On the night of December 12 -13, 1981 martial law was imposed throughout Poland. Power in
the country was taken over by the army, headed by General Wojciech Jaruzelski. The first
signs of resistance were brutally suppressed. By the end of 1982, almost 10,000 opposition
activists were interned, and more than 40 people lost their lives.
Fear of repression resulted in fewer people engaging in opposition activities than before December 1981.
Nevertheless, strikes and demonstrations were organised throughout the period of martial law. A number of
underground press titles were also published. The martial law was suspended on December
31, 1982. Just over six months later, on July 22, 1983, it was completely abolished. Despite
the authorities' assurances, the economic situation did not improve. The security of citizens
did not improve either. However, the social movement, which was almost 10 million
independent of the Communists, and had never been as powerful as it was before December
13, 1981, was stifled.