Lech Wałęsa

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You can’t change the facts with your lies, allegations and counterfeits

Lech Wałęsa (born 29 September 1943) is a Polish politician, trade union organizer, philanthropist and human rights activist, who became the first democratically elected President of Poland (1990–1995) after the fall of the People's Republic of Poland. He is well known for his unintendedly humorous quotes.


  • Freedom must be gained step by step, slowly. Freedom is a food which must be carefully administered when people are too hungry for it.
  • Na zmęczeniu, goryczy, uczuciu bezsilności nie można budować.
    • It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail.
    • Walesa, Lech. Speech. "Nobel Lecture". 1983 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance.. 11 Dec 1983.
  • Aresztowano mnie wiele razy. Za pierwszym razem, w grudniu 1970 roku, podpisałem 3 albo 4 dokumenty. Podpisałbym prawdopodobnie wtedy wszystko, oprócz zgody na zdradę Boga i Ojczyzny, by wyjść i móc walczyć. Nigdy mnie nie złamano i nigdy nie zdradziłem ideałów ani kolegów.
    • I was arrested many times. The first time, in December 1970, I signed 3 or 4 documents. Most probably I'd sign anything then, except consent for the betrayal of God and Fatherland, to get out and be able to fight. I have never been broken and I have never betrayed the ideals or my comrades.
    • A note to the Polish Press Agency issued on 4th June 1992 after the publication of a list of Communist collaborators compiled by Antoni Macierewicz.
    • Przerwana premiera, an interview by Jerzy Kłosiński and Jan Strękowski with Jan Olszewski, Warsaw 1992
  • Można powiedzieć, że byłem gdzieś niezręczny, może nawet kogoś wsypałem, ale nie to, że byłem agentem. Nie to, że chciałem kogoś zdradzić (...) Przysięgam i niech mnie szlag trafi, jeśli kłamię.
    • One could say I was goofy somewhere, and maybe even outed someone, but not that I was an agent. Not that I wanted to betray anybody. (...) I swear, and damn me if I lie.
    • From the IV Copernican Debate at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, after Gazeta.pl and TVN24
  • I am convinced that Germany has drawn conclusions [from World War II] and Europe has drawn conclusions as well. And I can say an unpopular thing. If once again Germany should risk destabilizing Europe, then there would be no division of Germany — it would simply be blown off the map of Europe. With the kind of technology that exists, with the kind of experiences we have had, there can be no other way — and the Germans know it.
  • If once again Germany destabilizes Europe, then Germany will be not be divided again, but wiped off the map. East and West have the necessary technology in order to enforce this verdict. If Germany begins again, there is no other solution.
    • Wenn Deutschland noch einmal Europa destabilisiert dann wird Deutschland nicht mehr geteilt, sondern von der Landkarte gefegt werden. Ost und West haben die notwendige Technik, um dieses Verdikt auch vollstrecken zu können. Wenn Deutschland wieder anfängt, bleibt keine andere Lösung. - From the report of the German magazine DER SPIEGEL 15/1990 about an interview of Wałęsa by Dutch weekly Elsevier of 7 April 1990, which was partially reprinted, with an additional Pancho caricature, by French Le Monde

  • Dobrze się stało, że źle się stało.

It is good that it came out that bad.

  • Dodatnie i ujemne plusy.

Positive pluses and negative pluses.

  • Dokonałem zwrotu o 360 stopni.

I turned around by 360 degrees.

  • I am for, and even against.

Source: Mariusz Urbanek, "Jestem za, a nawet przeciw", in: Helge Hesse, W 80 powiedzeń dookoła świata, Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, Wrocław 2009, ISBN 978-83-245-8733-9

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