Global Politics

Former Polish leader stands trial

(Remind us of what happened in 1981 and who General Jaruzelski is.) Jaruzelski was the last Communist leader of Poland with close ties to Moscow. In 1981 he organized a military junta and implemented martial law. (So why are Poles now taking him to trial?) This process has been dragging on for years. 1989 was some sort of power sharing deal so the Communists retained some power and they were reluctant to go to power. Now the staunch anti-Communists are in power, they want to bring them to justice. (What is the mood in Poland towards this trial?) The interesting point here is about history: in 1981 there was a massive Soviet military build up in the east of Poland and Jaruzelski says he saved Poland by introducing martial law, and if he hadn't done that the Soviets would've entered Poland. But since 1990s, more and more documents have come up saying that that's not true. Lawyers and historians say Jaruzelski did this all by himself and is responsible for it. (Jaruzelski is 85 years old�is this trial for posterity or just for show?) It is just to show people what the truth really was and Poles have had problems reconciling with their Communist past. So people want to put this behind them and know what did happen and move on with their lives.

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