East German Stasi infiltrated Poland's Solidarity

2nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2007, Warsaw (dpa) - At least 500 agents of the feared East German Stasi secret police operated in Poland under communism, infiltrating the anti-communist Solidarity trade union, Polish Radio reported Friday quoting a German official. Hanna Labrenz-Wiess of Germany's Gauck Institute charged with archiving Stasi files, told Polish Radio the Stasi began operations in Poland in 1978 after the election of Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II. Stasi agents operated independent of Poland

2 February 2007

Warsaw (dpa) - At least 500 agents of the feared East German Stasi secret police operated in Poland under communism, infiltrating the anti-communist Solidarity trade union, Polish Radio reported Friday quoting a German official.

Hanna Labrenz-Wiess of Germany's Gauck Institute charged with archiving Stasi files, told Polish Radio the Stasi began operations in Poland in 1978 after the election of Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II.

Stasi agents operated independent of Poland's Security Service (SB) and were most focussed on infiltrating and sabotaging the work of the anti-communist trade union Solidarity.

Under the leadership of Lech Walesa, Solidarity, as the first and only free trade union in the communist bloc, secured a bloodless negotiated end to communism in Poland in 1989.

While the files of Stasi agents were destroyed, Labrenz-Wiess, some of the names have been recovered, according to Labrenz.

Nearly 20 years after the demise of communism, Poland is still coming to terms with the dark issue of who did and who not work as secret agents and informants for the secret police.

A string of revelations that Roman Catholic clergy had been recruited as secret police informants has recently rocked the staunchly Catholic homeland of the late Pope John Paul II.

As a vocal anti-communist, he himself was also especially targeted by communist secret police. It is also believed Soviet secret services may have orchestrated the 1981 assassination attempted which saw Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca shoot the pontiff in broad daylight in St. Peter's Square amid thousands of visiting Catholic pilgrims.

DPA

Subject: German news

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