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Collapse of the government in 1989
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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I think that once the allied parties of the PZPR [Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza (Polish United Workers' Party)] started to show ever clearer signs that they were aiming for autonomy, for performing their own manoeuvres, and in a situation where it was increasingly clear that this government wasn't certain if it would be able to gain a parliamentary majority, it became impossible to create this kind of government. I think the basic issue was the uncertainty of the allies, but the first elections called to choose a president showed this coalition was crumbling and Kiszczak had to resign in this case. They should have gone a step further and handed over the formation of the government to representatives of the opposition. This was determined by the political score.

Ja myślę, że w momencie w którym sojusznicze partie PZPR-u wykazywały wyraźnie coraz większą dążność do usamodzielnienia się, do wykonywania własnych manewru... własnego manewru i w sytuacji, gdy coraz bardziej było widać, że ten rząd nie jest pewny, czy będzie w stanie zdobyć większość parlamentarną dla siebie, było niemożliwe stworzenie takiego rządu. Zasadniczą rolę, myślę... było niepewność stronnictw sojuszniczych, ale już pierwsze głosowania przy okazji wyborów prezydenta pokazywały, jak ta koalicja się kruszy i no... Kiszczak musiał w tej sytuacji jednak zrezygnować. Trzeba było posunąć się krok dalej i oddać tworzenie rządu w ręce przedstawiciela dotychczasowej opozycji – to była... rachunek polityczny tutaj o tym przesądzał.

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: PZPR, Polish United Workers' Party, Czesław Kiszczak

Duration: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Date story recorded/uploaded: 15 March 2011

Date story went live: 15 March 2011