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2008 | 3 | 135-142

Article title

THE 'NIE SAMYM TEATREM...' (NOT BY THEATRE ALONE...) THEATRE GROUP FROM WROCLAW IN SECURITY SERVICE MATERIAL (Wroclawska grupa teatralna 'Nie Samym Teatrem...' w materialach Sluzby Bezpieczenstwa)

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A mass-scale boycott of the media and attempts at demonstrating support for the underground structures of the 'Solidarity' trade union as well as an identification with the union's ideals became the reason for the development of an idea of performances given in churches during the martial law period. One of the best-known groups of the time was the Wroclaw-based 'Nie Samym Teatrem...' (NST) company, which assumed its final shape in July 1984. The main meeting place of the NST and the presentation its performances was the parish of St. Klemens Dworzak in Pracy Avenue. The church featured the moist important NST productions, which included 'Epitafium sw. Kazimierzowi' (Epitaph for St. Kazimierz), 'Wyrok na sierpien' (Sentence for August - a reflection of the court trail of Wladyslaw Frasyniuk), and 'Anhelli' (dedicated to the assassinated Rev. Jerzy Popieluszko). In February 1985 the Security Service in Wroclaw began gathering material against the actors - part of the cryptonym 'Habit' campaign - and conducting operational activity on a wide scale. The repertoire of harassment included detention for 48 hours, verbal abuse, and high fines. The actors did not admit defeat, and up to 1989 actively pursued their theatrical undertakings. In December 1989 the local Security Service functionaries recognised that the threat posed by the NST actors had been averted and ended the 'Habitat' operational reconnaissance. Members of 'Nie Samym Teatrem...' belonged to one of the most attacked and persecuted independent theatrical companies in Poland. An explanation for this state of things should be sought in several factors. First, the productions were staged in the churches of Wroclaw, a terrain where throughout the whole period of General W. Jaruzelski's junta the local Security apparatus suffered symbolic defeat. Attempts at influencing members of the local Church hierarchy proved ineffective. Secondly, intensified repressions against the NST produced greater interest in the performances given by this company, not only among spectators in the voivodeship of Wroclaw.







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  • Sebastian Ligarski, Biuro Edukacji Publicznej Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, Oddział w Wroclawiu, Wroclaw, Poland.


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Publication order reference


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