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The start of anti-Semitic operations - Moczar's group
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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Więc partia jakby wyszła z Października zwycięsko, w znaczeniu aparat partyjny z wodzem swoim Gomułką na czele, ale to zwycięstwo było Pyrrusowe, w tym sensie, że stracili ideologię. To było... to zwycięstwo ich oparte na takim porozumieniu z narodem, bo to my ufamy Gomułce, a nie chcemy przeżyć tego, co się zdarzyło w Budapeszcie, a więc nie chcemy jeszcze raz Powstania Warszawskiego przeżyć. W związku z tym on, Gomułka nam tu wskaże miejsca, w których my możemy jakoś tak dostatnio żyć i wolno w prywatnej swobodzie, a więcej nie będziemy chcieli póki ten zły Związek Radziecki jest. No i to skończyło wszystko. To oczywiście dlatego nie była to klęska dla społeczeństwa, od razu to była klęska dla lewicy, która przecież chciała innego socjalizmu, a nie rezygnacji z socjalizmu na rzecz "małej stabilizacji". No i zarazem było to, jak się okazało, także klęska dla wszystkich, bo ten aparat czuł, że... że brak mu tej ideologii, która przedtem spajała. Aparat kadry zwolenników sięga do narodu. I myślę sobie, że przede wszystkim szukano ideologii, która by ten totalitaryzm mogła w tych nowych warunkach spajać. I właśnie taki nacjonalizm, militaryzm to było pewnie to, co najlepiej się tu nadawało i to była ideologia partyzantów. Kombatancka, odwołująca się do rzekomo jedności narodu w walce z okupantem, tego udziału AL i AK, które to razem walczyły z okupantem i teraz razem mają budować kraj w takim wojskowym porządku. Tu by trzeba różne... tu się różne  problemy tych dyskusji, które się wtedy toczyły, ale to sobie oczywiście darujemy. I to jest ten plan ideologiczny, w którym, jak każdy nacjonalizm potrzebuje wroga, a Związek Radziecki nim być nie mógł z przyczyn zasadniczych, no a wróg musi być zewnętrzny i zarazem dobrze żeby był wewnętrzny – Żyd się do tego świetnie nadał. Ażeby zyskać jakiś dynamizm, to oni te plebejskie hasła rzucali, antyinteligenckie, które były o tyle wygodne, że inteligencja była nosicielem rozkładu wobec nich i przeciwnikiem ich poważnym... najpoważniejszym... najważniejszym takiej ideologii, a zarazem przeciw bogatym w imię robotników i chłopów, takie plebejskie akcenty miały też dynamizm tej rewolucji. W drugim planie to się idealnie zgadzało z walką o władzę części aparatu. Więc mianowicie w momencie, kiedy skończył się stalinizm, kiedy skończyło się ucinanie głów aparatu, to skończyły się wszelkie możliwości awansu. Władze zajmowali ci, którzy przyszli z radzieckimi taborami, jak to mówili partyzanci właśnie, no a ci spod gruszki od Moczara, ale to mało ważne, przede wszystkim aparat ZMP-owski. Rzesze aparatu ZMP-owskiego, który miał poczucie, że poniósł największe ofiary, który miał w sobie tą wściekłość i to, że jemu się należy. I to jest właśnie... im to... to niesłychanie się... to bardzo dobrze nadawała się ta ideologia dla nich, bo właśnie pod tymi hasłami mogli wyrzucić starych raz, że antypolscy i antynarodowi. Dwa, że w dodatku Żydzi, bo: "O tym, kto jest Żydem decyduję ja" – powiedział ktoś z hitlerowskich dygnitarzy i to idealnie oddaje tą istotę tej ideologii. Oni sami mogli sobie tych Żydów mianować i sprawa była załatwiona. I to była ofensywa partyzantów, której wówczas takim jakby czołowym ideologiem był Załuski, ja nie wchodzę w to, czy on chciał być ich ideologiem, czy po prostu chciał... raczej ja myślę... ja po prostu myślę, że jego ten pierwszy wątek interesował i on tak po wojskowemu, uczciwie, patriotycznie myślał, że on taki był patriota komunista i żołnierz.

And so, the Party seemed to have emerged triumphant from the events of October, meaning the Party apparatus with its leader, Gomułka, at its head but it was a Pyrrhic victory in the sense that they lost their ideology. Their victory was based on an agreement with the nation, because we are the ones who trust Gomułka, and we don't want to experience the same thing as happened in Budapest and so we don't want to go through another Warsaw Uprising. So Gomułka will show us the places where we can live comfortable lives, enjoy personal freedom, and we'll be content with that for as long as that evil Soviet Union exists. And that finished off everything. This of course is why it wasn't a failure for society but it was an immediate failure for the left wing which wanted a different kind of socialism and not an abandonment of socialism in favour of a 'small stabilisation'. At the same time, it was a failure for everyone because this apparatus sensed that it lacked the ideology that had formerly created a bond. The apparatus of the corps of supporters reached the nation. And I think they were above all searching for an ideology which would have welded that totalitarianism together under these new conditions. What worked best here was nationalism, militarism, and this was the ideology of the partisans. A veteran's ideology which harked back to an alleged national unity in its fight with the occupying force, to the par played by AL and AK which together fought against the occupying force and would now be building the country together following military precision. We'd need to, all kinds of problems arose out of the discussions that took place then but we won't go into that. So that was the ideological plan, and as every kind of nationalism needs its enemy, and the Soviet Union couldn't play this role for obvious reasons, and since this enemy needs to be external although it's quite good if he's internal, too, then the Jew was perfectly suited to this role. To add momentum, they started propagating plebean slogans, anti-intellectual which were convenient because the intelligentsia were the carriers of the rot in regard to them and was a serious enemy of this kind of ideology while at the same time, it was opposed to the rich in the name of the workers and of peasants; these plebean elements also possessed the dynamism of this revolution.

This also tied in very well with the battle for power in a section of the apparatus. Namely, once Stalinism was ended, once the decapitation of the apparatus was over, the chances of promotion also came to an end. Power was in the hands of those who had come carrying Soviet baggage, as the partisans said, whereas those who were from under the pear tree, who were from Moczar - but that's not important, above all, the ZMP apparatus. There were crowds of them and they had the feeling that they had made the biggest sacrifice of all, and they had in them a rage and the sense that they were owed something. And that's precisely it, this ideology suited them very well because using these slogans, they were able to dispose of the old for being anti-Polish and against the nation. In addition, Jews - whether someone is a Jew is determined by me, as was said by some Nazi dignitary - represented this ideology perfectly. They could nominate these Jews themselves and the whole matter was taken care of. This was an offensive launched by the partisans among whom the leading ideologue was Załuski - I'm not going into whether he wanted to be their ideologue, or would he have rather... I think he was interested by the first theme and he was thinking in a military fashion, honestly, patriotically because he was a patriot communist and a soldier.

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: Party, Pyrrhic victory, Warsaw Uprising, Soviet Union, AL, AK, ZMP, Władysław Gomułka, Mieczysław Moczar, Zbigniew Załuski

Duration: 4 minutes, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008