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As part of the Day of Civil Freedoms and Rights celebrations in Warsaw in 2012, President unveiled a sculpture in Warsaw commemorating the actress and oppositionist Halina Mikołajska. This sculpture depicts the artist, who was a signatory of the Letter of 59, as well as a member of the Workers’ Defense Committee. It is located in the Rydz-Śmigły Park in Warsaw (Sejm’s Garden).
The Letter of 59 (also known as the Memorial or Memorandum of 59) was an open letter signed by 66 (or 59 at first, hence the name) Polish intellectuals who protested against the changes of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland that were made by the communist party of Poland in 1975.
The Workers' Defense Committee was a Polish civil society group that was established to give aid to prisoners and their families after the June 1976 protests and ensuing government crackdown. It was an example of successful social organizing based on specific issues relevant to the public's daily lives. It was a precursor and inspiration for efforts of the Solidarity trade union a few years later.
Halina Mikołajska was a prominent Polish actress known for her exceptional talent and contributions to the world of theater and film. Born on March 28, 1925, in Kraków, Poland, Mikołajska developed a passion for acting from a young age and went on to become one of the most respected and beloved figures in the Polish entertainment industry.
Mikołajska’s acting career began in the late 1940s when she joined the Stary Theatre in Kraków. Her talent and dedication quickly gained recognition, and she became a prominent member of the theater ensemble. She captivated audiences with her versatile performances, showcasing her ability to portray a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity.
Mikołajska’s dedication to her craft extended beyond her own performances. She was also involved in teaching and mentoring aspiring actors, passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation. Her commitment to nurturing young talent contributed to the development of Polish theater and helped shape the future of the industry.
Throughout her career, Halina Mikołajska received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Order of Polonia Restituta, which she was granted in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Polish culture. Her work continues to inspire and influence actors and theater enthusiasts in Poland and beyond.