Poland's War- page 2 | History | Smithsonian
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Poland's War

Remembering martial law 25 years later


General Wojciech Jaruzelski, now 83, was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. He has vigorously defended his actions in the past, citing a fear of a bloody invasion from the Soviet Union—similar to its crackdown of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968—as a factor in his decision to declare martial law.

Prosecutors dismiss this argument, telling the Associated Press last week that martial law "was really imposed in defense of the system at the time and not in the interests of Poles." They continue to build their criminal case against Jaruzelski who faces 11 years in prison if convicted.

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