They were once bitter foes: Lech Walesa, the pro-democracy activist, and Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the communist leader who imprisoned Walesa for 11 months during a harsh martial law crackdown in 1981.
In a sign of their reconciliation, Walesa visited the ailing 88-year-old Jaruzelski over the weekend, shaking hands with his former jailer who lay weakened in a Warsaw hospital with cancer and pneumonia.
"Get well, General," Walesa said above a photograph of the meeting posted on his website. The daily tabloid Fakt carried the picture on its front page on Monday and declared it "historic."
Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, but his wife Danuta and son Bogdan traveled to Oslo to receive it because Walesa feared that Jaruzelski's government would not let him back into the country if he left.In 1989, negotiations allowed for the peaceful transfer of power from Jaruzelski's team to Solidarity. Jaruzelski stayed on briefly as the first president under democracy, but was replaced by Walesa in a 1990 general election.
... Since then their ties have been civil, a reflection of the peaceful transition Poland made from communism to democracy.
EGYPT AND LIBYA WILL UNFOLD LIKE IRAN, NOT POLAND - AND ISLAM IS WHY.