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Scientist Obituary: Physicist Battled Communism in Poland

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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Polish-born Zbigniew Romaszewski was a physicist and one of the few intellectuals to be elected to the governing body of Solidarity, a movement that supported thousands of Polish workers who were arrested, fired, or punished after striking against the policies of the communist government. Though Romaszewski died in February, the news of his passing was scarcely reported outside of Poland until now.

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Dr. Zbigniew Romaszewski during his trial in 1983. He was sentenced to prison for “broadcasting false information.”

Romaszewski spent much of his life resisting the Communist movement. In 1981, when the Communist government declared martial law and sent Solidarity members into hiding, Romaszewski and his wife defiantly started Radio Solidarity, a secret station that was broadcast for a few minutes at a time over several weeks. For each broadcast, he helped haul transmitters from car trunks up to the open air of Warsaw rooftops. The broadcast became an essential tool for keeping the cause alive. Eventually, both he and his wife were arrested and imprisoned for “broadcasting false information.”

Romaszewski went onto win a Senate seat in the national election that ousted the Communist government.

Read more on Romaszewski in his

New York Times obituary .