Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski movingly describes Margaret Thatcher's meaning to Eastern Europeans during the Cold War:
For those behind the Iron Curtain, she was a member of the anti-communist “Holy Trinity” – consisting of John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and herself – who altered the fate of the West, and consequently the fate of those outside it.
She did in the West what Solidarity did in the East. Solidarity was a workers’ movement against the communist state, which exposed the illegitimacy of the Communist Party’s claim to represent the working class. Mrs Thatcher similarly turned the tide: until she entered the fray, it was assumed that capitalism was ultimately going to converge with communism – and that a bigger and bigger role for the state was inevitable.
She put an end to that. By rejuvenating Britain, she made the strongest possible case against the model of the command economy in both its hard and soft forms.
What inspired us Poles most was that, with Reagan and John Paul II, she was a deeply moral politician. We greatly admired her clear-headedness with regards to the rights and wrongs of the Cold War.
Mrs Thatcher believed in the justice and morality of a free society. And not just the evil but also the anthropological mistakenness of communism. She had it right, in other words, that people were willing to work hard on behalf of their family and their country – as long as the fruits of their labour were left as much as possible to themselves.