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Honouring my father’s antipathy towards religion


The most important compliment my father ever gave me
Aleksander Smolar Political scientist
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My political passions were clear. They were clear. I remember how incredibly important my father's compliment was when he said: 'Ah, you're thinking politically.' He didn't normally speak with me – I wasn't someone he had conversations with. He wasn't a bad father but I didn't have an intensely meaningful contact with him although I once saw him interested when we were talking about Nazi Germany and how they came to power. I was… I don't know, about 11 or 12 years old and I said something, a few sentences to which he replied, 'Listen, that's an interesting political analysis'. That for me was a compliment, the most important compliment from my father that I ever heard in my life. That was then.

Te moje pasje polityczne, one są... one są wyraźne. I pamiętam jak szalenie ważny był dla mnie komplement ojca, który powiedział: „O, to myślisz politycznie” – on ze mną normalnie nie rozmawiał, nie byłem partnerem do rozmowy. Nie był złym ojcem, ale to nie były intensywne kontakty, natomiast raz zobaczyłem jego zainteresowanie, kiedy rozmawialiśmy o Niemczech nazistowskich i dojściu do władzy Hitlera. Ja byłem... ja nie wiem, ja miałem wtedy 11, 12 lat i powiedziałem coś, parę zdań, o których on powiedział: „Słuchaj, to jest ciekawa analiza polityczna”. To był dla mnie... to był dla mnie komplement, najważniejszy komplement ze strony ojca, jaki usłyszałem w życiu.

Aleksander Smolar (b. 1940) is a Polish writer, political activist and adviser, vice-president of the Institute for Human Sciences and president of the Stefan Batory Foundation.

Listeners: Vitek Tracz

Vitek Tracz is a London-based entrepreneur who has been involved in science publishing, pharmaceutical information and mobile phone-based navigation.

Tags: political passions, political analysis, father, compliment

Duration: 49 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2017

Date story went live: 20 December 2018