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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • April 28, 1944

    Record of a Conversation between I. V. Stalin and the Roman Catholic Priest Stanislaus Orlemanski about the Feelings of the Polish Nationals in the United States toward the USSR

    Stalin and Stanislaus Orlemanski, an American priest of Polish-American heritage, discuss America's perception of the Soviet Union, and the relationship between Poland and the Soviet Union.

  • May 31, 1962

    Summary of Ambassador Wang Binnan’s Report to the Department Party Committee

    Wang Bingnan reports extensively on social, political, religious, and economic conditions within Poland, as well as Poland's foreign relalations with the US, the Soviet Union, and China.

  • February 18, 1972

    Polish Interior Ministry Note on Joint Meeting with PUWP CC on Actions against 'Centers of Subversion'

    These two Interior Ministry documents indicate Edvard Gierek’s concern with uncensored information (“rumors” and “gossip”) challenging his policies, and his focus on RFE as a key instrument of “Western subversion.”

  • November 30, 1981

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

    Translation of a classified report from the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs, covering the general sociopolitical situation in Poland, anti-government and anti-party activity, labor and farmer unrest, the situation in mass media and artistic circles, the activity of the Roman Catholic clergy, violations of public law and order, and other hostile activity. Opinions of Western diplomats and press correspondents are highlighted.

  • December 01, 1981

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

    Translation of a classified document from the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs, providing information on: current political, socio-economic developments in the country; attitudes of the mass media, creative arts and academic circles; activities of the Roman Catholic Church; Western perspectives on Poland; and cases of disorderly conduct.

  • December 24, 1981

    Intelligence Information Cable, 'Soviet Pressure on Polish Government to Act Against the Polish Church'

    Report discusses how after breaking Solidarnosc resistance, the next most important part of maintaining power is to lessen the influence of the Catholic Church. The Soviets propose tactics such as smear campaigns against priests, paternity suits, and getting priests drunk.

  • July 26, 1985

    Polish Interior Ministry Report on Information Leaked to Radio Free Europe on Catholic Church

    The Interior Ministry directive from which this document is excerpted ordered an investigation into how a confidential regime survey of attitudes toward the Catholic Church could have been leaked to RFE. In a follow-up report almost two years later, the Interior Ministry conceded on June 25, 1987 that many people had access to the report and it was impossible to determine who had provided RFE with the material.

  • 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.