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My hope overcomes my scepticism


The interned: Wałęsa in prison
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Tysiące ludzi zostało internowanych. No, jednym z internowanych był Wałęsa, który znalazł się w Arłamowie, po paru innych miejscach, które były tymi etapami jego podróży do Arłamowa. I muszę powiedzieć, że mimo luksusowych warunków, w których go umieszczono, to nie było wesołe. Każdy, kto był więźniem politycznym, w ogóle kto był w więzieniu, rozumie jedną rzecz, że izolowanie w pojedynkę jest jedną z najgorszych rzeczy, które człowieka spotyka w więzieniu. I przyjeżdżała do niego żona, przyjeżdżały dzieci, ale było to... zawsze chwilowa pauza tylko, a poza tym siedział sam. Nie miał do kogo ust otworzyć, nie miał z kim w szachy czy w karty zagrać, nie miał jakiejś życzliwej twarzy naprzeciwko siebie. To jest bardzo trudne do zniesienia na dłuższą metę.

Thousands of people were interned. One of them was Wałęsa, who found himself in Arłamów. He was in several other places, too, which were all stages along his journey to Arłamów. I have to say that despite the luxurious surroundings he was given this wasn't pleasant. Anyone who was a political prisoner or who has ever been in prison understands one thing, that solitary confinement is one of the worst things that can happen to a person in prison. His wife came to see him, so did his children but these were just momentary interludes because the rest of the time he was alone. He had no one to speak to, no one with whom he could play chess or cards, he had no friendly face to look at across the room. This is a very difficult thing to bear long-term.

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: Arłamów, Lech Wałęsa

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011