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Walterowcy - scouting as a medium


Revival of the Polish Scout Movement
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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I've already mentioned that by the time the events of October were fading, I was already taking an active role in the scout movement. This was the reason why I didn't notice for a long time and it was behind a lot of the serious blunders I made. Because what was I doing in the scouts... what was going on in the scouts? Communism, as was its wont, abolished every former social institution - I've already spoken about the destruction of culture, and an especially important element of the destruction of culture in Poland was the destruction of the scout movement which played a very important role in Polish tradition, was very well established and occupied an important place in Polish society. This place came to be occupied by an organisation modelled directly on the Soviet pioneer movement, directly invoking the pioneer tradition. We set up our Walterowce in this scout movement, following its structure but changing it completely and, among other things, adopting those elements of scouting we thought were the most important and of the greatest value. So we, the Walterowcy, had been in opposition to the OH, the instructors who did these Walterowcy, we'd been in opposition for some time. Meanwhile, after October, exactly after October, after the plenary session, a movement of former scout instructors and former scouts who had matured in the meantime began calling for the reinstatement of the Polish Scouting Association.

Mówiłem o tym, że jak zaczął się odpływ października, to ja już działałem w harcerstwie. Właśnie dlatego tego tu bardzo długo nie zauważałem i to się stało przyczyną wielu moich bardzo poważnych błędów. Bo cóż ja w tym harcerstwie... właśnie, co się zaczęło dziać w tym harcerstwie? Mianowicie komunizm tak, zgodnie ze swoim obyczajem zlikwidował wszystkie instytucje społeczne, dawne – mówiłem tu o takim zniszczeniu kultury. I takim elementem niezwykle ważkim tego zniszczenia kultury w Polsce było zniszczenie harcerstwa, które w tradycji polskiej miało bardzo ważne, bardzo było osadzone, miało ważne w społeczeństwie polskim miejsce. No, miejsce, bo powołano organizację na wzór pioniera bezpośrednio sowieckiego, bezpośrednio do tradycji pioniera nawiązującej. W tym właśnie harcerstwie myśmy robili naszych Walterowców, jakby tak wykorzystując jego strukturę, ale zmieniając je całkowicie i między innymi przejmując to, co nam się wydawało najważniejsze i najwartościowsze z harcerstwa. Tak że myśmy w opozycji do OH, Walterowcy, byliśmy już, ci instruktorzy, którzy robili Walterowców, byliśmy już dość dawno. Tymczasem po październiku, właśnie dokładnie po październiku, dokładnie po plenum rozpoczął się ruch dawnych instruktorów harcerskich i dawnych harcerzy, którzy w międzyczasie podrośli o reaktywację Związku Harcerstwa Polskiego.

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: Polish Scout Movement, Walterowce, OH, Polish Scouting Association

Duration: 1 minute, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008