Map showing Polish military maneuvers as part of a Warschau Pact invasion plan. The projected invasion of Western Europe involved the atomic bombing of several cities (marked by red bombs on the map), followed by massive troop movements towards the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Polish soldiers would serve as cannon fodder, marching into contaminated territory. Army leadership estimated that radiation sickness would render them incapable about seven days into the war, at which point fresh Soviet troops from Ukraine and Belarus would take over. Wojciech W. Jaruzelski, Polandís communist Minister of Defense, signed the map in 1970. At that time, the US had 3,900 nuclear warheads and the USSR had 3,100. Jaruzelski was elected prime minister in 1981. In 2005, the anti-communist government of Poland ordered the Polish Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) to open the countryís controversial Warschau Pact archives to historians. This decision ran counter to the Russian governmentís policy of keeping these archives closed. Access to the map for the purpose of taking photographs was requested repeatedly, but the IPN formally denied it. However, after two and a half years of bureaucratic hassle, an IPN historian unexpectedly answered a telephone call and sent photographs of the map that he had made during a press conference of the Polish Minister of Defense in 2006. These pictures were then combined into a reconstruction of the original map. This composition stems from the historianís choice of photographing only certain segments of the map.
135 x 80 cm
GERT JAN KOCKEN
THE PAST IN THE PRESENT

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