Martial Law Children – Forgotten Heroes, the gap between history and politics

Dr Monika Maria Brzezińska

Political activity of children raises doubts and it still remains a field that requires special attention. The fact that minors are capable of understanding the political situation they live in is frequently negated by denying them the ability to assess political reality. However, numerous examples contradict this thesis. The purpose of the present analysis is to present the role of children during the martial law period in the fight against the communist system, who actively engaged in the oppositional movement, consciously developing their pro-social attitudes. Moreover, the children, who often emerged from that period internally mutilated and burdened with the trauma that they have experienced, did not meet with understanding and gratitude in present, already independent Poland. The martial law period also had a very negative impact on their personalities and future careers. Although the contribution of the martial law children to history is undeniable, they have been forgotten in the policy of historical memory (remembrance). However, they are not only real witnesses but also, according to their capabilities, important participants in the events of the 1980s.