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Col Ryszard Kuklinski, who warned against Third World War will be buried at in Warsaw - ^ | Mariusz Dawid Dastych

Posted on 06/18/2004 3:51:32 AM PDT by se99tp

Tommorrow Col Ryszard Kuklinski will be buried at The Warsaw Military Cemetary (Powazki) . Mrs Joanna Kuklinska, his wife, will participate in ceremony. It starts in Military Cathedral in Warsaw.

Colonel Kuklinski’s Sacrifice

A motto: Sleep, my soldier, in a dark grave; let Poland appear in your dreams..

Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski is no more with us. On Tuesday, 10 February 2004, he died at the Tampa Military Hospital, Florida following a stroke suffered on February 5.

Born in Warsaw on 13 June 1930, in 1945 when the 2d World War ended he was only 15 years old. His father fought in the Polish Home Army (AK), was captured by Gestapo in 1943 and died in a Nazi concentration camp. In 1947, young Ryszard joined the Polish Army “and then realized that Poland’s oppressors had only changed uniforms and language” [as Josef Kubit wrote about him in 1998]. But he stayed on in the military service and his talents gradually promoted him to the rank of colonel and to the Polish Army General Staff, where he became involved in the planning of the Warsaw Pact future war against the West. It was this special task that made him think of Poland as of an eventual nuclear battleground.

In 1967 he was sent to Vietnam in a peace-keeping mission (ICSC). A year later, in August 1968 he witnessed a Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and two years later, in December 1970, Polish soldiers had to fire on rebellious workers at the Polish Baltic Seaside cities of Gdansk and Gdynia. All these events and his first-hand knowledge of the Soviet offensive military plans including about 600,000 Polish troops to attack Germany, Holland, Belgium and Denmark – with a prospect of a NATO response of 400 – 600 nuclear strikes against Poland – prompted him to contact “the other side”.

According to his own words, Colonel Kuklinski used one of his sailing trips, in August 1972, to write a strange (Polish-German-English) letter posted in the port of Wilhelmshaven, then West Germany, to the U.S. Embassy in Bonn. He wanted to meet secretly with “a U.S. Army officer” and signed his letter “P.V.” Instead, two CIA officers were sent to meet the mysterious “P.V.” that turned out to be “Polish Viking”. They soon learned that the offer was very serious and came from a senior military officer, an employee of the General Staff of the Polish Army. Kuklinski volunteered to cooperate with the C.I.A., as any other idea (like a secret opposition group in the Polish Army) had no chance of success.

His opponents, higher officers of the Army and the Military Intelligence whom I asked about him later on, contested his motivation, as well as the particulars of his recruitment by the CIA. They claimed, Kuklinski had been recruited in South Vietnam (1967 or 1968) and then (in the 1970’s) he resumed the contact with the American intelligence.

Between 1972 and 1981 (until his secret rescue from Poland in November 1981), Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski (code name: GULL) provided over 35,000 pages of documents on the Polish, Warsaw Pact and Soviet military planning, as well as on the Pact’s European battle strategy and many other Soviet military secrets. In 1980-1981 he passed over to the U.S. complete plans of the martial law, then imposed on Poland by the Jaruzelski regime on December 13, 1981.

This information helped the Carter and the Reagan Administration to fend off Soviet plans to invade Poland in the same way as Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). The Warsaw Pact troops (USSR, Czechoslovakia, East Germany) certainly intended to invade Poland in 1980 and 1981, and a plan for a temporary occupation had been worked out (under the code name of “Polish Autonomy”). The smooth execution of the General Jaruzelski’s military take over surprised the Kremlin, but a threat of an intervention hanged over Poland at least until Summer of 1982.

By that time Kuklinski lived in hiding in the U.S.A., under a false name, with his wife and two sons who were also helped to secretly leave Poland with him after November 7, 1981.

At this point, allow me to add a personal recollection: I had never met with Colonel Kuklinski, in spite of the fact that we both served terms in Vietnam (1967) but I learned about him on a very unusual occasion. It was in the late November 1981, when a Polish counter-intelligence officer, Lt.Col. Andrzej Dudzinski, called me up and asked if I knew or met Ryszard Kuklinski. I said: “no, never”. I knew several people named “Kuklinski”: a printing-house manager, a journalist (now in London), a famous dancer Ewa. But not the colonel of the General Staff. Later on, in 1982, the same officer warned me of a possible secret police (SB) operation against me, and – finally – he tried not to harm me too much, as I called him as a defense witness during my trial at the Military Court in 1988, where I had been accused of “spying for the CIA and Japan” and of “acting against the allies of People’s Poland”.

I had lost the case and ended up in jail with an 8-year verdict, served 3 years in prison where I met and befriended Mr. Josef Szaniawski, later on Colonel Kuklinski’s most devoted friend and spokesman, the author of hundreds of articles and two major books on him (the last one: “A Lonely Mission”, 800 pages). Recently, Mr. Szaniawski reported about Col. Kuklinski’s death to the Associated Press.

Professor Josef Szaniawski never expressed any doubts about Colonel Kuklinski’s patriotic motivation and honesty. But many Polish politicians (Lech Walesa included, not to speak about General Wojciech Jaruzelski) and a large portion of the ordinary people in Poland still call Ryszard Kuklinski “a CIA agent”, an “ordinary spy” or a “traitor”. I also admit to having had mixed feelings about him, until I learned more about his life and his secret mission. The dispute about Kuklinski probably will never end, at least until the opening of the top secret archives of the United States and of the former Soviet Union. But in spite of all the doubts we might raise, the present knowledge about the achievements of Ryszard Kuklinski is sufficient to call him “AN ORDINARY PATRIOT” [as Tomasz Lis wrote for “Wprost” magazine), a man well motivated and well prepared to fulfil the most dangerous task of his life, for the benefit of the West and of his own country – Poland.

Many years had been lost, before this brave man was freed of the death sentence (pronounced in 1984) and – in a strange way but at last – the charges against him were dropped by the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Poland (in 1997). His country did not welcome him until 1998. In America, he had to live in permanent fear for his life and the life of his family (his two sons deceased in mysterious circumstances). The price he had to pay for his unmatched bravery and fidelity was just too high. All words of praise after his death offer no compensation to him and to his surviving wife – Mrs. Joanna Kuklinska.

Serious American and British military sources confirm that thanks to Col. Kuklinski’s true and reliable information, the U.S. and NATO avoided going to war at least two times. “Kuklinski’s material was pure gold. He ‘virtually defined our knowledge’ of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact military”, wrote of him some analysts. The former U.S. Ambassador to Poland (1973-1978), Richard E. Davis recommended Colonel Kuklinski to the Nobel Peace Prize. Even if Kuklinski had no chance to get it, it’s worth to remember the words of this recommendation: “the quality and quantity of the information Colonel Kuklinski provided the West and the risk he ran in the course of his work, his devotion to highest ideals, and his resolute rejection of any mercenary gain, fully qualify him for the Nobel Peace Prize”.

Too late. But his country can do something for him: to arrange a decent funeral and to put his funeral urn to a soldier’s grave at the Powazki Military Graveyard in Warsaw, where many Polish heroes rest forever.

Mariusz Dawid Dastych

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: kuklinski; nato; poland; reagan

1 posted on 06/18/2004 3:51:33 AM PDT by se99tp
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