An Interview with Lech Walesa

"You have to give everything you ve got to your life "

He was exhausted. The pressures on him and the union were becoming unbearable; martial law, not yet imposed, was only days away. He had been awakened at 4 a.m. by a Solidarity delegation from the city of Radom, which warned him it was going to call a general strike that would affect an important armaments factory. Walesa was furious to find such a strike was being considered, and the men had argued for hours. At breakfast, he made peace with the delegation, which agreed to put off the strike. "lam absolutely finished and run...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!