Friendly Working Visit with Poland
In the summer of 1980, strikes erupted among workers in Poland, making Communist leaders throughout the Soviet bloc uneasy. The Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union met in October 1980 to discuss and endorse a report compiled by some of its members about a forthcoming visit of two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania and Josef Pinkowski. In their discussions, they agreed that the Polish leadership had not done nearly enough to quell the situation in their country, they needed guidance on how to counteract the opposition, and they were expected to explain their lack of inaction. Soviet leaders also brought up the prospect of introducing martial law in Poland as a measure to attack the antisocialist opposition and to strengthen the resolve of the Communist party and state; martial law was eventually ordered in Poland in December 1981. This document is an example of the secret discussions that took place among Soviet leaders as well as the pressure that the Soviet Union placed on Polish leadership during these critical years prior to the collapse of communism.
"Materials for a Friendly Working Visit to the USSR by Polish Leaders," 29 October 1980, Cold War International History Project, Virtual Archive, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).