Pope Francis marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of Poland's Solidarity union during Wednesday's general audience in the Vatican, the first in six months with the participation of the faithful.
The Solidarity trade union grew out of a desire and a demand for dignity, President Andrzej Duda said in Gdańsk, northern Poland, on Monday, at ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of the union.
Former Solidarity leader and former Polish president Lech Wałęsa said on Monday that the 1980 August Agreements were the greatest victory in Poland's history. He made the statement on the 40th anniversary of their signing in Gdańsk, northern Poland.
The historic accord between the Communist authorities and shipyard workers led to the establishment of the first independent trade union in Poland and contributed to the fall of Communism.
US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher wrote on Twitter on Monday that "without the agreement signed in August which led to the creation of Solidarity, communism would not have fallen in Europe."
Commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the 1980 August Agreements which instituted the Solidarity Union launched on Sunday in the northwestern coastal city Szczecin, one of the main centres of worker protests which led to the union's foundation.