Grzegorz Miecugow remembers Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Prime Minister of the first non-Communist government.
In 1989, I was head of the best radio editorial team in Poland at the time - 'Zapraszamy do Trójki' ('Welcome to Program Three'). In April of that year, it was already after the Round Table meetings and after the decision to organize contract elections on June 4. Lech Walesa met with candidates for members of lower and upper house in Gdansk, in the famous BHP hall (as in: Occupational Safety and Health). They all took a picture with him that was later to become an asset during the election campaign. And it did become an asset. I was in this hall and I personally met with Tadeusz Mazowiecki. He had an optimistic attitude. He believed that Solidarity can create a strong parliamentary opposition. A legal opposition, not an underground one. Four months later, he became Prime Minister.
He collapsed while presenting the policy statement. He was a real human, unlike his predecessors from the People's Republic of Poland. He had the right to collapse because the challenge was unbelievable. After the expose, I left Sejm and headed through Gornoslaska Street and then through Mysliwiecka Street to Program Three. In my room I found a paper folder and on it I wrote the title - 'How Tadeusz Mazowiecki's government fell'. To be clear… I didn't want it to fall.
I kept my fingers crossed so hard for its success that they turned white. But I was 34 years old at the time and I was under no illusions. Considering that Florian Siwicki was head of military and Czeslaw Kiszczak - head of internal services, such a government had rather middling chances. In addition, inflation progressed unfettered and people were expecting a miracle to happen overnight. I used the folder to note down what materials I was gathering on tapes. The first material was Monika Olejnik's account from the Prime Minister's presentation of the policy statement.
I never finished that report, or maybe the account from what happened during those improbable months between the 12th of September 1989 and the 25th of November 1990, the day when Tadeusz Mazowiecki announced the resignation of his government. The reason for the resignation was the fact he was defeated in presidential elections and not just by Lech Walesa, but also by someone unknown: Stan Tyminski. There was such a ruckus back then that I simply didn't have the presence of mind to connect all of these records into a whole.
It's a shame. I'd love to hear it today. It would be a true monument. A monument of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Man of Platinum.
Grzegorz Miecugow, TVN reporter / pr-controlled.com ©
Photos: Judyta Papp and Bp Tadeusz Pieronek