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Divergence of opinions

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Society needs to be strong
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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W ’81 roku władza komunistyczna siłą zdławiła ruch „Solidarności”. Jest pytanie, czy nie zrobi tego po raz drugi. Jeżeli, mam nadzieję, że nie, to dlatego, że ten pierwszy skok zahamował cały proces, ale nie zdławił „Solidarności” i myślę, że po raz drugi jest nie do wykonania. Ale to nie polega na tym, że ja wierzę tej władzy; ja wierzę w to, że społeczeństwo będzie dostatecznie silne, by po raz drugi władza nie próbowała tego... tego samego.

[Q] Gdzie są gwarancje? Czy tylko to może być dobra wiara w tym sensie czy nadzieja, czy ten Ogrągły Stół to może, to raczej jako gwarancja?

Nie. Obradowano przy Okrągłym Stole, ale Okrągły Stół i to, co tam postanowiono to nie jest żadna gwarancja. Gwarancja może być tylko jedna: siła oporu społecznego. Innej gwarancji nie mamy. Jeżeli społeczeństwo będzie dostatecznie silne, to wygramy. Jeżeli będzie ospałe i bojaźliwe, to wszystko przegramy.

In ‘81, the communist authorities used force to suppress Solidarity. The question arises, will they do this a second time? If, as I hope, they don't it'll be because that initial impact stopped the entire process but it didn't suffocate Solidarity, and I think they couldn't do this a second time but that's not because I trust the authorities but because I believe society will be strong enough to prevent the authorities from trying the same thing a second time.

[Q] Where is the guarantee? Is it just good faith or is it hope or is this Round Table more of a guarantee?

No. Negotiations were conducted around the Round Table but the Round Table and the decisions that were taken there are no guarantee. There can be only one guarantee: the strength of the opposition of society. We have no other guarantee. If society will be strong enough, we will win but if it's going to be sluggish and timorous, then we'll lose everything.

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, Round Table

Duration: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011