Walesa accused again of being intelligence collaborator

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa

Last December, I reported on a book by two Polish academics, Sławomir Cenckiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk, titled Secret services and Lech Walesa: A Contribution to the Biography (SB a Lech Wałęsa: Przyczynek do Biografii). In it, the two historians discuss what they call “compelling evidence” and “positive proof” that the country’s anticommunist former President, Lech Walesa, was a paid collaborator of Służba Bezpieczeństwa (SB), Poland’s Security Service, during the communist era. Now a new book by Polish historian Paweł Zyzak echoes these allegations. Citing sources “that prefer to remain anonymous”, the book, titled Lech Walesa: Idea and History (Lech Wałęsa. Idea i Historia), claims that the former Solidarność leader fathered an illegitimate child and collaborated with the SB in the 1970s. Like Cenckiewicz and Gontarczyk, Zyzak works for the Warsaw-based Polish Institute of National Remembrance (INP), which also published his book. The INP is a government-affiliated organization whose main mission is to investigate, expose and indict participants in criminal actions during the Nazi occupation of Poland, as well as during the country’s communist period. It also aims to expose SB clandestine agents and collaborators. Lech Walesa has repeatedly claimed that “the secret services might have forged documents against him to discredit him after his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize”. Referring to the latest allegations, the former President said he would “avoid all public ceremonies in protest” of the “slanderous” accusations against him. “If that does not help”, he wrote on Sunday, “I will return all my decorations and honors, and in the next step, I will leave the country”. He also urged for a government investigation into this file, so that a definitive and conclusive assessment can be produced that will “stop such speculation in the future”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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