Gdynia

Ryszard Kukliński monument

Ryszard Kuklinski was a colonel in the Polish Army during the Cold War era who began spying for the US in 1972. Over the next nine years he was to pass countless secrets to the CIA before he and his family were whisked out of the country on the eve of Martial Law being imposed in December 1981. In his absence he was sentenced to death by a Polish military court in 1984 but pardoned in 1995. He died in Florida in 2004 aged 73, but only after his two sons both died mysteriously in the US. Interestingly, even today he divides opinion among Poles about whether he was a hero or a traitor. This statue, the work of Tomasz Sobisz of the Academy of Fine Arts, was unveiled with military honours on September 17, 2015, the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland in 1939. In 2013 a film about Kuklinski’s life was released entitled Jack Strong, his CIA codename.

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