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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 17, 1981

SESSION OF THE CPSU CC POLITBURO, 17 SEPTEMBER 1981 (EXCERPT)

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    Brezhnev informs the Politburo about his conversation with Cde. Kania of Poland on 11 September, 1981. He suggests applying strong pressure to Kania to put down the uprising.
    "Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 17 September 1981 (excerpt)," September 17, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 89, op. 42, d. 47, first published in CWIHP Special Working Paper 1. Original available in the National Security Archive RADD/READD Collection. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112800
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SESSION OF THE CPSU CC POLITBURO
17 September 1981

Cde. L. I. BREZHNEV presiding.
Also taking part: Cdes. M. S. Gorbachev, V. V. Grishin, M. A. Suslov, N. A. Tikhonov, D. F. Ustinov, P. N. Demichev, B. N. Ponomarev, M. S. Solomentsev, I. V. Kapitonov, V. I. Dolgikh, M. V. Zimyanin, K. V. Rusakov

. . . .

8. Telegram from the Soviet Ambassador in Berlin on 15 September 1981 (Special No. 598)

BREZHNEV. After my telephone conversation with Cde. Kania on 11 September 1981, which we arranged at the previous session of the Politburo, I sent information about it to our ambassadors so that they could inform Cdes. Honecker, Kadar, Zhivkov, and Husak.
The ambassadors performed this task and reported the results. The leaders of the fraternal parties fully and entirely agreed with what was said to Cde. Kania during the phone conversation, and they believe that Cde. Kania is displaying unacceptable liberalism and that we must apply strong pressure on him.

In a discussion with Cde. Abrasimov which, as you know, was described in a telegram, Cde. Honecker put forth the following proposal: to have the leaders of the fraternal parties assemble in Moscow and invite Cde. Kania, and then say to him that he has agreed to step down and that the proposed successor to him as PZPR CC First Secretary is Cde. Olszowski.

In connection with this I would like to recommend what our stance should be. Of course, it is difficult for us at the moment to arrive at a simple decision on this matter. We don't yet know the opinion of the other comrades, the leaders of the other socialist countries. We need to think carefully about all of this.

Perhaps we should instruct the USSR Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense, and the CC Department to examine the questions laid out in the telegram and, taking account of the exchange of opinions in the Politburo, to prepare and submit appropriate recommendations to the CC.

If there are no objections, then perhaps we'll adopt this motion.

The members of the Politburo and candidate members of the Politburo say that Leonid Il'ich's proposal is absolutely correct and should be adopted, except that the KGB should be included among the agencies instructed to examine these questions.

The proposal is adopted.

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