46. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, June 18, 1973.1 2




  • Henry A. Kissinger [HK initialed]


  • Letter from Poland’s First Secretary Gierek




June 18, 1973

First Secretary Gierek of the Polish Communist Party has sent you the letter at Tab C reflecting on the progress in US-Polish relations since your visit to Warsaw a year ago. He notes his satisfaction with this progress, and he thanks you in particular for your official proclamation recognizing the 500th Anniversary of Copernicus.

In forwarding First Secretary Gierek’s letter, Poland’s Ambassador Trampczynski has also written (Tab D) to express his appreciation for your contribution to the Copernicus celebrations, and he presents you with a facsimile commemorative edition of Copernicus work “De Revolutionibus.”

While not stated in this correspondence, the Poles are hopeful that you will extend an invitation to First Secretary Gierek to visit the United States later this year.

At present, while there has been the progress in our bilateral relations cited by First Secretary Gierek, US-Polish relations have been complicated by Poland’s partial and inadequate performance in the ICCS. Over the past several months we have been urging the Poles to improve their conduct in Vietnam and to show impartiality in their ICCS supervisory role; this has met with little success. In our approaches to the Poles we have specifically linked their performance in Vietnam to further improvements in US-Polish bilateral relations. Thus, at this point it would not be desirable to communicate with Gierek on the possibility of his visiting the United States.

In my opinion, First Secretary Gierek’s letter does afford you an excellent opportunity to address the question of Poland’s performance in the ICCS. If you agree, and if as a result of the exchange of correspondence Polish ICCS performance improves, you may then wish to consider whether an invitation should be extended to the Polish First Secretary.

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The letter for your signature to First Secretary Gierek at Tab A would thank him for his letter, comment on the progress that has been realized in bilateral relations and stress the importance you place on effective ICCS performance and Poland’s role therein.

The letter for your signature to Ambassador Trampczynski at Tab 13 would thank him for his gift. Your letters have been coordinated with Dave Gergen.


1. That you sign the letter to First Secretary Gierek at Tab A.

2. That you sign the letter to Ambassador Trampczynski at Tab B.



June 20, 1973

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Dear Mr. Secretary:

Your letter of May 31 is greatly appreciated. I agree that the past 12 months have produced noteworthy improvements in the relations between our countries, highlighted, for example, by our consular relations and by the progress we have made in the economic, scientific and technological fields.

Your kind remarks with regard to United States participation in the events celebrating Copernicus’ 500th anniversary are also most welcome. It was with great pleasure that I designated the week of April 23, 1973, as Nicolaus Copernicus week, and, more recently, I was pleased to receive from Ambassador Trampczynski a commemorative facsimile of Copernicus work.

It is my sincere hope, Mr. Secretary, that the months ahead will continue to produce meaningful progress in relations between our countries, not only in bilateral fields of mutual interest but also on significant international issues of importance to both Poland and the United States.

In this regard, I would note in particular the efforts required to safeguard the peace so dearly won in Vietnam. The most recent negotiations in Paris provide all the parties involved with a renewed and strengthened obligation to abide by and implement the Vietnam accords signed in January. I believe that the wholehearted participation of the International [Page 4] Commission of Control and Supervision is essential to effective implementation of the accords. If Poland is able to demonstrate the impartial supervision and dedicated effort required for the successful performance of the mission of the ICCS, you and your countrymen will have the thanks not only of the United States but of all the peoples of the world for your contributions to a lasting peace.

Again, your letter is appreciated. I value the opportunity afforded by this correspondence to share these thoughts with you.



His Excellency

Edward Gierek

First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party

Warsaw, Poland

Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 699, Country Files—Europe—Poland, Vol. III, 1973. Confidential. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. Attached but not published is a second letter to Ambassador Trampczynski, also June 20, acknowledging the gift of the Copernicus commemorative facsimile edition. Nixon signed both letters. Tabs C and D are attached but not published.
  2. Kissinger noted two letters from First Secretary Gierek that indicated an improvement in Polish-U.S. bilateral relations. Kissinger suggested that the President address the issue of Polish conduct on the International Commission of Control and Supervision in Vietnam before extending an invitation for Gierek to visit the United States. Attached to this memorandum is Tab A, a June 20 letter from Nixon to First Secretary Gierek, highlighting Nixon’s appreciation for the improving relations between the two countries.