History of Communism in Europe

Volume 12/13, 2021/2022

Labour and Global Solidarity during the Long 20th Century / Youth and the Continuous Construction of Communism

Daniel Filip-Afloarei
Pages 41-69

The “Solidarity” Crisis and the Poles of Suceava in the ’80s

In this paper, I will explore the relationship between the Romanian Socialist leadership and the Polish minority in Suceava after the outbreak of the “Solidarity” crisis, in August 1980. Although the Polish community in Suceava was small, it had close connections with the Polish tourists who visited Romania, whose number reached almost one million every year in the early ‘80s. These connections aroused many suspicions among the authorities in Bucharest. Particularly, this paper has three major objectives: it investigates the extensive surveillance campaign targeting the Polish minority in Suceava after the emergence of the “Solidarity” Trade Union in Poland, it analyses the methods used by the Communist authorities to counteract the alleged effects of this crisis and it depicts the Romanian leadership’s perception of the Polish crisis of the ‘80s, beyond the official statements. Ultimately, as a general framework of this paper, I will study the bilateral relations between Romania and Poland. To these ends, I will use the archives of the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives, corroborated with sources from the National Archives and the consular reports of the Romanian Embassy in Warsaw. For a more informed perspective I will also employ information from the Archives of Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The interviews featuring the persons with Polish contacts or monitored by the Securitate will complete the documentary sources.