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Poland’s Last Communist Leader Gets Church Funeral

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — 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.

Poland’s last communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, above, has died at 90, after requesting and receiving the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

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

The church ceremony 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 Walesa’s Solidarity movement but eight years later he allowed the peaceful dismantling of the Soviet-backed system.

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