"REPORT TO THE [HSWP CC] POLITBURO," FROM JáNOS BERECZ, GYORGY ACZEL, JENO FOCKCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citation""Report to the [HSWP CC] Politburo," from János Berecz, Gyorgy Aczel, Jeno Fock" December 30, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hungarian National Archives (Budapest), Department of Documents on the Hungarian Workers' Party and the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, 288. f. 5/844. ö.e.-, pp. 14 - 20. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111235
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J. Kádár, 30 December 
for the Politburo
On the invitation of Comrade Jaruzelski, First Secretary of the CC of the PUWP and leader of the Military Council for National Defense and following the decision of the Politburo of the HSWP, a delegation of the HSWP was sent to Warsaw between December 27 and 29. The delegation was led by György Aczél, member of the Politburo. He was accompanied by Jeno Fock and János Berecz, members of the CC of HSWP. István Pataki, associate of the Department of Foreign Affairs and József Garamvölgyi, our ambassador in Warsaw, took part in the discussions. At the request of the Polish comrades, the Hungarian delegation went to Warsaw in order to provide information on our experiences in our fight against counterrevolutionary forces and our experience in socialist consolidation and the building of socialism. The exchange of opinions also offered an opportunity to assess the political situation in Poland that has arisen since the introduction of martial law.
In the framework of a plenary meeting, our delegation met the members of an operational committee of 10 which was comprised of representatives of the Military Council for National Defense, the Politburo of the PUWP and the Polish government. The talks were led by Comrade W. Jaruzelski who analyzed the Polish situation thoroughly and pointed out those fields where they particularly needed Hungarian experience. The delegation held talks with Deputy Prime Minister M. Rakowski, member of the PUWP Politburo and Secretary of the CC, Stefan Olszowski, and with the Secretary of the CC of the PUWP, Marian Orzechowski. Comrade Jeno Fock had a talk with Deputy Prime Ministers Janusz Obodowski and Zbigniew Madej, furthermore with the Secretary of the CC of the PUWP, Marian Wozniak. There were talks also between Comrade János Berecz and Wlodzimierz Natorf, leader of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the PUWP CC. In the headquarters of the PUWP CC, Comrade György Aczél took part in a nearly 3-hour Party assembly where 120 people were present. At the dinner party hosted by Comrade Ambassador Garamvölgyi, we had an informal talk with Kazimierz Barcikowski and Józef Czyrek, members of the PUWP Politburo and secretaries of the CC, furthermore with Deputy Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski. At the end of the visit Comrade W. Jaruzelski and György Aczél had a one-hour discussion. This took place after the all-day meeting of first secretaries of the voivodeships and military representatives, where, as Comrade Jaruzelski bitterly remarked, again only the military representatives were active.
Comrade W. Jaruzelski expressed his thanks to the leadership of the HSWP and first of all to Comrade János Kádár for the opportunity that the Hungarian party delegation's visit to Warsaw provided for them. He said that although he was aware of the significant difference between Hungarian circumstances 25 years earlier and the present Polish situation, but as regards the political progress he recognized quite a lot of similarities and for that reason Hungarian experiences, proven by subsequent developments, were of great value to them. He spoke of the situation that came about after the introduction of martial law. In reference to the tasks and action to be carried out, he formulated his words in such a way that they took the shape of questions referring to the Hungarian experiences.
"Today, the most important task in Poland is to get out of the deep crisis, strengthen the people's power and create the conditions of further socialist development. The most decisive and at the same time the most problematic factor now is the situation of the Party. The PUWP, as it exists formally, has to be revived, however a number of difficulties lie ahead. In the course of three and a half decades the Party has experienced more crises and does not enjoy the confidence of society. Under extremely complex ideological, moral and political conditions, the Party must restore sincere and open relations with the masses as soon as possible."
Comrade Jaruzelski suggested that, although martial law created favorable conditions and the forces of socialism had won the first battle, the present activity of the whole of the Party and of its organs was still alarming considering future potential developments. A section of the party members, especially in areas where strikes had to be stopped using military force, feels ill at ease, is inactive and lacks initiative. Others became far too self-assured as a consequence of the conditions and order imposed by the presence of the military. This too gave rise to unjustified self-confidence amongst those people and some of the party members even had a tendency to take revenge. Taking into consideration Comrade Kádár's often repeated advice, they regard the drawing up of a statement, which could be suitable as a concise political program, to be one of the most important preconditions of political development. At present they are working on the establishment of a political platform which they would like to make public in the near future.
Counterrevolutionary forces were very well-organized within Solidarity. With the introduction of martial law they managed to break the leadership of Solidarity, to interrupt its activity, to paralyze its propaganda campaign and sometimes even to expose it. In practice, however, the several-million-strong base of the organization still exists. Solidarity is a unique organization in the world and it has demonstrated an indescribable destructive power both within the economy and the affairs of the state. It is a fact, that this organization has become a symbol of dynamism in the eyes of several million well-meaning workers. The real aspirations of the extremist counterrevolutionary leaders of Solidarity will have to be revealed by steadfast work, but this struggle is going to be hard one, for it is in fact a fight against myths.
Furthermore, an aggravating factor is that the majority of Solidarity supporters and the source of its dynamism are the youth, who joined Solidarity in order to knock down the obstacles that thwart and frustrate their aspirations for intellectual and material well-being. Their attitude may be characterized as nothing less than pro-Western and anti- Soviet. All that goes hand in hand with the intoxicating feeling of their hitherto often successful political fight against the authorities. Therefore they have to be offered attractive goals and suitable conditions in a political and economic situation which is by far the worse than ever.
The other main character of the Solidarity movement is clericalism. The Polish Catholic Church, unlike the Hungarian [Catholic Church], did not get exposed in the course of events. What is more, it has gained ground within Solidarity and reinforced its social position through it. While remaining realistic, the Polish leadership is still looking for possibilities of coexistence between the State and the Church. They are maintaining relations with the Church and trying to keep them from deteriorating beyond a minimum level.
Comrade Jaruzelski pointed out that in the fields of ideological work, propaganda and mass communication they are employing administrative measures first of all. Though there is a strict censorship they believe, based on Hungarian experience, that in the course of time they will be able to use more flexible and more efficient means in this field too.
Presently, the poor condition of the national economy is a major burden. Even without the destruction of the last 15 months the situation would be grave, but now economic conditions have become catastrophic. There is a general shortage of supplies, prices and wages are unrealistic, the supply of energy and raw materials for industrial plants keeps breaking down. To make things worse, the USA has just imposed an economic blockade, thus badly affecting the economy which has developed a cooperative dependence on the economies of capitalist countries over the past 10 years. In spite of the extraordinary circumstances, economic reform is going to be implemented in a limited form at the beginning of the year. Poland is in great need of the economic assistance from the socialist countries and Comrade Jaruzelski repeatedly expressed his thanks for the prompt Hungarian economic aid. He also added that it was clear to them that this kind of assistance could be only provisional as the real solution, in the long run, is undoubtedly the transformation of the Polish economy into a viable economy.
As a summary of his comments, Comrade Jaruzelski underlined that the tasks ahead were huge and that there is presently no organized force in Poland, beyond the armed forces, which could provide reliable support. Only the multilateral assistance of the allied socialist countries could bring real support and clean sources. They wish to pursue the line they took when they introduced martial law; they are aware that they must pull back but have to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the exceptional circumstances.
Our experience and impressions of intensive formal and informal discussions held with members of the Polish leadership can be summarized as follows:
1. The activity of the Military Council for National Defense is very well-organized, the armed forces and police authorities are carrying out their historic duties with commendable discipline. Their actions have stabilized the government institutions, eliminated open and organized resistance and apparently restored public law and order. The indispensable primary conditions thus are in place for socialist consolidation.
2. The favorable conditions created by the introduction of martial law and the stability attained so far are in danger mainly due to the lack of political power or rather its disintegration.
3. The Party is invariably divided and has become less active. Party leaders regard the situation created by the army's actions, that is, the so-called "conditions of artificial defense," as natural and this is delaying the development of the political offensive. Within the party there are heated debates amongst the various trends and tendencies and no determined political platform until now. It would seem that there is a mutual understanding that the Party must not return either to the position before August 1980, nor to the one preceding 13 December 1981. Consequently, there has to be concordance between the general principles of building socialism and Polish national characteristics. However, in practice, differences of opinion are emerging even in the process of setting the specific tasks and direct objectives. According to representatives of one of the main trends, national characteristics—the role of the Catholic Church, the degree of Polish national consciousness, the situation of the agriculture and so forth—have to be given a decisive role, furthermore the past 35 years of the construction of socialism has to be fundamentally revised and reassessed. According to the other trend, which is less perceptible now amongst the topmost circles of the Party, due to the immediate counterrevolutionary threat and highly sensitive national feelings, the balance has to be restored by way of laying a larger emphasis on the general principles of building socialism and on the basic categories of Marxism-Leninism.
4. Hostile forces were successfully disabled, but not liquidated. The enemy's tactics could be now either of two kinds:
a/ To go underground and consistently hamper consolidation by staging terrorist actions and sabotages, or
b/ To call for the restoration of quiet and order, and so to emphasize the senselessness of continued maintenance of martial law, and then to demand its earliest possible cessation.
5. There was a keen and general interest in the Hungarian experience everywhere. We are of the opinion that in this respect they repeatedly took our previous results as a basis and they seem to know little about the initial steps of the hard-won consolidation. When they are about to announce the introduction of harsh measures, they often refer to these results without proper knowledge of these experiences.
The delegation of the HSWP fulfilled its mission. The exchange of opinions was useful and we are convinced that our fraternal Polish Party needs all-embracing and concrete support in the future too. As far as we could tell, beyond their expedience, our suggestions provided first of all moral encouragement and support for the Polish leadership.
We suggest that, depending on the Polish comrades' needs, a similar discussion take place in Warsaw in the near future and that, at their request, a consultation be held in Budapest on the relevant issues.
Budapest, 30 December 1981
János Berecz György Aczél Jeno Fock