May 2nd, 2008
Revolution’s Aftermath: Twenty Years of Polish Democracy
Mr. Michnik, former dissident, historian, essayist and one of Europe’s
leading journalists, has been Editor-in-Chief of Gazeta Wyborcza,
Poland’s first independent daily newspaper, since its inception in 1989.
A life-long activist for human rights, he spent a total of six years in
prison between 1965 and 1986 for his opposition to the communist regime.
As a longtime advisor to Solidarity, Mr. Michnik participated in the
Roundtable negotiations that ended communist rule in Poland and was
subsequently elected to Poland’s first non-communist parliament in 1989.
In recognition of his untiring work on behalf of democracy and
journalistic freedom, he has been the recipient of numerous awards
including the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1986, the OSCE
Prize for Journalism and Democracy in 1996 and, most recently in 2006,
the Dan David Prize for being the journalist most associated with the
collapse of the Soviet bloc and the rise of freedom in Eastern Europe.
The lecture was organized by the UWPSEC and co-sponsored by numerous UW
departments, including the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and
Central Asian Studies and the European Union Center of Excellence.