General Jaruzelski announces martial law in Poland.


Polish History Museum

Polish History Museum
Warszawa, Poland

Martial Law. The ruling Communist Party (the Polish United Workers’ Party) refused to reconcile itself to a gradual loss of power. The political situation in the country was becoming increasingly tense. In the spring, defense minister General Wojciech Jaruzelski became the first secretary of the Communist Party. December 13, 1981, Jaruzelski introduced martial law in Poland. The State Council announced a ban on Solidarity. Overnight, police, the security services, and the army seized all the headquarters of Solidarity and interned approximately 10,000 opposition activists. There was a brutal pacification of striking factories. In the Wujek Mine in Silesia, nine miners were killed by gun fire. Martial law formally lasted until 1983, but even then Solidarity was not re-legalized, and repression of the opposition continued. Among the dozens of victims of dictatorship in the 1980s was the Solidarity chaplain, Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, who was murdered in the autumn of 1984.


  • Title: General Jaruzelski announces martial law in Poland.
  • Date: 1981-12-13/1983-07-22
  • Location: Warsaw
  • Contributor: Polish History Museum | Contributed by East News
  • Original Source: Michał Szlaga/REPORTER
  • Collection: Polish History Museum

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