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August 26, 1968

Report from Polish Second Army’s Political Department at 7:35 hours


From Polish Second Army's Political Department at 7:35 hours 26.08.68

The leadership and men of Second Army units and sub-units continue to display a high emotional-political level, political maturity, exemplary attitude and discipline in carrying out their assigned tasks.

The officers and men appreciated the contents of order PF/20 MON from the Minister of Defense. This order was read out to all the men at special parades in units and sub-units. The men of Second Army eagerly follow political developments. Timely delivery of the press and other materials ensures that officers and men speedily receive up-to-the minute political information. The Polish people's warm support and sympathy is especially noted by the men of Second Army.

The attitude of the Czechoslovak people towards our troops has not changed. The generally negative approach is maintained. No major advance in developing contacts between the men of Second Army and the civilian population has been observed. From information obtained by Second Army's Political Department it appears that reactionary elements are employing moral blackmail towards those individuals who show signs of wanting to make contact with our forces, such as in the town of Trutnov where reactionaries began to blackmail a Czechoslovak citizen, Jerzy Kaompasek, a doctor, for having made a positive comment about the need for allied forces to have entered Czechoslovakia. Clear threats of physical violence caused this citizen to turn for help and protection to Second Army HQ which provided them.

As hostile radio stations have reported, Czechoslovak lawyers have passed a resolution that any Czechoslovak citizen collaborating will be severely punished for collaboration with the occupying forces, which, under Czechoslovak law, could lead to a prison sentence of up to 12 years. The most obviously hostile attitude by the civilian population towards our forces is evident in the town of Trutnov, where ? of the inhabitants, in other words about 5,000 people, are German. Today at 9 o'clock all sirens were ordered to be sounded and church bells to be rung throughout Czechoslovakia as a mark of protest against the presence of allied forces. There is a great deal of evidence that the organizers and brains behind these hostile actions against our forces on the part of the civilian population are the Czechoslovak Army, especially its officers, and students.

On the morning of 25.08.68 a group of about 150 students from Prague arrived in Hradec Králové with the aim of organizing counter-revolutionary actions there.

The attitude of the Czechoslovak Army towards our troops continues to be hostile. According to uncorroborated information, a start has been made in the town of Trutnov at distributing weapons to civilians. In 11th Armored Division's operational area 3 Mig fighter aircraft, together with a radio station and security vehicles, have been discovered hidden in the woods. A temporary runway allows the aircraft to take off.

In 10th Armored Division's operational area dug-in tanks in the woods have been confirmed. It has also been confirmed that military radio stations are ever more frequently used to carry out hostile propaganda activities against us. In the area of Second Army's command post the Czechs have set up direction-finding equipment aimed at us and operating on harmful frequencies.

As a result of a sharp intervention on our part the equipment has been switched off.

On 25.08.68 Second Army's Political Department carried out a joint propaganda operation aimed at the civilian population and CPA units. Using helicopters, aircraft and hand-held catapult devices, propaganda materials in Czech sent by the Polish Army's Main Political Department were distributed. Large and medium-size p/a systems were also employed for propaganda operations against the inhabitants of towns and housing estates. In the afternoon the PAK-7 radio station was switched on and brought into the operation against the civilian population.

Brigadier General M. Grudzien held an informational meeting on the current situation in Czechoslovakia and the resulting tasks for divisional and regimental commanders and their political deputies, as well as for heads of units and staff departments. During the meeting officers asked a number of questions, such as why is our main propaganda effort having such poor results? The Head of Second Army's Political Department held a briefing session with the leaders of the Technical Department and other units at which he discussed in detail the situation and the emotional-political condition of Second Army units and set a number of specific tasks and guidelines for party-political work.

We intend today to continue the type of party-political work we have hitherto been doing. We will focus specifically on political work in line with the Ministry of Defense order. In our work using the information from the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party for First Secretaries of Provincial Committees, in accordance with directives in this matter, we intend to intensify propaganda work amongst the civilian population and CPA units, mainly on the basis of the materials sent from Warsaw and also some of our own. In our party-political work we intend to focus on the increased vigilance and operational preparedness of our own forces.

We request a 100% increase in printed press materials, the systematic delivery of propaganda materials in the Czech language in an amount of from 80,000 to 100,000 (leaflets).

We also request:

- sets of tapes with recordings of soldiers' songs, marches, as well as music which could be used by the radio station.

Brigadier General Wlodzimierz SAWCZUK

I confirm conformity with the original:
Colonel Dr. Czeslaw LUSZCZYNA

Translated thanks to a generous contribution from John A. Adams and the John A. Adams Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute.

Report praises soldiers of the Polish Second Army for their political maturity and high spirits but says that relations between Czech citizens and soldiers of Second Army are not amicable. On August 25th, the political branch of Second Army led a propaganda operation designed for Czech society and soldiers.

Document Information


Institute of National Remembrance or Instytut Pamieci Narodowej, IPN BU 02958/8. Translated for CWIHP from the original Polish by Jaroslaw Garlinski.


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