Winona Polish Museum has new exhibit... for now - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Winona Polish Museum has new exhibit... for now


WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Thanks to a reference and a bit of luck, the Polish Museum in Winona is currently displaying an international exhibit portraying the Polish Solidarity Movement.  The name of the exhibit is 'Phenomenon Solidarity.' It covers the years in communist stricken Poland from 1980 to 1981.

After packing it up in St. Paul the exhibit was set to go to Canada-- but not for a few weeks. So in the meantime, with Winona having a strong Polish history, it seemed to be a good resting place for now.

"The exhibit was being dismantled by the end of December," said Father Jeff Breza. "It had been at the state capitol for a month. And he said or thought that it should come here."

"The Polish people were kept down for so long," said Assistant Curator Steven Boland. "And when the strike started happening there was quite a bit of violence from the communist government and the people just couldn't take it. It's basically just the movement from the strikes of everybody rising up and saying 'we're not going to live this way anymore.'"

It was a time when the people of Poland rallied around the co-founder of the trade-movement, Lech Welesa. He was a Polish politician, trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist.

 "Something that he had to be the right person at the right time," said Father Breza. "But he was able to do it, he was also a good speaker. And he was a man the rest of them were willing to follow. But he was one of them."

The exhibit runs from the 15th to the 29th of January before heading North to Canada.

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