Presentation of Martial Law Era Documents
During the press conference on Tuesday, 13 December, held by the Minister of National Defence and the Director of the Military Historical Office, Dr. hab. Sławomir Cenckiewicz, presented hitherto unknown facts to the public from archival material concerning December 1970 and the tragic events that then took place.
“Today we present earlier unknown documents showing the original implementation of martial law by Mr. Jaruzelski, with the help of soldiers of the Polish People’s Army. These are materials which over the years have been hidden from the public eye. (...) Today, we want to show these documents as testimony that martial law, a crime against the Polish nation, was carefully prepared and that Polish soldiers were used against the nation," said Defence Minister Macierewicz during the meeting.
The Director of the Military Historical Office, Mr. Sławomir Cenckiewicz, noted that these materials are particularly innovative, as in their reading it becomes evident, that a decisive role in the pacification of the anti-communist revolt in December 1970, was played out by the Polish People’s Army, then headed by the head of the Defence Ministry, Wojciech Jaruzelski. “Although he had sent his two deputies to Gdańsk, Gen. Korczyński and Gen. Chocha, it was Jaruzelski who co-lead or decided about everything that happened at that time on the coast,” said Mr. Cenckiewicz.
The head of the Military Historical Office announced that all of the documents that were presented will be soon published on the Military Historical Office website.
On the 35th anniversary of the introduction of martial law, archivists of the Military Historical Office presented unreleased material concerning the massacre of workers that took place in December '70.
Among other records, the following material was made public:
• archival materials about the origins and course of military operations in December 1970 in the cities of Gdańsk, Gdynia, Elbląg and Szczecin;
• archival materials about the origins and course of the martial law era in Poland.
Of the documents presented, these may be considered most significant:
• operational messages from the period prior to the demonstrations and strikes launched on 14 December 1970, demonstrating the close relationship between the highest State authorities and the leadership concerning military plans on their possible joint pacification efforts;
• documents of a planning and operational nature, among others from 16 December 1970, personally signed by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Minister of National Defence;
• operational maps for military action in Gdańsk, Gdynia, Elbląg and Szczecin to quell strikers’ workplaces and their crews;
• combat logs and reports on the use of weapons by military units in December 1970;
• in one of the combat logs there is a fundamental document (in its original from 15 December 1970) with a short description of a meeting organized in the office of the 1st Secretary of the Central Committee, Władysław Gomułka, with among others, Defense Minister Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski. During the deliberations, the decision was taken to use troops and weapons against the workers' revolt on the coast;
• military plans of the command structure at the time of the December 1970 events;
• report/announcement by Wojciech Jaruzelski from 21 December 1970, addressed to the newly selected Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party (KC PZPR), a report describing the role of the Polish People’s Army in the pacification of the December 1970 revolt.