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Updated: May 30, 2014 15:43 IST

Poland bids farewell to last communist leader

AP
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A file photo of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the last communist leader of Poland who passed away on May 25, 2014.
AP A file photo of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the last communist leader of Poland who passed away on May 25, 2014.

Poland is bidding farewell to the its last communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, who died last week.

Former President Lech Walesa, President Bronislaw Komorowski and other leaders have gathered in a Warsaw cathedral for a Catholic Mass for Jaruzelski.

Jaruzelski imposed communism on his largely Catholic homeland, but died as a religious man. Soon before his death on Sunday at 90, Jaruzelski called for a priest to administer last rights, confessed and took communion.

The church ceremony on Friday will be followed by the burial of his ashes in an army cemetery.

Jaruzelski imposed martial law on Poland in 1981 in an attempt to crush Mr. Walesa’s Solidarity movement, but eight years later he allowed the peaceful dismantling of the Soviet-backed system.

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