Służba Bezpieczeństwa Ministerstwa Spraw Wewnętrznych (Polish pronunciation: ) (Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs), or just SB, was established in the People's Republic of Poland in 1954. It was the main security organ in Poland after 1956.
In 1954, after escaping of a high-ranking officer of the Ministry of Public Security to the west, of Józef Światło (born Izaak Fleischfarb) who took orders from the high politicians, such as order to arrest Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, it was decided to abolish the Ministry of Public Security.
MBP, consisting of a large operational body, was responsible for typical security duties also intelligence and counterintelligence. MBP also had control over 41,000 soldiers of the Internal Security Corps, 57,500 officers of the Citizens' Militia, 32,000 officers of Border Troops and 10,000 Prison Guard and also 125,000 members of the Volunteer Reserve Citizen Militia.
Communist Party decided to divide the MBP into two parts. Thus, in December 1954, a Committee for Public Security (Kds.BP) Komitet do spraw Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego was created, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MSW). Committee for Public Security served as a secret police service, as it was responsible for internal and external intelligence, counterintelligence, fighting reactionary underground movements, fighting the influence of Catholic Church, etc.
The MSW was responsible for administrative duties, but eventually it took over the control of Internal Security Corps, Citizens' Militia, Border Troops, Prison Guard and also members of the Volunteer Reserve Citizen Militia.
Reforms were made in the structures of the state security. The Committee of Public Safety was abolished and its duties were taken over by the MSW. After that changes MSW was the only security body in Poland. Immediately the officers working in the Security Service were nicknamed "SB-eks", from the name Służba Bezpieczeństwa (Security Service).
Tasks and organizational structure
The tasks of the Security Service of virtually no different from its predecessors (MBP and Kds.BP), they relied primarily on the protection of the communist system inside the country (and beyond) through the control and penetration into all structures of social life in Poland and abroad (SB has such a deep penetration of Polish citizens living abroad mainly in America, Canada and the UK).
Organization of Służby Bezpieczeństwa MSW (Security Service of Ministry of Internal Affairs) on the central HQ. At the central level, Służba Bezpieczeństwa was divided on Departments, Bureaus, Sections and Directorates. In 1956, presented itself like shown below:
- Units of an organizational level of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Headquarters of the Citizens' Militia
- Fire Service Headquarters
- Field Headquarters of the Defence
- Chief Administration of Geodesy and Cartography
- Central Board of Health
- Organizational Units of Internal Forces
- Internal Security Corps Command
- Command of Border Troops
- Information Directorate for Internal Forces counterintelligence for internal troops
- Minister Cabinet
- Chief Inspector
- Department I (Intelligence)
- Department II (for counter-espionage)
- Department III (for anti-state activities against the country)
- Department of Social and Administrative
- Military Department
- Office of Oversight Penal-Administrative law
- Office of Foreign Passports
- Bureau of Government Protection
- Bureau Technical Operations
- Bureau of Operations Records
- Bureau "A" (cipher)
- Bureau "B" (observation)
- Bureau "W" The (oversight of correspondence)
- Bureau of Investigation
- Department of Personnel and Training
- Independent Organization Section
- Finance Department
- Investment Department
- Supply Directorate
- Transport Directorate
- Directorate of Communications
- Ordnance Department
- Organizational and Military Directorate
- Directorate of Social Affairs and Culture
- The Central Archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Chief Inspectorate for Industry Protection
- Administration and Economic Management
- Office of the Chief Committee of the Flood
After it was renamed as the SB in 1956, it entered a period of relative inaction during the era of reform instituted by Władysław Gomułka. However, after 1968, it was revived as a stronger body and became responsible for implementing political repression, most notably in the case of the Solidarity movement, the leader of which, Lech Wałęsa, was under constant SB surveillance, until its replacement by the Urząd Ochrony Państwa in 1990 after the fall of communism.
One of the most infamous cases was the torture and execution by the SB of the Catholic priest Jerzy Popiełuszko in 1984. Since 1990, several SB operatives have been tried for their crimes. Also, SB is suspected of killing Stanisław Pyjas and Catholic priest Stefan Niedzielak.
- Czesław Kiszczak
- Marian Zacharski
- Sławomir Petelicki
- Eastern Bloc politics
- Grzegorz Przemyk
- Instytut Pamięci Narodowej
- Montelupich prison
- Polish United Workers' Party
- Rakowiecka prison
- Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc
- Henryk Piecuch, Brudne gry: ostatnie akcje Służb Specjalnych (seria: Tajna Historia Polski) [Dirty Games: the Last Special Services Operations ("Secret History of Poland" series)], Warsaw, Agencja Wydawnicza CB, 1998.