THERE IS NO CONSENT TO IT
Wiesława Lewandowska talks with Antoni Macierewicz about a programmatic elimination of inconvenient people, groups and values from the public life
WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: – Probably none of politicians of the Third Polish Republic focused such fierce and hateful criticism on himself, as you did. How would you answer the question about the reason for it, what are its sources?
ANTONI MACIEREWICZ: – I do not completely agree with this opinion – we should remember about the incredibly strong campaign against the prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński, and earlier President of the Polish Republic Lech Kaczyński. But, in fact, I am not a politician of the Third Polish Republic and, therefore, the establishment hates me. I am a Polish politician and the current media system and political system tolerate only people who are ready to get subordinated to rules of the Third Polish Republic, inaugurated by the so-called round table. These rules, in spite of losing their ‘usefulness’ for Poland, are still trying to dominate in the way of thinking about the country and limit the developmental horizons of Poles. I have never accepted these rules: as I recognize the whole patriotic group as deeply harmful for Poland.
– Whereas, these were rather your actions which were recognized as harmful for the new order, for Poland…
– This is a powerless rage of after-tombs of the Soviet system. An objective evaluation – if somebody would like to give it – of my all actions from the 20 years will show how much good has been done. Indeed, I was a supporter of radical and deep changes, which did not mean destruction at all, but the other way round. Anyway today everybody is aware that agreeing to the ‘thick line’, lack of de-communization and lustration, loot of national property, leaving the judiciary system and justice administration in the hands of the communist apparatus – we paid and still pay a high price. But we should remember about the Law of Fire Brigade, passed in 1992. After all, till today it has been the most modern and best-functioning special service! And this law was submitted to the Sejm just by me! I was also preparing a reform of police: it was to be new police, not the continuation of militia! At that time there were also bug changes in special services being subordinated to me, as the Interior Minister then. And we started eliminating Russian spies, Country Protection Office identified and arrested one of the most reliable functionaries Czesław Kiszczak, who, basing on a net of protection agency, was spying for the Russians.
– Most anxiety, and even fear are aroused by the so-called lustration suggested by you. Did not you go too far?
– I do not think so. Today I feel even grudges to myself that I was too temperate. My closest collaborators at that time thought that we had to act more definitely. It is obvious that without a proper way of settling the past, it will not be possible to build anything new, neither in services nor in the country. The idea of clearing the past by Poles was distorted. The communist propaganda and the ‘round table’ propaganda were scaring Poles, especially Polish educated people that ‘everybody could be suspicious’. It was and still is a pure manipulation, whose aim is to protect those who are responsible for communist cruelties reporting, careers supported by the secret police. It was all about enabling communists to get stronger and build their political and economic positions peacefully in new conditions.
– However, your unusual tendency to various investigations, uncovering scandals and appointing a commission have always been regarded as destructive actions. You used to destroy the peace of those who wanted to earn fortunes quickly….
– Yes, because they created mafias and criminal groups, destroying our country and pushing away honest businessmen to the margin. Therefore, I think that my success were the actions of the so-called Orlen commission which showed the existence of mafia structures deriving from the former communist apparatus and the Security Service. At that time the Commission was gathering a gigantic material which, in fact, has not been used till today, for a fight against organized crime. But at that initiated – that is, nearly 10 years ago – criminal processes are being finalized; now verdicts are given to one of branches of petrol mafias. The Orlen commission was a very important personal experience for me, and its main and great value was revealing real mechanisms of destruction of Poland as a free country.
– Today criticism of the Parliamentary Team under your supervision, is accompanied by ‘pulling out’ nearly all, allegedly negative matters of the past, for example, matters of liquidation of Informative Military Services.
– I am proud that I had a possibility to liquidate this harmful formation for Poland. I can only regret that it happened not earlier than after 17 years after the year 1989.
– Why do you regard the Informative Military Services as one of your most important achievements?
– Because these were services based on a few hundred functionaries carefully trained by KGB and GRU – which made the Informative Military Services be an extremely dangerous tool in foreign hands. This formation had to be liquidated mainly in order to eliminate influences of a foreign powerful country, liquidate illegal weapon trade with terrorists, who were also acting against Poland, hinder the foreign infiltration of our economic and political life and – at least partially – shorted the developing economic crime in the ‘post- round – table’ Poland. The Informative Military Services were liquidated effectively and there is not any possibility to return to them, although, certainly, people remained and today are trying to establish various mafia structures. And many of them – although do not own state institutions of Poland, which were the intelligence and military counter-intelligence – are still playing a destructive role in various spheres of the Polish life. Thanks to our actions those people were deprived of those tools and are aware that they will never regain them. Neither will them nor will their outer patrons. And they cannot forgive me it.
– What do you think, which of your actions brought you the biggest and most fierce enemies?
– It is difficult for me to judge it. And, moreover, what is the most important, I do not think I have enemies among people whom I meet in the streets or in Bielany district in Warsaw where I have lived for 40 years. I often meet with expressions of acceptance and support. Well, is it happens to me to watch a different channel on TV than Television Trwam, then I hear and observe paroxysms of even hatred…But it is not new for me, because I remember the titles of ‘Trybuna ludu’ from the years 1976-77: among the others: ‘Macierewicz is teaching the Polish youth that blood is the lubricant of history’. I was assigned this sentence of a politician, which I had allegedly said to the youth gathered at a camp in Gorce in late autumn 1976……Certainly, nothing like that took place, and this lie was propagated by an agent of the Security Service, the later editor of ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’!
– Today you and your Parliamentary Team are blamed for this ‘post-Smoleńsk’ and a very deep division of the society.
– There is a Polish saying which fits the situation the best: ‘A devil put on a chasuble and is ringing his bell for the Holy Mass’. The division of the society is a strong desire of those who after a few days of the air crash started organizing a hatred campaign against the President of the Polish Republic Lech Kaczyński, in order to hinder his funeral at Wawel. Later it was worse and worse: accusations that the President had ‘blood on his hands’, that Gen. Błasik was giving President’s orders while being drunk, and, finally a terrible, blasphemous Sabbath of hatred towards the Crucifix and the Nation was organized in August 2010. Here it is the measure of fear and hatred. Those people, for fear of responsibility, go beyond any limits and are ready to approve of criminal actions. In this context propaganda shouts against me are a secondary issue.
– And do they rather mobilize you to action than discourage you?
– There have been attempts to hinder my life for about 50 years and so far – with a poor result… This whole campaign is aimed at isolating me, ridicule me, and limit my possibility to cooperate with other people. The result of these attacks is opposite.
– Because you have not become resistant at the times of independent opposition, when in 1976 you established a Committee of Workers’ Defence?
– At that time the attacks in ‘Trybuna Ludu’ were supported by people from oppositionist laic leftist party. They repeated that Macierewicz should be eliminated. And I am not surprised by it, because I have never concealed the opinion that the laic leftist party is harmful for Poland. I have always thought that the purpose of the opposition’s actions was not the reform of socialism or an alliance with liberal wing of the communist party, only independence and full sovereignty gained by Poland. The fact that they did not like my activity is understandable for me. What is worse, they used improper means, libels, lies and slanders.
– It was because you were disturbing those who had only their right vision of Poland….
– I do not overvalue my role, but I am proud of the fact that I and instructors of the ‘Black Programme Number One’ initiated an action in 1976 to help workers in Ursus and Radom, and later we established a Committee for Workers’ Defence. Anyway, from the end of the 60s I educated young people in a group of the First Warsaw Scout Team, being aware that there would come a moment when those young people would be needed as leaders of independence movement.
– However, finally, it is the leftist trend of the opposition of Adam Michnik which prides in having fought for independent Poland….
– It is a sign of an exceptional pride. The lay leftist party has always distanced itself from the independence movement. I remember when in 1976 my text was attacked for postulating a fight for independence! I remember how I was persuaded to think that the peak of my dreams should be the so-called Finlandization and the inner autonomy. But, first of all – it would be good to realize the fact that all efforts of opposition in comparison with long-time actions of the Catholic Church were a drop in the sea… These are the real proportions in our merits for independence. For this reason, I find it as a way to glory when I was being attacked and slandered, in a similar way as in the 50s cardinal Stefan Wyszyński was experiencing the same… Certainly, with keeping any proportions.
– Adam Michnik, analyzing your political behaviour in one of TV programmes suggested that your long-term insolence and later intransigence in a fight against post-communism derive from your family trauma from Stalinism times…
– The fate of my family is similar to the life of thousands of Polish families. My father was a chemistry professor at Warsaw University, a member of the National Alliance, and after the war, a member of the conspiracy Work Alliance, one of its treasurer. On 11 November 1949 he was found dead in his workshop at the Department of Chemistry, after he had been visited by functionaries of the Safety Service. So much is known…..I am proud of the fact that in my family there were not any traitors and collaborators. Nobody belonged to the communist party, took part in murdering patriots. Moreover, I do not feel a need of revenge also on people from communist groups. I always try to see every matter separately as well as approach every man individually. I have an outright attitude towards these groups, which, thanks to the Soviet tanks received authority with unlimited possibilities of forming the fate, life and property of Poles, and their descendants still want to hold this function, although in different conditions. There no consent to it.
– Democracy allows them for it!
– Yes. And I am not surprised by the fact that they want to reign in Poland, because it is a beautiful, big and rich country. I am only surprised that we, Poles, give them permission for it.