Committee in Support of Solidarity Reports
Issue No. 3
June 7, 1982
New Dispatches from "Solidarity's" Leaders page 1
Bujak, Frasyniuk, Hardekand Lis discuss threats to Solidarity, protests and the possibility of an accord.
The Commissar's Counsel page 7
The military commissar assigned to official radio and television addresses its employees about "Solidarnosc."
"Why you are not signing..." page 12
An internee being held in Bialoleka prison looks at the moral aspects of the "Declaration of Loyalty."
Honorary Degree for Lech Walesa page 16
Nasson College in Maine awarded an honorary degree to Lech Walesa. The Committee in Support of Solidarity accepted the degree on behalf of Mr. Walesa.
"He doesn't love me, what am I to do?--The Psychologist's Advice" page 18
Some psychologists advise the government's Press Office about how it can improve its propaganda.
"Nothing to Crow About" page 19
The underground Information from Solidarity takes a facetious look at "The Crow: Its Brainstorms, Behavior and Habits."
These items are the most recent that the Committee in Support of Solidarity has published through the date of this report.
For back Reports, contact the Committee, specifying dates, titles, or subjects if possible.
To regularly receive Committee in Support of Solidarity REPORTS, please write to the address below. Donations to cover the cost of preparing and mailing these reports are appreciated.
275 Seventh Avenue, 25th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001
The Committee in Support of Solidarity, based in New York, organizes efforts on behalf of the Solidarity movement in Poland and for general human rights for the Polish people.
One of the Committee's most important activities is to report information about the situation in Poland, which is gathered from underground Solidarity publications in Poland; the official Polish press; interviews with Polish citizens and foreign travelers who have been allowed to leave Poland; and Solidarity sources in Poland and in Europe.
The Committee in Support of Solidarity makes this information available in regular reports appearing weekly or biweekly, including press advisories and Polish-language bulletins; in editions of a quarterly journal, the Solidarnosc Bulletin; and in special reports describing and analyzing different aspects of the situation in Poland.
The Committee also:
* provides spokesmen to the press, television, and radio, and to meetings and seminars of colleges, unions, and community groups;
* maintains lists of the interned and arrested in Poland;
* advises humanitarian organizations on aiding the Polish people;
* advises private and official human rights organizations about the situation in Poland;
* prepares and delivers briefs and other testimony on the situation in Poland to the government and the Congress of the United States and to international bodies and private institutions;
* maintains public attention on the Polish situation through the sales of "Solidarnosc" T-shirts, stickers, and posters.
To get in touch with the Committee in Support of Solidarity about helping in its work, or with questions, information, or donations, please write:
The Committee in Support of Solidarity Twenty-fifth floor
275 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10001
or telephone (212) 989-0909. The press can call (212) 929-6966.
NEW DISPATCHES FROM "SOLIDARITY'S" LEADERS
The following are statements of the Temporary Coordinating Commission of the independent self-governing trade union Solidarity, comprised of four elected leaders of Solidarity from four regions, all of whom have escaped arrest since December 13. (see Committee in Support of Solidarity reports no. 2 for search warrants issued for their detention.) The statements, as well as their individual responses to the possibilities for an accord with the authorities, appeared in the eleventh issue of Warsaw Weekly, dated April 28. Appearing just before the demonstrations of May 1, May 3, and May 13, these statements indicate a growing sense of determination and organization to resist the present regime. All four discuss the possibility of an eventual general strike to pressure the regime for an accord as the only way out of the present impasse.
COMMUNIQUE NUMBER 1 OF THE TEMPORARY COORDINATING COMMISSION OF SOLIDARITY
On April 22, 1982, Solidarity representatives from the Gdansk, Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw regions met to discuss the current situation in the country and to formulate a common stand on a program of action and the methods used to achieve our agreed upon goals:
The representatives of the four regions agreed to coordinate activities with the aim of revoking the state of war, releasing those interned, arrested, and sentenced, and restoring civil rights--to coordinate the struggle for Solidarity's right to exist.
We shall function as a Temporary Coordinating Commission until such time as the functions of Solidarity's National Commission--with Lech Walesa at its head--are restored.
We ask other regions and centers for their cooperation as much as their organizational and technical abilities allow.
Zbigniew Bujak--Warsaw Region
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk Wroclaw Region
Wladyslaw Hardek--Krakow Region
Bogdan Lis--Gdansk Region
April 22, 1982
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT SELF-GOVERNING TRADE UNION SOLIDARITY AND POLISH SOCIETY
Five months have passed since the state of war was imposed. Contrary to the expectations of the authorities, society's resistance is not weakening. The whole nation condemns the collaborators and refuses to cooperate with the WRON [Military Council For National Salvation]. The stand taken by the thousands of interned and arrested, who courageously voice the idea of Solidarity in the camps, in prisons, and in the courtrooms, deserves the highest regard. Until they are freed, the thirteenth day of each month will be the day of protest against force and lawlessness, the day of commemoration and tribute to those who in December 1981 gave their lives for freedom.
We call on workers at workplaces and industrial enterprises nationwide to halt work for fifteen minutes, starting at noon, May 13. Let us demand freedom for factory activists, for the elected union officials, and for Lech Walesa.
We appeal for all city street traffic to cease for one minute at noon, May 13. Let the streetcars and buses, cars and pedestrians stop. Let the horns sound.
Coordinating these actions nationwide will test our solidarity and strength. We call on other regions to join our protest without foregoing any other locally planned protest actions for May 13.
April 22, 1982
STATEMENT CONCERNING THE THREAT TO DISSOLVE SOLIDARITY
The authorities' dissolution of NZS [Independent Student Association] and the SDP [Association Of Polish Journalists], articles in the press, and unofficial information that has been reaching us all point towards the impending dissolution of Solidarity as a legal organization.
It is the moral and statutory obligation of Solidarity's members to be uncompromising in their battle for the union's right to exist and function.
We declare that, should the independent self-governing trade union, Solidarity, be dissolved, we shall not hesitate to call for a general strike and for the active protection of workplaces.
April 22, 1982
STATEMENT CONCERNING NATIONAL ACCORD
A solution to the problems currently facing Poland is impossible without the initiation of talks between society and the authorities. In order to force the government to recognize the necessity of negotiating with the leadership of Solidarity, with Lech Walesa at its head, we are prepared to use all forms of pressure and action. We are prepared to accept the conditions for a national agreement formulated by the Primate's Social Council as a basis for initiating negotiations. At the same time we declare that the only condition for initiating negotiations is the release of all those interned and amnesty for all the arrested and sentenced. This is a condition on which we shall not compromise.
April 22, 1982
DECLARATION CONCERNING THE FORMS AND METHODS OF PROTEST
The coup d'etat December 13th introduced the rule of lawlessness. It is destroying education and culture and is destroying any chance for improving the economic situation, resulting in poverty and unemployment. If society fails to stand up against the authorities, it faces the danger of disintegration and total enslavement. This does not just mean a return to the era before August, 1980. This would mean a retreat to the Stalinist system, including attempts to collectivize agriculture and to liquidate the independence of the Catholic Church.
How can we defend ourselves against coercion and terror? How should we fight for our human and civil rights? How can we fight for the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity?
First of all, we must reconstruct union structures and organize common actions. During these few months society already has carried out widespread forms of resistance. Those who were subject to repressions, and their families, have been given help and care. The bases of the independent information and communication network between the reborn union structures have been constructed. In all segments of society, zealots and collaborators are ostracized. Protest against the rule of the WRON [Military Council For National Salvation] is being manifested in various ways.
If continuation of union activity is to be something more than an expression of our moral protest, we must endow it with a shape that, on the one hand, will insure its functioning, and, on the other, will provide the possibility of undertaking successful mass actions. We will support all initiatives attempting to achieve this goal.
Most important, it is necessary to focus on organizing, in every enterprise:
* the Committees for Social Aid, which still financially support employees and union activists deprived of their jobs;
* the Solidarity Committees comprised of representatives of various segments of the workplace, which will work out the tactics of union activity;
* print shops enabling the efficient circulation of information and publications in the larger enterprises.
Realizing these objectives is a condition for success of actions coordinated in regions or nationwide, including--if it turns out to be necessary--a general strike.
April 22, 1982
CAN THERE BE AN ACCORD?
Taking the opportunity of the meeting April 22 of the Temporary Coordinating Commission, a representative of the editorial board of "Mazowsze Weekly" asked the members of the Commission the following question: "What are the chances for and what will lead to an accord with the authorities?"
For me, the essential factor that may force the authorities to come to an agreement, that gives us a chance, is the economic situation. The union should work towards economic stabilization after an accord is struck. Only such an agreement can provide Poland with the access to the West and Western credits.
The accord can be reached only between the major forces in Polish society. From December 13th until now the attempts to liquidate Solidarity have continued --attempts to abolish it as a social force. Whether we survive as a trade union that means anything depends on us. For this reason the defense against delegalization--which, for the authorities, would be the final step in destroying us as a social force--is important. We must make it impossible for WRON to govern. We must render it unable to rule without an agreement with us. Solidarity must be an element of the Common Front of Refusal [IN POLISH, "ODNOWA" MEANS RENEWAL, "ODNOWA" MEANS REFUSAL] that is being created by all parts of society--scientific, cultural, professional, and--of course--industrial enterprises. The union is the most important element in this Common Front of Refusal.
It is conceivable that the authorities reject an accord despite social pressure. The stalemate continues--the country is sinking into a morass and economic chaos. In the long run, this is unacceptable, it must be stopped, for there is no other way out. If the union judges that more decisive pressure will force the authorities to compromise, that chances exist for that compromise, we will have to use the strike weapon. At the present moment this weapon is ineffective. The authorities are ready for anything in order to break a general strike. But we can imagine that the internal situation of the [COMMUNIST] bloc, its weakening, will change the situation. Then a general strike may be successful and lead to an accord.
I see a chance for an accord only if the authorities are confronted by a strong, organized and determined society. The authorities will talk only to such a society. An absolute blockade and boycott of the authorities is absolutely necessary.
The spectre of poverty and unemployment increases the anxiety of the people. However, at the same time it poses the danger that the authorities will find it easier to buy people for a piece of bread. It is also conducive to spontaneous explosion. The union cannot remain passive in such a catastrophic economic situation, when social tensions increase and repression does not diminish. The refusal to come to an agreement must be met, in my opinion, with a general strike.
It is difficult to say how large the chance for an agreement is, but one thing is certain: if the junta comes to the conclusion that its adversary has been defeated, there is no chance whatsoever. Therefore we are trying to rebuild Solidarity, after the December blow, as a flexible and consolidated organization.
The level of consciousness in society is higher now than ever before--sufficiently high for it to be ready to strike a compromise with the people who degraded and demeaned the nation. Our decisive stand strengthens the negotiating position of the Church, which holds a powerful card if it can say to the authorities that it is holding the nation back and moderates its emotions.
For me, the most important factor is the international situation. At present we are a burden for the socialist camp. The Americans are building up their arms and Russia has difficulty keeping up. The whole bloc wants Poland to be solvent.
Society must be prepared, must be kept informed, so that it is possible to choose a moment when the chances for victory are best. Society must be constantly ready in order to seize such an opportunity.
The stake of the international game is the renegotiation of the Yalta Agreement. We have won the first points: the Pope, the Polish August, the sixteen months of freedom. The world must know that Europe cannot be at peace without a self-governing Poland on its map.
The authorities know perfectly well that they cannot rule against society. They fear a strong and united nation. This is why they try to sow discord amongst us, to divide, break, or bribe us. Constant demonstration of our unity, our will to struggle, is the only chance for coming to an agreement with the authorities. I believe that such agreement is possible, if only because of the tragic economic situation. Even if there is no great love on either side, we might have a reasonable marriage of convenience.
The basic task of the union right now is to work towards uniting society. We must begin the struggle nationwide, in a coordinated fashion, for a chance at an accord. Nobody will give us such a chance. We must win it ourselves. In August 1980 we had to fight too--we did not receive anything free then either.
If we are strong enough to afford a nationwide action, we shall become a party to agreements with the authorities.
Despite official assurances the country is far from being normalized. For example, in the Krakow region there are groups, strictly hidden, which are ready for anything--even the most desperate actions. These groups have now subordinated themselves to the Regional Executive Commission because they believe that coordinated actions will bring results. But if the authorities ignore us, those groups will escape even our control. It may come to murder, destruction, sabotage.
Everyone--Moscow and the West, as well as our society--is interested in stabilization. But stabilization is unattainable without economic self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, production is falling and will continue to fall. The West will not support a corpse. Poverty is eradicable if prospects for improvement exist, but in the present situation they do not exist.
Despite everything, I remain an optimist. My optimism follows from this: I cannot imagine that the authorities would not take into account our union, its determination, and its offer of an agreement.
Our situation is rather hopeless: we have a wall in front of us, and a wall behind us. On one side there is a growing tension: the industrial enterprises are like a time-bomb, and we must hold the hands of the clock. On the other side are the authorities, who are unwilling to come to an agreement.
The authorities convince themselves that they have won, that normalization is coming along. They are saying that the situation is improving, although they know it is becoming worse. They feel better when they hear the lies of their own propaganda. Like a terminally ill person, who will easily grasp at the faith that his health improves, the authorities persuade themselves that everything is OK. And they have no idea how to escape the impasse.
We must present the authorities with the proposals on which social accord can be based. Publish them, and transmit them to the Church. State clearly from what points we will not back off, and where we are ready to make concessions--rather, negotiate about them. We must pose an ultimatum: agreement or struggle. There is no other way out.
Despite the hatred towards the authorities, the party, and the police, society is conscious that an agreement is necessary: that if the authorities' good will is lacking, they will have to be forced into an agreement. There is no alternative.
If the repressions are unsuccessful, if society decides to undergo hardships, even suffer casualties, if the authorities are certain that we are ready for anything, only then is it possible to talk about some chances for agreement.
I think that no matter what actions are organized in the beginning, no matter what pressures we apply, at the end of the road is a general strike. And in contrast to December 1981, we shall have to defend the striking factories. This is our ultimate argument. I think that then the authorities will bend, that they will start to search for an agreement. Because they yield only to force, and always yield to force.
THE COMMISSAR'S COUNSEL
During the state of war, military commissars (a term never before used in Poland), have been assigned to state institutions, universities, factories, and enterprises to oversee compliance with the state of war.
The following are extensive excerpts of a speech made by Colonel Wislicki, the military commissar assigned to the official Polish radio and TV, to that institution's employees, all of whom are party members. Wiadomisci (news), an underground publication of "Warsaw Solidarity," published the excerpts from a tape-recording of the speech in its 24th/25th issue. (editors)
Some comrades say that this "Solidarnosc" was a kind of paper tiger that was destroyed overnight on December 13th--that it is no longer dangerous and has ceased to exist. Such certainty has led some of us to declare that in principle we have won and it is time to celebrate our victory--time to curtail or abolish the state of war: that everything is back to normal. This is the attitude of those comrades who have installed themselves in their official armchairs under large potted palms--those who not long ago felt that there was something to fear and now are under the protection of the military. Such a view of the situation is quite wrong. What is more, it is very harmful. Because the situation, dear comrades, is very complicated, extremely complicated, and it is difficult to predict how it will develop during the coming months. Should any one of you ask how long the state of war will last, I think the answer is quite easy, but the solution is quite difficult. The state of war in Poland will last until the Party is reborn. And I'm not thinking here about the Party's bureaucracy, for that will be reborn quickly--I'm thinking about the rank and file members in large enterprises. For there are only two ways out of the state of war: dictatorship or democracy. There is no third choice. If we are talking about democracy--that is, democracy in a socialist state--there must be a force around which this democracy will develop. In our situation, only the Party can be such a force. Political pluralism is out of the question. Any sort of opposition, more or less organized, is out of the question. The state of war cannot be lifted until the Party can take over the political direction of enterprises, which means that the state of war will continue for quite some time. It is not a question of months but of years.
Yes, comrades, it is not pleasant, but it is the truth. I do realize that the question of the Party taking over enterprises is something that we speak about a great deal today. But the whole point in this political struggle is to make sure that this question is properly understood. I'm not talking about acceptance --we can't expect that from society. We are far from being accepted. So when answering the frequently asked question--"how long will the state of war last?" we can answer: it will last a long time, and for that, at least the army is ready.
In this context there are other problems linked with ideological influence on society.
Lately we have noticed a great upsurge in the activities of the anti-socialist element within the country.
After the initial shock caused by the introduction of the state of war--I have to admit, incidentally, that its introduction was much easier than we had expected--the organizational system was introduced so smoothly, and there were so few victims--many fewer than we expected when the idea of the state of war was born. It was a great shock for the ideological opponent, but at the same time we must admit that the outward expression of shock passes and the enemy is beginning to gather itself together.
I would like to make a few comments on this subject. The question of Solidarity is linked with the question of the trade union movement, and for the time being no one has any idea what to do with the trade union movement. One thing is clear: it cannot be a trade union movement with regional structures. This we know, for sure. But what next? No one knows. The Prime Minister said in the Sejm that trade unions will be what the working class wants them to be. Personally, I would be more careful with this because I have serious doubts as to whether a trade union built according to the working class's wishes would be compatible with the proper functioning of the state.
(The audience shouts its agreement.)
But what are we seeing now? We see that Solidarity, in let us say its underground state, is getting better and better organized. Its organizations are beginning to function. I must say that I don't care much about the leaflets, but all sorts of bulletins that appear as periodicals, issue after issue, point towards a well-functioning organization. For example, in Warsaw, if War Weekly is being published, with five issues having already appeared, that means that there is a group that publishes this weekly and that it has a working system. As it happens, there are many more such publications. Unfortunately, I don't have any data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. What conclusions can we draw from the contents of these illegal publications? They want to convince the members of the union that Solidarity exists and is organizing itself in the present situation.
Next, the articles in these illegal publications warn against terrorist activities. Indeed, they forbid terrorist type activities. In his interview for American TV, Bujak--and we'll come back to him in a minute--said that Solidarity members should organize small, independent groups in a wide resistance movement--passive, not active, resistance. According to him, this resistance can take different forms. First of all, work should be slowed down because if people do this in the right way, they avoid repression. Other forms include all kinds of open letters to the government and to the Prime Minister--and such letters have started to appear. Another guideline is that, in extreme circumstances, strikes should be organized--but in a sporadic fashion, for it is known that if a strike is called, it will be broken one way or another. Let's say for example that some enterprise starts a strike, then the riot police arrive to break the strike. Bujak and his comrades suggest that the strike should stop and work resume at that time. Then after the riot police leave, they can start the strike again. Some calls are for visible actions that will prove Solidarity is still around: turn off your lights at a given hour, light candles. We know that such actions are quite often successful.
Another directive is against any kind of cooperation. They call for the collection of evidence against "collaborators"--that's what they call them--so they can get even with them when their time comes.
They threaten members of Solidarity that if they cooperate in any way with the authorities they will be struck from the membership rolls when Solidarity...well...when it will be reborn. Members of Solidarity are given instruction as to what to do in order to hinder the functioning of military rule. These appeals are very frequent and they are signed by all sorts of leaders of underground Solidarity. They say, for example, that if a military commissar gives you an order, demand a detailed explanation and pretend you don't understand. If you think the order makes no sense whatsoever --obey at once. And so on. The situation is extremely complex. We're far from celebrating our victory. We can still face developments that we can't even conceive of at the moment. Everything is possible, comrades.
(Some in the audience call out, "Comrade, what you are saying is terrifying.")
Comrades, I can't say everything is OK if it's not. Whichever way you look at it, the situation is bad. I will not repeat what you can read in the newspapers or hear from the Prime Minister. The fact that I have managed to shock some of you, comrades, means that I have achieved my aim. Because that's what I wanted to do.
(The audience demands an explanation.)
The point is that we must be ready and determined because that is what gives us strength to do our work. I'm not holding anything back--that's what the situation is.
(Someone asks, "Why haven't they caught Bujak yet? What the hell is the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MSW] up to?)
Where is Bujak and what in the hell is the MSW up to? We have no information from comrades who are dealing with this. I don't know whether the MSW knows where Bujak and the others are. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. For the time being it's difficult to get at them. If they are in a monastery, which is quite likely, or in a convent, it would be necessary to organize a company or a battalion to break up the whole place. I don't know if the internal and international repercussions would justify the effort to get Bujak.
(Another person asks, "Should we negotiate with the Church then?")
Oh, my dear friend, who can come to an understanding with the clergy? I have no proof, but I am quite certain--and I could even bet--that a great deal of all those publishing centers operate in churches and monasteries. Anyway, if we had any certainty, if we were sure, if we had some idea what trade unions will be in the future, what will happen to Solidarity, then we could act decisively in this or that direction. If we don't have any idea, how can we know if this son of a bitch Bujak won't come in handy one day. You are so sure that he won't. I'm not so sure at all. Personally, I don't know what sort of game the security apparatus is playing. I don't know whether or not Bujak is being used as bait for someone else.
("Comrade, what is happening to Kania?")
As far as Kania is concerned, there are suggestions--for example, by our Soviet comrades, who judge him very critically--not directly of course, but at meetings--you know what sort of meetings.
That's why he isn't First Secretary any more. Personally, I was very critical of his actions when he was First Secretary. But then, you see, Jaruzelski would also have to be criticized. These are complex problems. It won't be for another good few years, not before certain archives are available, that we will be in a position to answer the question whether or not the state of war was introduced at the right time. Perhaps too late, perhaps too early. Certainly not too early. But too late? Because all of us, as we sit here, demanded decisive action from the beginning. Only history will tell who was right--us or Jaruzelski.
("Comrade, why aren't the police arresting all those people who switch off their lights and light candles?")
It is not as easy as all that. First, this is a common occurrence and secondly, Jaruzelski stated that the state of war is in force in Poland but that no rights have been suspended. So what right have you to enter homes and ask people why they switch off the lights: They switch them off because they feel like it. They switch them off because they have the right to do so.
(Commotion: the audience shouts, "What do you mean, they've got the right?")
Well, comrades, they've got the right. After all what act of law can you use against them: there is no legal base. It would have been an illegal act, an act of repression. Take Swidnik, for example. People go for a walk during the television news. They walk around peacefully, and what can you do about it? It is not an [illegal] gathering--no one delivers speeches, no one shouts slogans. They just walk around the main square, and what can you do about it? Send the riot police? You can't do that--that would be an escalation of terror. You talk about verifying people [IDEOLOGICAL VERIFICATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS]. We are verifying people wherever we can and so what? We check a Solidarity member, saying that he doesn't work well. Or we verify him because of political reasons. First--we have no right to check him because there has been an amnesty declared--he might have even been a member of KPN [CONFEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT POLAND]. And when he comes to us and declares that he is giving up his membership, you can't tell him: you've been a Solidarity member so you're fired! The same applies to the academic community. To verify them? And what then? One has to think of the consequences. The verifications cause a great stir in those circles and then, I don't know, whether such an academic, who is not with us but whom we control, wouldn't be more dangerous if chucked out of the university so that he might organize without our control....Well, I don't have an answer to that.
There are many such problems. Unfortunately there are no simple solutions. If there were we wouldn't have gotten to the point where we are. You can't make the entire nation shut their traps. There's no way it can be done.
Another topic you wanted me, comrades, to discuss is the issue of the Church. So, I think the Church is a time-bomb. To me it is clear that the Church's activity is all in all decidedly anti-State at this point. It is decidedly aimed against the current system in our country. But in the Church's hierarchy there are differences of opinion.
The most--shall we say--docile, is Glemp, who supports some dialogue with the Government and who, on the whole, has accepted the necessity of introducing the state of war, considering it to be in accordance with the law. But Glemp doesn't accept all the consequences resulting from martial law: internments, the suspension of Solidarity, etc. He declares that the Church may guarantee that Solidarity will function as a trade union and not as a political organization. Macharski represents a more radical attitude though not an extremist one. As far as...er...what's his name...Gulbinowicz is concerned... he represents the very extreme in the Church. Those extremists include the older generation of the Episcopate, and it wasn't by chance that it was these three who went to see the Pope. Most probably they were chosen to represent all factions within the Church in order to work out a common stand. As far as the activities of the, say, rank and file clergy are concerned, more often than not they are decidedly anti-State.
Perhaps I should say a few words about a pastoral letter, dated January 19th, which was to be read in all churches. It was an exceptionally perfidious letter calling, without mincing words, for armed resistance. Well, perhaps not directly, but there were statements which could be interpreted in such a way. For example, and I quote from memory, "The yoke, violence, could lead to retaliation and even to bloodshed." The authorities did their best to ensure that this letter would not be read out. In some parishes it was, and in others not. As I told you, those rank and file priests are decidedly anti-State and their activities are against the State. This is evident in sermons. On Christmas Eve, during Midnight Mass, three priests were arrested and two interned--because of what they were saying. All the cribs in the Church now have a uniquely political character. Religious symbols are pushed aside and the symbols of martyrdom have appeared--symbols of the Home Army--emblems of Fighting Poland [USED DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR BY THE UNDERGROUND ARMY], banners spattered with blood, and so forth. Just as it was during Hitler's occupation. I repeat: I don't know if this time-bomb will explode. But we must be vigilant, because they are very cunning.
And to the end I should say a few words about us--about television. Right now--it's a bloody mess. There are four decision-making centers and each of them has something to say. And so: there are decisions from the Central Committee, from the Government, from WRON (THE MILITARY COUNCIL FOR NATIONAL SALVATION] and from the Political Department of the Army. And the Commissar finds himself between the devil and the deep blue sea, not one devil but three.
("Comrades, there is one more point. How should we fight the propaganda from the Western radio stations?")
Comrades, there is a plan how to deal with these subversive broadcasts. It needs special equipment. We are going to organize broadcasts for eight hours a day on a wavelength close to that of Radio Free Europe. From our Soviet comrades we will receive the scope of the RFE wavelengths, and we plan to organize a somewhat subversive program. Anybody who wants to listen to RFE will look for that frequency, but he won't be able to tell whether he is listening to RFE or to our subversive program. This will have to be done skillfully and intelligently.
(The audience bursts out with laughter and overwhelming applause.)
WHY YOU ARE NOT SIGNING...
The following text, written under a pseudonym, was recently smuggled out of Bialoleka Prison near Warsaw. It appeared in the seventh issue of Mazowsze Weekly, a Warsaw underground newspaper and the official publication of "Solidarity's" Mazowsze region. (editors)
Many internees are being approached by secret service functionaries and asked to sign the so-called "declaration of loyalty," in which they pledge that they will refrain from engaging in activities "harmful to the state and the government of the Polish People's Republic." We know of many cases where the families of the interned have been similarly approached. In these instances the functionaries attempted to convince them that they should persuade the interned members of their families to sign the declaration, under the threat of harsh sentences and long prison terms. The declarations serve in these cases as a particularly vicious form of blackmail. They are intended as a psychological weapon to break people's will to resist, deprive them of their dignity, divide them and create conflicts between them. This article contains an analysis of what in the eyes of the government, the purpose of such declarations is supposed to be, and how one should behave when asked to sign them.
Why you are not signing...
General Jaruzelski told you that those interned who pledged to refrain from activities "contrary to the law" will be released.
So freedom is a hand's reach away. A few strokes of the pen on the declaration of loyalty will suffice...It is so easy to exchange your barred window, with its sharp outline of barbed wire, for freedom. The iron gates of Bialoleka will open before you, and instead of prisoners walks you will see the streets of your native city, patrolled by police and tanks. You will see people being checked, cars being stopped and their trunks searched. You will see the vigilant eye of the informer fishing out from the crowd people suspected of "violating the regulations of the state of war." You will hear words that you had known only from history books: "raid," "Volksliste" [THE DECLARATION OF LOYALTY USED BY THE NAZIS DURING THE OCCUPATION]--words torn out from beneath the stately patina of time, words pulsating with today's ominous rhythm. You will hear about further arrests, about people being sought, people hiding, about draconian sentences.
And even if you are capable only of small-minded calculation, you have your first reason for not signing: it isn't worth it. Here no one can detain you "for explanations," here you have nothing to fear. It is paradoxical, I know, but if in the morning you are woken up by someone banging on the door, you are not afraid of uniformed guests: you know it is only your kindly jailer bringing you your morning coffee. Here you feel no fear when you see an informer with restless eyes: here the spy is harmless. Bialoleka is a moral luxury and an oasis of freedom.
Sometimes they will try to scare you. My friend, a worker from a Warsaw factory, was promised 15 years of prison. Another was threatened with a trial for espionage. A third was interrogated in Russian. Still another was ordered out of his cell and told that he was going into the heart of Russia (they took him for an X-ray). But all this is bearable. Indeed, I think it is easier to bear than the morally and politically complicated situation on the other side of the barbed wire.
The Polish Primate condemned the coercion of people to sign declarations of loyalty. The Pope openly called this violation of human conscience a crime. All condemnation must fall on those who coerce these declarations out of people, those who employ that cruel form of debasing human dignity.
A young woman, the wife of a Solidarity activist, was arrested and taken away from her sick baby--which, she had been told beforehand, they had decided to place in a children's home. She signed the declaration. My friend was torn away from his mother, on her own and dying of cancer, and told that "there will not even be a lame dog to make your mother tea." He signed the declaration.
There is no point in multiplying the examples of the cruelty of some, the helplessness of others, of tragic dilemmas and base blackmail. The decision lies always with the individual's voice of reason and conscience.
It is difficult to condemn either choice here. Ostracism would achieve the government's aims: for it is precisely their aim to break social resistance and human solidarity by creating divisions and conflicts. However, if one takes a position of tolerance and understanding, one cannot thereby assume that the very act of signing the declaration of loyalty is in itself "morally indifferent." It is not. Every declaration of loyalty is an evil, and a declaration coerced from you is an evil into which you have been coerced. The only difference is that sometimes it is a lesser evil. The act of signing deserves understanding, always sympathy, but never praise.
As yet, you know little. Only in a few hours' time will they take you to Bialoleka, where, in your prison cell, your teeth chattering with cold, you listen to the radio telling you that a war has been declared against your nation. It was declared by people who govern in the name of that nation, who in the name of that nation make declarations and sign international agreements, by people who publicly reach out towards reconciliation, while in secret they instruct the secret police to hunt and arrest us by night.
And then you are certain that you will not declare your loyalty to these people, for they themselves are incapable of loyalty.
You do not know yet what this war means. You do not know yet how the factories and steelworks, the shipyards and mines, will be stormed. You do not know yet of the bloody Wednesday at the "Wujek" mine. But one thing you do know: such a declaration would be a denial of your own self. It would wipe out your life's meaning. It would be the betrayal of people who trusted you; the betrayal of your friends who are scattered in prisons, sentenced and interned; the betrayal of all those who will defend you--in Krakow with a leaflet, in New York and Paris with a public statement. Nothing is definite yet. Your road is still open to you. You yourself can still choose, but you know instinctively that to abandon your dignity is not a price that should be paid for opening the prison gates--it is not a price worth paying.
It goes against common sense to make agreements of any kind with people who interpret the very concept of an agreement very loosely indeed, and who violate common agreements--with people for whom the lie is their daily bread. You have surely never met anyone who had anything to do with the secret police and did not feel cheated by them. For those people, whose gaze is dead--yet restless; whose mind is blunted--yet skilled in the art of harassment; whose soul is defiled--yet greedy for social acceptance; for those people you are nothing but stuff to work over. They have their own particular anthropology: they believe that anyone can be convinced--that is, bribed or frightened. For them there is only the problem of the price paid and the pain inflicted. Although they work mechanically, every slip you make, every fall, gives meaning to their life. Your capitulation is not only their professional success, it is their raison d'etre.
You are therefore arguing with them about the meaning of your own life, about how there is no meaning to theirs, about endowing every human life with meaning. You are continuing the argument of Giordano Bruno with the Inquisitioner, of the Decembrist with the Tsarist police superintendent, of Lukasinski with the Tsarist exterminating angel, of Ossietzki with the blond man in the gestapo uniform, of Mandelshtam with a Bolshevik party member dressed in a uniform with the blue NKVD lapel. You are taking part in an argument that will never end--the argument of which Elzenberg says that the value of your involvement is not measured by the victory of your idea, but by the value of the idea itself. In other words: you win not when you gain power, but when you remain faithful to yourself.
Common sense also tells you that if you sign the declaration of loyalty, you put the whip into the hand of the Functionaries. They will wave this whip around and they will threaten you with it in order to force you into making another declaration that you will cooperate. The declaration of loyalty transforms itself into a pact with the devil: You cannot give even half a finger to those police inquisitioners without their immediately grasping at your entire arm. You know people whose entire life has been broken by one moment of weakness or moral injudiciousness: people hunted down by telephone calls, approached in their homes and offices, blackmailed whenever the opportunity arises for them to go abroad. They have paid for their moment of rashness with a lifetime of fear and debasement. If you don't want to be afraid, do not make any agreements with the functionaries.
You feel no hate for the functionaries only pity. You know how often they suffer from mental illnesses. You know they will feel shame in front of their own children. You know that the sentence of national oblivion will be passed on them.
You remember the history of your nation. You remember that within that history a declaration of loyalty made in prison was always a disgrace. Remaining faithful to yourself and to the national tradition was a virtue. You remember people tortured and imprisoned for years who did not sign such a declaration. And there are others who wander among your memories: those who lost the battle of dignity in prison. You see with the eyes of your soul Andrzej M., an excellent literary critic, your friend, who while in prison wrote a brilliant informer's essay, testimony to a moral death. You remember Zygmunt D., a charming friend, an intelligent boy, who broke down once and for years thereafter continued to inform on his colleagues. So you think with horror of these human shreds, of these people broken to bits by the police machine, and you see your future is still an open slate. The choice is yours. But your memory commands you to repeat: you can become like that; no one is born an informer; every day you forge out your fate at the cost of your own life.
You have not yet heard the declaration of loyalty on the radio, nor the vile interrogations, nor the shameful statements. You do not yet know how Marian K. from Nowa Huta was tricked. He was a brave and intelligent Solidarity activist; in his statement he wanted to render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser's and unto God what is God's, and he rendered everything unto the police, for he did not stop to think that there are situations where ambiguity ceases to be ambiguous, and where the half-truth becomes a lie.
But you know that all this is nothing new, that you will not want to explain to these functionaries waving the order of release in front of your nose that it is they who are slaves, and no order of release will free them from that bondage. You will not explain to them that those people swarming in crowded corridors, recently torn from their homes, those worker activists, professors and writers, students and artists, friends and strangers, that those are the people who constitute human and national freedom, and that for this, war has been declared upon them. You will not want to explain to this functionary, who with sadistic pleasure dealt you a blow in the face, the meaning of the essay by Rozanov, describing the most significant conflict in European culture by the antagonism of the man who wields the whip to the man who is whipped. And you will not explain to him that your meeting is another incarnation of that antagonism.
You will not talk to him at all.
Today, if you shout at the functionaries, their pupils will reveal a gleam of fear. This fear and uncertainty you will notice under their helmets, through their uniforms, from behind the police shields imported from Japan. And you will easily realize that this fear of the functionary is for you a certificate of hope--of your hope.
It is over this that the battle is being waged: functionaries want to squeeze out of us a declaration that we have abandoned hope. The Functionaries realize that he who declares his loyalty to the system of lies and coercion rejects hope for a Poland in which lies and coercion would be condemned. These declarations are supposed to transform us into servile base creatures who will revolt in the name of freedom and dignity. But by refusing to engage in conversation with the Functionary, by refusing to cooperate, by rejecting the status of a collaborator and informer, by choosing the human condition of a political prisoner, you are preserving hope. You throw this--your declaration of hope--like a sealed bottle into the sea--from your prison into the world, among people. If you tell at least one person, you have won.
You know how keen is the feeling of desolation. You think that you are helpless in the face of this policy--a military machine that was set in motion on a December's night. But you know, as you stand alone, bound in handcuffs, with tear gas in your eyes, facing Functionaries waving their guns, you know--and you see this clearly against the dark, starless night--you know, thanks to your favorite poet, that "the avalanche changes its course according to the stone over which it flows." And you want to be that stone which will change the course of events.
Even if it is to be but one of the stones thrown onto the entrenchment.
(Owing to the length of the article the editors have been compelled to shorten it somewhat.)
HONORARY DEGREE FOR LECH WALESA
On May 9, 1982, Nasson College in Maine bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Law upon Lech Walesa. The Committee in Support of Solidarity received the degree on behalf of Mr. Walesa, and Jakub Karpinski made brief remarks on behalf of the Committee.
Remarks of Nasson College Accompanying the Degree
Lech Walesa, labor leader but, above all, crusader for human dignity, was born in a Poland suffering the outrages of foreign occupation and the ravages of war. The Nazi armies waged futile attempts to stem the onslaught of the conquering Red Army. Walesa grew up in an environment of deprivation from the war in a time of rapid changes in the aspirations of the Polish people for a new life and a new nation.
As a boy and a young man he must have seen first-hand the steel of the military machine forcing many to agree to the saying that "might makes right." Ironically--but truthfully--in the case of Mr. Walesa, might does make right, but in a significantly different way. Lech Walesa's "might" lies in the principles for which he stands: his commitment to human dignity; his concern that proper recognition be given to the worker in society; and his faith in basic Christian teachings. His principles are "right," and it is this fact, combined with his own personal integrity, which invests him with such "might."
Mr. Walesa cannot be with us today. This is probably by his own choice, because it is likely the current government would allow him and his family to leave the People's Republic of Poland--but he would not be permitted to return. He has chosen to remain a silent but mighty symbol and also as a person dedicated to the accomplishment of the goal of his workers' movement, especially its Christian principles, in an advanced socialist society. He clearly understands the price which man must pay for his beliefs--and so do those who oppose him.
In the tragedy of the Polish story--in which men of good intention are forced to follow conflicting paths in an effort to maintain the integrity of the Polish nation--Lech Walesa is not a tragic figure but rather a positive sign of the importance of a positive statement for human dignity, much as was Ghandi in India years ago.
When awarding a degree, honoris causa, a college or university recognizes people for what they are and have achieved while also viewing them as role models for students and teachers. Lech Walesa is not a university academician, but he is a man who we respect and honor for his integrity and for his sense of Christian responsibility.
In these ways he has earned by his example, courage, and his deed the title Doctor of Law which today we confer upon him honoris causa and, regrettably, in absentia.
REMARKS OF JAKUB KARPINSKI AT NASSON COLLEGE
On behalf of the Committee in Support of Solidarity, I am greatly honored to come in place of Lech Walesa and accept for him the honorary degree from Nasson College. I am convinced that one day Lech Walesa himself, still as a leader of the "Solidarity" movement in Poland, will be able to come and speak to you. He is now a special kind of "prisoner of war," held in captivity by communist rulers in his own country.
Let me consider this award as an expression of common feelings of solidarity with the movement in Poland--a movement struggling for aims similar to those listed in the American Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. Lech Walesa's name is now everywhere identified with this movement--with its attempt to limit and overcome the communist oppression in Poland.
Lech Walesa is an example that social and political activities can be as creative as the work of scientists and artists. Lech Walesa has practiced the difficult art of achieving what is possible in politics. But still he has always defended the basic values of justice, freedom and democracy. He knows well the meaning of these words. He knows that there are conditions in which one should not surrender to the enemy.
I praise Nasson College for awarding the degree to a brave man of action who not only has served his country well, but who has broadened the human possibilities of rebuilding democratic social and political life. And he has been doing it in the difficult conditions of an oppressive communist system.
Let me thank you once again for your choice.
"HE DOESN'T LOVE ME, WHAT AM I TO DO?--THE PSYCHOLOGIST'S ADVICE"
The following item appeared in Mazowsze Weekly No. 9, APRIL 6, 1982.
The government's Press Office organized a conference with psychologists, who offered advice concerning improvements of the propaganda. We quote some excerpts:
"The propagandists think messages that are repeated over and over become imprinted on the social consciousness. This is true, but it works only with stupid or limited people. One should repeat, but only a few times.
"'Solidarity' as a slogan is deeply rooted as something positive. One should not use the concept of Solidarity as a whole in a negative context. It is better to talk about 'groups,' 'extremists,' etc. It does not pay to convert the slogan from a positive into a negative one. Rather, it should be appropriated.
"Unmasking Solidarity leaders by showing their hypocrisy, how arrogant as peacocks they were, is very effective. But pointing to Union's connections to the West will not make Solidarity seem repugnant.
"One should not overdo showing the army on TV. The army must be shown in dress uniforms. Attention should be paid to what is shown. For example, a colonel mustn't be seen doing chores. Possibly a corporal could do that.
"The disappointment with the word 'socialism' follows basically from the deep acceptance of socialist ideals, from the high expectations of socialism. In a capitalist system the people do not expect so much from it, so they do not experience deep disappointments. This point must be emphasized in more sophisticated publications. One should, however, limit the use of the word 'socialism.' Use socialist values rather than the term itself.
"Socialism as a concept is identified with mistakes, distortions, conflicts, etc. It is necessary to change the emphasis--that is, do not say that socialism was good, or is good, but that it can be good, it will be good."
NOTHING TO CROW ABOUT
The underground "Solidarity" press occasionally publishes brief items reporting on the often bizarre ideas implemented by the military commissars. These are published under a common title: "The crow: its brainstorms, behavior, and habits."
The following items concerning the media have been selected from "Informacja Solidarnosci" ("Information from Solidarity," referred to here as Infosol).
* An eyewitness reports a new, "wartime" method of conducting street interviews for TV news: A crew consisting of two policemen with nightsticks and a TV reporter stops a passerby. The policemen check ID documents, and then the reporter asks his questions [for the camera]. [INFOSOL #19, January 26, 1982]
* In order to present a running production line on TV, the manager of the cold-rolling mill in the Katowice Steelworks halted work for a long time in order to have steel enough for a full hour of a demonstration of rolling. [INFOSOL #19]
* A newly printed children's book, The Adventures of Habal the Dwarf, barely avoided being put on the CROW'S index of forbidden publications, because it bore, on the back of the title page, the now unprintable text--"Printed at the initiative of the Workers' Council in response to an appeal for voluntary work during six free Saturdays, 1981". Ultimately, the CROW was satisfied with having a special team tear out the offending page from all 200,000 copies of the book. [INFOSOL #28]
* In the courtyard of the provincial police headquarters in Bialystok, the confiscated information bulletins and other union publications were burned. Where did the example come from? [INFOSOL #32, March 12, 1982]
* The CROW stopped the distribution of the new edition of children's poems by Jan Brzechwa, titled The Crow and Cheese. [INFOSOL #33, March 16, 1982]
* The CROW, the theatre buff: The CROW organized another meeting with theater directors, announcing the establishment of a repertory list [with the permitted plays] binding on all playhouses. It also announced that inappropriate audience behavior during a show (clapping, stomping and whistling) will be punished. [INFOSOL #38, April 6, 1982]
* The CROW craves approval: The Minister of Culture, J. Tejchma, meeting with a group of artists, said that the Council of State and the party do not want to prolong the state of war forever. However, the authorities will continue to impose restrictions until they gain broad social support. [INFOSOL #38]
* The CROW and the mass media: During one of the party conferences at the State Committee for Radio and TV fears were expressed that when the last soldier leaves his guardpost at the Committee, the trotskyists and revisionists will return. Stefan Olszowski, member of the CC [Central Committee] shared his opinion that "it would perhaps be worthwhile to look at our soldier-boys defending the TV building, and hire some of them when they are released from service". [INFOSOL #38]
* The far-sighted CROW: When Western news agencies reported that L. Brezhnev had been hospitalized, the CROW quietly ordered Polish Radio and TV to prepare a contingency broadcast, with appropriate music--"in case of an extraordinary event, e.g. death of a prominent person". [INFOSOL #41, April 20, 1982]
A PRIEST AND A MOTHER ARE AMONG THOSE SENTENCED
The following are the names of people the Committee in Support of Solidarity has learned the authorities have sentenced. The Committee regularly updates and adds to its lists of arrested, interned and sentenced. The lists, whole or in part, are available from the New York office.
1. Edward Julian Antonczyk of Tarnobrzeg, chairman of the local branch of PAX [an officially sanctioned Catholic political organization] was sentenced to four years by a military court, "for making and keeping in his home in Zalezie, poems and letters that could possibly be harmful to the interests of the Polish People's Republic." It was a summary judgment.
2. Marian Banas of Krakow, legal advisor to "Solidarity" there, was sentenced to four years by a military court, for organizing meetings during which he encouraged preparing leaflets and collecting independent underground publications.
3. Kazimierz Roman Kraniec of Torun was fined 5,000 zlotys, and 100 zlotys for court fees or 50 days in prison, for "wearing in a provocative way, on March 21st, at the State Institute for Land and Sea Geophysics and Oil Exploration, a Solidarity button, despite being warned earlier against such."
4. Grazyna Langowska of Olsztyn, former spokesman for the Solidarity regional branch in Warmia-Mazury, teacher, and mother of a four-year old child, was sentenced by a military court to one and one half years in prison for preparing two leaflets on December 13th.
5. Mariusz Lesnicki of Lodz, student at the Polythenic institute there, was sentenced to one year in prison for leaflets.
6. Ludwik Kluzniak of Wroclaw, student, was sentenced to 3 years for making and distributing leaflets.
7. Boleslaw Eugeniusz Jewulski of Polczyn Zdroj, priest, pastor of St. Joseph's parish, was sentenced to three and one half years in prison because "during his sermon on December 20th, he slandered and mocked the system of the Polish People's Republic and her institutions of government, provided false information that there is growing resistance in the country, and finally, encouraged resistance."
8. Cezary Godziak of Gdansk, student of Department of Physics of the University of Gdansk, sentenced to six years for organizing a strike at the Marine Academy.
9. Jerzy Jachnik of Bielsko Biala, was sentenced to one year for hiding P. Kosmowskiego, chairman of the local branch of "Solidarity."
10. Reinhold Barteczko, an employee of the "Knurow" mine, was sentenced to three years for trying to avoid work in a militarized factory.