restricted access Document No. 36: Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs Duty Report on Preparations for Martial Law, March 16, 1981
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

223 Document No. 36: Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs Duty Report on Preparations for Martial Law March 16, 1981 As this document indicates, even before the Bydgoszcz crisis the Polish authorities had already completed many of the most important preparations for martial law. The question they faced now was a political one—whether actually to institute a crackdown . When the regime eventually acted in December 1981, they followed a number of the guidelines and proposals laid down at this time. […] In accordance with instructions from the Comrade Premier [Jaruzelski] on March 15 of this year, a meeting of the MSW leadership took place where recent events in the country were taken into account, and a readiness assessment made in case of the need to introduce martial law. Meeting participants included: 1. Minister of Internal Affairs—Maj.-Gen. M. Milewski 2. Chief of the PA General Staff—Lt.-Gen. F. Siwicki 3. Deputy Chief of the PA General Staff—Maj.-Gen. T. Hupałowski 4. Vice-Minister of Internal Affairs—Maj.-Gen. B. Stachura The conclusion of the assessment of the state of readiness, in case of the need to introduce martial law, as well as the exchange of views on the current course of the socio-political situation in the country, are stated as follows: 1.  The continued persistence of a state of tension in the country requires the continuation of preparations to introduce martial law. The ministries of national defense and of internal affairs, taking into account the experience of the decision games that were conducted, have made further preparations with the aim of increasing the readiness of both ministries for operations in this range. Jointly specified: –  MND and MSW defense of radio and television objectives, transportation and communications, as well as the larger provisions warehouses; –  selection and recruitment to sub-units comprised of the Citizens’ Police; –  elimination of particularly dangerous elements from military conscription by the MSW, organization of joint patrols; –  assistance to the MND in quartering, with military units, the sub-units comprised of the Citizens’ Police and the like, successively called up by the MSW. 2.  The state of MND and MSW preparations, with respect to legal forms, the use of force and resources, and the introduction of internment operations, 224 makes both ministries competent in principle to undertake operations in case martial law is introduced. However, this operation cannot be introduced with a positive (for us) evolution of the situation without previously preparing propaganda. As an aggregate of departmental preparations, propaganda still lags behind. An urgent need exists to accelerate work in this sphere. This work could be executed by selected teams of PUWP CC employees, who would make a thorough study of a plan, detailing propaganda preparations and securing the planned operation. The ministries of national defense and of internal affairs would provide essential assistance in this area. 3.  In the present situation, it is not necessary to take into consideration the possibility of introducing martial law in defined areas of the country (a province or a number of provinces), because pronouncements by Solidarity would embrace the entire country and would paralyze the effectiveness of preventive MSW operations. 4.  In case of the introduction of martial law and the prior removal of particularly dangerous persons for internment, as well as the prepared propaganda operations—anticipating that the course of the situation in the country could be, among others, the following: First Variant –  devoid of enemy leaders and opposition organizations as well as the whole society as a result of propaganda influence and party activities prepared earlier at places of employment by groups of party agitators (activists)—submit to the orders of the authorities; –  in certain establishments work stoppages, not large, could appear; –  troops and police, after occupying demarcated regions, maintain a passive posture (protective-guarding) and their main effort remains directed at maintaining law and public order; –  positive attitudes of society support abolishing martial law in certain regions of the country. Second Variant –  in certain regions of the country massive work stoppages appear, as well as the fact of sabotage activities; –  demonstrations and strikes do not go beyond the premises of enterprises; –  troops assume a protective-guarding posture at appointed positions, the KOK actively agitates in the sphere of law and order and also in identifying and eliminating enemy activities; –  the introduction of summary proceedings before common and military courts; –  active party-propaganda actions, supported by ascertained facts about the opponent’s sabotage activities, gradually eliminates the negative occurrences . Third Variant –  immediately after introducing...