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Saint Barbara on the pithead building

The stained glass mosaic with the image of Saint Barbara was put up on the wall of the pithead building of the Borynia-Zofiówka mine, Zofiówka Section to commemorate the pacification of the Jastrzębie mines.

photo: Joanna Karwot

On 15 December 1981, at the beginning of the martial law, the army and militia used weapons against the miners of the then “Manifest Lipcowy” mine (today it is the Zofiówka Section). On the 41st anniversary of these events, a stained glass mosaic with the likeness of St. Barbara, which was created in less than six months and consists of thousands of elements, was officially unveiled.

- Today we unveil a mosaic that commemorates the heroism of the participants of those days. Dear participants of those events, we remember and thank you for what you did for us and for your Homeland. We feel obliged to be the guardian of history, so that what happened on the Jastrzębie soil will never be forgotten - said Tomasz Cudny, President of the JSW S.A. Management Board, during the mosaic unveiling ceremony.

The former “Manifest Lipcowy” mine was the first industrial plant where the ZOMO officers used firearms against striking miners. On 15 December 1981, the miners' protest was suppressed by 1,700 militiamen and soldiers, armed also with tanks and combat vehicles. Four miners were injured in the pacification. A day later, on 16 December, the “Wujek” mine in Katowice was pacified, where 9 miners were killed and dozens injured.

- From the perspective of the years that have passed, we realize that it took an act of exceptional courage at that time to stand up to the evil that the communist system represented. It took a deep belief in the sense of struggle to take the risk of revolt and demand justice and dignity for working people. The sacrifice and dedication of miners from the Jastrzębie mines is a great lesson in solidarity for us - wrote Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin in a letter read out during the ceremony by Piotr Pyzik, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of State Assets.

The anniversary celebration was preceded by a historical conference on the pacification of Silesian mines. The panel included, among others, participants of those events, trade unionists and directors of JSW mines and plants.

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