a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Why I lost faith in Gomułka


Gomułka should be judged differently
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Gomułka miał w sobie duży upór, dużo charakteru. To mu zapewne pozwoliło po raz pierwszy w historii stosunków Polski komunistycznej ze Związkiem Sowieckim... próbować na jakiejś nowej platformie ułożyć stosunki ze Związkiem Sowieckim. Wyglądało to w ten sposób, że gdy Chruszczow ze swoją ekipą przybyli do Warszawy, on... nie skapitulował. Inna rzecz, że nie wiemy do końca, jakie wtedy złożył obietnice tyczące uspokojenia tego, co w Polsce się działo. Niemniej jednak nie skapitulował; przeciwnie, wkrótce po tym został ujawniony problem tego niepłacenia za polski węgiel. Zaraz po przyjściu Gomułki do władzy duże ekipy oficerów sowieckich musiały wrócić do swojej ojczyzny i to powoduje, że jego nie można oceniać w ten sposób jak wielu innych jego poprzedników i następców.

Gomułka was an obstinate man with a strong personality. It was probably thanks to this that for the first time in the history of communist Polish-Soviet relations he could attempt to put these relations on a different footing. What happened was that when Khruschev arrived in Warsaw with his advisors, he did not capitulate. Of course, we don't know exactly what promises he made regarding the calming of the situation in Poland. Nevertheless, he did not give in. Quite the opposite, soon after this the problem came to light of non-payment for Polish coal. Soon after Gomułka came to power, large numbers of Soviet officers were forced to return to their homeland, so for these reasons he can't be judged in the same way as many of his predecessors or his successors.

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: Warsaw, Poland, Władysław Gomułka, Nikita Khruschev

Duration: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011