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No-one was immune from arrest


People are afraid
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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So this terrorist action was pretty far-reaching, and I imagine that the behaviour of a large number of bishops who didn't come up to the mark at a time when Cardinal Wyszyński was beginning to have serious problems ending with his arrest, can be put down to the terror. Some were probably simply afraid for themselves, others feared for the things they were responsible for. That second type of fear, even if it was unfounded, deserves greater respect although in both cases it was the result of terror and we could see that this affected people's attitudes and their fear of even speaking out loud about these issues. It was still the case that among the people I knew, where there were many who were active in Catholic movements, social movements connected with Catholicism, with the Church, and it happened time and again that this one was arrested, that one was arrested, and this created the sort of atmosphere that the secret services wanted – where people were afraid.

Ta akcja terrorystyczna była dosyć szeroko zakrojona, no i wyobrażam sobie, że zachowanie się w tym okresie – kiedy zaczął mieć poważne kłopoty zakończone aresztowaniem prymas Wyszyński – części, przy dużej części biskupów, no którzy nie tak na medal, nie wszyscy tak na medal zdali ten egzamin, no to jednak tłumaczy się po prostu terrorem; znaczy, niektórzy się po prostu pewnie bali o siebie, się bali, no, o te rzeczy, za które byli odpowiedzialni. Ten... drugi rodzaj strachu, nawet jeżeli jest nieuzasadniony, no to budzi większy szacunek. No niemniej jednak i w jednym wypadku i w drugim to jest rezultat terroru i który... i to się zauważało, że to odgrywa jakąś rolę w nastawieniu ludzi, w ich obawie nawet, żeby mówić głośno o tych sprawach, no i ciągle jednak było tak, że w tym otoczeniu, w którym miałem dużo ludzi czynnych w ruchu... w ruchach społecznych związanych z katolicyzmem, z Kościołem, to jednak ciągle było... się to powtarzało – ten aresztowany, tamten aresztowany; to się... i to wytwarzała się taka atmosfera, którą... której właśnie bezpieka sobie życzyła – no, żeby bać się.

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: Catholicism, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 09 March 2011