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NEXT STORY

People are afraid

RELATED STORIES

Attacks on the Church intensify
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Do Kościoła niejednokrotnie próbowano się jakoś dobrać, jakoś stwarzać fakty daleko idącego zagrożenia i próby złamania biskupów, w ogóle episkopatu przez groźbę rozszerzenia represji. No na to się mogłem patrzeć, no nawet bym powiedział, z pewnego niezbyt odległego dystansu, dlatego że były procesy, w których moi bliscy koledzy się znajdowali, gdzie nie byli głównymi co prawda oskarżonymi, ale mój kolega z powstania, Adam Stanowski, który był w procesie jezuity ojca Roztworowskiego, no to był jednak... on dostał siedem lat, o ile sobie przypominam, których oczywiście nie zdążył... dosiedzieć do końca. I tak proces biskupa Kaczmarka, no, który był robiony z fanfarami i trąbami, telewizji jeszcze wówczas nie było, więc ta możliwość oddziaływania przepadła; ale radio, prasa była tego pełna i to miało takie wyraźne dwojakie nastawienie. Pierwsze – kompromitować, żeby ludzie sami doszli do wniosku, że coś z tym Kościołem niedobrze, że no na pewno kolaborowali jakoś z Niemcami, że jest to organizacja, która otrzymuje rozkazy z Zachodu – nie z Zachodu, ale z Watykanu, a Watykan oczywiście idzie ręka w rękę z imperialistami amerykańskimi. I to były takie próby perswazyjnego, bardzo zresztą takiego zakłamanego oddziaływania na opinię, ale jednocześnie każdy taki fragment relacji z procesu był wielkim straszeniem. To było tak redagowane, że każdy mógł sobie pomyśleć, każdy przynajmniej, kto miał coś wspólnego z Kościołem, że tutaj pod kategorię jakichś tych zarzutów, to kto wie, czy ja bym jakoś nie mógł podpaść; że ja oczywiście nie mam nic wspólnego ani z Watykanem, ani z imperialistami amerykańskimi, ale kto wie, czy to, że ja tam gdzieś kiedyś coś będąc w kościele gdzieś poszedłem, gdzieś z kimś rozmawiałem, czy to się też nie dałoby tak zinterpretować. No to były działania terrorystyczne takie, o tyle skuteczne, że no pamięta się o tym, że był biskup... że biskup Kaczmarek miał proces i że zresztą na tym procesie się trochę połamał jednak, nie można powiedzieć, żeby tak się zachował, jakby to chciało się widzieć u biskupa Kościoła rzymskokatolickiego w Polsce; no, ale temu towarzyszyły bardzo szerokie aresztowania, ilość ludzi aresztowanych nie wiem jaka była, jakiego to rzędu, no, ale mogłem obserwować to w ten sposób, że również wśród moich znajomych znajdowali się ludzie aresztowani w związku z tym procesem, którzy nigdy nie zasiedli na ławie oskarżonych, ale to wskazywało na to, że ta fala aresztowań musiała być dosyć duża. Jednak ludzie się w tym trochę orientowali, no i oczywiście przychodził strach. U bardziej strachliwych to wyobrażam sobie, że to musiało tak wyglądać, że jeżeli zobaczą mnie w kościele, to pytanie, czy ja nie będę nadawał się do aresztowania, co było oczywiście przesadną reakcją zupełnych tchórzy. Natomiast ci ludzie, którzy byli jakimiś działaczami, no to mieli zupełnie już poważne powody do obawy, że za tydzień, dwa oni mogą się znaleźć w podobnej sytuacji, niezależnie od tego, czy podstawy będą poważniejsze czy zupełnie niepoważne, bo jednak ta świadomość to była dosyć powszechna; że to, że się czyta, że ktoś tam się z kimś spotkał, coś powiedział, coś dostał z zagranicy, a w dodatku dolary to mogły być na przykład czy coś, to jednak nikt nie wierzył, żeby to była prawda, ale jednocześnie każdy wiedział, że to bardzo łatwo coś takiego... powiedzieć na sali sądowej i uznać to za udowodnione.

Numerous attempts were made to somehow get at the Church, to manufacture facts that spread a far-reaching menace together with attempts to break the bishops and the episcopate in general by threatening to broaden the repressions. I was able to observe this from, I'd say, fairly close up because trials were held in which my close friends participated although they weren’t the main people being accused, although my friend from the Uprising, Adam Stanowski who was in the trial of the Jesuit Father Rostworowski, he got a seven-year sentence from what I recall which, of course, he didn't manage to complete anyway. The trial of Bishop Kaczmarek was conducted with fanfares and bugles, there was no television then so they didn't have that opportunity to make an impact, but the radio and the press was full of it, and it had a clear two-way approach. First, to compromise so that people would themselves come to the conclusion that something was not right with this Church, that it must surely have been collaborating with the Germans, that it's an organisation which receives its orders from the West, not from the West but from the Vatican, and the Vatican, of course, was hand-in-glove with the American imperialists. These were attempts at a persuasive, very mendacious way of impacting on public opinion while at the same time each bit of information about the trial was a way of frightening people. It was prepared in such a way that anyone could imagine, at least, anyone who had anything to do with the Church, that with these kinds of allegations, who knows if I might not be in trouble, that of course, I've got nothing to do with the Vatican or with American imperialists, but who knows whether the fact that when I was in church once, and I went over to talk to somebody, whether that won’t be interpreted in the wrong way. These were terrorist tactics which were effective enough to make people remember that Bishop Kaczmarek was put on trial and that he broke down. It’s hard to say that he behaved in a way in which you’d like to see a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland behave, but this was accompanied by a large number of arrests, I don't know how many people were arrested, at what level, but I saw that several of my acquaintances were among those who were arrested in connection with this trial even though they were never among those who were prosecuted, but this did indicate that the wave of arrests was fairly large. People were quite well informed and so obviously there was the fear, among more apprehensive individuals, I imagine, who thought: if they see me in church does that make me the sort to get arrested? This, of course, was an extreme reaction of total cowards. Nevertheless, those people who were activists had very serious reasons to fear that in one week or two they might find themselves in a similar situation, whether the reasons for their arrest will be serious or completely spurious. This awareness was fairly widespread because if you read that somebody met someone, said something, was given something from abroad, especially if it was dollars or something, you didn't really believe it to be true, but at the same time everyone knew that it was very easy to say something like that in court and to treat it as proven.

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: Vatican, Czesław Kaczmarek

Duration: 4 minutes, 56 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 09 March 2011