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.
July 25, 1989
Report of the President of Hungary Rezso Nyers and General Secretary Karoly Grosz on Talks with Gorbachev in Moscow (excerpts)
President of People’s Republic of Hungary, Rezso Nyers, and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, Karoly Grosz, report on their talks with Gorbachev in Moscow, 24-25 July, 1989. The excerpts contains economic reformer Nyers’ assessment of the political situation in Hungary, and first among the factors that "can defeat the party," he lists "the past, if we let ourselves [be] smeared with it." The memory of the revolution of 1956 and its bloody repression by the Soviets was Banquo’s ghost, destroying the legitimacy of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, just as 1968 in Prague and 1981’s martial law in Poland and all the other Communist "blank spots" of history came back in 1989 to crumble Communist ideology. For their part, the Communist reformers (including Gorbachev) did not quite know how to respond as events accelerated in 1989, except not to repeat 1956.
Once More about Radio Liberty. Folder 66. The Chekist Anthology.
Contains information on KGB active measures to undermine the activities and credibility of Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America during the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s. In one operation, personally authorized by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov, the Spanish journal “Arriba” and 42 other Spanish journals published articles stating that Radio Liberty broadcasts into the USSR violated the Helsinki Accords because they impinged upon Soviet sovereignty, and were contrary to Spanish national interests. Following this activity, the Spanish leadership decided not to extend its agreement with the US which allowed Radio Liberty to broadcast from Spain. During a 1976 operation, an East German agent who worked as an international lawyer spread disinformation about Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty’s ‘illegal’ activities in 35 foreign embassies in Vienna. In October 1977, the KGB sent letters to a variety of Western news outlets, including the Washington Post, claiming to be from a group of Radio Free Europe employees. These letters were directed specifically at US Senators Edward Kennedy, Charles Percy, and Frank Church, and Representatives Edward Derwinsky, Clement Zablocky, Herman Badillo, and Berkley Bedell. In 1981, with the help of the journal “Pravda,” the KGB exposed the role of Radio Liberty in the ‘events’ in Poland.