File picture: Poland's last Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski, infamous for his 1981 decision to declare martial law, told a tabloid on Friday that he was dying away and feeling very weak after months of battling cancer. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

Warsaw -

Poland's last Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski, infamous for his 1981 decision to declare martial law, told a tabloid on Friday that he was “dying away” and feeling very weak after months of battling cancer.

“I feel very bad, that's why I almost never leave the house,” the 88-year-old told the Super Express tabloid. “I am in very bad shape, so not much is left of my life. I will be dying away, or expiring, in my home.”

Jaruzelski has been diagnosed with a cancer of the lymphatic cells, and has been undergoing chemotherapy for more than a year.

Jaruzelski is viewed by some as a traitor to Poland for ordering the 1981 crackdown, which was meant to crush Lech Walesa's growing Solidarity trade union and left as many as 100 people dead. The union later grew, however, and helped topple the Communist regime in 1989.

The former general had been on trial for his role in martial law since 2008, but a district court ruled last year that he was too ill to continue.

Others view Jaruzelski as a hero, and say that martial law was necessary to avoid a possible Soviet invasion. - Sapa-dpa