Committee in Support of Solidarity Reports
Issue No. 2
May 19, 1982
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Information on Recent Events page 1
Workers on Trial page 2
Defense Speech on Behalf of Jerzy Kaniewski
Warsaw Solidarity Leader Held Under Arrest Despite Illness page 12
An Appeal for Jan Jozef Lipski
The Fate of One Family page 14
Warsaw University Protests Dismissal of President page 16
Police Search for Solidarity Leaders Underground page 17
These items are the most recent that the Committee in Support of Solidarity has published through the date of this report.
For back reports, contact the Committee, specifying dates, titles, or subjects if possible.
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The Committee in Support of Solidarity, based in New York, organizes efforts on behalf of the Solidarity movement in Poland and for general human rights for the Polish people.
One of the Committee's most important activities is to report information about the situation in Poland, which is gathered from underground Solidarity publications in Poland; the official Polish press; interviews with Polish citizens and foreign travelers who have been allowed to leave Poland; and Solidarity sources in Poland and in Europe.
The Committee in Support of Solidarity makes this information available in regular reports appearing weekly or biweekly, including press advisories and Polish-language bulletins; in editions of a quarterly journal, the Solidarnosc Bulletin; and in special reports describing and analyzing different aspects of the situation in Poland.
The Committee also:
* provides spokesmen to the press, television, and radio, and to meetings and seminars of colleges, unions, and community groups;
* maintains lists of the interned and arrested in Poland;
* advises humanitarian organizations on aiding the Polish people;
* advises private and official human rights organizations about the situation in Poland;
* prepares and delivers briefs and other testimony on the situation in Poland to the government and the Congress of the United States and to international bodies and private institutions;
* maintains public attention on the Polish situation through the sales of "Solidarnosc" T-shirts, stickers, and posters.
To get in touch with the Committee in Support of Solidarity about helping in its work, or with questions, information, or donations, please write:
The Committee in Support of Solidarity
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or telephone (212) 989-0909. The press can call (212) 929-6966.
The following items were received from the solidarity information office in Paris.
1. Eyewitnesses of the recent events in Gdansk report that the disturbances there lasted several days after May 3 and perhaps lasted as late as May 11. The police action began with the police attacking a church where services were taking place. The police broke the stained glass windows and threw gas bombs inside. When the crowd entered onto the street, the police started firing with heavy ammunition and water cannons. Civilian doctors report a large number of wounded. The number of wounded or killed is unknown since all the wounded were taken to military hospitals; the city hospitals were forbidden to receive wounded.
In Szczecin, on May 3rd or 4th, the police headquarters were set on fire. The disturbances there lasted as long as those in Gdansk.
2. Government spokesman Jerzy Urban announced that, from May 3-9, 2,269 people were arrested and 211 interned throughout Poland. Of those arrested, 1,339 appeared before the Courts for Offenses, which pronounced verdicts of up to three months imprisonment and/or a fine. Urban also announced that all university and high school students who participated in the demonstrations will be suspended or expelled from their schools.
3. On April 22, a temporary coordinating commission of elected Solidarity leaders who have escaped arrest met to discuss plans for future action and strategy. The group was made up of Zbigniew Bujak, Chairman of Warsaw Solidarity, Wladyslaw Frasyniuk, Chairman of Wroclaw Solidarity, Bogdan Lis, a member of Gdansk Solidarity's Regional Commission, and Mr. Hardek from Krakow. The commission called for a fifteen minute general strike on May 13th and for all traffic to stop at noon for one minute on the same day, which have since taken place. The commission said in a statement that the demands of Solidarity for renewing talks remains the release of all prisoners, the amnesty of all arrested and sentenced, and the rescinding of martial law.
4. Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuron, two co-founders of KOR [Workers Defense Committee, later called KSS, the Committee for Social Self-Defense], both interned since December 13, 1981, have been transported from the internment camp at Bialoleka to the prison on Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw. Both have been indicted and their cases are being prepared for trial.
5. Dr. Ryszard Herczynski, recently arrested at his apartment after meeting with two Americans is awaiting a summary trial before a military tribunal on charges of handing "subversive documents" to the two diplomats, who have since been expelled from Poland for this reason. The "subversive documents" in question consisted of one leaflet, a letter to his son, and a copy of instructions for scientists and scientific researchers about how to act during the state of war. The minimum sentence at a summary trial is one to three years' imprisonment. The reports in the Western press that Dr. Herczynski had signed the so-called declaration of loyalty are incorrect.
WORKERS ON TRIAL:
Defense Speech On Behalf Of Jerzy Kaniewski
The following is the defense speech of Wladyslaw Sila-Nowicki, a prominent lawyer and advisor for solidarity, on behalf of Jerzy Kaniewski, one of three workers charged with having organized a strike on December 14, 1981 at the Ursus tractor factory outside Warsaw.
The trial was held in mid-January, in a civilian courtroom. Although not typical of most trials against workers and activists who violated the decrees of the state of war, the Ursus trial illustrates the system of justice existing in Poland after December 13.
The decree of the state of war extends the list of actions and behavior that are considered crimes. These include anything the authorities construe as "socially dangerous" or "threatening the security of the state" including, among others, union activity, organizing and conducting strikes, printing leaflets or bulletins without authorization from the "proper organs," any assembly or demonstration, wearing buttons or emblems, transporting or possessing "illegal" publications, or violating curfew and travel restrictions. The decree even forbids "tourism, yachting, and rowing on internal and territorial waters."
On the basis of the state of war decree, thousands have been arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned for up to ten years. No accurate figures are available for the total number of arrests and sentences. However, underground activists of Warsaw solidarity have compiled a list of 2800 sentenced in that region alone. Unofficial estimates run from 10,000 to 30,000 nationwide, although the figures could be even higher following dozens of demonstrations during the month of may. (the government reported 1400 arrests after the may 3 demonstration in Warsaw.) This does not include the over 10,000 who, according to church and solidarity sources, are still "interned" indefinitely without charges "for whom there is justified suspicion that they will, if they remain at liberty, engage in activities threatening the security of the state."
Trials, if they can be considered such, are held before military tribunals or civilian courts under varying conditions. Most cases are treated summarily, both verdicts and sentences prepared beforehand and meted out in a matter of minutes. Other cases are handled at greater length as show trials, with defense counsel allowed. Still, the verdicts are predetermined and the sentences handed down arbitrarily. The same "offense" can receive three to ten years depending upon the whims of the court. There is no right of appeal.
Detailed accounts of some trials do exist outside the official party and army press. Counsels for the defense have frequently based their plea for acquittal on the inapplicability of the decree to the actions for which the defendants were charged.
The decree was not officially made public until December 18. Until that time the announcement of the decree had been displayed on posters and broadcast on the radio. The contents of these announcements did not include information about the specific acts that were considered criminal under the state of war. Therefore, it is frequently argued that if the defendant committed an "offense" before December 18 the law could not apply to it retroactively and he could not have known that his action was a crime. Furthermore, the decree displayed on posters did not have a signature or a date. It is therefore formally invalid.
Defense lawyers also argue that whether or not the decree is used retroactively it is unprecedented and unconstitutional. A lawyer representing workers charged with having organized a strike and continuing union activities at the Warsaw steelworks argues: "the people, after living through a year and a half of latitude in civil rights, have suddenly found those rights restricted in a way that is completely unprecedented. The only moral stand in this situation was the stand taken by the accused."
Lawyers defending those charged with violations of the state of war often risk retribution for arguing the invalidity of the decree. Upon the request of a judge, the ministry of internal affairs petitioned the spokesman for the lawyers' council to initiate proceedings against two lawyers, Mr. De Virion and Mr. Andrzejewski. The two were charged with "transgressing the bounds of freedom of speech at the institute of nuclear research trial in Warsaw." Some lawyers who defended workers charged with organizing strikes were themselves interned. In one case, a lawyer was interned on the grounds that he "festers [sic] the social atmosphere by publicly questioning, before the court, the validity of the decree of the state of war...he thus sows defeatism."
The three defendants at the Ursus trial were officially charged with "having failed on December 14, 1981 to abide by points 1 and 2 of article 46 of the decree of the state of war of December 12, 1981 (journal of laws 29, paragraph 154, December 14, 1981) and by the decree of the head of the council of ministers concerning the suspension of trade union activities." They were charged under this clause with "organizing a meeting of the solidarity factory board, at which the decision to strike was taken, and with subsequently leading a strike of 300 people by issuing instructions, appeals, and propaganda." The prosecution demanded the following sentences:
J. Kaniewski--7 Years
A. Czerwinski--5 Years
W. Kaszuba--5 Years
B. Filoda--4 Years
On January 20, after three days of trial, the court issued its verdict at 7p.m. the "building, with the exception of that one room, was deserted."
J. Kaniewski--three and a half years imprisonment and 2 years loss of civil rights
A. Czerwinski--three and a half years imprisonment and 2 years loss of civil rights
W. Kaszuba--3 years imprisonment and 2 years loss of civil rights
B. Filoda--2 years imprisonment, suspended for three years
"We should beware of passing laws which are so unbelievable that they must at some point be broken."
My speech for the defense, although it will contain a number of pessimistic points, aims nevertheless to reach a happy result. My hope, I am convinced, will find its expression in the verdict to be pronounced in this courtroom.
Your honor: in preparing my speech for the defense I intended to limit myself strictly to legal and social issues. I thought that there would perhaps be no reason to refer to political matters.
But as counsel for the defense I listened with attention to the speech of the prosecutor whose speech has obliged me to take a stand on political matters also. Perhaps this is as it should be. We are living in a world that is just taking shape, a world of temporary legal regulations which the whole society expects will be short-lived. Even the Decree on the basis of which the court will pronounce its verdict is only a kind of provisional law; it lacks confirmation by Parliament; it is a temporary regulation. In this situation, the issues rightly raised by the prosecution must also be addressed by the defense. Although the public prosecutor was right in presenting these issues, the opinions expressed by the prosecutor's office in this case seems to me to be entirely incorrect.
The prosecutor has here expressed what one might call his approval of the introduction of the state of war in Poland; he tried to justify it as something which was necessary and essential, as the measure which immediately brought us out of the difficulties with which Polish society is struggling. The counsel for the prosecution spoke of crimes, of break-ins, of violence, of an epidemic of thefts, and which suddenly ceased. I am skeptical about the validity of these allegations and I must say that in general people do not believe them. It is said that they are false. I share this opinion, because we neither saw nor felt what the prosecution describes. And how familiar is the note that sounds in the prosecution's words about this sudden improvement, about how everything that was bad became good overnight--the sounds of a song, a song so familiar and so well remembered that we cannot even think of it as new, but rather only as the next verse of that old song, long sung to the Polish people--the Propaganda of Success.
It seems to me that this propaganda, which sings of restoration of law and order in Poland, is much less effective than that other propaganda of success, whose results we are now seeing in the economy. I am afraid lest this propaganda of success may also become more dangerous, but I hope that it will not. I believe that this will be avoided.
Your Honor: what world is this that we live in? A world in which it is said that the suspension of all civil rights is a good thing, and that it should last a long time? We live in a world tossed to and fro by the plague of terrorism; in a world where among thousands of people, a man, a man who was the hope of millions of people--the hope, in some way, of the whole world --was the target of an assassination; a world in which prime ministers are assassinated, where public buildings are blown up, where blood flows! Was there a drop of blood that flowed in Poland? Was the name of one wounded policeman announced? Was there even one case of one public building being destroyed? One factory?
Polish society is a thinking society. It understands that from certain excesses of freedom, from certain incompetent, somewhat far-fetched, perhaps, overly inflated human aspirations and desires that were incompatible with political realities, some way out needed to be found. The people are able to understand that certain manifestations of the over-use of freedom had to be stemmed. But that this should take the form of continuous or long-term restrictions of civil rights--that is incomprehensible. The people have heard that the authorities will not withdraw from the agreements, that they will not turn back from the process of renewal, that they will not withdraw from dialogue with society. So Polish society felt deceived when all civil rights were simultaneously attacked on the basis of an incomprehensible decision. We must return, and we will return, to renewal and dialogue--we shall overcome these things, we shall all come to an understanding as Poles; we will allow no further escalation. But let us not publicly, in court, applaud laws which provoke general opposition, laws that are incomprehensible because they are totally inappropriate to our situation.
It is impossible to explain these emergency regulations, as the honorable prosecution did, by saying there was an increase in crime. Society will ask why so many offenses went undiscovered; it will say that the police were too concerned with Solidarity and not enough with thefts and crimes.
Certain measures, if appropriate to the situation in Poland, to what was wrong or in need of change, may be approved. But we must not allow a situation where there was talk, until the final moment, of renewal, of dialogue, of national agreement between all Poles, and that ended overnight with the people being deprived of all their rights--even those which they enjoyed before the renewal. There is a great danger (and the court must weigh this in the arrival of its verdict) that the Gierek era now seems for the Polish people to have been an era of plenty and respect for human dignity before the law.
It does happen, even in the reasoning of lawyers, which must by definition be the most rigorous, that one admits certain hypotheses. But even assuming that we are to agree on the legal code, is it possible, on the basis of this Decree to try these people? We must remember our historical traditions. The tragedy of our nation lay in the fact that the old Polish state was destroyed through anarchy. But through what kind of anarchy? Through the government's anarchy, through the fact that the different organs of power were interested only in power, and not in the law. This is the danger of a return to such anarchy on the part of the government.
For we do not consider whether or not the law is just. We say, so much the worse, it has been introduced, never mind. It is not in vain, however, that this building bears the motto "JUSTICE IS THE MAINSTAY OF THE REPUBLIC." And you, Honorable Judges, are now the representatives of this JUSTICE. You bear all responsibility for it. In this rests the greatness of your office and your ability to pronounce a verdict.
In everything that is completely new there is a danger. We have never before been in a legal situation similar to this one. In such a situation, the actions committed--and in this case of actions carried out for it would be outrageous to speak here of actions being committed--the actions which were carried out, rightful and just actions, actions in harmony with human dignity and with the duties of a Pole--of actions then carried out on December 14th should not be judged on the basis of a decree that was in fact not published until December 18th.
We have never yet had to deal with such laws in the history of our modern state, nor in the history of the legal profession. We knew that changes were being introduced; in the Criminal Code, for instance, or in the Code of Criminal Procedure. But the nature of the changes to be introduced was always known before they came into effect. Let me cite the example of the Decree of April 19, 1969, of the Criminal Code. This decree took effect on January 1, 1970. This is the normal procedure for provisions of criminal law. And it is an obvious thing. However, at present we see an extraordinary phenomenon: this decree is announced, criminal regulations are announced, and they are announced four days after the accused carried out their actions. Moreover, the lawfulness of these actions, was never denied by anyone. Until 1980, we argued about whether or not workers have the right to strike in Poland, in a workers' state, in a People's Republic. But from 1980 onwards this right was recognized and formally acknowledged by the authorities. It was recognized as a fundamental right of the worker, who may, or may not, exercise it. And working people did exercise this right.
One might say, and I agree with this claim, for I am not one to gloss over reality, one might say that they often exercised themselves of it in excess but they exercised themselves of it legally. All the accusations leveled by the People's government concerning the strikes in Poland were not of a legal, but rather of a political or social nature: that the strikes were socially wrong and harmful. But now we are trying the defendants on a law that was not published (for it is irrelevant here when it was printed) until December 18th. Did any official document exist before that at all?
The public announcement which I hold before me speaks of the introduction of the state of war for reasons of state security. It is interesting that no one noticed the extraordinary nature of this document: it is a document which is not a document, for it lacks any signature. It is only signed: The Head of the Council of State of the Polish People's Republic. There is also no date. We do not know when it was passed nor when it takes affect. What does all this mean?
My father, who was a judge, used to say: a letter with no date and no signature is a letter with no sense. Here there is no date and no signature. It is easy to guess why there is no date and no signature: because at the time of its printing, it was not yet known who would be the head of the Council of State [laughter and commotion in the courtroom]. Hence no signature and no date.
The court is of course well aware of what it would mean to have a verdict without a signature, on which it would merely be written "Head of the Regional Court in "Grojec." This person could even be precisely defined, for it happens that the head of the Grojec Courts is only one man. Thus this document is not a document; it is a curiosity, something extraordinary, printed a long time ago, ready to be displayed as a public announcement at any moment. But this is surely not something that defines the Criminal Code! We cannot allow, your Honor, that, on the basis of such a document, a man be punished for acts that he did not know were offenses. For this document only states that the right to strike was suspended, and a state of war, lacking any concrete details, introduced.
What does all this mean? This is not a document: the statement "ignorantia legis excusat neminem" [one can not plead ignorance of the law] does not apply, for it was impossible to say what this law was and how it is to be applied. If the authorities deemed it necessary to mobilize all the means of coercion, all the power of the state, including the army, and if this mobilization was so speedily carried out, then this is surely a political act, no matter what form it is given. But this haste may not be applied to the carrying out of justice. Criminal law of this sort can not be based on such an invalid document; it lacks a signature, it lacks a date, it does not define the offenses. If someone were to approach the most knowledgeable of lawyers and inquire of him what this law permits and what it does not, he would receive no answer, for no one knows. The criminal law at the time the accused carried out these acts was not in force, had not even been announced. For a decree takes effect only on the day of its announcement, and not at the time of its printing. The status of actions carried out on December 14th is beyond dispute. And that, your Honor, is a fundamental issue.
If a law is a bad law, one can appeal that it be changed: but in the courtroom, if it is already in force, then it is binding. I could not argue that the law does not apply. But this law was not in force when the defendants carried out their action, carried it out in accordance with their conscience in accordance with the duties of a Pole, in accordance with the norms of the Polish state. At the time of their actions, the law was not in force at all. And it is here, your Honor, that the role of the just court lies. That the motto which I mentioned appears on no other building than that of the court--because the court represents the highest authority, because it tempers excesses, errors, and illegalities; it tempers and changes whatever in the law threatens the idea of our nation. For the law is often passed in haste, may contain errors, and may therefore harm the state. Our current situation is not yet so tragic if the Polish soldier behaves quite differently in the streets than he does in the pages of the army newspaper, Soldier of Freedom [commotion in the courtroom]. That is why we manage somehow to hold out. Our national culture, the traditions of our state, continues. Thus no one can be held accountable before the law on the basis of a single document, which is not a document.
I could therefore end my arguments here with an appeal to find the accused not guilty on the basis of Article 1 of the Criminal Code, which states that an individual can only be convicted for an act forbidden by a law binding at the time the act was committed. This law was not in force when the acts were carried out by the accused.
The verdict of the Court has an exceptional significance in this case: members of Parliament will certainly be acquainted with it when they consider the state of war Decree, and it might serve as the basis for appropriate modification of that decree. All the more so because such a review of the Decree is necessary. As a lawyer I might limit myself to these questions, but I would not want to avoid other issues.
There is, however, another problem. Can the actions of the accused, even if we grant the validity of the Decree, be viewed as an offense: Were these actions socially dangerous?
We are living through difficult and tragic experiences: for the first time our society is retreating by several epochs. The legal code recalls the worst periods of the Stalinist era. In mid-December 1981, the state employed forces of the most drastic kind: it mobilized the complete powers of the government including the army, tanks on the streets of the capital, and the best trained security forces. All these forces were used against the activists of the trade union, Solidarity.
This was, of course, viewed by everyone as a measure against the entire population. The people were deprived not only of those rights for which they had fought, and which they had achieved, during the course of a year, but of rights granted them in eras long past. This operation was executed rapidly, and efficiently, and little blood was shed. Yet it turned out, in a way, to have been carried out in a vacuum. For the ease and the smoothness with which it was carried out was extraordinary--protest actions did not, after all, exceed certain forms of peaceful demonstrations and the attempted safeguarding of workplaces and factories, ending at one point tragically [in the Wujec Mine Massacre]. The forces mobilized by the state were disproportionate to their mission.
And now one simply asks: why was all this done? Why this suddenness? Why this enormous operation? Why this deprivation of all rights? Why all this which Poland has never experienced before, even in its most difficult periods? Nor has Poland ever experienced so terrifying a threat to our legal tradition--the fact that people's actions are decided by the police. In our legal tradition this phenomenon is extraordinary, nay, more, it is terrifying. Is the police (with all respect due to it) to decide on our freedom? This is as incredible to us as would be the sight of a judge seizing a criminal and capturing him; as incredible as the sight of a priest volunteering for active service in a platoon--it is something contrary to the nature of law, contrary to our state's tradition. The tragedy at the "Wujek" mine occurred, only because Lech Walesa was interned in the suburbs of Warsaw and unable to be present, and because the head of the Solidarity Region there, Waliszewski, had been arrested at the railway station on his way back from the National Commission, and did not go to the mine. Had these men been there, there would have been no battle, no bloody victims. All this people know.
How, then, your Honor, are we, against this background, to judge actions of the accused, Kaniewski, no longer now from the procedural point that the Decree was not in force at the time, but even if the actions had been committed, say, on December 20th? In a state with a rule of law, in a state where the legal tradition reaches back hundreds of years, these people cannot be convicted.
But were these actions illegal even assuming the validity of the law which was introduced? In order for an action to be a crime, it must be a danger to society. The argument of the Honorable Prosecution, that the accused incited the strike, is unacceptable: for the whole of Ursus struck. Was this strike so unexpected? On the contrary, it was most natural! We must beware of the introduction of laws so unbelievable to the public that they must at some point be broken, that a situation must arise where someone fails to understand them.
The Polish state, even while condemning the strikes in recent months continued to say that the agreement remained in force, that even if it found fault with Solidarity, still it stood firmly on the ground of dialogue and renewal. Since people had been told that an attack on the union would result in a general strike--what, then, could be expected? Ursus struck! The claim that only three hundred people struck there does not reflect the situation, it glosses over it. The accused cannot be blamed for the strike. The entire factory struck. Its director, Wilk, who knew the plant well, also admitted this. So, too, did others. It was natural that the factory was at a standstill. But all these spontaneous events had to be incorporated within some standard, some legal framework.
Obviously some way of protesting must exist. We, your Honor, our society, experienced a great shock, a terrifying shock. It was a complete change. It was a complete denial, by the state authorities, of what it had been saying to the people for several months. Under such circumstances these people could expect some danger, some threatening reaction. And every trade unionist has to have the ability to speak to people. He knows that there are moments when he must be with them. For that was why the people elected the defendants to their posts--so that they might hold those posts, that they might be among the people and, in crucial moments, that they might lead them. That was their stern duty; they carried it out irreproachably. These people, could not blindly adapt themselves to the regulations of a decree which at that time was not yet known.
They could not take the stand that was, unfortunately, taken by the colonel who, when people wanted to talk to him, answered that he would not talk until everyone returned to work, and applied the principle, "Keep quiet and don't think." He should have talked with them then, and he was wrong not to. The defendants could not take the stand he had taken, the stand to attention; they had to be with the workers who elected them, for they had suffered a shock. To this they had to adapt and they did so: no blood was shed in Ursus, and it was thanks to them that none was shed. Thanks to them there were no acts of despair, thanks to them no property was destroyed--the protest could also have taken a destructive form. There were no struggles with the forces of order. The workers themselves fought for that order. Thus they fulfilled their duty to the utmost, and their action contained nothing to render it socially dangerous, but was on the contrary socially useful.
It was a useful action from the point of view of our state, from the point of view of the government, which so brutally took the people by surprise and so unexpectedly destroyed their hopes by introducing the state of war. They tried to safeguard against dangers, and they fulfilled their duty.
There is a moment, in Sienkiewicz's children's book In the Desert and in the Jungle, which has meaning for adults, and for the life of society. It is the moment when the young boy Stas responds to Mandi's proposal to change his faith: "Prophet! I know not your faith; were I to adopt it now, I should be doing so as a coward, and a contemptible one; would you, then have your faith preached by cowards and contemptible men?"
We must now ask ourselves: would we have the only people in our country guiltless before the law be cowardly and contemptible men? And he who is neither a coward nor contemptible, but who is honest and thinks not only of his own fate, not only of being praised by the government when force is being used, who is responsible for people, for factories, for social values--would we have such a man tried and punished in our court for these reasons. This would surely be a complete reversal of certain values which we share. And for this reason we must say that these people fulfilled their duty to the utmost.
The accused, Jerzy Kaniewski, also fulfilled his duty. He is the primary defendant in this trial since the prosecution has demanded the heaviest penalty for him. He was, indeed, burdened with the greatest share of responsibility. And he was unwavering in his honesty, as were all his colleagues. For he is of their blood, of their bone; he is as one with us all, in some way with that very basic, natural movement. Thanks to this, that movement was framed within certain bounds, and thanks to this, all excesses, if there were any, all breaches of the law, could only have been by the forces of order, in no case by the workers of Ursus. And thus, on the basis of the regulations of Article 1 of the Criminal Code, I ask the Court to find the accused Kaniewski, and the others accused, not guilty.
Another matter: during the tragic tension at the last session of Solidarity's National Commission, the lawyer Jan Olszewski stressed, as did I, that, whatever our attitude to current matters, whether or not our attitude towards any level of the state authorities be more critical or less so, our duty as Poles is to affirm, to recognize the Polish state as a superior institution -that state is distinct from any individual and from any particular government or group, for it embodies a national value, which can be fitted also into the category of current times. That national value has been described as having lasted from Mieszko I to John Paul II; and it will continue to exist.
It is important, your Honor, that this case be viewed also from that aspect. One cannot act to the detriment of the state because of the current and immediate interests of the moment. Nor may the state create conditions which negate the ideas and foundations of that state. The strength of the state lies not in force, not in violence, not in the use of firearms, not in those tanks which now stand on Warsaw's bridges, not in the anti-tank barriers, whose presence is incomprehensible and mysterious.
The goal for the state is to be affirmed by its citizens, to be affirmed on the basis of our common dignity. It is a question of concordance with the Polish administration, the law, and the Polish court, but also with all sections of the state administration, including the organs of order, the organs of state, whose activities must be affirmed and understood by the state.
I am afraid lest the impatience of the prosecutor (although the court does not have to comply with it), could negate the idea and the necessity of affirming the Polish state by the whole of Polish society, by each and every Pole. And here the court must provide guidance for Parliament, which will be considering the matter of the Decree--and help to define our future, to shorten this dark night of our legislation, to return as quickly as possible to a normal state, to renewal, to dialogue, to mutual accord; to bring to an end the campaign of hatred being waged in the mass media, which arouses our whole society to indignation; the state of the normal, cultured society that we deserve.
The affirmation of the Polish state, our state, is essential. I say to you, Honorable Judge, that a great responsibility rests on your shoulders, and no one will relieve you of it. I believe the prosecution has no case, since there is no law to apply. But I am forced to plead for a verdict. I ask your Honor to pronounce a verdict of not guilty with respect to the accused Jerzy Kaniewski and all the other defendants. The verdict will be a historic one; for it will not disappear without a trace. Your Honor: you are participating in a historic event, which will be remembered by present and future generations, one which will bear witness to the view that the Polish Court, in this difficult moment, took on the fundamental issue of criminal law and of the attitude of citizens to the state.
Only such a verdict may justify the presence of that third word in the name of the ruling party (Polish United Workers Party]. Only then will that third word apply, signifying that the party is a workers' party, not only a united one. If such a verdict is pronounced, it will shape the attitudes of society to the problems of the state. A verdict of not guilty should, your honor, in these difficult times bear witness to the greatness of the Polish Court.
Warsaw solidarity leader held under arrest despite serious illness
Maria Lipska, the wife of Jan Jozef Lipski, a prominent scholar and a leader of Warsaw solidarity, charged with organizing a strike at the Ursus tractor factory, issued an appeal on his behalf. Jan Jozef Lipski suffers from a serious heart condition and requires immediate medical attention.
Since this appeal was issued, Lipski was transported to a cardiology clinic near Warsaw, although the charges against him are still pending. In late April he was again transferred to the prison hospital on Rakowiecka Street. The authorities have stated that he will not be allowed to undergo proper medical treatment in London, where he had surgery four years ago, until he is released from arrest.
Lipski has also been forced to undergo a trial during this period, which has been suspended twice because of his illness.
Appeal from Maria Lipska
I turn to you with a request that action be taken to intervene on behalf of my husband, Jan Jozef Lipski, who was arrested on December 14, 1981 on the charge of having participated in the workers' strike at the Ursus Tractor Factory in Warsaw. My husband is a literary critic, a scholar at the Institute of Literary Studies (IBL) of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). One of the founders of 'KOR' (Workers Defense Committee, founded in the autumn of 1976), he was a "Solidarity" activist and a member of the Warsaw Regional Board of Solidarity. He is a war invalid: he was seriously wounded fighting as a soldier in the Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising. In addition he has for many years suffered from heart disease. Four years ago in London he underwent the implantation of an aortal valve and part of an aorta. After the operation he had to remain under special medical care. During this time he frequently suffered from loss of consciousness and palpitations caused by arythmia. According to medical reports, he twice exhibited all the symptoms of clinical death, the last time in September of 1981. His last examination before his arrest, in November/December of 1981 in the "Pirogowa" hospital in Lodz, conducted by Dr. Marek Edelman, showed my husband's circulatory system to be on the verge of failing.
On December 18, 1981, my husband was transported from his place of arrest to the Medical Academy Clinic, at 4 Lindleya street in Warsaw, where he was taken to the emergency room. According to the testimony of physicians from that clinic, he was found to be suffering from serious coronary failure with the possibility of a stroke. It was predicted that he would need to be hospitalized for a period of at least four weeks.
On December 24, 1981, my husband was taken straight from the hospital emergency room to the prison hospital on Rakowiecka street, where on the 28th and 30th of December he was examined by a physician; after this he did not undergo a medical examination of any kind until January 5, 1982. In spite of this, during that time he was forced by the Prosecutor to participate in interrogation proceedings to close his investigatory arrest (this was the condition for bringing up a charge at a summary trial). The hospital certified him as fit to stand trial.
On January 5 the trial began, to which my husband was transported straight from the prison hospital. It was not until the 6th of January, at the demand of the court, that he was examined by the prison doctor, who supported the opinion that my husband was fit to stand trial. The only result of the court's intervention was that my husband was transported to an ordinary prison cell.
Despite several petitions by the defense, demanding that he not participate in the trial, until January 15, 1982, my husband was present at the trial for several hours a day, and several times a day was forced to climb, in handcuffs, a number of flights of stairs to the courtroom. It was not until January 14, 1982, that the court decided to have my husband examined by court medical specialists from outside the prison.
These specialists, according to the report of the court, testified the following:
Neurologist Dr. Krystyna Szabelska states "The accused was found to be suffering from an illness which might increase the medical problems of J. J. Lipski."
(Let me note that this refers to the temporal epilepsy which is a part of the injuries sustained by my husband during the war.)
Cardiologist Dr. Leszek Ceremurzynski, Ph.D. states "Considerable heart weakness, possible to detect on an electrocardiograph. The examinee was also found to be suffering from ischaemia of the heart; on December 19, 1981, he suffered serious coronary failure...With such medical disorders the patient is threatened by sudden death, and the threat is increased by any emotional stress. Since court proceedings involve a form of emotional stress, I certify as a cardiologist that the accused is unfit to take part in the court proceedings."
The specialist in addition disqualified the examination which had taken place in the prison hospital on the basis that it had been imprecise and faultily described.
On the basis of the above opinions of court medical specialists, my husband was excluded from the trial on January 15, 1982. The court refused, however, to waive his arrest, despite the fact that the physicians who had testified in court had all (with the obvious exception of the prison doctor) determined with complete certainty that a patient in his state of illness should be hospitalized for a period of at least four weeks and, subsequently, go through several weeks of convalescence.
Since that time my husband has been kept in a prison cell. [The trial of Jan Jozef Lipski reopened on March 17, 1981; on March 18 it was adjourned because of his state of health, and he was transported to the clinic in Anin, near Warsaw.] Several times he complained of chest pains and difficulty of breathing. The petition of the defense to waive the arrest has so far been in vain. The court only requested that the medical examinations be brought up to date. These examinations are supposed to be conducted once again by investigative arrest doctors from the Rakowiecka Street Prison--the very same doctors whose medical opinions had already once been disqualified by specialists. According to the latest news received from my husband, he has not been examined by doctors since February 15. The court was nevertheless informed by the investigative authorities that the opinion of the prison doctors had already been sent through the mail to the court's address. It did not, however, appear in the court's records until February 16.
The cardiosurgeon who operated on my husband in London has requested that he come to London for a control examination, anticipating that medical care and possibly another operation will be necessary.
To complete the account of our family situation I should add that our son, Jan Tomasz Lipski, a sociologist employed at the Center for Social and Professional Studies of Solidarity's National Commission, was interned on December 13, 1981, and is currently being held at Bialoleka Prison; our daughter, Agnieszka Lipska-Onyszkiewicz, a psychology student at Warsaw University, was interned on February 4, 1982, and transported to the internment camp at Goldap.
--Maria Lipska Warsaw, March 2, 1982
THE FATE OF ONE FAMILY
1. Jan Jozef Lipski (born 1926)
Doctor of Polish Philology; prominent specialist on the writings of Jan Kasprowicz; researcher at the Institute of Literary Studies [IBL] of the Polish Academy of Sciences [PAN] in Warsaw; co-founder of KOR [Workers' Defense Committee]; member of Warsaw Solidarity's Regional Commission.
ARRESTED December 14, 1981 on charges of organizing a strike at the Ursus factory in Warsaw; imprisoned in the Mokotow Criminal Institution: 02-521 Warsaw, 37 Rakowiecka Street.
2. Maria Dmochowska (born 1930)--sister of Jan Jozef Lipski
M.D., Hematologist, Director of the Hematology Institute in Lodz, member of Solidarity's Regional Commission in Ziemia Lodzka.
ARRESTED December 13, 1981; initially imprisoned at the women's prison Olszynka Grochowska, near Warsaw, later transported to the Isolation Center at 19-500 Goldap, Suwalki Province.
3. Jan Tomasz Lipski (born 1953)--Jan Jozef Lipski's son
Graduated from Warsaw University in sociology; researcher at the Center of Social and Professional Studies of Solidarity's National Commission.
INTERNED December 13, 1981; imprisoned at the Isolation Center for the Interned at Bialoleka Dworska, near Warsaw, 1 Ciupagi Street.
4. Agnieszka Lipska-Onyskiewicz (born 1955)--Jan Jozef Lipski's daughter.
Third year psychology student at Warsaw University; member of the Independent Student Association [NZS].
INTERNED February 4, 1982, at the Isolation Center for the Interned at 19-500 Goldap, Suwalki Province.
5. Wojciech Celinski (born 1947)--son of Jan Jozef Lipski's sister Zofia.
Surgeon, graduated from the Medical Academy in Warsaw; member of Solidarity's Regional Commission in Warsaw.
INTERNED December 13, 1981, imprisoned in Bialoleka Dworska, near Warsaw, 1 Ciupagi Street
6. Andrzej Celinski (born 1950)--son of Jan Jozef Lipski's sister Zofia.
Graduated from Warsaw University in sociology; former Secretary of Solidarity's National Commission; advisor to Lech Walesa.
INTERNED December 13, 1981, imprisoned in Bialoleka Dworska, near Warsaw, 1 Ciupagi Street
7. Wojciech Onyszkiewicz (born 1948)--husband of Agnieszka Lipska.
Graduated from Warsaw University with a degree in history; member of KOR [Workers Defense Committee] founded in 1976.
8. Roman Lipski (born 1891)--father of Jan Jozef Lipski.
Two children and four grandchildren behind bars because "they dreamed of a better Poland."
WARSAW UNIVERSITY PROTESTS DISMISSAL OF PRESIDENT
Following is the text of a protest, dated April 8 to the Minister of Science, Higher Education, and Technology, who dismissed the president of Warsaw university, Professor Samsonowicz in late march. The protest was signed by department chairmen, otherwise called deans. The President was dismissed for refusing to cooperate with the authorities in the "ideological verification" of the faculty and staff at the university. He became President of Warsaw University, one of Poland's most prestigious, during 1981 and was a supporter of reforms in the university system.
Since his dismissal there have been a number of demonstrations at Warsaw University by students and faculty to protest the dismissal. The demonstrations have numbered as high as 3000.
The text appeared in the Warsaw Solidarity Information Bulletin #40, dated April 16, 1982.
"The fact that Warsaw University has been deprived of its president, Professor Henryk Samsonowicz, is a great blow to the autonomy of that institution. The highest state authorities have frequently asserted, both before and during the state of war, that the autonomy of universities would be maintained.
"Henryk Samsonowicz is a man who commands the highest respect in the academic community. He embodies those values that we hold most dear: the discovery of truth, pluralism, tolerance, the rule of law, and the support for a social agreement. His presence at the post of university president is a necessary condition for ensuring that peace and normal work will continue at Warsaw University. Thus, for us, the deans of the university, the Minister's decision is both incomprehensible and unacceptable. We appeal for this decision to be revoked, since it can only have negative consequences."
The protest was signed by all the departmental heads of Warsaw University except for the departments of Education, Russian Studies, Economics, and History. This is also the official text of a protest signed by individual Departmental Councils, vice-department heads and by an overwhelming number of students, faculty, scholars, and researchers at the University.
The removal of Professor Samsonowicz from his post was preceded by twelve hours of talks with the authorities, during the course of which he refused to allow the faculty and university workers to be subjected to "ideological verification" and to allow the expulsion of students at the university.
POLICE SEARCH FOR SOLIDARITY LEADERS UNDERGROUND
Since December 13, 1981, security forces have searched in vain for leading elected solidarity officials who escaped internment and arrest.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs have issued search warrants for their arrest, copies of which have reached the West.
Among them are Zbigniew Bujak, Chairman of Warsaw Solidarity, who has been an important voice in the resistance against the state of war, both within Poland and in the West.
Also included are chairman of Wroclaw Solidarity, Wladyslaw Frasyniuk, Warsaw Solidarity elected representatives Zbigniew Janas and Wiatyslaw Kulerski, and Gdansk Solidarity leader Bogdan Lis, former spokesman for Solidarity's National Commission on Foreign Affairs.
The posters include pictures, full descriptions, and contacts who might be in touch with them. For example, Bogdan Lis' description is as follows: "height: 180 centimeters, slim, long face, dark blond hair, blue eyes, large straight nose, large mouth, fat lips. Could have a beard and mustache." Then his contacts ("kontakty"] are listed with their addresses.