Wojciech Jaruzelski, 1923-2014
May 25, 2014 8:52 PM Subscribe
Wojciech Jarzelski, Poland's last Communist leader, has died from complications following a stroke.
posted by orrnyereg (8 comments total)
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He is best known as the opponent of the Solidarity trade union movement. On December 13, 1981, he declared martial law (martial law previously
), banning Solidarity and arresting/interning most of its members.
Jaruzelski also oversaw Poland's peaceful transition to an electoral democracy by permitting partially free elections in 1989, in which he was replaced in office by Lech Walesa. He faced trial in the new Polish state for his decision to have soldiers fire on striking miners in 1970. The trial was discontinued over Jaruselski's ill health.
He continued to insist that history would look more favorably upon his reputation. He was 90 years old.
For the general reader, you can't go wrong with Tina Rosenberg's The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts after Communism
Lawrence Weschler, Passion of Poland (1984)
Timothy Garton-Ash, The Polish Revolution (1985)
Andrzej Paczkowski and Malcolm Byrne, From Solidarity to Martial Law. The Polish Crisis of 1980-1981 : A Documentary History
David Mason has written extensively about this period.
"Stalemate and Apathy in Poland" (1985)
"The Polish Party in Crisis" (1984)
"Solidarity, the Regime and the Public" (1983)
On the web
(site operated by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance--in Polish)
Photos from martial law
(Institute of National Remembrance website)