Adam Michnik delivered the 2017 Annual Copernicus Lecture, titled “The Glory and Poverty of the ’68 Generation.” The lecture was presented as part of the 4th Annual Polish Jewish Studies Workshop, which was held at the University of Michigan from April 2-4, 2017.
Adam Michnik is editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s first independent newspaper and currently its biggest daily. A historian, Michnik co-founded the Committee for the Defense of Workers (KOR) in 1976, and was a prominent Solidarity activist during the 1980s. He was detained many times during 1965-80, spending a total of six years in Polish prisons for activities opposing the communist regime. Michnik participated in the Round Table Talks of 1989 that led peacefully to the first contested elections since the start of the communist regime. He was a member of Poland’s first non-communist parliament from 1989 to 1991. His many notable awards and honors include the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the Goethe Medal, and the Erasmus Prize, as well as honorary degrees from several institutions including the University of Michigan.