Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki: The Demotion Act restores justice

On the National Day of Remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers, the government has adopted a draft Act allowing for the military demotion of those who, in the name of a totalitarian Communist ideology, directed the army against own nation, used the military forces to limit or deprive individuals of fundamental rights and engaged in persecution on the grounds of ethnic origin and religious beliefs.

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Fot. W. Kompała / KPRM

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stressed that the draft law strictly defines the catalogue of people responsible for the wrongdoings committed since the Second World War against Polish patriots. The dream of our generation was to restore justice at the beginning of the transformation period. However, it has not been possible until today said the Prime Minister. This is us speaking out for the victims, and against the evil he added.

The draft law will cover all members of the Military Council of National Salvation, who will lose their military ranks by operation of law. For example, the Act will apply, among others, to: General Wojciech Jaruzelski and General Czesław Kiszczak.

Under the law, persons who due to their age or health condition are relieved of the military service obligation or reserve soldiers who disrespected the Polish raison d’Etat with their attitude in the years 1943-1990 will also be deprived of military ranks:

  • by performing their duties or holding command posts, they coordinated the activities to fight the Polish underground independence movement in the years 1943–1956 or participating in this period in the fight against the Polish underground independence movement committed drastic acts;
  • by giving orders to use firearms towards civilians;
  • being a judge or a prosecutor in the bodies of the military justice service or its subordinate units, they convicted or sentenced soldiers and civilians because of their activity in the fight for Polish independence and sovereignty;
  • while holding the general’s military ranks and performing their duties, they initiated or engaged in the persecution of soldiers on the grounds of religion or ethnicity.

Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak pointed out that the Demotion Act is symbolic and that it restores normality and justice. It is an act of justice for which we have all waited very long he stressed. We can say that – as we used to say – a crow cannot defeat an eagle, and that in fact the eagle has won the Prime Minister added.

Under the draft law, the deprivation of military ranks will be effected by way of a decision of the Minister of National Defence. The Minister of National Defence will be issuing decisions on the deprivation of the rank of the Marshal of Poland or the rank of general and admiral with the consent of the President of Poland. It will also be possible to deprive a person of a military rank posthumously. The Act does not apply to soldiers who are still in active service.


The National Day of Remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers is commemorated on 1 March. 67 years ago, on 1 March 1951, after a staged trial, the Communist authorities carried out the execution of seven members of the 4th Headquarters of the Wolność i Niezawisłość (Freedom and Independence) Association in the Mokotów prison in Warsaw. The anniversary of this crime has been commemorated since 2011 as the National Day of Remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers.

The initiator of the establishment of the he National Day of Remembrance of the Cursed Soldiers is the late President of Poland Lech Kaczyński

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