Wojciech Jaruzelski

Polish military and political official, leader of the Polish People's Republic from 1981 to 1989

Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski (6 July 1923 - 25 May 2014) was a Polish military officer and politician. He was leader from 1981-1989 and the first President of Poland from July 1989 to December 1990.

Wojciech Jaruzelski
Jaruzelski in 1981
1st President of Poland
In office
19 July 1989 – 22 December 1990
Prime MinisterMieczysław Rakowski
Czesław Kiszczak
Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Preceded byOffice restored
Himself (As Chairman of the Council of State)
Bolesław Bierut (As President before office was abolished)
Succeeded byLech Wałęsa
6th First Secretary of the
Polish United Workers' Party
In office
18 October 1981 – 29 July 1989
Preceded byStanisław Kania
Succeeded byMieczysław Rakowski
6th Chairman of the Council of State
In office
6 November 1985 – 19 July 1989
Prime MinisterZbigniew Messner
Mieczysław Rakowski
Preceded byHenryk Jabłoński
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Himself (As President)
8th Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Poland
In office
11 February 1981 – 6 November 1985
Chairman of the Council of StateHenryk Jabłoński
Preceded byJózef Pińkowski
Succeeded byZbigniew Messner
Minister of National Defence of the
People's Republic of Poland
In office
11 April 1968 – 22 November 1983
Prime MinisterJózef Cyrankiewicz
Piotr Jaroszewicz
Edward Babiuch
Józef Pińkowski
Preceded byMarian Spychalski
Succeeded byFlorian Siwicki
Personal details
Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski

(1923-07-06)6 July 1923
Kurów, Poland
Died25 May 2014(2014-05-25) (aged 90)
Warsaw, Poland
Resting placePowązki Military Cemetery, Warsaw
Political partyPolish Workers' Party (1944–1948)
Polish United Workers' Party (1948–1990)
Independent (1990–2014)
ChildrenMonika Jaruzelska
AwardsVirtuti Militari, Order of Polonia Restituta, Cross of Valor
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Polish People's Republic
Branch/service Polish People's Army
Years of service1943–1991
RankGeneral of the Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
Battle of Berlin

Personal life


Jaruzelski came from a family of Polish gentry. He was a son of Władysław Jaruzelski.

Military and political career

Wojciech Jaruzelski with Yuri Andropov in 1982

Selected by the Soviets for officer training in 1943, he served in the military working for Stalin,from 1943-1953 and Beria,Malenkov,and,Molotov,in 1953 and,Khrushchev,from 1955-1964,and Brezhnev,from 1964-1982,Andropov,from 1982-1984 and,Chernenko,from 1984-1985 and Gorbachev,from 1985 until 1989 . In total he worked for 46 year’s from 1943-1989 . He was the last commander-in-chief of the Polish People's Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie) and chairman of the Polish United Workers Party 1981-1989. Jaruzelski was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland from 1981-1985 and remained as head of state until 1990 as Poland's last communist leader. He resigned to allow for democratic elections.

In 1981, Jaruzelski ordered a brutal crackdown on people who did not agree with the Communist government of Poland. Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland on 13 December 1981 to stop pro-democracy movements including Solidarity, the first non-Communist trade union in the Warsaw Pact.

In 2005, Jaruzelski said he was happy that Poland joined NATO for reasons of security and the European Union for reasons of economic development.[1]

Jaruzelski died on 25 May 2014, in a Warsaw hospital after having a stroke earlier that month.[2][3][4]


  1. "Hundreds jeer as Poland's last communist leader laid to rest - Yahoo News". Archived from the original on 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  2. "Nie żyje gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski". www.rmf24.pl.
  3. Poland's last Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski dies. 25 May 2014, BBC News.
  4. Poland's Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski dies at 90. Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Warsaw, Poland (AP), 25 May 2014.

Other websites


  Media related to Wojciech Jaruzelski at Wikimedia Commons