Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Wojciech Jaruzelski | Polish general, 90

FILE - This is a Friday Sept. 18, 2009 file photo of Poland´s last communist leader, Wojciech Jaruzelski, as he attends a symposium entitled "Poland, Coming out of Communism 20 years after" in Paris . Hospital spokesman  on Sunday May 25, 2014, said Poland’s last communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, has died. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - This is a Friday Sept. 18, 2009 file photo of Poland's last communist leader, Wojciech Jaruzelski, as he attends a symposium entitled "Poland, Coming out of Communism 20 years after" in Paris . Hospital spokesman on Sunday May 25, 2014, said Poland’s last communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, has died. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, 90, the communist leader who imposed harsh military rule on Poland in 1981 in an attempt to crush the pro-democracy Solidarity movement but years later allowed reforms that ended up dismantling the regime, has died.

Gen. Jaruzelski, who suffered in recent years from cancer, heart problems, and pneumonia, died Sunday in a Warsaw hospital after suffering a stroke earlier this month, hospital spokesman Grzegorz Kade told the Associated Press.

The retired general remained a controversial figure in his homeland until the end of his life for his defining act: the imposition of martial law that began at dawn Dec. 13, 1981.

The suppression of the democracy movement resulted in the mass imprisonment of thousands of dissidents and the deaths of dozens and brought economic stagnation that contributed to the system's eventual undoing. It also pushed many Poles to flee the country and seek exile in the West.

- AP

 

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