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Living off loans


My faith in Gierek was short-lived
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Ja z początku Gierka przyjmowałem z pewną nadzieją. Ja w komunistów nigdy nie wierzyłem, ale pomyślałem sobie, że człowiek, który podobno na Śląsku ma pewne sukcesy, który lubi słuchać się specjalistów, może coś potrafi. No, muszę powiedzieć, bardzo szybko mi przeszło, ale to głównie dzięki moim przyjaciołom, specjalistom od spraw zarządzania przemysłem, inwestycji i tak dalej. Wcześniej mi to przeszło niż dużej ilości ludzi w Polsce.

At first, I accepted Gierek with a degree of hope. I'd never believed in the communists but thought to myself that a person who'd allegedly had some success in Silesia and who liked to listen to specialists might have it in him to make a difference. I have to say that it wasn't long before I'd changed my mind about him although that was mainly thanks to my specialist friends who were managers of industry, investments and so on. I got over Gierek far sooner than a great many other people in Poland.

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: Silesia, Edward Gierek

Duration: 41 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 11 March 2011