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'With the Soviet Union at the fore'


Poor lot of the farmers
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Warstwą najbardziej wówczas uciskaną byli z całą pewnością chłopi. Ilość świadczeń na rzecz państwa, które mieli, przekraczała możliwość ich gospodarstwa: bo były to przymusowe dostawy, były to strasznie wygórowane podatki, a jednocześnie... pokazywano im bliską perspektywę i zaczynano to robić, że utracą ziemię na... i zostaną kołchoźnikami. Chłop tego nienawidzi i broni się przed tym jak tylko może. Jednocześnie wieś wyludniała się z młodzieży, gdyż rozbudowujący się przemysł nie tylko wciągał tę młodzież, ale jednocześnie stwarzano taką atmosferę w prasie, w radiu, że zostać na wsi to tylko... to głupota. I chłopi nienawidzili tego ustroju i tej... po prostu ponad wszelkie wyobrażenie i ja to miałem możność obserwować, gdyż część mojej rodziny jest chłopska.

The social group that was the most oppressed was without doubt the farmers. The number of provisions they had to make for the benefit of the state was beyond the capacity of what they could produce, and these were obligatory supplies, the taxes were hugely increased and at the same time, the farmers were shown the very real prospect, which in some cases was already happening, of having their land taken from them while they became collective farm workers. Farmers hate this and resist it however they can. At the same time, young people were abandoning the villages because not only was the growth of industry drawing them away, but also the atmosphere the press and the radio were creating was that it was stupid to remain in the countryside. Farmers hated this system and that... more than you could imagine, and I had the opportunity to witness this as some of my family are farmers.

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: farmers, collective farms, resitance, produce, taxes

Duration: 1 minute, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 09 March 2011