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Puławska versus Natolińska

RELATED STORIES

PZPR factions
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Throughout that whole time leading up to October and for some time afterwards, all of our awareness… a large part of our awareness was taken over by viewing events as a conflict between two vast party factions. One of these factions was called the Puławska faction. Puławska. The name came from Puławska Street where the leaders of this faction met at Kassman's home which was on Puławska Street. The second faction was called Natolin, where Aleksander Zawadzki invited people who shared his political views to the Natolin Palace. The Natolin group was treated with hostility by the people I kept company with in Po prostu, the intelligentsia, and not without reason. In August ‘56 at the plenary meeting, one of the leaders of this faction, Zenon Nowak, had come out with what he called: A Programme for Regulating Party Personnel. To be honest, I was never interested how they regulated their party personnel except that this programme was anti-Semitic and, whether in the party or outside of it, I had always believed that people shouldn't be ranked according to their ancestry, and the people around me were pretty unanimous on this point, too. We regarded it as a sign of exceptionally unusual sinister tendencies, which, had they been only within the party they'd also be, they could evoke a response of revulsion, but it was obvious that if it was going to be in the party, it would be happening across the whole country. Other leaders of this faction, for instance Witaszewski, appeared occasionally at public meetings issuing threats about how the working class would teach the intelligentsia a thing or two with the help of a length of gas pipe. As the name suggests, gas pipes are a heavy piece of equipment normally used for conveying gas but which can also be used to smash someone's head in, although that's not what they're intended for. And all of this created a pretty uniform syndrome which was anti-Semitic, nationalistic, while at the same time Stalinist with an enormous longing to return to the Stalinist system evident in their speeches. Because of this, we obviously treated Natolin as a dangerous enemy.

Ten cały okres przedpaździernikowy i dłuższy czas po... po październiku, to cała właściwie... ogromna część naszej świadomości była opanowana przez takie widzenie tego, co się dzieje, jako konfliktu dwóch potężnych frakcji partyjnych. Jedną z tych frakcji nazywano... frakcją „puławską”. „Puławska”. Było to od... ta nazwa się wzięła od ulicy Puławskiej, gdzie liderzy tej frakcji się spotykali u Kasmana bodajże w tym mieszkaniu na Puławskiej. Drugą frakcję nazywano „Natolinem”, gdzie Aleksander Zawadzki spraszał ludzi o podobnym nastawieniu politycznym jak on do Pałacyku Natolińskiego. Grupa „natolińska” w tym środowisku w którym ja się obracałem – w „Po prostu” i w tych środowiskach inteligenckich – była traktowana zdecydowanie wrogo i nie bez przyczyn. Jeden z przywódców tej... tej frakcji, Zenon Nowak na plenum sierpniowym w roku ’56 wystąpił z tym, co nazwał „Programem regulacji kadr partyjnych”. Mnie, prawdę mówiąc, zawsze było wszystko jedno, jak oni będą sobie regulowali swoje kadry partyjne, tylko że to był program o charakterze antysemickim; a prawdę mówiąc w partii czy nie w partii, zawsze mi się wydawało i akurat środowisko w którym żyję jest pod tym względem dosyć jednorodne, że nie jest to sposób szeregowania i układania ludzi według pochodzenia i no... traktowaliśmy to jako przejaw jakichś takich tendencji niezwykle innych, groźnych, które, gdyby były tylko w partii to też byłyby... mogło by to budzić obrzydzenie, ale było wiadomo, że jeżeli będzie w partii, to będzie... w całym kraju to będzie się działo. Inni przywódcy tej frakcji na przykład Witaszewski, występowali od czasu do czasu na jakichś publicznych zebraniach z takimi pogróżkami o tym, jak to klasa robotnicza pokaże tym inteligentom przy pomocy gazrurek, prawda. Gazrurka no to to sama nazwa wskazuje, że to jest taki ciężki przyrząd, którym normalnie powinien płynąć gaz, ale który można go też użyć do rozbicia komuś głowy ewentualnie, chociaż to nie do tego celu jest robione. I to się wszystko układało w taki syndrom dosyć taki jednolity, antysemicki, nacjonalistyczny, ale jednocześnie stalinowski, z wielkimi chęciami do powrotu do systemu stalinowskiego, który był widoczny w... w ich wypowiedziach. W związku tym „Natolin” traktowaliśmy w sposób zrozumiały jako groźnego wroga.

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: Puławska fraction, Puławska Street, Natolin, Natolin Palace, Po Prostu, Programme for RegulatingParty Personnel, Aleksander Zawadzki, Zenon Nowak, Kazimierz Witaszewski, Leon Kasman

Duration: 3 minutes, 43 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011