Ministry of Public Security of Poland

Ministry of Public Security of Poland

The Ministry of Public Security of Poland ( _pl. Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego or MBP) was a Polish secret police, intelligence and counter-espionage service operating from 1945 to 1954. Its main goal was the disruption of the anti-communist structures in the Polish Secret State and combatting soldiers of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) and Freedom and Independence (WiN). In that capcity, MPB is known as regional offices Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego, UBP - official name, "Urząd Bezpieczeństwa" or UB ("Office of Security").


In July 1944, a Polish provisional government called the Polish Committee of National Liberation ("Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego") or PKWN, was established in Chełm with Soviet approval and backing. Within the PKWN's internal structure, there were thirteen departments called "Resorty". One of these was the Department of Public Security (Resort Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego) or RBP, headed by Stanisław Radkiewicz. On 31 December 1944, the PKWN was joined by several members of the Polish government in exile, among them Stanisław Mikołajczyk. It was then transformed into Provisional Government of Republic of Poland (Polish: Rząd Tymczasowy Republiki Polskiej, or RTRP. All of departments were renamed; the Department of Public Security became the "Ministry of Public Security" (Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego) or MBP.

MBP tasks and numbers

From the end of 1940s to 1954, the Ministry of Public Security, operating alongside the Ministry of Defence, was one of the largest and most powerful institutions in post war People's Republic of Poland.
The Ministry of Public security was responsible for internal and foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence, monitoring anti-state activity in Poland and abroad, monitoring government and civilian communications, supervision of the local governments, maintaining a militsiya, maintaining prisons, fire services, rescue services, and border patrol.

In July 1947, the MBP absorbed "2nd Section of General Staff of the Polish People's Army", Polish Military Intelligence. Military intelligence was joined together with the civilian intelligence to become Department VII of Ministry of Public Security.
In 1950s Ministry of Public Security employed around 32,000 people. MBP also had control over 41,000 soldiers and officers of the Internal Security Corps (Korpus Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego), 57,000 officers in the Civil Militia (Milicja Obywatelska), 32,000 officers and soldiers in the Border guard (Wojska Ochrony Pogranicza), 10,000 prison officers (Straż Więzienna), and 125,000 members of Volunteer Reserves of the Citizens Militia (Ochotnicza Rezerwa Milicji Obywatelskiej).


From January 1945 and on, Ministry of Public Security structure organisation was changed constantly as the Ministry expanded. It was divided into departments and each department was divided into sections and entrusted with different tasks.
In January 1945, the largest and the most important department in MBP organisation was Department I, responsible for counter-espionage and anti-state activities, and headed by Roman Romkowski.
Department I was divided on Section: each responsible with different tasks -

#Fighting German espionage and Nazi underground remaining in Poland
#Fighting reactionary underground
#Fighting political banditry
#Protection of the national economy
#Protection of legal political parties from outside (underground) penetration.

Except for departments and sections which were created for RBP (Resort Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego) organization, then in Junuary 1945 become part of MBP, two new departments were created. September 6, 1945, from existing structure of "Department II" there additional departments were created, they were - Department IV commanded by Aleksander Wolski-Dyszko, Department V commanded by Julia Brystygier, and Department VI headed by Teodor Duda.
In July 1946, further changes were enacted. MBP was divided into eight (8) departments, five of which dealt with operational cases; they were:

:Dep 1ndash Counter-espionage:Dep 2ndash Technical operations and technology:Dep 3ndash Fighting underground resistance:Dep 4ndash Protection of economy :Dep 5ndash Counteraction of hostile penetration and church influences

In June 1948 the "Secret Office" was established for internal counter-intelligence. The Special Office conducted surveillance on members of the MPB itself. On 2 March 1949, the "Special Bureau" was established, renamed in 1951 simply as "Department X". Department X conducted surveillance of high ranking members of the Polish United Workers' Party and people associated with them.

1951 Ministry of Public Security Structure -

;Minister of Public Security - Stanisław Radkiewicz

;1st vice-ministerndash Roman Romkowski

;2nd vice-ministerndash Mieczysław Mietkowski

;3rd vice-minister ndash Konrad Świetlik

;4th vice-ministerndash Wacław Lewikowski

*Department Indash "Counter-intelligence" - headed by col. Stefan Antosiewicz

*Department IIndash "Operative Technology and records" - headed by col. Leon Rubinstein

*Department IIIndash "Fighting bandits" - headed by col. Józef Czaplicki

*Department IVndash "Protection of economy" - headed by col. Józef Kratko

*Department Vndash "Religious political and social organizations" - headed by col. Julia Brystigerowa

*Department VIndash "Prisons" - headed by col. Władysław Pisło

*Department VIIndash "Intelligence" - headed by col. Witold Sieniewicz

*Department of Investigationsndash headed by col. Józef Różański

*Department for Trainingndash headed by mjr. Zdzisław Szymaczak

*Department of Staffndash headed by col. Mikołaj Orechwa

*Department for Government Protectionndash headed by col. Faustym Grzybowski

*Department of Transportndash headed by col. Czesław Radzicki

*Department of Communicationsndash headed by col. Feliks Suczek

*Special Bureaundash headed by col. Anatol Fejgin

*Bureau for controlndash headed by ?

*Bureau of foreign passportsndash headed by ?

*Bureau of Budget and Financesndash headed by ?

*Bureau A ("Observation of suspicious element") ["suspect"] ndash headed by ?

*Bureau B ("Central archives")ndash headed by ?

MBP in field

All over Poland Ministry of Public Security had offices. There was one or more MBP office in each voivodeship) each called Voivode Office of Public Security ("Wojewódzki Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego", or WUBP). Each WUBP had 308 MBP officers and employees. Beside WUBP there were City Offices of Public Security ("Miejski Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego", or MUBP), it had 148 MPB officers and employees, District Office of Public Security ("Powiatowy Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego" or PUBP), witch 51 officers and employees, and Communal Office of Public Security ("Gminny Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego", or GUBP), it was stationed in local militsiya precincts (MO), and it had 3 security (UBP) officers.
In 1953, in the field there were 17 Voivode Offices of Public Security (WUBP), 2 City Offices of Public Security on law of WUBP. There were 268 District Offices of Public Security (PUBP) and 5 City Offices of Public Security (MUBP), which operated as District Office of Public Security (PUBP). All employed 33 200 permanent officers, of which 7 500 were in Warsaw headquarters. According to professor Andrzej Paczkowski in 1953, there was one MBP (or-"UB") officer to 800 citizens. Never in the 45 year old history, of People's Republic of Poland, were its civil special services formations so large in numbers.

oviet Control and Political Repressions

Political and military dependence of the People's Republic of Poland on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was easily visible in post-war Poland. It was particularly visible in the command and administrative structure of the armed forces and special services organs, Intelligence Counter-intelligence and Internal security, civilian - Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego (Ministry of Public Security (MBP) and military - Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego (Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army).
Control of these special services organs was the main guarantee of stability of the new Polish socialist state after the Second World War.

The Soviet Union provided plenty of assistance to the MPB in the form of advisors. These advisors were well trained and highly experienced intelligence and counter-intelligence officers, from services such as NKGB, NKVD, GRU and SMERSH, and in later years MGB, MVD and KGB. The first Soviet chief advisor to the MPB was Major General Ivan Aleksandrovich Serov, an experienced officer familiar with Soviet security organs. In 1939 Serov was appointed to the position of deputy commander, later commander of Soviet militsiya within the structure of the NKVD. Later he was nominated chief of the Secret Political Department ("SPO") of the GUGB/NKVD, before becoming People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1941-1945, he was the First Deputy People's Commissar of the State Security and later - Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR. When he become main advisor to the MBP in March 1945, as a general, Ivanov oversaw the apprehension 16 polish underground resistance leaders.

"'Soviet Chief Advisors to the Ministry of Public Security from 1945 - 1954

*1945ndash Ivan Serov (Major General)

*1945-1946ndash Nikolai Selvanovsky (Major General)

*1946-1950ndash Semyon Davydov (Colonel)

*1950-1953ndash Mikhail Bezborodov (Colonel)

*1953ndash Nikolai Kovalshuk (Lieutenant General)

*1953-1954ndash Serafim Lialin


The Ministry of Public Security was very famous for its repressive nature. It played an important role in the so called Trial of the Sixteen.

Armia Krajowa structures had been infiltrated by NKGB and NKVD agents, with assistance from members of the People's Guard (Gwardia Ludowa) later renamed the People's Army (Armia Ludowa) during German occupation of Poland. When the Red Army entered Polish territory, the new Ministry of Public Security, coupled with Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army quickly arrested members of the resistance who were opposed to Communist ideas and ideology.
Dissident members of the Armia Krajowa were imprisoned, executed or deporting to the Soviet GULAG system.


Światło Defection

In November 1953, First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party Bolesław Bierut asked Politbiuro member Jakub Berman to send MBP Lieutenant Colonel Józef Światło on an important mission to East Berlin. Światło, deputy head of MBP "Department X", together with Colonel Anatol Fejgin, were asked to consult with the East German Ministry for State Security's chief Erich Mielke about eliminating Wanda Brońska.

The two officers traveled to Berlin and spoke with Mielke. On 5 December 1953, the day after meeting Mielke, Światło defected to the United States through their military mission in West Berlin. The next day, American military authorities transported Światło to Frankfurt and by December, Światło had been flown to Washington D.C, where he underwent an extensive debriefing.

Światło's defection was widely publicized in the United States and Europe by the American authorities, as well as in Poland via Radio Free Europe, embarrassing the authorities in Warsaw. Światło had intimate knowledge of the internal politics of the Polish government, especially the activities of the various secret services. Over the course of the following months, American newspapers and Radio Free Europe reported extensively on political repression in Poland based on Światło revelations, including the torture of prisoners under interrogation and politically motivated executions. Światło also detailed struggles inside the Polish United Workers' Party.

Among other activities, Światło had been ordered to falsify evidence that was used to incriminate c, who he personally arrested. He had also arrested and falsified evidence against Marian Spychalski, the future Minister of National Defence, who was at the time a leading politician and high ranking military officer.

1954 Reorganization

The highly publicized defection of Colonel Światło, not to mention the general hatred of the Ministry of Public Security among Polish public led to changes in late 1954. In December of that year, the Polish Council of State and the Council of Ministers decided to replace the ministry with two separate administrations: the Committee for Public Security ("Komitet do Spraw Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego" or KDSBP), headed by Władysław Dworakowski, and ("Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych" or MSW), headed by Władysław Wicha. The number of employees of the Committee for Public Security was cut by 30% in central headquarters and by 40-50% in local structures. The huge network of secret informers was also substantially reduced and the most implicated functionaries of the Ministry of Public Security were arrested. Surveillance and repressive activities were reduced; in the majority of factories, special cells of public security, set up to spy on workers, were secretly closed.

The Committee for Public Security took responsibility for intelligence and counter-espionage, government security and the secret police. From September 3, 1955 to 28 of November 1956 it also controlled the Polish Army's Main Directorate of Information ("Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska"), which ran the Military Police and counter espionage service. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was responsible for the supervision of local governments, the Milicja Obywatelska police force, correctional facilities, fire and rescue forces, and the border guard. In 1956 the Committee was dissolved, most of its functions merged into Ministry of Internal Affairs; the secret police was renamed to the 'Security Service' (Służba Bezpieczeństwa).

Most notable MBP personnel

*Jakub Berman
*Julia Brystygier
*Józef Czaplicki
*Anatol Fejgin
*Adam Humer
*Julian Konar
*Grzegorz Korczyński
*Mieczysław Mietkowski
*Salomon Morel
*Henryk Pałka
*Julian Polan-Haraschin
*Józef Różański
*Roman Romkowski
*Stanisław Radkiewicz
*Leon Rubinstein
*Józef Światło
*Helena Wolińska-Brus

Notable People Arrested by the MBP

*Hieronim Dekutowski
*Emil August Fieldorf
*Bolesław Kontrym
*Witold Pilecki
*Jan Rodowicz
*Zygmunt Szendzielarz


*Leszek Pawlikowicz - Tajny Front Zimnej Wojny: "Uciekinierzy z polskich służb specjalnych 1956-1964", Oficyna Wydawnicza RYTM 2004 [wydanie 1]

*Henryk Piecuch - Akcje Specjalne: "Od Bieruta do Ochaba", (Seria: Tajna Historia Polski) Agencja Wydawnicza CB Warszawa 1996 - [Special Operations: from Bierut to Ochab, - Secret History of Poland series, Warsaw 1996]

*Nigel West - Trzecia Tajemnica: "Kulisy zamachu na Papieża", wyd. "Sensacje XX Wieku" - [Nigel West - The Third Secret]

*"Metody Pracy Operacyjnej Aparatu Bezpieczństwa wobec kościołów i związków zawodowych 1945-1989", IPN Warszawa 2004 (Methods of operative work of Security organs against churches and trade unions 1945-1989, Warsaw 2004 IPN - [IPN] - Institute of National Remembrance] )

*Normam Polmar, Thomas Allen - "Księga Szpiegów", Wydawnictwo Magnum Warszawa 2000 - [Spy Book]

*Zbigniew Błażyński - Mówi Józef Światło: "Za kulisami bezpieki i partii 1940-1955", Warszawa 2003

ee also

*Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego
*History of Polish Intelligence Services
*Montelupich prison
*Służba Bezpieczeństwa
*Zarząd II Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego

External links

* [ List of persons condemned by Military Courts to the capital punishment (1946 - 1955)]

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