Anniversary of December 13, 1981
Poland Travel Blog› entry 7 of 14 › view all entries
Origin: Historical- 1981
Polish name: Stan wojenny 1981
Participation: People remember it well
Today itâ€™s the anniversary of introducing the martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981 by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski (who in 1989 became President of Poland) to prevent democratic opposition from gaining popularity and political power in the country. But in his word it was established in order to exclude potential Soviet Unionâ€™s intervention, like it took place in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. In 1981 thousands of people linked to democratic opposition, including Lech WaĹ‚Ä™sa, were arbitrarily arrested and detained. The martial law was lifted July 22, 1983.
Polish society is divided in opinion on the necessity of introduction of the martial law, which is viewed as a lesser evil compared to alleged Soviet military intervention. Jaruzelskiâ€™s legal trial is still in progress. Every year people gather in front of Jaruzelskiâ€™s house, divided into his supporters and adversaries. Itâ€™s a difficult problem, because general Jaruzelski claims that without introducing the martial law at the time Poland would face warfare.
The phrase in Polish is stan wojenny, which translates as "the state of war", even though is was established to prevent potential war .