a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

NEXT STORY

Repression and fear

RELATED STORIES

Setting up KOR
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Akcja właściwie KOR-u zaczęła się wcześniej niż KOR jako instytucja oficjalnie powstał. 17 września były... odbyły się w Warszawie pierwsze procesy robotników z Ursusa, byli to ci... przede wszystkim ci robotnicy, którzy obawiając się, że ich ruch strajkowy nie zostanie zauważony, wyszli na pobliskie tory kolejowe, rozkręcili szyny, wykoleili lokomotywę by zahamować ruch na torach, a szczególnie ruch pociągów międzynarodowych, gdyż byli przekonani, że w ten sposób wszyscy zauważą, że oni protestują. Fotografowani z helikopterów milicyjnych byli przeważnie po tym rozpoznawani i to byli pierwsi sądzeni. Kilku moich przyjaciół, między innymi Jacek Kuroń, nim go powołano do wojska – bo wkrótce potem nastąpiło powołanie go do wojska, żeby mieć go dalej od tego, co się dzieje – Antek Macierewicz wraz ze swoimi przyjaciółmi, a była to grupa instruktorów harcerskich, no i kilka osób trochę przygodnych, trochę przyjaciół naszych bliskich i od razu wynikła pierwsza trudność wtedy: jak nawiązać ten kontakt? To wcale nie jest łatwe, kiedy jest kilkanaście osób, które ten kontakt chce nawiązać i jest dwa razy tyle ubeków na korytarzach sądowych, którzy fotografują, gapią się, podchodzą, żeby słuchać co się mówi; a jednocześnie rodziny sądzonych wcale nie mają zaufania do tych, którzy podchodzą, żeby nawiązywać z nimi rozmowy. No było to bardzo trudne i impas przełamały dwie dziewczyny, które zaczęły z tymi kobietami płaczącymi rozmowę, same się popłakały i kontakt się nawiązał; już po paru godzinach okazało się, że adwokaci, których my proponowaliśmy, zajmą miejsce adwokatów z urzędu, którzy bynajmniej niechwalebnie wykonywali swoje obowiązki na sali sądowej, że pierwsza pomoc już pieniężna, finansowa... zaczyna płynąć. Zrobiliśmy przed tym taką zrzutkę, głównie w swoim gronie, wśród jakichś przyjaciół, znajomych, jakaś komórka charytatywna kościoła z którą ja już przedtem współpracowałem dała trochę pieniędzy i w rezultacie tego zaczęła się ta akcja. I tak trwało do września. We wrześniu już była wyklarowana koncepcja, że trzeba tworzyć komitet. Dwóch ludzi właściwie stworzyło tę koncepcję. Uważam, że obydwaj mają tu jednakową zasługę, to jest Jacek Kuroń i Antoni Macierewicz. I oni dwaj byli inicjatorami, ale ta inicjatywa trafiła na grunt już psychicznie przygotowany, wszyscy jej przyklasnęli. I... uważaliśmy, że po pierwsze trzeba stworzyć coś możliwe zinstytucjonalizowanego. Jak będą... jeżeli pieniądze płyną, a było widać, że będą płynąć i coraz większe, ktoś musi za te pieniądze odpowiadać. A po drugie, jeżeli młodzi ludzie jeżdżą z tymi pieniędzmi, są chwytani, grożą im pobicia, grożą im ewentualnie procesy nawet, to trzeba, żeby te ich roboty firmowała taka instytucja, której przynajmniej część jej członków jest trudna do aresztowania, do jakichś tego rodzaju kroków represyjnych. Krótko mówiąc, że będzie to komitet w którym muszą być ludzie młodzi, którzy naprawdę będą intensywnie pracować i ludzie starzy, którzy mają już takie nazwiska, tak funkcjonują ich nazwiska w opinii społecznej, że nie będzie problemu, że jest to coś...jakaś akcja anonimowa. A jednocześnie nie jest łatwo zamykać człowieka starego, który jest jednocześnie laureatem nagród państwowych, jest członkiem Polskiej Akademii Nauk i zagranicznych akademii tak jak profesor Lipiński, a zresztą nie on jedyny był takim trudnym do aresztowania.

KOR [Komitet Obrony Robotników (Workers' Defence Committee)] began to operate before it was formed as an official institution. On 17 September in Warsaw, the first trials were held of the workers from Ursus. They were predominantly those workers who, fearing their strike wouldn't get noticed, went out to the railway tracks close by and took the tracks apart, derailing a locomotive in order to stop the trains, particularly the international trains, because they were convinced that in this way, everyone would notice that they were protesting. They were photographed from a police helicopter and were mainly identified thanks to that, and they were the first to go to trial. Several of my friends, including Jacek Kuroń before he got called up by the army – because soon after that he was called up in order to remove him from what was going on – Antek Macierewicz together with his friends, a group of scout instructors, as well as a few random individuals, a few of our close friends, and that's when the first problem arose: how were we going to establish contact? It's not easy when there are umpteen people who want to make contact and there are twice that number of secret agents in the courthouse corridors taking photos, gawping, sidling up to listen to what people were saying, while at the same time, the families of those on trial don't trust the people approaching them trying to establish contacts. Well, it was very difficult but the impasse was overcome by two girls who started talking with those crying women and ended up in tears themselves. First, contact was established. After a few hours, it turned out that the solicitors we were proposing would replace the duty solicitors who hadn't performed their duties in the courtroom at all well, that the first pecuniary, financial aid was beginning to flow in. Before that, we had a collection, mainly amongst ourselves, our friends and acquaintances, some charitable cell in the church with which I'd worked previously gave some money, and this all resulted in this operation starting up. And this went on until September. In September, we had a clear concept that a committee needed to be formed. Two people actually came up with this concept. I believe that they both have equal merit, and they are Jacek Kuroń and Antoni Macierewicz. They were the initiators but their initiative fell on ground that had already been prepared psychologically so everyone applauded it. We believed that first of all we had to form something that was institutionalised. If money was coming in, and we could see that it would be in increasingly greater amounts, someone would have to be responsible for it. Secondly, if young people travelling with this money are caught, are in danger of getting beaten up or of having to face trials in court, then these things have to be backed up by an institution where at least some of its members are difficult to arrest, against whom it would be difficult to take these sorts of repressive steps. In short, this would be a committee which would have to have young members who would work very intensively and old people who have names, whose names work in such a way in the field of public opinion that there won't be the problem that this is an anonymous organization. At the same time, it's not easy to arrest an old person who is also the recipient of national awards, is a member of the Polish Academy of Science and of international academies, too, as was Professor Lipiński. Besides, he wasn't the only one like that who it was difficult to arrest.

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: KOR, Workers Defence Committee, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, Ursus, Jacek Kuroń, Antoni Macierewicz, Edward Lipiński

Duration: 4 minutes, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 14 March 2011