- January 14, 2013
Przełomiec: I remember ordinary Poles who stood with the white and red flag at the Parliament
Yes, this was a surprise for me, said in the interview for “Salon Polityczny” in the Radio “Znad Willi” Maria Przełomiec, the author of the programme “Studio Wschód”(The East Studio) on TVP Info, who was awarded the Commemorative Medal of 13th January by the president of the Republic of Lithuania.
“Because at that time there were a lot of Polish journalists. I remember for example Maria Narbutt from “Rzeczpospolita”. Probably I was the longest because I stayed in Lithuania till August. At one point I was only one but at that time there were really a lot of us” – said the journalist.
Maria Przełomiec thinks that in 1991 everything was simpler and nowadays the issues are complicated. “Obviously there was danger and it was the real danger but there was the great hope for everything what was ahead of us. I know that now it is said that some Poles supported Russians but I also remember ordinary Poles who stood at that time with the white and red flag at the Parliament” – stated the witness of those events.
The January events had an influence not only on Lithuania but also on Russia. “At that time it turned out that first of all, people are so determined that they were ready to defend the independent Lithuania with their lives. And the other side can kill. On the other hand, this night was a kind of sobering up. I think that Gorbachev did not foresee these victims. (…) This was of great importance for Lithuania but I think that for the other side, too” – thinks Przełomiec.
The events of the fighting for independence period have an impact on the current Polish and Lithuanian relations. “Surely it could be better. It was very complicated because as I already said some Poles sided with Russians. Just as I remember the Poles at the Parliament I also remember some old women who brought candies for Russian soldiers. On the other hand, from Lithuanian side, not everything was OK. But I remember the professor Landsbergis who went to a convention to Mościszki and he was not given a warm welcome there. I think that both sides are to blame” – said the author of the TV programme.
The journalist hopes that the fact that AWPL is in the government will change the situation. “The fact that Poles are in the government. The fact that a Pole took a very important post of the minister of energy. Anyway, it is a great specialist in this field. It is taking responsibility not only for the Polish minority but also for the whole Lithuania. It seems to me that this is extremely important” – emphasized Maria Przełomiec. She thinks that all matters will be manged to solve.
Maria Przełomiec – a journalist specializing in the subject matter concerning the former countries of the USSR. A Peruvian archaeologist by education. She graduated from the Archeology Department of Jagiellonian University in the years 1980-87. She took part in an archaeological expedition of the University of Brescia (Italy) on Nasca plateau in Peru. Next, she focused on an underground journalism. Since 1987 she has cooperated with underground newspapers in Kraków as “Hutnik” and “Nowohucki Biuletyn Solidarności”. In 1989 she started working in the the publishing house Znak and at the same time she wrote for “Tygodnik Powszechny”.
In 1990 she became a correspondent of the Polish Section of BBC Radio and as a BBC worker she was in Vilnius in January 1991. In those days it was still the USSR territory and she stayed there till August 1991. Since 2007 she has had a periodical programme “Studio Wschód” on TVP Info concerning the events taking place on the territory of the former USSR.
Tłumaczenie Barbara Szydłowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Szydłowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.