Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most controversial moments in Poland’s recent history- the imposition of martial law by the country’s Communist regime. Over a period of a year and a half, tens of thousands of people were arrested without charge and sent to internment camps. Phone lines and newspapers were shut down and the country’s borders closed. General Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s Prime Minister at the time, declared a martial law crackdown to quash the anti-Communist trade union ‘Solidarity’ led by Lech Walesa. Jaruzelski said at the time that the move was needed to prevent civil war and a Soviet invasion. Polish President Lech Kaczynski, imprisoned under the crackdown, is trying to prosecute Jaruzelski for his actions, although a survey of Poles suggests that almost half believe he was justified.
Poland remembers Communist martial law.