a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

NEXT STORY

'Black Masses' and vodka: how we survived Stalinism

RELATED STORIES

Liquidation of the Polish Socialist Party
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

The political... in the Polish Workers' Party were a fairly disturbing signal, because they implied that if there were any politicians, including communists, who were following a slightly different path than perhaps was considered desirable by central government, then we couldn't count on that either. It was alarming, too, that the PPS [Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party)], which was a strong party with old traditions and with a fair number of very talented leaders, and yet it all went so easily. The liquidation of PPS, under the guise of unification, was something I hadn't expected. Nevertheless, I was afraid of this, I suspected it was going in that direction and that they were being increasingly dominated and so on. But I imagined that at least this Polish Socialist Party... if it comes to that, then a significant majority of its members won't find themselves in the party that would be formed later. However, this all proved to be untrue, even though the degree to which the nation was terrorised wasn't yet what it would be in a very few years' time. I can't say that no one was aware of this terror, quite the opposite, but it still wasn't that heart of darkness which came later. There's only one thing that I remember from that unification rally, and that's the huge amount of red everywhere. Perhaps, because of my views, I had a certain fondness for the red flag, ‘that floats above the thrones and bears a people's rage, a thunderbolt of vengeance’. I felt sick, I was allergic to all that red. I literally felt physically unwell surrounded by all that red. However, those were what I'd call very emotional, almost physiological reactions yet at the same time, I was too far from the places where anything was happening for me to experience this in any other way. I had the feeling which makes things both easier and harder at the same time, namely I felt there was nothing I could do here, nothing depended on me. Sometimes, this makes it easier for a person to cope with difficult times, if things truly don't depend on him. I found it easier on account of the fact that I'd already had my literary-critical debut. My involvement with the press... with the literary press had already begun, and this was a more powerful experience for me even though it had a different political dimension and a different aim, it was that rally in Szczecin and the changes that followed could be seen with the naked eye. I've already spoken about this.

... polityczne w PPR-ze były takim dosyć niepokojącym sygnałem, bo one mówiły o tym, że być może jeśli znajdą się politycy, komunistyczni również, którzy mają jakoś trochę inną linię niż by chciano mieć w Centrali, to na to też nie możemy liczyć. No było to też przerażające, że PPS, która była, no silną partią, o starych tradycjach, wśród których w tej partii była pewna ilość, no przywódców bardzo utalentowanych, że to tak łatwo pójdzie. Likwidacja, pod nazwą zjednoczenie, PPS-u – to tego się też trochę nie spodziewałem. Jednak bałem się tego, podejrzewałem, że w tym kierunku idzie, że oni są coraz bardziej zdominowani i tak dalej. Ale sobie wyobrażałem, że przynajmniej ta Polska Partia Socjalistyczna, jeżeli do tego dojdzie, to znaczna większość jej członków nie znajdzie się w tej partii, która powstanie później. Tymczasem to wszystko okazało się nieprawdą, chociaż jeszcze w tym momencie stan sterroryzowania społeczeństwa nie był taki, jaki był już po bardzo niewielu latach, prawda. Nie można powiedzieć, że wcale tego terroru nie odczuwano, przeciwnie; ale... ale jednak to jeszcze nie było to jądro ciemności, które nastąpiło właściwie później. Ja właściwie z tego zjazdu zjednoczeniowego... zapamiętałem sobie tylko jedną rzecz – to tę ogromną ilość tego koloru czerwonego wszędzie. Ja może ze względu na swoje poglądy miałem do czerwonego sztandaru pewną taką sympatię, tego „czerwonego sztandaru, który płynie ponad trony, niesie on zemsty grom, ludu gniew”, prawda. No to ja zupełnie byłem chory... chory, byłem uczulony na tę czerwień. Dosłownie, źle się czułem fizycznie już w tej czerwieni. Ale to były reakcje takie bardzo, bym powiedział, emocjonalne, prawie fizjologiczne, ale jednocześnie za daleko byłem od wszelkich miejsc, w których się cokolwiek działa, bym to przeżywał jeszcze w jakichś innych wymiarach, prawda. Miałem to poczucie, które ułatwia człowiekowi i utrudnia zarazem, to znaczy to, że to... tutaj ja nic nie mam do zrobienia i nic tutaj ode mnie nie zależy. To czasami człowiekowi też ułatwia przeżywanie trudnych chwil, jeżeli tak jest naprawdę, że to od niego nic nie zależy. Natomiast dla mnie było – ze względu na to, że już byłem po moim debiucie krytyczno-literackim, zaczęła się moja współpraca z prasą... literacką, z prasą literacką – to dla mnie bardziej jednak takim przeżyciem właśnie silniejszym, mimo że miało to inny wymiar polityczny i o co innego chodziło, to był jednak ten Zjazd Szczeciński i po tym... i te przemiany, które po tym było gołym okiem widać. O tym już mówiłem.

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: Polish Socialist Party

Duration: 3 minutes, 34 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 09 March 2011