Jerzy Urban, spokesman for Polish communist govt, dies at 89

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Jerzy Urban, a spokesman for Poland's communist-era government in the 1980s who masterminded state propaganda and censorship for a regime in the final years before its collapse, has died. He was 89.

His death was announced on Monday by a satirical weekly magazine, Nie (No), which he founded and led in the post-1989 era.

Urban earned a reputation for his sarcasm and acid tongue in the early 1980s when he served as the spokesman for the government of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski. He served in that role from 1981-89, the year that communist regimes across central and eastern Europe began collapsing.

Jaruzelski’s government imposed martial law in an attempt to crush the Solidarity freedom movement of Lech Walesa. After the fall of communism, Urban became a successful and wealthy businessman.

Communism ended in Poland in a peaceful transition that left many communists with the resources to remake themselves in the new era.