Jacek Kuroń – Socialist Youth Union hit squads (106/150)

The Socialist Youth Union (ZMS) in Warsaw organised hit squads against TKN. They did this with the approval of the universities and under the direction of someone from the Central Committee of the ZMS and of the Party, with the co-operation of the district committee of the Party, so there were lots of different people mixed up in this. During their hate session, they were declaring: I hate people like you, I hate you, I could kill you. The subject of Jews kept coming up except that at that point, one of the well informed ones said, ‘On that point, Mr Kuroń is clean.’ They were transforming Poland in every possible way and they were renewing Poland, those were the kind of patriots they were. During one of those beatings, on the third or fourth occasion, there was a bit more pushing and shoving by the door. On that occasion when there was that awful punch-up there were ZMS activists from the sports academy who worked as bouncers in student clubs. Some time later, there was a report published about these bouncers how they had injured several people in an unprovoked attack, were handling foreign currency, were pimping, were working with the police, and lots of other things of that nature. This was all organised by Wójcik who was the chairman of the ZMS in the sports academy. Shortly after this, he was identified, named and then he was given his Party membership card by Gierek, and this was all on TV. Someone obviously wanted to incriminate Gierek because normally they were given a candidate’s ID card whereas he was given a member’s card… he was getting a member’s card but they just wanted Gierek to shake hands with him on TV. This was the worst time during that wave of terror which was continuing. There were those phone calls promising that someone would die and then Pyjas was killed, one of my dogs was poisoned, and they tried to poison the second one, too, it was a dog but we all loved it. Searches, detention, arrests, court sanctions, attacks by unknown assailants, damage to cars. Halina… Halina tried to kill herself, she couldn’t take the pressure this terror was putting her under. The pressure… this terror increased and grew and grew. We were all breathing poisoned air. The fact that there are so many among us who are ill, that Gajka is dead, this is all without a doubt the result of what we went through. I was making the wrong calculation here because Maciek will be an invalid for the rest of his life. I was making the wrong calculation here because I knew that I’d get through this whereas I didn’t take into account the fact that above all, Gajka is going to have to get through this.

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