Polskie Dokumenty Dyplomatyczne 1979

Editors: Piotr Długołęcki, Jerzy Kochanowski
Warszawa 2014
ISBN 978-83-62453-73-3
pages: LII + 1005

This 20th volume in the series Polish Diplomatic Documents contains 352 documents presenting Polish foreign policy in 1979.

The event that dominated the Polish diplomatic activities in the first half of the year was the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to Poland and its international and domestic consequences.

In relations with Western countries, increased importance was given to human rights and the primacy of economic issues. The most important bilateral visits included Edward Gierek to France and Minister Emil Wojtaszek to the U.S. and Germany. Among politicians visiting Warsaw in 1979 should be mentioned the German and Austrian chancellors and Edmund Muskie, a  prominent U.S. senator.

In relations with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, Gierek's visit to Moscow, Berlin and Sofia and attempts undertaken by the Soviet Union to coordinate multilateral policy (mainly issues of disarmament, the situation in the Middle East and the Chinese-Vietnamese conflict) are notable.

The Polish diplomatic service also devoted much attention to celebrations of the 35th  anniversary of socialist Poland and 40th anniversary of the outbreak of War World II. An element of internal politics that affected the international image of Poland included the activity of the domestic democratic opposition.

The year was ended by the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan

The sources in the volume come mainly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the communist party’s Central Committee, and they are interestingly supplemented with documents created by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Cabinet Office. The bulk of the materials are classified, and previously unpublished. The volume has a name index and an extended subject index, with information about the MFA’s organisational structure.