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.


Post-October stagnation


How Aleksander Małachowski put a party apparatchik in his place
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Były pewne próby, to...żeby nie dopuszczać do głosu niektórych ludzi wymienianych imiennie. Pamiętam wtedy, że ówczesny prezes Aleksander Małachowski, pochodzący z bardzo dobrej ziemiańskiej rodziny, pokazał numer popisowy, zobaczyłem jakimi snobami są aparatczycy partyjni. Aparatczyk był niskiego stopnia, który z nami rozmawiał, który gdy powiedział, że tamten X, Y to jest wariat – o Janie Wyce to było chyba, że Jan Wyka to wariat – „A Wy tego wariata dopuszczacie do głosu, to dawny działacz komunistyczny, dąbrowszczak, walczył w Hiszpanii, prawda i bardzo krytycznie odnoszący się potem do... linii partyjnej, polityki partyjnej, wyrzucony z partii, zresztą w związku ze swoim odczytem w Klubie Krzywego Koła, dopuszczacie do...”. I wtedy prezes Aleksander Małachowski, człowiek o bardzo dobrych zresztą manierach, gdy mu na tym zależy, uniósł swój nos aż do sufitu prawie i powiedział tak – ale nagle jakby mu się sposób mówienia zmienił, tak... tak mniej kolokwialny był już to sposób mówienia, tak było widać, że to już jest taki najlepszy salon, jaki można sobie wyobrazić – powiedział: „Proszę Pana, to co Pan robi jest niedopuszczalne. Pan Jan Wyka jest moim znajomym. Pan przy mnie mówi o nim, że jest wariat, jeżeli mamy dalej rozmawiać, to bardzo Pana proszę, by to się nie powtórzyło. Moi rodzice uczyli mnie, że takich zachowań się jak Pańskie tolerować mi nie wolno”. I aparatczyk był tak tym jakoś zarówno zaskoczony, jak i widać mu to zaimponowało, a skądinąd myślę, że on mniej więcej wiedział z jakiej rodziny jest Leć Małachowski, że to aż było zabawne widzieć jak osiada i więdnie.

There were attempts to silence some of the people who were identified by name. I remember that the chairman at that time, Aleksander Małachowski who came from a family of very good breeding, put on a marvellous display, and I saw what snobs the party apparatchiks are. The apparatchik who was speaking with us was low-ranking, and when he said that this X and Y is mad – I think it was about Jan Wyka, that Jan Wyka is mad – ‘and you're letting this madman speak, that Dąbrowszczak, a former communist activist fought in Spain after which he was very critical of the line adopted by the party, the party's politics, he was thrown out of the party because of the talk he gave in the Crooked Circle Club, you're allowing...’ And that's when Aleksander Małachowski, who had impeccable manners when he wanted to, pointed his nose almost towards the ceiling and said – it was as if suddenly his way of talking seemed to change, it became less colloquial, you could tell it was the way people talked in the most refined company you could imagine – ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘what you are doing is not permissible. Mr Jan Wyka is my acquaintance. You are saying in my presence that he is a madman. If we are to continue this conversation, I would ask that this does not happen again. My parents taught me that behaviour such as yours cannot be tolerated.’ The apparatchik was simultaneously so surprised and impressed by this because I think he more or less knew what sort of family Leć Małachowski came from, and it was very amusing to see him shrivelling and deflating.

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: Dąbrowszczak, Crooked Circle Club, Aleksander Małachowski, Jan Wyka

Duration: 2 minutes, 12 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 10 March 2011