Solidarity co-founder laid to rest in Warsaw

Rafał Guz/PAP

Henryk Wujec, a former anti-communist activist and one of the founding fathers of the Solidarity trade union, was laid to rest on Monday in Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery. Wujec died on August 15 aged 79.

In the 1970s Wujec belonged to the 1976-founded Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) which aided persecuted dissidents. In 1980 he was among the founders of the Solidarity trade union under later Polish president Lech Wałęsa, after the 1989 fall of the communist regime he was a politician and social activist.

In his address at the funeral, Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski described Wujec as a "Solidarity legend," and said people like him were role models for his generation.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland Andrii Deshchytsia recalled Wujec's support of freedom trends in his country, and said Wujec had an affinity for Ukraine that was comparable with his attachment to Poland. Deshchytsia also mentioned Wujec's involvement in Polish-Ukrainian reconcilement.

Condolences were also sent by the Dalai Lama, whose letter was read during the ceremony. In the letter, the Tibetan leader recalled Wujec's support for his people's freedom struggle.

President Andrzej Duda posthumously awarded Wujec with the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest civilian distinction.