Martial law in Poland

Martial Law In Poland

Martial law in Poland

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Martial law in Poland (, "the state of war") refers to the period of time from December 13, 1981 to July 22, 1983, when the authoritarian government of the People's Republic of Poland drastically restricted normal life by introducing martial law in an attempt to crush political opposition to it. Thousands of opposition activists were interned without charge and as many as 100 people were killed., BBC News, 13 December 2006 Although martial law was lifted in 1983, many of the political prisoners were not released until the general amnesty in 1986.


The phrase in Polish is stan wojenny, which translates as "the state of war". While there was no actual war at the time, the military government led by General of the Army Wojciech Jaruzelski and the Military Council of National Salvation (Wojskowa Rada Ocalenia Narodowego, WRON) usurped for itself powers reserved for wartime, hence the name. The plan was presented to the government of the Soviet Union before the declaration in March 1981.

Appearing on the Polish television at 6 AM on December 13, 1981, General Jaruzelski said:Today I address myself to you as a soldier and as the head of the Polish government. I address to you concerning extraordinarily important questions. Our homeland is on the verge of collapse. The achievements of many generations and the Polish home that has been built up from the dust...
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