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Jaruzelski invited Soviet Invasion

Communist general faces further accusations of betraying Poland
Communist general faces further accusations of betraying Poland

(2009-12-11) Poland’s last communist leader has been accused of committing high treason after documents alleging to show he called for a Soviet invasion of Poland to help crush striking workers were released.

The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) says it has documentary proof that General Wojciech Jaruzelski, now 86, requested the Kremlin’s help just days before imposing martial law.

According to the memo released on Tuesday by the IPN, Jaruzelski met with an aide-de-camp to the head of the Warsaw Pact forces, Soviet Marshal Viktor Kulikov. At the meeting, according to the document, Jaruzelski requested Moscow’s ‘brotherly’ help.

The General has denied the allegations, branding them illogical and pointed out that Kulikov had frequently gone on the record denying any suggestion that Polish communists had sought a Soviet invasion.

“If, as alleged, I had not believed we were able to impose martial law using our own forces and had thus asked for help, then on getting a negative reply martial law would not have happened or it would have ended in a suicidal bloodbath. Neither of these things happened, as we all know,” Gen Jaruzelski told the Polish press agency PAP.

But despite the denials, former solidarity leader and nemesis Lech Walesa has demanded Jaruzelski be tried for high treason, whilst opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has demanded he receive a life sentence.

“If there is evidence that the imposition of martial law was not necessary, the prosecutor should seek a sentence of life imprisonment for Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, - PiS President Jarosław Kaczynski said, adding that Poland still bore the scars of martial law.

“To this day we are still paying for it: the collapse of society and hope. There was an enormous amount of human harm done, including death.

Jaruzelski, who is already facing charges of committing other “communist crimes”, has always insisted he declared martial law in 1981 to avert the kind of Soviet invasion that had crushed pro-democracy protests in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

That point was reiterated this week by former president Alexander Kwasniewski who called the General “a political master.”

“He deceived the Russians and he achieved success. Because of him Poland is today a free and democratic country,” Kwasniewski said.

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