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The biggest triumphs of March '68


March '68 - a sense of failure
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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It was a total desert, we were afraid and we had a sense of failure, so all those thoughts about how we'd been manipulated and provoked took over. Nevertheless, I already realised by then, well, it was obvious, that events had taken us over. They kept on trying to find our contact, where and how we'd managed to make contact with all these different centres, who our messengers were, this and that. They had witnesses, even some of the people who'd been arrested along with us helped them in this and testified to having seen witnesses who, of course, didn't exist, didn't exist at all. It just took off by itself in a way that no one could have predicted.

Pustynia taka absolutna, strach i poczucie klęski i w związku z tym wszystkie te pomysły, że grano nami, że byliśmy sprowokowani. Niemniej ja już wówczas zdawałem sobie sprawę, no, przede wszystkim to jest oczywiste, że wydarzenia nas przerosły. Oni cały czas szukali tego kontaktu naszego, gdzie jak myśmy się z tymi wszystkimi ośrodkami kontaktowali, łącznicy, coś, pstroś, byli nawet tacy świadkowie, a nawet współoskarżeni nasi, którzy im w tym pomagali, zeznawali o jakiś świadkach, ale takich oczywiście nie było, nie było w ogóle. Po prostu strzeliło, strzeliło samo i tak jakoś w sposób dla nikogo nie do przewidzenia.

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: desert, failure, contact, witnesses

Duration: 48 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008