Growing up in communist Poland, Sylwia Cavalcant yearned for freedom but was stifled behind the Iron Curtain.
Sylwia witnessed the price of communism through the heroic acts of her parents. Sylwia’s father resisted the regime by gathering like-minded colleagues in secret meetings to print pamphlets about democracy and protest the regime. Sylwia’s mother, a professor, would eventually be arrested for daring to teach the truth about democracy and capitalism in her classroom. Both knew that they risked their lives to fight for a brighter future.
Sylwia followed in the footsteps of her parents, assisting the Solidarity movement that spread across Poland as her parents led colleagues, friends, and family to march defiantly for freedom. Through the selfless acts of countless Poles like Sylwia and her parents, the power of the people would eventually topple the communist regime.
VOC was honored to help produce Sylwia Cavalcant’s witness story in partnership with the University of Arizona’s Center for the Philosophy of Freedom as part of a three-film series for the Center’s Oral History Collection. A tremendous resource for students and teachers, this project was made possible by the passage of HB 2008, which mandates that Arizona social studies high school graduation requirements “must include a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.”