Open-Air Exhibition: 1970. Evil/Accident

Since December 17th 2020 an open-air exhibition entitled "1970. Evil/Accident" dedicated to the December revolt of the Coast will be displayed in an exceptional place – plac Solidarności in Szczecin. 


The virtual vernissage (without the participation of the audience, exclusively available as an on-line broadcast in the Museum's social media) will be held on December 17th at 1 P.M. The exhibition will be available until mid-February 2021. The event has been arranged by the National Museum in Szczecin - The Dialogue Centre Upheavals in cooperation with West-Pomeranian Voivodeship Marshal's Office.

The coastal revolt broke out right after the government announced significant increases in the prices of food and other basic necessities - this happened on December 12th 1970 - shortly before Christmas. The authorities had realised that the increases could provoke a public protest, and since December 9th the "law enforcement forces" were put on alert. The protest began on December 14th in Gdańsk. Demonstrations of several thousand people appeared on the streets of the city. The seat of the Provincial Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party was put on fire. There were street fights with the army and the militia resulting in fatalities. A similar situation took place in Gdynia. The greatest drama occurred right there, on "Black Thursday", when the army ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Stanisław Kociołek began to shoot at the shipyard workers who were going to work.

"Black Thursday" took place also in Szczecin - after fights between the demonstrators and the militia and after the setting fire to the building of the Provincial Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, a tragedy took place in front of the Provincial Headquarters of the Civic Militia (today's plac Solidarności). Twelve people were killed by the army and the militia in that area. There were also victims the next day and hundreds of wounded were sent to hospitals in Szczecin.

In December 1970, 45 people were killed in the coast and 1,165 were injured. 27,000 soldiers, 550 tanks, 750 armoured personnel carriers, 2,100 cars, 108 planes and helicopters, and 40 Navy units were sent against the demonstrators.

The final of Szczecin's December '70 took place in January 1971, when the striking workers of "Warski" shipyard established the General Municipal Strike Committee, wrote down postulates and brought the highest party and state authorities to Szczecin. The vast majority of promises made by the authorities at the time were left unfulfilled.

The turn of December 1970 / January 1971 influenced the future of the People's Republic of Poland: those who still believed in the justice of the system were deprived of illusins and many of those accidentally pushed to the epicenter of events were caused to become involved in the activities of the democratic opposition and the process of Poland regaining independence.


"1970. Evil/Accident"

17.12.2020 – 15.02.2021 

The National Museum in Szczecin – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals
pl. Solidarności 1


Exhibition Curator: Agnieszka Kuchcińska-Kurcz

Content. selection of photographs and documents: Agnieszka Kuchcińska-Kurcz

Historical consultation and review: prof. Jerzy Eisler

Curatorial cooperation: Paula Sendra

Design: Agnieszka Grądek

Proofreading: Wiktoria Klera-Olszak, Bartosz Zasieczny

Organizers: The National Museum in Szczecin – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals, West-Pomeranian Voivodeship Marshal's Office