a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
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.


96 hours spent in detention bring on a heart attack


Striking workers face arrest
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

No więc wkroczenie odbyło się w ten sposób, że powyłamywali... wyłamali zabarykadowaną bramę i właściwie ja do dzisiaj dnia nie jestem pewny, kto to wchodził. Mówiło się ZOMO. Z tego, co ja dzisiaj wiem, jak wyglądają różne formacje, przypuszczam, że wkraczała jednak raczej brygada antyterrorystyczna. Przede wszystkim ja jako uczestnik powstania warszawskiego – no, ostatecznie dwa miesiące byłem nieustannie w ogniu – od razu w momencie, kiedy oni wskoczyli na halę, zobaczyłem, że są to ludzie świetnie wyszkoleni, nie tylko dobrze uzbrojeni, każdy z nich z pistoletem maszynowym w ręku, ale świetnie wyszkoleni. Od jednego rzutu na halę, a prawdopodobnie ich nakręcali, że tutaj Bóg wie, co się zaraz stanie, że będą do nich strzelać może, każdy z nich znajdował natychmiast osłonę tak, jak ja nie wiem, czy po dwóch miesiącach praktyki, czy ja bym kiedykolwiek potrafił, ale umiałem to ocenić już. I od razu zaczęło się wygarnianie tych, których cywile wskazywali. Do mnie podszedł jakiś oficer i powiedział: „Panie Lipski, a co Pan tu robi?”. Ja go nie rozpoznałem, nie wiem kto to był, no, ale znalazłem się wśród sześćdziesięciu paru ludzi, których aresztowano, resztę puszczono do domów.

So the storming happened like this. They broke down the gate that had been barricaded and to this day, I'm not certain who it was that came in then. People said it was ZOMO [Zmotoryzowane Odwody Milicji Obywatelskiej (Motorized Reserves of the Citizens' Militia)]. From what I know today and from the appearance of the various units, I assume that it was an anti-terrorist brigade. Apart from anything else, as a former participant in the Warsaw Uprising, after all, I'd spent two months under constant fire, I knew as soon as they came into the hall, I could see that these were highly trained men who weren't just very well equipped, with each of them carrying an automatic weapon but they were very highly trained. They charged into the hall, they'd probably been told that God alone knows what was about to happen there, perhaps that people would be shooting at them, each of them immediately found cover in a way that I don't know whether I'd ever have been able to do after two months of training, but I was able to appreciate what they were doing, and they began to take away everyone that the civilians were pointing out. An officer approached me and said, 'Mr Lipski, what are you doing here?' I didn't recognize him, I've no idea who he was but I found myself alongside 60 odd other people who were arrested and the others were allowed to go home.

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: ZOMO, Zmotoryzowane Odwody Milicji Obywatelskiej, Motorized Reserve of the Citizens Militia, Warsaw Uprising

Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 14 March 2011