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Are Poles still one nation?


My trips to Radom
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Just like today, I often travelled to Radom then by various means of transport, sometimes by car, sometimes in a truck or by train except that if I was taking the same route as I am today, I would have got out at the station before Radom otherwise they would definitely have got me at the station, but even that didn't always help, and so sometimes I managed to attend a trial of these accused workers while at other times I'd spend 48 hours in a custody cell. Perhaps this didn't happen to me as often as it did to some of my young friends because the young people were targeted the most. There were a lot of students in our group and the police knew this. I was already an elderly gentleman by then, perhaps all those years ago I drew less attention but I still didn't manage to get away completely. On the one hand, this provoked a lot of anxiety while on the other it was quite monotonous because the same things kept repeating themselves, but we had the feeling that at least people were receiving concrete help. Hundreds of people were locked up at that time and their families had to have something to put on the table, putting it bluntly. Anyone who'd been badly beaten up was afraid of going to hospital in case they got arrested, so we had to organise medical help for them, and we also had to arrange legal aid for people who were facing trials, so altogether this was a massive amount of work.

Tak jak dzisiaj, tak i w tamtych czasach często mi się zdarzało właśnie jeździć do Radomia, zresztą różnie: samochodem osobowym, ciężarówką, koleją; z tym że, jeżeli bym jechał tak jak dzisiaj, to na stacji poprzedzającej Radom bym jednak wysiadł, bo na dworcu by mnie na pewno wygarnęli. No, ale to też niezupełnie pomagało i w rezultacie to tak było na zmianę – raz się udało być na sprawie sądowej, na sprawie tych robotników sądzonych, a raz się siedziało czterdzieści osiem godzin na dołku. Ja może nawet rzadziej niż moi młodsi koledzy, bo polowali głównie na młodych. W naszej ekipie jeździło dużo studentów, bezpieka o tym wiedziała. Ja wtedy też już starszy pan, kilkanaście lat temu może mniej zwracałem uwagę, no, ale też mi się nie zawsze udawało. I to było takie z jednej strony szarpiące nerwy, a z drugiej monotonne dosyć, bo w kółko te same elementy się nieustannie powtarzały, ale mieliśmy to poczucie, że ludzie...mają konkretną pomoc. Przecież wtedy setki ludzi siedziały, ich rodziny musiały mieć, no, co do garnka włożyć, krótko mówiąc. Ciężko pobici... bali się zgłaszać do szpitali po pomoc lekarską, żeby ich nie zamknęli, trzeba było im organizować pomoc lekarską, sądzonym trzeba było pomoc adwokacką organizować - to wszystko była ogromna kupa roboty...

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: Radom

Duration: 1 minute, 53 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 14 March 2011