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40 Years Later: Remembering the Victory of the Cross over Communism

Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2021
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

cross

It was the second Sunday of December 1981. A few people heard the shot, and one even spotted the shooter. Other individuals saw a bleeding, dark-haired child silently fall on the pavement at the local park situated in a Polish city. Her school bag was still on her arm.

One report suggested that the Communist militia sergeant targeted the eight-year-old girl upon her return from a catechesis lesson at the local Catholic church. 

The girl’s name was Ewa. On her now lifeless body hung a cross necklace sprinkled with blood. The regime never revealed the outcome of the investigation into her murder, and nothing else is known about this heinous crime.

The cross Ewa wore not only symbolized the death and resurrection that happened in Jerusalem nearly two thousand years earlier but also the dark chapter of history that Poland was living through.   

The fortieth anniversary of the Communist party’s brutal attack against the Polish Solidarity movement is not only a time to remember specific horrors of martial law in Poland. It is also an occasion for comprehending moral lessons that transcend time and place.

Operating according to Marx’s class theory, the socialist regime then reigning in Poland had instigated conflicts for decades that ripped not only the cultural fabric of Polish society but broke social ties, even family bonds. 

The Communist Party claimed that workers were the avant-garde of society, who by right controlled the forces of production and political power. In reality, it was all a lie. 

Unpaid extra shifts, the deprivation of legally required workwear, denial of work accident insurance, and even arbitrary cancellation of work vacations were all examples of how corrupted socialist governments actually robbed workers.

Having experienced the immense injustice of the socialist state, in the spring of 1978, three Polish workers established the Founding Committee of Free Trade Union on The Coast to address grievances, assess needs, and spread hope for a new Poland. But according to Marxist philosophy, capital and worker cannot be in conflict since the administration and director form a team of working people. Thus the regime justified a ban on all free trade unions, leaving workers defenseless. 

Nevertheless, in less than two years, the Free Trade Union on The Coast encouraged workers to resist the culture of fear by fighting for the rights of the unjustly treated and distributing literature censored by the Communist regime. It commemorated anniversaries of the regime’s crackdown on dissent, assisted families of political prisoners, and launched strikes on behalf of the arrested. It became the cradle of the soon-to-be established Solidarity movement. 

“The essential sense of the State, as a political community, consists in that the society and people composing it are master and sovereign of their destiny,” said Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow. Wojtyla shared this wisdom throughout Poland for many years. Later, he enshrined it in his first major teaching document as Pope John Paul II. 

“This sense remains unrealized, if a certain group imposes its power upon all the other members of the society,” Cardinal Wojtyla added.  This statement was not only the most accurate description of the status of workers in a socialist and atheistic country, but it also validated Solidarity as a trade union movement based on Christian principles. 

Indeed, the Solidarity Trade Union emphasized its Christian identity, also with a symbol, by erecting in three months’ time in the summer of 1980 the unique, steel-built 42-meter-tall Three Crosses Monument at the entrance to Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk. The monument commemorated the dozens of workers who were shot and killed during the worker protests ten years earlier. 

At the same time, millions of Poles demanded the right to install crosses at their workplaces – including hospitals, schools, production plants, mines, shops, and schools.

On December 13, 1981, a representative of the ideologically militant atheistic system shot Ewa with her cross necklace, demonstrating that Christian identity had become the prime target of the regime. 

The Communist regime in Poland launched Martial Law with 70 thousand soldiers, 30 thousand militiamen, and several thousand secret police functionaries armed in 1,396 tanks and 2,000 armored personnel carriers.

The regime not only arrested 10,131 Solidarity activists and killed at least 100 but outlawed the eleven and a half million-strong Solidarity trade union. The Polish communists then immediately launched a re-atheization campaign, which specifically included the promotion of lust and alcoholism, cracking down on lay Church groups, and ordered the removal of crosses from public places and particularly schools.

Courageous students protested and launched strikes that in some towns lasted two weeks, demanding from the regime the return of crosses and religious symbols to the classrooms.

In the United States, President Ronald Reagan gave a prime-time speech to the nation urging his fellow Americans to place a lighted candle in their windows on Christmas Eve, as he would also do in the White House window, “as a personal statement of your commitment to the steps we’re taking to support the brave people of Poland in their time of troubles.”

Reagan then went on to describe the moral importance of such a gesture:

Let the light of millions of candles in American homes give notice that the light of freedom is not going to be extinguished. We are blessed with a freedom and abundance denied to so many. Let those candles remind us that these blessings bring with them a solid obligation, an obligation to the God who guides us, an obligation to the heritage of liberty and dignity handed down to us by our forefathers, and an obligation to the children of the world, whose future will be shaped by the way we live our lives today.

During those dark days of martial law, the Polish regime desperately tried to reinstate a culture of fear by giving the police near limitless power to incarcerate, torture physically and psychologically, intimidate, surveil, and infiltrate with informers, and the courts handed down draconian prison sentences. But it was too late. 

It would take nearly nine years, but the nation that courageously called for freedom under God ultimately won. 

The Cross was not only a symbol in public life. In genuine Christian love, Ewa’s family forgave the secret policeman killer, and many Poles who suffered at the hands of Communist oppressors followed.

Like Poland under Martial Law, the United States is under an intensive atheization campaign from many quarters.  

To an outside observer, it is clear that if this assault is not stopped, the consequences of this atheization campaign will be analogous to the real socialism practiced by the Polish communist regime. Polish socialists pursued a divide and rule strategy, always pursuing new ideas and ways to sow the seeds of anger and resentment among the people by instructing them to feel like victims rather than masters of their fate. 

The most obvious example is neither new nor equitable, Critical Race Theory. This ideology is a reflection of Marx’s class theory that divided Polish workers with its blame based on falsified history and is designed to prevent social peace and harmony by stoking perpetual conflict.

John Paul II taught Polish workers that “the fundamental duty of power is solicitude for the common good of society.”

For Poland and America, the Cross signifies the noblest example of solicitude for the common good. 

The young girl targeted by the militia officer testified to the greatness of the Cross, as did the shipyard workers who first established independent free trade unions, Solidarity, and constructed the Three Crosses Monument. 

Like Poland under Martial Law, America needs renewed confidence and courage to testify and follow the truth. Christian witness in the public square, energetic and without constraint, has always characterized America. Many outsiders, including Polish workers, have long known that this is the ultimate source of America’s strength and greatness. 

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Mario Capparuccini
Mario Capparuccini
2 years ago

The Democratic Party has fully embraced communism as evidenced by the aggressive adoption of Critical Race Theory, at taxpayer expense. The mask is off. The Democratic Party is the party of Satan. They will destroy through their promotion of division and conflict. Communism is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions and the oppression of billions. It is evil to its core and is now the operational principle of the Democrats. We must stand strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We must remain steadfast in the face of the culture of fear. No one can extinguish the light of Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 years ago

And our jackleg president nominated a communist to be in charge of our currency and banks. Fortunately, a few Democrats came to their senses. I want to know why the hell she is “reaching”some kind of law at Cornell?

Mandy
Mandy
2 years ago

I am so glad that someone pointed me to AMAC vs AARP. AMAC has such uplifting articles like this one as well as many other Conservative articles that I truly enjoy. Keep up the great job AMAC. God bless the entire staff affiliated with AMAC.

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

How can communism be gone,it was never judged and dealt with as nazism in fact it is doing wellacross the world including this country in Europe it was replaced with Fourth reich called European union and everywhere else it’s presented as something humane with the people for the people eiven if people do not wan it it’s far worse then fascism because it is leading to primitivism

R.J. from Arizona
R.J. from Arizona
2 years ago

I truly believe that “history repeats itself”.
Tragically history is rarely taught anymore.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
2 years ago

It’s a very sweet story. We do need to bring God back into people’s lives. However, the cross symbolizes death. Christ rose! He is alive and we all will live again. Yes, a candle would be a better symbol,. because Jesus Christ is our light and our salvation!

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Bring God back in our schools

Richard Minetti
Richard Minetti
2 years ago

We must keep our Lord in our minds continuously, for that belief is what made America so great and what draws people from many other countries to immigrate to the USA!

John Jackson
John Jackson
2 years ago

I think that it’s about time for us to put that lit candle back in our windows to show that we will not buckle down to the communist in this country today to let us show them that we do stand United against them it’s just that simple!

Eddie Mack
Eddie Mack
2 years ago

The defeat of Communism is inevitable, because “the gates of hell will not prevail against” the Church that Jesus Christ has built. Let us be faithful to Christ and share in His victory.

Hannah
Hannah
2 years ago

A very well written and inspiring article about the importance of solidarity amongst the ordinary citizens, and the strength of people power to fight back against an evil regime. 

It’s also a wonderful reminder of the great influence of President Reagan and Pope John Paul II.

A society that doesn’t encompass the basic tenets of the Judeo-Christian values and accepts leftist ideology will eventually crumble, as can be seen in certain aspects of American life today. We need to fight back against the Left and restore it back to how the Founding Fathers envisioned it to be!! The Land of the Free and the courageous.

There is no true Freedom if there is no Freedom under GOD!!

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