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'Like a nut in the cataracts of the Nile'


The end of communism is nigh
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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The things that are happening over here – well, not just over here but in Hungary and above all in the Soviet Union, which, unlike us, is a superpower – this above all holds great hope for the world, hope that if the spectre of communism disappears – of aggressive, rapacious communism which wants to have dominion over the whole world – a great deal will change then in both hemispheres, and that's why I think this can't be overestimated. However, if, God forbid, this doesn't work out for the world, not just for us... I'm afraid the world doesn't always understand this.

To, co się dzieje u nas, no, nie tylko u nas, na Węgrzech, w Związku Sowieckim przede wszystkim, bo to jest mocarstwo w odróżnieniu od nas, ale to jest dla świata przede wszystkim wielka nadzieja, że jeżeli zniknie to widmo komunizmu, agresywnego komunizmu, zaborczego komunizmu, mającego ambicję zapanowania nad światem, to bardzo wiele się wtedy zmieni na wszystkich półkulach i dlatego uważam, że nie sposób przecenić w ogóle tego. Natomiast jak to się nie powiedzie, no, nie daj Boże dla świata, nie tylko dla nas... i obawiam się, że w świecie nie zawsze to się dokładnie rozumie.

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: Hungary, Soviet Union

Duration: 1 minute, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011