Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

strife between striking workers and the communist regime. Jaruzelski, arguing that if he had not acted, the Soviet army would have marched into Poland, declared martial law, outlawed the Solidarity trade union and, had its leaders and supporters arrested and thrown into jail. He also took control over the secret police and used it for the restoration of calm in Poland. Jaruzelski was fully supported by Leonid Brezhnev and his Soviet colleagues.

In 1982, new demonstrations erupted in Poland against martial law, and these were put down with great brutality on Jaruzelski's orders by the secret police. The Western powers introduced an embargo on Polish goods. In 1983, therefore, Jaruzelski was forced to lift martial law, but this did not bring about the end of general repression of the dissenters.

Two years later, Jaruzelski stepped down from the post of prime minister, but he remained head of the Polish United Workers party. An obedient parliament, filled with communist deputies, elected him president of the republic, so that he retained considerable power. In 1989, when the communist regime collapsed, the opposition agreed to Jaruzelski's continued presidency. However, in the free elections of 1990, Jaruzelski was replaced by Lech Walesa (see Walesa, Lech), his former Solidarity opponent as president of Poland.


Bibliography

Ash Timothy Garton, The Polish Revolution ( London, 1985); Koralewicz J., I. Bialecki, and M. Watson, eds. Crisis and Transition: Polish Society in the 1980s ( London, 1987); Malcher George , Poland's Politicized Army ( New York, 1984); Misztal Bronislaw, Poland after Solidarity: Social Movements Versus the State ( New Brunswick, NJ, 1985).

Kania, Stanislaw (1927- ). Kania's father was a peasant who owned a small parcel of land. Stanislaw worked for two years before World War II as a laborer, then he joined the Communist Peasant Battalions for one year. In April 1945, he joined the Polish Workers party. He was soon sent to a party school attached to the party's Central Committee. He was then sent, in 1958, as a party functionary to work in the Polish Youth Association, a front organization of the Communist party. In the same year, Kania was adopted by the party apparatus in Warsaw province. He became the director of the agricultural department of the provincial party committee. In 1964, he became a candidate (nonvoting) member of the party's Central Committee. Four years later, Kania became a full member of the same committee. He was appointed director of the Central Committee's administrative department. In April 1971, he was elected secretary to the Central Committee. In December, he was promoted candidate (nonvoting) member of the Polish United Workers party's Politburo while remaining a member of the Central Committee's secretariat. In 1975, he was promoted to full membership in the Politburo.

Kania, an ordinary apparatchik, worked his way up the hierarchy's ranks by conforming to party rules and regulations. During his last year as Central Committee secretary, Kania was responsible for military and internal security, a position of great

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