Unacceptable Liberalism in Poland
Following a secret telephone conversation with Stanislaw Kania (first party secretary of the Communist Party in Poland [PZPR]), Leonid Brezhnev (first party secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU]) sent telegrams about their discussion to Soviet ambassadors throughout the region. According to these notes from a September 1981 meeting of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Communist leaders of East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia were concerned about the deteriorating situation in Poland. Erich Honecker from East Germany even proposed forcing Kania to resign because of his failure to respond decisively against the opposition (Kania stepped down in October). These meeting notes show that Communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe participated in condemning Polish leaders and that they feared that Poland's turmoil would spread beyond Polish borders.
Leonid Brezhnev, "Telegram from the Soviet Ambassador in Berlin on 15 September 1981 (Special No. 598)," 17 September 1981, Cold War International History Project, Virtual Archive, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).