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Gomułka should be judged differently


Gomułka for First Secretary!
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Quite early on, before the plenary session held in October, it was being said that Gomułka ought to be in power, and the people were greatly in favour of this and accepted it enthusiastically. Firstly, Gomułka had only just got out of prison which is always a good thing for an activist facing a crossroad in his career. Secondly, people knew that he was very opposed to collectivisation and this was a massive point in his favour. He was attacked for nationalistic tendencies and he himself said a great deal about the Polish road to socialism which also mattered to the people, and so without arousing general anger, it was impossible to make anyone else First Secretary of the Party after that.

Już dosyć wcześnie przed plenum październikowym zaczęło się mówić, że do władzy powinien dojść Gomułka i to było przez ludzi przyjmowane bardzo dobrze i z dużym entuzjazmem. Po pierwsze, Gomułka dopiero co wyszedł z więzienia, to zawsze jest plus dla działacza na takim zakręcie. Po drugie, ludzie wiedzieli, że sprzeciwiał się ostro kolektywizacji i to był kolosalny punkt dla niego. To, że był atakowany za nacjonalistyczne odchylenie, a on sam dosyć mówił o polskiej drodze do socjalizmu, również dla ludzi było bardzo bliskie. I w związku z tym, właściwie bez jakiegoś gniewu ogólnego, nie można było zrobić pierwszym sekretarzem partii w owym czasie nikogo innego.

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: Władysław Gomułka

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011