July 6 turned 90 years to the last of the living leaders of the socialist countries of Europe, the former president of the Polish People's Republic, Wojciech Jaruzelski.
Surprising, interesting and at the same time very tragic is the whole life and fate of this person, moreover, it is closely connected with history our country. It is known from the autobiography of the general that Jaruzelski was born in 1923 in the village of Kuruv (Lublin province) in the family of a Polish nobleman, the roots of his family go back to the distant XV century. His grandfather was a member of the Polish uprising against the king in 1863-1864. and spent for it 10 years in the Siberian link.
After Poland gained independence, the father of Jaruzelski volunteered for the Polish-Soviet war of 1920, and then he was at war for that, since the family was quite large landowners.
Young Wojciech, like most of the children of the then Polish elite, studied in a Catholic gymnasium; in the future, he apparently had a brilliant career as a military or successful lawyer, were expecting to travel all over the world, in general, quite prosperous and interesting life.
However, 1 September 1939. the invasion of the German armies erased all these life plans, so what plans there, the war literally broke the lives of millions of Poles.
Many of them then fled from the advancing Germans to neighboring countries, so Jaruzelski found himself and his parents on the territory of the then independent Lithuania, which then became part of the USSR. Soon, 14 June 1941, the Jaruzelski family, like hundreds of thousands of other Poles, was sent to Siberia.
From an interview with V. Yaruzelsky:
“Already looking from the exiled car to the Soviet soldiers-guards in the then overcoats of the foreign army, hated by me, with rifles on their shoulders, it never occurred to me that soon along with the soldiers in exactly the same as their tunics and coats dressed, however, in a new Polish uniform, I will get to the war. With the same rifle to beat the Nazis, liberate Poland, Warsaw ... "
There, in Siberia, Jaruzelski's father fell into camp, shortly after his release in 1942, he died of exhaustion. To feed his family (mother and sister), Wojciech worked as a loader and at the same time a lumberjack in the Altai taiga.
And then his fate was such that now he himself was forced to work in the coal mines near Karaganda, which in Kazakhstan where he had injured his back and eyes for the rest of his life, it is because of this that Jaruzelski constantly wears dark glasses, for which got the people the nickname "welder".
Despite all the difficulties, hardships and injustices that the Jaruzelski family experienced in the USSR, despite all the historical insults in the relations between our countries, his personal attitude towards the Russian people remains unfailingly respectful.
From an interview with V. Yaruzelsky:
“When we lived in Siberia, one of the Russians I knew once asked:“ Where is your father? ”I said:“ In the camp ”. “Well,” replies, “Comrade Stalin does not know ...” This is the mentality of the Russian people, for whom there is a good king and bad boyars. You need to know this people to understand it. And I understand. It is impossible that the actions of some scoundrels, which can be found in every country, cast a shadow on all the people who themselves became the first victims of Stalinism. One thing I can say about the Russians is a heroic, but very long-suffering people ... ”
V. Yaruzelsky was not only respectful of our people, but he also understood very well the entire moral burden of the Soviet people, which fell upon them as a result of the collapse of the USSR.
From an interview with V. Yaruzelsky:
“Now I can understand all this. Peoples have many different heroes, leaders. But we all should have an identical understanding of historical facts and in no case distort them. Another thing is the nuances. Why, like so on ... I also understand today's Russians, who are experiencing that their once-huge country has now been torn to pieces ... ”
In 1943, the life of Jaruzelski changed dramatically, he was called up for service in the Polish formations of General Zygmunt Berling, who then began to be created in the USSR. He underwent full training at the Polish branch of the K. Voroshilov Soviet Infantry School in Ryazan and was soon sent to the front.
In the rank of lieutenant V. Yaruzelsky fought in the composition of the second infantry division to them. Henryk Dombrowski. From 1943 of the year - the commander of a platoon of machine gunners, from spring 1944 - the commander of a platoon of horse reconnaissance, from January 1945 - assistant chief of staff of the 5 infantry regiment on reconnaissance. He took part in military operations on the Vistula, on the Magnushevsky bridgehead, in the liberation of Warsaw, in the storming of the Pomorsky shaft, in battles on the Baltic coast, Oder and Elbe (Labe).
For bravery in battle, he was awarded the Order of Virtuti Militari by many Polish military medals and orders, including the highest military award of Poland.
As can be seen from his military biography, the future general was not sitting in the headquarters, but was increasingly at the forefront, as part of the regimental intelligence, and this is all at the most difficult, bloody, final stage of the war.
In the first post-war years, Jaruzelski was sent to fight the detachments of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), as well as the Western-oriented Polish Home Army (AK). In the ranks, which not the last man was the father of the brothers Lech and Yaroslav Kaczynski. Probably, this circumstance influenced the fact that the vengeful twins already in the 2000-e years so sought to send Jaruzelski to prison.
After the war in 1947, Jaruzelski joined the Polish Communist Party, which a year later was transformed into the Polish United Workers' Party. Then he continued to serve in the army. During the service, he constantly improved his military education, graduated from the High School of Infantry and the Academy of the General Staff of the Polish Army, went through all the steps in command of the troops, he commanded a company, battalion, regiment and division, and in 1956 in 33, V. Yaruzelsky became the youngest general, but this turns out to be only the beginning of a former nobleman’s stellar career.
In 1960, Jaruzelski became head of the Main Political Department of the Polish Army. In 1964, he headed the General Staff. He held the post of Deputy Minister and from 1968 of the year - Minister of National Defense of Poland. In 1970, Jaruzelski became a candidate member of the politburo, and in 1971, a member of the PUWP politburo. In 1973, Jaruzelski was given the rank of army general. From that moment on, Jaruzelski became a statesman with whom they began to be reckoned with and which could really affect the whole situation in the country.
The events of 1970-1971 in Gdansk, which resulted in shooting and victims, were a direct consequence of the policy of the government of Vladislav Gomulka, but the blame for these events was attributed to Jaruzelski for some reason, yes, he was then Minister of Defense, however V. Gomulka.
Unlike Hungary and Czechoslovakia, where the leadership of these countries made the right conclusions after the popular uprisings. In Poland, local rulers, knowing about their economic problems and about the presence in the society of serious popular discontent, measures to stabilize the situation, other than repressive, they didn’t take any more, as a result, the country approached 1981 year.
The situation in December 1981 in Poland was extremely difficult. The Solidarity trade union, with the support of Western intelligence services, primarily American, made all possible efforts to destabilize the economy. Strikes and embargoes provoked serious supply problems, which caused discontent and concern of the population.
The lack of food, the increasing frequent interruptions in the supply of electricity and heat promised a bad prospect of the approaching harsh winter.
In such a situation, the decision of the army to take responsibility for the situation in the country seemed the only correct one. V. Yaruzelsky prepared and carried out an ambitious military-police operation, prepared with amazing scrupulousness.
According to some reports, up to 70 thousand soldiers, 30 thousand police officers, 1750 were involved in it. tanks, 1900 armored personnel carriers, 9 thousand trucks and cars, several squadrons of helicopters and transport aircraft.
All these forces were concentrated in major cities and industrial centers.
With the start of the operation, all telephone communications in the country were turned off, borders and petrol stations were closed, passes were entered for departure from any settlement, curfews were established and correspondence was censored.
Ten days later all over the country the strikes were over, all demonstrations were dispersed, the effectiveness of the planned measures was evident, and as a result about 4 thousand strikers were arrested.
The first trials took place already at Christmas, sentences - from three to five years in prison (the most severe sentence - 10 years). All the defendants were convicted by military tribunals authorized to consider “offenses against the martial law”. ”
In the second phase of the operation, which began on the night of December 12, the opposition activists and Solidarity activists were interned. Thus, within a few days, on the basis of a decision of the authorities of 5, thousands of oppositionists were placed in forty-nine “isolation centers” located far from major cities.
Thus, despite the fact that the introduction of martial law meant bringing huge amounts of heavy military equipment to the streets and to industrial enterprises, the losses among the protesters were relatively small, only 14 people were killed and several hundred wounded.
The operation itself was carried out very effectively, clearly, without any shooting, and in general met with the approval of the majority of Polish society, tired of the constant opposition, the opposition’s social protests and the lack of stability.
Later martial law was abolished on July 22 1983 of the year. General Jaruzelski retained influence on the fate of Poland until 1989, when democratic elections were held, which de facto meant the transfer of power into the hands of the anti-communist opposition.
Being at that time the first president of Poland, General Jaruzelski became one of the most important initiators and an active participant in achieving political agreement between the opposition and the government - the Round Table, as a result of which a peaceful transfer of power became possible. A year later, in 1990, Jaruzelski resigned his powers as President of Poland. In the course of free elections, the Poles elected Lech Walesa as the new president of the country.
In April, 2007 of the year against Jaruzelski was charged with "guiding a criminal organization of an armed nature with the aim of committing crimes" during the events of 1981 of the year. After a year and a half, the trial began, which had a pronounced political tint. After all, the general did not violate any laws of socialist Poland, and all this looked like a reduction of political scores from the former opposition leader Kaczynski.
The death of Kaczynski in the Smolensk catastrophe eased the situation of Jaruzelski. President Bronislaw Komorowski, who came to power in 2010, and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, did not have a penchant for settling bills with an elderly politician. Although the court did not stop, Jaruzelski was excluded from the list of participants for health reasons.
On the 30 anniversary of the 1981 events of the year, Jaruzelski gave an interview where he stated that he acted correctly. "This decision was due to necessity. If today I was in similar circumstances, I would have done the same ... I ... I am once again apologizing to anyone who has faced injustice and evil," he said, expressing regret of victims
For all the time in power and after the resignation, Jaruzelski lived and behaved very modestly.
Polish public opinion regarding Jaruzelski was ambiguous, for example, as early as 2001, data from sociological surveys showed that most Poles are ready to recognize the martial law introduced in 1981 year as the “lesser evil”, and martial law introduced by Jaruzelski at that time saved Poland from civil war and the likely invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops led by the Soviet army.
According to the results of one of the polls conducted by the press, Jaruzelski was included in the top ten list of “One Hundred Poles of the Twentieth Century”, which was headed by Pope John Paul II. The merits of Jaruzelski to the country are recognized by his recent political opponents, this is what Lech Walesa said about Jaruzelski:
"During the war years, Jaruzelski fought for a free Poland. He is a general. In a different story and under other circumstances, he would have been considered a great man."