Tomasz Kozłowski - The Last Days of the Security Service: Transformation of the State Security Services in Poland in 1989–1990

The study describes key issues related to reforms and the abolition of the communist secret police in Poland in 1989–1990. Agreement between the communists and the democratic opposition during the Round Table Talks  and partly free parliamentary elections in 1989 opened the door to the transition to democracy. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who was prominent member of the Solidarity movement camp, became prime minister. That started the power shift process – power gradually slipped out of the hands of the communists, who, however, retained control over the army and secret police (Służba Bezpieczeństwa). Over the next few months, negotiations were held and attempts made to transform the secret police into a new intelligence agency free from communist control. There were many disadvantages to this process. During that time officers of the Służba Bezpieczeństwa managed to destroy or appropriate a large part of the secret materials. And when the new intelligence and counterintelligence agencies were established, it turned out that the overwhelming majority of their employees were former secret police officers.