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Wojciech Jaruzelski

jaruzelski.jpg (3426 bytes)Wojciech Jaruzelski, was born on July 6, 1923 in Kurow, Poland. In 1943, he joined the Polish Army that was already formed in the Soviet Union. Jaruzelski joined Poland's communist party, which later changed names to the Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP), after graduating from the Polish Higher Infantry School and the General Staff Academy. In 1964, he became a member of the PUWP's Central Committee and in 1964 was elected the minister of defense. During this time, Jaruzelski was also elected as the first secretary of the party on October 18, 1981 while the Solidarity movement was becoming popular. On December 13, 1981, martial law was established in order to diminish the Solidarity movement, but the law was disregarded after July 1983. In 1985, Jaruzelski became Council of State with not much success. In 1988, he approved talks between the government and the Solidarity movement. These talks ended in April 1989 with an agreement providing reforms in Poland's political system including legalization of Solidarity, holding of free elections to a restructured Parliament, and the conversation of a president who had strong executive powers. Jaruzelski became President in July 1989 until 1990 when Lech Walesa was elected president.

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