Iwona Bielecka (1960) grew up in communist Poland, the daughter of a senior officer. As a student she became increasingly critical of the system and she collaborated in strikes and underground activities against the regime. Her motto: be bold. Only without fear can you remain autonomous and feel free.
In 1989 she moved to the Netherlands. She works as a psychotherapist in Brabant. She shares a penchant for antique motorcycles with her husband.
Dictatorship in Poland
After the Second World War, Poland fell under the Soviet sphere of influence, and the communist party ruled the country with an iron fist. At the end of the 1970s there was a brief period of increased freedom, but after strikes had debilitated the country for weeks in 1981, a state of siege was declared. Soldiers and tanks invaded the streets and opposition movements were banned once again. In 1988, the Polish government started a series of round table discussions with the underground trade union Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa. The talks led to partially free elections in 1989. The first truly free parliamentary elections were held in 1991.