Overview of the Jerzy Urban papers
Processed by Hoover Institution Archives Staff.
Hoover Institution Archives© 2009
Stanford, California 94305-6010
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Overview of the Jerzy Urban papersHoover Institution Archives
- Processed by:
- Hoover Institution Archives Staff
- Date Completed:
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- Machine-readable finding aid derived from MARC record by Elizabeth Konzak.
© 2009 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.
Title: Jerzy Urban papers
Collection Number: 2011C9
Creator: Urban, Jerzy, 1933-
Collection Size: 9 ms. boxes (3.8 linear feet)
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, personal documents, printed matter, and photographs, relating to political conditions and journalism in Poland.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages: In Polish
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Jerzy Urban papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2011.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.
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.
Correspondence, writings, personal documents, printed matter, and photographs, relating to political conditions and journalism in Poland. It includes family documents, materials from his unsuccessful parliamentary run in June 1989, as well as a lot of published and unpublished texts. Most valuable perhaps are copies of political strategy memoranda submitted by Urban to General Jaruzelski during 1987-1989.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Poland--Politics and government.