Paul II became pope, I had spent 20 years trying to gather people to fight; and I had gathered 10 people C: As Solidarity leader and as President, you always wore an image of Our Lady of Czestochowa on the lapel of your jacket Even Stalin laughed, saying that imposing communism on the Polish people was like putting a saddle on a cow! Poles are proud, they have their honour, and they are a democratic people LW: We have enough nuclear weapons in the world to destroy everything 10 times over So he said simply to me, "It is good that you still wear the image of the Mother of God