Women of Solidarity Workers' Union in Poland
The publication of Podziemie Kobiet
(Warsaw: Rosner & Wspolnicy, 2003) in Polish by author Shana Penn was celebrated on October 16, 2003 at the
Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC which was co-sponsored by the Network of East-West Women.
Penn served as the organization's first executive director from 1991-96. The Embassy's invitation states that
The Underground of Women recreates the little known history of the heroic
Polish women who organized the Solidarity underground during the 1980s martial law years. An all-female team kept the mission of Solidarity alive, and
their weekly, clandestine, nationwide newspaper became the acknowledged voice of Solidarity. Penn is the first writer to recognize them as the
Founding Mothers of Polish Democracy. These brave women personified the Matka Polka - the Polish Mother - who selflessly
protected Poland from the Communist evil during this perilous and revolutionary time.
The literary event was opened with welcoming
and relevant remarks by Charge d' Affairs Boguslaw Winid and Cultural Attaché Anna Niewiadomska. Author Shana Penn (image on the left, standing) was
introduced by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio (seated, next to Shana Penn), who spoke about their mutual interests in supporting democratic institutions
in Poland, and of the strong and resourceful women she has known in her own Polish-American family and in Poland. The author explained her motivation for
writing the book and cited the absolute need for the courageous Polish heroines in Solidarity to be finally and fully recognized and widely honored in
accordance with the great personal risks and many sacrifices that their dangerous work entailed. In 2004 a closely related sister book written by
Penn- "National Secret: The Women Who Brought Democracy To Poland"- will be published by the University of Michigan Press. Shana Penn can be reached
by e-mail at Pennskaya@aol.com in regards to her publications and her life's work of research and advocacy projects on gender and Jewish cultural issues in the transitional societies of Eastern Europe.
Baltimore, Md., November 7, 2003
text and photographs by Richard P. Poremski, contact the author by e-mail
Check more Poremski's press reviews .
This article was published originally in Polish American Journal, Buffalo, NY.
Check the English edition of Shana Penn's book (it has excellent reviews on Amazon site)
Solidarity's Secret : The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland, (Hardcover), by Shana Penn
Check Polish Women, Dating & Family links and Solidarity and Communism articles and links.
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