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Mother and father: a misalliance


Attitude towards Ukrainians in Lwów
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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Wiedziałem doskonale, że mój dziadek stryjeczny, brat ojca mamy był - proszę ciebie - dowódcą wojsk hallerowskich, które przyszły z odsieczą, pułkownik Modelski, późniejszy generał Modelski. A dopiero potem się dowiedziałem, że mąż siostry, dziadka mojego był - pułkownik Szeparowicz - był dowódcą wojsk ukraińskich, więc była to wojna szwagrów, zauważ. I taka to była zresztą wojna. I mimo tego kultu Orląt Lwowskich miałem niesłychanie pozytywny stosunek do Ukraińców, ale to nawet nie przez tamte ukraińskie koligacje, bo je przede mną tajono. Jak rozumiem, we Lwowie to było coś brzydkiego, to jest zasługa mojego ojca.


I knew very well that my paternal grandfather, my mother's father's brother was, if you please, the commander of Haller's army which had come to relieve the troops. He was Colonel Modelski who later became General Modelski. It wasn't until later that I learned that the husband of my grandfather's sister, Colonel Szparowicz, had commanded the Ukrainian army in Lwów, so it had been a war of the two brothers-in-law. And that's the kind of war it was. Despite the cult of Orlęta Lwowskie I had a hugely positive attitude towards Ukrainians, although this wasn't because of the Ukranian family connections as that had been hidden from me. From what I understand, in Lwów this was something bad, but it was my father's doing.

The late Polish activist, Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004), had an influential but turbulent political career, helping transform the political landscape of Poland. He was expelled from the communist party, arrested and incarcerated. He was also instrumental in setting up the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and later became a Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Listeners: Marcel Łoziński Jacek Petrycki

Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.

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: Haller's army, Orlęta Lwowskie, Lwów, General Izydor Modelski, Colonel Szeparowicz

Duration: 54 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008