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Working for Po prostu

RELATED STORIES

Lynch mobs in Poznań
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Z tego powstania poznańskiego czy rozruchów poznańskich – przeważnie mówi się „wydarzenia poznańskie” po prostu – najbardziej to dla mnie było takim szokującym to, że tam... wiadomość o linczach, masakrach. Zabito tam, nie wiem dokładnie ilu, paru, jak sądzę, w sumie tych ubeków rozpoznanych w tłumie. Jak to zwykle w takim wypadku, nigdy nie można być pewnym, czy naprawdę ubeków, niemniej jednak ubeków czy nie ubeków, to pamiętam, że byłem tym strasznie zaszokowany, bo lincz, mord, coś takiego, no, dużo rzeczy w życiu widziałem, chociażby w czasie powstania, ale to było co innego, walka jest czymś innym niż linczowanie człowieka. No, byłem tym przerażony do ostatnich granic, jednocześnie sobie pomyślałem, że ile nienawiści się skupiło, jeżeli do takich rzeczy doszło i że właściwie nam grozi to w skali ogólnopolskiej, i muszę powiedzieć, że tego się, to nie to, że lękałem, coś więcej, czułem jakieś takie obrzydzenie na myśl o tym, że może przyjść moment, że co, będą przy mnie linczować człowieka i co, a ja będę na to patrzeć obojętnie. No ubek, ubek to ubek, ubeka należy sądzić za to, co zrobił, prawda, a nie masakrować go w sytuacji, kiedy w dodatku nikt nie wie naprawdę, czy to ubek, ale jak mówię, nawet gdyby był... To była... tylko  jedyny taki element, który do Poznania wprowadzał... tak... w moim wnętrzu czułem taki pewien niepokój na myśl o tym, co ja bym wtedy robił, jakby przy mnie człowieka linczowano.

From this uprising in Poznań, these riots – they're simply known as the Poznań events – the thing I found most shocking was news about lynchings, beatings, I'm not sure how many, a few people were killed, I think, secret police agents who'd been recognised in that crowd. As usually happens in cases like these, you can never be certain if they really are secret police agents, but whether they were or not, I was very shocked because a lynching, a murder, well, I've seen many things in my life if only because of the Uprising but that was different, a battle is not the same as lynching a person. I was utterly appalled by that yet at the same time, I thought how much hatred had accumulated if it had come to this and that really there was the danger that this might spread throughout the whole country. I have to say that I felt not fear but something more, I felt revulsion when I thought that the moment might come when someone was being lynched in front of me while I would be looking on indifferently. Well, if he's an agent he's an agent, but a agent ought to be put on trial for what he did, not beaten to a pulp when we don't even know if he was an agent, but as I say, even if he had been... That was the only element regarding Poznań that made me feel certain unease within myself when I thought, how would I behave if a person was being lynched in front of me?

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: lynching, secret police, hatred, revulsion, unease

Duration: 1 minute, 58 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011