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Documents Related to Events in Poland (1980 - 1984)

Note from the NATO Archivist

In the fall of 2010, the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Poland to NATO requested the declassification and public disclosure of NATO documents on the Alliance’s consultations regarding the situation in Poland in the period 1980 – 1984.  The Polish Authorities considered that such public disclosure would significantly help to the understanding of the international context surrounding the events in Poland during that period.

The request addressed the records which were produced at the time by the North Atlantic Council, senior NATO Committees and various NATO civil and military bodies. In addition, Poland requested the disclosure of information residing in NATO subject files. These include national contributions, military assessments and documents issued by the Private Office of the Secretary General. Following a review by the originators and the nations having an equity in the information, these documents were approved for public disclosure over the course of 2011. On 18th July 2011, the first batch of these publicly disclosed documents were presented to the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

These documents present a unique and historically important collection documenting the Alliance’s consultative process and reactions towards the events in Poland during that period. The collection consists of documents from various originators:

  • North Atlantic Council
  • Military Committee
  • Political Committee
  • Private Office of the Secretary General
  • NATO Situation Centre
  • Political Affairs Division
  • National documents from member nations

The NATO Archives has grouped the documents by originator and has described each document at the item level. Some of the documents have been redacted for continuing sensitivities regarding subjects unrelated to the events in Poland during 1980-1984. The documents have been digitized and saved as PDF files.

I hope that this collection will promote and facilitate historical research, and will contribute to greater understanding of NATO’s position concerning the situation in Poland. The NATO Archives welcomes your comments and questions at

Last updated:: 05 Dec. 2011 14:52