On Sunday, in Warsaw, ceremonies will be held in memory of Jan Lityński, a deceased opposition activist from the times of the Polish People’s Republic. During the ceremony, a mural devoted to him is unveiled, there will also be concerts and a discussion. – It is an extraordinary event for me and his daughter – said Jan Lityński’s wife, Elżbieta Bogucka-Lityńska on TVN24.
On Sunday, Warsaw will host the ceremony “I love and understand Freedom: Jan Lityński and KOR” in memory of the opposition activist from the communist era and politician Jan Lityński, who died in February. The events will start at 3 p.m. in Warsaw’s Wola district, at the intersection of al. “Solidarności” and ul. Towarowa (near the Kercelak roundabout).
Unveiling of the mural, concerts and discussion
During the ceremony it will take place unveiling of the mural by Jan Lityński by Bruno Neuhamer. Representatives of the authorities, the author and organizers will take the floor, and the event will be crowned with a concert by Jacek Kleyff and Nastya Niakrasava. Later, the participants of the ceremony will move to the amphitheater in Sowiński Park, where the second part of the event will begin at 5 pm. It is there that the debate “Freedom, I love and understand”, chaired by Jacek Fedorowicz, is planned. Among the participants there will be a journalist and opposition activist in the People’s Republic of Poland, Seweryn Blumsztajn, director Agnieszka Holland and president Bronisław Komorowski.
The event will end with a concert by Jazz Band Młynarski Masecki and a performance by Volny Choor from Belarus. The world premiere of Jan Lityński’s book “Escape to Freedom” is also planned.
The honorary patronage over the event was assumed by the President of the Capital City of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.
Lityński’s wife: the memory of Jan is extremely important to me
On Sunday, Lityński’s wife, Elżbieta Bogucka-Lityńska, and Ludwika Wujec, an opposition activist in the People’s Republic of Poland, recalled Lityński on TVN24.
Lityński’s wife noted that Sunday celebrations were “of great” importance to her. – The memory of Janek is extremely important to me – she said. – It is an extraordinary event for me and his daughter. I am extremely touched and I am very happy that thanks to a group of fantastic people we have managed to do so much today – she added.
– He was a man curious about life – said Lityńska. – He had at least five books in bed, because he was constantly reading records, because he simply loved rock music. Recent years have been another fascination with painting – she said.
She added that “he loved people, he loved friends, he loved to talk.” – He was a man of dialogue, conversations, when someone accosted him, he stopped and explained, talked. Sometimes it even annoyed me, because we were coming back with some bags, nets, we had to bring them quickly, and he said “no, because I have to explain to you, talk to you”. It was an amazing life with him. Besides, he loved our dogs very much. He went for walks a lot, he took care of them a lot. A good, kind, wise, decent, brave man – she recalled.
– I met Janek when he was four, because our mothers knew each other from Lviv – said Wujec. – I used to visit his mom while he was in jail. I remember some of his letters from prison, she said. She mentioned Lityński’s “quiet courage”.
Oppositionist, MP, mediator
Lityński was the organizer and participant of student speeches in March 1968, for which he was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. He worked as a laborer, then a computer programmer.
In 1976, co-founder of “Biuletyn Informacyjny”, the first magazine published outside of censorship. Arrested many times. In 1977, co-editor of Robotnik, an independent journal for the establishment of free trade unions. Member of the KSS “KOR”, associate of the KSS Intervention Bureau “KOR” and “Krytyka” (member of the editorial board).
In 1980 advisor to the authorities of NSZZ “Solidarność”. Author of the Message to the Working People of Eastern Europe, adopted by the 1st Congress of Solidarity. In 1981, during martial law, he was interned and then arrested. After escaping from prison, in 1984 in the Solidarity underground, member of the Regional Executive Committee of NSZZ “S”, Mazowsze Region. In 1989, he was a participant in the Round Table talks. Elected to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland in 1989 from the province. Wałbrzych.
In the years 1989-2001, a member of the Sejm, incl. chairman of the Social Policy Committee and the Special Services Committee. From 1990 at ROAD, then at UD and UW (vice-chairman). In the years 2008-2010, social affairs advisor to PLL LOT, mediator of disputes. In 2010–2015 he was an advisor to President Bronisław Komorowski on contacts with parties and political circles.
He was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Commander’s Cross with a Star.
Jan Lityński drowned on February 21 in Narew in the vicinity of Pułtusk, trying to save a dog under which the ice broke. He was 75 years old.
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP