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Polish defence minister: Communist leaders to be stripped of General rank

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 13.12.2016 11:55
Poland’s defence minister has said that Wojciech Jaruzelski and Czesław Kiszczak, top officials in Communist-era Poland, will be stripped of their General rank.
Jaruzelski (L) and Kiszczak(R) died in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Photo: PAP ArchiveJaruzelski (L) and Kiszczak(R) died in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Photo: PAP Archive

Jaruzelski was First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party when he imposed martial law in Poland on 13 December, 1981, exactly 35 years ago.

Kiszcak served as interior minister at the time.

On that date, the communists cracked down on the Solidarity pro-democracy movement, marking a dark chapter in modern Polish history. Thousands of opposition activists were jailed and dozens were killed around Poland.

“People who committed crimes against the nation should be stripped of their General rank,” Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the public TVP broadcaster on Tuesday.

He said that recently the ministry had posthumously promoted Ryszard Kukliński, who passed secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA during the Cold War, to the rank of brigadier general.

“On the one hand we honour such heroes as Kukliński, who we promoted to the rank of general," Macierewicz said, adding that at the same time Poles wrongly "respect and accept this position in the case of people who not only betrayed, but also committed crimes against their country.”

Jaruzelski and Kiszczak died in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Tuesday marks the 35th anniversary of the imposition of Martial Law in Poland. (rg)

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