3 September 1980* (Pb 213/38) Poland

Politburo. Theses critical of the recent Gdansk Agreements to be used at a meeting with Polish leadership. [R 3 September 1980, Pb 213/38] total 7 pp. (excerpt)


[page one of seven]

Return to CPSU Central Committee
(General Department, Sector) within 3 days

Workers of all Lands, Unite!


Top Secret


No. Pb 213/38

To Comrades Brezhnev, Andropov, Gromyko, Rakhmanin

Excerpt from Minutes No. 213 of the meeting of the Politburo
of the CPSU Central Committee, held on 3 September 1980

Theses for a conversation with representatives of the Polish leadership

Approve the theses for a conversation with representatives of the Polish leadership (attached).


[vertical text along left-hand margin]


A comrade in receipt of top secret documents of the CPSU Central Committee may not pass them into other hands or acquaint anyone with their content without special permission from the Central Committee. Photocopying or making extracts from the documents in question is categorically forbidden.  The comrade to whom the document is addressed must sign and date it after he has studied the content.


[page two]

KGB to encrypt and send
to intended destination

1. Give an exact assessment of the situation and adopt a clear position towards the so-called “united strike committees” (USC) in Gdansk and Szczecin.

The agreement, concluded by the government of the Polish People’s Republic and endorsed by the plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR), is a high political and economic price to pay for the ‘normalisation’ it has achieved. Of course, we understand the circumstances in which you had to make this onerous decision. The agreement, in essence, signifies the legalization of the anti-socialist opposition. An organization has emerged that aims to spread its political influence through the entire country. The complexity of the struggle against it stems, in particular, from the fact that the members of the opposition disguise themselves as defenders of the working class and working people.

The agreement does not eliminate the underlying causes of the events leading to the crisis. Moreover, it has now become more complicated to resolve the urgent problems facing the Polish economy and Polish society.

Because the opposition intends to continue struggling to achieve its aims, and the healthy forces of the party and society cannot agree to Polish society moving backwards, the compromise you have reached will most probably be temporary. We must also bear in mind that the opposition, not without reason, is counting on help from outside.

Under pressure from anti-socialist forces, who have led a significant portion of the working class astray, the PZPR had to go on the defensive. Now the task is to prepare a counter-attack and reclaim the positions that have been lost among the working class and the people.

[page three]

Showing political flexibility, this counterattack should make use of all the capacity of the ruling Party and its strong, healthy core, and of the State apparatus. It should use mass social organizations while relying on the vanguard ranks of the working class and, when necessary, make a carefully-judged use of administrative resources.

The Party must give a principled political evaluation of the August [1980] events and move more rapidly to present its own program of action, which includes improvements to the lives of working people.

[In Moscow it was considered particularly important to strengthen the Party’s control over the media, and above all radio and television to which, as a result of the Gdansk Agreements, the Church had for the first time gained access.]

In these circumstances the limits on what is permissible must be precisely defined, after openly declaring that the law on the press excludes any attacks on socialism. … Using the mass media, show that events in Poland have been caused not by shortcomings of the socialist system, but by mistakes and oversights, and also by some objective factors (natural calamities, etc.).


[page six]


In the present situation the advice given by L.I. Brezhnev on 31 July this year is particularly important:


[page seven]

[…] you must firmly halt any attempts to use nationalism or introduce anti-socialist, anti-Soviet feelings, or to distort the history of Soviet-Polish relations and the nature of cooperation between the USSR and Polish People’s Republic;

you must launch uncompromising counter-propaganda against the striving to smear the class content of socialist patriotism under the slogan ‘All Poles are brothers’ and to idealise Poland’s pre-revolutionary past;

in the political battle with anti-socialist elements you must not go on the defensive but lead a determined offensive against them.

3 September 1980




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

Translation, JC

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