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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 13, 1981

PROTOCOL NO. 002/81 OF THE MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE HOMELAND

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    Meeting of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland on the implementation of martial law in Poland. Committee members discuss where to increase militarization to be prepared for martial law, and how best to protect martial law through propaganda.
    "Protocol No. 002/81 of the Meeting of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland," September 13, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Published in CWIHP Working Paper No. 21. Translated from Polish by Leo Gluchowski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117855
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PROTOCOL No. 002/81

of the meeting of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland on 13 September 1981

The deliberations were led by the Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, Comrade General Wojciech JARUZELSKI in accordance with the established agenda, as in point 2 of the matter under discussion in the protocol.

  

The participants at the meeting included Committee members and those invited, [as] detailed in point 3 of the matter under discussion in the protocol.

On points 1-5 of the agenda, i.e. the following matters:

  

1) the current state of security and public order in the State;

2) guiding thoughts on the activities of the State at the time Marital Law is in force;

  

3) the state of readiness for activities of selected institutions after the introduction of Martial Law;

  

4) the stage of normative-organizational preparations connected with the introduction of Martial Law, as well as ventures pertaining to militarization and civil defense;

  

5) the safeguarding of Martial Law through propaganda. The speakers in the discussion included:

Point 1–the current state of security and public order in the State (presented by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Comrade General Ceszlaw KISZCZAK):

 [Section missing...] specific assignment of the internal affairs department under the conditions of the current socio-political and economic situation in the country, as well as at the time Martial Law is in force.

Point 1 and Point 2–guiding thoughts on State activities at the time Martial Law is in force, (presented by the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, Comrade General Florian SIWICKI):

Comrade Miroslaw MILEWSKI–who emphasized the importance of the conclusions arising from the information put forward with regard to points 1 and 2. He pointed out the need to conduct an appraisal on the contingency of introducing Martial Law to examine the effective influence of Martial Law in stabilizing the political situation in the country.

  

Point 3–the degree of readiness by selected departments to conduct activities after the introduction of Martial Law (presented by the vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers, Comrade Andrzej JEDYNAK):

  

Comrade Stanislaw KANIA–who emphasized that the information presented is not precise on the essential range of problems on the functioning of the national economy at the time Martial Law is in force, mainly with regard to three mutually conditional arrangements: first, the feasibility (reserves) pertaining to the provisioning of the population and the continuation of original industrial production; second, the energy system, particularly in assuring communal needs (lighting and heating); third, the consequences as a result of restrictions on international trade.

  

The Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, Comrade General Wojciech JARUZELSKI–who, in the context of the currently existing large scale stoppages at the purchasing center for agricultural products, indicated that under the circumstances arising from the introduction of Martial Law it is necessary to carry out appraisals concerning the continued delivery of provisions needed by the non-agricultural population.

Comrade Kazimierz BARCIKOWSKI–who proposed considering the purpose of introducing, at the time Martial Law is in force, the so-called tax on provisions in place of the current mandatory deliveries of agricultural products.

Point 4–the state of normative-organizational preparation connected to the introduction of Martial Law, as well as ventures pertaining to militarization and civil defense (discussed by the secretary of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, General Tadeusz TUCZAPSKI):

  

– there was no discussion on this subject.

Point 5–the safeguarding of Martial Law through propaganda (presented by PUWP Central Committee secretary, Comrade Stefan OLSZOWSKI):

Comrade Stanislaw KANIA–who called attention to the need for a comprehensive examination of the prospects pertaining to the guaranteed continuity of work by radio and television, including taking into consideration the reliance on reserves in electric energy at the time Martial Law in force, and also pertaining to organizational-technical problems connected to the possibility of jamming the reception of radio broadcasts transmitted by foreign centers of enemy propaganda.

Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, Comrade General Wojciech JARUZELSKI–who pointed out for the need to select, from all the measures connected with the safeguarding of Martial Law through propaganda, those which should take effect immediately, owing to the evolution of the socio-economic and political situation in the country.

Comrade General Florian SIWICKI–who provided information on the ability to guarantee the supply of radio information through short-wave (with a nation-wide reach) by taking advantage of radio transmitters, such as R-102 and R-110, in case the stationary transmitters of Polish Radio and Television are immobilized.

  

After discussing matters subject to resolution by the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, the following persons spoke:

  

Comrade General Czeslaw KISZCZAK–who emphasized that, among other things, the political opponent aims at confrontation on their own terms, through a varied system of protest actions, voting, and announcing programs, simultaneously resorting to centers directed at the systematic destruction of activities by state administration and PUWP cells. He concluded on the need to intensify party and governmental activities for taking control of the crisis situation in the country’s economy, which threatens to intensify present difficulties during the winter period and, among other things, he concluded there was a need to set in motion mechanisms enforcing work discipline, as well as serving to guarantee consistent deliveries by agricultural producers.

  

Comrade General Czeslaw PIOTROWSKI–who justified the need to militarize the coal mining enterprises, the energy system, and natural gas. He emphasized the economic and political aspects of eventual militarization, as well as the need to take measures in this matter at the right time: principally before Martial Law is introduced.

Comrade Kazimierz BARCIKOWSKI–who pointed out the harmful instances of sluggishness by party organizations in carrying out essential activities. He recommended, in detail, the normative and organizational-planning preparations connected to the introduction of Martial Law (together with bringing to the provinces normative acts and plans of action) in a way that would allow for the activation of operations connected with it within 36 hours. He also emphasized the need to detail statutes effecting: the optimal choice of the moment to introduce Martial Law, and the foreseen social reaction to the decision concerning the introducing Martial Law; the aims and ways to realize the policies of the party and the government at the time Martial Law is in force, including matters connected with economic reform and strengthening the state and the political structures (together with the introduction of the currently prepared governmental and statutory act; ventures in the sphere of stabilizing the situation in the country and of finding a way out of Martial Law.

  

Comrade Miroslaw MILEWSKI–who underlined that in the present difficult situation, the country’s political authorities and state may act on the principle of relying on the powers of the departments of national defense and internal affairs, whose conceivable erosion would indicate an inclination of social leaning to the benefit of the political opponent. He characterized the essential role of the optimal time factor most optimal from the point of view of introducing Martial Law, and also pointed out the need to firm up immediately apparent preparations connected to that state. These preparations, to shake public opinion, should also indicate that the behavior of the authorities is the result of the continuous implementation of the policy of renewal, and is occasioned by the need to systematically defend the state, [which has been] weakened as a consequence of the destructive activities of the opponent, including the extremist powers inherent in “Solidarity”.

Comrade Stanislaw KANIA–who brought attention to the need for maintaining strict secrecy on all discussions at the meeting on matters concerning Martial Law, asserted the need to unravel difficult socio-political and economic problems in the existing critical situation with our own forces and in a way that will ensure the guaranteed well-being of the nation and guard the territory of the Polish People’s Republic, as well as frustrate imperialistic calculations to entangle the USSR and other socialist states by worsening their internal and external conflicts. Sanctioning in general the prepared normative and organizational-planning solutions concerning Martial Law—labeling it a state of class war, which in the fullness of time cannot fulfill the basic system of social life—he indicated that the aim of its introduction should be to introduce a transformation in “Solidarity” that would lead in the direction of a trade union with socialist characteristics. Emphasizing the need for the continuation of energetic preparations connected to the eventual introduction of Martial Law, he pointed out the primary role of the department of internal affairs in this area, which, besides applying measures to paralyze enemy activities, should also support adopting positive undertones that [would] influence the growth of social awareness in the direction of sanctioning the political line of the party and the government. He noted that the eventuality of introducing Martial Law demands fulfilling a genuine assessment of the ability to guarantee the essential needs of the population at the time Martial Law is in force, above all, in the area of provisions, as well as electricity and heating, keeping in mind that the return to a normal state of affairs will not come in a few days or weeks. He emphasized that the importance of preparations [word unreadable] continuing the functioning of the propaganda system for the period before Martial Law is introduced, as well as during the period it is in force. He remarked that the decision about the eventual introduction of Martial Law would be taken in the fullness of time. However, further preparations in connection with the introduction of Martial Law should be carried out intensely, whereas current readiness plans in this area ought to surpass very realistic preparations. He underlined that preparations connected with Martial Law cannot in anyway be in opposition to the current endeavors of the party and government. The point of departure for an assessment of the present situation should be to proclaim the changes occurring in the public consciousness, which is characterized by growing criticism towards “Solidarity,” while in the party there is increasing will to defend socialism. He pointed out the need to adopt in the near future a “great political offensive” based on the actions of the apparatus and administration, the activities of operational military groups in the field, the proper functioning of laws and authority largely in the direction of liquidating the state of anarchy, making corrections to the situation in the market, finalizing [word unreadable] statutory regulations, new legal norms with respect to trade unions, higher education, and economic reform. He emphasized the need to find the means to secure party organizations for difficult political activities. He noted the need to reexamine the present state of storing arms and explosive devises (in armories and in production), as well as finding the means to ensure maximum effect for its protection.

Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland–who, stressing the highest range of political matters discussed at the meeting of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, also characterized the essence and difficulty of the current phase of confrontation with the political opponent, and emphasized that the problems presented at the meeting of the Committee present the clearest review of the situation and allow for precise directions for further actions.

He underlined the meaning of the past for a clearer appreciation of the conditions developing in the socio-political and economic situation in the country, as well as our own forces and those of the allies, including the political forces of the opponent. He pointed out the precise meaning and the necessity to settle internal problems with our own forces, at the support for our endeavors by the political and economic activities from the neighboring socialist states, about which enemy elements, those inherent in “Solidarity”, should be thoroughly convinced. He emphasized that the essential strategy of current activities should be the unmasking of the endeavors of enemy forces, appealing to undecided forces on the side of socialism, neutralizing elements in the opposition camp, as well as taking full advantage of public support for the political line of the party and government, including also the kind of measure for eventual political action by the authorities like the introduction of Martial Law. He remarked that the main determining factor, based upon taking a justified decision in the matter of Martial Law, concerns, above all, the passage of time to introduce it, as well as its objective (subject)–it means the kind of choice and subject that under no condition [it] will be assessed as a provocation from the government side, but rather in sufficient measure will explain to society exactly this kind of necessity on the part of the authorities. Assessing the actual state of preparations for the eventual introduction of Martial Law, he generally underlined the correctness of the proposed solution–indicating also the attainment of a higher stage of readiness from the perspective of the departments of national defense and internal affairs, and naturally a relatively lower stage of readiness in the economy and state administration. He called for the confidential continuation on a higher level of advancement of all further indispensable preparations concerning the eventual introduction of Martial Law, such that indispensable normative and organizational-planning has to be deposited at the level of the Citizens’ Militia Provincial Committee. Assessing the propaganda preparations, he indicated a need for their intensification, as well as the confidential adoption of offensive propaganda activities to serve, among other things: the unmasking of the essential objectives of “Solidarity,” and revealing its responsibility for the harmful occurrence that came into being last year in social life and the economy of the country; reiterate to society the problems of accounting for the errors of the last period; strengthen the authority of leading cadre and providing it with support to carry out actual assignments. He pointed out the need for a profound unraveling of the tactics of so-called “strike action”, as well as to work out appropriate methods and ways of resistance. He recommended undertaking indispensable ventures to block the paralysis and functioning of radio and television; distributing personal weapons to a select group of political and state workers; effective resistance to adventures and violations of mandatory laws; resistance to economic sabotage; [word unreadable] theft, primarily social, especially in Polish State Railways; tightening state frontiers, particularly the coastal borders.

He proposed accepting the preparations made to date regarding Martial Law, with advice to guarantee security and secrecy, the indispensability of their intensity of support regarding the findings as a result of the discussion and the current developments in the country, including a recommendation to achieve a permanent readiness for every circumstance for the eventuality of introducing Martial Law the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland accepted the proposals on this subject. Moreover, the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland accepted, put forward by the Secretary of the Committee, a proposal to withdraw from the paramilitary organs the [role of being the] “Decisive establishment defending the Polish People’s Republic.”

  

3. Members of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland: Comrade General Wojciech JARUZELSKI; Comrade Kazimierz BARCIKOWSKI; Comrade Stefan OLSZOWSKI; Comrade Miroslaw MILEWSKI; Comrade Andrzej JEDYNAK; Comrade Janusz OBODOWSKI; Comrade General Czeslaw KISZCZAK; Comrade General Florian SIWICKI; Comrade General Tadeusz TUCZAPSKI.

  

Person invited: Comrade General Zbigniew NOWAK; Comrade General Michal JANISZEWSKI; Comrade General Boguslaw STACHURA; Comrade General Wladyslaw POZOGA; Comrade General Adam KRZYSZTOPORSKI; Comrade General Jerzy SKALSKI; Comrade General Antoni JASINSKI; Comrade General Mieczyslaw DEBICKI; Comrade General Czeslaw PIOTROWSKI; Comrade Colonel Bronislaw PAWLIKOWSKI; Comrade Colonel Zdzislaw MALINA; Comrade Colonel Tadeusz MALICKI; Comrade Walery NAMIOTKIEWICZ.

The First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party Central Committee, Stanislaw KANIA, took part in the meeting.

SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE HOMELAND

General Tadeusz TUCZAPSKI

[1] The translator would like to thank Kzrysztof Persak (Warsaw) for his help in transcribing the handwritten Polish