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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October 25, 1956

    Maj. Witold Osinski, Reports on the Events of 19-23 October 1956

    Reports recounting Osinski's experiences with infighting between the Polish Ministry of Defense (MND), and the Stalinist Internal Security Corps (ISC). The reports also take place during the Polish October (Gomulka' Thaw). Normal font indicates that the text appears in both instances of the document. Italics indicates that the text appears only in the original, handwritten version of the document. Bold font indicates that the text appears only in the final, typed version for Gomulka.

  • January 24, 1962

    Transcription of Speech by Yugoslav General Ivan Gosnjak

    This note describes a conference of important governmental leaders that gathered on Dec. 21, 1961 to hear Gosnjak speak. He spoke about the power of socialism and the importance of a united Soviet bloc against adversity.

  • February 27, 1980

    Memorandum from John M. McMahon to the Director of Central Intelligence, '[Redacted] Report'

    McMahon forwards a translation of a Polish-language document containing information on the Polish government's planning for "increased threat for Poland's security."

  • October 22, 1980

    Proposals Regarding the Introduction of Martial Law for Reasons of State Security and the Underlying Consequences of Introducing Martial Law.

    A proposal for instituting martial law in Poland, in response to the protest movement there. The document breaks down the powers granted to the government through martial law, and notes that the powers of some government organs will need to be broadened.

  • February 13, 1981

    Memorandum from John McMahon to the Director of Central Intelligence, '[Redacted] Report'

    Translation of an address made by Polish General Wojciech Jaruzelski. He discusses how Poland's problems are a result of leadership not adhering to Socialist-Leninist ideology and the need for peaceful intervention in Poland.

  • February 24, 1981

    Memorandum from John McMahon to the Secretaries of State and Defense and Director of the National Security Agency, 'Current Situation in the Polish Government and Ministry of Defense'

    Translated document outlines a conversation with Brezhnev where he expresses his concerns over counterrevolutionaries. The threat of young people joining the Solidarnosc movement and GDR & Czechoslovakian propaganda to peace in Poland.

  • March 12, 1981

    Memorandum from John McMahon to the Secretaries of State and Defense and Director of the National Security Agency, '[Redacted] Report'

    Translated document outlines an exercise for both the government and military of Poland to prepare for the implementation of martial law.

  • March 16, 1981

    Memorandum from John McMahon to the Secretaries of State and Defense and Director of the National Security Agency, '[Redacted] Report'

    Translated memorandum reports the coordinated efforts of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Defense, and Central Committee Propaganda Department to implement martial law in Poland.

  • August 25, 1981

    Memorandum from [Redacted] to the Director of Central Intelligence, 'Martial Law in Poland'

    Memorandum outlining Poland's martial law plan, whether it could work, and the attitudes of Polish leadership.

  • September 13, 1981

    Protocol No. 002/81 of the Meeting of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland

    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.

  • September 18, 1981

    Memorandum from John Stein to the Secretaries of State and Defense and Director of the National Security Agency, 'Agenda for the Meeting of the National Defense Committee on 14 September; Current Positions of the Political and Military Leadership...'

    Translated agenda of the National Defense Committee meeting from September 14th, as well as outline the positions of military and government officials on the implementation of martial law.

  • December, 1981

    Information [for Gustav Husak] on the Progress and Outcome of the 14th Meeting of the Defense Minsters Committee, 1 and 4 December 1981 in Moscow (Excerpt)

    Summary of the 14th meeting of the Warsaw BlocDefense Ministers Committee. The ministers discuss the Solidarity movement and protests in Poland, and how to handle the issue in the media.

  • December 07, 1981

    Memorandum from [Redacted] to the Director and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 'Polish Preparations for Martial Law'

    Translated report details the latest available information to the status of martial law in Poland, and argues the government will not instate martial law in their conflict with Solidarnosc and instead opt for political solutions. It outlines the evidence for this with military and government intelligence.

  • January 08, 1982

    Intelligence Information Cable, 'Possible Future Phases of Martial Law'

    Report details further steps in the martial law process. Such as alleviating military pressure when regions are sufficiently calm, improving economic conditions and increased Soviet influence.

  • January 20, 1982

    Intelligence Information Cable, 'Contacts between Polish Military and Politburo Officials'

    Report tracks some correspondence between military and Politburo, compares and contrasts positions, and Soviet influence.

  • June 05, 1989

    Transcript of the Central Committee Secretariat Meeting of the Polish United Workers Party (PZPR)

    On the day after Solidarity had swept Poland’s first open elections, ultimately winning 99 of 100 Senate seats, the Polish Communists vent their shock and dismay ("a bitter lesson," "the party are not connected with the masses," "We trusted the Church and they turned out to be Jesuits" were typical comments). Comrade Kwasniewski (who was later elected President of Poland) remarks that "It’s well known that also party members were crossing out our candidates" (only two out of 35 Party candidates survived the epidemic of X’s). But they see no choice but to negotiate a coalition government, and specifically "[w]arn against attempts at destabilization, pointing at the situation in China" -- since the Tiananmen massacre occurred the same day as the Polish elections, the road not taken.