Polish miners at work - but not working
Vienna — Deep and sustained bitterness. An air of insecurity - and fear. A determined, silent refusal to compromise.
These feelings currently dominate Poland's mining region of Silesia, according to an eyewitness account just given this correspondent by a Pole with first-hand knowledge of what is going on there.
''The men are going to work - but they don't work,'' he says of the miners. ''Partly it is this rejection of the situation. But it is due also to dangers underground from things like shortages of pit props because all essential supplies have been at a standstill for a month.''
The miners had protested for years about inadequate equipment and obsolete machinery, and their complaints were a major element in the 1980 and subsequent strikes.
ZOMO, the militarized branch of Poland's citizens' militia, is still out in strength in Silesia, says this Polish source who has been in both places. In Katowice, the three principal hotels have been occupied by ZOMO since martial law was imposed. Their vehicles stand nose to tail along the streets outside.
According to this and all other accounts reaching here, the Army itself has maintained a comparatively low profile, playing almost a background role in events since Dec. 13 but projecting enough of a presence to remind people that it is there to uphold military rule if it is needed. But it is ZOMO's paramilitary presence that represents the tougher side of the military government, and this Polish informant describes it as far more evident in Silesia than in Warsaw.
''It communicates itself to you in the general atmosphere as soon as you arrive,'' he says of Katowice. ''There is scarcely any movement about the streets except for these police vehicles. From the start more tanks were visible in the city center than in Warsaw.During the day almost the only people about are those standing in the queues.''
It was at a mine near Katowice where seven miners were killed in a clash with the riot police in the first week of the emergency. That was the first reported incident of blood being shed. At another mine 1,100 men first held ZOMO at bay, then kept up a defiant stay-down strike for 10 days.
Ninety percent of Silesian miners belonged to Solidarity. Now - according to this informant - pressures are being put on mine managers once sympathetic to the union to repudiate the connection. Activists are warned to give up union work or risk losing their jobs.
It was this sort of thing - and the widely reported ''loyalty'' pledges demanded of party members who belonged to the union - that prompted Pope John Paul II's protest Jan. 10 that ''Poles are being forced to sign declarations that go against their conscience under threat of losing their livelihood.''
Meanwhile, the condition of internees has varied from one detention center to another. My informant told of a Warsaw prison cleared of criminal offenders to make room for the ''politicals.''
Conditions, he learned from one who was freed, were ''quite good'' there, with adequate food and heat. The prisoners were allowed to hold discussions, and on New Year's Eve guards apparently looked on with amusement as the prisoners made a big snowman that caricatured Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski and snowballed it.
My informant said that it was common knowledge that living conditions were less adequate in other centers - and police guards far less tolerant. Ned Temko reports from Moscow:
The Kremlin seems to be using the visit of Poland's foreign minister to counter charges of Soviet involvement in the imposition of martial law there. By Moscow's initial account Jan. 11 of talks between the Polish diplomat and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, the situation inside Poland was not even discussed.
This, to foreign analysts here, seemed wildly improbable. The visitor, Jozef Czyrek, was the first senior Warsaw official known to have traveled to Moscow since the Polish military crackdown nearly a month ago. As one foreign diplomat here put it, ''It strains the imagination to assume no one talked about martial law.''
This and other diplomats saw the Polish visit (the fact, for instance, that the foreign minister rather than another official made the trip) and the Soviets' initial coverage of it as part of a bid to emphasize Kremlin distance from internal Polish developments.
The initial Soviet account of the talks, carried by the news agency Tass, did not explicitly mention the Polish crackdown nor other internal developments there. It said only that ''a number of questions of Soviet-Polish relations'' had figured in the discussions.
After recording joint words of praise for Soviet arms control proposals, the Tass report went back to Poland, but again limited itself to international aspects of the situation.