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Influence of the Pope on the prevailing social atmosphere


Who was in the hit squads?
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Gdy dojść do tego, jacy to ludzie byli w tych bojówkach i przede wszystkim w tej ostatniej bojówce, która spowodowała aż dwa wstrząsy mózgu i w ogóle takie skutki, doszliśmy dosyć łatwo, bo nie było uczelni na której byśmy nie mieli sympatyków. Było wiadomo, że bojówki organizował Związek Młodzieży Socjalistycznej, a główną rolę przy biciu odegrali ci studenci Akademii Wychowania Fizycznego, którzy byli karatekami, ciężarowcami, bokserami, uprawiali tego rodzaju dyscypliny sportowe, zwerbowani przez Związek Młodzieży Socjalistycznej i miejscową organizację partyjną.

When we tried to find out who was in these hit squads and especially in the last one which caused two cases of concussion and led to this outcome, it wasn't hard to trace them because there wasn't a single university where we didn't have supporters. People knew that the hit squads were organised by the Socialist Youth Union and that the beatings were mainly inflicted by students of the Sports College who were all skilled in karate, weight-lifting, boxing, and those sorts of sports, and they were recruited by the Socialist Youth Union and the local party organisation.

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: Socialist Youth Union, ZMS, Sports College

Duration: 52 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 14 March 2011