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Gaps in the official history


Propaganda filled with lies
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Throughout all of those years, the state propaganda had been missing the point completely. That's a delicate way of saying they'd been lying for the most part. But there are moments when, if you read the papers or see an old news bulletin, you see something of that reality. It was October 1956. There really was some truth there then. Later, this became a rarity but during the big strikes of 1980 the moment came, by August, late August, that something was even reaching television although this was very patchy during the time of Solidarity. Initially, it was better but with every passing month it got worse, there were more lies. But if you were to collect everything that was broadcast over those years especially at moments of unusual laxity, there'd be a lot of genuine documentation of those years.

Urzędowa propaganda przeważnie przez wszystkie te dziesięciolecia no...zupełnie mijała się z rzeczywistością. A to jest delikatne określenie dla powiedzenia, że przeważnie kłamała. Ale są takie momenty, kiedy jak się zajrzy do gazety czy zobaczy kronikę filmową starą, to coś z tej rzeczywistości jest. To był okres października ‘56 roku, kiedy rzeczywiście jakaś prawda tam była. Później bardzo rzadko, ale w okresie wielkich strajków ‘80 roku w pewnym momencie już w sierpniu...w późnym sierpniu, okazywało się, że coś już tam dociera, nawet do telewizji. A w czasie „Solidarności” no to było bardzo różnie, z początku lepiej, potem z każdym miesiącem gorzej, z każdym miesiącem bardziej kłamliwie. Ale gdyby pozbierać to wszystko, co przez te lata pokazano w tych szczególnie takich momentach większego luzu, no to dużo prawdziwego... prawdziwej dokumentacji zostało z tamtych lat.

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: Solidarity

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011