Polish Army before World War II
Polish Army before World War II
|1. The beginning||1515||03:12|
|2. Polish Army before World War II||358||01:54|
|4. My father||177||01:03|
|5. The Wajda Family||175||04:42|
|6. Signing up to join the Home Army||99||04:40|
|7. Cultural life in war-time Kraków||70||03:19|
|8. First contact with the world of art||94||05:11|
|9. What we knew about the Soviets||141||01:45|
|10. My mother||103||02:44|
Having given it plenty of thought, I'm convinced that my life really began on 1 September 1939. It's odd but whenever I think back to my childhood, I get the impression that nothing very significant happened then. Yet when I was 13, which is how old I was in '39, nothing happened of my will. Because my parents were so gentle, they never quarrelled or bickered, they somehow created a situation in which the house became a complete sanctuary for us - I have a younger brother - yet when I go back to my childhood, I think that I never really wanted anything nor aspired to anything in particular. Other children start wanting to be someone. I never thought about this. I was a sickly child. I prefered to stay home; I didn't like going to school. This is how it was until 1 September when I found myself alone with my mother and my brother, and I felt my life beginning in the face of a reality that appeared so suddenly and so violently. My father had gone away a few weeks earlier to fight in the war and I never saw him again. When I think about my 13 years, I wonder myself at how completely I've forgotten my teachers, my school friends. As I've already mentioned, going to school was torture, I hated going there, nor was I interested in society. I was in the scouts, of course, but it didn't arouse my enthusiasm. I was even a group leader there, but I don't recall anything which could have given me any signs that this boy-child could be transformed into someone else. Perhaps it was the moment of my sudden independence because in '39 my mother and brother fled Radom, where we had lived. My father was an officer. Maybe this sudden transformation was the cause, or perhaps it was those years of being 'asleep' which made this the beginning of my real life.
Polish director Andrzej Wajda's début films, showing the horror of the German occupation of Poland, won awards at Cannes and established Wajda's reputation as both story-teller and commentator on Poland's turbulent history. As well as his impressive career in TV and film, he also served on the national Senate from 1989-91.
Title: The beginning
Listeners: Jacek Petrycki
Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.
Tags: childhood, war, parents, father, mother, brother, transformation
Duration: 3 minutes, 12 seconds
Date story recorded: August 2003
Date story went live: 24 January 2008