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Stanisław Kania


In office
September 6, 1980 – October 18, 1981
Preceded by Edward Gierek
Succeeded by Wojciech Jaruzelski

Born March 8, 1927 (1927-03-08) (age 82)
Wrocanka, Poland
Nationality Polish
Political party Polish United Workers' Party
Religion Atheist

Stanisław Kania (born March 8, 1927) was a Polish communist political leader.

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. On September 6, 1980 he was elected General Secretary of the party by the Central Committee, amidst much social and economic unrest. 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 not pursue actions independent of the Soviet Union. Thus it is believed by many that the Soviet Union put pressure on the Polish government of Kania, causing it to fall. On October 18, 1981, the Central Committee of the Party put him in minority, and Kania lost his post as general secretary, being replaced by Prime Minister (and Minister of Defence) Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski.

Party political offices
Preceded by
Edward Gierek
General Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party
1980-1981
Succeeded by
Wojciech Jaruzelski
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