- May 14, 2015
Book launch of “Okińczyc – wileński autorytet. Opowieść o wolnej Litwie”
The book “Okińczyc – wileński autorytet. Opowieść o wolnej Litwie” launches on 15t May during the Warsaw Book Fair. It was written by Witold Bereś in cooperation with Jacek Jan Komar and published by Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.
Who is Czesław Okińczyc? Jan Nowak-Jeziorański called him “a Pole of iron”. Okińczyc described himself as a proud Pole and at the same time, loyal Lithuanian citizen. He was among those who signed The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania on 11 March 1990. He turned out to be a talented politician. Okińczyc was among those who build Lithuanian sovereignty from the beginning. When he was the first foreign speaker in the Polish Senate he appealed to Poland to support Vilnius in defence against Soviet aggression. Okińczyc does a lot to support and cultivate Polish culture and identity in Lithuania and at the same time he stresses the sovereign rights of Lithuania. For example, he is a founder of an important radio “Znad Wilii”.
This book is a biographical reportage popularising and depicting not only Okińczyc’s political career but also Lithuania’s struggle for independence and identity, which took almost 100 years.
In the book there are both Polish and Lithuanian comments about the Polish-Lithuanian relations offered, among others, by prof Zbigniew Brzeziński, President Bronisław Komorowski, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Adam Michnik, Andrzej Wajda, President Lech Wałęsa, former Lithuanian Minister of Natioanl Defence Linas Linkevičius, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Antanas Valionis, Prime Minister Giedyminas Kirkilas and President Valdas Adamkus.
An introduction to the book is written by Krzysztof Zanussi who was Okińczyc’s friend.
As Lithuania celebrates the 25th anniversary of its liberation from Soviet occupation and Okińczyc his 60th birthday, the book is even more special.
Another interesting aspect is the international situation in this part of Europe after Moscow’s aggression on Ukraine.
Czesław Okińczyc will attend the book launch, which takes place on Friday (15 May) during the Warsaw Book Fair (Stadion Narodowy, sala Londyn A). At 2 p.m.- book signing at 3 p.m. – presentation.
Feel free to listen to the interview with Rafał Skąpski, the Director of the State Publishing Institute (Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy).
Translated by Barbara Żur within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.