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368 Document No. 67: Excerpt from CPSU CC Politburo Meeting Regarding Brezhnev–Kania Conversation, September 17, 1981 As this brief report shows, Kania continues to provoke exasperation not only in Moscow but also among most of his erstwhile allies, who are incensed at his “intolerable liberalism” and favor subjecting him to “severe pressure.” For East German leader Honecker, only Kania’s resignation and replacement by hard-liner Stefan Olszowski will suffice. Brezhnev, who appears reluctant to impose unilateral decisions on the rest of Moscow’s partners, indicates that more information on the views of the other socialist leaders is needed before arriving at a conclusion. […] 8. Telegram from the Soviet ambassador in Berlin of September 15, 1981 (Spec. No. 598). Brezhnev: Concerning my telephone conversation with Cde. Kania on September 11, 1981, which we agreed upon at the last Politburo session, I sent information to our ambassadors for their use in apprising Cdes. Honecker, Kádár, Zhivkov and Husák. The ambassadors fulfilled this assignment and reported on the results. The leaders of the fraternal parties completely agreed with what was said to Cde. Kania in the telephone conversation, and consider that Cde. Kania is displaying an intolerable liberalism and should be subject to severe pressure. In a conversation with Cde. Pyotr Abrasimov,41 which he, as you know, described in a telegram, Cde. Honecker put forward this proposal: to gather in Moscow with the leaders of the fraternal parties, to invite Cde. Kania and tell him to submit his resignation, and in his place as first secretary of the PUWP CC to recommend Cde. [Stefan] Olszowski. In this connection, I would like to advise what our position should be. Of course, it is hard for us now to make a simple decision on this question. We do not yet know the opinion of the other comrades, the leaders of the socialist countries . That must all be mulled over in detail. Perhaps we will instruct the Foreign Ministry of the USSR, the Ministry of Defense and the CC Department42 to examine the questions contained in the tele41  Soviet ambassador to the GDR. 42  This refers to the CPSU CC Department for Ties with Communist and Workers’ Parties of Socialist Countries, often referred to in Russian as simply “Otdel,” the Department. 369 gram, and taking account of the exchange of views at the Politburo to prepare and deliver the appropriate proposals to the CC. If there are no objections, then perhaps we will now adopt this decision. The members and candidate members of the Politburo indicated that Leonid Ilyich’s proposal is completely correct and should be adopted, except that the KGB should be included among the agencies instructed to consider these matters . The proposal is adopted. [Source: RGANI, Fond 89, Opis 42, Delo 47. Translated by Malcolm Byrne for the National Security Archive.] ...


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