Boleslaw Gleichgewicht about martial law and general Jaruzelski …

We: How do you assess the introduction of martial law by General Jaruzelski and generally Jaruzelski as a person? Was his decision correct?
Prof: I assess is certainly sad, it was the collapse of all our hopes which we fought for, it was horrible. As for the rightness of that decision I do not have any opinion, because I’m too influenced by the emotions caused by the imposition of martial law. I was driven by sorrow, pain and rage. Many years have passed, I took into consideration the words of General Jaruzelski, but I still do not know, it’s possible that if it had not been introduced, it would have been much worse. Perhaps if this had not happened, if they – Jaruzelski, Kiszczak and a few more enlightened members of the party – had not introduced it, it could have been worse, maybe people like Olszowski, Kociolek, Sawczuk would have introduced it. Those more enlightened among those implementing martial law called these three ‘Targowica’, the ‘Welcome Committee’.
From the perspective of history maybe one day we will find the answer, though it is still difficult to assess such things as The January Uprising – there were two wings, I stood on the side of this more militant and I referred those insurgent realities to the contemporary world of those days, later in a newspaper I wrote that I thought the only option was to fight and that is why Pilsudski and Dmowski is our hero, the Warsaw Uprising was again a bit alike. Now, however, I look at many things and judging it is more difficult for me, maybe if Wielkopolski behaved differently, the consequences would be different, and Poland would be different … But in the Warsaw Uprising, I whole-heartedly support the side of the insurgents, it was a great revolt of people, even though so many of them were killed there, Warsaw was so badly destroyed, and what did it actually give us – nothing. And here again there is some doubt, with time a person begins to simply think differently and thus I cannot unequivocally condemn the imposition of martial law.
‘The creators’ of martial law said that they wanted to save, but I do not know what to save – maybe their communist government? But maybe if they had acted differently, it could have been much worse? These are some things that cannot be solved on a computer, in a game of chess e.g., here you cannot undo anything, that’s why I would hesitate to unequivocally condemn this decision. People younger than me, I think, plainly condemn the imposition of martial law and Jaruzelski in particular.
Jaruzelski is a tragic figure in Polish history, I absolutely do not want to defend him, he made his career in the Polish army too fast, it was too prominent, Jaruzelski was at the head of the Political Board in the year ‘68, this Board was the center of anti-Semitism – though he was not anti-Semitic, but it is another case. Therefore I cannot feel great sympathy for him, but I cannot also totally, unequivocally blame him for everything, I cannot say that he is guilty of martial law, although he actually introduced it, although he was later more-less a dictator, although he has held all positions… History may judge it in a better way, but as I say, disputes about Warsaw and January Uprising are still going on, something resembling may happen about the martial law.

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