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Gierek makes a good first impression


Gierek the statesman
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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The propaganda of Gierek's era was completely different from that of Gomułka's. They tried to tell us that we were already part of Europe and that shortly, we'd want for nothing, that we're successful in everything that we do, this building project, that building project, Huta Katowice, Trasa Łazienkowska, lots of undertakings like these, and that this would carry on and would stay like this. Gierek pretended to be an Eastern European statesman which was made easier by the fact that he was fluent in French.

Propaganda z czasów gierkowskich bardzo się różniła od propagandy gomułkowskiej. Próbowano nam powiedzieć, że jesteśmy już właściwie krajem europejskim, że za chwilę będziemy opływać we wszystko, że każda rzecz się nam świetnie udaje, że oto taka budowa, inna budowa, Huta Katowice, Trasa Łazienkowska, dziesiątki takich przedsięwzięć, i że to już będzie tak trwało, i że to się nie zmieni. Gierek udawał zachodnioeuropejskiego męża stanu, ułatwiało mu to zresztą, że mówi dobrze po francusku.

Jan Józef Lipski (1926-1991) was one of Poland's best known political activists. He was also a writer and a literary critic. As a soldier in the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), he fought in the Warsaw Uprising. In 1976, following worker protests, he co-founded the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR). His active opposition to Poland's communist authorities led to his arrest and imprisonment on several occasions. In 1987, he re-established and headed the Polish Socialist Party. Two years later, he was elected to the Polish Senate. He died in 1991 while still in office. For his significant work, Lipski was honoured with the Cross of the Valorous (Krzyż Walecznych), posthumously with the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1991) and with the highest Polish decoration, the Order of the White Eagle (2006).

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki Marcel Łoziński

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.

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.

Tags: Huta Katowice, Europe, Trasa Łazienkowska, Władysław Gomułka, Edward Gierek

Duration: 52 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 11 March 2011