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Czesław Kiszczak History Martial law Poland Wojciech Jaruzelski News

Martial law: killers unpunished

Poland’s peaceful Solidarity movement was crushed by tanks in 1981 with 100 dead, 10,000 in prison, thousands forced to emigrate and the economy in tatters. But its architects, General Wojciech Jaruzelski and General Czesław Kiszczak have not been held to account for waging war on the nation.

editor: REMIX NEWS
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As a result of the lack of legal accountability, martial law has been condoned in social consciousness. Dr Jarosław Szarek, the head of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) asserts that martial law was inspired by the USSR.

“There is no doubt that martial law was action taken in the interests of the USSR aimed at securing the interests of monopoly power of the communist party and the system which was imposed on Poland after World War II. A military junta representing the interests of a foreign state can’t be excused.”

Dr Szarek believes that the fact that many Poles still condone General Jaruzelski’s action is shameful for the country and a sign of a crisis of morality.

37 years have passed and we are still waiting for the crimes of martial law to be accounted for and for people who in those days fought for freedom in Poland to be treated with dignity and respect

According to Janusz Olewiński the leader of the association of victims of martial law who are campaigning for compensation for the victims, “37 years have passed and we are still waiting for the crimes of martial law to be accounted for and for people who in those days fought for freedom in Poland to be treated with dignity and respect”. 

Mr Olewiński reminds readers that “until recently former communist secret police personnel were the most privileged among the pensioners”. The condoning of martial law and its architects has been an important factor in protecting former communists in legal, political, military and media structures of the Polish state.