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The talented Mr Goździk


The October thaw
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Those first moments, those first months following on from October were a time when we relished the novelty of what so far had been missing. Jazz had been forbidden. Suddenly, we were allowed to play it and to perform it publicly. There was a multitude of these kinds of artistic and semi-artistic events which we could never have imagined during the Stalinist period. At the same time, the atmosphere was significantly affected by the fact that people were returning to the positions they had held formerly, or at least they were re-instated, and this played a huge role. For instance, my father was re-instated after having been banned from working in education during the Stalinist period. We were relishing this, but it soon became apparent that censorship was still very sensitive although marginally less so than during the years of Stalinism. Publishers and the press continued to be run the way that they had been although they were just that little bit more relaxed, and this was true of every area.

Te pierwsze momenty, pierwsze miesiące po październiku to było takie rzeczywiście zachłyśnięcie się czymś nowym, czego dotychczas nie było. No jazz był wyklęty. Nagle okazuje się, że można grać jazz, że można go publicznie pokazywać. Jakaś masa imprez tego rodzaju, artystycznych, półartystycznych, których nie można było sobie wyobrazić w czasach stalinowskich. A jednocześnie dla atmosfery tego czasu duże znaczenie miało to, że ludzie czasami wracali na swoje poprzednie stanowiska, a przynajmniej byli rehabilitowani – to również odgrywało dużą rolę. Mój ojciec na przykład został zrehabilitowany wówczas...był wyrzucony w czasach stalinowskich ze szkolnictwa. I było to takie zachłyśnięcie się. Dosyć szybko okazało się co prawda, że cenzura jest nadal bardzo dotkliwa – chociaż odrobinę lepiej było niż w czasach stalinowskich; że wydawnictwa czy prasa nadal są sterowane podobnie jak były – chociaż jest odrobina więcej luzu. I tak dalej w każdej dziedzinie.

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: Jacek Petrycki Marcel Łoziński

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.

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.

Tags: Stalinist period

Duration: 1 minute, 36 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011