Maciej Zięba

* 1954  

  • “Suddenly, Tuesday morning, a beautiful day indeed - the weather was great - we were looking around, I was looking around - there was no [public] transport. That was shocking and simply remarkable. A brilliant idea for a strike, because this kind of a strike actually gave a signal for the entire city. People were walking to work, somehow, but I would say - festively. They named it “a carnival of solidarity” - that was true. “On the one hand there was a fear of pacification - no matter ZOMO or Specnaz, that would be a second level of abstraction, the first one though, they would just pacify people and that would end [badly]. But we were doing something worthy, we were doing something together! Such atmosphere was already present during the first pilgrimage of John Paul II; friendly, smiling people. I got on a bike and rode around the city - to Karłowice, and to that depot, some flags were hanging, smiling people and some proudly [looking] guards. They were already saying that alcohol was prohibited, only a prayer could be [organized].”

  • “And then 29th [August] came. 29th was a tiring day. It became somewhat gray and gloomy. Some said - as archbishop recalled - that they were discussing some violent way of solving the problem, one could see there was something in the air. Friday, 29th. I went to MKS at Garbiszyńska Street, as always to wander around, listen to people, just in case I would have to say something to cardinal. The tension was perceptible, and gloomy [atmosphere]. I was coming back by my bike, I was riding on a pavement - public transportation was down, so it was the only solution, and suddenly, just like in the movies, only the car was worse - fiat 125p drove on a pavement and blocked [my way]. I had my heart in my mouth, they dragged me into the car.”

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    Wrocław, Polska, 28.12.2015

    duration: 44:03
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It was a struggle for decency

Zięba_Maciej.JPG (historic)
Maciej Zięba
photo: Ośrodek Pamięć i Przyszłość

Maciej Zięba was born on 06.09.1954 in Wrocław. He graduated from the University of Wrocław with degree in Physics and started to work at the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in Wrocław (IMGW). From 1974 he was involved in Catholic and opposition activity in the Club of the Catholic  Intelligence. He organized fundraising for the oppressed, and in 1978, he organized the Weeks of Christian Culture in Wroclaw. During the strike in 1980 he served as a messenger between the strikers and Metropolitan Curia. He was a leader of Committee of the Company Solidarity (“Solidarność”) in IMGW and an advisor in Wrocław Intercompany Strike Committee (MKS). He was an inventor and editor-in-chief of “Solidarność Dolnośląska” (Lower Silesian Solidarity) magazine. He was also a lecturer at workers’ discussion clubs. He joined the Dominicans in 1981. Between 2007 and 2010 he was a director at European Center of Solidarity in Gdańsk.