POLISH CHIEF IS CAUGHT UP IN THE WHIRL
By ELAINE SCIOLINO, Special to the New York Times
Published: September 26, 1985
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Sept. 25— On his first full day in New York today, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski surveyed the city from the roof of Rockefeller Center. Turning to his host, David Rockefeller, at a private lunch, the Polish leader remarked that for such a big city, it was wonderfully clear, with little pollution.
”It is fair enough to say that he was impressed,” said Maj. Wieslaw Gornicki, his aide. ”Certainly, from that elevation the city is positively not repulsive.”
Although aides say that General Jaruzelski does not like to travel, he seemed to be happy to be on American soil, from the moment he stepped off his jet on Tuesday. As Polish diplomats and their families greeted him at Kennedy International Airport with flowers and applause, the usually dour general almost cracked a smile.
Arrived from Visit to Cuba
”I come to New York because we are members of the United Nations,” he said, reading from a statement that he had written on the flight from Havana. ”This time I come personally because Poland wants to participate in the main story of today – the preservation of peace.”
So far, he has lived up to his reputation as ”the sleepless man.” His first day began at 6:30, when he started preparing for a series of meetings that included a lunch of Canadian salmon, steak, raspberries and cream, and American coffee in the Rainbow Room of Rockefeller Center with Mr. Rockefeller; Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s Polish-born national security adviser, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former State Department official.
General Jaruzelski also had meetings with President Jose Sarney of Brazil and Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez of Spain, gave a dinner speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, and met later with Edgar Bronfman, chairman of Seagram, the distillers, and president of the World Jewish Congress.
‚Worst Times Behind Us’
”It is an opportunity to show himself to the international community after the worst times are behind us,” Major Gornicki said, alluding to the social unrest of the Solidarity period of 1980-81 and its aftermath.
During the meeting with President Sarney of Brazil, the Polish leader discussed trade, but did not touch on the debt crisis, Major Gornicki said.
At the Council of Foreign Relations, where General Jaruzelski addressed leaders of business, government and the press, he charmed women by kissing their hands as they met and joked with some of the men.
Although Council proceedings are off the record, one member, Zygmunt Nagorski, who is vice president of the Aspen Institute, later related an incident that had occurred during a question-and-answer session.
When Mr. Nagorski asked a difficult question about the imposition of martial law in late 1981, ending the Solidarity period, he began by congratulating the Polish leader on being so Americanized that he used the Senate system of filibuster in taking a long time to answer questions.
”I’ll stay here all night if you like,” General Jaruzelski shot back, bringing forth laughter from the audience.
On a more serious note, Mr. Nagorski said, ”I feel he has done a disservice to himself by not answering the questions that we asked.”
Wife a University Professor
On his visit here, General Jaruzelski is accompanied by his wife, Barbara, a professor of German philology at Warsaw University, and their daughter, Monika, 22, who studies Polish literature at the university.
The general, whom aides describe as ”very modest, almost ascetic,” decided to stay at the Polish Mission to the United Nations on East 66th Street rather than in a midtown hotel.
With military precision typical of General Jaruzelski’s team, his United Nations schedule is planned hour by hour. When he arrived 15 minutes late for an appointment with editors of Time magazine, Major Gornicki pointed to this unusual tardiness as proof of how successful the preceding lunch at Rockefeller Center had been.
The Americans were also pleased by the luncheon discussion, which touched on a proposed plan to foster Polish agricultural exports.
”This effort has been going on for a couple of years, and we seem to be getting some place with the Polish Government,” said Richard W. Lyman, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
No Plan to See U.S. Officials
Because of the chill in relations between the United States and Poland, the general has no plans to meet with any Government officials.
One American guest at the lunch remarked that the general, who did not wear his customary dark glasses, showed more liveliness and warmth than come through in his pictures.
Another said: ”He is pretty unyielding and very critical of the United States. He doesn’t smile a lot, does he?”
However, General Jaruzelski did not appear to be critical of the United States as a country.
”America is so large and so diverse that it is overwhelming, but my first impressions are favorable.” he was quoted as having said. ”This trip has given me an opportunity to meet many important Americans from David Rockefeller to Arthur Schlesinger.”
On Thursday, General Jaruzelski meets with Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar of the United Nations, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of West Germany, Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze of the Soviet Union, Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy and King Hussein of Jordan.
He will attend a lunch given by the Secretary General for visiting heads of state and government.
On Friday, in a speech to the General Assembly, he is expected to stress the need for strenghtening the United Nations and for a solution to Poland’s economic problems.
The speech will be ”brief and to the point,” aides said, its purpose to show that Poland, one of the founders of the United Nations, takes it seriously.
Polish-Americans are planning to protest General Jaruzelski’s activities. On Thursday, the Polish-American Congress, a Chicago-based group, intends to march from the Polish Mission to the Soviet Mission, at 67th Street and Lexington Avenue.
A demonstration is also planned for Friday during General Jaruzelski’s speech at the United Nations.
photo of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski (NYT/Vic DeLucia)