Czesław Kiszczak

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Czesław Kiszczak
Czeslaw Kiszczak.jpg
Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Poland
11th and last Polish United Workers' Party Prime Minister of People's Poland
In office
2 August 1989 – 19 August 1989
President Wojciech Jaruzelski
Preceded by Mieczysław Rakowski
Succeeded by Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Minister of Interior of the People's Republic of Poland
In office
31 July 1981 – 6 July 1990
President Wojciech Jaruzelski
Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski, Zbigniew Messner, Mieczysław Rakowski, Czesław Kiszczak, Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Preceded by Mirosław Milewski
Succeeded by Krzysztof Kozłowski
Personal details
Born (1925-10-19)19 October 1925
Roczyny, Second Polish Republic
Died 5 November 2015(2015-11-05) (aged 90)
Warsaw, Poland
Political party Polish United Workers' Party

Czesław Kiszczak [ˈt͡ʂɛswaf ˈkiʂt͡ʂak] (19 October 1925 – 5 November 2015) was a Polish communist-era soldier and Communist politician. In 1945 he joined the communist PPR, which in 1948 was renamed the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR). During the years of the Polish People's Republic he served as a high-ranking officer of the Polish Army, a chief of secret services, and Minister of Internal Affairs (MSW) between 1981 and 1990 during the years of martial law in Poland. An associate of Wojciech Jaruzelski, he was also the last Communist Prime Minister of Poland, serving for seventeen days in August 1989.[1]


Kiszczak was born in Roczyny near Bielsko-Biała in southern Poland in 1925.[1] His father was fired as a steelmaker because of a Communist affiliation. During WW 2 he was recruited to work in a coal mine for the Germans. Arrested, he was sent to Vienna to work and where he joined a Communist militia.[2] From November 1945 he was a soldier in Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army, then Military Counter-intelligence agency.[1] Also from 1945 he was a member of Polish Workers' Party (PPR) and later PZPR. In 1951 he was Chief of Department of Information in 18 infantry division in the city of Ełk, and in 1952 was transferred to Warsaw where he took over position of chief of Department of Information in Directorate of Information of Military District number 1. Later Kiszczak was moved to headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense (Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej), and become chief of General Section in Department of Finances, and one year later (1954) was a student in Academy of General Staff of the Polish Army. In 1957 he was moved to newly formed Counter-intelligence agency the Military Internal Service (WSW – Wojskowa Służba Wewnętrzna). From 1957 to 1965 he was the head of Counter-intelligence for the Navy, and in 1967 become deputy head of WSW.[3]

From the end of the 1960s Kiszczak occupied top positions in the Polish military and secret services. In 1972 he became the head of 2nd Directorate of General Staff of the Polish Army (Zarząd II Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego), that was Military Intelligence, he occupied this positions till 1979, and in 1978 he become deputy head of General Staff of the Polish Army. In June 1979 Kiszczak returned to military Counter-intelligence, and until 1981 was the head of Military Internal Service or WSW.

In July 1981 he became the Minister of Internal Affairs (Minister Spraw Wewnętrznych) which, beside Ministry of National Defense (MON), was one of biggest and most powerful administrations in Poland, responsible for Intelligence, Counter-espionage, anti-state activity in country (SB), government protection, confidential communications, supervision of the local governments, Milicja Obywatelska, correctional facilities and fire service. In this position he participated in the preparation and realization of martial law that was declared in Poland on 13 December 1981.[4] He was a member of WRON (short for Military Council of National Salvation, Wojskowa Rada Ocalenia Narodowego), a military dictatorship quasi-government administering Poland during the martial law (1981–1983). He issued orders for the pacification of the striking miners at the Wujek coalmine. Subsequently in 2004, after the fall of communism, he was judged responsible for the massacre that occurred and sentenced to four years in prison. As part of an amnesty, the sentence was commuted to two years suspended prison term.[1] By 6 July 1990 he had been taken off from position as head of MSW. Kiszczak was also the last communist Prime Minister of Poland, a position he held briefly in 1989.[1] He died in Warsaw on 5 November 2015.[5][6]


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Mirosław Milewski
Minister of Internal Affairs
Succeeded by
Krzysztof Kozłowski
Preceded by
Mieczysław Rakowski
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Tadeusz Mazowiecki