GB No. 1, autumn 1989


On June 2 and 3, 1989 symposium entitled "Ecological disaster of Kraków - the reasons, the present, the prospects of the development of the city". The symposium was organized by the Polish Ecological Club. Over 20 lectures were delivered. The lectures and the disputants' speeches became a political indictment towards Stalinist economic and political system, accusing this system of damaging the most precious monuments in Poland. Kraków, the intellectual capitol of Poland was transformed to an industrial city with a domination of a heavy industry (especially raw materials industry).

One shoul look for the origin of the ecological disaster of Kraków in the six years' plan (     ) when the crasy decisions of building here enormous steelworks (called Lenin's Steelworks) was taken. But the steelworks and the huge new quarter of blocks build on the best soils in Poland (humus) was not the only idea of the period of industralization. The big aluminium smelting works was build 20 kilometers far from Kraków. The premisses of these decisions were visibly of political not economic nature. According to the opinion of communists Kraków was the town of reactionary movement after the second world war and it was inhabited by too little working class and too many educated people. So the heavy industry had to be developed although the functioning of these works was (and still is) bound up with expensive transport of raw materials. The scientific circles conscions of the effects of these locations protested against them. The farmers, displaced from their land, resisted. It did not change anything.

The rise and the increase of the Lenin's Steelworks (1.5 million tons of steel in the fifties, 4.1 mln tons in 1965, 6.7 mln tons in 1977) caused the deformation in territorial development of the city. Many difficulties, being a result of insufficiency of the social and technical infrastructure, came into being. The communication was inconvenient. The increase of the population was excessive in comparision with the capacity of the city.

Kraków is ruined by the emissions of gases and dusts. The Lenin's Steelworks is decidedly on the first place on the list of main emitters of gas polutants and Kraków will not be saved without its liquidation (in any case without the liquidation of the raw materials part, i.e. agglomering installation, coking plant, blust-furnaces and cement plant). Otherwise the renovation of monuments makes no sense. We should remember that the decisive protest of Cracovians in 1980-81 brought about the works in Skawina was closed down.

During the symposiun the subjects of the Zone of Special Economy and the Duty Free Area Kraków were touched. The organizers promised to publish all the lectures.


GB No. 1, autumn 1989 | Contents