Voices from Poland II: From a Warsaw Diary: 1978-1981

Voices from Poland II: From a Warsaw Diary: 1978-1981

Kazimierz Brandys is a distinguished, veteran Polish writer who, for several years before the rise of Solidarity, had been prohibited from publishing in his country by the Polish government. From 1978 onward, he kept a diary of events in Warsaw, which is being published this winter in an English translation by Richard Lourie. We wish to thank Random House, Inc., the publisher ofA Warsaw Diary, 1978-1981, copyright © 1983 by Kazimierz Brandys, for permission to excerpt the following portions. — EDS.

July 1981
A certain revelation of which I had no inkling has forced me to do some thinking. Over the years I had reconciled myself to the thought that the concept of a struggle for justice or freedom was beyond the mass of society today and only put people on the defensive. That was, supposedly, the way things were. And indeed they were; but, at the same time, things were different. In one summer month an irresistible desire for freedom burst forth from the mass of humanity here, and suddenly it turned out that every other person was ready to fight for justice. Not all that long ago they had been silent; who does not recall the forest of hands rising in exemplary, unanimous elections. Three years ago, people smiled as they explained to me that of the 100 signatures on the protest concerning the Constitution, 90 would have dropped off had the government taken more repressive measures.

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