• Thatcher - Jaruzelski was a patriot
  • 12.09.2009
Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher was “deeply impressed” by the courage and patriotism that General Jaruzelski showed as the communist fell from power in 1989, new documents show.

Thatcher’s positive attitude to Jaruzelski is revealed in previously unreleased documents taken from the Kremlin’s archives by Russian historical researcher Pavel Stroilov, who brought them to London some years ago.

The papers, previously part of the Mikhail Gorbachov foundation’s collection, show that Thatcher was scared that a united Germany, and the dramatic political and social changes sweeping Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, would destabilise the region and were not in Western interests.

The Times (UK) reports that Thatcher, in a meeting with Gorbachov in the autumn of 1989, expressed her admiration for how calmly the Russian leader had taken the June elections in Poland, which brought the Mazowiecki government to power 20 years ago.

Iron Lady

And after praising Jaruzelski, Thatcher is reported as saying: “My understanding of your position is the following: you welcome each country developing in its own way, on condition that the Warsaw Pact remains in place. I understand this position perfectly.”

The remarks praising communists by the former UK prime minister will surprise many in Poland, coming from a politician who had built her reputation globally on her “Iron Lady” tough stance against communism throughout the 1980s.

The now Baroness Margeret Thatcher was to receive an  honorary doctorate from Lodz university this summer. But after she broke her arm in June, it was decided to call off the ceremony. (pg)