Poland: Behind the Crisis (1982) : APPENDIX A



January 26, 1979

New York Times, in front-page story, reveals: "As a part of an effort to obtain a major new loan, Poland has agreed to permit Western banks to monitor its economic policies, American bankers say. They regard the concession as a historic breakthrough in the financial relations with the communist world.

"To persuade the banks to agree to the new financing, Poland has already had to announce a strict, new budget for 1979 and provide its creditors with comprehensive, new information on its financial situation.

"The banks involved in the new credit will henceforth track the progress of the Polish economy much as the International Monetary Fund monitors the economies of non-communist countries in financial distress."

April 24, 1980

Western bankers gather in the Victoria Hotel in Warsaw in credit negotiations with the Polish government. The bankers demand higher prices, particularly of food, as a condition for rescheduling huge Western loans.


Government doubles price of sugar.

July 1

Government raises price of meat.

July and August

Strikes break out throughout Poland.

September 5

Polish CP leader Edward Gierek is replaced by Stanislaw Kania.

October 24

Warsaw court registers "Solidarity" as an "independent" union.


"Rural Solidarity" formed. Demands include: putting more state land in private hands increasing size of private farms and increasing prices the government pays for their products.

November 14

Poland requests $3 billion in new loans from U. S., increasing debt to West to $24 billion.

November 16

Lech Walesa, head of "Solidarity," tells Manchester Guardian, "I am not a socialist. " Walesa says he agrees with "Solzhenitsyn's criticism of the West as well as of Russia." (Henry Kissinger once said that Solzhenitsyn is "to the right of the tsars.")

November 21

A Roman Catholic representative in the Polish parliament is made a deputy prime minister.

December 1

Sen. Charles Percy (R Ill.) on return from trip to USSR says Poland is in U.S.'s sphere of "vital interests."

December 1

USSR grants Poland $1.3 billion in aid.

December 9

In interview with columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Walesa praises Reagan's election as "a good sign to the world and Poland.

December 10

U.S. sends four AWACS spy planes to U.S. Air Force Base at Rahmstein, West Germany, in move to incite Polish crisis. AWACS will patrol East German border and monitor ground movements in Poland.

February 6, 1981

Les Aspin, member of House Armed Services Committee, writes in a New York Times op-ed, "The strongest foreign leverage on Poland is the huge debt to Western banks that Poland, unlike other communist countries, has racked up. The Polish debt now gives Western governments the means to influence the direction that the Polish government takes." Aspin outlines a plan for destabilizing Poland leading to a cold takeover of the country by the U.S.


Western banks, meeting with Polish authorities, state that debt would be rescheduled under certain conditions such as that Solidarity be guaranteed relative freedom of action (New York Times, March 31, 1981).

March 29

On separate TV talk shows Sen. Percy, Defense Secretary Weinberger and Secretary of State Haig viciously attack the USSR on Poland and hail "independent" trade union movement. "Solidarity" leaders do not disavow this show of support.


Pentagon issues virtual daily "warnings" that USSR will "invade" Poland. Weinberger claims there has already been a Soviet invasion "by osmosis U.S. hysteria fails to derail growing anti-war opposition to U.S. intervention in El Salvador.

May 21

Revealed that industrial production in Poland declined by 30 percent last year.

June 10

CP leader Stanislaw Kania finally acknowledges that Poland faces "the danger of counter-revolution."

June 17

Wall Street Journal reveals that Poland is already defaulting on economic commitments to Eastern Europe and USSR.

July 19

Polish CP Congress decrees new program of austerity. Prices of food, coal, natural gas, and housing go up by as much as 110 percent.

July 31

U.S. Congress passes resolution by 410-to-1 warning against internal repression or external aggression against Poland. TASS charges this is blatant outside interference: "The meaning of this signal to the Polish counter-revolutionaries is: 'The West will help you.' " TASS adds that recent article in the Washington Post chronicled a drive by CIA to recruit Polish-speaking agents.

August 1

Reagan sends food aid to Poland while cutting food stamps in U.S.

September 25

Extreme right-wing surfaces at national convention of "Solidarity" in Gdansk. "This union was not created to make compromises, but to smash the totalitarian system in our country," says one delegate.

September 28

New self-management law is enacted to decentralize industry and undermine much of what remains of socialist planning.

October 4

In interview with Washington Post, Walesa, appealing for U.S. assistance, says, "Poland may not appear a profitable investment for you now. But if we can succeed with what we are doing here, it will benefit you in the long term. That's why it's worth banking on Poland."

October 18

Kania dismissed and replaced by Prime Minister Jaruzclski.

October 21

"Solidarity" calls protest strike when police arrest man for selling literature by Jozef Pilsudski. Pilsudski was Poland's right-wing prime minister in 1930s who crushed unions and murdered thousands of workers and peasants.

November 15

Poland applies for membership in World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

December 7

Government reveals tapes of Walesa and "Solidarity" leaders calling for overthrow of government. Zbigniew Bujak, head of Warsaw local of "Solidarity," said, "The government should be finally overthrown." Walesa admits to making statements on tapes.

December 13

Gen. Jaruzelski announces emergency measures aimed at stopping counter-revolutionary moves.

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