1981. Stan "W”. The Martial Law Anniversary

On Monday, December 13th 2021, at 1:00 P.M., at pl. Solidarności an anniversary exhibition "1981. Stan »W«” will be open.

The title refers to the Polish term for martial law - "stan wojenny". The exhibition was created on the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the martial law in Poland. It will be available until mid-February 2022. The organizers are the National Museum in Szczecin – the Dialogue Centre Upheavals and the West-Pomeranian Marshall's Office.

The exhibition will recall the dramatic moment of the declaration of martial law in Poland and the months that followed. Archival photos and documents will show the reality that Poles had to face in December 1981. All the most important national threads will be recalled, with particular attention paid to the Szczecin events, less known among Poles and even among the inhabitants of Western Pomerania.

The exhibition will enable the viewer to follow the preparations for the martial law, which actually began with the outburst of the great protests on the Coast in August 1980. It will also reveal the perfidy of the authorities, which were simulating dialogue. It will show the increasingly difficult life in a crisis-ridden country and finally the key moment of fight against "Solidarity", when tanks and armored personnel carriers arrived in the streets of Poland, and thousands of union activists were sent to prisons and internment centres.

We will commemorate the victims of the imposed martial law order and the isolation of the country which deepened the already gigantic economic crisis.

The viewer will be able to see that martial law, although formally abolished on July 22nd 1983, continued in various forms until the end of the system. The assessment of the activities carried out by the authorities of the Polish People's Republic was influenced by the court trials brought against the authors of martial law long after the political upheaval. The Szczecin investigation was also important, ad it made it possible to bring justice to the executors of orders coming from above.

The exhibition is to be accompanied by discussions, book promotion, film displays and other events commemorating the martial law anniversary. 


Exhibition Curator: Agnieszka Kuchcińska-Kurcz
Reviewer: Prof. Antoni Dudek
Design: Agata Jaz-Napieraj
Proofreading: Wiktoria Klera-Olszak, Oliwia Łachowska
Organizer: The National Museum in Szczecin – the Dialogue Cnetre Upheavals