The author of the following Contribution text was interested in whether December 13, 1981 – it means also the Martial Law in Poland – really changed anything for West Germany from the point of view of its own foreign policy. The answers of this Question, formulated on the basis of the Research in the political archives of the West German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aim at explaining the reasons for the behavior of certain institutions or politicians in West Germany after the breakthrough of 1980-1981.
The main Thesis of the author are: The West German primacy of stabilisation meant doing everything to avoid a soviet military intervention in Poland. How? Through diplomatic and military messages stating that the intervention would be too costly. Besides, in agreement with the US State Department, West Germany tried to avoid doing anything which could give the Communist Party of the Soviet Union arguments for an invasion. Last but not least, General Jaruzelski, as a figure publicly referring to national and patriotic feelings, but also enjoying some form of support in Moscow, was able to provide a difficult, but real stabilisation, even with the use of violence. The diplomacy of West Germany needed nothing more. Therefore was the message given to the authorities of the Polish People’s Republic after December 13 was crystal clear. Unless blood was shed, West Germany would not condemn General Jaruzelski’s government more than the country’s loyalty to NATO required it to.