Polish Diplomatic Documents 1980 July-December
Editor: Piotr Długołęcki
Pages: LXXII + 1024
Polish Diplomatic Documents 1980 July-December is the 27th volume of the series by the Polish Institute of International Affairs. It consists of 527 documents that present Poland’s foreign policy during the second half of that year.
Policy was, to a great extent, impacted by domestic events, such as the deteriorating economic situation and severe wave of strikes that ended up with the formation of the new union Solidarność. Gierek stepping down as first secretary of the PZPR and the threat of Soviet military intervention in Poland determined Polish activity on the international stage as well.
The founding of Solidarność, a legal and independent organisation, was by far one of the most significant events in those days, not only for the Polish government but for the entire Soviet bloc. It complicated Poland’s relations with both the Soviet Union and other communist countries, especially those in Poland’s immediate vicinity. They were afraid that a similar situation could happen to them.
At that time, the international situation was strained because of the Soviet military involvement in Afghanistan. The Polish crisis became one of the main points in the Cold War confrontation at the end of 1980 and Poland landed at the centre of global politics.
The deterioration of Poland’s domestic situation increased the activity of Polish communities abroad. They organised many demonstrations at Polish diplomatic posts in support of political dissidents and against possible Soviet intervention in Poland. Also, many western organisations, political parties, as well as the European Parliament, gave their backing to the dissidents. The Polish authorities, in response, tried to intensify their propaganda efforts, accusing others of interference in Poland’s internal affairs.
The vast majority of the documents, where are derived mainly from the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Archives of Modern Records, had not been previously published. This volume includes a person index and an extended subject index, as well as information about the MFA’s organisational structure and a list of Poland’s bilateral agreements signed in this period.