Remarks on the Shipyard – THIS Shipyard

It annoys me immensely that we Poles have no idea how to value success. As a body, we don’t know how to be proud of them. We have a rare talent to spoil them, and to discredit them. This can be found in any newspaper, as our reality is widely discussed, not only within the EU bodies.

It seems to me that Poles can only celebrate defeats.

I was brought up in a different manner. I am proud of all our (even small, local) victories. I am proud of our national successes.

Solidarity and the insurgency of the shipyard workers were such a success. It was not a local one. It was a great movement. I always tell the groups I guide, how the people of Poland had enough of the “communist” system, and how they “cut” the first cracks in the Berlin Wall as early as 1980.

Meanwhile – the iconic place, that changed the geopolitics of countries behind the Iron Curtain in the 1980s, looks just like shown in my photos below.

Of course, I understand that today large halls have been replaced by computers and appropriate computer programs for drawing and designing, but neglecting infrastructure with a such great history and a great potential is reprehensible.

Here, these abandoned and neglected halls could be turned into lofts, offices, restaurants, cultural centers. Maybe apartments, like the one showed in “Nash Bridges” series.

Sadly we have been observing for years now, that the architectural (historical) heritage is being destroyed in Gdańsk. Instead – dull blocks are being built, identical, as can be seen in any modern city. The blocks without a soul, or spirit.

The old shipyard halls in Gdansk Shipyard are a good example of industrial architecture at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. And here this kind of architecture was of a very fine quality.

If – whenever – you will be visiting Gdańsk – do not forget to drop into the shipyard compounds, as it may be the last moment to see the original buildings in the cradle of Solidarity.

I will gladly tell you the story of the place, as well as the story of how Solidarity came into being, and how come it was such a success. And also – what the Polish Solidarity movement had to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the meanwhile – below are the pictures I took. Enjoy.


  1. I once did a translation on a German shipping company for members of the family who once owned it, and found it quite fascinating. Thanks for all the pictures. Would love to go on tour with you again, but I think those days are over!

      1. The Klawitter family is the one for whom I did the translation!

  2. I once did a translation on a German shipping company for members of the family who once owned it, and found it quite fascinating. Thanks for all the pictures. Would love to go on tour with you again, but I think those days are over!

    1. A member of the Klawitter family was up north and became friends with a relative of ours who worked there as well. They had a bad google translation of their history, so my relative asked if I would be interested in doing a better translation for them. These members of the Klawitter family now live here in Canada. I didn’t meet them personally as the whole transaction was via computer.

  3. Hello. Elfrieda Schroeder did the translation for me. My late husband Karl was a direct descendant of the owners of the Klawitter shipbuilding family. We visited Germany in 2010 and his cousin complied a family history and provided us with a copy of a book containing invaluable information about the Klawitter family with photographs of all the ships the company built. It was from this book that Elfrieda did the translation. I am so grateful to her. It is a valuable resource for my children and grandchildren.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post and looking through the photographs. Thank you.
    Pamela Klawitter
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

    1. Hello. Thank you for your post. You made the “place speak”. How wonderful, Elfrieda did the translation. It is so valuable to have the family history available. I am grateful to Elfrieda for mentioning her translation – as this resulted with your comment. What a wonderful coincidence. Thank you!

      May I write about his on my blog?

      Warm regards

    1. Hi Kasia,
      I must tell you a wonderful story regarding the book about Klawitter shipbuilding. My husband’s cousin (from Germany) visited Gdansk in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. While there he went to the home that had originally belonged to the Klawitter family. The owners graciously invited him in and informed him that, in the attic, were items which were in the home when they acquired it and told him he was welcome to take them. You can imagine his delight when he found a portrait of his grandmother or great-grandmother, many pieces of antique silver and the book! Many of these treasures were from the 1800’s. This beautiful story warms my heart!
      Best regards, Pam

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