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Lech Walesa

Lech Wałęsa (pronounced [:lekh va-:wen-sah], born September 29 1943, Popowo, Poland) - Polish electrician, trade union activist, human rights fighter and politician.

He founded Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet block's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995 (succeeded by Aleksander Kwaśniewski).

Table of contents
1 List of basic dates and facts:
2 Conspiracy theory
3 See also:

List of basic dates and facts:

Apart from his Nobel Prize Wałęsa, received several other international prizes. Despite not having a high school diploma, he has been awarded the title of doctor honoris causa of several US and European Universities.

Lech Wałęsa has been married since 1968 to Danuta Wałęsowa and has 7 children.

Conspiracy theory

Lech Wałęsa is believed by some people in Poland to have been a paid agent of the SB (Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa - the State Security Service) for more than 10 years during his rise to the top of the Solidarity movement in the Gdansk shipyards. Wałęsa, under the codename "Bolek", is said to have been recruited to pass information to the SB, and was bumped into the top leadership position within Solidarity by other embedded agents of the SB in an attempt to control the movement. His subsequent break from SB control is attributed to a new arrangement Wałęsa made with Reagan/Bush's CIA.

Another, slightly "softer" version of this hypothesis is that Wałęsa was indeed recruited by SB in 1976-1978 when he was jobless and short with money, and he was their secret informer until 1980, but SB lost completely control over him during the strike in Gdanska Shipyeard, so he became the leader of this strike, and letter leader of the Solidarity movement simply due to his natural personal leadership skills.

The third "spy" hypothesis claims that he was recruited in 1970 or 1971 when in prison, but he off broke contact with SB in 1976, which was a real reason of losing his job in Gdanska Shipyard.

Finally there are also "combinations" of these hypothesis: one of those suggests that he was first recruited in 1970, then indeed he broke his contacts in 1976, but after losing job, asked for reestablishing of these contacts due to lack of money, and then, he broke these contacts finally again in 1980 during the strike.

However, none of this "spy theories" have never been seriously proved. In fact - all his activities during the strike in 1980 and leadership of Solidarity Trade Union during 1980-1981 are strongly against the theory that all that time he was a SB spy, and it require assumption that secret service wanted to destroy their own political system by bumping such a good and effective leader to the top position of strongly anti-communist social movement. However, the possibility that he was temporarily a SB informer in 1970 or 1976 seem to be psychologically probable.

Wałęsa himself has consistently maintained that the SB attempted to recruit him several times, as was the case of most of the prominent anti-communist leaders, but he never agreed; and that all the documents with his signature found in SB files were prepared in order to destroy his position within the Solidarity movement.

Prior to the 2000 presidential election, he was cleared to hold political office by a special "vetting court", which held the photocopies of documents pertaining to agent "Bolek", including signed receipts for payments from the SB, were inadmissible. The original documents, if they in fact existed, were likely pulled from SB files and destroyed together with many other files, which disappeared at the end of the communist regime.

See also: