Stanisław Kania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Stanisław Kania
Stanisław Kania -1979-.jpg
First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party
In office
September 6, 1980 – October 18, 1981
Preceded by Edward Gierek
Succeeded by Wojciech Jaruzelski
Personal details
Born (1927-03-08) March 8, 1927 (age 87)
Wrocanka, Poland
Nationality Polish
Political party Polish United Workers' Party
Religion none (atheist)

Stanisław Kania (Polish pronunciation: [staˈɲiswaf ˈkaɲa]; born March 8, 1927) is a former Polish communist political leader.

Life and career[edit]

Kania was born in Wrocanka (now in Jasło County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship). He joined the anti-Nazi resistance at the age of 17 in 1944 and then joined the Polish Communist Party in 1945 when German Nazis were driven out and Polish Communists began to take control of the country. He was involved in communist youth activities and attended the Party school, graduating in 1952.

Kania rose through the ranks of the party, becoming a full member of the politburo in 1975. After Edward Gierek was forced to resign as General Secretary of the party amidst much social and economic unrest, Kania was elected his successor on September 6, 1980. He admitted that the party had made many economic mistakes, and advocated working with Catholic and trade unionist opposition groups. He met with Solidarity Union leader Lech Wałęsa, and other critics of the party.

Though Kania agreed with his predecessors that the Communist Party must maintain control of Poland, he never assured the Soviets that Poland would take a tougher line against Solidarity. The final straw for Moscow came when a KGB bug caught Kania criticizing the Soviets for continuing to rely on an economic model that "failed the test," saying it could cost them any advantage they had over the United States. Within days, the Soviets forced Kania to resign as general secretary. He was replaced by Prime Minister Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sebetsyen, Victor (2009). Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. New York City: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42532-2. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Edward Gierek
General Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party
1980-1981
Succeeded by
Wojciech Jaruzelski