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My trips to Radom


KOR initiates a mission to help the workers
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Straight after the events in Ursus, we met in Laski where we decided that this time, we'd do everything that we could to stop the intelligentsia from sleeping while the workers were being beaten. The action began on 17 July in the corridors of the Warsaw court building where the workers from Ursus were on trial. We made contact with workers for the first time and provided aid for the first time. Some time later, we showed up in Radom. There were two different teams: one was there as observers at the trials, the other was there to find people who needed help. This was no easy task because we'd get picked up by the police from the train stations or caught in the corridors of the court building. That's why I know Radom better than most people who live there because I know the custody cells in the police station very well. I was never beaten, but some of my friends were and their beatings were severe, but gradually we were managing to reach more places. People who were already getting help felt obliged to look for other people who needed to be helped and in this way, going from door to door, from house to house, several hundred families received help from KOR [Komitet Obrony Robotników (Workers' Defence Committee)] at that time. KOR was only established at the end of September but it actually started its activity in July.

Natychmiast po wydarzeniach w Ursusie spotkaliśmy się w Laskach i postanowiliśmy, że tym razem zrobimy wszystko, co można, żeby inteligencja nie spała, jak biją robotników. 17 lipca na salach...na korytarzach sądowych w Warszawie właściwie zaczęła się akcja, kiedy sądzono robotników z Ursusa. Nawiązaliśmy pierwsze kontakty robotnicze, pierwsza pomoc poszła, trochę później zjawiliśmy się w Radomiu. Jeździły tam dwojakiego rodzaju ekipy: jedni, żeby być obserwatorami na procesach; inni, żeby wynajdować ludzi, którym jest potrzebna pomoc. No, nie było to łatwe zadanie, bo na dworcach nas wyłapywała bezpieka, na korytarzach sądowych też nas wyławiano, dlatego ja Radom znam lepiej niż niejeden radomiak, bo znam dołek na komendzie i to dobrze znam. Akurat mnie nigdy nie bito, ale niektórych kolegów tam bito i to dotkliwie, ale powoli wchodziliśmy w teren. Ludzie, którzy dostawali pomoc, czuli się zobowiązali do wyszukiwania innych, którzy jej potrzebują i tak od drzwi do drzwi, od mieszkania do mieszkania, w sumie kilkaset rodzin otrzymało wtedy od KOR-u pomoc. KOR zawiązał się dopiero w końcu września, ale zaczął działalność już faktyczną w lipcu.

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: 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: Ursus, KOR, Warsaw, Radom, Workers' Defence Committee

Duration: 1 minute, 49 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 14 March 2011