• December 15, 2014
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25th anniversary of the magazine “Znad Wilii”

On Friday, 12th of December, in Vilnius in Museum of Adam Mickiewicz was a kind, one might say, a family celebration: celebration of the 25th anniversary of the magazine “Znad Wilii”. For do not constitute a common family of people who attended the first day of “giving birth” quite new in Vilnius, Polish magazine.

Among the gathered that evening were: Zdzisław Gorbaczewski, the first breaker computer magazine Vilnius today known entrepreneur, Aleksander Borowik, then a young journalist, currently deputy editor of the newspaper “Kurier Wileński”, Irena Wojciechowska, administrator and secretary, now Radio “Znad Wilii”, Aleksandra Akińczo, correspondent for the Polish Press Agency. Also came Renata Dunowska, Polish journalist currently broadcast on Radio of Lithuania. Will visit the poet Wojciech Piotrowicz, used his pen and line a new newspaper, Joseph Szostakowski, Susanna Dejnarowicz, Slawomir Subotowicz, editor of the quarterly “Znad Wilii”. Among the guests were also: Barbara Orszewska, an employee of the Institute of Polish Culture Embassy in Vilnius, the young poet Marzena Mackojć.

From Warsaw arrived Tadeusz Markiewicz with his wife, a famous activist of “Solidarność” (“Solidarity”) and Agata Lewandowski, co-founder and co-editor of the quarterly Polish people in Germany “Polonia” on the model of the quarterly “Znad Wilii”. Agata is known as the Migrant Film festival organizer “EMIGRA” as part of the festival “Maj na Wilią i Wisłą” (“May on the Neris and the Vistula”).

Today we can say that the letter “Znad Wilii”, appearing from December 1989. Was still in the then Soviet Union’s first private newspaper issued in Polish. In the Vilnius (and not only) – a complete novelty, awakening at some curiosity and approval, in others a sort of discontent and disapproval. However, in those times, publishers and editors was not easy. Persons founders – 34-year-old then Czesław Okińczyc and 39-year-old Romuald Mieczkowski (editor in chief) – have been known in the Polish environment. Romuald – known journalist and one of the founders of the Union of Poles in Lithuania. Czesław – known lawyer, activist ZPL on the board of Vilnius.

In his memoirs, Signatory of the Act of Independence, the originator of the creation of a personal Vilnius Polish magazine, now president of the Radio “Znad Wilii” Czesław Okińczyc emphasized how very different in those days the Vilnius Poles views on freedom and independence of Lithuania. New Polish magazine – or “Znad Wilii” – in their own way tried to explain that true freedom can only come from the West, never from the East. The aim was to show that the independence aspirations of Lithuanians to be supported by the Poles in Lithuania. As you know, in many places the Vilnius pro-Russian sentiment prevailed. However, as further stated Mr. Okińczyc, already the first issues of the new magazine caused a positive echo. To the Editor “Znad Wilii” came a letter from Zbigniew Brzezinski high grade contemporary publication. Jan Nowak also Jeziorański approved of Jerzy Giedrojć position paper. They praised the position of the authors and publishers.

On the other hand, Romuald Mieczkowski your thoughts on the quarter of a century, wrote in issue 1 (57) 2014. The quarterly “Znad Wilii”: “Do you expect in 1989, when he began to waver old system, but still continued and was threatening the title invented by me survive so many years? And even enter into the consciousness of local Poles (far do not always support the concept of “Znad Wilii”), representatives of the Lithuanian elite? Title survived. What the price of this was, and still is, that’s another matter, the conditioned context of the times in which we live. “Znad Wilii” continues – in your niche – just for a specific, thinking man”. The author of these words repeatedly stressed that it is impossible to make a newspaper or magazine, which have liked for everyone and for all. In the next issue of the 2 (58) 2014 completed: “After a quarter of the presence of a magazine profile that makes it almost always happens in opposition, should enjoy the survival of the achievements and initiatives that produce tangible fruit.”

The former chief editor of the newspaper, which Romuald Mieczkowski spoke with great appreciation of the work and common effort aforementioned colleagues, remembering those who were not able to come, such as Zdzisław Tryk and others. With satisfaction he pointed out that the quarterly magazine published by the Lithuanians also has many friends. And these are Birutė Jonuškaitė, Pranas Morkus, Gražina Dremaitė, Rimantas Miknis and other readers and contributors.

Motto and keynote letters were the words of Adam Mickiewicz: “Lithuania, my country”, and its main purpose, after the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, was preservation of traditions of the Polish intelligentsia, permanent memory traces Polish society.
And when in January 2000. Newspaper ceased to appear, its aims and traditions continued and successfully continues to do so issued and edited by Mieczkowski, bestselling quarterly “Znad Wilii”. It can always be purchased in Polish bookstores Vilnius: “Elephas” and the House of Polish Culture, as well as in the Polish Art Gallery “Znad Wilii” at the old street of the Savior (Išganytojo district) in the Old Town.

Translated by Michał Sadowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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