Lithuania's Demarcation of Information from Poland's Solidarity Movement in 1980-1981

Słowa kluczowe: communication crisis, KGB, Lithuania, Lithuanian press, media, Poland, Solidarity (Solidarność), Tomas Venclova


The aim of the article: Despite the fact that everything we know in Polish history about the emergence of Solidarity [Polish: Solidarność], Polish trade unions, in 1980-1981, and the conflict with the communist totalitarian regime is described in sources as ‘the Polish Crisis’, the question remains open about the contemporaneous deepening communication crisis of the communist government in Lithuania, whose history had long – until the middle of the 20th century – been very closely linked to the development of Poland. From 1951 to 1989, Lithuania was separated from Poland by a double barbed-wire Soviet border barrier without any border crossing points. Nevertheless, the author proposes delving into what type of information control measures the Soviet regime used in influencing the Lithuanian people by undermining their interest in the workers’ strikes and the expanding trade union movement in Poland 40 years ago, trying to set Lithuanians against Polish society, and also how the media in the West helped renew the dialogue between Lithuanian and Polish diaspora organisations. Research methods: The author performed a content analysis of KGB documents in the Lithuanian Special Archives and examined the content of the Lithuanian SSR mass media and the mass media of the Lithuanian diaspora in the United States. Results  and  conclusions: The Soviet concept of security that was implemented by the repressive structure of the KGB was largely associated with the restriction of information, censorship and self-censorship of the population. However, it was also associated with the recruitment of Lithuanian citizens into ongoing cooperation with the secret service to collect data about Polish people who were ‘disloyal’ to the regime and transfer information to the security service of communist Poland, so the content of these reports must be disclosed. Cognitive value: Thus, the article provides the broader context, in which the content of the propaganda press is only one element of the system that controlled the public space.


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Jak cytować
VaišnysA. (2021). Lithuania’s Demarcation of Information from Poland’s Solidarity Movement in 1980-1981. Studia Medioznawcze, 22(2), 908-923.