The new book by Slawomir Cenckiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk that claims Walesa worked for the Communist secret police until 1976.
Der Spiegel interviewed Cenckiewicz:
SPIEGEL: This Monday your book “The Security Service and Lech Walesa” comes out. It has already sparked an intense debate. In it, you and your co-author Piotr Gontarczyk claim that the hero of the Polish reform movement collaborated with the secret police in the 1970s. Do you have proof?
Cenckiewicz: We provide clear evidence in our book including registration cards, notations, notes from the secret police and reports from the so-called informant “Bolek.” There’s positive proof that Lech Walesa was registered with the secret police under that code name between 1970 and 1976.
SPIEGEL: Walesa has emphatically denied that, and says the Bolek file is a forgery. How can you be sure the secret police didn’t fabricate the documents to paint the union leader in a bad light?
Cenckiewicz: We know the secret police’s methods, and the way the archive and registry were run — that’s how we know. We’ve also found evidence from the Bolek file cited in other files.
SPIEGEL: Those could also have been forged.
Cenckiewicz: These files still had their original seals and it could be proven that they hadn’t been opened since the 1970s. Manipulation is out of the question.
SPIEGEL: Assuming for a moment that Walesa was in fact Bolek as you allege, how much damage did he do?
Cenckiewicz: We describe the fate of people who Bolek informed on. We’ve come across seven such stories. The rest were destroyed or stolen from the files. But it’s clear that Bolek informed on more than 20 people who were later harrassed or oppressed.
As president Walesa sought to sanitize his file:
SPIEGEL: The other major claim in your book is that Walesa tried to clean out his file when he was president of Poland in the early 1990s.
Cenckiewicz: For me that’s the saddest chapter. He was the first freely elected head of state since World War II, but he used his office to remove incriminating secret police files.
SPIEGEL: Walesa has also strongly denied this accusation. What proof do you have that he did this, or at least ordered it done?
Cenckiewicz: Some of the documents have his signature, a date and the note “I have borrowed this file.” Others have the signature of some of his closest co-workers, for example former Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski, requesting the documents on his behalf. Walesa endorsed the request. Later it turned out some of the files were returned incomplete. The new, post-Communist secret service took note of that.