From Solidarity to Martial Law

The Polish Crisis of 1980–1981
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596 pages + 4 pages photo gallery

5 documents on the events that represent a pivotal moment in modern Polish and world history: 16 months between August 1980 when the Solidarity trade union was founded and December 1981 when Polish authorities declared martial law and crushed the nationwide opposition movement that had grown up around the union. Transcripts of Soviet and Polish Politburo meetings give a detailed picture of the goals, motivations and deliberations of the leaders of these countries. Records of Warsaw Pact gatherings, notes of bilateral sessions of the communist camp provide additional pieces to the puzzle of what Moscow and its allies had in mind. Materials are included from Solidarity, too.

Foreword by Lech Wałęsa
Preface and Acknowledgments
“The Polish Crisis: Internal and International Dimensions” by Andrzej Paczkowski and Malcolm Byrne
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chronology of Events



Document No. 1:
Protocol No. 13 of PUWP CC Politburo Meeting, July 18, 1980

Document No. 2:
Extract from Protocol No. 210 of the CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, August 25, 1980

Document No. 3:
Cardinal Wyszyński Sermon at Jasna Góra following the Outbreak of Strikes, with Reactions, August 26–28, 1980

Document No. 4:
Protocol of PUWP CC Politburo Meeting, August 27, 1980

Document No. 5:
CPSU CC Politburo Commission Order to Enhance Readiness of Military Units for Possible Use in Poland, August 28, 1980

Document No. 6:
The Szczecin Agreement, August 30, 1980

Document No. 7:
The Gdańsk Agreement, August 31, 1980

Document No. 8:
President Carter Letter to Allies on Poland, September 1, 1980

Document No. 9:
CPSU CC Politburo Report on Topics for Discussion with the Polish Leadership, September 3, 1980

Document No. 10:
Special Coordination Committee, Summary of Conclusions, “Meeting on Poland,” with attachment, September 23, 1980


Document No. 11:
Transcript of Bulgarian (BCP CC) Politburo Meeting, October 21, 1980

Document No. 12:
Solidarity National Coordinating Commission Statement on Union Registration, October 24, 1980

Document No. 13:
Protocol of PUWP CC Secretariat Meeting, October 25, 1980

Document No. 14:
Transcript of Bulgarian (BCP CC) Politburo Meeting, October 25, 1980

Document No. 15:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, October 29, 1980

Document No. 16:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, October 31, 1980

Document No. 17:
Letter from Leonid Brezhnev to Erich Honecker, November 4, 1980

Document No. 18:
Letter from Erich Honecker to Leonid Brezhnev, November 26, 1980

Document No. 19:
Report of the Czechoslovak Army Chief of Staff to the Minister of National Defense, December 3, 1980

Document No. 20:
CIA Alert Memorandum, December 3, 1980

Document No. 21:
Message from Ryszard Kukliński on Impending Warsaw Pact Invasion, December 4, 1980

Document No. 22:
Minutes of Warsaw Pact Leadership Meeting in Moscow, December 5, 1980

Document No. 23:
Minutes of U.S. Special Coordination Committee Meeting, December 7, 1980

Document No. 24:
CIA Situation Report, “Poland,” December 8, 1980

Document No. 25:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, December 11, 1980


Document No. 26:
Protocol of Meeting of Leading Aktiv Members of Ministry of Internal Affairs, January 5, 1981

Document No. 27:
CPSU CC Instructions to the Soviet Ambassador concerning Lech Wałęsa’s Visit to Italy, January 14, 1981

Document No. 28:
PUWP CC Report on Leonid Zamyatin Visit to Katowice, January 16, 1981

Document No. 29:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, January 22, 1981

Document No. 30:
Supplement No. 1 to PUWP CC Politburo Protocol No. 657 Analyzing the Intentions of Solidarity, January 26, 1981

Document No. 31:
National Intelligence Estimate (NIE 12.6–81), “Poland’s Prospects over the Next Six Months,” January 27, 1981

Document No. 32:
Solidarity National Coordinating Commission, “Statement on the Current Social and Political Situation,” circa February 1981

Document No. 33:
Supplement No. 2 to PUWP CC Politburo Protocol No. 69, February 6, 1981

Document No. 34:
Memorandum of Conversation between Erich Honecker and Fidel Castro, February 28, 1981

Document No. 35:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, March 12, 1981

Document No. 36:
Ministry of Internal Affairs Duty Report on Preparations for Martial Law, March 16, 1981

Document No. 37:
Protocol No. 82 from PUWP CC Politburo Meeting, March 25, 1981

Document No. 38:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, March 26, 1981


Document No. 39:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, April 2, 1981

Document No. 40:
CIA Alert Memorandum, “Poland,” April 3, 1981

Document No. 41:
East German Report of Discussion with Marshal Viktor Kulikov, April 7, 1981

Document No. 42:
Brezhnev Speech to the CPCz CC Politburo, April 7, 1981

Document No. 43:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, April 9, 1981

Document No. 44:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, April 16, 1981

Document No. 45:
Extract from Protocol No. 7 from the CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, April 23, 1981

Document No. 46:
Message from Ryszard Kukliński to CIA, April 26, 1981

Document No. 47:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, April 30, 1981

Document No. 48:
Informational Memorandum from the L’vov District Secretary to the CPUkr Central Committee, May 7, 1981

Document No. 49:
Memorandum of Meeting between Leonid Brezhnev, Erich Honecker, Gustáv Husák et al, in Moscow, May 16, 1981

Document No. 50:
CPSU CC Letter to the PUWP CC, June 5, 1981

Document No. 51:
Transcript of PUWP CC Politburo Meeting during Break in CC Session, June 10, 1981

Document No. 52:
Memorandum from Ronald I. Spiers to the Secretary of State, “Polish Resistance to Soviet Intervention,” June 15, 1981

Document No. 53:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting on Brezhnev-Kania Conversation, June 18, 1981

Document No. 54:
CIA National Intelligence Daily, “USSR-Poland: Polish Military Attitudes,” June 20, 1981

Document No. 55:
Information on Andrei Gromyko’s Talks with the PUWP Leadership, July 3–5, 1981

Document No. 56:
Report to HSWP CC Politburo with Verbatim Transcript of July 21 Telephone Conversation between Kania and Brezhnev, July 22, 1981

Document No. 57:
Notes of Solidarity National Coordinating Commission Conference in Gdańsk, July 24, 1981

Document No. 58:
Record of Brezhnev-Honecker Meeting in the Crimea, August 3, 1981

Document No. 59:
PUWP CC Assessment of Public Attitudes toward Solidarity, August 17, 1981

Document No. 60:
Information on Brezhnev Meeting with Kania and Jaruzelski on August 14, 1981, August 22, 1981

Document No. 61:
Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, September 10, 1981

Document No. 62: Protocol No. 002/81 of Meeting of the Homeland Defense Committee, September 13, 1981

Document No. 63:
CPSU CC Communication to the PUWP CC, “Intensifying Anti-Soviet Feelings in Poland,” September 14, 1981

Document No. 64:
Information on Brezhnev-Kania Telephone Conversation, September 15, 1981

Document No. 65:
Message from Ryszard Kukliński to CIA, September 15, 1981

Document No. 66:
Letter from HSWP CC signed by Kádár to PUWP CC via Kania, September 17, 1981

Document No. 67:
Excerpt from CPSU CC Politburo Meeting regarding Brezhnev-Kania Conversation, September 17, 1981

Document No. 68:
Report to the HSWP CC Politburo by the Hungarian Ambassador to Warsaw, September 18, 1981

Document No. 69:
PUWP CC, “Instructions on the More Important Activities of the Party, Organs of Power and State Administration,” September 18, 1981


Document No. 70:
Czesław Kiszczak Notes for October 5 Politburo Meeting, October 4, 1981

Document No. 71:
Notes of Brezhnev-Jaruzelski Telephone Conversation, October 19, 1981

Document No. 72: Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting on Rusakov Trip to Eastern Europe, October 29, 1981

Document No. 73: Extract from Protocol No. 37 of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, November 21, 1981

Document No. 74: Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs, “Supplement No. 2: Planned Activity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” November 25, 1981

Document No. 75: Memorandum from Alexander Haig to President Reagan, “U.S. Assistance Program for Poland,” December 1, 1981

Document No. 76: PUWP CC, “Excerpt from Motions at meeting with CC Members on November 27, 1981,” December 2, 1981

Document No. 77: Notes of Meeting of the Presidium of Solidarity’s National Coordinating Commission in Gdańsk, December 2, 1981

Document No. 78: Solidarity NCC Presidium, “Position Taken by the Presidium of the National Coordinating Commission and Leaders of the NSZZ,” December 3, 1981

Document No. 79: Report on the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Moscow, December 1-4, 1981

Document No. 80: Protocol No. 18 of PUWP CC Meeting, December 5, 1981

Document No. 81: Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, December 10, 1981

Document No. 82: Notebook Entries of Lt. Gen. Viktor Anoshkin, December 11, 1981


Document No. 83: Telegram to Directors of Voivode Police, circa December 12, 1981

Document No. 84: Communication from Czesław Kiszczak to Florian Siwicki, December 12, 1981

Document No. 85: Protocol No. 19 of PUWP CC Politburo Meeting, December 13, 1981

Document No. 86: Extract from Protocol No. 40 of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, December 13, 1981

Document No. 87: Speech by Pope John Paul II concerning Martial Law, December 13, 1981

Document No. 88: CIA National Intelligence Daily, “Poland: Test of Government’s Measures,” December 14, 1981

Document No. 89: Memorandum from Lawrence Eagleburger to Secretary of State, “General Wojciech Jaruzelski,” December 16, 1981

Document No. 90: Appeal from Pope John Paul II to Wojciech Jaruzelski, December 18, 1981

Document No. 91: Protocol No. 16 of PUWP CC Secretariat Meeting, December 19, 1981

Document No. 92: Hot Line Communication from Leonid Brezhnev to Ronald Reagan regarding Martial Law in Poland, December 25, 1981

Document No. 93: Report to HSWP CC Politburo on Hungarian Delegation’s Talks with Wojciech Jaruzelski, December 30, 1981

Document No. 94: Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, January 14, 1982

Document No. 95: Notes of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Defense Meeting on Implementation of Martial Law, January 15, 1982

Main Actors

"There is no comparable compilation in English. Highly recommended."
"This volume puts the pieces together for the last moment of communist control and the start of the end of communism. With a set of documents, it tells the story of the perceptions and misperceptions that made for Solidarity, for martial law, and for communism's failure. It is the “whodunit” of one of the major events in the Cold War and required reading for anyone who wants to understand how the communists could have so much power and be so out of touch."
"The latest volume in a seres of National Security Archive Cold War Readers devoted to presenting a 'truly multinational approach to Cold War history' by documenting 'key episodes in the Cold War based on the latest archival documentation from the former Soviet bloc and newly declassified Western sources'. With the publication of this volume, a broader audience can now easily access this material to inform on-going research or simply to become better informed on the decision-making processes surrounding the imposition of martial law in Poland."
"An important and very revealing contribution to a better understanding of a particularly critical phase in the Cold War. The documents provide a sense of intimacy to the complex interactions between American and Soviet decision makers as well as an insight into the internal Communist debates."

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