19 October 1981* (Pb 1942) Jaruzelski

Politburo. BREZHNEV’s telephone conversation with the new Polish Party leader JARUZELSKI. [R 19 October 1981, Pb 1942] [1] total 5 pp.


[page one of five]

Must be returned to
the CPSU Central Committee
(General Department, Sector 1)

Sent to members of
the CPSU Central Committee Politburo,
candidate members of the Politburo and
Secretaries of the CPSU Central Committee

No P 1942

To the CPSU Central Committee

I am sending the transcript of the telephone conversation with Comrade W. Jaruzelski, which took place on 19 October this year.


19 October

[page two]


between Comrade L. Brezhnev and Comrade W. Jaruzelski

19 October 1981


BREZHNEV. Hello, Woijiech.

JARUZELSKI. Good day, deeply esteemed, dear Leonid Ilych.

I. BREZHNEV. Dear Woijiech, we have already sent you an official greeting, but I wanted to congratulate you personally on your election as First Secretary of the PZPR Central Committee.

It was right of you to give your consent to such a decision. In the PZPR there is at present no other individual whose authority equals yours; this is evident from the results of the vote at the plenum. We understand that the tasks you face are not at all easy. But we are convinced that you will master them and do everything to overcome the severe affliction that has struck your country.

Now, I think, it is most important for you to select reliable assistants from among loyal and steadfast Communists, to rally them and spur the whole party into action, instilling it with the spirit of struggle. This, literally, is the key to success.

And, of course, without wasting time, it is important to begin taking the decisive measures you outlined against the counterrevolution. We hope that everyone, both in Poland and abroad, will now feel that things in your country will take a different course.

We wish you good health and success!

[page three]

JARUZELSKI. Thank you very much, dear Leonid Ilych, for the greeting and above all for the trust you have placed in me. I want to tell you frankly that I had considerable misgivings in accepting this post and agreed to do so only because I knew that you support me and that you were in favour of this decision. Had it not been so, I would never have agreed. It is a very burdensome and difficult task in the complicated situation in the country, where I now find myself both prime minister and minister of defence. But I understood that this is proper and necessary if you yourself consider it so.

I. BREZHNEV. Woijiech, we have thought that for a long time. We spoke about this to our friends some while back.

JARUZELSKI. And for that reason I agreed. I will do all I can, Leonid Ilych, as a Communist and as a soldier, to make things better and to achieve a breakthrough in the situation in the country and in our party. I understand and fully agree with you that one of the crucial tasks now is to select the leadership in the party and in the government. For that reason I deliberately deferred any decision about personnel matters until the next plenum, which we will hold in a few days time. In that way I can give careful consideration to these matters and consult others, so that we reach a comprehensive decision and not simply make individual personnel changes.

I. BREZHNEV. Cadres are very important both at the centre and in the outlying regions.

JARUZELSKI. This issue must be resolved in the outlying regions as well. Of course, this must proceed alongside a strengthening of the party in the spirit of a intensified struggle. When the situation is right we must take decisive action to wage battle where we are confident of achieving success.

[page four]

I’m now on my way to a session of the Military Council of the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence. There I will also be setting appropriate tasks. We will include the army widely in all the country’s spheres of activity.

Yesterday, after the plenum, I held a meeting with the first secretaries of the regional committees. They should not be offended, I said, that we will be including people from the armed forces in the implementation of certain processes and will be expanding meetings between the officer corps and the working class in order to exert direct influence on the workers and shield them from the influence of “Solidarity “. Of course, we are not changing our general policy because we are struggling to win back the healthy forces of the nation who have gone astray and joined “Solidarity,” and, simultaneously, we will strike the adversary and do so in a way that brings results.

Today I am meeting with your ambassador. I will try to discuss certain issues with him in greater detail, and shall ask your advice on issues which he, no doubt, will convey to you.

In keeping you informed of all the decisions we reach, we will let you know, at the same time, what guided us in taking one decision or another.

At present the greatest complications arise from the situation with food at the market. This has led here to many strikes and protests, some organized by “Solidarity” and others that are simply spontaneous. This makes it very much complicated to carry out the measures that must be implemented, and complicates our work since the mood in society is not good. But we will be trying to do everything possible to improve the situation.

[page five]

This is what I wanted to convey to you and to keep you informed about for the time being.

Once again I want to thank you very much for your kind words.

BREZHNEV. Again I wish you, Woijiech, good health and success.

JARUZELSKI. Thank you. Good-bye.



[1] On page one this documents bears a stamp stating that it has been  declassified. “Special Archives Commission of the President of the Russian Federation. DOCUMENT DECLASSIFIED, Minute No 20, 20 August 1993”.


1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation, JC

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