Today is the 25th anniversary of the nearly-free elections that broke communist power in Poland and which triggered political revolution across east-central Europe in 1989. In the wake of the elections, the communists lost their decades-long monopoly on power that began in the late 1940s. Commenting on the elections, popular actress Joanna Szczepkowska announced on television, “Today, communism has ended in Poland.”
This poster above is one of the most famous and powerful images of the Solidarity campaign was the combination of this iconic American figure (Gary Cooper in the western movie, “High Noon”) with Solidarity text and images. This poster hammered home the message that the June 4 elections offered a stark choice between two opponents and would have momentous consequences for Poland.