Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Overview of the Jerzy Urban papers
2011C9  
No online items No online items
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (78.06 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
Correspondence, writings, personal documents, printed matter, and photographs, relating to political conditions and journalism in Poland.
Background
A Polish journalist born to a left-wing Polish-Jewish family in Lodz, Urban survived the war in the Soviet Union. He was then educated in the People's Poland and began his journalistic career in the mid-1950s, during the political "thaw" that ensued after Stalin's death. A natural contrarian, stubborn and provocative, Urban was frequently in trouble with communist censors. He found stable employment and relative security on the Party weekly, Polityka, which was run by a relative liberal, Mieczyslaw Rakowski. When the Solidarity trade union movement emerged in 1980, Urban criticized and ridiculed its leaders in dozens of columns that he signed as "Rem". In 1981, General Jaruzelski, the first secretary of the Polish Communist Party and prime minister, made Urban his press secretary. For all intents and purposes, then, Urban, technically never a Party member, became the official face of the communist regime, its chief propagandist, and probably the most hated person in the country, a distinction he seemed to enjoy. After the "Roundtable Talks" between the communists and the opposition, and the June 1989 national elections, which ended the Party's monopoly of power, Urban returned to private life. In 1990, he founded an anticlerical, semipornographic, largely nihilistic tabloid called Nie (Polish for No), making him one of the richest men in Poland.
Extent
9 ms. boxes (3.8 linear feet)
Restrictions
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
Availability
Collection is open for research.