Anniversary of December 13, 1981

Poland Travel Blog

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every year in fron of Jaruzelski's house

Origin: Historical- 1981

Polish name: Stan wojenny 1981

Participation: People remember it well

Today it’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 Union’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. Jaruzelski’s legal trial is still in progress. Every year people gather in front of Jaruzelski’s house, divided into his supporters and adversaries. It’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 .

chang0607 says:
My country, Taiwan, also had the similar history on martial law...

After the Republic of China was allowed military occupation of Taiwan by the United Nations following World War II, the distinction of having the longest period of martial law in modern history was imposed on Taiwan. In the aftermath of the 2-28 Incident of 1947(massacre of 20,000+ Taiwanese civilians by Chinese troops), martial law was declared in 1948 despite the Democracy promised in the Constitution of the Republic of China. After the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government lost control of its possessions in mainland Asia to the Communist Party of China and retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the perceived need to suppress Communist activities in Taiwan meant that the martial law was not lifted until 1987.

During 38 years of martial law, approximately 140,000+ Taiwanese were arrested, 10,000 or more killed for seeking freedom of press, multi-party political system and the right to vote, and also for alleged connections with the Communist Chinese.
Posted on: Dec 13, 2009
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