Poland to demote communist-era generals to rank of privates

Poland's right-wing government has paved the way for stripping the nation's last communist leader, the late Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, and other communist-era officers of their rank, calling it an "act of restoring moral order."

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki argued that the draft law adopted Thursday takes the side of the victims of more than four decades of communism in Poland.

Under the law, which still needs parliamentary and presidential approval, the high-ranking communist-era officers would be demoted to the rank of privates for their role since 1944 in the oppressive Moscow-imposed regime and in the anti-freedom 1981 martial law clampdown.

It would affect army and secret security officers, including Jaruzelski and former interior minister Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak as well as Poland's only cosmonaut, Gen. Miroslaw Hermaszewski, who is still alive.