The radiologist Maciej Jasinski secretly set up an illegal printing office to support Solidarność in his family flat in the Polish city of Bytom, Since martial law had been proclaimed in 1981 and because Solidarność had been forbidden, printing and spreading dissident leaflets was particularly dangerous. Nevertheless, Maciej Jasinski kept printing indefatigably, hoping that the authorities would overlook him, even though more and more of his fellow fighters were arrested. Alongside illegal tracts and newspapers, Maciej Jasinski also duplicated his own poems and caricatures. Solidarność members organized loud parties in Maciej‘s flat in order to drown out the noise of the printing press. Unfortunately, there was an informer among his acquaintances, and Maciej Jasinski was eventually arrested, too – on 30 March, 1982, in front of his patients – on the charge of political activity against the regime, which was an offense according to Paragraph 48 of martial law. Since many of the jailers sympathized with the activists, detention conditions in Warsaw prisons were not as harsh as might have been expected. Prisoners and jailers occasionally even listened together to “Radio Liberty“, an independent European radio station based in Munich, at aimed at the Eastern Bloc. At least once a month, Maciej’s wife and daughter, Kasia, paid him a visit. The not quite three-year-old girl distracted the wardens, allowing her parents to secretly exchange letters, books and other items. Maciej was released after exactly one year in jail. Whilst in prison, he made friends with people who would later became key members of the opposition, and whom he would see on television when the revolution succeeded, as many of his jailmates were elected to public office during the first free parliamentary elections.
- Zaklad karny Klecczkowska 35
- „Zaklad karny Klecczkowska 35“ Penal institution, 35 Kleczkowska Street, received on the 23rd of February at 17.30, Breslau. On his name-day, the 23rd of February, Maciej Jasinski had been imprisoned for almost one year as he got hold of the telegram written by his female collegues.
- Bytom is a city in Southern Poland, which suffered after World War I in particular from the tensions that existed between Germany and Poland. In 1938 the Germans completely wiped out the Jewish Community of the city. Since 1945, under the Polish socialist governement the coal mine industry had been carried on until the complete exhaustion of all ressources. Maciej lived, worked in Bytom and engaged himself from that point onwards for Solidarność.
- Wroclaw (Breslau) is one of the biggest Polish cities and it is also the centre of the Silesian region. As well as for Bytom, Wroclaw was part of the German Empire after World War I. In 1933 the first concentration camp: „Breslau-Dürrgoy“ was erected. Since 1945 and under the administration of the Polish People‘s Republic, the city of Wroclaw had been rebuilt and a lot of historical monuments had been restaured, for instance the Wroclaw town hall. Maciej stayed in prison in Breslau from March 1982 until March 1983.
- Postcard Text
- "Best wishes on your name-day. Hope you‘ll drink a glass full of joy! From Magdalena, Grazyna, Krystyna."
One of the biggest Solidarność meetings took place in 1981 in Gdansk. In 1980 the NSZZ Solidarność was the result of strikes. With the support of the Church it constituted, among other things, the first independent trade union in Eastern Europe and therefore an efficient opposition force.
After one year of imprisonment on account of „dissident activities“, Maciej Jasinski was allowed to return into his family. One can see him on the picture with his mother, his wife and his three years old daughter, Kasia.
A series of strikes whose centre was the dockyard of Gdansk, quickly laid hold of the whole country and led the way to the foundation of Solidarność. In August 1980 after slow and long-winded negociations, the government consented to the foundation of the independent trade union. But only one year later Solidarność was nevertheless forbidden within the scope of the marial law and many members were imprisoned. The tension between the State and the union is pictured here by the police car standing in front of the big stadium at Chorzów in Silesian, where a Solidarność meeting takes place.
The photograph shows the female crane operator and member of Solidarność, Anna Walentynowicz (1929-2010) at a union meeting. The female activist was already involved in the first big meeting of 1970 and again and again struggled against the political absurdities. This led to her dismissal without notice, which itself also triggered off the strikes leading the way to Solidarność.
Lech Wałęsa, arms up the air and a pipe in the hand, greets the participants of a Solidarność meeting. The future President of State and Peace Nobelist and Anna Walentynowicz belong to the most famous founder members of Solidarność.
The Solidarność postcard printed by Maciej Jasinski wishes a „Happy Easter 85“ with a caricature of Jerzy Urban. The latter was government speaker under Jaruzelski in the nineteen eighties and as a determined opponant of Solidarność, he became a beloved subject of caricatures for the oppositional underground movements.
The „Decyzja o internowania“ is the warrant of arrest with which the radiologist Maciej Jasinski was arrested at his surgery on the 30th of March 1982 und eventually jailed. It refers to Paragraph 42 of the decree of 12 December 1981, which declared martial law. Jasinski had run afoul of martial law by running an unauthorised printing press, and by duplicating and distributing “dissident“ leaflets. He was released from prison after exactly one year.
In 2005 Maciej received an honorary document from Solidarność, in which he is thanked for his „involvement in the setting up of the first independent structures of trade unions in the Silesian Medical Academy“. Further more it means, in the document, that „not only did the creation of the big movement Solidarność change our academy, but it moreover changed the history of Poland, Europe and the world“.
The front page of the paper that Maciej Jasinski printed himself: „Konkret“ shows a photograph of the first national Solidarność meeting of 1981 in Gdansk. The caption next to the tyran who is being carried by the people reads: „Every stop is a battle for power“.